How to Write Cold Emails for Qualified Prospects: Ultimate Guide

Learning how to write cold emails that get replies is not as easy as you might think. 

To get replies, a cold email needs to be well-written, and it has to make a strong first impression.

Each part of the email should have a clear purpose and meaning to guide the reader to your call to action.

The email should have a strong opening that grabs the attention of the recipient. The body of the email should be concise and to the point with relevant information.

In fact, the whole email needs to be written in a way that the recipient feels confident and excited about reading. 

However, many email marketers disregard these basic email copywriting principles, thinking blasting out emails in bulk is all there is to it.

As a result, they end up writing generic messages that come off as being intrusive, annoying, and irrelevant. 

Unsurprisingly, these emails get no replies at all and usually end up in the spam folder. 

So, have you ever experienced the frustration of writing cold emails that never receive a response?

If the answer is yes, then this article is for you.

In it, we’ll take a look at the key points to consider when writing cold emails that get replies.

But before we get into the nitty-gritty of it, let’s first take a quick look at the basics of cold emailing.

What Exactly Is a Cold Email? 

An artist's impression of a cold email
Well-written cold emails DO NOT push a hard sell

A cold email is a direct message sent to a person who has not yet engaged with your brand or product.

Cold emailing is somewhat similar to cold calling, where you call prospects to see if they’re interested in a product or service. 

The difference is that cold emails are less intrusive than cold calling and that well-written emails DO NOT push a hard sell.

A well-written cold email will engage your ideal customer and provide them with the necessary information to prompt a response.

However, learning how to write cold emails is a lot easier said than done.


First of all, the person receiving your email has no prior relationship with you. And that means he or she might not welcome a cold pitch. 

Second, you cannot rely on non-verbal cues to gauge their reaction, as you might in a sales meeting.

Despite this, cold emails are extremely popular since they are:

Convenient to use: All you need is email addresses to contact prospects.

Excellent for boosting return on investment (ROI): Did you know that emails deliver a staggering $36 ROI for every $1 spent? Oh, and they cost next to nothing to send.

Scalable: email automation tools like Mailvio make it easy to send cold emails to a list of qualified prospects in bulk.

Mailvio allows you to create and send cold emails to qualified prospects in bulk

But isn’t sending unsolicited emails in bulk considered spam? If so, what is the difference between spamming and cold emailing?

Cold Email VS Spam: What is the Difference? 

There are several key differences between a cold email and a spam email.

Spam emails are usually sent indiscriminately to a huge list of contacts, while cold emails are sent to a list of qualified prospects.

Also, good cold emails are usually tailored to the recipient on an individual basis. Spam, by comparison, floods recipients’ mailboxes with the same message.

The third key difference between a cold email and a spam email is in intent. 

Unlike spam emails, which usually spread malicious content or mislead recipients, cold emails are designed to build relationships and encourage a response.

So, what are cold emails used for?

The Benefits of Using Cold Emails

The benefits of sending cold emails
Sending cold emails can benefit your business in a myriad of ways

Marketers use cold emails for a variety of purposes, such as: 

  • Lead generation 
  • Market research
  • Recruiting
  • Influencer Marketing 
  • Link Building 
  • Boosting PR 

Let’s take a closer look at each of these uses in more detail. 

Lead Generation 

Cold emails, alongside discovery calls, are one of the best ways to generate qualified leads. 

As a marketer, you send cold emails to potential customers to introduce them to your product/service. 

In your pitch, you highlight the benefits of your offering and how it could be useful to them (the cold prospects).

If the recipient feels you two are a good fit, you’ve got yourself a warm lead that you can pursue.

Market Research 

 A cold email is an easy way to conduct market research.

You can learn how to write cold emails to:

  • Better understand the pain point faced by your target audiences, or
  • To determine the viability of a new product.

Furthermore, you can use cold emails to collect market research data and to conduct surveys. Speaking of surveys, check out this article on how to create the perfect subject line for survey emails.


A business is only as good as the people it employs.

And if you are to build a successful business, you must look for promising candidates to fill the roles that you are offering.

Cold emails are a great way to find talented, motivated people who are open to being hired.

You may find that passive candidates – those who are not actively seeking a job – are often the best candidates. 

Cold outreach emails are ideal for recruitment as they allow you to approach many passive candidates at once without being intrusive.

Influencer Marketing

Marketing via influencers is a way for business owners to promote products or services to large, targeted audiences.

