This question originally appeared on Quora: What are the best practices for sending “cold” sales emails? Answer by Noah Kagan, Chief Sumo of Sumo.com and Appsumo.com.
There’s a simple framework that I’ve found extremely effective at getting a super high response rate from my cold emails.
1. Subject line
The goal of the subject line is to get them open the email to read the first sentence. To compete with hundreds—if not thousands—of cold emails in someone’s inbox, your subject line needs to be incredibly clear and direct. The harder for them to figure out why you’re reaching out, the harder your email gets open. A good way to craft your subject line is to include the “pain” of your prospects, tell them how your product or services can solve their pain usually triggers their interests instantly.
Everyone loves to feel special. If you’re emailing a particular position in a company, make sure you find out their names. Avoid addressing your prospects as “Sir” or “Madam” because it sounds too much like a copy-and-paste template. It also puts you into their bucket of “strangers who want something from me.” If you’re emailing top influencers, ask yourself: How do I compliment them and stroke their ego a bit? The goal here is to make them feel special, but not to overdo it. You don’t want to sound cheesy here, as it gives people a slimey impression. Be genuine with your compliments.
How will your request benefit them, and not just you? Figure out the needs of your prospects and know that you can deliver real value to them that helps solve these needs. One common mistake many entrepreneurs or sales people make is that they talk about the features of their product. People don’t want to know the latest technology your app has—they want to know how your app can help solve their problems.
The next step is to establish credibility. Ask yourself: How can you make them trust you in the email? What makes you the person they want to talk to? One good technique you can implement is to mention your existing connecting in similar industries. This helps to establish trust and provides proof to the benefits you just mentioned.
5. Call to action
You don’t get what you don’t ask for. Make sure you have a call-to-action at the end of the email. What is the next step they have to take if they’re interested? Make this clear, and preferably make this simple.
6. Read it out loud
Read your email out loud with a timer. If it’s a longer than a minute, cut it down. You need to gain respect from your prospects, and it starts with you respecting their time.