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20 Proven Cold Email Tips and Tricks: What Top Marketers Won't Tell You

Discover top marketers' secrets with these 20 proven cold email tips. Improve your outreach and increase conversions with strategies they don't share.
Written by
Harsh P
Published on
June 19, 2024

A cold email is an unsolicited email sent to a potential customer or client with whom you have no prior relationship. It's similar to cold calling but takes place over email. The primary goal of a cold email is to initiate a conversation and build a relationship that could potentially lead to a sale or partnership.

Cold emails are a highly effective outreach tool due to their direct and personal nature. Statistics show that cold emailing can have an average open rate of around 20-30%, which is significantly higher compared to other bulk email marketing strategies.

They allow for precise targeting, enabling businesses to reach specific individuals who are most likely to be interested in their product or service.

For example, a well-crafted cold email campaign by a B2B company can generate a 1-5% response rate, which is considerable given the low cost of the method.

Moreover, cold emails are scalable and measurable, making them an indispensable tool for businesses looking to expand their reach without a substantial budget.

20 Proven Cold Emailing Tips and Tricks

20 Proven Cold Emailing Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Provide Real Value

When crafting cold emails, the key is to offer immediate and tangible value to the recipient. This approach not only captures attention but also increases the likelihood of engagement.

Identify Pain Points: Understand and address the specific challenges or needs of your target audience. For instance, if you’re emailing a marketing director, highlight how your product or service can boost their campaign ROI, ideally with a statistic such as "Clients typically see a 30% increase in engagement."

Educational Content: Include useful information like a relevant guide or whitepaper that relates to their industry or job function. This establishes your credibility and demonstrates your expertise.

Tip 2: Leverage Storytelling

Storytelling in cold emails makes your message more relatable and memorable. It can transform a simple pitch into a compelling narrative that resonates with the recipient.

Use Real Examples: Share a brief story about how your product helped a similar company or client. For instance, "Our software helped XYZ Company streamline their workflow, reducing their operational costs by 20% in just three months."

Emotional Connection: Craft stories that evoke emotions or shared experiences. This technique is particularly effective in building a connection, making the cold email feel less like a pitch and more like a conversation.

Tip 3: Start with a Strong Hook

The opening line of your cold email can make or break the recipient’s decision to read further. A strong hook grabs attention and piques curiosity.

Ask a Thought-Provoking Question: Start with something that makes the reader pause and think, such as, "Did you know that the average company wastes 25 hours per week on inefficient processes?"

Surprising Fact or Statistic: Open with a shocking or intriguing fact related to their field to grab attention immediately. For example, "90% of businesses don’t track their document workflows efficiently, leading to increased operational friction."

Tip 4: Use the P.S. Line

The P.S. line in a cold email serves as a powerful tool to reinforce your message or offer a final compelling point that can sway the reader’s decision.

Highlight a Key Offer: Use the P.S. to remind them of a limited-time offer or exclusive discount. For example, "P.S. Sign up in the next 48 hours to receive an additional 10% off your first purchase."

Create Urgency: Mention a deadline or scarcity to prompt immediate action. Something like, "P.S. Only three spots left for our free webinar on improving email marketing ROI."

Tip 5: Focus on Benefits, Not Features

When discussing your product or service in a cold email, emphasize how it benefits the recipient rather than listing its features.

Translate Features into Benefits: For every feature, explain how it benefits the recipient. Instead of stating, "Our software features end-to-end encryption," say, "Ensure your data remains secure and protected against breaches with our end-to-end encryption."

Align with Recipient’s Goals: Connect the benefits directly to the recipient’s business objectives or personal goals. Example: "Our tool helps you save 10 hours a week on scheduling, giving you more time to focus on strategic tasks."

Tip 6: Use Social Proof

Social proof is a persuasive technique that demonstrates how others have benefited from your product or service, increasing the credibility of your offer.

Customer Testimonials: Include a short, powerful quote from a satisfied customer. For instance, "John Doe at Company X saw a 50% increase in leads by using our platform."

Case Studies and Success Stories: Briefly mention a success story relevant to the recipient’s industry. E.g., "Learn how we helped a similar tech startup double its customer base in just six months."

