How to Write a Cold Email that ACTUALLY Get Responses

Cold emailing isn’t dead. It’s just changing.

In fact, it’s even more integral today, for businesses to sustain in a competitive market.

Your business needs new customers. And you can’t sit around waiting for them to find you.
You need to go out there, identify your ideal customers, tell them you exist and get them to purchase your solution.

Your cold email has to be relevant, prepared and hit the prospect’s biggest business challenge to get them interested in your offering. Apart from that, your cold email should also have a killer subject line, compelling email copy and also a good email signature.

Today, we are going to share how our sales development representatives (SDRs) write cold emails that actually get responses.

3 simple steps to write the perfect cold email

The goal of writing a cold email is to get it read. Each word and sentence you use should persuade the reader to move to the next one, right until the end of the email.

In short, your email should be designed to produce the results you want — a meeting with the prospect. These 3 simple steps will get you there.

  1. The opening line
  2. Propose the value
  3. End with a call-to-action

But, when you have to send multiple emails for prospects who are in different stages of their buying journey, writing an email from scratch can get tiresome. This is where email templates and email marketing software helps ease the processes.

7 Email templates CTA

Let’s deep dive into the three-step process of creating a cold email. 

Step 1: The opening line

Sending the same email copy to 100 prospects will get you 0 responses.

Why? Because it’s not personalized.

If your cold email doesn’t start with something about the research you’ve compiled about the prospect, their company or the market, nobody is going to respond to you. A little bit of flattery here works, but don’t go overboard by listing all their recent activities.

Here are some ways to personalize and begin your cold email:

Knowledge about their website/product:

Being specific sets you apart from the hundreds of emails that prospects receive in their inbox. When you begin the email with information about the prospect’s website or product, it shows that you’ve done your homework before getting in touch with them. Moreover, it also grabs their attention.

Take a look at this email opener for instance. Our SDR, a fashionista herself, did a little bit of research on the recipient’s fashion website before sending the email.

cold email personalize opening freshsales

Recent news:

You obviously don’t want to use any stale, old news that happened months ago in your email. Your email should start with a recent event that has happened to the prospect or the company. Take this email for example,

cold email recent news freshsales

In this case, a quick LinkedIn and Google research found that Demi was ranked 32nd among top 50 Australian Female Entrepreneurs, and our sales development representative use that as the icebreaker.

Find common interests:

One of your prospect’s tweets show that she is really excited about a Soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. If you’re equally a Soccer fanatic, you can use that as the opener in your email. Dig into your prospect’s social media to find out their likes, dislikes, and interests, and use the research to begin your email. Most people receive tons of emails in their inbox, so an opener with common interests stands out.

Once you’ve grabbed the prospect’s attention, get into the real context of the email.

Free Resource: Download 25+ Sales Email Templates For Every Scenario

Step 2: Propose the value

Your recipients don’t care if your business has won an award, or what you do is awesome in every single way. What they care about is why should they read your email. So once you have a great opening line, get to the point and talk about,

  1. Why are you reaching out to them?
  2. What can you do to help?
  3. The benefits of starting a business relationship with you
  4. Examples of how other companies are benefiting from your offering

You reach out to prospects in the hope that they will become your customers. For that to happen, you need to point out to what’s currently wrong in their system, and why should they look for a change.

Most SDRs hesitate to talk about what’s currently wrong too soon. But don’t be. If things are going right for the prospect, there won’t be a need for change!

Look at their website or business model and see where your solution can improve the way they do things.

Perhaps they are missing out on sales because,

  • their competitors are doing something you aren’t
  • something isn’t optimized or broken
  • their current tool is slow, hard to use and very expensive

When you point out the problem, tell them how you can help fix it. Don’t sell the features, instead talk about the benefits the prospect will gain from using your solution.

  1. I did a fair amount of research on your website, and I noticed that X and Y are not connected to a centralized system. I can show how by streamlining activities you can reduce workload and boost productivity.
  2. X, Y, and Z competitors have increased sales by 30% in Q3. I can show you how you can achieve the same results with {your product/solution}.
  3. I noticed you are currently using a system, but I would love to connect with you to understand how your process works.

Mentioning some of your well-known customers here is an excellent way to build your credibility among the recipient.

In this email, our sales development representative isn’t selling our product but pointing out the current problem and how it can be better. It’s short and to the point, and provides value to the prospect.

propose the value cold email freshsales

You’ve got your prospect hooked until now. There is just one more step left to the email.


Step 3: End with a call-to-action

This step is pretty straightforward—what do you want them to do after reading your email. It can be either to, schedule a meeting, reply to your email, signup for your solution, etc.

Whatever you want them to do, make sure you have only one call to action, and it is pretty simple and straightforward.

  1. I would love to get on a short call with you for a quick review of your current systems and how we can help.
  2. {first_name}, It would be great if we can get on a short 10-minute call on Friday at 2:00 pm?

Don’t ask for too much in your first email. A reply is ideally what you should be expecting from your first email, and that’s good enough to get the conversation going.

Here’s one example where we customized a support portal for the prospect’s company and asked them to have a look at it.

call to action cold email freshsales

Since most readers don’t have the time to check your website or product, making their job easier has a huge chance that they will do what you want them to do.

Highly personalized, short and crisp emails is a great way to start a new business relationship. These are 3 simple steps you can follow while writing your next cold email.

But don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a reply immediately. Your prospects are probably busy or are likely to receive tons of emails every day that it is easy to get buried. When it comes to cold emails, persistence is key. So make sure to follow up with them until you get a proper response. 

Related Article: Crafting a Killer Cold Email Follow-Up Strategy.

In the meantime, if you have a tip or two that you would like to share, let’s talk in the comments.

Cover illustration by Udhaya Chandran

Create cold email sequence in Freshsales