How to Write a Cold Email (Step-by-Step Guide)17 minutes read

Once you’ve decided to send out a cold email for sales outreach — figuring out how to write a cold email to a potential client is the next important part.

Copying existing cold email templates might work in case you want to start your campaigns quickly. But writing your own ones can get you far better results.

Writing good cold emails can help you land your first customers or even scale your sales and customer acquisition.

The best cold email campaigns have a 30% response rate — and by learning how to write cold email effectively, you can match or even beat that number.

So throughout this article, we’ll explore the best practices to write a cold email to potential clients so you can make the most out of your outreach campaigns.

Essential steps for write a cold email

When creating your new cold email templates, there are a few ground rules. These are meant to help you relate and connect with your prospects better, improve engagements and conversions.

Starting with what we consider an ideal cold email example above, we’ll break down its approach and learn how to write a cold sales email along the way.

  • Define a Problem
  • Offer a solution
  • Present an incentive

Step 1: Define a problem

When you’re reaching out to a prospect to pitch your solution —  it’s imperative to start with a problem you think they might be facing.

This problem has to be something your product or service solves or something you can help with personally.

Problem statements tend to capture your prospect’s attention and push them to read the rest of the email in hopes of finding better solutions. 

Having your prospect’s attention in the first few lines of the email is essential. It enables you to direct it towards your product’s value proposition in later steps of the email.

In Harry’s email template — you can see how he has quickly pointed out bad audio quality as the problem.

Podcasters can quickly relate to this and will be curious to know why it’s being brought up, which will lead them to read the rest of the email.

Step 2: Offer a solution

Now that you have your prospect’s attention, you can talk about your product next.

When outlining the product and its benefits, personalize the pitch to match your prospect’s use case, apart from addressing the problem you’ve mentioned in the first part.

A generic pitch is likely to not appeal as strongly and look more salesy. Also, share any unique features you might have compared to similar products to strengthen your value proposition further.

For example, in Harry’s email template — you can see how an Audio recording tool is being pitched as an alternative to Zoom.

He’s also made it a point to mention that his product is dedicated to Audio recording, unlike Zoom, which adds to its appeal.

Step 3: Present an Incentive

When you’re reaching out cold, offering your prospects to buy your product outright after you’ve pitched might not be as effective. This is why it’s highly recommended you incentivize them to take action following the pitch.

An incentive makes it easier for your prospect to make a decision and start using your product.

Often, sales pitches don’t directly result in conversions since prospects will want to experience the product’s core features firsthand to justify paying for it. 

Going back to Harry’s email example, we can see him offering a few months of free usage to the prospect for them to try the product.

This lowers the barrier for the prospect to use his product since they have nothing to lose, increasing the likelihood of a signup or trial from the prospect.

Bonus Pro tips

Have a look at a Sales email from Gong — it has a really clever subject line.

how to write cold email subject lines

Adding a really catchy and clever subject line like the one in the email above guarantees to perform better most of the time.

Short and catchy subject lines tend to grab attention and drive more opens, as subject lines are the first thing they see when an email arrives in their inbox.

Personalizing the subject line by addressing the prospect by their name, adding company name, etc., also helps make the email appealing for prospects to open and know more. 

Another great practice followed in the email example from Gong is a clearly defined call-to-action. For your cold email outreach to be productive, you should ideally add an action item for your prospects, so they move further down the sales funnel to convert eventually.

In this case, John from Gong is asking the prospect to sign up — and assuming that the product resonates well with the prospects, Gong will be able to drive conversions from that call to action.

Adding CTAs also allows you to track conversions using tools like SalesHandy, enabling you to test and improve your cold email campaign performance.

Also Read: Basho Email- The ultimate cold email strategy

The most critical mistakes to avoid while writing cold emails

1. Spammy subject line

Some words like FREE, GRAB, OFF are considered spammy words and are best if ignored. These words are auto-detected by the email service providers and are sent to the SPAM box directly.

These words also create a negative impression on the receiver’s mind as it looks like a sales email. No one likes to open an email to buy something.

2. Avoid long emails

Less is new more. Keep your email short and simple. Nobody likes junk in their inbox. Just add the content that will provide value to the recipient.

Long emails look dull on the first visit, and your goal might get affected by it. It is always good practice to draft your message appropriately, as described above.


3. Inappropriate personalization of your emails

Personalization is a good factor that makes the email affinitive, but inappropriate personalization makes the email improper. The receiver might feel uncomfortable when you add too much personalization for him. 

