Cold email is an unsolicited email that is sent to the potential prospects without any prior contact or meeting. It can be sent by anyone be it students mailing for internships, graduates mailing HR for job vacancies, salespersons mailing companies to enhance sales, marketers sending emails to gain publicity and traction for their products, etc.

a lot of cold emails

A cold email is not spam, however, in majority of the cases cold emails are ignored and consequently the response rate can be as low as 20-25 percent. The goal is to formulate an effective cold email that grabs the attention of the prospects. Cold emails can be sent by anyone depending upon their varied interest(s) to contact another person for an official task. When it comes to the business sphere, cold emails are one of the best marketing strategies to augment sales.

Following are a few simple ways to get a response to cold emails:

Know your prospect

At the outset, remember that you are sending the email to an individual first and not corporations. Do not bombard them will long, text heavy and mechanical emails. Empathy is the key to understand the psychology of the person on the other side. Make the person reading the mail feel that you have put in an effort in knowing about their personal and professional interests.
Get a thorough understanding of the website/ products of the prospect. This will help in creating a highly personalized email for the prospect. Be specific in what aspects and how you can benefit them, maybe in terms of contributing to the growth of their organization.
You can start researching about them on places like Google, Linkedin profiles, Facebook, Twitter, professional forums like Quora, and Glassdoor.

Attractive subject line

The cold email subject line is the first thing that the receiver would see. It determines whether the prospect is interested in opening your email or not.  For this reason, the subject line has to be attractive and should evoke a feeling of curiosity in the prospect.
Make sure that the subject line is relevant and informative to the prospect and provide a clear hint of what is expected in the body of the email. To do this, you can include the following information in the subject line:
Create a sense of urgency- one of the reasons that stops a person from opening an email is procrastination. Creating a sense of urgency in the subject line such as “offer valid for 24 hrs”, “Urgently required” (name of the service or product, etc.) instills a curiosity in the minds of the recipients regarding the content of the email.
Numerals relevant to the prospects- adding numbers to the subject line adds specificity to the mail. Email headings like “4 Quick ways to solve your business problems” gives an idea to the receiver about the content and might as well interest him/her.
Praise related subject line- people are unlikely to avoid flattering emails regarding themselves. Customize your subject line to offer praise to that person.

Precise content

The opening line should give a reason for the prospect to continue reading your email, so aim for a highly personalized opening line. You can write about aspects such as their products, common interests, recent events that have occurred in the personal/ professional life of the prospect. The first paragraph should be short and sweet!
Be precise about what value your proposal will add to the prospect’s business. Do not just talk about the features of your service but include the benefits your service will provide if they start a relationship with you. Give a reason for them to say yes to your proposal!
Examine their business strategies and models and pin down the areas where they are lacking. Draw linkages between your service and their fallouts and provide a solution for their business challenges.
Providing reliable statistics will increase the credibility of your cold email. This is important while dealing with skeptical prospects as it provides them a ‘push’ to engage in a conversation.
Use of humor at times is important to lighten up the mood of the prospects and keep them engaged. There is a higher tendency for a relaxed prospect to comply with the business negotiations.
Provide references that can highlight good reviews about your service, for example, list in a few mutual connections, competitors and samples. When a prospect sees the names of people they know, they are likely to read the email and eventually avail the service.

Ending the cold email

Open-ended cold mails hardly get replies and so it is best to end it with a call-to-action. You need to be straightforward and can ask them to schedule a meeting, reply to your email or signup to your service.
Make sure that you have only one call-to-action as the intent of the first email is only to get a positive response. Do not ask for too much!


There has to be persistent follow-ups to a cold email as it can take a lot of time and        dedication to get the prospect interested in your services. The idea is not to pester the recipients but to make them realize the need for your service. Approaching prospects with differently formulated follow emails can work wonders!

Writing cold emails is a skill that develops over time and experience. Know your prospects well and draw linkages between your service and their requirements in order to formulate short, crisp and effective cold emails. Also, keep in mind that a catchy subject line and highly personalized cold emails get more responses.

Author's Bio


Pooja is the head of operations at italics, a content marketing agency based in India. She manages content development and marketing for clients belonging to a wide range of industries. She is more than 8 years of experience in SEO content writing, copywriting, thought leadership and article writing. She is also a certified psychologist and an expert in analysing consumer behaviour to generate winning content

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