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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

4 Winning Approaches for Writing a Cold Email

writing a cold sales emailYou found someone's email address online. Someone you've been looking to get in touch with for a long time. Now, it's up to you to write an email that'll get opened.

A cold email can be effective depending on your target audience's communication preferences. Follow these four approaches and you'll increase your chances for success:

1. Create a Compelling Subject Line

The subject line will determine whether your recipient will open your email (or whether they'll delete it immediately).

Here are a few that work:

  • Congratulations: Did you see their company in the news? Congratulate them on something you read! Be as specific as possible.
  • Praise: "Excellent tweet the other day!" will get your prospect's attention. Don't be awkward. Find something genuine to compliment, and see your open rate increase.
  • Use Their Name: If you found the prospect's email address, chances are, you know their name. "Hey, Matt, I thought you'd like this," will get me to open an email almost every time.

2. Connect Subject to Body in the First Sentence

Make sure the body of your email connects with the subject. If you congratulated me, make sure to mention that in the body. Don't spend too much time here, but reiterate whatever it was that got your prospect to open the email in the first place, then...

3. Get to the Point

Everyone is busy. So, if your subject line was compelling, and your prospect opened the email, don't ruin it with a wall of text! Nobody can read that much. I recommend writing emails that are three or four sentences, max. 

4. Have an excellent answer to, "What's in it for me?"

Remember, the email isn't about you, your company's history, or your widgets. It's about what you can do to make the prospect's life better in some way. Can you save them time, money, or some combination of both? Great. Focus on that. Remember why you're asking for something in the first place, and give them something to do.
 

Final tip: Don't give up!

It took you a long time to get the prospect's email address, don't just send one email and move on. Use all four different subject lines. Contact the prospect more than you think is necessary. Change the call-to-action. Maybe they don't have time for an in-person meeting -- what else could you get from them that would move the relationship along?
 
Don't give up -- get your prospects to say yes to a meeting. Download the free guide.
 
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in 2012, and has been edited and updated.
Topics: email Setting Appointments Sales prospecting