Most cold emails end up in the spam folders or trash – never to be seen again.


These cold emails are untargeted and so completely wrong that recipients wonder how they landed in their inboxes. They lack attention to detail, making the sender appear like a cheeky spammer.

Still, we can’t deny that cold email marketing is incredibly effective. It is among the most used platforms for reaching new customers and clients.

That’s why we’re on a crusade to save your cold email campaigns from landing in the spam.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to write a cold email that captures your prospect’s attention and achieves your desired outcome. But first, let’s start with the basics in the section below.

Do People Open Cold Emails?

Absolutely, yes – but only if you get it right.

In fact, the average open rate for cold emails is between 40% to 60%. [1]  Furthermore, sending cold emails is a numbers game: the more emails you send, the higher the chance of success.

However, not everyone will respond to cold emails, and you cannot just spam your recipients. Below are a few writing tips to increase your open rate and engagement.

Let’s dive in!

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A smiling businessman in glasses holding a laptop while discussing cold email strategies on the phoneCourtesy: Canva/ Jelena Danilovic

The Art of Cold Emailing: 21 Tips for Writing Effective Cold Emails

1. Begin With an Outline

The key to a successful cold email is outlining the points you wish to discuss before writing. Doing so will help you organize and construct ideas in a thoughtful flow and sequential manner. It will help you write content that makes sense to the recipient.

Even if you have only a few sentences to write, think of (1) the main goal you want to achieve, (2) the appealing introduction that will make your recipient read your email and take action, and (3) the question you want to ask.

Only then should you start crafting your cold email.

2. Identify Their Challenges/ Pain Points

To write an effective cold email, you must also research and thoroughly identify your recipient’s pain points. Understanding their struggles and unique challenges will help you write content that speaks to them.

Stay updated with industry news, explore significant online forums, and visit social media. We also suggest you avoid lengthy introductions.

Instead, go straight to your potential client’s specific pain point and personalize your cold email to resonate with their pain points or needs. Doing so will help you attract the user’s attention.

The Pain Point + Solution Formula

The technique behind this cold email formula is to describe a common problem related to people in their industry. The more targeted and specific you can be about their pain point, the better.

Next, describe how your service or product can easily and quickly provide an immediate solution and finish your campaign with a strong close with the next step they should take.

3. Ask a Question

Asking a question in cold email campaigns is a great way to catch users’ attention and entice them to open your email.

It’s even more effective when you ask an open-ended question relevant to their buyer persona and put this question in the subject line.

Why? If they want the answer, they’re more likely to open the email to find it.  If it strikes an emotional chord, even better since emotion motivates people to take action, such as making a purchase decision.

Joy, amusement, awe, and relief are good emotions to trigger in a cold email. When done right, it can generate a high open rate.

Five people sitting in a row, holding colorful speech bubble signs above their heads, expressing enthusiasm and interaction about email tips.

Courtesy: Canva/ Rowan Jordan

4. Customize Your Email/ Say Their Name

Including your recipient’s name or personalizing your cold emails helps you stand out in a crowded inbox. After all, people are naturally drawn to their names.

A study about how personalized subject lines affect email open rates even showed that personalizing with the prospect’s name had the highest average open rate (43.41%) compared to personalizing with the company’s name (35.65%) [2].

Ideally, you can put their names in the subject line or the body.

5. Create a Mobile-Friendly Subject Line

By following the suggestions above, you’re well on your way to a winning subject line.

Here are some other tips to consider: Ensure that it is relevant, short, and mobile-friendly.

What’s the point of writing a compelling subject line if it gets cut off because it’s too long? We recommend keeping the subject line around 40 characters to make it readable on different devices.

A subject line can have about 40 to 70 characters on a desktop or tablet, but mobile devices only allow 30 to 60 characters.

6. Be Buyer-Centric

Of course, your prospects need to know about your brand, product, or service. But more importantly, they need you to tell them what it can do for them. How can it make their business more successful? Will it fix their problem?

Being buyer-centric with your cold email also means leading with “you” rather than “I.” For instance,  write “Your question on [website name] …” instead of “I’m also a member of [website name].”

7. Keep It Short and Simple

Shorter emails significantly outperformed emails with longer copies, with a 5.81% higher CTR  [3].

