Everyone receives cold emails about someone trying to sell them on a product or service. Now ask yourself, how many of those emails do you immediately delete based on the subject line? Or, maybe you decide to open the email only to delete it after the first sentence because the message is un-personal and

It wasn't until I put myself in the shoes of the recipient that I was able to figure out what it takes to get a response from a cold email. Here are a few tricks I used that increase my response rate by over 50 percent.

Cut to the chase with your subject line

In a post by Salesforce, studies have shown that subject lines fewer than 10 characters long had an open rate of 58%. It's imperative to keep it as short and precise as possible. At the same time, you want to stay away from anything such as all caps or multiple exclamation marks.

Below are some great examples of short subject line with added value that will catch the attention of your recipient.

"Hoping to help"

"What you can afford"

"How to make"

"Just 5 minutes"

"We should talk"

Make it personal

There's no chance your recipient will respond to your email if they feel as if you send the same message to tons of prospects. In addition, do your diligence to make sure your recipient is dealing with, or at least potentially dealing with a problem that you have a solution for.

Here are a couple of ways to differentiate your email from the ordinary cold email.

Mention something unique about their company.

Start the email with their name and not "To whom it may concern".

Mention a recent article the company was featured on.

Talk about information that is available on their website.

All of these techniques show the recipient that you have done your homework on their company, which overall builds the rapport you need for them respond.

Use the Problem-Agitate-Solve method (PAS)

Nobody enjoys problems but everyone enjoys solutions. Start the first body paragraph of the email with your recipients problem. Next, you really want to agitate the pain point to demonstrate that this is an issue that needs to be solved sooner rather than later. Lastly, provide your solution.

Problem: I noticed your company has low Google search rankings with keywords related to your business.

Agitate: Unfortunately, with no content about your company on the web and low rankings it will be extremely difficult for potential customers to know about your business.

Solve: At ABC Inc. We work with companies like yours to optimize their SEO and create online content to increase their Google rankings.  Are you available next week for a demo?

We have all read and heard the horrible stats about receiving a response to a cold email. However, sometimes we forget to acknowledge that we are emailing human beings that will show interest if something catches their attention. People respond well when messages feel personal and enjoy hearing solutions to their problems.

Published on: Mar 31, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.