All businesspeople get them.
They are usually bad to very bad (to awful).
Often they are automated.
They rarely include any customization or personalization.
If I had a dollar for every terrible cold email I’ve received in my business career, well, let’s just say I would not be writing this article now.
But cold emails don’t have to suck. They don’t have to be deleted or unsubscribed from or marked as spam or replied with THIS IS SPAM TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST IMMEDIATELY!
We’ve rounded up 6 of the most insanely-persuasive, guaranteed-to-rope-you-in, so-good-you’ll-want-to-steal-them emails. Examples that got replies, were shared on social media, and (many of them) ultimately helped book that ever-elusive booked meeting.
Cold emails so good you’ll want to steal them. In this case, you can.
Here are 6 of our favorite cold email examples.
Cold Email Example #1: It’s not about you (it’s about the prospect)
Let me tell you all about how great I … cough cough … my product is.
Feature dump. We do this. We are the best. Here are some of our logos. Read what our customers say about us.
Blah blah blah. It’s like that Farside cartoon about what dog owners say and what the dog actually hears.
Once you start talking about yourself/your company and how amazing you are, your buyer tunes out. In email-speak, this means they deleted your email. Or worse, mark it as spam. Even worse? Your name/company name may leave a bad taste in their mouth. First impressions matter.
So Gong’s Sr. Account Executive, Madison, took the opposite approach in this incredible cold email to Kevin:
SUBJECT LINE: Re: Giving vs. Taking / Problem Finder vs. Product Pusher.
Read your recent LinkedIn article The 4:1 Give-Get Sales Formula, and as a pretty green AE, it was great advice to remember as I start, and progress my sales career.
It also feels a little hypocritical of myself to then be reaching out to you, seeing you downloaded some of Gong’s content, to try to earn some time with you.
However, given your passion for helping clients solve problems vs. push products or your own agenda/interests, I can imagine you’re coaching your reps to do the same, and my intuition tells me there’d be valuable insights in learning where you can help improve how your reps interact with clients and bring in revenue.
Thoughts on exploring further? (I swear I’m not taking & faking you here, just genuinely interested in learning more about your business and how we could help)
All the best,
Lessons learned from Madison’s cold email:
- Leads by making the email about the buyer, NOT Gong and NOT Revenue Intelligence (the product)
- “Go for No” pattern interrupt. (see #1 here)
- Continues with more content about the buyer (ripped straight from his LinkedIn bio), followed by how Gong can help solve the problem … void of marketing/corp jargon and product features/pitches.
- Wrapping with a non-threatening (warm) call to action — the Interest CTA! See more cold email stats here.
As Kevin Casey said in his full breakdown of Madison’s email, “Madison likely invested 5 minutes on LinkedIn to learn everything she needed to know about what makes me tick. And guess what? It felt special and genuine, and she then weaved that intel into the narrative that led back to her possible solution. It felt natural. It worked.”
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Cold Email Example #2: Take time to personalize
“A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”
Dale Carnegie once said this. “Remembering names of customers, prospects, networking contacts, and colleagues,” said Mr. Carnegie, “ is critical to your ongoing professional success.”
You know what else matters?
- Including snowboarding in the subject line of your cold email (assuming the person you are sending to loves to snowboard).
- Continuing to incorporate snowboarding (buyer’s personal interest) into the entire email — value prop and CTA
That’s precisely what this cold email example is about. Here is what the example did so well, according to the recipient:
- Used an “Irresistible subject line”: Shredding Pow = Shredding quarterly projections? It turns out Evan loves snowboarding. Wait. How did Madison know this personal fact? Hmmm … well … this is part of Evan’s LinkedIn bio: “In my spare time I enjoy traveling, snowboarding, and mountain biking.” That took all of 7 seconds to uncover.
- Strong opening (hook): “As an avid snowboarding and sales leader, you know that unlike when you’re boarding, you can’t always tell when an avalanche has occurred in one of your reps’ calls/accounts.” Enough to keep him reading, right? Oh, and more snowboarding themes
- Quickly establishes credibility and rapport: “And again, having just come from the Enterprise Account world myself, I know how important it is to ensure you aren’t blowing your only shot with these large-ticket accounts.” Madison demonstrates her understanding of what Evan does.