So, it’s best to keep your emails short and simple. Being polite is important, but try to remove unnecessary greetings. The three main elements that your emails should contain are the following:

  • Who you are
  • What you offer, and
  • The action you want your recipient to take

A joyful woman holding a digital tablet displaying an email notification iconCourtesy: Canva/ gesrey

8. Inject Humor

A Litmus study found that email marketers have approximately three seconds to grab a recipient’s attention before they delete a message [4].

Adding humor or funny trigger words to your cold email subject lines or content helps you stand out and showcases your brand’s personality.

When your service or product is uplifting, personal, playful, and fun, there’s room for a casual, fresh tone to engage with readers.

9. Strike the Right Tone

Successful cold email outreach involves opening the email and maintaining the right tone for the rest of the message. If you make it too salesy, you may offend the target audience, who are not yet ready to purchase or avail themselves of the service.

Don’t be obnoxious or aggressive. And don’t trash-talk your competitors in the industry.

It doesn’t leave room to sell yourself and will reflect poorly on your brand. Your email tone should also come across as equal, not know-it-all.

10. Use Embedded Instead of Hosted Photos

You have two options for including images in emails. You can either host the image externally and link it to the content or embed it directly in your email.

While most email clients display photos without significant issues, some still show images as attachments. That’s why we recommend embedding them to simulate a real email.

Big bonus: embedded images help with deliverability with Gmail.

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11. Have a Clear Value Proposition

As much as possible, focus on only one key benefit per campaign. You don’t want to bore, confuse, or overwhelm your readers with every product feature or share your life story.

Instead, only share certain details, like the benefits your product brings to your prospect’s needs or problems.

Group of five young adults sitting together and sharing content and smiling at their smartphones as they discuss cold email strategies.Courtesy: Canva/ filadendron

12. Provide Relevant Social Proof

Highlight previous successes from clients similar to your target audience. For instance, “We’ve already helped [company name 1 in the same industry] and [company name 2 in the same industry] double their sales while remaining cost-efficient.”

Of course, the strongest form of social proof in email marketing is a mutual connection. Having a mutual friend means you’re not a stranger.

If you have any credibility, social status, or authority important to your recipient, mention it quickly. The more you mention it, the more likely your message will get a response.

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13. Give Them an Out

Your email should also contain an option for recipients to opt-out, in compliance with email marketing laws in various jurisdictions, such as the CAN-Spam Act in the US and the GDPR in Europe.

Remind your recipients that whether they respond is ultimately their choice. This technique builds your credibility and trust as a sender and doubles your chance that your recipients will say yes to your offer.

14. Make Your CTA Clear and Easy

Make your call-to-action (what you’re mainly asking for) clear.

Do you want them to tell you what they thought about your linked video? To introduce your brand to their colleague? To schedule a demo? Or perhaps we can speak about your recent research? If possible, limit it to one ask per campaign.

Just because a CTA is an important part of a cold message means you can have too many CTAs per email. It’s like proposing marriage on your first date. Don’t confuse your reader and have a single, clear CTA instead.

15. Check Your Grammar and Punctuation

Not everyone is a stickler for proper grammar and punctuation, but you can’t tell who is who isn’t when sending a cold email.

First impressions matter. Correct grammar and punctuation make you look professional, attentive, and credible. Another benefit is that it helps you avoid miscommunication and helps you clearly explain what you mean.

Laptop displaying a digital padlock symbol on its screen, surrounded by other devices and icons related to writing a cold email, on a wooden desk.Courtesy: Canva/ Igor Kutyaev

16. Include Your Email Signature

Finish your email with a professional email signature to help you build a human connection and trust with the recipient. It likewise increases your chance of getting a response.

Your email signature should contain your full name, company name, role in the company, and contact information. You may include your best Instagram captions or other social media links, especially if you send them as a brand.

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17. Find the Right Leads

The success of your cold email campaign ultimately depends on how well you know your recipients to be able to pitch to them.

How to Find Quality Leads for Cold Emailing

Research your target customer and develop an ICP (ideal customer profile) containing details of who would benefit most from your offers to find quality leads for cold emailing.

