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How To Get Your Cold Emails Opened Every Time

May 19, 2015 | Email Marketing

Business doesn’t always come a knockin’, sometimes you need to go out and get it. One way to do this is through sending cold emails to potential prospects. Cold emails are a tough sell and most people get it wrong.

While there’s no magic formula to getting the intended result, there are a few tweaks and adjustments you can make to ensure the best possible chance of receiving a response.

You can use the following tips when finding new clients, reaching out to media agencies and even with your own email list.

Think long and hard about your subject line

Cold emails tend to have a very low success rate because you have never engaged with the recipient prior to this email. No trust or credibility has been created and they most likely think you’re a spammer.

How should your subject line read? Figure out the message you’re trying to get across and sum it up in 7 words or less. Look at your subject line and see if the words chosen resonate with the recipient, if they don’t, think of another one and try again.

Pro-tip: A great way to get them to engage with your email is to mention their first name in the subject line, or mention something that proves you’re human. For example, if you wanted to email a news agency this type of subject line works well:

“Hey Claire – I loved your last piece on Inbound marketing”

This subject line demands an open, you have spoken to them directly and given praise on their work. This shows you’re a human being and not a robot spamming their inbox.

Make your intentions crystal clear

As a business owner yourself, you probably receive weekly emails which have the same copy and paste feel, all that’s changed in one or two words to display your business name. These cold emails are done to death, annoying and rarely have the desired effect.

If you’re sending the recipient a cold email, there’s a good chance others are as well- so stand out. Make it clear why you have contacted them, emphasize this by mentioning something that shows you’ve done your research.

cold emails

For example, if you’re reaching out to win new business, visit their Google Plus Page and check their customer reviews, analyze their social media accounts and identify any issues customers are having.

Whatever you’re offering or asking for, back that up with evidence to show your email is genuine and not another copy and paste ‘blast to all’.

Back up your words

Social proofing goes along way nowadays, words are cheap without references. If you’re looking to get on a popular podcast to promote your newest product, link them to statistics or facts to what you’re pitching. Perhaps your product has been reviewed by popular websites or newspapers, if so, mention it.

What would be the chances of you getting a private interview with the CEO of Apple by simply emailing the Apple PR team? Slim to none. But what if you recently interviewed the CEO of Microsoft and Samsung and told them? Now you have their attention.

Get to the point – fast

Keep your email short and sweet, leave out the waffle and save it for any potential business lunch meetings in the future (sorry bad joke!)

Inboxes are pounded daily with content coming from all directions, don’t add to that mess with a 1,000 word email. Keep emails casual and relaxed, use a tone of voice that you would use when meeting someone for the first time in a public space. Drop the sir or madam for a “Hey James”.


No two cold email should ever be the same. Gathering 5-10 email addresses and sending blasting the same script but changing the name to ‘personalize’ is not going to bring you the response you hoped for.

What methods do you use when sending cold emails to new recipients? Have I missed out any tips?


James Dickerson

Founder of CrushCampaigns

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