Mentions of Well-known Clients or Partners: If applicable, name-drop well-known companies that use your service. "Trusted by industry leaders like Google and Amazon."

Tip 7: Include a Clear Call to Action

A clear call to action (CTA) in your cold email compels the recipient to take a specific action, significantly increasing the likelihood of engagement. Data shows that emails with a single CTA increased clicks by 371% and sales by 1617%.

Be Direct: Clearly state what you want the recipient to do next, whether it's scheduling a call, registering for a webinar, or downloading a white paper.

Visibility: Place your CTA in a prominent position within the email to catch the reader’s attention quickly.

Urgency: Use urgent language to provoke immediate action, such as "Register now" or "Offer ends soon."

Tip 8: Craft Compelling Subject Lines

Cold email subject lines are your first and often only chance to make an impression on the recipient. Studies have found that 47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone.

Personalize: Include the recipient’s name or company in the subject line to increase open rates by up to 22%.

Keep it Short: Aim for 4-7 words to ensure the entire subject line is visible on mobile devices.

Spark Curiosity: Use intriguing phrases that pique interest without giving everything away, encouraging the recipient to open the email.

Tip 9: Segment Your Email Lists

Segmenting your email lists allows you to tailor your messaging to specific groups within your audience, which can lead to a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns.

Demographic Segmentation: Group your contacts by demographics such as age, location, or job title to tailor your approach.

Behavioral Segmentation: Segment by past interactions, such as previous purchases or engagement with earlier emails.

Needs-Based Segmentation: Identify specific needs or interests of subsets of your audience and target them with relevant content.

Tip 10: A/B Test Your Emails

A/B testing is essential to understand what strategies work best for your audience and can lead to significantly higher engagement rates.

Test Different Elements: Vary one element at a time in your emails, such as the subject line, call to action, or the email body's layout, to see which version performs better. For example, you could test two different subject lines to see which one results in a higher open rate.

Measure and Analyze Results: Use metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to determine which version of your email achieves better results. This data-driven approach helps refine your cold emailing strategies over time.

Tip 11: Utilize a Professional Tone

Maintaining a professional tone in your cold emails reassures the recipient of your seriousness and credibility.

Be Clear and Concise: Avoid jargon and overly complex language. Keep your message straightforward to ensure it is easily understandable.

Respect the Recipient: Use polite language and ensure your email does not come across as too aggressive or presumptuous. Phrases like "I would be grateful if…" or "We appreciate your consideration…" can convey respect and humility.

Tip 12: Avoid Overwhelming Graphics

While visuals can enhance the appeal of your email, too many graphics or overly complex designs can distract from your message or even cause technical issues.

Keep It Simple: Use minimal and high-quality graphics that support or enhance your message without dominating it. A simple logo or a single, relevant image can be effective.

Ensure Compatibility: Make sure that your emails are easily viewable on all devices. Large images can slow down loading times, and overly formatted emails might not display correctly on all email clients.

Tip 13: Optimize Your Sending Time

Choosing the right time to send your cold emails can significantly affect their open and response rates.

Research Optimal Times: Studies suggest that emails sent on Tuesday mornings tend to have the highest open rates. However, it's important to consider your target audience's specific habits. For instance, if you're reaching out to executives, early mornings on weekdays might be more effective.

Test and Learn: Use A/B testing to experiment with different sending times to find what works best for your specific audience. Monitor the results and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Tip 14: Follow Up Wisely

Following up on your cold emails can increase your chances of getting a response, but it needs to be done thoughtfully to avoid seeming pushy.

Timing Is Key: Wait at least a few days between your initial email and the first follow-up. If there’s no response, you might follow up once or twice more, spacing each by a week or so.

Add Value Each Time: Each follow-up should offer additional value or a new angle on the previous message. It could be more information about benefits, a new finding relevant to the recipient's industry, or an invitation to a webinar.

Tip 15: Avoid Spammy Words

Using certain trigger words in your email can result in it being filtered directly into spam folders, drastically reducing the likelihood it will be seen.

