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How to write a cold email to start a business relationship with a new contact

April 16, 2018

Cold call emailing can be an effective and an efficient way of networking, but a cold call email that isn’t done right is about as good as a cold cup of coffee. You have to know how to add warmth to make it appealing. You have to do your homework and know how to personalize it. Here are some hot tips on how to write a great cold introduction email that will actually generate responses, and maybe even get you an appointment with a key business contact.


It doesn’t matter how good your email is if no one ever opens it. The first rule of effective cold call emailing is to nail the subject line. Get their attention by using their name in the subject line and then being as specific as possible as to what the email is regarding. Think about what you are really trying to communicate and then say it in 5 or 6 words. It also helps if you can include how the email will benefit the recipient. Examples of effective subject lines include:  “Steve – new source for computer software,” or “Julie – addressing your marketing needs.”


The second guideline is to keep your cold call emails clear, concise and on point. No one has time (or wants to) read a six-paragraph email from someone they don’t know. Introduce yourself and your company, be specific about why you are reaching out to them and then clearly state your desired response. Keep it simple by writing conversationally, how you would talk to them in real life if you were to meet them at a party. 


Show that you put time and effort into the email by adding a few statements about them and why you chose to email them. If you have a connection to them, make a short mention of it. Or, if you’ve worked with a client in a similar industry, be sure to include that you are familiar with their industry. The recipient will be more motivated to respond if they know that you have sought them out specifically. In addition, personalizing the message will show that your email is not just a copy and pasted generic email that you are sending out to everyone.


How you make your ask is as important as what your ask is. Be specific, but also gracious. Because you are asking them to take time out of their busy day to read your email and respond, make sure you express your gratitude and tell them how appreciative you are of their time. Saying “Thanks so much. I appreciate your consideration,” can almost double your response rate. And, writing, “If you have a few minutes, I can meet next Tuesday or Wednesday at your convenience,” is so much more direct and appealing than, “Let me know if you can meet sometime.”


The last, but not least, tip for cold call emailing is to follow-up. Email them once and, if they don’t respond, email them again in a week or so. Don’t email so much that you are annoying, but also don’t give up on them after one email. Chances are that you are not going to get a response from your first email. Be prepared to reach out again with a second email that explains that you’re following up and then reposition your request or state something new that you’ve seen about their company. Stay positive, it’s a numbers game. Patience and persistence will eventually reap great rewards.

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