Cold Emails are never going to go away, and there are a ton of resources online to help you send better cold emails. So why is that 99 percent of the cold emails I receive are simply horrible. Out of 100 cold emails, I'll maybe respond to one, and that's me being generous.

When I started writing and sending cold emails, I did the same thing everyone else does. I started looking for scripts, case studies and other tips on how to write better cold emails. I don't want to ruin it for you, but none of them worked. I did everything the scripts told me to do, and I still failed miserably.

Either these websites were lying to me, or I was applying the tips wrong. As I started cold-emailing to acquiring customers, and it actually working really well, I learned a few things along the way that I wanted to share.

Here are my top seven tips to send my better cold emails

1. Forget the formula or script you found online.

They don't work. Trust me. I've tried them all. Keep trying different outreach emails until you find one that works. This is the only way to figure it out.

Of course, there is some value in looking at the scripts, but you're emailing human beings that are used to receiving spam.

2. Keep it two to three sentences maximum.

If you can't explain why you could help them and why they should listen to you in 3 sentences or less, I would suspect that you're not able to talk about it clearly enough in the first place.

I wrote this section in one sentence, and I got my point across effectively, didn't I?

3. Do everything in your power to not make your email look like a generic script

I'm not against sending the same email to many people, as long as you're confident that the email is targeting the right person. If you understand who your email is going to, then a great email will look like a super personalized email, even if it isn't.

4. It's not a waste of time spending an hour researching someone if you know this person needs your services.

I've been known to professionally stalk people for a long time that I know needs my services and then eventually acquire them as customers. Then, when the time is right, I send a perfectly crafted message.

Too many people rely on an email blast to a wide variety of people without spending the time on a few people that you actually need to become customers. Spend significant time on the ones that you know need you. 

5. Remember, they need you, not the other way around.

From my 15 years of doing consulting work, I have to remind myself that I am there for them. They are paying me money because they need my work not because they feel sorry for me and want to pay me as if I'm a charity.

Once you adopt that mindset, your emails will change. Dive deeper into why they need you and why you're proven.

6. Proving that you're qualified to do what you're proposing is more important than the email itself.

Do you think Bill Gates has to look up cold email tips before emailing someone he doesn't know? Not a chance. Every email from Bill Gates gets read and responded to (assuming you know it's from him of course). My point is that customers will look for social proof points before answering your email.

Why are you good at what you do? Why are you better than anyone else? What have you done that shows them that you can repeat the same thing for them? What are they missing out on if they don't respond to your email?

7. Use your signature line creatively.

I use my signature line to link to my LinkedIn profile, and other articles and case studies I've written to show that I'm capable of doing the work. To the reader, it doesn't take up space in the email, and they're going to do their due diligence anyway, so you might as well make it easy for them to do their research on you.

Don't overthink your emails. Take an honest look at your emails and ask yourself "Would I respond back to this email?" If the answer is no, go back to the drawing board.

Published on: Dec 21, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.