Your goal is to connect with influencers within your niche – like bloggers, opinion leaders, YouTubers, podcast hosts, and celebrities.

To do so, send them a cold email asking for a shoutout, a review, or even a feature on their channel. That will boost your credibility and increase the likelihood of people engaging with your business.

Link Building 

Let’s say your website features a blog that has tons of useful content.

If your target audience doesn’t actually visit your blog, it won’t help you as a marketer, right?

Consider link building as a way to boost your blog’s visibility.

An example of link building is when an external blog or channel links to a post on your website. By doing so, more people will visit your website, and it will get more exposure.

Boosting PR

Your product, service, or initiative can be brought to massive attention with the help of public relations.

Does your organization have interesting data, an exciting journey, or something newsworthy to share?

If so, try cold-emailing a reporter to ask if they would be interested in covering your company’s story.

A mention in a reputed media outlet will elevate your company’s image while bringing more visitors to your website or social media profiles.

How to Write Cold Emails That Get Responses?

For cold emailing to yield desirable results, there are a few guidelines that one must follow.

Of course, these guidelines are not exactly set in stone, but they do provide a good starting point.

And unless you have a formula that already works well for you, you’d be wise to follow these guidelines:

Craft Intriguing Subject Lines 

Crafting eye-catching subject lines for emails is of the utmost importance as subject lines are the first thing people notice about an email.

Because of that, they play a key role in whether a recipient opens or clicks on the email.

In fact, as many as 47% of email recipients decide whether to open an email based on the subject line alone.

 As a rule of thumb, your subject lines should be short and catchy to capture the attention of your prospects. 

The trick is to craft subject lines that not only build curiosity but convey what your emails are about as well. 

So, how does one do that?

Whenever you are writing subject lines for newsletters, for instance, think about how your message would sound to a potential customer. Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Will my target audience find this relevant?
  • What is it that appeals to them?
  • What is the buyer persona?

As soon as you have answers to these questions, you’ll find it easier to write subject lines that are more engaging.

Also, make sure that your subject lines don’t sound too salesy or pushy. 

But above all, DO NOT write misleading subject lines to “bait” a recipient into opening your cold email. This will not only kill your credibility but will also cause people to mark your message as spam. 

Here are a couple of examples of good subject lines that will get responses:

  • “Here’s a quick idea on how to improve [topic of interest for your prospect]”
  • “Save [dollar amount/per cent] on [business expenses]”

Personalize Your Cold Emails

As mentioned above, generic messages will not get you the responses you are craving for. Why would your prospects read your stone-cold email when their inbox is crawling with similar emails?

This is why you need to prove that you are not a spammer, sending hundreds of emails to people you know nothing about.

As a B2B marketer, you must conduct thorough research to create efficient and personalized emails. This entails:

  • Studying the recipient’s organization;
  • Understanding what matters to a specific (potential) client;
  • Finding a common interest;
  • Evaluating how you can help address their pain points.

Once you’ve done your research, you can create tailor-made cold emails that align with your recipient’s needs. In these emails, you can also highlight how you are the only one that can help them get what they want. 

But how do you go about personalizing hundreds upon hundreds of emails? Won’t that take forever? Not unless you have the right tools.

With Mailvio, for instance, you can easily:

  • Personalize the name;
  • The company name;
  • Any company data; and
  • Other fields you may have gathered during this research phase. 

In addition, Mailvio allows you to automate your emails to create a personalized drip campaign. This will save you hours of time and give you the perfect marketing strategy for your B2B company.

Validate Yourself 

You should always remind yourself that recipients know absolutely nothing about you or what you have to offer. 

Thus, it is crucial that your cold email clearly explains:

  • Who you are (a customer relationship executive, sales rep, a sales manager, etc.);
  • Why you are the right person to speak with about their needs; and, 
  • Why you are reaching out to them.

Including social proof examples from businesses you’ve worked with is a great way to build trust with your prospects.

You could use:

  • Social media shares;
  • Endorsements;
  • Media mentions;
  • Testimonials, etc. 

Social proof can establish your credibility with an ideal customer and make you seem less of a stranger.

Bring Your Recipient’s Pain Points to Light

Your reason for sending out cold emails is, of course, to promote a product or a service.

However, rather than focusing on your offering, your emails should be focusing on your recipient and what they want.

How can you help them? How can you solve their pain points?

