Some cold emails are colossally bad, some have more success than anyone could have anticipated, but most are in between – not wonderful, not bad – just average. These emails will likely get some opens and replies, but they’re never going to give your company the wildfire success that you’re hoping for.

Taking a good email and turning it into something great isn’t all that complicated in theory. It comes down to knowing what appeals to your recipients and what turns them off. When you can give your prospect more of the good stuff that they want to hear, you’ll see your cold emails take off and bring you results beyond what you’ve been able to enjoy in your past campaigns.

To turn adequate messages awesome, here are the shifts your cold emails need to take:

From businesslike to conversational

Use every word of your cold emails wisely, including the subject line and introduction. Keep in mind that the subject line acts as a contract between the sender and the reader, so don’t waste your reader’s time on a throwaway subject line that doesn’t represent what the email is about or what its intention is. Keep your tone conversational, as if you were writing to a friend. It reads better, it’s less stuffy, and it will always be better received than an overly formal opener. Your goal here is to put your prospects in a relaxed state makes them want to listen.

From generic to personal

One of first questions that will pop into your reader’s head when they get your email is “why me?” Get there before they need to ask and lead off your email by telling them exactly how you found them, what you admire about their business, and why they need your product or service. The intro of your email should be less about you and more about them.

From vague to specific

Capture your prospect’s attention right off the bat by telling them specifically what the benefit of your service is to them, or your email is going straight to the trash folder. After you tell them why you’ve sought them out, you need to clearly give them the value proposition and put it right up front before you get into any other details.

From pushy to relaxed

The call to action section of your email is a critical last step – think strategically about where you are in the sales process. In an introductory email, you just begin to explain your services, making it way too early for a sales push. A first touch email should aim to start a conversation, not close a sale – you’re just not there yet, so slow down. At this stage, your goal should be to get a reply, so you get a chance to get them on a phone call, not where to send the money.


When you frame your cold email in the right way you can speak to your prospects from a position of strength rather than one of weakness. If you can set your prospect at ease and get them interested in listening to you, you’ve got a great stage for showing them the benefit of what you have to offer and for motivating them to move towards taking the next steps with you.