Then, to have more qualified prospects, we encourage you to segment your leads by context instead of sending mass emails. This approach reveals the audience’s pain points and helps you establish rapport through commonalities.

18. A/B Test Your Cold Emails

Regularly optimize and measure factors from subject line angles to email timing to ensure the best deliverability and open rates.

Test various subject lines, call-to-actions, and content to see what works best and what needs to be improved.

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19. Schedule Your Campaign

It’s wise to schedule your campaign to be sent out when your recipients will be most receptive and engaged. This email marketing strategy is especially important for your first cold email campaign.

The good news is most cold emailing platforms now allow users to schedule their emails. Perhaps you want your campaign to land in your recipient’s inboxes first thing in the morning, around lunch, or late afternoon. Whatever you think is right, schedule accordingly.

A woman celebrates with raised fists in front of her laptop at a home office desk after successfully learning to write cold emails.

20. Use an Email Deliverability Tool

You’re almost done. The next strategy to boost your campaign is to use a reliable email deliverability tool or cold email software.

With just a few clicks, the software will more likely send personalized emails to a larger audience. It also allows easy targeting and segmentation, so you can tailor your campaign to a certain audience and ultimately increase engagement.

A great way to improve deliverability is with InboxAlly. It’s a unique email deliverability tool that teaches inbox providers like Gmail and Yahoo Mail to understand that recipients value your cold emails.

We’ll help you get your emails in the inbox right from the start. It’s simple to set up and free to get started.  Start your free trial today.

21. Follow-Up

Don’t ignore the importance of follow-up emails. Statistics show that adding at least one follow-up email to your campaign sequence increases your reply rate to around 22% [5].

follow-up emails demonstrate your commitment to establishing a relationship, rather than just completing a one-off transaction, which can significantly enhance the perceived value of your messages and encourage more engagement from recipients.

Overhead view of a person typing a cold email on a laptop.Courtesy: Canva/ LeoPatrizi

How Do You Structure a Cold Email

Of course, this guide on how to write cold email wouldn’t be complete without sharing the ideal email structure that gets more opens and replies.

Subject Line

Your subject line will have a huge impact on whether your prospects will open your email or not. Remember – it’s the first impression you make on your prospects. Here are some best practices to incorporate.

  • Keep your subject line short and sweet. Convey your message effectively in about 5-7 words.
  • Use strong verbs to encourage the prospects to take action and/or evoke a sense of urgency.
  • Avoid spam-trigger words like “limited time offer” and “free” because they may make your campaign appear spammy. Instead, focus on emphasizing the benefits and creating value.

2. Body

Avoid overwhelming your cold email recipients with a lengthy email. Keep focused and brief, and ensure it’s easy to understand and read. As much as possible, stick to a single objective or idea and provide all the details the reader needs to act.

3. CTA

This part of your email moves your prospects down the sales funnel. You can achieve this by scheduling a call, booking a meeting, or signing up for a free trial. A compelling and strong call to action is necessary for a successful cold email campaign.

Cold Email Examples

Let’s be honest; this is how most cold email templates sound…


Subject: Helping [Their Company Name] Reach New Heights in [Industry]

Email Body:

Hi [Recipient’s Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I’m [Your Name], and I lead the [Your Position] at [Your Company Name]. We specialize in [briefly describe your services/products] designed specifically for [their industry] like yours.

I came across [mention how you found out about their company or any recent achievement/news] and thought there might be a great fit between [Their Company Name] and [Your Company Name]. We’ve worked with businesses like [mention any common connections, similar businesses, or local competitors], helping them to [mention key benefits; e.g., increase sales, reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction].

I’d love to share a few ideas about how we can help [specific problem or opportunity you can help with]. Are you available for a brief call [suggest a specific time frame, like ‘next week’]? It would be great to learn more about your needs and discuss potential solutions.

Thank you for considering this. I’m looking forward to the possibility of working together to create something outstanding for [Their Company Name].

Best regards,

[Your Name]

[Your Position]

[Your Company Name]

[Contact Information]

[Website URL]


This cold email template ticked some boxes we highlighted earlier, such as starting with an outline and identifying their challenges or pain points.

