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  • Writer's pictureFornerod Team

How to write the perfect cold email

Updated: May 13, 2022

We bet you’ve received at least one cold email today. There is a reason many businesses still leverage cold-emailing. If done right, cold-emailing works. It is effective and cheap. And don’t forget, they reach prospects where they spend the most time - their inbox. We check our email on average 11 times per hour and 84% keep email open in the background while working.

However, there are many ways cold-emailing may go wrong. In this blog, we’ll explain to you how to write a cold email that actually works.

1. Do your homework

It is absolutely essential that you do research before you are reaching out to a person. Is this the right person to get in touch with? Would this person be interested in the services/products you are offering? If yes, why?

You need to make sure you understand your prospect. What are his/her pain points? What do you think their current objectives are? Go to their websites, read company news, and try to really understand the essence of their business.

Your cold email should be personal and relevant to the person you’re writing to. Don’t send the same email to everyone. Take time, do research, and personalize your message. This is rule number one.

2. Subject line

The success of cold-emailing depends first and foremost on the open rate. And this is where subject lines become extremely important. This is the first thing your prospect is going to see and read.

Your cold emails are more likely to be opened if subject lines are clear and straightforward. If the prospect needs to spend time to decode what is written on the subject line, it is more likely that you’ll lose your chances.

A good subject line may also be interesting and raise curiosity. However, never compromise on clarity and preciseness over trying to be somehow interesting. The rule number one described above is also valid for subject lines: make it personal. Add the name of the person but also indicate what the prospect can expect to read/receive in this email. The most effective subject line is the one which is clear, personal, and concise.

Here is a good subject line: Mr/Mrs XX, meeting. It is personal, short, precise, and completely straightforward.

Another mistake we also see is the utilization of too many capital letters on the subject line. Think of the emails you receive from your friends or colleagues you are happy to open. Which one of them has the subject line written in capital letters such as “Regarding the PowerPoint Presentation on Cold-Emailing?” Probably zero. So, write as if you are writing to a close friend.

3. Message

Good news! Your prospect opened the email. Now, let’s talk about the message. Here are a few suggestions regarding the perfect message.

  1. Keep it short and precise.

  2. Share a little about you.

  3. Make it personal: show that you have done your homework and you know about the person you are writing to. This may be a sentence or two expressing where you have seen them/their great work.

  4. Offer value: Recipients should feel like your email has improved their day in some way. This could be as simple as making them smile. Nobody can resist an intelligently written and intriguing email which also offers value at the same time. Another way to stand out is to offer a tangible way to reduce a pain point.

  5. Call to action: Give them a time frame to meet, a week or two weeks.

Here is an example of an intelligently written cold-email we’ve recently received from a translation company.

Subject line: New word of the day for John

Hi John - your new word of the day is 'rigmarole' which means a long and complicated and confusing procedure.

Let me give you a few example sentences.

'Getting a quotation from my current translation agency can be a right rigmarole.' 'Recently I've had to go through the rigmarole of managing multiple translation agencies.' 'My last localisation project was poorly translated, it was such a rigmarole to edit it.'

Being in a digital marketing agency, we know there is pressure to have your content perfectly localised into multiple languages.

Let our company (with a hyperlink) take care of it.

If you would like some professional guidance on your next localisation project, please let me know.

Kind regards,


This message is clean, concise and nothing like millions of cold emails we receive each day. It was carefully thought through and written. It takes less than a minute to read. It feels personal. It shows that they know about our pain points and offers value.

4. Follow-up

Even the best cold-email may fail if there is no proper follow-up. Most responses come from a follow-up rather than the original message. In fact, a whopping 70 percent of cold emails don’t go past the first attempt.

Follow-ups are so powerful that some outbound strategies suggest that every cold email should have at least 8 follow up emails. More important than the number of follow-ups is the content of those follow-ups. Gently remind those who forgot to respond—don’t pressure them into responding.

Are you interested to learn more about cold-contacting and outbound sales? We help companies to successfully prospect and scale their business with our business development services.

Contact us to learn more.


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