Don’t make yourself perceived as a stalker. Add only those personalizations that are essential to building the business relationship.

4. Multiple call to actions

We have seen many emails which include multiple goals associated with it. The messages ask you to subscribe to the newsletter, use their product, and schedule a call. These emails look like the sender is forcing the receiver to do many things.

In these cases, your goals get divided, and you will not receive the intended result.

Every email recipient usually ignores these types of emails even if they need a solution over someone who was precise with their message. The sender should always take care that their emails are specific goal-oriented.

5. Too many links

Adding too many links may lead to some severe consequences to your cold email campaign. Multiple links in a single email are considered an act of spamming activity. 

This will badly affect your email deliverability and might end up with permanent blocking up your email account.

The focus with the link should be relevant to your business goal. It should drive action, not destruction.


Additional external links, like links that track opens and clicks on your email, fall in the same category. If you still want to track your prospect’s engagement on your email, you can use SalesHandy’s custom domain tracking, which masks tracking links on your email using your sending domain, making it pass through as authentic and non-promotional. 

Avoiding the above mistakes will help you make your emails super productive, and you can write cold emails like a pro.

Cold email templates

Got confused with a lot of Dos and Don’t of how to write a cold email? 

Don’t worry! 

We are adding some examples of cold email to potential client templates to make your job easy.

Sample 1

[First_Name], Congratulations for your achievement at [Event_Name]

Hi [First_Name],

I just came to know about your achievement at the [Event_Name]. Kudos!

Your talk about the [Topic] was quite appealing. In between your talk, you described the problems you are facing with [Competitor_Name]. We also have a similar tool that can solve your problem with [Feature_Name] feature.

If you are willing to learn more about our product, allow me 10 minutes from your schedule. I will show you how you can solve your problem with practical demonstration. 

You can schedule a call with me by clicking here.

Looking forward to hearing from you.



Sample 2

[First_Name], Are you facing issues with your Email Marketing

Hi [First_Name],

I was listening to your recent podcast about [Podcast_Subject]. It was a great piece of knowledge for every professional.

I just want to ask how you are managing your Email Marketing at [Company_Name]?

I have come up with great new techniques that can solve your email marketing challenges in seconds.

If this interests you, book a 30 minutes session where I can provide you with assistance in email marketing and help you in getting the best results.

Awaiting your response.

Best Wishes,

[Your_Name] | [Your_Designation]

Sample 3

[Company] websites could use this little update

Hi [First_Name],

I’m finding myself spending a lot of time on [Company_Name] blog — I follow a few of your team members on Twitter, and I really appreciate your content. 

In visiting your website frequently, I found your [problem] and thought an update would improve your rankings and traffic by at least [X]%. 

While I own an agency that optimizes websites for companies like [Clients_List], I wanted to see if you’d be interested to get on a free 30 min call. I can help you by outlining more such areas of improvement. It’s not a lot, but at the very least, we could talk business and learn a few new things about each other’s respective spaces.

I’ll leave a slot open over this entire week, to make it easier for you [Calendar_Link] —book it, and I’ll see you then!


Sample 4

Recommendations for [Role] you’re hiring currently

Hi [First_Name],

I’m aware that you’re recruiting for [Role] at [Company_Name] — and wanted to make a few good recommendations for candidates I personally thought could be of interest. 

I’ve led engineering teams in the past and can understand how tricky tech hiring can be, so wanted to reach out and send you a few recommendations.

[Recommendation 1]
[Recommendation 2]
[Recommendation 3]

I built [product] with the same intent — to help tech companies hire and onboard talent quicker. Once you start generating a healthy pipeline of tech talent for [Company_Name], [Product] can reduce the closing time by up to 4X, saving both time and money for your team.

Let me know what you think of the recommendations for your current openings. 

I’ll be happy to send you more or give you a free demo of [Product] if it could be useful. 

Good luck!


Sample 5

How we got [Previous_Client] 4M+ impressions

Hi [First_Name],

We’re the agency behind the [Campaign_Name] campaign that went viral on Twitter and Youtube and helped generate [Previous_Client] 4,362,800+ impressions in the short span of a week. 

The campaign puts out a really touching message to [Previous_Client]’s audience while embracing the authenticity of the character. This is an approach we specialize in, thanks to some of the best creatives we operate with in-house.

Want to put out a campaign like this, without having to put a million dollars on the line, in time before summer season? We’re pitching briefs for next couple of weeks, and given how much your audience already loves your product, we think a new campaign like this will have a decent bottom line impact too.

