How To Write a Cold Email That Actually Gets Responses


Over two years ago that email led to a successful business relationship (and a friendship.) Are your cold emails performing that well?

Not every cold email you send will lead to a sale and a customer crashing at your house when they’re in town (as I recently did with Patrick from ProfitWell,) but you can still learn from the way the email above was written.

What makes a cold email successful?

Focusing only on qualified leads

Do your research.

It’s one thing to guess who would be a good fit for your product, but it’s another to arm yourself with information and reach out to people you know for a fact would benefit from your product. You can’t cold email everyone in a target market and expect results. I’m much more likely to respond to an email that doesn’t seem like spam.

The email above worked because the sender knew a little about me and my company, TeamPassword. We use Stripe to process payments, and ProfitWell is a SaaS analytics dashboard for Stripe -- a perfect match. ProfitWell wasn’t trying to get me to switch services or change my process, they were offering a way to improve my current set-up.

Writing like a person and not a robot

Have you ever responded to an email that was obviously sent to hundreds of other people? I haven't.

Take the time to write in a conversational tone and write individual emails. If you met a prospective customer in real life, you wouldn’t launch into a canned pitch about what makes your company/product great—you’d have a conversation. It’s a two way street.

ProfitWell appealed to me because they knew me—and told me they knew me—as a regular person:

Our roadmap is focused on actively improving SaaS metrics (MRR, churn, etc.), and I'd really appreciate your thoughts on our private beta, especially given your background building and growing products like Cahoots and TeamPassword.

Use what you learned about the recipient when you did the research them for the email in the first place.

Being straightforward

Make it very clear why you’re reaching out. Yes, the ultimate goal of the email is making a sale, but what else? Put your ask in the subject line. While scrolling through his or her inbox, a recipient might ignore your email because of a vague or overly salesy subject line. Tell your prospect exactly what the purpose of the email is.

Patrick from ProfitWell only needed six words to get me to open his email because he cut right to the chase: Stripe SaaS Analytics Dashboard - Beta Feedback.

Get to the point quickly. I don’t know anyone who says they’d like to have longer, more verbose emails piling up in their inbox.

Timing it right

Unfortunately this isn’t something you can control. I initially ignored ProfitWell’s email, but responded after I’d thought about it more. As it happened, SaaS metrics had been on my mind when I got Patrick’s email—if he had emailed me six months earlier I might have ignored him completely, or if he had emailed six months later I would have already found another product.

If the stars aren’t lined up when you hit send, a well-written email can still get you somewhere. If I hadn’t been ready for ProfitWell when they reached out, I would have asked them to circle back in a few months. Don’t expect every email to get you immediate results, but think of your outreach as the beginning of a relationship, or even a friendship.

Learn more about Profitwell and how they can improve your SaaS business.

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