Warm Up Your Cold Emails

Several months before I came to the U.S., I was busy finishing all the school procedures every day. Because I was in Beijing and NYU locates in New York, E-mail is the most efficient way for me to contact with the school office. I remember a very annoying thing at that time was I continuously receiving lots of emails from different schools from all over the world, schools that I had zero contact with before. The content of those emails were very similar, they introduced their marketing or business related programs and ask me to join them. I never applied for those schools neither did I provide my email address to them, how they knew who I was remains unknown, but I just constantly receive emails from those schools. This kind of email is called the cold email.

At first, I would open some of them as I was a little bit curious about what they have inside. But soon I found the content were all the same boring and the email was typically an advertising sent to thousands of students like me, without changing a word. So I quickly lost that tiny curiosity and turned to delete them directly.

On average, people receive 147 emails every day, standing out among them as a cold mail is certainly very difficult. But if the cold mail designed in a right way, it could generate so much more. So learning to write those cold mails right is very important, especially for start-up business. I want to share with you an article I read recently at Entrepreneur website, 3 Cold Email Strategies With High Response Rates, written by Single Grain CEO Eric Siu.


Eric Siu gives vivid examples to explain three cold email strategies.

First, personalization in the body of the email is more important than anything else. Bestselling author Shane Snow wrote cold emails to some of the most influential, busiest executives from Fortune 500 companies. Every email he sent was slightly different from others. Instead of mass emailing the same content, he typed each person’s name and personalized the greeting according to each receiver’s position. He also used short, vague subject lines like “Quick question” and got an around 50% open rates. Surprisingly the overall open rate was 45.5%, which beat the industry average for business related emails.

Second, sometimes the sheer persistence is the easiest way to boost your response rates. Ambition.com is a company that helps companies increase employee productivity through software. They cold emailed nearly 600 prospects with a response rate of around 1 percent. But by using follow up emails, they were able to increase their response rate to about 12.6 percent. So maybe the first email can generate a little bit awareness, and the second email is a reminder as well as a motivation for people to do something about the email.

Third, focusing more on successfully writing a small amount of emails instead of blasting out a lot of them. When thinking about cold email, people always connect it to sending massive amount of emails to vague target, but Jake Jorgovan did the opposite thing. He is a creative strategist and was able to generate over $12,000 through cold email. In a cold email he wrote to a potential client he said, When I came across the [Client’s website], I noticed [review of 2-3 things that I found wrong with the client’s website]. With the [case study client], we were able to build a professional site and get it up and running in under three weeks. By nicely listing 2-3 things he found with the client’s website that needed to be fixed, he immediately separated himself from all the other emails in the client’s inbox.


Eric Siu’s discussion about strategies on cold email is very easy and clear to read. I think from those examples, the key strategies of cold email marketing can be concluded into two. One is personalizing the cold email. The other is send follow-up emails.

Personalizing email is critical in overall email marketing. People receive countless emails every day, only the special one can catch their eyes and lead to a precious click. Put your clients’ name after the “Hi.” Do some research about the people and send different content to different kinds of target. Abandon boring subject lines and think of something creative as well as has close connection to the client. When you have zero contact with the person before, it is those small personal details that trigger people’s interest and establish emotional connection.

I remember a very lovely cold email I received is from a new shopping website. I never shopped there before but one day I received an email from them said “hi Chloe, we really like your photos posted on xxx and we think you will love some of our cute stuffs. Here we pick three styles for you. Come and visit us!” These words and pictures immediately caught my interest and I did clicked the website link to check their products. This kind of personalization is nice and I don’t feel they offend my privacy. This kind of cold mail makes people feel warm.

The follow-up emails are never unnecessary for cold emails. When you didn’t receive response from the first one, just send the second one, they are reminder of client and can generate substantial response. Jake Jorgovan always send follow-up emails to silent client.

[Prospect name],

I wanted to send a quick follow up to see if you received my e-mail from last week in regards to your new website design. Please let me know if you are interested and I look forward to hearing from you.


Jake Jorgovan

Even if I still didn’t open or response to the follow-up email, I certainly get deeper awareness of the person or company send me this.

Cold email opens the doors for new business. Yet since people today receive too many informations from different media vehicles, only those smartest design and personalizing words can generate precious awareness. Always remember to customize each cold mail and follow-up with every client. To warm up the cold email and make sure your email campaign is not ice cold!

share me your idea about cold email!

And see you in the next blog!


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