How to get your COLD emails OPENED

Feb 03, 2016 | 4 minute read
Reading Time: 4 minutes

How to get your COLD emails OPENED

Let’s face it, we all get so many emails each and every day – how often do you have the chance to open all of them?

Never. With the tons and tons of emails that you get, it is almost impossible to open each and every one of them. Websites and services send messages to your inbox at home and at work, it is a job in and of itself just to go through them to find the ones that we need.

So, if your business is utilizing the Cold Email Marketing Strategy that is very popular, you have become someone else’s junk email that floods their inbox.

How to differentiate your email from the tons of other emails that consumers receive and stop your prospect from pressing junk or delete before opening?

This is what we will discuss…

Some percentages to keep in mind

Do you know your open rate?

Using a product like Visual Visitor’s Identify ANYONE is one way to get a better understanding of how engaged your potential customer is.

Let’s get to work improving your cold email rates!

For this post, we will focus on the first step in improving your open rates – getting them opened!

There are four basic things that pop up in the inbox along with your email:

  1. Subject
  2. Preview
  3. Date/Time Sent
  4. Your Company Name and/or Email Address

We will start with Subject as it is really the most important thing in gaining your prospect’s attention. Next to subject, you have timing, and then preview of your email body – which with either grab your prospect or turn them off.

Subjects that Work

It might seem like such a small thing, that one line at the top of the email, but it is actually crucial and matters more than most realize in the cold email game.

You must send out an email to someone you don’t know, and get them to want to learn more. Short, to the point, and very straightforward are key.


When most of the 91% of email users first access their emails, it is on a mobile device. People are busy, they are scrolling through emails in meeting, at lunch, while waiting in the drive-thru. If it isn’t interesting, delete.  Period.

Does this assumption hold true for everyone? No, but if you want to craft a cold email that you are going to send out to many, it is best to do so with the assumption that it will first be glanced at on a small screen, a mobile device.

What does this mean?

Short.  Sweet.  To the point.

Write out the first thing that comes to mind for an awesome subject line. Now rewrite it with less characters. Do it again. And again. Until you have something around 20 characters.

No sales, no CAPS, because you don’t want to yell at them and come across as a used car sales man.

Some good ideas:

  • No salesman. You are a friend. A pal that really knows what they need.
  • Think call-to-action and don’t make them work for what you want them to do. Just tell them.
  • Try an introduction type line for that respectful tone. This will actually alert them that you are a salesperson and can be much less effective. But depending on your audience, can be what you need.
  • Is this lead a qualified lead? Then you’ve already got their attention. Be bold.

Some bad ideas:

  • The lead is cold or unresponsive, but you want to give it one more try. Use this type of email cautiously as it has a huge backfire rate.
  • Bait and switch. It is never a good idea to associate your company with this type of email. If you’re not selling it, do not mention it.
  • Blank subject line. Again risky. Not something I have seen used to much success as it will usually get caught in a spam filter.

What time is it? It’s cold email time…

You’ve got your subject. You written your content. When do you send it?

Does early morning work? Lunch? Or have you found afternoon to be more successful? The sad thing is, this is more industry specific and there is no straight “Send your email at this time” answer.

What I have found is that the best thing you can do, is to mark your email using something like Visual Visitor’s Identify ANYONE. Now chart when those emails are opened and clicked. Run your email at different times and see when you are getting the best response. This requires more effort on your part, but can definitely pay off in the end!

A Preview worth opening

You know those preview lines that come up in your inbox? There is limited space, but it can and sometimes will make the difference! Consider it your subject’s main sidekick. Taking the email from ho-hum to must-read.

Most email services will give you an option of writing out a special preview or just using the first of your actual body text for preview.

Personalize it. Make it feel special. Don’t put administrative stuff up there. That would be a bad sidekick option.

Get busy

Now you have an idea of how to start your cold email! Test out some of these tips and tricks to make your email stand out and get opened instead of closed. Then sell!

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