What entrepreneurs need to know before sending a cold email

Cold email. These words can produce a number of emotions–dread and fear in some and hope in others. Either way, it’s necessary if you want to get more business.

Most of us aren’t sales people by nature, so it can feel pretty uncomfortable reaching out to complete strangers and asking them to buy something.

That’s understandable, but just remember that although you’d like to get more business to make money, you’re also reaching out because you want to help people. When you’re confident in your abilities and you’re sincere about helping people, there’s nothing wrong with offering your services. Just keep the points below in mind when you’re reaching out for that next opportunity.

It all comes down to the subject line

The subject line is your first and hardest challenge. If you get someone to open your email, you’ve won half the battle. There are so many strategies you need to keep in mind while you’re crafting the subject line. Like the body of the email, you want to keep it short. Some experts suggest no more than three words.

Even though you don’t know the person, write the email like you’re writing to a friend. Don’t be formal and use sentence case.

Lastly, don’t come up with a subject line that has nothing to do with the email just to get someone to open it. You want your recipients to feel like they’re getting something valuable when they read your email, not like they’ve been cheated.

Short and sweet

Try to keep your email down to no more than four or five sentences. Think quality over quantity. Writing a good cold email takes time, and you’ll find it’s much harder when you have to weigh the importance of every word.

Resist the urge to tell them everything about yourself for two reasons: 1. The email needs to be about them, and 2. It will make your email long. You can throw in links to your website and portfolio, and they can take a look if they’re interested.

Test and track your emails

Accept the fact that you’ll have to spend some time perfecting your emails, so don’t shoot off 50 emails that are all nearly identical. Pick one thing to test at a time. So you could send 10–15 emails with one subject line and 10–15 with another and see which email has the best open rate.

You can use something like Streak to track who’s opened your emails and as a CRM (there are free and paid versions).

Don’t focus on selling

As we discussed earlier, you should focus on the recipient, their problems and solutions to their problems, in the first email. Right now you want to form a relationship and work on closing in a follow-up email, a call, or in person.


It’s common not to get a response with your first email. Hubspot discovered that 80% of sales needed 5 follow-ups.

It’s true that the they may not be interested in your services but there are several reasons they don’t reply. They may have opened the email when they were busy and dismissed it because it wasn’t what was important at the time, they may have never opened your email and forgotten about it, etc.

If you’re emailing another business, they’ll probably expect a follow-up and they may wait to see if you care enough to follow through.