Let them know that you understand their pain points and that you are willing to help them with a solution.

By doing this, you will show that you are a trustworthy person who is willing to go the extra mile for your clients.

But how do you identify what your prospects’ pain points are? There are a few ways to do that, and here are some of the most common ones:

  • Check out the company’s press releases and news coverage;
  • Keep up with their social media updates on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook;
  • Use tools like SpyFu or Ahrefs to monitor their digital marketing campaigns;
  • Examine their website to determine what software they use; and
  • Get in touch with people who know the company

Armed with such information, you’ll be able to “paint a picture” showing:

  • How much better off would they have been if it weren’t for a specific pain point; and
  • That you are the person who will provide a solution for that specific pain point 

At this juncture, we should also note that not every cold email needs to include a pain point. When you are sending a cold email to a journalist, for instance, there’s no point in including a pain point, right? 

Don’t Forget to Include a Compelling Call-to-Action

Suppose your prospect was intrigued by your cold email and expressed interest to do business with you.

What’s the next step?

Using a call-to-action allows you to direct them to that next step, i.e., the thing you want them to do.

It can be:

  • Signing up for a free trial;
  • Setting up a meeting with you;
  • Visiting a blog post;
  • Downloading a white paper, etc. 

This will make it easier for qualified prospects to take action and allow you to follow up with them in the future. Here are some awesome email call to action examples you can use for your next cold email outreach!

Use Effective Email Signature

A good email signature is the icing on the cake of your cold email outreach. It serves as a mobile phone number or a secondary email address in that it:

  • Tells your recipient who you are and what your role is; and
  • Which company you represent.

Additionally, your email signature provides alternative ways for people to contact you.

In other words, a good email signature reinforces your credibility and makes it easier for recipients to contact you.

Just don’t forget to include the following elements in your email signature:

  • Your first and last name;
  • Company name, website, and address;
  • Secondary contact info;
  • Mobile number;
  • Links to social media profiles on LinkedIn or Twitter, etc.

Proofread Before Sending

In addition to ensuring you send cold emails to the right people, you need to review them thoroughly. You will not impress a prospect if, for example, you misspell a word.

Make sure your cold email is error-free. Read it carefully and make any necessary corrections. Make sure your email introduces you, what you do, and how you can help the prospect.

The human brain often skips over errors unintentionally. For this reason, you may want to use a spell-checker like Grammarly. You could also ask your team, friends, or family for help.

Monitor Your Cold Email Deliverability Rates 

An email marketer monitoring their cold email outreach to determine if it is effective or not
Monitor your cold email outreach to assess the effectiveness of your campaign

Once you send your cold email, you need to monitor its performance to determine if it is effective or not.

You can do this by accessing Mailvio’s detailed analytics tool which tracks key email metrics such as: 

  • Bounce rate;
  • Open rate;
  • Reply rate;
  • Click rate, etc.

These metrics help you determine the effectiveness of your cold emails and where they need improvement. 

You can also use Mailvio’s A/B testing feature to send multiple variations of your cold email to different prospects and monitor the results. 

For instance, you can test variations of your subject line and call-to-action to see which one performs better. 

You will then know what works best for your business and what could be improved upon.

Send Follow-Up Emails

Every now and again, a prospect needs an extra little nudge to get them started. To ensure that, you should always send them follow-up emails that will keep the conversation going.

You may warm them up with your first cold email, but subsequent emails could seal the deal. So, keep at it but don’t be too pushy.

All in all, there is no universal formula to help you craft the perfect cold email outreach. The best you can do is use these tips and align them with what you think would work best for your business.

If you don’t know where to begin, check out these examples of follow-up emails that will help boost your sales. 


Using cold emails effectively can help you initiate conversations with people you have never met before.

You should, however, always remember to:

  • Personalize your cold emails; 
  • Establish your credibility; and 
  • Explain how you can help the recipient.

The good news is that you don’t have to manage all these aspects on your own. Using Mailvio, you’ll be able to:

  • Create personalized cold emails in bulk;
  • Schedule them to be sent at the right times;
  • Track various key performance metrics;
  • Set up automated follow-up emails, and much more!

So, now that you know how to write cold emails and what tools you can use to improve your outreach, it’s time to start.

Sign up for a 7-day free trial and see what Mailvio can do for your business yourself.

And if you are looking to learn more about digital marketing, please visit our blog for more tips and tricks.

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