Cold Email Structure

Everything you need to structure a successful cold email.
How to Structure a Successful Cold Email cover photo
In today's highly competitive business world, creating and sending the perfect cold email can open the doors of success for your company.

A well-crafted cold email can make a lasting impression on recipients, leading to new business opportunities and partnerships.

The question is, what's the difference between a cold email no one reads and reacts to and one that books dozens of meetings?

Is it because of the subject line?

What is the length?

The way the copy is written?

Or is it the content's ideas that are valuable?

The answer is a mix of all of the above.

Writing the perfect cold email is both an art and a science. It might be difficult to balance being nice and getting to the point.

In this guide, you'll learn how to craft an effective cold email structure that captures the attention of your target audience and achieves your desired outcome.

Let's dive in!

What is a Cold Email?

A cold email is a personalized and targeted message sent directly to a prospect looking to initiate a meaningful business conversation with them.

Unlike mass promotional campaigns, the focus is on engaging in a genuine dialogue rather than promoting a product or service to a broader audience.

They are sent to individuals or businesses with whom the sender has no prior relationship. Cold emails generally act as an introduction and try to start a conversation between the sender and the recipient, hoping to create a new business partnership, generate leads, or obtain valuable information.

When crafting a cold email, it's important to keep in mind that the recipient may receive dozens or even hundreds of similar emails every day. Therefore, making your email stand out from the rest is crucial.

Personalization is key; make sure to address the recipient by their name and include specific details about their business or industry to show that you've done your research.

Another important aspect of cold emailing is the subject line.

Your subject line should be attention-grabbing and concise, giving the prospect a reason to open your email. Avoid using generic subject lines such as "Hello" or "Introduction," as they will likely be ignored or even marked as spam.

You could use humor in your subject line to stand out from the crowd.

The Importance of Cold Emailing in Business

When done properly, cold emailing can produce excellent results for businesses. It is a cost-effective method of generating new leads, expanding your professional network, and establishing valuable connections.

While growing your business can take time, cold emails can significantly speed up the sales process by bringing new contacts and potential customers directly to your inbox.

However, it's important to remember that cold emailing should not be the only method of generating leads and establishing business connections. It should be used in conjunction with other sales strategies, such as cold calling, and social selling.

Legal Aspects of Cold Emailing

Before diving into cold emailing, it's crucial to be aware of its legal aspects. Cold emailing can be considered legal as long as it adheres to the guidelines of the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States and the GDPR in Europe.

Ensure your emails contain accurate information, an unsubscribe option, and don't use deception to gain recipients' attention. Keeping on the right side of the law helps protect your reputation and keeps your business safe from potential penalties.

In addition to legal compliance, it's important to consider the ethical implications of cold emailing. Some recipients may view unsolicited emails as intrusive or spammy, so respecting their time and privacy is important.

Make sure to clearly state the purpose of your email and avoid bombarding them with follow-up messages if they don't respond.

Before Starting Your Cold Email Campaign, You Should Consider...

Identifying Your Ideal Customer Profile

Understanding your ideal customer profile is fundamental to creating a successful campaign.

Research and profile your potential recipients, identifying key characteristics that make them the perfect contacts for your business. Be specific about the industries, job titles, company sizes, or regions you want to target.

Customizing your outreach based on your target audience will enable you to create more relevant and valuable content that increases your chances of success.

For example, suppose you are a software company that specializes in developing CRM solutions for small businesses. In that case, you may want to target small business owners or managers looking for a more efficient way to manage their customer relationships.

By researching and profiling your potential recipients, you can identify their pain points and challenges and tailor your message to address their specific needs.

Additionally, you can use tools like LinkedIn, Google, or social media platforms to find and connect with your target audience. These tools filter your search based on job titles, company size, location, and other relevant criteria.

Defining Your Desired Outcomes

Set clear objectives and expectations for what you hope to achieve with your cold email campaign. Your desired outcomes may include generating new leads, securing meetings, raising brand awareness, or gaining critical industry insight.

Having well-defined outcomes helps focus your message and measure the success of your efforts.

For instance, if you want to generate new leads, you may want to create a compelling offer or incentive that encourages recipients to act. This could be a free trial, a discount, or a personalized demo of your product or service.

By providing value upfront, you can build trust and credibility with your prospects and increase the likelihood of conversion.

Alternatively, to raise brand awareness, you may want to create a memorable and impactful message that resonates with your audience. This could be a thought-provoking question, a surprising statistic, or a compelling story that showcases the benefits of your product or service.

Measuring Your Cold Email Campaign's Success

Establish specific metrics to evaluate the success of your email campaign. These may include open rates, response rates, the number of meetings booked, deals closed, or growth rate. Monitor these metrics and adjust your cold email strategy to maximize your results.

For example, if your open rates are low, you may want to experiment with different subject lines or email templates to make your message more engaging and relevant.

If your response rates are low, you may want to follow up with a personalized email or cold call to build rapport and address any concerns or objections.

Remember, cold emailing is a numbers game, and not everyone will respond to your message. However, by setting clear goals, identifying your target audience, and measuring your success, you can optimize your cold email strategy and increase your chances of success.

Example of a Cold Email Structure

Subject Line

The subject line of your email has a big impact on whether or not your prospect opens it.

Of course, the open rate is affected by both your personal and business names. To put it another way, this is the strength of your brand and your relationship with the prospect.

