How To Warm Up Your Cold Emails and Get Results

Momina Ayaz
Momina Ayaz

Last updated on

February 26, 2024

Cold emailing is often a polarizing topic for digital marketers. Should you be sending out a pitch to someone who probably hasn’t even heard of your brand before? Isn’t it just too impersonal?

Nearly 4 billion people use email around the world. That’s a big market for any online business, be it for generating leads or forming partnerships online. Simply waiting for your target audience to seek you out could theoretically take forever.

Email marketing experts still believe in the power of a cold email when done right. The trick is to focus on the person at the receiving end. Here’s how to send out cold emails that don’t seem intrusive, aren’t ignored, and actually work.

1. Compel them to open your email

Every successful email starts with the perfect subject line. Carefully crafted email copy doesn’t cut it if it’s never read. With people receiving 126 emails a day on average, how will you ensure that your target opens yours?

You want your subject lines to pack a punch and stand out in a crowded email inbox.

So, how do you design a noteworthy subject line? Here’s a quick guide:

  • Personalize it. Use the business or contact name to speak directly to the prospect. Personalization increases open rates by up to 50%.
  • Use power words that trigger curiosity or an emotional response.
  • Keep it brief. Brief subject lines are more conversational, pique curiosity, and are more likely to be opened.
  • For inspiration, here’s a list of subject lines that work.

In addition to this, use your work email address to send the email. Ensure that the header is your actual name. This humanizes the content and adds credibility.

2. Start off on the right foot by introducing yourself

Cold emailing entails sending an email to someone who has never heard of your brand, opted to your email list, or shared their email with you. For this reason, they often come as a surprise to the recipient, potentially sending them off guard.

This is why it’s important to properly introduce yourself and start off the email by mentioning the following:

  • Your name
  • Your job title and a small introduction
  • Your contact information

This information will help the reader trust you, priming them to be more open to the request you make later on in the email. It will also legitimize your presence. You don’t want your cold email to come across as spam so this is important.

3. Add personalization for each prospect

Again, generic emails come with a big red flag. They come across as spammy and just bland, putting off the recipient and lowering any chances of them reading on.

If this is your first conversation with an individual, you need to sound sincere. The recipient needs to know that you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in them. If you’ve made them feel important, they’ll most likely consider your proposal.

Personalization serves this very purpose. Even if you’re using a template, it needs to be carefully written to include specific details of the recipient. Speaking directly to an individual warms them up to you, making them more likely to consider the email.

Add the following:

  • name of the recipient
  • their business or website name
  • any interests or news relevant to them (this can serve as a conversation starter!)

4. Lay out what’s in it for them

If they’re giving the time of the day to a stranger’s email, it better be useful for them. Well-written cold emails focus on the recipient rather than the sender. They clearly state the value in their proposition and one that’s clearly mutually beneficial.

So, once you’ve politely introduced yourself, zero in on your prospect’s needs. How will you cater to them and how will they benefit from you?

To engage readers in such a manner, use the powerful AIDA model (Attract, Interest, Desire, Action) in your pitch to ensure prospects get through the entire email:

  • Attract: start off with a catchy introduction, so your email isn’t immediately ignored. Innovate here!
  • Interest: Lead with a story that speaks to a need or pain point of the recipient.
  • Desire: Where do you come in the picture? Explain how you can be of use.
  • Action: Plan out how the two parties should proceed if the prospect is still interested.

If you’re making a sales pitch, discuss your prospect’s pain points and how your business helps alleviate those. Any examples would be great to back up your claims.

If you’re seeking out a partnership, it needs to be mutually beneficial so chalk out what you can do for the recipient if they choose to follow through. Clearly define this in your body so your lead has no trouble understanding, and acts fast.

Make sure that your email was worth their time.

5. Sprinkle sincere praise for your prospect

Praise is a great way to cozy up with your prospects. Our brains process compliments as social rewards, just putting us in a good mood and making us feel important. This disposition alone makes people more agreeable. They begin to like you and are willing to read the rest of your email as well.

Let the recipient know that you know about their work or appreciate what they’re doing. This is especially useful when businesses want to collaborate with influencers or other businesses. You can pitch guest posts to sites by telling them that you love the work they’ve been putting out so far. This works like a charm!

And of course, every bit of your email must sound sincere. Generic compliments are off-putting and only indicate disinterest.

6. Use your achievements in your cold emails

While you shouldn’t talk too much about yourself when cold emailing, highlighting your achievements serves as a great hook for readers. People like engaging with successful people, seeing it as a means to benefit from their success. For instance, if you talk about how thousands of businesses trust your service, new prospects will be more open to trying you out. It’s the classic bandwagon effect!

Call out any facts and benefits that could help add weight to your request. If your business supports a sizable client base, use that number to add credibility to your brand. You could also mention success stories, especially if you’ve worked with prominent names in the industry. People trust numbers, so add those to make your prospects trust your brand.

7. Close by telling them they don’t have to listen to you

Once you’re done making your pitch, close the email by showing gratitude. And more importantly, by telling the recipient that they don’t have to listen to you.

“If you don’t want to explore our free trial, no worries. I understand and appreciate your reading so far. Thanks for your time!”

This implies that the reader is free to ignore the email. However, this freedom is also what persuades readers to comply! How so? Because such propositions make the reader feel like they’re in control.

The research backs this up. When people think they are free to ignore a request, they immediately become more likely to do the opposite.

8. Send a follow-up email

It’s always best to prepare for the worst, even if you got everything right in your email.

There’s no guarantee that following the best practices will make your target engage with your email. They might be away on holiday, simply not see your email, or forget to reply. Prepare for all eventualities and send follow-up emails.

Here’s everything you should watch out for:

  • Keep your follow-up brief. You must assume that the first email was read, so the reader doesn’t waste time reading your entire pitch again.
  • Set an appropriate delay between your first and seconds emails.
  • Don’t bombard your recipient with several follow-ups. They aren’t interested if they didn’t respond to the second email.
  • Reiterate your interest in collaborating with them.

You can find more amazing follow-up tips in 27 Follow-Up Email Subject Lines by Irina Maltseva.


Digital marketers have built entire businesses on the back of cold emails. But they know that the key lies in making them personal, conversational, and purposeful. By simply being empathetic, you can write better cold emails, knowing that the reader’s time is valuable.

So, always try to write engaging and personalized emails. Speak to the interests of the readers. Add authority to your brand by mentioning your achievements and of course, add value for your recipient. Always try to put yourself in their shoes and ask, “would I open such an email if that were the subject line?” and “would I really sign up for a free trial if someone asked me in such a manner?”. Just remember that there are real people at the other end of this conversation.

Author Bio

Momina Ayaz

Momina Ayaz is a Content Marketer at Mailmunch. She loves reading during lunch breaks and witnessing technology reshaping the corporate sphere.


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