- More snowboarding in value prop + CTA: “ … email outcomes so you can coach your reps when they wipeout … + “If so, would you be open to learning more about how we help inside sales leaders … shred their way to more closed deals?”
Not too shabby, huh?
Here is the full cold email:
Did the email “work?” Yup. Per Evan, he responded to her email, and a dialogue began (and continued, at least on LinkedIn.
Read Evan’s full breakdown of (yet another) awesome cold email example.
Need inspiration for your next cold email? Grab these 11 hyper-persuasive sales email templates. It’s as easy as copy-paste-win.
Cold Email Example #3: Leverage the Law of Reciprocity (and Piñatas)
In 1984, Dr. Robert Cialdini aka “The Godfather of Influence” wrote a book titled Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. This NY Times Best Seller, outlines 6 “Principles of Persuasion” … one of which is reciprocity.
As Dr. Cialdini says here, “Simply put, people are obliged to give back to others in the form of a behavior, gift, or service that they have received first.”
This is the Law of Reciprocity.
According to Dr. Cialdini, the key is “to be the first to give and to ensure that what you give is personalized and unexpected.”
Sam Hyatt, Enterprise SDR at Gong, nailed it in this cold email to (An)Drew Bickers:
SUBJECT LINE: Your USPS Delivery: Piñata
Hi Drew –
USPS mentioned they delivered your gift today. Did it arrive? I saw that you’ve been traveling recently, so I hope it found it’s way to the family at least.
I thought I’d “take a swing” at catching your attention by sending a piñata to earn 15 minutes of your time. Even if the gesture is a bit corny – I hope you (or the girls) enjoy the candy 🙂
I know you follow us on Linkedin, were targeted while at Actsoft, and Dean mentioned you had an idea of what we do. But so much has changed since then, and we’d love to connect for just a purely educational chat so that when budgeting season does arrive you have a better understanding of what we’d be able to bring to NCC.
With all that being said, would you be open to setting aside some time next week?
Here is what Sam did with near perfection:
- HE SNAIL-MAILED DREW A PIÑATA! End of story. The Law of Reciprocity says “to be the first to give and to ensure that what you give is personalized and unexpected.” First to give? Check. Unexpected? Check.
- Personalized the email: “I saw that you’ve been traveling recently, so I hope it found it’s way to the family at least … Even if the gesture is a bit corny – I hope you (or the girls) enjoy the candy :)” Sam did three things well here. First, he knew Drew had been traveling, called out the “corniness” of the gesture, and mentioned his girls. These specifics about Drew are readily available with a quick perusal on his LinkedIn profile.
- A creative approach: Sam wrote, “I thought I’d “take a swing” at catching your attention by sending a piñata …” He tied in the pinata to the copy — “take a swing.” Well done.
- Did his homework: “I know you follow us on Linkedin, were targeted while at Actsoft, and Dean mentioned you had an idea of what we do.” Taking the time to learn about your prospect can pay huge dividends.
- Soft close: Instead of saying, “how about 5 PM on Friday?” Sam went with more of an interest CTA, “would you be open to setting aside some time next week?” Nice.
How did Sam reply? By posting this on LinkedIn, of course. Pink Pinata in hand one hand, candy in another. Oh, and all while blowing a bubble (from the bubble gum Sam sent):
Cold Email Example #4: Learn about your prospects
The previous few cold email examples have leaned in on the tactic of personalization.
This one also falls into the personalization and “learn about your prospects” category, but it goes further than doing your basic LinkedIn research.
Alli sent a killer cold email that got the attention of its recipient.
Alli learned a bit about her prospect by looking at some of her TikTok posts. It was there Alli uncovered a tidbit that would catch Amanda’s attention. Amanda got a new dog, a Goldendoodle puppy named Raider, to be specific.
The cold email included a line, “since I too am a doggos, I hope you can appreciate this analogy I crafted for you.” She then proceeded to talk about what Gong services can do for Amanda using dog language.
Wow. Next level, right?
(VP of Sales) Amanda’s advice: “Take the TIME to LEARN about your prospects before you reach out to them. You’ll be far more successful than just dumping them into a sequence and hoping something will stick.”