But did you make it to the end of the email? Or can you picture your client hitting the back button before the end? Let’s see how you could improve on the standard cold email template.

Business-to-Business Cold Email Template

Example 1:

Subject: Can [Their Company Name] Outsmart the Usual Suspects in [Industry]?

Email Body:

Hi [Recipient’s Name],

Is your inbox as tired of the same old sales pitches as you are? I’m [Your Name], the [Your Position] at [Your Company Name], where we help [briefly describe your services/products] with a twist.

I’ve been watching [Their Company Name] grow, and I must say, you’re doing some incredible work in the [specific aspect of their industry]. But the question is: Are you getting the support you need to tackle [specific challenge they might be facing]?

How are you currently managing [specific challenge or process related to your service/product]? I’d love to catch up for a quick chat to discuss a strategy that boosts efficiency and keeps your competitors guessing (and maybe a little jealous).

What do you say about a brief call to exchange some ideas? How about this Thursday at 10 AM? If that’s too soon, just give me a shout—it’s about time your inbox had something to look forward to!

Eager to chat soon,

[Your Name]

[Your Position]

[Your Company Name]

[Contact Information]

[Website URL]


Example 2:

Subject Line: Is it time for a [Your Industry] Upgrade? Let’s Explore!

Email Body:

Hello [Recipient’s Name],

Imagine this: [a scenario where your product/service solves a big problem for them]. Sounds a bit too good? Well, it’s perfectly possible with a little help from [Your Product/Service] at [Your Company].

I’m [Your Name], and I’ve helped people like yourself in [their industry or interest area] turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Whether it’s enhancing efficiency, reducing costs, or simply getting the peace of mind you deserve, our solutions are tailored to bring you measurable results.

Here’s an idea – let’s have a chat for about 15 minutes. I think you’ll find our insights into [a specific problem or opportunity] quite enlightening.

What do you say? Can we schedule a virtual coffee next Tuesday or Wednesday? Alternatively, I can send over a summary of our [Product/Service] for you to look at in your own time.

Thank you, [Recipient’s Name], for considering this. I’m looking forward to potentially sparking some great changes!

Warm regards,

[Your Name]

[Your Job Title]

[Your Phone Number]

[Company Website URL]


As the example above shows, a cold email can be professional and engaging. In fact, if your email’s going to convert, it has to stand out as different. Remember, you aren’t talking to a robot, so don’t write like one. Your tone should be conversational and motivate the reader to hit the reply button.

Here is an example of a good follow-up email.

B2B Follow-Up Email Template

Example 1

Subject Line: Can We Help Knock Out Those Pain Points?

Hey [Prospect’s Name],

Just a quick follow-up from my last email. I hope I’m not catching you in the midst of a post-lunch food coma!

Do you have any thoughts on how [Your Solution/Service] might fit into your toolkit? I’m all ears and ready to brainstorm.

Let’s join forces and put those pain points in their place once and for all. What do you say?

Looking forward to hearing from you, [Prospect’s Name]!


[Your Name]

[Your Position]

[Your Contact Information]


Example 2

Subject Line: Quick Reminder: Ready to Explore [Your Product/Service]?

Email Body:

Hi [Recipient’s Name],

I just wanted to pop back onto your radar following my last email. I’m really excited about the possibility of showing you how [Your Product/Service] can make a [specific benefit] a reality for you.

I’d love to grab those 15 minutes we talked about to dive a little deeper into your needs and discuss how we can help.

Please let me know a time that works for you or if there’s another way you’d prefer to learn more about what we do.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,

[Your Name]

[Your Job Title]

[Your Contact Information]

[Company Website URL]

Let’s Wrap This Up

A woman drafting the perfect cold email that gets opened using her 21 tips.Courtesy: Canva/ fizkes

Now you know the techniques for writing cold emails that prompt action and get you more leads.

But one last piece of the puzzle in this blog post that can help you get more done in less time: the right email deliverability tool.

With InboxAlly, you can double your open rates within 1-2 weeks. It has helped thousands of email marketers, mailing list owners, deliverability experts, email service providers, and agencies save time and improve their sender reputation.

Just choose which Pricing Plan best fits your business, and let us do the rest. No need to even give us access to your email accounts or sending software. Test it out here for free.