Know the Triggers: Common spam trigger words include "free," "guarantee," "no obligation," and "risk-free." Be cautious with these and try rephrasing your messages to avoid them.

Focus on Quality Content: Instead of relying on sensational language to grab attention, focus on crafting a clear, professional, and relevant message. This not only helps avoid spam filters but also enhances the credibility of your email.

Tip 16: Use a Conversational Tone

Adopting a conversational tone in your cold email strategy can make your messages feel more personal and relatable, increasing the likelihood of engagement.

Mimic Face-to-Face Conversation: Write as if you are talking to the recipient in person. This helps to humanize your message and build a connection.

Use Everyday Language: Avoid overly formal or technical language. Instead, opt for friendly, accessible language that fosters a sense of familiarity and ease.

Tip 17: Use Clean, Simple Formatting

Effective writing cold emails involves more than just words; how your email is formatted can significantly impact its readability and professionalism.

Limit Formatting Tools: Use bold and italics sparingly. Overuse can make an email look cluttered and is distracting.

Easy-to-Read Structure: Use short paragraphs and bullet points to break up text, making it easier for the recipient to scan and digest the information quickly.

Tip 18: Respect the Unsubscribe

Ensuring your cold email outreach respects the recipient's choice to unsubscribe is not only a legal requirement in many regions but also a mark of professionalism and respect for personal boundaries.

Clear Unsubscribe Options: Include an easy-to-find unsubscribe link in your emails. This transparency builds trust and shows that you value the recipient's preferences.

Honor Requests Promptly: Once someone decides to unsubscribe, remove them from your list immediately to avoid sending unwanted messages that could end up in spam folders.

Tip 19: Address Objections Preemptively

Anticipating and addressing potential objections in your first cold email campaign can significantly increase the chances of a positive response.

Identify Common Concerns: Before sending your emails, think about the common reservations or objections your target audience might have about your product or service. Address these concerns directly in your email to show that you understand their needs and have thought through the solutions.

Use Data and Testimonials: Reinforce your points by including data, statistics, or customer testimonials that substantiate your claims and demonstrate the effectiveness of your offerings.

Tip 20: Showcase Your Personality

Letting your personality shine through your emails can make your communication more engaging and memorable. This is especially important when you're trying to stand out in a crowded inbox.

Personal Touch: Use a tone and style that reflects your personality or brand identity. Whether it's friendly, humorous, or earnest, make sure it's genuine to create a deeper connection with your audience.

Enhance with Extras: Consider including elements like social media links to connect on other platforms, or use a professional email signature that includes a personal quote or motto. This not only personalizes the email but also gives recipients more ways to engage with you or your brand.

How to Write a Perfect Cold Email

How to Write a Perfect Cold Email

Crafting a cold email is a skill that involves meticulously composing your message to grab the recipient's interest and prompt a reply.

Here are the 10 essential steps to follow to write an ideal cold email:

1. Set Clear Objectives for Your Cold Email Campaign

Before drafting your cold email, it's crucial to define what you hope to achieve. This could range from scheduling a meeting or demo, to introducing your product, or even initiating a partnership.

Setting clear objectives will guide the tone, content, and calls to action within your email, making your message more focused and effective.

Example Objective: If your goal is to set up a meeting, your email should build enough interest and trust to justify why a meeting would be valuable for the recipient.

2. Precisely Identify and Understand Your Target Audience

Knowing your audience is the cornerstone of effective cold emailing. Different demographics and job roles will respond to varied approaches and messages. Research and segment your audience to tailor your emails that resonate on a personal level.

Demographic Insights: Use LinkedIn and other professional networks to understand the roles, industries, and potential needs of your targets.

Tailor Your Message: Customize your emails based on the segment’s characteristics, challenges, and likely objectives. For instance, if targeting marketing executives, focus on how your service can ease campaign management and increase ROI.

3. Develop a Compelling Subject Line

The subject line is your first impression and, often, the make-or-break factor in whether your email gets opened. An effective subject line should be concise, clear, and relevant, sparking curiosity while remaining straightforward about the email's content.

