How To Write A Cold Email That Gets Replies (No Matter The Industry)

Cold emails are everywhere in 2022, but good cold emails are more elusive. This is somewhat of an oddity, as a well-written email can be the difference between a sale and a spam filter. In this article, you’ll find out how to write a cold email (for any business) that stands out and gets replies.

Table of Contents:
1. Give First
2. Turn The Social Proof To 11
3. Crystal-Clear Call To Action
4. Keep Following Up

Give first

The biggest mistake most cold emailers do is expecting the recipients to immediately be interested in the service. But there are so many hurdles and objections that need to be overcome before the service or solution is even mentioned.

To put things simply, you need to give before you can take. That’s the best — albeit not the easiest — way to stand out and make your voice heard in the inboxes of your target audience.

A great way to start an email is to give in the form of a genuine (it has to be genuine!) compliment:

“First line” example #1: Loved your recent blog post on email copywriting. The paragraph about writing through a persona resonated heavily, it’s something I’ve started doing more often in my own projects. Thanks for writing that. :)

Example 2: Congrats on your recent promotion. I – admittedly – was checking out your profile on LinkedIn and noticed a change in title just a week ago. Exciting times. :)

Example 3: Loved your Twitter thread on the rise of NFTs you posted today. Shared it with a couple of friends — they didn’t really get it — but I thought it was awesome! Thanks for writing it. :)

Turn the social proof to 11

The thing about cold emails is that, well, they’re cold. Nobody knows who you are. Nobody has any clue what you’ve done. You could be the best damn service the world has ever seen. But they don’t know that. And they don’t believe you.

So you need to show proof:

A while back we worked with another company in the (niche) in the Minnesota region. In 2 months their sales doubled through a specific Facebook and Instagram Ad strategy we implemented.

A crystal-clear call to action

You need to make the job of your prospects as easy as possible. There should be no thinking involved whatsoever on their part. No confusion. 

Here’s an example of a clear, simple, and effective CTA (make note of the line breaks):

If you’ve been looking to increase your ROI from your marketing efforts, I’d love to hear what your current situation is like and if you could use my help.

Here’s a direct link to my calendar.


Keep following up (but be humble!)

Almost no one will instantly jump on the chance to spend 15-30 minutes with a stranger on Zoom. And even if they do book a time, many will ghost you. That’s why follow-ups are key.

This is also when most marketers completely jump the gun. Remember, this is still a stranger you’re talking to. They don’t care about you. They — probably — haven’t promised you anything. 

That’s why it’s vital to be polite, kind, and unassuming:

Hi Mats,

I sent a quick email about your Facebook and IG ad strategy the other day.

Looking at your site and ads (as much as I can as an outsider) I see a couple things you might want to try out.

Doing these got one of my clients a 4X Return On Ad Spend.

Maybe they could work for you as well…



And that’s that

Most writing you’ll produce will sound good as you write it. But if you take some time to distance yourself from the cold email (or any ad, really) and allow yourself to return to it a day later, you’ll be able to strengthen the message even further.

Also keep in mind that your cold emails don’t need to be perfect to work. As long as they’re written from a humble and helpful place, you will get replies — eventually.

If you need more help in the ways of writing punchy, powerful copy, sign up for the 10 Email Marketing Mistakes Mini-Course down below.

Mats Liljeström
Mats Liljeström

Email Copywriter & Marketer.

Articles: 29