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Cold Email Copywriting – Best Practices, Tips, & Tools for 2024

28 min read
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Writing cold emails that grab your prospects’ attention and convince them to take your desired action is extremely challenging. 

So, how do you write cold emails that break through the noise, and get opened and replied to?

We have the answer!

If you want to win at the cold emailing game, the first thing you’ve to understand is that your prospects are super busy.

They don’t care about the product or services your company offers.

They’re only interested in hearing how you can help to solve their specific problems. 

So, if you want to get your cold emails opened and replied to, you need to write your cold email copy in a way that clearly articulates how you can solve their problems.

To do that, you need to master the skill of cold email copywriting.

In this post, we have briefly explained what is cold email copywriting, the anatomy of highly-effective cold emails, and revealed cold email copywriting best practices & key tips to help you generate your desired results.

Cold Email Copywriting – Table of Contents

What is Cold Email Copywriting?

Cold email copywriting is the art of crafting email messages that grab the attention, spark interest, and convince your prospects to take a specific action – whether that’s replying, signing up, or scheduling a call.

A great copy can successfully transform your cold email from what could be seen as an intrusion into a meaningful connection. 

The end goal of cold email copywriting may be to make a sale, but the journey is always about establishing a long-lasting relationship.

What Should be the Ideal Cold Email Structure?

In order to write an effective cold email copy, it needs to have the right structure.

This is important because, without the right structure, your cold email copy will not generate the optimum results you are aiming for.

Based on industry best practices, your cold email should include the following:

1 – Subject line

The subject line is one of the most critical parts of a cold email because it’s the first thing any prospect notices about your email. 

According to research, emails with personalized subject lines have proven to generate a 50% more open rate.

That’s why your subject line must be both – personalized & compelling enough to convince your prospects to open your email.

Here are some best practices for crafting highly-effective cold email subject lines:

  • Keep it short, clear, and scannable – under 50 characters is best. Long subject lines will get cut off or ignored.
  • Speak directly to the prospect’s pain points or interests. Subject lines should be targeted and personalized as much as possible.
  • Use urgency or curiosity triggers like “time-sensitive”, “quick question”, “stop missing out” etc. to entice opening.
  • Leverage A/B testing strategies to test different subject line formulas and power words to see what drives more opens.

2 – Pre-header

The pre-header is a short text summary visible on most email clients before opening. It gives you a second chance to contextualize your email and get it opened. So, use it to further communicate key details and compel prospects.

Here are some best practices for writing effective pre-header text:

  • Summarize the value proposition or key benefit of your solution. For example, “See how we can help you double conversion rates in under 6 months”.
  • Emphasize scarcity or urgency to motivate action. For instance, “Limited time offer – expires this Friday”.
  • Give a reason why the prospect should open – “A quick tip to help you increase sales”
  • Keep the pre-header text short – ideally around 125 characters. Make it concise and scannable.

3 – Opening Line

The opening line helps set the tone. It gives you a brief window to capture attention amidst inbox clutter. So, how you craft the opening line and first paragraph is key to engaging prospects quickly.

Here are some best practices to write attention-grabbing opening lines:

  • Personalize the opening line with the prospect’s name, company, or relevant detail.
  • Highlight a shared connection, pain point, or compelling data they care about.
  • Make an intriguing offer or promise of value upfront to capture attention fast. For example, “I can help you reduce churn by 15% this quarter”.
  • Keep the opening line short and scannable to draw readers in to keep reading.

4 – Personalized Body Content 

The body of your cold email needs to be tailored specifically to the prospect.

In simple words, you need to craft your email content in a way that speaks directly to their pain points and interests.

Additionally, you also need to explain how your offerings can help them achieve goals or solve problems. 

Most importantly, demonstrate that you’ve done research on them by referencing their role, company, projects, etc. This shows the email isn’t a spam blast to thousands.

Here are some best practices for personalizing the body content of your cold email:

  • Offer tailored solutions that address your prospects’ pain points & outline how you can help.
  • Focus on benefits and ROI over features. Emphasize how you can save them time, increase revenue, reduce churn, improve productivity, boost efficiency, etc. 
  • Write conversationally and in the first person. Avoid overly salesy language.
  • Keep paragraphs short and content scannable. Try to include subheaders and bullet points.