Conciseness is Key: Keep your subject line under 50 characters to ensure it's fully visible on mobile screens.

Spark Interest: Use action-oriented verbs and touch on specific benefits or intriguing questions. For example, "Boost Your Team’s Productivity by 20%" or "Have You Checked This New Tool?"

Avoid Spam Triggers: Steer clear of overly salesy language that could get your email flagged as spam.

4. Craft a Compelling Opening Line

The success of your cold email heavily depends on its opening line. This initial sentence should immediately grab the recipient's attention and make them want to read further.

Relate to Current Events or Their Work: Reference something timely, like a recent company announcement or an article they've published. This shows you've done your homework and are genuinely interested in them, not just in selling something.

Pose a Thoughtful Question: Ask something relevant to their business challenges that your product or service can help solve.

For example, "Are you looking to enhance your team’s productivity without overstretching your budget?"

5. Introduce Yourself Clearly and State Your Intent

After a strong opening, introduce yourself in a way that builds credibility and clearly states the purpose of your email.

Brief and Relevant Introduction: Share who you are, your role, and why you are contacting them. Keep it concise to maintain their interest.

Example: "My name is Jane Doe, a productivity consultant with ABC Solutions, specializing in streamlining processes for tech companies."

State Your Purpose Upfront: Be upfront about why you're reaching out. Clarity helps to set the stage for the remainder of the email.

For example, "I’m reaching out because I believe we can help you reduce your software development cycles by 30%."

6. Connect with Their Challenges

Demonstrating understanding and empathy for the recipient's challenges can make your cold email more persuasive and relatable.

Identify and Echo Pain Points: Use your knowledge of the industry or insights from their public communications to speak directly to their pain points.

Example: "I understand that maintaining software quality while accelerating development is a major challenge in the tech industry."

Offer a Concise Solution: After stating their challenges, briefly introduce how your product or service can solve them.

Example: "Our tool integrates seamlessly with your existing platforms to enhance speed without compromising on quality, effectively addressing the challenge of maintaining quality in fast-paced development environments."

7. Articulate Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

Your unique value proposition is crucial in differentiating you from the competition. It should clearly explain what makes your product, service, or proposition unique and why it is specifically beneficial to the recipient.

Be Specific: Highlight specific benefits that address the needs or challenges of the recipient. For example, if your software saves time, specify how much time on average your clients save.

Keep It Relevant: Tailor your UVP to align with the recipient’s industry, role, or recent business developments.

8. Embed a Clear and Compelling Call-to-Action (CTA)

A well-defined call-to-action guides the recipient on what steps to take next. It should be direct and easy to spot, ensuring that the recipient knows exactly what you are asking.

Be Specific and Simple: Use action-oriented language like "Schedule a Call," "Start Your Free Trial," or "Download the Guide."

Make It Easy: Include a direct link or a single step that the recipient can take to act on the CTA, reducing any friction in responding.

9. Conclude with Appreciation

Closing your email with a note of appreciation can leave a positive impression, making the recipient feel valued and respected.

Express Gratitude: Simple phrases like “Thank you for your time,” or “I appreciate your consideration,” can make the recipient more receptive.

Keep It Genuine: Avoid overdoing it. A sincere, concise thank you is more effective than excessive flattery.

10. Perfect Your Email Signature

Your email signature is not just a formality; it offers additional information and increases your credibility. It should be professional and informative, providing the recipient with all the necessary contact details.

Include Essential Information: Your name, position, company, phone number, and website or LinkedIn profile should be included.

Keep It Professional: Use a clean, simple design that is consistent with your company’s branding. Avoid overly decorative fonts or colors that might detract from the professionalism of your email.

How to Send Your 1st Cold Email

How to Send Your 1st Cold Email

Sending your first cold email can be daunting, but by using the right tools and strategies, you can maximize its effectiveness. Here's how you can efficiently manage the process:

Mail Merge

Mail merge is a powerful tool for personalizing bulk email campaigns, allowing you to insert personal details (like names, companies, or roles) into each email, giving it a tailored feel.