What do you think? I’m in New York next week (here’s my calendar). Book a slot if you think we should explore this further. No pressure!


These templates must have given some ideas on how to write a cold email for better results. You can also check the article on cold email templates for more samples.

Although we learned about writing a cold email, there’s a lot of manual work involved. It is highly recommended to use cold email campaign software like SalesHandy to make this work easier.

How to send high converting cold email with SalesHandy

SalesHandy is an email outreach tool used by business professionals for sending cold email campaigns.

It makes cold email outreach more effective with its handy and strategic features. You can schedule email campaigns, send auto follow-up emails, track multiple email campaigns, and more on the go.

As we talk about writing a cold email, SalesHandy will help you reach out to your prospects at a much more advanced level. You just don’t write and hit the send button but add features that maximize your email efforts.

Without any further ado, let’s dive straight into simple steps to schedule your cold email campaign with SalesHandy in just 5 clicks.

Step 1: Sign up to start sending cold emails on SalesHandy

Head over to SalesHandy’s signup page, where you can register to start sending cold emails using your company email address, with one-click integrations to Gmail and Outlook.

After completing signup, sign in and head over to the Campaigns menu on the left side. Click on the red “+” button to create a campaign.

Step 2: Import your contacts

Add your email contact list in CSV format and SalesHandy will automatically extract all the details like First Name, Last name, email address, etc available.

Step 3: Choose your email account

SalesHandy allows you to add multiple email accounts together. Just choose the email id you want as your sending address and proceed ahead.

Step 4: Draft your email

Next, you will find a text area where you can write a cold email subject line and message body. You can also add multiple personalized merge tags extracted from your email list that are available beside your compose box.

To get the best result from your cold email campaign, you can add up to 9 follow-up stages by clicking on the (+) button below.

Step 5: Schedule your email

After drafting the email you can schedule your emails with the date and time according to your convenience.

Check the guide to a send cold email campaign to know how to send a cold email in a step-by-step manner.

Next, we are listing the key benefits of using SalesHandy. 

1. Automated email campaigns

SalesHandy is used to send cold email campaigns to a large group of people. It allows you to schedule personalized emails to 5000 recipients from one account in a day.

Just add your recipient list and schedule your email campaign on the go.

2. Schedule follow-up stages

A cold email is incomplete without follow-up emails. 80% of sales require 5 follow-ups after the initial contact. With SalesHandy, you can send up to 9 follow-up stages. You can automate your follow-up emails in the same thread with three different conditions:

  • Not Open
  • Not Reply
  • Been Sent

3. Advanced email analytics

SalesHandy provides you with advanced email analytics, where you can check the performance of your email campaign. It provides you email-open rates, reply rate, and bounce rate for better productivity.
It also has a team management system that allows you to check the performance of your teammates.

4. Template management and analytics

SalesHandy allows you to save your email templates for regular use. You can also check to keep track of the performance of the individual template and evaluate its efficiency.

Bonus tip- Add A/B Test on your cold emails

A cold email needs evaluation at a regular time interval. It might happen a cold email showing results now might not be efficient after three months. Periodic Analysis of the templates makes your template suitable for continuous use.

You need to do A/B Testing for all your emails at regular time intervals for evaluating multiple things like 

  • Effectiveness of your Email Templates
  • Best date and time for Email Campaigns
  • Subject lines
  • From name
  • Call to action in your message

To start A/B testing, you need to divide your email list into two segments. You must check that each email list has an equal number of recipients. Then you need to send two different templates to two separate email lists. You can also add A/B testing to your follow-up emails by sending different follow-up email templates. Further, you can check the open rate and reply rate of individual templates to evaluate their performance.

You can also send the same email template to two different email lists at different times and check its performance. This A/B test will help you in finding the best time to send your cold email campaign.


Wrapping up all the above pointers, we all know that cold email is very important to get new leads, build unique business relationships, and close more deals consistently. An email campaign user should always know how to write a cold email with the best possible practice. 

If you have an excellent cold email copy, the possibilities are high to grab the best result out of the email outreach campaign with less effort.

To achieve a great result in your outreach campaign you can try  SalesHandy, the best email campaign software. 

Let your next cold email campaign turn your prospects into customers.

By Rajendra Roul

Rajendra Roul works as a content marketer with SalesHandy, where he writes and edits the sales guides and articles. He is an avid researcher, learner, and an analytical guy. After flipping the coin, he loves to read books, play social games and travel around. He believes knowledge is the only source to achieve victory.

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