5 – Compelling Closing Statement

End your cold email with a statement that compels the recipient to take action. 

This is important because a strong close gives one final push for them to engage with your outreach. Furthermore, it also shows confidence in your ability to provide value to them.

Here are some best practices to write compelling closing statements:

  • Circle back to the main benefit or solution you provide one last time. Remind them what you can offer.
  • Add urgency with time sensitivity or limited availability – “Only 5 spots are remaining!” Nudge them to act in the moment.
  • Share a powerful client testimonial or success stat that builds credibility.
  • Include an easy next step like scheduling a quick call or signing up for a free trial. 
  • Thank them for their time and reiterate your desire to help them succeed.

6 – Clear Call-to-Action

Every cold email needs a clear CTA or next step for the recipient. Don’t leave them wondering what you want them to do after reading. 

For example, you can consider requesting a meeting, asking for feedback, directing them to a link/demo, etc.

Here are some best practices for writing clear call-to-actions:

  • Place the CTA near the beginning and end. 
  • Use action-oriented language customers respond to like “Schedule a demo”, “Get a free trial”, etc.
  • Limit to just one clear CTAs per email. 
  • Use urgency and scarcity tactically – “Schedule before spots fill”.
  • Remove any barriers to act. Tell them exactly what to do.

7 – Email Sign-Off

The sign-off is the final part of your email that comes after the closing statement. It allows you to wrap up your message politely and warmly. 

There are plenty of email sign-offs you can use in your cold emails such as “Have a good day”, “Best Regards”, etc. 

After your email sign-off, make sure to include your email signature with important information such as your name, company name, website URL, your work contact number, your social media handles, and so on.

Here are some best practices to write email sign off that ignite responses:

  • Add a relevant email sign-off text.
  • List multiple contact channels such as phone, email, and the website URL.
  • Include a photo or brand logo so they can put a face to the name.
  • A short, memorable tagline that summarizes what you do.
  • Showcase awards, certifications, and achievements to convey authority and win trust.

10 Best Practices for Cold Email Copywriting

Crafting effective cold emails that get opened, read, and generate responses takes research, thought, and skills. Follow these best practices to make your cold emails stand out in your prospects’ inboxes.

Cold Email Copywriting Best Practices

1 – Use a compelling subject line to capture attention

The subject line is the first thing people see when your email lands in their inbox. You’ve only got about 5-10 words before they decide to open or delete so choose your words wisely.

Remember, the goal is to get your prospects to open your email and a compelling subject line is what makes it possible. 

So, write a subject line that speaks directly to what matters to your prospects the most, and keep it short and casual.

2 – Personalize the email opening to build rapport

A personalized opening is much more likely to get opened than a generic one. 

So, always avoid generic, impersonal openings like “Dear Sir/Madam” and take a moment to personalize your cold email introduction to grab your prospect’s attention. 

Ideally, you should research and use your prospect’s first name, mention their company, etc. to humanize the outreach. 

When you personalize your cold email copy for each recipient, it shows them that you did your homework on their needs. Additionally, it also helps to establish rapport quickly and gets the relationship off on the right foot.

3 – Keep your email concise and get to the point FAST!

Don’t beat around the bush and bury the lead in the process. 

The best way to keep your email concise is to get right to the point within the first 1-2 paragraphs, convey why you are reaching out, and what you have to offer. 

Furthermore, state your purpose clearly such as requesting a meeting, providing information, introducing your company, etc.

In a nutshell, keep your entire email under 5-6 short paragraphs by trimming unnecessary words to hold your prospect’s attention & get your core message across quickly and efficiently.

4 – Offer value to the prospect

Structure your cold email to focus on value for the prospect and not boast about your product or company.

Ideally, you should aim to position yourself as an advisor who wants to help, not a salesperson chasing commissions.

For example, after addressing their pain points, you can consider sharing a relevant article, whitepaper, or case study from your blog that could help to gain more knowledge. Or, you can directly give actionable advice on how they can solve a problem. 

When you lead with value, you build trust and credibility. This makes the prospect more receptive when you eventually suggest a demo or meeting.

5 – Speak your prospects’ language

When you’re writing cold emails, it’s important not to use too much salesy jargon – that’s an easy way to get blocked or ignored. 

