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Cold Email Prospecting: Write Emails That Get Noticed

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

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Discover the secrets to successful cold email prospecting and learn how to craft persuasive, personalized emails that generate results. This comprehensive guide covers everything from targeting the right prospects to A/B testing and automation.

Cold email prospecting is a powerful, cost-effective strategy that can help you generate leads, grow your business, and build relationships with potential customers.

Cold emailing can result in a significant return on investment (ROI) with minimal effort if done right. This complete guide will cover everything you need to know about cold email prospecting, from crafting the perfect email to finding the right prospects, timing, tracking success, and more.

The Importance of Cold Email Prospecting

Cold email prospecting is an essential component of any successful digital marketing strategy.

Here's why:


Cold email campaigns can be easily adjusted to meet the needs and requirements of businesses of all sizes.

Whether you're a small business owner (or work from home) or part of a larger organization, cold emailing allows you to reach a wide range of prospects without investing in costly marketing channels.

As your business grows, you can expand your email list and target a larger audience, ensuring that your outreach efforts scale with your organization.


Cold emailing is an incredibly cost-effective marketing strategy, with a low cost per acquisition (CPA). If you take time and effort to craft personalized, targeted emails, you can generate significant returns on your investment without breaking the bank.

This makes it an attractive option for small businesses and startups that may not have the budget for more expensive marketing channels like paid advertising.


Relationship building

One of the most important aspects of cold email prospecting is the opportunity to start conversations with potential customers.

You can reach out to prospects with a personalized message and engage them in a dialogue, allowing you to build trust and rapport over time.

This relationship-building aspect of cold emailing is invaluable, as it helps you create a loyal customer base that is more likely to convert, make repeat purchases, and recommend your products or services to others.

In addition to these benefits, cold email prospecting allows you to test new markets, gather valuable feedback from your target audience, and refine your marketing strategy based on real-world data.

It's essential to continuously improve your approach and nurture relationships with prospects to drive long-term growth and success for your business.

With the right strategy, tools, and mindset, cold email prospecting can become a powerful weapon in your digital marketing arsenal.

Generate leads

Crafting the Perfect Cold Email

A well-crafted cold email can make all the difference in the success of your campaign.

Here are some key parts to consider when creating your cold emails:


Personalizing your emails is crucial to improving open and response rates.

Make your emails more personal and engaging by addressing the recipient by their name, demonstrating knowledge about their company or industry, and congratulating them on a recent accomplishment or referring to a relevant industry event.

Subject Line

You know that the subject line is the first thing recipients see when they receive your email. Make it compelling and relevant to encourage opens.

Aim for 6-10 words to ensure your subject line doesn't get cut off in recipients' inboxes. Use action verbs to create a sense of urgency and consider posing a question to pique the recipient's curiosity.

Here are five examples of good subject lines for cold emails and 5 examples of bad subject lines, along with explanations of why they work or don't.

Good Subject Lines

  1. "Hey [Name], quick question about [Industry/Company]" This subject line is personalized with the recipient's name and their industry or company, making it more engaging. The phrase "quick question" also piques curiosity and suggests a short, relevant email.

  2. "10 ways [Product/Service] can boost your sales" This subject line uses a specific number to create interest and clearly conveys the value the recipient can expect from the email. It implies that the email contains actionable insights that can help the recipient improve their business.

  3. "Are you making these common [Industry] mistakes?" Posing a question grabs the reader's attention and encourages them to open the email to find out if they're making the mentioned mistakes. It also suggests that the email will provide useful information relevant to their industry.

  4. "Save time and money with our [Product/Service] – Limited time offer!" This subject line creates a sense of urgency with the phrase "limited time offer" and highlights the benefits of the product or service being promoted. It encourages the recipient to open the email and learn more about the offer.

  5. "How [Company] achieved a 30% growth in just 6 months" Using a real-life success story with a specific result can intrigue the recipient and entice them to open the email to learn how the company achieved such growth. It also implies that the email contains valuable insights they can apply to their own business.

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Bad Subject Lines

  1. "Buy our product now!" This subject line is overly aggressive and sales-focused, which can be off-putting for the recipient. It doesn't provide any value or reason for the recipient to open the email.

  2. "Important information enclosed" This subject line is too vague and doesn't convey any specific information about what the email contains. It's unlikely to grab the recipient's attention or encourage them to open the email.

  3. "Fw: Fw: Fw: Must read!" This subject line looks like spam and suggests that the email is a chain forward. Most recipients are likely to ignore or delete emails with such subject lines without even opening them.

  4. "Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" This subject line sounds exaggerated and potentially misleading, which can harm your credibility. It also appears to be overly sales-focused, which can be a turn-off for recipients.

  5. "Meeting request" This subject line is generic and provides no context about the purpose or value of the meeting being requested. Recipients may not feel compelled to open the email or respond to the request without more information.

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Opening Line

The opening line should grab your recipient's attention and give them a reason to continue reading.

You can start with a question to create intrigue, share a relevant statistic to demonstrate your expertise or offer a compliment to build rapport and make a positive impression.


The body of your email should provide value, demonstrate your expertise, and offer a solution to a problem your recipient may be facing.

