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How To Make Your Cold Email Heat Up Your Prospect's Inbox

Email on fire

It’s 9:00 AM and you’re starting your day. You’ve had the same coffee every morning for the past three months, gotten dressed in your favorite hoodie, and now it’s time to start the grind.

Your timeblock says "Cold Email Outreach" and you groan to yourself and cringe. Your least favorite part of the sales process is sending out the initial email to cold prospects.

How can you grab the recipient's attention, be compelling and provide value to potential customers? Is it by a great subject line? How can you find relevant information that demonstrates you've researched your prospect's company? What about emojis - yes or no? How long should this email be?

These are all questions that will be answered in this post!

Do You Have a Strategy for Cold Email Campaigns?

Most sales reps think coffee is only for closers, but it is also for "openers" aka SDRs. The best SDRs know they have to have a cold email strategy.

A cold email strategy is not just using cold email templates, sequences and follow up emails to talk about your product or service. Great SDRs know that quality sales outreach is using your pen (err, laptop) to start a conversation that shows your prospect that you want to build a relationship with them. Your company can truly provide value and resolve their pain points. What is your email saying to your prospect: "long term relationship" or "one night stand?"

The first way to create a connection that turns prospects into customers is to know what you want your outcome to be before you begin. Regardless of what sales teams are told, it's not just about a high body count. Great sales reps know that sales emails that slay build a connection, will have a high response rate and excite your prospect. To do this effectively, you need an email campaign roadmap, know where you want to go, and why they should be your customer.

Is your goal to just book the next meeting for an Account Executive or do you want them to be excited once they get on the phone with the AE? How many touches do you plan on making before you expect your potential buyer to see the value you provide? Once you know your outcome, you are able to better understand what you need to do to motivate your ideal customer to take the desired action. By doing the work upfront, you are able to grab attention from your prospect and start building that connection so that you get the answer you want.

The second part of your strategy should be research. Start with a simple Google Search to learn more about your prospect, their company and any other relevant content that might help you provide value. Use other tools like Linkedin Sales Navigator and recent press releases to supplement your research. Your prospect will appreciate that you took the time to understand their pain points before trying to get them on the phone or before your first email message is sent.

Once you have set your goals of what you want to achieve, have a strong understanding of your prospect and the value your company provides, you are ready to start a conversation and write your first message and subsequent follow ups to your future customer.

What's Your Name Again?

How SDR’s can personalize their cold email to get their next meeting

Personalized emails improve CTR by 14%

Showing your prospect that you thought about them and their needs as you crafted their message helps start a genuine conversation, and that begins with personalization.

Many sales reps think that personalization is just putting the first name of the prospect and referring to their company name in a cold email campaign. Personalization is more than just personalizing the recipients' name; it is going the extra mile of leverage the research you did and referencing the personal or professional interests of your prospect and/or company and incorporating that into a personalized email. This will help build a mutual connection and create the professional chemistry mentioned earlier.

One of the more obvious ways of accomplishing this is to always make sure you are using the individual's name such as "Dear Joe" not just in the body of the email but the subject line as well. This may seem like a small gesture but in comparison to "Dear Customer," or even nothing at all, it comes off as personal to them and says it is important that they are the ones to read it.

Personalization goes beyond email subject lines. You can also reference things like their city, gender, or other relevant content in your cold email campaign.

Another way to take personalization a step further is by trying to understand their interest and incorporating that into the cold emailing process. It's important when sending out these cold emails to try and stand out in some sort of way because if your prospect does not feel special or don't see themselves as your customer, then why would they bother meeting with you?

LinkedIn Stalking Doesn't Result in Restraining Orders

It may feel a little crazy, but a good SDR is not above LinkedIn stalking.

The LinkedIn profile of a prospect tells you about what motivates your prospect, what they are interested in outside of work, the types of posts they comment on, and what they value. Knowing this type of info makes your approach and your email less cold to your prospect, resulting in a positive response. It's not necessary to do extensive research for each cold email being sent. Estimate roughly 15 minutes for the more valuable prospects and less time for others.

Reviewing a prospects online presence can open a window view into all their interests including things like their favorite sports teams or hobbies they are interested in. Try collecting 3 key facts or interests of theirs. This way when you send your first message, you can show they are not just another prospect email you are sending out that day.

An example of how this would play out could sound like: Dear Joe, Did you happen to catch the [insert his favorite team] game last night? What did you think of [insert players name] techniques? This will also engage Joe in a conversation, and he is more likely to read the rest of the email and more likely for him to respond.

Another great example for this was from an Account Executive at a public relations company. She was trying to set up meetings with journalists and instead of just sending a standard email, she pulled from their website what they were interested in and tailored her message based off that, which is how she got an unprecedented response of 12 out of 15 meetings! By doing this, she was able to address each journalist's pain point individually which made her stand out.

You can also do what is referred to as a "Blind Connect", and you can capitalize on this technique to meet new customers and potential prospects. By going to LinkedIn and connecting with similar and relevant people that the recipient is connected with it will create a familiarity with you and your company. That extra visibility will help you get a more positive response when you send a cold email.

