How to Write The Perfect Email to a Cold Contact



Many people see email marketing as an (un)necessary evil! It’s true that a lot of email marketing goes straight into the spam folder or is only glanced at briefly before suffering the indignity of the delete key. The truth is though, that done in the right way, email marketing can still be a surprisingly effective way of attracting customers.


When you know the right tools and techniques, and you can create genuine value for your audience, you can turn a “cold lead” into a warm one. We’ve worked together with our good friends at (who know everything about great marketing) to put together the SaneBox Scoop for writing much better marketing emails.



Understand your audience


Sending an effective marketing email is about much more than just having an awesome product and creating a great copy. You need to start by truly understanding your audience. This means:


Establish the demographics you are targeting — understand your ideal customer’s demographics, age, lifestyle, gender, location, affluence, etc.

Understand the interests of your ideal customer — figure out the things that will “click” with them,  learn about their hobbies, concerns, problems, hopes, and ideas.

Segment your email list according to this research — you will need to target emails depending on how you segment your audience. Divide your email list up between the different demographics and interests for your customers.

Decide to tailor your emails to each audience segment — once you have segmented your list, you will need to create unique messages and copy for each.


Treat everyone as an individual


People hate blanket emails! Instead of using a generic greeting and message body, tailor and customize your email messaging as much as you can. Use first names, if you have specific information about individuals, figure out how to get that into the email. Being more personal creates an immediate connection.



Create a connection with your audience


People want to do business with organizations they trust. That’s a difficult emotion to create, so one simple way to enhance your chances is to focus the content of your email around one or two of the following concepts:


Inform — tell your potential customer something they didn’t know before.

Educate — let them know how to do something by teaching them a useful skill.

Inspire — connect with them emotionally and create a rapport.

Entertain — help them pass the time by providing entertaining content.


Creating email copy that meets these needs can be a tall order, but the results will be worth it. Ultimately it’s all about creating genuine value and not just sending out a generic email that’s “selling stuff.”



Incentivize your potential customers


Incentives are a big part of getting people on board. You need to get a “foot in the door” and the best way to do that is to provide customers with a special offer. This could be:


Getting something for free like a really good resource or access to a product or service.

Early sight of new products and services.

Coupons, discounts, and free trial periods for your products and services.

A signup bonus.


Use a killer subject line


Most people will never read past the subject line before deciding if they want to delete your email. That means your subject line has to be fantastic! In fact, you should probably spend as much time on the subject line as the entire message body. Great subject lines arouse curiosity, create an emotional connection, or encourage people to act now. Here are some helpful hints from HubSpot.



Avoid going into the spam folder


You’ve spent days sweating every detail of your beautiful email. You have the perfect subject line. You know your ideal customer and you’ve segmented your list. You’re PROUD of what you’ve created. So, you hit “send” and what happens? Nothing. Your email silently slipped into the spam folder and will be unceremoniously thrown out with much less deserving emails.


You can get around that by using spam scoring technology to test your emails and see if they would get picked up as spam by filters. Although the technology isn’t infallible, it will give you a good indication. Useful spam scorers are Mail Tester, Postmark, Sender Score, and IsNotSpam.



Make it easy for customers to interact with you


If you’ve followed all these steps, a customer is much more likely to open and interact with your email. You don’t want to lose them when that happens! Make sure that it’s as easy as possible to interact with your business, products, or services. Create customized links that pre-fill their information, test your sales funnel to make every action as friction-free as possible.


Split test your marketing emails


The best judge of if your emails work isn’t you, it’s your customers. We recommend split testing every aspect of your email so you can optimize them to perfection. The lovely people at have you covered.