Instead, take some time to research who your prospects are and what matters to them. Then use words and phrases in your emails that your prospects can relate to. 

Write like you’re reaching out to a real human (which you are!), not a faceless corporation. Furthermore, make a personal connection by highlighting shared interests, motivations, or values.

6 – Add urgency triggers 

To make your cold email copy more effective, you should consider sprinkling some urgency triggers to give your prospect a nudge to respond or take action. But use these carefully – you don’t want to be overly aggressive. 

For example, you could mention a 20% discount that’s expiring soon, slots filling up fast for a webinar relevant to them, or new product features launching next month that they might be interested in.

The goal with urgency triggers is to create motivation and a sense of value for acting now rather than later. But don’t go overboard. Learn to figure out the right balance of showcasing value and scarcity without aggressive hard sells or manipulation. 

In the end, you want your prospect to respond because they see genuine value in what you’re offering, not because you’re pressuring them into a sale.

7 – Make a specific ask (CTA)

When you’re writing a cold email, it’s super important to include a clear call-to-action (CTA) so your prospect knows exactly how to engage with you. Don’t just leave things open-ended or assume they’ll reach out if they’re interested. You must spell it out for them! 

In other words, you need to give your prospects a specific direction for what to do next such as schedule a demo, sign up for a free trial, register for a webinar, download a piece of content, book a call, etc.

More importantly, make your CTA clear and prominent so they don’t miss it. 

For example, put it in its own paragraph or bullet point and use action verbs that drive urgency like “Schedule, Sign up, Reserve, Download, Claim” etc. 

Remember, the more precise you are in your ask, the easier it is for your prospect to take the next step.

8 – Proofread carefully before hitting send

Always proofread your cold emails before sending them! 

Proofreading carefully is incredibly important because you only get one chance to make a great first impression. On the other hand, a sloppy email full of obvious errors just looks unprofessional or careless. 

So, give your email a thorough once-over to check for any errors or issues. Look for typos, grammar mistakes, inaccurate details, unclear writing, improper tone, weak CTAs, etc. Read your email out loud to catch things your eyes might miss.

When you write a sloppy email full of obvious errors, it looks unprofessional or careless, which makes your prospect more likely to disengage.

On the flip side, if you write an email that’s clear, polished, and mistake-free, it looks credible and shows you respect their time.

9 – Take multiple follow-ups

Don’t expect prospects to respond to your first cold email right away. Be prepared to follow up multiple times to increase engagement. 

According to research, a single follow-up email can increase the reply rate from 9% to 13%, while 50% of sales occur after the 5th follow-up email.

Follow-ups show persistence and genuine interest in helping. But make sure to include new information with each follow-up rather than just resending the same exact email. That will just annoy people.

For example, you can consider highlighting a new case study, additional resources, or testimonials in each follow-up email. 

For a high reply rate, send multiple follow-up emails spaced a few days or a week apart.

10 – Keep refining your cold email copy

You need to treat your cold email as an experiment. And in order to experiment well, you must test different subject lines, content, calls-to-action, etc.

Furthermore, you should also pay attention to open and response rates to see what works. Then, analyze the data and optimize your copy to further improve the performance. 

For example, you can A/B test your cold email subject line to determine which drives more opens.

Similarly, you can also A/B test your email opening line, CTAs, and other elements to continuously improve your email copy to boost engagement over time.

Remember, cold emailing is not a set-it-and-forget-it process – you need to continually optimize. So, keep refining your cold email copy based on data to ensure that your cold emails convert at the highest rate possible.

4 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Cold Email Copy

If you want to succeed at cold emailing, it’s equally important to avoid common mistakes as it is to implement the best practices we discussed above. 

There are 5 critical mistakes that you must absolutely avoid when writing your cold email copy.

Mistake #1 – Don’t write a generalized message

We’ve all gotten those “Dear Sir or Madam” emails that sound like they were blasted out to a million people.

But the truth is, generic “Dear Sir/Madam” emails are more likely to be ignored or flagged as spam by your prospects. So, it’s best to research your prospects to write a personalized message instead of a generic one.

For example, you could look up the person on LinkedIn or their company bio to find the info you can reference. Maybe they just got promoted, their company launched a new product, or they spoke at a recent conference. 