Read (and watch) Amanda share what made this cold email so great.
Cold Email Example #5: Send a personalized letter and caricature
Want to stand out?
How about doing what this cold email example did: Send a personalized letter and caricature to the prospect.
While sending a caricature may be out of left field (and out of your personal skillset), it is not for Mike. As his LinkedIn short bio says, “Sales* during the week, Cartoonist on the weekends” it would seem that Mike is kinda sorta good at this drawing stuff.
Check out what Mike sent Morgan:
Wait. How did Mike know about Morgan’s love for Minnesota football? His LinkedIn bio states, “Very few people have an appreciation for fat guys. But as a former Big10 offensive lineman, I have found that both my teammates and now my professional peers value my substantial presence for my ability to remove obstacles and drive execution. #ilovewinning.”
What Mike did certainly falls into both the personalization and Law of Reciprocity buckets. However, the TYPED, SNAIL-MAILED LETTER is a stand-out move. No email that may get deleted without being read, but an actual letter. In the mail. With a super-personalized caricature of his buyer.
Cold Email Example #6: Donuts, puns, and persistence win.
This example is similar to the previous one (personalized letter and caricature), but it’s more punny.
Wait for it.
One of Gong’s Enterprise Sales Development reps, Zach, sent a personalized letter and a package of “frost your own” donuts to Casey… who also happens to be a “Mother of Dragons (i.e. 3 young, enthusiastic boys)”, a “lover of dogs,” and an “Orangetheory Fitness advocate & enthusiast.”
Yeah, I did my own sleuthing on LinkedIn.
Fun fact. Like Morgan, Casey is also a B1G alum (PSU), though she did not play O-line, not that I know of, at least.
Here is what Zach’s letter said:
I donut want my message to get lost in your inbox. Hope you and your 3 dragons (boys) enjoy the sweet treats! Would love to get the chance to show you how Gong is the solution sales leaders knead to drive revenue and execute deals consistently, at scale.
Donut want my message …
Solution sales leaders knead …
Punny. Very very punny, Zach.
But beyond a personalized letter (and puns) and the donuts, Zach also played the long game in his persistence. According to Casey’s very detailed summaryof what Zach did to score a meeting, he “did his research. Without ever speaking to me directly, he followed the breadcrumbs in my LinkedIn profile, and he tapped into the thing I care MOST about in my life – my kids.
He didn’t send me an Amazon gift card. He didn’t pay Khaleesi to send me a scripted video via Cameo. He didn’t send me an OrangeTheory heartbeat monitor with his company’s logo on it.”
*Not sure what Casey was referencing by great white shark, Alfred Dean, and 1959? Neither was I. It turns out Dean caught a 2,664-pound great white shark in 1959, the heaviest recorded fish ever.
Casey’s parting advice? “… for all those prospecting ninjas out there, trying hard to break through to your future buyers – be persistent, be personable, be purposeful, be creative, be patient.”
Well said, Casey. We’re also adding it to our favorite sales email examples.
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A good cold email reflects the fact that the salesperson has researched the prospect's company enough to grasp the general business model and has at least popped onto the prospect's LinkedIn or Twitter profile.What is the 5 sentence rule email? ›
If you want to write emails that people actually read, make them no longer than five sentences. Anything more than that, and you need some other form of communication – an old-fashioned call perhaps, or a meeting.What are the 5 C's of email writing? ›
- Complete: State your purpose up front and provide the right amount of information. ...
- Clear: Use precise language. ...
- Correct: Check your email for grammar and vocabulary. ...
- Concise: It is important to use short sentences with no more than one or two ideas in each sentence.
Introduce your idea with an attention-grabbing opening. Create a chain of supporting facts, sources, and benefits to build credibility and transform attention into interest. Then, hook them with a call to action that makes it easy to take the desired next step.
When sending a cold email – you need to introduce yourself in a way that'll hook your recipient. This means gaining their trust right from the start. From the subject line and greeting to the close, we'll look at all of the important elements of an introduction email plus our favorite tips and templates.What is cold email in simple words? ›
A cold email is an unsolicited e-mail that is sent to a receiver without prior contact. It could also be defined as the email equivalent of cold calling. Cold emailing is a subset of email marketing and differs from transactional and warm emailing.What are the different types of cold emails? ›
There are 6 main types of cold outreach by email:
Media pitch emails. Networking pitch emails. Brand pitch emails. Content promotional emails.
