You are a new entrepreneur with a game plan. You are are tried and true marketer looking to expand your client base. Perhaps you are a non-profit guru, looking to connect with others in your sphere. Getting your emails opened, read and acted upon is a challenge we all face. What many don’t realize is that cold emails don’t have to be so… cold. In fact, there is a way to develop business leads through emails that are successful, personal, and dare I say it? Downright cool.

An Intriguing Subject Line 

Research shows that 35% of recipients open a cold email solely based on the subject line. Personalizing the email subject line (“Hey, Ella, looking for your advice!) or adding a sense of time constraints or urgency, (“Can I Get Your Input Sometime This Week?”) will also increase the open rate. Consider an email that you would like you would open. Is there a promise of a reward, or some sort of mysterious information inside that they won’t be able to resist? Put it in your subject line! (“Ella, You are Going to Want to Read This…”). 

If you have a personal relationship with the recipient (even if they are simply a social media connection!) this subject line can get even more personal. Consider stating the connection in your subject line, “Colleague of John Doe looking to make an impact!” Or perhaps, comment on a mutual interest, “Fellow GreenPeace volunteer looking to understand sustainability at your company.”

Short, Easy, Actionable

You’ve got a great subject line, and the recipient is hooked! Now that they have made it to the body of your email, you have a limited amount of time to state your message. No one wants to read through long paragraphs or wordy sentences. In the words of the Harvard Business Review, “Keep it short, easy, and actionable.” A few sentences per paragraph, and a couple of paragraphs should get your message across. Furthermore, the recipient should know exactly what you want them to do after they read that email (whether that be take a survey, schedule a meeting, or responding directly to you.) Don’t leave them wondering what the next move to connect with you should be!

Keep it Personal

Sure, you have added an individual’s name within the Subject Line, but there are ways within the body of the email to increase your chances of response. With the magic of the internet these days, it is easy to search for someone’s online presence and learn what school they went to, previous positions they have held, or if you have any mutual connections. Put your detective skills to work, find a mysterious connection, and let them know that you have done your research… and they are the one you want to talk to!

Follow the 3×3 Rule

So the first cold email didn’t warrant a response… don’t fret, follow the 3×3 rule. This is a rule for respectful email follow up states that you can follow up three times with any given recipient, with three business days in between each follow up. We have all received an email we would love to follow up on, but it slipped our mind. Here we give the recipient the chance to know they are important enough for you to remain persistent, and there’s time for them to make an action on your request.

Cold emails can be scary, but coming with the right tools will allow you to crack the code to the outreach, and open an entire world of potential clients and business partners. The first step in creating a cold email campaign that opens these doors? Doing your research, and being brave enough to press “send.”