How to Write the Best Cold Email?

Pierre Landoin
December 11, 2023
A person typing on a laptop on a desk.

Table of Contents

We gathered here the main steps to build cold emails that get replies, along with some cold email templates. Here they are:

  • The “from line”
  • The subject line
  • Cold email introduction
  • Cold email body
  • End of the email with a Call-To-Action
  • Email signature
  • Follow-up emails

What’s the objective of a cold email?

Cold emails are like starting a chat online with someone new. It's a good way to talk to someone who might not know much about your company. Since it's their first time hearing from you, we call them "cold leads”. 

Therefore, the objective of a cold email is to get a response. You can then start a conversation with your prospect and introduce him to your product or service. That’s not directly a sales email. 

Let’s dive into the different steps to build an effective cold email!

Step 1 : Edit your ”from line”

This is one of the most underestimated parts of cold emailing. 

The “from line” is the line that displays who sent the message, this is something we usually set up when creating the email address, and then we forget about it. 

However it plays an important role in determining whether the person will open or not your email since it is their first impression. This is what defines your open rate!

That's why it's smart to check your "from" line before you start a new cold email campaign. 

The "from line” can take many shapes. We can change it whenever we want. We can switch up how our "from" line looks each time we start a new campaign, picking from different possible styles.

You can choose between at least 5 forms : 

  • First name (Pierre)
  • First name + Last name (Pierre Landoin)
  • First name + Last name, Title (Pierre Landoin, CEO and Co-Founder)
  • First name + Company name (Pierre at
  • First name + Last name + Company name (Pierre Landoin at

Here are the steps to follow if you want to change your “from” line in Gmail:

  • Step 1 : Open Gmail and Click on the “Settings” button at the dashboard

  • Step 2 : Click on “See all settings”

  • Step 3 : Select “Accounts”

  • Step 4 : In the section “Send mail as”, click on “edit info”

  • Step 5 : Choose your new name for the email address (aka “from” line)

For choosing what to write, it depends on if you want your email to feel personal (no company name) or if you want to use the legitimacy of your company to be read (add your company name).

Step 2 : The cold email subject line

If your emails aren't being opened because of a poorly crafted subject line, you won't get any responses to your cold sales email campaigns. Therefore, when starting a new cold email, the second task is to construct an effective subject line.

Examples of good subject lines : 

  • “Time Saving Software” 
  • “Scale [company name] in 2 months”
  • “Congrats on [event]!”

Here are the different possibilities you have: 

  • Make the subject line intriguing: Consider the value your subject line offers to the recipient. What advantage will they gain from opening your email? (Eg: “Time Saving Software”)
  • Make your subject line personal: Attempt to identify shared interests or connections with your potential prospect. This could include mutual acquaintances, locations where you've both been, or conferences you've both attended, among others. (Eg: “Congrats on [event]!”)

Generally, your prospect prefers your subject line to be short!

Good subject lines typically relate to the recipient's need to enhance something, make a change, or innovate.

By the way, we advise you to a/b test different subject lines and compare the opening rates to find out which one is the best suited for your context.

Step 3 : The introduction line

Once you've convinced your recipient to open your message with a compelling 'from' line and subject line, you're half done. You now have roughly three seconds to grab their attention and encourage them to read beyond the first couple of lines. That's why an engaging introduction is crucial.

The introduction is the place where you talk about the problem of your prospect you can take care of. You also need to show that you contacted them deliberately, that you know their situation (you’ve done your homework!).

Here are the possibilities : 

  • Talk about the message receiver, their expertise, achievements, work, and their company.
  • Talk about your prospect's main pain point. 

Overall, you want to be concise and personal!

Here is one of the easiest cold email introduction:  

Step 4 : The body of the email

1. Provide value

In order for your prospect to trust you, you want to provide value to him. 

First of all, it includes avoiding sales pitches and preferring personal speech so that your prospect doesn’t get the impression that you only want its money. 

Always position your prospects at the heart of your proposal. Offer as much value to them as possible. Identify potential challenges they might be encountering that you can assist with.

Always position your prospects at the heart of your proposal. Offer as much value to them as possible. Identify potential challenges they might be encountering that you can assist with. 

Here’s a cold email example with value given.

If you're doing bulk email campaigns, you might not be able to personalize your cold email too much, but you need to always add some personalizations (first name, company name, field of work). 

If you're drafting each email handly, you can then create a highly-personalized cold email. 

Here are the things that you can personalize:

  • Mention the first name, job title, company name of your prospect
  • Identify a pain point
  • Look at the LinkedIn/social media profile to see the actuality of your prospect
  • Mention a prior company your prospect has worked for

You don’t necessarily have to do all of them, but at least the first one 

3. Keep your email short and easy to read

Shorter emails that are concise are more impactful to the mind. That’s why short emails have a higher response rate than longer ones. 

To do so, you need to stick to short paragraphs (1-2 sentences), incorporate spaces, lists, and appealing formatting.

Things to keep at all cost:

  • Who you are
  • What your offer is
  • The action you want the prospect to take

Things you can discard : 

  • Superfluous greetings such as "I hope you're doing well." 
  • Wordy sentences

Remember that you can also use photos instead of words to show what you can offer to your prospect. 

Step 5 : End of the email with a Call-To-Action

You're nearly done. All that's left is to craft a call to action (CTA) that will motivate your prospects to take the desired action in response to your cold email, and improve your reply rate.

This might be scheduling a call, a zoom or replying to your email. 

Things to do : 

  • Be short: no more than one sentence
  • Be clear: express what you want them to do 
  • Try to let the least choices possible: propose a certain date and hour rather than asking them to choose

Step 6 : Perfect your Email signature 

Finally, the email signature. It's a part of your message that deserves attention. The signature should inform the recipient about who you are and where they can acquire additional contact information about you and/or your organization.

A well-crafted signature can assist in shortening the body of the email, making the message more digestible and focused on the recipient.

You can create a suitable signature using our free email signature generator. 

Things to do : 

  • Make it look trustworthy
  • Only put necessary information (for instance, is your phone number important to contact you?)

This is an example of a good signature:

Pierre Landoin

CEO and Co-Founder at @Icypeas 

Step 7 : Follow up your email 

If your initial cold email doesn't elicit a response, sending a follow-up email can serve as a good strategy to reconnect with the recipient and keep your presence fresh in their mind. However, ensure that you're not dispatching a follow-up email prematurely, and avoid sending an excessive number of them. Otherwise you might look spammy.

Our advice in terms of follow-up is to limit to two to three follow up emails, and wait about a week before sending a follow-up. 

What to say in a follow up email (possible options):

  • Give additional value/information such as an interesting study
  • Summing up your last email and rephrasing it differently
  • Be funny 

P.S: When you write your follow up email, we advise you to choose the same subject line so that your email appears in the same email list as your first email. Doing so, your prospect does not have to search for your previous email.

Key Takeaways 

You now have all the information you need to start writing your first successful cold email sequences!

As a reminder, here are the steps to follow:

  • The “from line”
  • The subject line
  • Cold email introduction
  • Cold email body
  • End of the email with a call-to-Action
  • Email signature
  • Follow-up

Hope it helps you land your next big deal!

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