How I wrote a cold email that was “among the best outreach” my recipient ever received

About a year ago, I received this response to one of my cold email followups…


*Cue the blushing*

So what did I say to get that kinda response?

Well, here’s the first email I sent:

cold email


Let’s break that down. Starting with the subject line…

First, I got my recipient to open the email by mentioning his company name and equating it with “the future of work” (something he also believed in).


In the opening line of the email, I didn’t introduce myself. I complimented my recipient.

Then I got a bit vulnerable by talking about my own weaknesses. While referring to specific things that I had seen on the company website (ie: one of their best practices is “say yes to only the hell yes’s”).

Next, I aligned my beliefs with his — and provided a specific example that proved I was being genuine.

Then I went in for the ask. But beforehand, I made it clear *why* I wanted to work with him (so he knew that I didn’t reach out to just anyone).

Next, I delivered my mini elevator pitch. Telling him who I was. And how I could help.

To make this even better: I could’ve backed up my statement with proof (ie: results I’ve gotten for previous clients, my unique framework, a brief testimonial from a previous client etc).

In my close, I offered something of value. Something that would be easy for my recipient to say “yes” to. And I phrased it in a way so that all he had to say was “yes” (or “no”):

To make this even better: I could have told him *how* I would deliver that feedback (ie: via a 5-minute Loom video or a 15-minute call).

And let’s not forget about the P.S.!

According to direct response copywriter and professor Siegfried Voegele, “over 90 percent of readers read the PS before the letter. It is the first paragraph, not the last.”

I took advantage of that by using the postscript to mention a commonality.

I didn’t hear back from him after the first email. So about a week later, I sent this follow-up…

This time, I cut to the chase. I immediately mentioned what I could do for my recipient (and then gave specific examples of how he could optimize the copy).

To make the email even better: I could have shown the optimized copy in action.

For example, using a tool like Edit Website Extension, you can edit the live website copy. And then send a screenshot of the optimized copy.

That would have made me look like a pro. And grabbed my recipient’s attention since he would immediately see a screenshot of his website when opening the email.

In the next few lines of the email, I acknowledged that he didn’t *have* to accept my suggestions. And I gave him a choice (”take it or leave it”).

Having choices makes people feel more in control (and more likely to say “yes” to the offer).

I ended the email with a simple question:

To make the close even stronger: I could have given him an easy out. And said something like…

“If the answer is ‘no thanks,’ I promise I won’t be offended.”

That would probably make him feel better about responding if the answer was “no” or “not right now.” It also shows empathy and humility, both attractive qualities in a vendor or partner.

SO when writing cold emails, here are a few ways to get those “YES” responses: 

  • Open with a compliment
  • Mention a commonality (ie: shared interest, hometown, hobbies, connection)
  • Align with the recipient’s values or vision
  • Get vulnerable
  • Make it clear why you are emailing them as opposed to anyone else
  • Establish your credibility – why should they trust you or want to meet with you?
  • Make it easy to say “yes” to your offer
  • Show a lil’ humility
  • Give them an easy out
  • Be genuine! If you really mean what you say, then your sincerity will shine through in the email.
  • Follow up until you get an answer!

Got anything to add?

What cold email strategies have worked (or not worked) for you?

Share in the comments!

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