  • Use a Reliable Tool: Choose a mail merge tool that integrates easily with your email platform and can handle the volume of emails you plan to send.
  • Personalize Effectively: Ensure that your data source (like a spreadsheet) is well-organized and accurate to prevent any personalization errors, such as incorrect names or titles.


Spintax, or spinning syntax, is used to generate multiple versions of text to avoid sending identical emails, which can trigger spam filters.

  • Implement Subtly: Use spintax to vary greetings, closings, or small details within the body of the email. However, ensure the core message remains clear and consistent.
  • Balance Uniqueness and Consistency: While variations are good, too much randomness can dilute your message. Maintain a balance to keep your emails coherent and professional.


Templates can streamline the email writing process by providing a consistent structure and style for your emails.

  • Customize Templates: Start with a basic template but tailor it to reflect your voice and address the specific needs of your audience.
  • Keep Templates Flexible: While templates save time, each email should be adapted as needed to better fit the recipient’s profile and your relationship with them.


The pre-header text complements your subject line by giving recipients a sneak peek of your email content, which can encourage them to open the email.

  • Maximize Impact: Use this space to add context or an enticing summary that complements your subject line.
  • Keep It Short and Sweet: Typically, pre-headers should be between 40-130 characters to ensure they display correctly across devices.

Email Preview

Checking how your email looks across different devices and email clients can prevent display issues that might affect readability or professional appearance.

  • Use Preview Tools: Utilize tools that can show you how your email will look on various platforms before you send it.
  • Adjust as Necessary: Make adjustments based on previews to ensure your emails look great everywhere.

Email Writing Assistance

Tools that offer email writing assistance can help polish your language, correct grammatical errors, and suggest enhancements to make your message more compelling.

  • Leverage AI Tools: Use AI-driven tools like Grammarly or Hemingway to improve readability and correct language errors.
  • Maintain Your Voice: While tools are helpful, ensure the final message still reflects your personal or brand voice authentically.

Sequence Score – Email Writing Score

Some advanced tools analyze your email content and provide a score based on its likely effectiveness in engaging recipients.

  • Analyze and Adapt: Use the feedback to tweak your email content to align better with best practices for engagement and response rates.
  • Continuous Improvement: Regularly scoring your emails can help refine your approach over time, leading to better results.

A-Z Variants

Testing different variations of your email from A to Z (literally different versions or slight modifications) can help identify the most effective version.

  • Test Strategically: Implement A/B testing or multivariate testing to compare different versions of your email based on open rates, click rates, and conversion metrics.
  • Implement Learnings: Apply successful elements widely and adjust less successful ones based on test outcomes.

Must-Have Tools for Effective Cold Email Campaigns

Must-Have Tools for Effective Cold Email Campaigns

To run effective cold email campaigns that capture attention and yield high response rates, it's essential to use the right set of tools. These tools help streamline the process, from building and segmenting your email list to automating the sending process and analyzing results.

Here’s a list of must-have tools that cater to various aspects of cold emailing:

1. Email List Building and Verification Tools Great for finding email addresses associated with a particular domain. It also provides tools for verifying email addresses, ensuring that your messages reach valid accounts.

NeverBounce: This tool checks your mailing lists to eliminate outdated or invalid emails, enhancing deliverability and protecting your sender reputation.

2. Email Automation and CRM Platforms

Mailchimp: Offers features for email automation, audience segmentation, and performance tracking. It's user-friendly for beginners and powerful enough for advanced marketers.

HubSpot Sales: Provides a comprehensive suite of sales tools, including email tracking, scheduling, and CRM functionalities. It’s ideal for integrating your cold email campaigns with broader sales activities.

3. Personalization and Templating Tools

Yesware: Allows you to track email opens and clicks, create personalized templates, and automated follow ups based on recipient actions. A sales engagement platform that supports scaling personalized email outreach. It provides detailed analytics and allows for A/B testing of your messages.

4. A/B Testing and Optimization Tools

Sendinblue: This tool offers robust A/B testing capabilities along with detailed reporting on campaign performance. It helps you understand what works best for your audience.

Optimizely: While primarily known for website testing, Optimizely also offers solutions for optimizing email campaigns, making it easier to test different aspects of your emails.