When you mention details like this, it increases the chance of establishing a real connection with your prospects.

Mistake #2 – Avoid writing lengthy emails

When you’re writing a cold email, you want to quickly get to the point so the recipient knows why you’re contacting them. 

The best way to do it is this – introduce yourself briefly, state the purpose of your outreach, and include a specific request or next steps. 

Remember, the key is to get that key information upfront before they lose interest and move on. So, make sure to break up your email message into short, scannable sentences to make it friendly to the eyes.

Mistake #3 – Don’t sell too early

When you reach out to someone for the first time, you don’t want to hype up your product or company too much right away. 

Even though you’re excited to share all the amazing things you can offer them, it’s more effective to focus first on providing value, building some rapport, and establishing that you want to be a go-to resource for them. 

Once you’ve captured their attention, then you can organically transition into how you can help them with your product, service, or offerings.

Mistake #4 – Don’t pressure your prospects

Last but not least, you must always refrain from being overly pushy or making unreasonable requests in your cold email copy. 

For example, asking for an immediate meeting or a response by the end of the day can come across as demanding to someone who barely knows you. 

Ask yourself – Would you buy from someone who came out swinging with hardball sales techniques?

Probably not, right? Well, the same applies to your prospects as well. 

The goal is to let the new connection marinate a bit before asking for a lot.

5 Solid Cold Email Copywriting Tips to Maximize Results

Sending effective cold emails takes strategy. You don’t want to spam people or come across as salesy.

Here are some important tips to make your outreach feel more personalized and engaging:

Cold Email Copywriting Tips

1: Segment your prospect lists into smaller groups

As I pointed out earlier, mass blasting the same generic email to everyone is a rookie mistake. 

What you can do instead is, take some time to divide your big master list into smaller segments and break it down by industry, company size, job title, location, or whatever makes sense. 

This will allow you to tailor your messaging to align with each group’s specific needs and pain points. 

For example, an email written for IT managers at mid-size companies would be different than one written for marketing VPs at large enterprises.

2: Sell benefits rather than features

Don’t just focus on explaining what your product does feature by feature. That’s boring! 

Instead, I would suggest emphasizing the tangible benefits and outcomes your prospect will get from using your product. 

For example, rather than saying “Our software has customizable dashboards,” say “Our software allows you to monitor the metrics that matter most to your business.” 

This shows you get what matters most to them and drastically increases the chance of getting a response and even closing the deal.

3: Test different variations to see what works best

Marketers obsess over testing everything, and cold emails are no exception! 

So, don’t get lazy and stick with one email template forever. Try different subject lines, email copy, graphics, calls-to-action, etc. Send one version to Part A of your list and another version to Part B. 

Wait for a few days and then see which one gets more opens and responses. Based on the data, keep iterating the different elements of your cold email copy to improve your results over time.

4: Leverage social proof

Prospects want to know others trust you before they will. So, it’s a good idea to include some concrete social proof to help build credibility fast. For this, you can consider mentioning well-known brands you’ve worked with or impressive client results. 

For example, you could say something like “We’ve helped companies like XYZ grow revenue by 30% in just 6 months.” and link to their case studies on your website or client testimonials. 

If you don’t have case studies to highlight as social proof, you can also consider highlighting how many years you’ve been in business and the total number of clients served.

5: Be sincere and human

The best way to maximize results is to be transparent that you have a product to sell, but at the same time, focus more on providing value upfront. 

The point is to make sure that you deeply understand your prospects’ pain points before pushing your product. You can do so by asking smart questions to better understand their goals and pain points. 

Once you have enough data, share relevant content like articles, ebooks, or webinars to demonstrate you genuinely want to help.

Top 3 Cold Email Tools to Scale Your Outreach Game

Improving your copywriting skills is certainly important but it’s just one part of the equation. If you really want to generate leads at scale and close deals faster, you need to automate the process.

The good news is, there are plenty of cold email outreach tools out there that can help to accelerate and automate the entire process.

Below, we’ve shared the 3 best cold emailing tools in the market.

1 – Saleshandy

If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution to streamline and automate cold email outreach, Saleshandy is an ideal tool for it.

