How to Write Great Cold Emails (With Examples)

A cold email can change your life. It helped me land my current job, meet mentors, and make great friends. Here are the features of great cold emails.

Short, Sweet, Simple

If you’re sending a cold email to someone of “higher status”, this person probably gets a lot of these. They don’t have the time to read through blocks of text.

Space out the text and make it optically inviting.

The goal is to make your writing scannable with your intentions very clear.

Here’s an audacious message that caught the eye of Snapchat founder, Evan Spiegal.

Personalise

Make sure you’ve done your research. No one likes a generic email and more likely than not, emails sent en masse will end up in the trash.Personal touches can go a long way.

Some simple ways to do so could be…

  • Reference an idea they’ve written about online (i.e. blog, Twitter)
  • Mention a podcast they were a guest on
  • Compliment their work or posts on LinkedIn

Harry from Harry’s Marketing Examples shows small simple ways you can add a human touch at the end.

Provide Value

A fundamental rule in business and life is: create value and receive value.

If you offer value for the person you’re emailing, they will be more inclined to respond. How could you save their time or reduce their stress?

Founder of Morning Brew, Austin Rief, cites this email as one of the best cold outreaches he’s ever seen.

Don’t be Humble – Social Proof

Now isn’t the time to be modest. Infuse credentials or social proof in your message. 

What have you done or created that’s interesting or notable? How many people have you engaged? 

If you don’t have much to show for so far, what’s a mission you can present and commit to that’s exciting?

Here’s how prolific writer, David Perell sent Tyler Cowen an email in 2017 and made sure to be someone worthwhile speaking to.

Have a clear CTA

Every cold email should have a clear call-to-action. Otherwise, you’ll leave the other person asking why did you reach out in the first place?

Ask for something the other person can easily help you with. 

If they have to think about it or it involves them using too much mental energy, then you have the wrong CTA.

Be specific and succinct. Bold but don’t overreach.

Here’s a template you can use to make your own.

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6 cold email templates that helped people land gigs at top startups and launch careers
11 worksheets and templates you can duplicate and modify for your own learning
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