While doing that, it is always better to keep in mind that one does not want to get into the trap of making mistakes like boring subject line, bad opening line, bad message structure, no call to action, no personalization, no contact details, no follow up, no request for feedback, no email tracking, too many people on ...How long should a cold email be? ›
How long should a cold email be? It should be short, 2-5 sentences of no more than 200 words in total. Data suggests that 50-125 words is the optimal number. That's all you need to spark someone's interest and start a conversation.How do you make a cold email warm? ›
- Don't Ask For Anything.
- Briefly Build Credibility.
- Use Your Best Pitch.
- Mention A Reason For Your Offer.
- Consider Your Prospects.
- Pitch To Plenty Of Prospects.
- Streamline Your Cold Emailing Process.
- Use a clear, professional subject line. ...
- Proofread every email you send. ...
- Write your email before entering the recipient email address. ...
- Double check you have the correct recipient. ...
- Ensure you CC all relevant recipients. ...
- You don't always have to "reply all" ...
- Reply to your emails.
The marketing rule of 7's states that a potential customer must see a message at least 7 times before they'll be provoked to take an action.What is the golden rule email? ›
The goal is for The Golden Rule of Email - treating every email as if it's a phishing attempt - to become second nature for everyone. If you habitually follow this rule, you will instinctively verify certain elements before taking any action on an email.What are the 6 C in email? ›
Drafting involves writing consistently in a formal, casual, or informal style characterized by the “Six Cs”: clarity, conciseness, coherence, correctness, courtesy, and conviction.What are the six 6 components of effective emails? ›
- Subject Line.
The 4 Email Rule: if an internal email chain has gone back and forth 4 times between 2 people without there being a resolution, then the rule is that you HAVE to pick up the phone and call the person to resolve the matter.How do you start the first sentence in an email? ›
- I hope this email finds you well.
- I hope your week has been great so far.
- Good morning/afternoon/evening.
- I hope your week started well.
- Thank you for the timely response.
- Thank you for getting in touch with...
- I'd be eager to get your advice on...
- I'm writing to...
Keep your opening line professional yet friendly. Hello [Recipient's Name], I hope this email finds you well. Good [morning/afternoon/evening] [Recipient's Name], I hope you're having a great day so far! My name is [Your Name], and I wanted to introduce myself as [Your Job Role] at [Your Company Name].How do you start an email to grab attention? ›
- Keep it short and clear. The purpose of your subject line is to engage your audience and catch their attention. ...
- Create a sense of urgency. ...
- Personalize. ...
- Ask questions. ...
- Be honest. ...
- Use numbers. ...
- Offer real value. ...
- Include call to action.
Sample cold calling script:
I am calling to learn more about your company's customer experience and talk about how we can help you make it better. Feel free to call or text me at (555)-867-5309. I will also follow up with an email if that works better for you. I look forward to connecting.”
What Are Cold Leads? Cold leads are people or businesses who have shown little to no interest in your products and services. Most of the time, you might have gotten their number or email address from the web, or they might have signed up on your landing page in exchange for a resource, like an ebook.How do you write a good email hook? ›
- What is a hook?
- #1 – Ask a question.
- #2 – The story hook.
- #3 – Make a promise.
- #4 – Remind them of a problem.
- Greeting: Hello, my name is (name). ...
- Goal: I am looking for (internship/full-time position) at (employer name).
- Interest/passion: I am interested in (interests related to the company/industry).
- Strengths: I have many skills to contribute including (strengths) and (skills).
- Write An Enticing Email Subject. Your subject line should be eye-catching, specific, and straightforward. ...
- Address Someone Specific. ...
- Keep It Short And Sweet. ...
- Mention Something About Your Recipient. ...
- Make Your CTA Evident But Not Pushy. ...
- Fonts. ...
- Initial Greeting. ...
- Simple Structure.
Before diving deeper, we need to answer one common question: do you need to introduce yourself in an email? The short answer is "yes", if the recipient is someone you haven't met before. A polite and professional introduction email creates an almost instant connection.How do you write an aggressive email? ›
- Give yourself time to calm down. Before you start writing your email, give yourself some time to calm down. ...
