Digital marketingMarch 1, 2019

How to Send Better Cold Emails

Nikita Roy

If there’s one aspect of sales and marketing that is dreaded equally by a marketer and an audience, it is cold emails.

Cold emails are like the necessary evil in the marketing ecosystem. No one wants to receive them but then there is no better way to capture leads as a well as a cold email either.

A great cold email is harder than most communication. This is because of two reasons. First, you have absolutely no relationship with the audience. Second, there is a lack of any form of non-verbal feedback which means you cannot modify your approach in real time.

And yet, many successful startups and established businesses have grown their leads and converted customers only and only through cold emails.

So what differentiates a really good cold email from a spammy one?

Let’s have a look at the power of cold emails. Beginning with a clear definition, cold emailing is “a tactic that focuses on sending relevant, personalized emails to prospects [with whom] you’ve previously had no contact”. 

Now, how do we make something as vague and random sounding as cold email a powerful lead generation tool? There are a few steps, actually.

Choose your target audience wisely

Contrary to popular practice, a good cold email is not to be sent to a list of thousand random email addresses. For your cold email campaign to actually bring results, you need to plan and segment your target audience wisely. Research your audience, know exactly what kind of audience from what demography, interest field, and pain points you want to target. Know which kind of audience is actually looking for the solution you want to provide. Then go narrower in your search. Dig up their businesses, their business and social profiles, any relevant business decisions they might have taken in the recent past – basically anything and everything that might help you start a relevant conversation with them. Then use this as your starting point. The worst mistake you can do while sending a cold email out is to send the same generic one to a huge random list. Never works.


Once you have gathered a list of high niche, relevant and informative prospects, it’s time to write your cold email body. The idea is to make your cold email look like a one to one conversation. Personalization is the future of all marketing communication. There are various email automation tools in the market that let you personalize the contents of your cold email like the prospect’s name, company, website, and even business propositions. Utilize the power of automation to create hyper-personalized email copies.

Speak about them, not you

A lot of cold emails make the mistake of talking all about themselves, instead of trying to solve the prospect’s problem. No one has the time to read about what your business has achieved or where is it situated. Instead, capture the reader’s attention by talking about benefits. Let them know that you understand their pain point and your product or service is going to provide them meaningful benefits. No one cares about your product’s features but everyone cares about the benefits that they can bring.

Don’t be too “salesy”

An important thing to remember before sending out your cold email is that it is not supposed to sell your product. Cold emails are meant to start conversations and hopefully build relationships. The selling will be a by-product of this relationship later in the picture. Avoid sounding like a desperate salesman in your cold email. Try to use insights and empathy to encourage conversations and some kind of an action that fosters a relationship between you and the prospect.

Connect logically

Like every form of communication, your cold email should also tell a story. There needs to be a logical connection to your message. Starting with the “From” line of your email to your email signature, your messaging should be coherent and flowing. Draft an impactful subject line, make your prospect the hero of your cold email proposition, link the prospects pain point to your product and end with a relevant CTA.

A/B test

A/B tests on cold emails help you figure out what works and what does not. This, in turn, helps you optimize your email marketing campaign. A/B testing can be used for subject lines, email headers, signatures, email timings and sometimes even the entire email body. The aim is to hit upon the best version of the cold email that will convert leads.


Cold emails have been the most widely used form of marketing communication. Unfortunately, they are also the most ill-researched forms of communication. As marketers, we need to understand that cold emails are not magic. They require constant revisions, follow ups and optimization. But when done right, cold emails are one of the most powerful ways to capture, communicate and nurture leads for a business.

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