How To Write A Cold Email (6-Step Process)

Updated May 2024

Most people have no idea how to write an effective cold email.

Common errors include writing emails that are too long, and not providing evidence that you can deliver results.

In this article, I will show you the 6-step process that I use to write cold emails that get responses:

1. Intro
2. Explain who you are and what you do
3. Explain how it works
4. Say why you are reaching out
5. Mention a relevant case study
6. Ask if you can send over additional info
7. Bonus step

Pro Tip: Your email should be less than 100 words. This will help increase your response rate.

screenshot showing a cold email with all 6 steps

1. Intro

The key to a good intro is to show your prospect two things:

  1. You have personalized the email for him/her. This can be done by mentioning the prospect’s first name.

  2. You are different. This can be achieved by stating upfront that you value their time and will keep your email short.

I recommend that you use the following intro for your cold emails:

"Hi {first_name},

I know your time is valuable, so I’ll keep this short:"

screenshot showing step 1 in email

2. Explain who you are and what you do

Your prospects don’t know anything about you, so it’s important to give them some context.

Below is a good example of this:

“- I’m the founder of Peek, which allows tour companies to accept bookings and payments through their website.”

screenshot of step 2 in email

3. Explain how it works

One of the most common reasons why prospects don’t respond is because they don’t believe that you can actually do what you say.

If you explain how your product or service works, then they are much more likely to respond.

Below is an example:

“- Peek allows you to add a “Book Now” button to your website.”

screenshot of step 3

4. Say why you are reaching out

You need to give the prospect a reason why you are contacting them.

This helps establish that you aren’t just sending mass spam to thousands of people. If you can give the prospect a reason that is specific to them, then they will feel obligated to respond.

Below is an example of this in action:

“- I saw that your website doesn’t allow people to book and pay online.”

screenshot showing step 4 in an email

5. Mention a relevant case study

People will only respond to your cold emails if they believe that you are legitimate and can actually deliver on what you promise.

One of the best ways to build credibility is to provide a relevant case study.

Below is a good example of this:

“- More than 300 tour companies are already using Peek to accept bookings online.”

screenshot showing step 5

6. Ask if you can send over additional info

A common call to action is to ask if you can schedule a call.

The problem with this CTA is that most prospects are busy, and don’t want to spend 30-minutes on a call with you (at least not yet).

I recommend that you use the below CTA as it’s much easier to get a positive response with:

“Can I send over some additional information?

Best,
George”

screenshot showing step 6

7. Bonus step

Adding a short "P.s." line at the end of your email will significantly increase your response rate.

This makes your email seem personal, and will immediately separate you from the crowd of automated cold emails.

Below is an example of what I like to write in my cold emails:

"P.s. If you aren’t the right person to talk to, then please forward this email to the correct person :)"

Note: A strategy that works well in outbound sales is to target executives that are at the top of a company, such as the Founder or CEO, and then ask them to forward your email to the right person. If you get the Founder or CEO to forward your email to someone, then it’s almost guaranteed that they will respond to you.

screenshot of step 7


The perfect subject line

There are a lot of subject lines that you could use, but to keep it simple, I recommend that you use the following subject line:

"Question for {company_name}"

This subject line consistently gets open rates of more than 80%.

A lot of people use “Quick Question” in their subject line. I recommend that you don’t use this as it has been overused, and most prospects ignore this subject line now.

You can learn more about subject lines in my article 40 Best Cold Email Subject Lines For B2B Sales.

Add an email signature

It is very important that you add an email signature.

Adding a professional looking signature will build trust with your prospects.

Check out my article How To Write A Professional Email Signature.

I also recommend that you send your cold emails with Emailchaser as it allows you to easily add a signature.

How long should a cold email be?

Your cold emails should be less than 100 words.

If they are more than 100 words, then your response rate will decrease.

Most prospects are busy, and don’t have time to read long emails. Also, most cold emails are poorly written. If your email is long, then it looks like all of the other bad emails out there.

You can stand out by writing concise cold emails.

Plain text vs HTML

When you send your cold emails, you should send them as plain text (not HTML).

This will help your emails go to the primary inbox (not spam).

You can learn more about this in my article Plain Text vs HTML: Which Is Better For Email Deliverability?

Emailchaser sends your cold emails as plain text by default.

Final thoughts

I recommend that you write your cold emails by following my 6-step process:

  1. Intro
  2. Explain who you are and what you do
  3. Explain how it works
  4. Say why you are reaching out
  5. Mention a relevant case study
  6. Ask if you can send over additional info

You should also add the bonus step (P.s. line) to the end of your email to increase your response rate.

I recommend that you read my article How To Personalize Your Cold Emails At Scale.

You may also enjoy my article Should You Use AI Personalized First Lines When Sending Cold Emails?

picture of George Wauchope

Article by

George Wauchope

Founder of Emailchaser.

I have been working in the sales & marketing industry for nearly a decade.

When I’m not working on my business, I enjoy eating sushi & doing jiu-jitsu.

About the author