October 11, 2023

How to Write a Cold Email Manually or with AI (+ Examples)

A cold email is an email sent to a potential buyer, colleague, or partner without prior contact. It aims to build a new relationship for business opportunities, sales, partnerships, or job inquiries by giving value or addressing recipients’ needs or interests.

But the first step to growing your business with cold outreach is getting a reply. Without replies to your cold emails, you won’t book meetings with your leads, which means no growth opportunities → no sales → and no $$$.

So, how do you write a cold email that makes people open and read the rest of it? What is the perfect cold email structure that makes your email stand in your prospects’ inboxes?

How to write a cold email that gets replies

Step 1: Write an email subject line that gets your email opened

1. Make it short: Write subject lines under 50 characters to ensure they are fully visible in most inboxes.

E.g., "Ideas for {{painPoint}}”

2. Keep it personalized: Grab leads’ attention by mentioning their or familiar names and prove that the email is written specifically for them.

E.g., “Surprise for you {{firstName}}”

3. Trigger curiosity: Mention leads’ desired outcomes to tease them about ways to achieve them.

E.g., "How {{competitorName}} got 20%+ MRR"

4. Mention the value: Let them know what’s in it for them, as it gives them a reason to check out the rest of your email.

E.g., “Let’s get M+ views for {{companyName}}”

5. Avoid spammy words: Words like "free", "guarantee", and "reminder" can make your emails land in the spam folder where your leads can’t read them.

Here's a quick prompt you can use in Chat by Copy.ai to generate subject lines for your next cold email, plus bonus subject line tips here.

Here’s another example: by using Chat, we can quickly generate a slew of email subject lines that are under 50 characters and written specifically for a cold outreach email. We used Gong’s Brand Voice in Chat to test the subject lines!

Step 2: Choose appropriate email greetings

1. Personalize where possible: Use a customized tag such as {{firstName}} or {{companyName}} to make the email relevant to your prospect. But avoid using only the tag without a greeting, as you don’t want to sound commanding!

2. Choose the right tone: “Hi” is always a safe option as it’s friendly but not too casual, whereas “Hey” is much more informal. You can also use "Hello" instead of "Hi" to make your email greeting more formal but not as serious as "Dear".

Need more greeting ideas? Check out this guide and get the top 20+ cold email greeting examples that will get your emails read. 

Step 3: Start an email with a hook

1. Lead with value: Mention the benefit for the prospect within the first few sentences, giving leads a reason to continue reading.

E.g., “Congrats on the incredible growth in 2023 so far. We’ve scaled our agency growth 4x in the past 6 months thanks to your software and newsletters!”

2. Show you understand their specific pain point: Add an exact pain point example that will make you stand out from “fake” personalization emails and show your expertise on the subject.

E.g., “I noticed that these 5 blog articles rank between 12-15th positions. I can help you determine which keywords to add to get you into SERP.”

3. Make it about leads: Show you did your research and you’re not using a generic template by mentioning specific events, articles, or situations related to your prospects’ business.

E.g., “I recently read your article on {topic}} and saw an opportunity for {{companyName}} to boost its growth."

To generate effective, relevant hooks for your cold email, try these icebreaker ideas and use AI to gather more info on your prospect.

Let’s say, for example, that you have a specific prospect in mind that you’re sending your cold pitch email to. With Copy.ai’s Workflows, you can create a few cold outreach emails for the prospect and leverage lemlist’s icebreaker ideas to craft compelling hooks. 

Like this Workflow!

Step 4: Write an email pitch that converts

1. State the value proposition: Clearly state how your product or service will benefit your prospect or solve their problem.

E.g., "We've helped businesses in your industry decrease their average ticket response time by 50% while maintaining customer satisfaction."

2. Build relationships instead of trying to sell: Once your leads feel like you're there to help, they’ll feel more comfortable booking a meeting or trialing your product.

E.g., “Being a social media manager myself, I understand how tough growing an audience on LinkedIn can be. As we're in the same boat, I would love to share with you a few tips that saved me hours of research.”

3. Add relevant social proof: Mention previous successes from customers similar to your prospect.

E.g., “We’ve already helped {{similarCompany}} and {{similarCompany}} double their sales team while staying cost-efficient.”

To help you stand out in your prospect’s inbox, and convert them, too, try these 10 sales pitch examples. Then, to speed up your email writing process, use Copy.’ais cold email template or sales intro email template to quickly craft your copy!

