How to Write Cold Emails That Actually Get Replies

In the 80s, most sales reps were cold calling. In 2018, they’re cold emailing. There is so much That can be achieved with cold emailing. From getting a foot in the door in hotshot companies to fixing a calendar slot with decision-makers, cold emailing can be utilized to help you achieve almost anything

But, getting a reply to a cold email is not a straightforward task. More than 90% of cold emails land in the spam folder. Those that are opened are often ignored or deleted. All too often only a very small percentage of cold emails sent actually become warm leads.

The big question is, of course, how do you make cold email work for you and turn that minority into a majority? That’s what I am going to cover here.

In what is to follow, I will be sharing proven cold email tactics that will get your cold emails opened, read and replied to.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the heart of the subject – How to write cold emails that actually get replies ’.

Grab Attention with Subject Lines

In cold emailing, as is the case for so many other things in life, you only get one chance to make a great first impression. You’ll be making that first impression with your subject lines, so they had better be good. In the sea of emails that most people have in their inbox, your email needs to stand out.

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The key is to spend some time composing creative, engaging subjects lines that pique the interest of the reader enough to make them click. That means giving them some serious thought and avoiding the cliches and overused subject lines.

Here are a few of the ‘tactics’ you could consider

  • Question about (business goal)
  • Reg: our call on (Date)
  • (mutual connection) referred you

Why do these subject lines work? Although there is no call planned (yet) a subject line that suggests there is will certainly grab the reader’s attention, if only because they are puzzled why someone should think that. A mutual connection is a good way to begin to build trust. And by asking a question you will once again have a chance to interest the reader in actually replying in order to answer it.

Keep Things Short, Sweet and To the Point

Think of your cold email as an elevator pitch. It should be short, sweet and get to the point as quickly as possible. You can – and should – introduce yourself, and your business briefly, but then introduce your sales pitch clearly and concisely immediately afterwards. You may have an interesting life story but your prospects don’t want to hear about it (yet), they want to know what you want from, or have to offer, them.

Make sure that any facts or statements you make within the copy are accurate, and that you can if challenged, back them up.

When introducing your pitch don’t just add a dry, boring feature list. Tell the prospect what problem or issue your offering can help them solve. And explain that in a manner that is concise as possible.

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Respect Your Reader’s Time

Ideally, the users you are reaching out through cold emails will have hardly any time to read lengthy emails. They want to get to the gist of the matter as quickly as possible and jump to a conclusion right away. The attention span is, at the most, few seconds long.

Hence, sticking to short phrases written with high intent would be a good move. Use language that is formal yet has an air of simplicity to it. Imagine you’re writing to your friend, but in a formal manner. That will help break the ice when you start talking to the prospect in person.

Most importantly, weed away all typos and grammatical errors before hitting the ‘send’ button. Such silly errors can present you as someone who is reckless and not an ideal choice to work with. Also, ensure that the text mentions only factually correct statements that can be proved if required.

The thumb rule is to imagine that you are writing to someone who is in a hurry.

Insert a definite call-to-action

You can’t let your cold mail end abruptly. You need an anchor at the end that will drive the message home. You need a call-to-action that will persuade the recipient to take some action. The action could be a reply to the mail, an appointment for a call, calendar invite for a demo, etc.

Now, don’t go about inserting call-to-action buttons like in blogs and websites. It doesn’t work in cold emails. You want your cold mail to appear like a formal invite. Not a commercial outreach. It is recommended that you use subtle questions that pique the user to give consent to your request.

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So you don’t want to insert links as well. The ideal choice would be to request for something, like time for a call, referral, calendar appointment, demo sign-up, etc.

End with an open-ended question

Questions are excellent ways to end cold emails. Especially open-ended questions which make the reader think and consider doing something.

Questions like these help in making your reader respond with a positive action :

“How does your calendar look like on the (date) for a 15-minute call?”

“Could you please let know of a convenient time for a 10-minute call?”

You can try various creative versions of this way of asking to make your prospects reply to your cold emails.

Before hitting the ‘Send’ button

Writing the cold mail is only half the battle. The rest of the battle lies in how and when you send the mail. Before you hit the ‘send’ button, ensure that the mail will reach the recipient at a time when the chances of reading are high. That said, Monday mornings are a strict no-no. So do Friday evenings. The first half during weekdays should work fine. Depending on the working style of your prospects you can fine tune your mailing strategy.

Now go create that cold mail, send it out and start growing your business.


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