Keep in mind it’s important you don't go overboard when personalizing your cold email. No one likes a creeper, but you do want to show your prospect that they are a person, and not just recurring revenue to you.

Hot N Cold...

The importance of a cold email subject line

Subject lines matter!
20 Email Subject Lines That Will Get Opened Every Time | Grammarly

As an SDR, cold email subject lines are important, after all, it is the first thing a recipient sees when opening their email so we want to make sure we are grabbing the prospect's attention.

The best email subject lines stand out and don't look like your typical sales email subject line. Creating a good subject line should entice people to open it without revealing what you want from them yet. The hottest cold email subject lines tease and excite their target audience.

Personalized subject lines also depend on the customer's industry, but it is never a bad idea to be personable and personalize their subject lines!

An ideal length for a personalized subject line should be somewhere between 28-50 characters. Also, keep in mind a shorter subject line is sometimes the safer option since you may not know if they will be opening this email on a desktop or mobile device which can cut your subject line short and out of view. Email subject lines can make or break the best sales email so a personalized subject line can make the difference.

The importance of creating a good quality and personalized subject line will indicate whether that email gets opened, and open rates are key. If you show the value that can be added to the recipients' personal or business life upfront in the subject line, it will intrigue them to want to open the email in order to see what you can offer their company.

For example: “Building a culture of engagement and accountability". This cold email subject line shows that by using a keyword like “building” there is value to be added somewhere and if you open this email it will give you answers on how to do it.

Subject lines for a cold email should always showcase the value you can add to the recipient if they decide to open the email. You can also use this opportunity to personalize by adding their name. Example: " [Recipient's name or Company name], we can help you achieve your quota this quarter."

Refrain from sending a cold email message with a generic subject line like "touching base" or "following up," as it limits the likelihood of your prospect opening and responding to your message.

Hot AF 🔥

Should you use emojis in a cold email?

Emojis in email subjects
Do emojis in email subjects trigger spam filters? | Aha! :: Elliance Blog

One way to increase open rates is to include emojis. Emojis in a cold email can be a fun way to add personality into the email, but SDR's should not use emojis in every email they send. It is best to limit their usage and only include them when needed.

For example: If you send an email that only says “Hey Jim” this may appear to be spam. However, if the customer received your email, and it’s regarding an opportunity that they are interested in discussing then adding an emoji can help personalize this cold email more.

An email example for this could look like: “Hey Jim 👋 I saw on your LinkedIn profile that you have expressed interest in partnering with us at ABC Corp. I would love to connect with you and discuss more about this opportunity. Would it be possible for us to have a quick call today?” This gives your cold email heat without being too spammy or overwhelming.

Put a Ring On It

How to use a CTA to increase engagement

Email CTA

As an SDR, it's important to make sure you always including a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of every cold email that is sent to increase response rates and get the answer you want (a DISCO call).

This should not be more than one call to action and shouldn't feel like you're pushing them into something they don’t want.

A good example of a call to action is: “If you'd find value in increasing your team's collaboration while decreasing waste, please reply back so we can schedule a call to discuss further.” By including a call to action (CTA) like this, the recipient will be more likely to respond with their availability for an in-person or phone conversation rather than just ignoring your email altogether.

Another way to strengthen your CTA is to refer back to your email subject line. For example, if your email subject line mentions "increased efficiency," a simple way to use your CTA is to say "Let's schedule a call to discuss 3 ways we can increase efficiency for [company name]. Remember, your sales emails are part of a bigger sales conversation.


Fast tips for SDR's to use while writing a cold email

Speculating Quick Tips
  1. Perform an A/B test on all aspects of the email. From the subject line to the call to action. Split tests should be performed regularly to make improvements and to guarantee the quality of each cold email is up to expectations and working as they should for the recipient.

  2. Use images in the email body, this can visually show the recipient the service and how it works. Having images in the email body is also more pleasing to the eye than just text.

  3. A Double Open Strategy can be better than a follow up email to improve your reply rates in a sales email. To do this resend the same email but with a different subject line, try sending the email around a different time of the day. Just make sure it isn't too soon after the first email was sent. Make it 3-5 days after.

  4. HYGIENE is key...freshen up! Do a quality check on your cold email list. It's more important to have quality contacts over the quantity of contacts. What is the point in having a large number of contacts when only a small percent reply leaving you with low response rates? HYGIENE is key...freshen up!


The best way to cozy up to prospects and turn them into customers is to bring some heat to your cold emails. Your message matters and can make the difference between getting the answer you want or getting ghosted by a prospect. To optimize your click through rates, you have to know just the right amount of heat to bring to all aspects including your email subject lines.

To make your email campaign stand out, start with a good strategy that includes avoiding a generic cold email blast by taking a focused approach on your prospective customers and one that makes it feel like more than just a sales email. Knowing that your goal is to build a mutual connection will enable you write cold emails with ease.

Great SDRs know that how they construct a cold email to obtain their next meeting is crucial. This includes knowing how to write strong cold email subject lines, when to use cold email personalization, and if emojis should be used. Take advantage of utilizing a call to action button in the cold email to warm up your prospect's inbox while teeing up your follow up email.

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