Saleshandy is a top cold email software that helps to personalize your emails for each recipient and makes it sound like you wrote it just for a specific prospect.

On top of all that, you get real-time stats to see what’s resonating with leads. Which subject lines are getting clicks? What content is converting? 

Saleshandy shows you what’s working so you can keep sharpening your axe.

Whether you’re in sales, SaaS, IT, or anywhere in between, Saleshandy takes cold email off your plate. It will save you a ton of time and help you connect with way more leads.

Key Features:

  • Unlimited Client Accounts – Manage unlimited clients on a single dashboard with Saleshandy. As an agency, you can now skip from the hassles of managing multiple clients on multiple dashboards as Saleshandy makes it easy, hassle-free, and quick with unlimited client accounts.
  • Hyper-Personalization – Saleshandy is equipped with next-level merge tags & Spintax feature that lets you personalize your cold emails for each recipient automatically to boost your open rate.
  • Auto Follow-Ups – Saleshandy automatically sends personalized follow-up emails to your prospects. This automation of emails can substantially boost your email open rates and reply rates.
  • Sender Rotation – The Sender Rotation feature lets you connect unlimited email accounts and rotates them automatically in your email sequences. By spreading sequences across multiple email accounts, Saleshandy maintains high email deliverability and avoids hitting daily email-sending limits on any one account.
  • Sequence Score – Sequence Score is a unique feature of Saleshandy that measures the overall effectiveness of your entire email sequence. It checks your email account setup, your sequence setup, and even your email copy to ensure your messages will resonate with your prospects.
  • Unified InboxUnified Inbox brings all your prospect replies into one place. This consolidated view of all communications gives you full visibility so you don’t miss any important responses from prospects across multiple accounts.

Pros and Cons of Saleshandy:

Pros:

  • Connect an unlimited number of email accounts at no extra cost.
  • Simple process to gradually increase email sending capacity.
  • Real-time tracking of email outreach.
  • AI-enabled writing tool for crafting emails.
  • Advanced email deliverability features to land in Primary inboxes.

Cons:

  • No free plan (7-day free trial available).

Pricing:

Here are the details of the yearly plan of Saleshandy:

Outreach Starter

$25 /Month
Start free trial

30% Annual Savings

  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • Unlimited Email Warm-up
  • Sender Rotation Basic
  • Unified Inbox Basic
  • 2,000 Total Prospects
  • 10,000 Monthly Emails
  • 2,500 Email Verification Credits

Outreach Pro

$74 /Month
Start free trial

25% Annual Savings

  • Everything in Outreach Starter
  • Unlimited Teammates
  • Sender Rotation Pro
  • Unified Inbox Pro
  • 30,000 Total Prospects
  • 125,000 Monthly Emails
  • 10,000 Email Verification Credits

Outreach Scale

$149 /Month
Start free trial

25% Annual Savings

  • Everything in Outreach Pro
  • Sender Rotation Scale
  • 60,000 Total Prospects
  • 250,000 Monthly Emails
  • 25,000 Email Verification Credits

Check more detail on pricing page

Customer Ratings:

  • G2 – 4.6⭐/5 based on 550+ reviews
  • Capterra – 4.5⭐/5 based on 120+ reviews
saleshandy customer review

2 – Yesware

Yesware is a sales engagement platform that is designed to help professionals track, manage, and optimize their email communication.

It integrates with email providers like Gmail and Outlook to provide users with capabilities like email tracking, email templates, sequencing emails, and analytics.

yesware

With Yesware, users can see when their emails are opened, know who opened them, and view email analytics to understand engagement levels. The platform aims to help sales teams streamline their email follow-ups, nurture leads, and close more deals.

Key Features:

  • Email TrackingYesware integrates with email providers to track opens, clicks, and replies. You can see who and when a prospect opened your emails, which enables better follow-up and understanding of engagement levels.
  • Email Metrics – Get access to metrics on email response times, most responsive recipients, clickthrough rates, and other analytics to optimize your outreach. Understand what subject lines, content, and approaches resonate best.
  • Email Sequencing – Set up automated sequences of follow-up emails to be sent when certain conditions are met. For example, send a follow-up 3 days after an initial outreach.
  • Email Scheduling – Schedule your email campaigns and sequences to be sent at optimal times. Yesware uses data and algorithms to recommend the best times to reach recipients based on their past engagement.
  • Email Templates – Create reusable email templates for common messages like outreach, following up, etc. Templates save time and ensure branding consistency.

