Sending a cold e-mail for the first time is hard to achieve but not impossible. A successful cold e-mail is a combination of perfect timing, subject line, and explanation. From countless unanswered e-mails to lifelong virtual friendships, I have acquired quite a repertoire of ways to send, (and not send), cold e-mails so the first time won’t be your last.
There’s a reason people always say, “timing is everything”… because it really is! Did you know there are actually bad days/times to send an e-mail?!
The worst days to send them are on the weekends and the worst times are after work hours during the week. The majority of people check their inboxes from 9-11 am during the week so if you want to increase your chances of being seen and heard, I’d highly recommend this. I’ve gotten great responses from sending cold e-mails at 10 am on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
Fridays are a hit or miss. Usually by the time Friday rolls around, everyone’s ready for the weekend so they hold off on responding to unknown e-mails until Monday and by then you could be forgotten. On the other hand, people are said to be happier on Fridays so this might elicit a more positive response.
Catchy subject line
So you’ve picked a great time to send your message, now you have to get the person to open it. The best way to create a catchy subject line is to browse through your inbox, look at your emails, and see what catches your eye. What subject lines have gotten you to open an e-mail?
You want your title to convey the main point of your e-mail but also be unique enough for someone to want to open. I’ve personally used, “Looking for advice”, “Thank you for the inspiration!”, “So nice meeting you”, and “I really need your help!”. Of course depending on the recipient, some headlines are more appropriate than others so it’s up to you to decide.
I would advise against using generic lines like, “Exciting opportunity!” to grab the reader’s attention. This phrase is so overused it’s an automatic pass for most people.
The next step in sending a successful cold e-mail is to make an offer the recipient can’t refuse. If you want something from him/her, you better have a good explanation for why you deserve it.
Start by complimenting the person, specifically about what the company has done and how it’s impacted you. Then, work in how you’d be a valuable asset or how you could benefit this person. You could say something like, “I really loved your article about creating your own job, I just recently created my own website to do just that. I’m wondering if you have any advice or suggestions for someone just starting out. My audience is highly engaged and I know they’d love to hear what you have to say”. #nailedit
You can also offer a service for free like writing, social media managing, taking pictures, helping redesign a website, etc. Let the person you’re cold e-mailing know you’ll do whatever it takes.
What has been your experience with cold e-mails? Share your story in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!