- Create a rough draft. ...
- Make your main point clear. ...
- Focus on the facts. ...
- Be empathetic. ...
- Provide a suggestion. ...
- Be open to having a conversation. ...
- Use a kind and professional closing.
What is email warm-up? Email warm-up refers to the practice of sending a gradually increasing number of emails from a new email account with the aim of building a positive reputation with email providers and avoiding spam filters.How successful are cold emails? ›
What is the success rate of cold emails? The average open rates for business emails hovers between 14% and 23%, according to data from ConstantContact and MailChimp. A company can improve its probability of getting a prospect to respond and achieve higher conversion rates with some email personalization.What are the four things to be avoided in an email? ›
- Forgetting attachments.
- Sending to the wrong recipient.
- Choosing a bad subject line.
- Using the wrong writing tone.
- Sending at a bad time.
- Replying to all (all the time)
- Neglecting your signature.
- Working with too many (bad) Fonts.
- Writing a poor subject line. ...
- Not personalizing your greeting. ...
- Announcing too much in one message. ...
- Employing ambiguous language. ...
- Copy and pasting. ...
- Forgetting to explain attachments. ...
- Using jargon words. ...
- Failing to use a signature.
What Do the Experts Say? “If you're cold-emailing, an average of three sales emails sent over the course of a couple of weeks is usually enough to get a good idea whether a prospect is ever going to be interested in what you're offering. “Any more than that and you'll probably just be wasting your time.Can you cold email anyone? ›
This often surprises people. So to reiterate: It is legal in the U.S. to send an unsolicited commercial email. You do, however, have to comply with certain rules when sending those unsolicited emails, and if you don't, the penalties can be very serious.What day is best to send cold emails? ›
According to various studies, Tuesday and Thursday are the best days to send cold emails, closely followed by Wednesday. Sundays are for family, and Saturdays are for fun, which means that Tuesday and Thursday are the best days for getting things done.How do you attract cold prospects? ›
- Your opening line should be attention-grabbing.
- Stay focused on moving the prospect through the sales funnel.
- Be prepared for objections and have rebuttals ready.
- Expect rejections often and learn from them.
- End the call on a positive note.
- Provide as much information as possible without going overboard.
- Grab the attention.
- Lay out why you're reaching out to them.
- State what's in it for them.
- Explain why they should trust you.
- Use a single, clear call to action.
The idea of a cold email sequence is to provide your prospects with information about a product or service they had no idea about. In most cases, prospects don't even know who you are. Or, they may be interested in what you're selling but aren't ready to make a buying decision at this point.How to write a perfect professional email in English in 5 steps? ›
- Off to a great start with the right greeting.
- Give thanks.
- Explain your purpose.
- Leave a good impression with your closing.
- Sign-off professionally.
- Identify the ideal prospect. ...
- Map out what your prospects care about. ...
- Get their email address. ...
- Hook her with an eye-catching subject line. ...
- Cut to the chase. ...
- Make it personal. ...
- Stick to just one call to action. ...
- Don't forget to follow up.
- #1 State the goal of your sequence.
- # 2 Plan how many emails you're going to have in your series.
- #3 Write your sequence emails.
- #4 Determine the frequency or how far apart each email will be.
- #5 Setting up the tech.
- #6 Get more people into your sequence.
- #7 Analyze.
How long should a cold email be? It should be short, 2-5 sentences of no more than 200 words in total. Data suggests that 50-125 words is the optimal number. That's all you need to spark someone's interest and start a conversation.
- Write fewer than 75 words. ...
- Ask for insight and advice, not job leads. ...
- State your connection first and foremost. ...
- Make your request in the form of a question (ending in “?”). ...
- Define your interest both narrowly and broadly. ...
- Keep over half the word count about the contact, not you.
- Rules for email etiquette. ...
- Proofread every email you send. ...
- Write your email before entering the recipient email address. ...
- Double check you have the correct recipient. ...
- Ensure you CC all relevant recipients. ...
- You don't always have to "reply all" ...
- Reply to your emails. ...
- Include a signature block.