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3 Cold Email Strategies With High Response Rates

CEO, Single Grain. Founder, Growth Everywhere.

On average, people get 147 new emails every single day. If you want to grow your business through cold email, it’s essential to stand out from the pack.

What makes this harder is that you don’t have much time to make your first impression. In fact, out of the 147 emails we get, we typically answer about 12 of them and delete the rest within seconds. You need the right email templates to make sure that you separate yourself from everybody else.

Shane Snow

Bestselling author Shane Snow wrote about how he developed a cold email strategy for anyone who wanted to connect with influential people for mentorship and advice.

He started out by getting the email addresses of some of the most influential, busiest executives from Fortune 500 companies. These executives are much harder to reach than the average person, so Shane knew that if he could figure out a way to reach these people, he could reach pretty much anyone.

Once he had their email addresses, he sent the following email template (testing variations on subject lines, email body copy, etc):  

Hi [Exec’s First Name],

I’m doing a study on cold emails and want to ask if you could share some thoughts on what differentiates an effective cold email from a bad one?

Your insight will contribute to research I’m conducting to help a lot of people get better at email, which will make the world a little better for us all.



Here were some stats from this email template:

45.5% open rate (beats the industry average for business related emails)

Short, vague subject lines like “Quick question” got open rates around 50%.

Personalization in the body of the email is more important than anything else, a company that helps companies increase employee productivity through software, ran a cold email campaign to get 73 new leads.

They cold emailed nearly 600 prospects with a response rate of around 1 percent. But by using follow up emails, they were able to increase their response rate to about 12.6 percent.

Surprisingly, they received the same response rate for each of their follow up emails as they did for their first outreach email.

The lesson they learned here is that sometimes, sheer persistence is the easiest way to boost your response rates.

Jake Jorgovan

Jake Jorgovan, a creative strategist, was able to generate over $12,000 through cold email.

He did this by spending a lot of time personalizing each email he sent out, and focusing more on successfully writing a small amount of emails instead of blasting out a lot of them.

For example, here’s an email Jake wrote that got him a client who helped him generate over $4,000:

[Prospect name],

Recently I came across [Company name] in the [Directory where I found their information] and I wanted to reach out. My name is Jake Jorgovan and recently I finished up a website design project for [case study client] and wanted to reach out to similar companies.

When I came across the [Client’s website], I noticed [review of 2-3 things that I found wrong with the client’s website]. With the [case study client], we were able to build a professional site and get it up and running in under three weeks. Their site is mobile friendly and extremely easy for anyone at the company to update.

If you are interested in rebuilding your website, please let me know and we would be more than happy to help you out. Also, I have attached a case study for [Case study client] with a raving testimonial from the owner of the company.

Thank you [Prospect name] and I look forward to hearing from you.


Jake Jorgovan

By listing 2-3 things he found with the client’s website that needed fixing, he immediately separated himself from all the other emails in the client’s inbox.

Here’s a follow up email Jake uses for clients who don’t respond right away:

[Prospect name],

I wanted to send a quick follow up to see if you received my e-mail from last week in regards to your new website design. Please let me know if you are interested and I look forward to hearing from you.


Jake Jorgovan

Ultimately, cold email comes down to two things: persistence and personalization. The more you can make your recipients feel like your email was tailored specifically for them and then, if necessary, send follow-up emails, the more likely you'll be to get a response.

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