How to Write an Effective Cold Email That Gets Prospective Clients Interested

Published: 09 Aug - 2022 by Ben Rendle

Cold email marketing is alive and well, but it can be difficult to get right. Many business owners feel that it’s “pushy” rather than helpful, and assume that their message will be sent straight to the bin. However, with the right approach, you really can gain new clients with minimal effort. Let’s talk about how to write an effective cold email that sparks interest with prospective clients and gets them into a conversation about how you can help them.

What is a Cold Email?

A cold email is an unsolicited message sent in the hope of initiating some kind of relationship or transaction—usually business-related. You might send out emails to people who you have never spoken to before and who have no idea who you are, because you think that they would be an ideal client. 

Isn’t That Invasive?

Cold emails can be invasive, yes, but only if you’re doing it wrong. The golden rule of selling is that selling should always be helpful. The ultimate goal behind your cold emails should always be to help your clients ease their pains and solve their problems, rather than simply to make money out of them or show them how great you are.

An effective cold email is an approachable message that makes the recipient want to learn more about you and your business. It should not come across as pushy and it’s important to show your cold prospects that you are interested in learning about them in return. 

However, your ideal clients receive hundreds, if not thousands, of emails every single day, so how can you ensure that they actually open your message and stand out once they do?

Step One: Get Personal

Failing to personalise cold emails is quite possibly the biggest mistake you can make. Generic messages won’t catch your prospects' attention; in fact, the chances are they’ll simply disregard your message as spam.

Business is all about building relationships, and that’s exactly what cold emails are for, so make them personal.

Start by mentioning your prospects by name and be sure to include this in the tagline, as this tactic increases open rates by up to 20% according to research by Super Office. However, don’t stop there, as so many business owners do. Personalise the first line, too, by mentioning a specific piece of company news such as a recent award, investment or product launch.

Think about it: if you receive a cold email from someone who hasn't spoken to you before and they reference something personal in your profile then you're more inclined to respond because it feels like they took time out of their day to learn about you.

Step Two: Conversational Outreach

Don’t make cold emails all about how great you are, because that’s not going to work. Remember, we’re here to build a relationship not write a sales page. Don’t just show up and start pitching. 

Ask your prospects about the specific pain points they are experiencing in their business. This will allow you to ask the right questions and assess whether a prospect is the right fit for you so that you don’t waste your time or seem like you only care about making a sale.

Step Three: Focus On What Makes You Unique

Having a clearly defined USP is a crucial part of successful selling. It’s what sets you apart from your competitors and prevents you from being questioned on price. If you have something that no-one else can offer, then the ball is very much in your court.

It’s important that your USP aligns with your ideal client’s problems and needs, so what is it that makes you unique? It could be the market you serve, the product you sell, your angle, your time frame or the level of value you add.

Step Four: Keep It Short and Sweet

Your ideal clients are busy people; they don’t have time to read essays. You should keep your message as short, clear and concise as possible. Hold off from writing 2,000-words on the benefits of your product and focus on building a relationship with your prospect. 

Trying to sell directly to a prospect in a cold email very rarely proves an effective strategy, but starting a relationship and focusing on their problems paves the way for you to build trust and authority going forward. Cold emails are a starting point from which you can begin to nurture your prospect along the customer journey, so don’t jump the gun.


If you're looking for a simple way to get your prospects engaged and talking, cold emails can be an effective starting point. The idea is to have the email about them, not you, so personalise these messages as much as possible. Make sure they are short and sweet but don't forget to mention details about their business or industry. This will make them feel like you care more than any competitors who have approached them with a generic pitch. Last but not least, don't be invasive; keep your first contact brief and focus on building trust. Remember that selling is about being helpful, and use this as your guiding principle.


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