For example, with Copy.ai’s cold email template, you can quickly craft email copy you can customize based on your prospect, or a pitch example from lemlist. 

Step 5: Add email closing lines that drive replies

1. Use only one CTA: If you use more than one CTA, you run the risk of confusing your prospect, who may not take any action at all.

E.g., “If this resonates with you, you can book a meeting at a time convenient for you using this link.”

2. Have a clear ask: Remind the reader of the next step you want them to take. Your closing line should be specific, clear, and straightforward.

Pro tip: Make it easier for your prospect by sharing a direct calendar URL, such as lemcal. This removes unnecessary friction and makes it easy for your prospect to book a meeting quickly.

E.g., “Are you available for a 30-minute call next Tuesday at 4pm?”

3. Aim for the reply first: Instead of asking a vague question or being pushy with booking a meeting, start a conversation. This way, your leads are more likely to reply to you.

E.g., “Here’s the link to the video showing my detailed tactic on how I’m driving 20% growth month-over-month. What do you think?”

You can get a complete list of 7 ultimate tips to end your email and book more meetings here

Step 6: Use friendly email sign offs

1. Avoid assumptive closes: This means you expect specific actions from prospects, leading to psychological rebellion and not wanting to do “what you’re telling me to do”.

E.g., instead of “Thank you in advance”, you can say “All the best” or “Excited about your company’s continued growth”

2. Stand out from the crowd: Even though “Best”, and “Best regards“ are safe sign-off choices, they might be overused or feel impersonal.

E.g., you can try “Warmly”, “All the best”, or “Cheers”

3. Keep your signature simple: Add only the most necessary information, such as your and your company’s names. If you still want to include more info, ensure each part of the signature brings value.

E.g., if your phone number doesn’t matter to your prospects, don’t include it. Simply use “Lucas @ lemlist” or “Brandon from Copy.ai”

Need more ways to sign off your email? Check out this guide and replicate 25+ sign-off examples that boost replies!

How to write a cold email in seconds with the help of AI

Following the previous 6 steps will help you craft the perfect cold email to book meetings. But crafting it manually means spending hours researching your prospects or agonizing over email copy. And often, the time invested into writing your cold emails doesn’t match the revenue generated…

Here are 5 steps to automate your cold outreach and email copy

1. Sign up for lemlist & copy.ai free trials (or log into your existing accounts)

2. Find lemlist in lemlist’s lead database

Get access to 450M+ potential buyers in lemlist’s lead database. Thanks to advanced filtering, you’ll be able to find & verify leads that match your ideal leads and boost your reply chances.

3. Create lemlist’s multichannel AI-powered sequence

Choose to create your outreach campaign with lemlist’s AI, and leverage the power of AI to craft your fully personalized outreach campaign steps!

P.S. With lemlist’s advanced conditions, you can simulate human-like activities at scale using power of advanced conditions and automatically tailor your sequence to each lead's interaction with your campaign!

4. Write engaging emails that get replies with Copy.ai

Let Chat by Copy.ai do the heavy lifting for you and generate high-converting email copy with just a few clicks.

It’s simple: all you have to do is give Chat a relevant prompt with context, include your company’s Brand Voice or entries from your Infobase, and let Chat generate email copy for your cold outreach. 

Here’s an example of a cold outreach email Chat generated, as though it were prospecting our team member from the company, Clari:

But what if you needed to generate these kinds of cold outreach emails at scale for hundreds of prospects? You can use a Workflow like this one [link], which lets you create personalized emails based on your prospect’s LinkedIn and social profiles. 

5. Review & launch your hyper-personalized outreach campaign and get your first sales! 🎉

The key takeaways

If you want your emails to stand out in your prospects’ inboxes so you can grow your business:

  1. Reach out only to the people facing the pain you can solve
  2. Make your subject line personalized and intriguing
  3. Use a greeting aligned with your audience and industry
  4. Break the ice and establish a common ground with a tailored intro line
  5. Focus on the prospect’s specific pain points and needs in the pitch
  6. Have a clear ask in your closing line

To save tons of time & money on manually crafting cold emails, you can use the power of lemlist and Copy.ai.

Let AI do the heavy lifting and write highly converting cold emails while you can focus on talking to your customers and building relationships!

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