Pros and Cons of Yesware:

Pros:

  • Email tracking provides visibility into engagement and opens.
  • Provides email performance analytics and metrics.
  • Reminders help you follow up on key emails.
  • A/B testing improves email copy and content.
  • Contact management helps keep emails organized.

Cons:

  • Costs can multiply quickly since pricing is per user seat.
  • Access to the Salesforce integration feature is only included in Yesware’s higher-priced plans.

Pricing:

  • Pro Plan – $15/seat per month
  • Premium Plan – $35/seat per month
  • Enterprise Plan – $65/seat per month
  • Custom Plan – This plan is intended for teams seeking a high degree of customization or aiming to execute intensive pilot programs.

Customer Ratings:

  • G2– 4.4 ⭐/5 based on 800 reviews.
  • Capterra – 4.3 ⭐/5 based on 175 reviews.

3 – Snov.io

Snov.io is a sales automation platform designed to help with cold email outreach and lead generation. It focuses on enabling users to find and verify email addresses, create targeted email campaigns, and track results.

snovio

It provides a comprehensive suite of tools for email enrichment, email verification, lead generation, and workflow automation. 

Let’s look at the key features to understand how Snov.io can accelerate lead generation and maximize ROI for your business.

Key Features:

  • Email Finder – Snov.io has a database of over 30 million email addresses that can be searched to find targeted prospects. You can search by company, name, job title, seniority level, and other filters to find relevant email addresses.
  • Email Verifier – The platform will verify the validity and deliverability of email addresses before you send out campaigns. This helps improve email campaign deliverability.
  • Email Sequencing – Set up automated nurture sequences and triggers to maintain communication with prospects over time and also make follow-up easy.
  • Email Analytics – Detailed analytics on email metrics like opens, clicks, replies, unsubscribes, etc. 
  • Team Collaboration – Collaborate with team members on email campaigns. This feature has proven extremely useful for agencies and large sales teams.

Pros and Cons of Snov.io:

Pros:

  • Snov.io has a library of pre-made email templates that can be customized.
  • The email editor is user-friendly with a drag-and-drop interface for easily customizing templates.
  • Built-in A/B testing allows you to test different email content and layouts to see which performs better.
  • Workflows can be set up to send automated email sequences.
  • Provides email, live chat, and phone customer support.

Cons:

  • The templates are customizable but can’t be completely built from scratch.
  • It lacks the advanced deliverability features some platforms have.
  • Lacks dynamic content features to fully personalize emails.
  • Basic email stats are provided but no advanced analytics.
  • No email list cleaning to remove bad/invalid email addresses.

Pricing:

  • Trial Plan – $0 per month
  • Starter Plan – $30 per month
  • Pro Plan – $75 per month
  • Managed Service Plan – $2,999 per month

Customer Ratings:

  • G2– 4.5 ⭐/5 based on 270 reviews
  • Capterra– 4.5 ⭐/5 based on 199 reviews

Final Thoughts

Cold email outreach can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to generate new leads and sales opportunities. 

However, crafting effective cold emails that capture attention and drive responses is an art that requires a thoughtful strategy and excellent writing skills.

With the right approach, cold email can connect you to new customers and greatly impact your business growth. 

That said, follow the cold email copywriting best practices outlined above to maximize your open rates, responses, and conversions from your cold outreach efforts.

FAQs

1) Is cold emailing illegal?

Cold emailing by itself is not illegal but you must comply with anti-spam laws and regulations around the world when sending cold emails.

2) How to send cold emails without spamming or getting banned?

To send cold emails without spamming or getting banned, you must target relevant contacts, personalize your outreach, and provide value through your emails while carefully following anti-spam laws, promptly honoring opt-out requests, and optimizing your sender reputation to maximize deliverability.

3) What is a good open rate and response rate for cold emails?

The average cold email open rate is around 20-25%, while the average response rate is around 2-3%. But with well-executed campaigns focused on high-quality personalization, valuable content, and relationship building, you can achieve significantly higher performance.

Skyrocket your conversion rates with cold emailing

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