How to Write a Cold Email that Works

18 March 2021| Post by Paul4 minutes

Paul Gregory


Cold emails – our consumer instinct tells us to ignore them.

And when it comes to poorly written cold emails, we’re in agreement!

And sadly, poorly written cold emails are quite common. That’s because we tend to write cold emails with the thought that the recipient is just going to swipe them into the trash already installed in our brains. And that lack of faith often comes out in the email’s content and provides you with a cold email that’s going to leave you questioning why you even tried.

Pushing that negativity to one side, cold emails have been found to be very effective and for some, are a key part of their marketing strategy. But let’s not get confused between cold emails, and the emails you get from random companies you’ve never heard of trying to get ahold of your personal information. No, they’re spam emails and nine times out of ten they do belong in the bin.

Cold emails are meticulously thought out bits of marketing where the sender has, hopefully, put time and effort into creating an email that has a purpose, a target audience and relates to their industry of focus. According to stats, 89% of marketers say that email is their primary channel for lead generation, and there’s a good reason why. Email marketing provides a great opportunity for a business to conduct direct, effective marketing to its target audience, and they’re quick, affordable and scalable. 

So how can you go about creating the perfect cold email that is guaranteed to yield results? Don’t worry, Limely has the answer.

Do your research

The first port of call when creating a cold email is identifying its purpose. Ask yourself questions like, ‘What do you want to get out of email marketing?’ ‘What results do you want for your business?’

This way, you can craft your content around its main aims and keep things clear, concise and to the point.

The research you conduct prior to creating your email should help with this too. This might include research about your email’s recipients, their industry, the person you’re directing the email to (preferably a manager or someone on their marketing team) and the best way to approach your targeted industry according to your aim.

Craft your subject line & snippet

The first thing your recipient will see before they even click on your email is the subject line and snippet. That said, these key features go much further than just giving the recipient a sneak peek of what the email entails. This is your first chance to grab their attention and make your email irresistible and impossible not to click on.

Why not try:

  • Using their name in the Subject Line
  • Appropriate emojis
  • An open-ended question
  • A joke/pun

Anything that grabs their attention!

Monitor the length

Once your recipient as been drawn in by your fantastic subject line and snippet, what will make them instantly click off is being greeted by what looks like a 3-page essay.

Attributes of a successful cold email include being short and to the point. A stranger has already given you the benefit of the doubt by opening the email that randomly already in their inbox, don’t take liberties by expecting them to read a dissertation on why they should use your services.

Keep it brief – introduce yourself, your services, why you’re reaching out and what they can do to respond.


We always want to do what we can to stray away from being just another cold email sitting in their trash. One way you can stand out is to personalise your content. Obviously, with such a long contact list you don’t want to be writing and switching up each individual email. So what you can do is edit each once slightly to fit the recipient. Use names, company titles and refer to their specific business to let them know that this email was crafted with them in mind.

Acknowledge the cold email

There’s nothing worse than a cold email trying to act like the user will be unaware of the intention. Don’t underestimate your recipient – let them know the exact reason for the email and they’ll be more likely to trust you and respond.

Eg. Apologies for the out of the blue email, but we just thought a company like yourselves might like to know a little more about services and what we can do for you.

We know no one likes a cold email, but let’s warm things up a bit by introducing ourselves…

Will you be using cold emails in your marketing strategy? Struggling to come up with stellar email content? Well we can help you there! Contact our in-house writer on [email protected]


We’re hiring an Account Manager. Want in? Apply Here