The subject line is similar to an article's headline. You're scrolling through your newsfeed when a title catches your eye, and you open the article.

The mechanics that drive the subject line are the same. The hook entices folks to open the book and creates anticipation for what they're about to read.

Your subject line is the first impression you make on the recipient, and people have become increasingly good at filtering out irrelevant or spammy messages simply by skimming subject lines.

A strong subject line that captivates your audience's attention and creates curiosity will increase your email open rates, leading to more opportunities for successful communication and desired outcomes.

Keep in mind that it's not just about getting your email opened but also about setting the tone for the rest of the message. A well-crafted subject line can help establish credibility and trust, and can even lead to increased engagement and conversions.
Tips for Writing an Attention-Grabbing Subject Line:
  • Keep it short and sweet: Subject lines that are too long may be cut off, so aim for 5-7 words to convey your message effectively.

  • Personalize: Using the recipient's name or a specific reference to their industry or company can grab their attention and foster connection. For example, you could use "Hi Sarah, have you tried our new product yet?"

  • Use action-oriented language: Strong verbs evoke a sense of urgency and encourage the recipient to take action. For example, "Don't miss out on our limited-time offer" or "Register now for our upcoming webinar."

  • Ask a question: Intrigue your audience by posing a question they might want to find an answer to. For example, "Are you making these common marketing mistakes?"

  • Avoid spam-triggers words: Certain words or phrases, such as "free" and "limited time offer," can make your email seem spammy and get it filtered out by email providers. Instead, focus on creating value and emphasizing the benefits of your message.


Many of us spend a lot of time on the cold email phase. The question is, how do we move from an introduction to the pitch?

Relate to a particular pain point rather than a general one. Demonstrate that you've worked in the field before. For instance, "low click rate on Google rankings" and "improved SEO" are two different things.

When I'm looking for a partner, I try to discover out what their goals are (e.g. win with good content marketing). Then I change my pitch to "hey, let's collaborate to develop fantastic content to achieve X, Y, and Z."

The body of a cold email is a blend of empathy, in-depth knowledge of the prospect, a splash of humor, and proof/results for credibility.
Personalization Techniques
Personalize your email to show that you've done your research and genuinely care about the recipient's needs or challenges.

Use their name, reference their work, or cite a recent news item about their company. Personal touches can make your recipient feel valued and increase the likelihood of a positive response.
Establishing Credibility
In a cold email, you need to establish credibility quickly. Mention any mutual connections, experiences, social proof, or qualifications relevant to the recipient or their industry.

Building trust and rapport increases the chances of your recipient engaging with your message.
Crafting a Clear & Concise Message
Don't overwhelm the recipient with a lengthy email. Keep your message brief and focused, ensuring it's easy to read and understand.

Stick to one main idea or objective, and provide all the information the recipient needs to act.


The subject line persuades the prospect to open your email, while the story tickles their interest. But the job isn't finished yet.

The primary goal is often to move the prospect further down the sales funnel, whether by booking a meeting, scheduling a call, or signing up for a free trial. A strong and compelling CTA (Call To Action) is essential for achieving these objectives, as it provides a clear and actionable next step for the recipient to take.

When crafting a CTA for a cold email, it's important to keep in mind the recipient's perspective and what's in it for them. Highlighting the benefits of taking the desired action, such as "Book a meeting now to learn how we can help you achieve your business goals," can make the CTA more compelling and increase the likelihood of a positive response.

In addition, it's important to make taking the desired action as straightforward as possible. For example, providing a link to a scheduling tool or a sign-up form can reduce friction and make it easier for the recipient to follow through on the CTA.

A strong CTA is crucial to a successful cold email campaign. By providing a clear and actionable next step, highlighting the benefits of taking that step, and simplifying the process, you can increase the likelihood of conversion and achieve your desired business outcomes.

Here's a Great Example of a Cold Email Formula

Example of a Successful Cold Email Structure

Short Subject Line

It's a lot easier to get a prospect's attention if you say something brief, simple, and to the point. In addition, short subject lines pique the reader's interest.

Personalization in the First Line

When it comes to sending an effective cold email, personalization is crucial. Your response rate will increase if your cold email is more personal.

Introduce Yourself

Create a few short self-presentation scripts that describe you, your company, service, market niche, or unique benefits. Test, analyze, and adjust your email introduction until it works perfectly.

Humor is Good

Emails with humor have a 46% open rate, according to Yesware. Humor is an excellent method to connect with your prospect and improve the chances of a response, but it must be used correctly.

The Pain & Relieve Formula

The power of this strategy comes from the fact that people are motivated to behave by either pleasure or pain.

You have a much better chance of persuading your prospect to take action if you trigger a response to a situation that is relevant to them.

Non-Frictional CTA

Asking the prospect will persuade them to respond with a response. However, don't forget to ask a question to them so they know what to respond to.

Extra Tips

  • Be relevant and precise in the cold outreach email.

  • Send follow-up emails when you do not get a response from the prospect for your first email.

  • Write personalized cold email copy that follows the cold email strategy.

  • A/B test and set goals for your cold email campaign.


Cold emails don't have to be frozen.

Cold outreach can lead to significant opportunities if you can reach the right prospect and catch their interest.

Having trouble finding your remote sales team for cold outreach?

Get in touch with us.
Post by Lucy Zorrilla.