How To Write a Cold Email That Reads Hot

Have you ever tried asking a complete stranger out on a date? It’s scary, it’s risky, but if you’ve ‘got game’, and take the right approach, things might work out (well. you might get to buy them a drink at least.)

Believe it or not, the same goes for cold email. Your success depends on sending the right signals. So how do you up your email prospecting game and turn cold email rejections into potential sales matches made in heaven? Read on to find out.


‘It’s what’s on the inside that counts’. You’ve probably heard that one a million times. And when it comes to dating, no, you don’t always have to be a model or a Jason Momoa lookalike, or the flashiest dresser decked out in all designer gear to get the attention – and respect – of the object of your desire.

That is not, however, the case for cold email. A bad subject line – the visual first impression – has to be good. A bad subject is an immediate deal breaker. No one will give you a chance or overlook a terrible subject line because you might have something interesting to say when they open the message. They are going to hit delete and move on.

Want to make your subject lines as irresistible as possible? Here are a few quick tips you can start using today.


As in Keep it Short Sweetie. If your email subject line is more than 50 characters long it usually won’t appear in its entirety in your recipient’s inbox. Which is ugly. And annoying.

No, it’s not easy to be clever and engaging with those kinds of constraints but it can be done. And challenges make us all more creative don’t they?


Before you even begin to compose your cold email you need to do your homework and analyse your target. Check their website bio, LinkedIn profile, their Instagram, and whatever you can find. Because what works for one person won’t work for everyone.

What kind of language do they use? What do they seem to like and dislike? What are their interests and pain points? Without becoming too much of a stalker gather this information, make some notes and then begin to craft a cold email that’s specifically targeted to them.


I’ve been subscribed to Neil Patel’s email list for years and therefore have probably received hundreds of emails ‘from’ him. And even though I know he probably stopped writing his own emails a long time ago, I still always open them. Not just because he’s a marketing and SEO legend I really respect but because they are always personalized. They always speak to Deepak, not to ‘dear subscriber’, or ‘friend’. And my name is always in the subject line, not just the greeting.So make sure that you do the same. It’s a little thing, but can work wonders.


Everyone hates small talk. If you take fifteen minutes talking rubbish to your crush at a bar, chances are they’ll have wandered away to find someone more interesting to talk to by the time you finally get around to the whole point of the conversation; can you buy them a drink?

It’s the same with a cold email. Get to the point. Don’t try to be clever. Don’t try to be mysterious. Lay out your USP in a way that will best appeal to your prospect and then let them digest the information and make a decision about what to do. Rather than wonder why you are being so weird…


Another big no-no in the dating world. Telling porkies (pork pies, lies for those of you who don’t know too much Cockney) They might interest someone for a minute but you’ll always get found out, and usually the result won’t be fun.

For the same reasons you should not create an incredibly enticing cold email subject line, and then a seductive sales pitch in the body copy only to fail to be able to deliver when your prospect replies. Misleading your cold email subjects is a waste of time for everyone and the quickest way to gain yourself a reputation as a fake who is worth no-one’s attention.


According to those slightly sleazy pick up artist types women – and men – tend to be attracted to people who already seem to be successful in their love lives. It’s questionable whether that is actually true – these types tend not to be rocket scientists – but it can be very true in the world of cold email.

While I am not suggesting you lie, or name drop shamelessly to prove your expertise in your field or your point in general until you make your prospect nauseous and annoyed rather than interested, if you can add some social proof, or some nice juicy data to back your point up go right ahead and do so. And claim bonus points if you can boast a connection to someone your cold email prospect already knows (check Linkedin again, you probably do.)


Your cold email targets are busy. They don’t know you. If they do give you a minute of their precious time and open your email don’t waste the opportunity to connect by offering a long, rambling missive full of information about you, your company your track record and so on and so on.

Keep everything clear and concise and then, when you have interested them enough to open a line of communication – because that is all an initial cold email needs to do – there will b e plenty of time for all of that later.