5. Compliance and Security Tools

GDPR Compliance Manager by Mailjet: Helps ensure that your email campaigns comply with GDPR regulations, which is crucial for campaigns targeting European recipients.

Proofpoint: Focuses on email security and data protection, helping protect sensitive information and maintain compliance with various regulatory standards.

6. Analytics and Reporting Tools

Google Analytics: Track the performance of your email campaigns in the context of your overall online marketing efforts. It’s particularly useful for seeing how email traffic behaves on your website.

Campaign Monitor: Provides detailed reports on your email campaigns, including open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. This data is essential for understanding the effectiveness of different strategies.

7. Cold Email Enhancement Tools

Canva: For designing visually appealing email graphics that are lightweight and compatible with email formats.

Grammarly: Ensures that your emails are grammatically correct and professionally written, enhancing the quality of communication.

8. Scheduling Tools

Boomerang for Gmail: Allows you to schedule emails to send at optimal times, follow up automatically on emails that don’t get replied to, and remind you of important emails.

Calendly: Integrates with your email to allow recipients to easily schedule meetings. This tool is especially useful for call-to-action buttons like "Schedule a Demo" or "Book a Meeting."

Additionally, implementing cold email software that integrates all these functionalities can dramatically improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your campaigns.

By using tools that assist with personalization, scheduling, and analytics, you can ensure that your cold emails not only reach the right audience but also engage them effectively.

7 Common Mistakes To Avoid in Your Cold Email

7 Common Mistakes To Avoid in Your Cold Email

Crafting successful cold emails requires careful attention to detail and strategic thinking. To enhance your email campaigns, it’s crucial to be aware of common pitfalls.

Here are seven common mistakes to avoid when sending cold emails:

1. Lack of Personalization

Mistake: Sending generic, one-size-fits-all messages that do not address the specific needs or interests of the recipient.

Solution: Use tools like mail merge to include personal details such as the recipient's name, company, or role. Reference specific details about their business to make the email feel tailored and relevant.

2. Overly Salesy Tone

Mistake: Focusing too much on selling your product or service rather than providing value to the recipient.

Solution: Balance your pitch by highlighting how your offering solves a problem or improves the recipient's situation. Offer insights or useful content before making a sales pitch.

3. Ignoring Subject Line Importance

Mistake: Using vague or uninteresting subject lines that fail to grab attention or motivate the recipient to open the email.

Solution: Craft compelling subject lines that spark curiosity or convey a clear benefit. Test different subject lines to see which ones yield the best open rates.

4. Failure to Optimize Email Length

Mistake: Sending emails that are too long and dense, which can overwhelm the recipient, or too short, lacking sufficient information.

Solution: Keep your emails concise but informative. Aim for a sweet spot where you provide enough information to be engaging without being overwhelming.

5. Neglecting a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)

Mistake: Ending emails without a clear next step or call-to-action, leaving recipients unsure of how to proceed.

Solution: Include a specific, easy-to-follow CTA. Whether it’s scheduling a call, registering for a webinar, or requesting a demo, make sure it’s straightforward and easy to act on.

6. Not Following Compliance Rules

Mistake: Failing to comply with regulations like GDPR, CAN-SPAM, or CASL, which can lead to legal issues and damage your reputation.

Solution: Ensure your emails comply with relevant laws by obtaining proper consents, providing clear opt-out options, and respecting user privacy.

7. Inadequate Testing and Optimization

Mistake: Not using data and feedback to improve your emails, resulting in repeated errors and missed opportunities for optimization.

Solution: Regularly analyze the performance of your emails using analytics tools. Conduct A/B testing on various elements such as the sending time, subject line, and content to continually refine your approach.

Concluding Thoughts

Our guide, equips you with essential strategies to enhance your cold emailing effectiveness. These tips not only improve your outreach but also help build meaningful connections. By applying these insights—from precise personalization to strategic timing and impactful follow-ups—you can significantly boost your response rates and drive business growth. Implement these tactics to transform your cold emails into opportunities for engaging conversations and achieving your marketing goals.

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