Flawless Marketing Victory Using Cold Emails

October 22, 2019 Aaron Chichioco

Cold email has been around for a while, but it's still one of the more effective (and cheapest) tools in the marketing arsenal. The best marketing emails are short and sweet ... and there are a lot of ways to get it wrong.

It's not easy to spark interest from people who have probably never heard of your brand, and even harder to get a response. Read on for five quick tips that create effective cold emails:

  1. Focus on the subject line

  2. Don't be overbearing and sales-y

  3. Use the "5 by 5" method

  4. Test, adjust, and iterate your message

  5. Don't re-invent the wheel: Use email templates that work

What is a Cold Email?

Cold emailing is the act of sending an unsolicited email to a person or organization that you have not interacted with before. The goal? Get a response. (The larger goal, of course, is to eventually have your prospect agree to a demo or meeting and get them on the phone with a salesperson. And the ultimate goal is netting a new customer.)

This practice can build your email list, gain you more signups, and increase your leads that you can eventually turn into a customer base. It is also very effective, as a properly-executed email marketing campaign can have an email open rate that averages between 15.22% and 28.46%, depending on the industry. (Find your industry in this this comprehensive list of average email open rates from MailChimp.)

Five Tips on How to Create Effective Cold Emails

Sending cold emails is not a cookie cutter task. You need to be familiar with the proper techniques to get optimum results. Here are a few of them:

1. Craft compelling subject lines

Convince and Convert says 35% of recipients open emails based on the subject line alone.

Make sure your email stands out from clutter in their inbox by using the sense of urgency, triggering curiosity, and giving them an offer they cannot resist. You can also win them over through small touches of personalization (nothing too creepy!), being relevant, and timely. 

Whatever subject line technique you choose, just make sure to follow the hallmarks of good writing: keep it short and simple. 

Try to grab their attention in less than 50 characters so your email subjects are not cut off – particularly when your audience is reading their emails on their mobile devices. 

2. Don't be overbearing or sales-y

Remember the last time a salesperson went to your front door and indulged in two minutes’ worth of insincere small talk. That put you off, right?

The same applies to cold email marketing. If you hit your recipients with a sales pitch from the get-go, they will probably be unimpressed with you and will delete your email.

To increase your chances of getting a favorable response, remember to build relationships with your potential leads. Do not just slap them with a generic, bland sales pitch. 

Rather, get to know them as you would get to know a person in real life. By building a connection, you are more likely to get positive results. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to cold emailing. 

3. Be familiar with the five-by-five method 

Some marketers may spend hours of their day trying to get to know potential leads, only to have a lot of this effort to be ignored. A good way to avoid this is by employing the five-by-five method

How it works: spend five minutes researching, and then spend five minutes crafting a message. If it takes you longer than five minutes to find something to build a conversation with a person, then walk away. 

Once you do find a common ground, make sure that your email is concise and value-adding to the person. The best way to do this is by offering a solution to a problem that they talked about. 

For example, if a person talked about a need to reach out to more clients on social media, then talk about how your firm has successfully spearheaded campaigns in the past. Talk about the highlights – the impressive figures and techniques you used. If you talk about a solution that only you can provide for them, they are more inclined to respond to your cold email.

4. Test, track, change… and test your emails again

Cold email testing and tracking can go a long way in ensuring that your cold email efforts are not for naught. Find out which of the techniques you are using are giving you more returns and implement them. Find out which ones are ineffective and improve them. 

Test different email subject lines, opening statements, and techniques. The list of things you can do to improve your campaigns is endless. Just make sure that you use the right tools so you can effectively track and measure your campaigns

5. Use successful cold email templates 

Remember, your goal is to grab the attention of your recipients, so they will respond to you or agree to a meeting. You wouldn’t be able to meet this goal if your email is too generic. One glance at the screen and the person would know that it is a cold email – a step that would have them delete your email before reading them. 

What you can do instead is to follow successful cold email templates and to inject your personal touch onto them. Do not send bland and generic emails; make sure that the recipient knows who you are, and what exactly you can offer for them.


With luck, you are on your way to writing more eloquent, better-received cold emails from this point on moving forward. 

Featured Image Source: Frozen man in red winter clothes working on a laptop in the snow. Cold, frost, blizzard by HomeArt Shutterstock

About the Author

Aaron Chichioco

Aaron Chichioco is a digital PR / business columnist. He has a vast experience in overseeing daily operations of several online businesses since 2011. He is currently employed with <a href="https://grit.ph/">grit.ph</a>. You can follow Aaron on twitter at @Aaron_Chichioco.

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