Focus on the recipient's needs and explain how your product (or services) can help solve their problems (results - benefits).

Keep the email body concise, and use some bullet points or numbered lists to highlight these key points and make your email easier to read.

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Call to Action

End your email with a clear, actionable call to action (CTA). Be very specific about the action you want the recipient to take, use strong action verbs, and create a sense of urgency by incorporating phrases like "limited time offer" or "act now."

Here are 3 examples of good call-to-actions (CTAs) for cold emails and 3 examples of bad CTAs.

Good Call-to-Actions

  1. "Schedule a free, no-obligation 15-minute consultation to discuss your marketing needs" This CTA is specific, actionable, and low-pressure. It offers a free consultation, which is an attractive proposition for the recipient, and mentions a short time commitment (15 minutes), making it more likely that they will take action.

  2. "Download our exclusive eBook to learn the 7 secrets of [Industry] success" Offering valuable content in exchange for the recipient's action (downloading the eBook) is a great way to engage them. This CTA is clear and highlights the exclusive nature of the content, making it more enticing for the recipient.

  3. "Click here to claim your 20% discount on our [Product/Service] – offer ends in 48 hours" This CTA creates a sense of urgency with a limited-time offer and provides a clear incentive for the recipient to act (20% discount). By making it easy for the recipient to claim the offer with a simple click, this CTA is more likely to drive action.

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Bad Call-to-Actions

  1. "Buy now" This CTA is overly aggressive and doesn't provide any context or value for the recipient. It's more likely to turn off potential customers than encourage them to take action.

  2. "Visit our website" This CTA is vague and doesn't give the recipient a specific reason to visit the website. Without a clear purpose or incentive, recipients are less likely to follow through.

  3. "Let us know if you're interested" This CTA is passive and doesn't encourage the recipient to take any specific action. It can lead to low engagement rates and minimal response from recipients, as it doesn't provide clear guidance on what they should do next.

Remember that a good CTA is clear, actionable, and provides value or incentive for the recipient. It should encourage them to take the next step in engaging with your product or service, without being too aggressive or sales-focused.

Finding the Right Prospects: Identifying the right prospects is critical for the success of your cold email campaign.

Consider the following factors when targeting potential recipients:


Spend time researching your target market, their pain points, and their needs. Utilize social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to gain valuable insights about your target audience's interests and challenges.

Analyze your competitors' target audience and marketing strategies to identify potential prospects.

Attend industry conferences, webinars, and trade shows to learn about emerging trends and connect with potential prospects.

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Segment your email list based on specific criteria, such as industry, job title, or company size, to send more personalized and relevant emails to your prospects. Develop detailed buyer personas to better understand your ideal customers' needs and preferences.

Focus on prospects who are most likely to become customers based on factors like their budget, authority, and need for your product or service.

Leverage advanced segmentation tools to further refine your targeting based on factors like online behavior, past purchases, or engagement with your content.

Email Lists

Use reputable sources to build your email list, and ensure your recipients consent to receive emails from you.

This will improve deliverability and help you avoid being marked as spam. Some ways to build a high-quality email list include offering valuable content in exchange for contact information, using opt-in forms on your website, and collecting contact information at industry events.

Ensure to maintain and update your email list regularly to ensure its accuracy and relevance.

Timing and Frequency

Getting the timing and frequency right is essential for maximizing the effectiveness of your cold email campaigns.

Send emails during the workweek, preferably between Tuesday and Thursday, as people are more likely to check their inbox during these days.

Avoid weekends and holidays when recipients are less likely to read work-related emails.

When it comes to follow-up emails, it's important not to overwhelm your recipients. Space your follow-up emails at least a few days apart to give them time to respond. This approach strikes a balance between persistence and respecting their time.

Time management

Tracking and Measuring Success

To determine the effectiveness of your cold email campaigns, tracking and measuring key metrics is crucial.

Open rates, reply rates, and conversion rates are essential indicators to monitor. Analyzing these metrics can help you gauge the effectiveness of your subject lines, the overall interest in your message, and the success of your campaign in generating leads or sales.

A/B Testing

Optimizing your cold email campaigns involves conducting A/B testing. Regularly conducting A/B tests will allow you to fine-tune your email strategy and maximize its effectiveness.

Test different variations of your emails to determine which elements yield the best results.

You may want to test subject lines, personalization techniques, opening lines, email body content, and calls to action.

Automating the Process

Cold email prospecting can be time-consuming, but automation tools can help streamline the process and save you valuable time.

Email automation software enables you to schedule and send emails, track opens, clicks, and replies, automate follow-up emails based on recipient behavior, manage your email list, and conduct A/B testing.

Automating the process allows you can focus on crafting compelling messages and nurturing relationships with your prospects.


Cold email prospecting, when done right, can be a highly effective strategy for generating leads and growing your business. By crafting personalized, persuasive emails, targeting the right prospects, and monitoring your campaign's success, you can significantly improve your ROI and achieve your marketing goals.

Embrace A/B testing and automation tools to optimize and streamline your cold email efforts. With the right approach, you can unlock the full potential of cold emailing and watch your business thrive.

Thanks for reading

Laurence Zimmermann

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