How to Write Cold E-mails to Get New Clients

Wondering how to write an effective cold email to capture your prospect’s attention? In this article, we’ll apply the one cold email template that I went over in my prior article to show you how you might be able to use this in two different industries. By doing so, I hope to show you how these skills that I’m teaching you on this channel can be used to help you grow your own businesses.

The cold e-mail template

The first thing we need to do is quickly go over the template that we use, and then we’ll start to apply it to the two examples. I’ll display on the screen here, but pretty much our subject line is going to be something really short and sweet and personalized. So it could be something like, Quick question for you, Quick question about XYZ, or Three ideas for you. Try to keep your subject line super short and think about it from the lens of your recipient in that if they were reading your email from their phone that they’d be able to read the entire subject line.

After your subject line, you’re going to start your email. You’re going to say something along the lines of, “Hey, [name] [personalized sentence]. The important thing with this personalized sentence is that it is super clear that it is only being sent to that particular person that you are emailing. Once you’ve covered that base start a new paragraph, and then you introduce yourself and your reason for outreach. The last two things is you have your clear call-to-action, and then you sign off with your name. It’s really as simple as that in terms of the cold email template.

Example #1: Content Marketing for Seed Stage Startups

The first example of some services that we could pitch to some businesses are content marketing services for startups. So here I’m thinking that my ideal customer profile are startups that have recently raised some funding and they’re looking to start to explore digital marketing and this might be evident because they’ve posted some job listings for digital marketers.

So, if we were to think about where to go to find these sorts of companies, we’d probably go to a site like AngelList to look for companies that have listings for digital marketing or general marketing positions. From here, we want to open up some of these different job listings and see if the job listing describes the need for hiring the first marketer or an early stage team when it comes to the marketing department. Once we understand that this company has a need for digital marketing, then we’re going to identify the key stakeholders and who to reach out to.

This could be, for example, the CEO or the COO of this startup. Typically with smaller organizations like these, it’s super easy to locate the emails of these individuals. However, if you need to guess, it’s typically some sort of combination of their first name and the domain of the company. From here, we’re going to apply the template that we’ve come up with for our cold email.

So let’s jump onto the computer and go over what I came up with. For my subject line, I’m going to send something along the lines of, Three ideas for you. And then for my body text, I’m going to say something along the lines of, “Hey CEO, loved listening about your story of founding Monster’s, Inc. on the XYZ podcast. I can’t believe the key event that helped you get funding was a conversation at a coffee shop! I’m Will, and I’ve spent years scaling marketing for seed stage startups like yours, growing organic traffic a hundred percent within six months. I’ve got three ideas for you to boost your inbound leads. Would you be open to a call to hear them? -Will”.

The reason why we do it this way is because it allows us to not even have to actually commit to sharing the three ideas upfront. In other words, we can wait for the other person to reply with their interests before we actually do a deep dive on their particular site.

I also want you to notice how clear I made it to the CEO that I had done my own research on them. And I knew what I was talking about with relation to their experience and their company. I also made it super clear who I was and why I was reaching out to them so that they knew within a sentence more of specifically why they were receiving this email.

So by sending this sort of teaser email, we drive up interest and we encourage them to respond back to us to learn more about us. You might be wondering, but Will where do we go from here after we send this first email? Well, there’s a few different directions that we could take. For example, we might actually just jump on that call and scope out as to whether or not they’d be a good client for us to service.

We could also adapt this template to more directly referenced the job listing we saw and essentially give them a opportunity to try working with a consultant as opposed to hiring a full-time employee. In the past, I’ve actually sent campaigns to smaller organizations that have these job listings and essentially said, “Hey, as opposed to taking the risk on hiring a full-time employee, why don’t you try to stabilize things with your marketing with a consultant first.” In other words, I positioned myself as helping them de-risk their business decisions so that they can prove marketing as a viable channel for growing their business.

Another idea we could do from building on this email is we could offer things like an SEO audit. We could actually share some ideas in our next email, if they didn’t respond to us, or just provide some sort of value that they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten if we hadn’t reached out to them.

Example #2: Email Marketing for Local Small Businesses

For our second example, we’re going to break down how we might pitch email marketing services for small businesses. So my thought here is that our ideal customer profile are SMBs that want to get their existing customers to buy more from them, or be more repeat customers on an annual basis. The reason why this is important should be obvious.

If a sushi shop, for example, can just get 15% of their patrons to visit their restaurant more often over the course of a month, then they’ll generate more revenue. So just like last time, the first thing we need to think about is where we might find these sorts of contacts. Well, one of the easiest places to go for these sorts of SMB contacts is a tool called D7 Lead Finder.

This tool scrapes a ton of different sources and directories to come up with the contact information for these SMBs owners. From here, let’s jump back into our computer and go over how we might use the cold email template to pitch ourselves to a sushi shop.

So for this email, my subject line is going to be, Quick question for you. Then for the body text, I’m going to write, “Hey Master Sushi Chef, love the hamachi roll at Sushi Co. I’ve tried five other shops in the neighborhood like Sushi Competitor Co. and yours is the best. I’m Will, and I help local restaurants like yours build effective customer loyalty email campaigns to get your customers coming back over and over again. Recently I helped Sushi Inc. drive an average $735 in additional sales each month through our emails. I’m confident we could do the same for you. Would you be open to a call to discuss this week or next? -Will”

What I want you to notice in the second email is that everything passed that personalized line can be sent to anybody in the restaurant space. Using this cold email template effectively is all about balancing the amount of personalization to the recipient while also leveraging the scalability of this template and its simplicity.

If we want it to improve this email, I could probably tighten up our personal introduction of ourselves a little bit more. That being said, though, we can always wait to get some more results and feedback from this first version before we create version number two. From here, you’d have a lot of flexibility in terms of what you could do.

For example, you could offer to write some emails for some free sushi. Or you could even just sell some packages of some preset templates that they can plug and chug with their own restaurant. Whatever your offer would ultimately be, the important thing is that you would have opened up the door for this conversation to occur in which you could figure out specifically what value could be exchanged between you and that small business owner.

4 Key Things to Notice

When we take a step back from these two examples, there are four key things to notice. The first thing to notice is that we start things off with some sort of compliment or something positive about the other person. We all like receiving compliments, and so this helps us break the ice.

The second thing to notice is that we always make it super clear why we’re reaching out to the person and that we have something of value to them. In other words, we want to align the incentives to make it clear what’s in it for them as the recipient.

The third thing to notice is that we emphasize that we’ve gotten great results with other people in the past, and that we’d love to do the same for them as well. In the case where you don’t have great results, yet you might want to offer to do some free work to get those great results and then plug those in future campaigns once you have them.

The last thing to notice is that we always try to keep things as low commitment as possible. People hate the idea of giving a big amount of commitment when they first meet somebody. And so by keeping it super low commitment and keeping things with a simple yes or no sort of answer, we make it easier for the person to engage with us.

Big takeaways

There are two things I want you to remember from this article:

  1. The first takeaway is that effective cold email always starts and ends with what’s in it for me. When you start speaking in what’s in it for me, you will immediately start to see some massive improvements in terms of both your opens, as well as your response rates.
  2. The second big takeaway is that you can modify this cold email template as you please. As you can see from these two examples and totally different niches, we’re able to apply the same cold email template in finding new client.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week. I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share this with anybody that you think might also benefit from learning how to write cold emails to get new clients.