5 Must-Haves to Increase Cold Email Open Rate

 96 Emails, 10 Replies, 7 Calls Landed – How did we get such incredible success in a cold reach out?

Cold reach outs suck!  

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cold email meme

The average open rate for emails for all industries is 21.33%, and the average click rate for all industries is 2.62%. At the same time, the average cold email response rate is 1%. The difference between sending a cold email and a generic marketing email is that cold emails do not pitch the product right away. Read on to get a better hang of writing a cold email to build relationships and maximize engagement as a marketing strategy. 

The Best Marketing Doesn’t Feel Like Marketing

Tom Fishburne, the founder of Marketoonist, was aware of the challenges of modern marketing when he said that best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing. The foremost challenge of smart marketing is finding out your target customer market. Hoping that all the creatures of the world love your product is just wishful thinking. You need a comprehensive strategy designed to maximize your product visibility and engagement based on your market segment. One of the other essential challenges marketers face is putting out the right content through the best marketing channel. Cold emails are an excellent channel for marketing when used wisely. As they say, ‘Content is the King, but Marketing is the Queen, who runs the household.’. For more insights into cold emails as a marketing strategy, let me first walk you through one of the marketing campaigns.

The Marketing Campaign

A company ‘X’ built a product ‘S’ primarily for internal use to simplify the consumption of patent data. The product categorizes patents in different categories and can provide ten relevant patents from hundreds of patents overlapping with the user’s products. Thus, S is a faster and better way to manage the patent landscapes and clearance searches. The team at X decided to test this product in the market for its potential commercialization. 

As the marketing strategists for X, we decided to identify the target market and the pain points of the future customers that S can solve. The prospective customer base of the product consists of patent prosecutors and people involved in the Intellectual Property (IP) industry. To understand their challenges, we needed information regarding their strategy to sift through lengthy patent data. As we have already identified, the first step in any campaign is to shortlist potential customers

cold email meme modern problem

Shortlisting People: Combination of Science, Math & Logic:

cold email meme brain wave

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” – Peter F. Drucker

Your customer defines the success of your product. Paint a picture of your ideal customer keeping in mind the pain points which your product can alleviate. Cold emailing as a marketing strategy is effective only when targeted at the perfect customer. To shoot up the response rate for your emails you need to carefully select your recipients, considering the probability of success. Research about the recipients’ background to see how it aligns with your campaign. Your aim should be to build a rapport with the recipient.

For our marketing campaign, our founding member, Nitesh, crafted a well-thought-out strategy. Here is how he went about it:

  1. First, Nitesh narrowed down a list of prospects, keeping in mind the solutions provided by the product. In the case of product S, the target audience comprises IP professionals. 
  2. Then, he searched on Google for IP professionals, especially patent prosecutors, and divides them into two categories:
  • Private Practice – Patents prosecutors and IP professionals in private practice with experience of 20 years or more
  • Firms & Organizations – Either the head of the organization or the member with the most experience in IP

The campaign aims to find out what strategies IP professionals use for sifting through patent data. Thus, he chooses the more experienced professionals to get better insights. Moreover, these people are more likely to require product S. 

Another thing that Nitesh looks out for is the potential recipient’s involvement in pro-bono work.  People involved in pro-bono programs would be naturally inclined to offer help. It makes the recipient more likely to respond to your request. 

Now let us see what a cold email should comprise to increase your response rate.

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5 Must-Haves in a Cold Email that gets Read

#0. An Inviting Subject Line

On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.’ – David Ogilvy

Your subject line is what decides the fate of your email. According to Invesp, 47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line, whereas  69% report email as spam based solely on the subject line. Write an intriguing and personalized subject line to pique the recipient’s curiosity, allowing them to open the email instinctively. 

#1. Introduction – It’s About the Recipient & Not the Sender

Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.’ – Joe Chernov 

Before earning your recipient’s interest, you need to show interest in the recipient first. Pro tip – Open your conversation that shows your interest in the recipient’s work. Make the recipient feel special and personalize each email according to the recipient. However, don’t lay it on thick. As Owen Feltham rightly said, There is no belittling worse than to overpraise a man. Keep it simple and low-key. Once you get your recipient hooked, they are bound to read the rest of the email.

cold email meme you're telling me

#2. Establish Your Credibility

Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.’ – Seth Godin

Cold emailing is like shooting a dart. To hit the bullseye, you always need to remain focused on your goal. With your cold emailing campaign, your ultimate goal is to market the product that you will pitch at a later stage. So you need to answer some questions for the recipient like, ‘What’s in it for them? Why should they be interested in listening to what you have to say? Why should they be giving you their time?’. 

Since you are a stranger to the recipient, you also need to establish your credibility in a couple of sentences. Once you have told the recipient about your interest in their work, you need to introduce yourself. Tell your story and make it enjoyable. But, again, don’t overdo it. Be humble, but make sure that while introducing yourself and your company, you make it worthwhile for the recipient to further the conversation.

cold email meme thanos

#3. A Low Friction ‘Ask’

Aim for breaking the ice with the recipient in a cold email. Your request from the recipient should be modest. Emails are like invitations for further conversation. In our campaign, we only asked the recipient for a short connect over a topic of common interest – patent analytics. If you have a high friction call-to-action (ask), it can overwhelm and put off the recipient. A successful cold email is a means to start a dialogue. Once you get the conversation going, you can introduce and market your product to the prospective customer.

cold email meme hard work

#4. Keep it Crisp

You need to respect the recipient’s time. Keep your email straightforward and concise. Wordy emails are more likely to be headed to spam or trash. Remember that the idea of a cold email is networking to sell your product in future communication, not straight away. Start a conversation with a cold email, and then take it ahead for marketing your product, eventually. 

cold email meme matrix

Pro Tip: 

There is no harm in following up to top up your email in a busy inbox. According to Woodpecker, the average response rate of campaigns with 1-3 emails in a sequence is 9%. In comparison, the reply rate of campaigns with 4-7 emails in a row is three times higher, i.e., 27%. Also, keep in mind to have a decent gap between follow-up emails so that you don’t end up flooding the recipient’s inbox. A well-crafted follow-up email after 8-10 days can lead to a (probably positive) reply from the recipient. 

grammarly email marketing free ebook

Visual Powerful Cold Email Teardown


Conversation Opener


Follow Up

Successful Response – Hurray!

Key Takeaways

Remember that the essential part of a cold email is researching your recipient persona well. Personalizing the email takes you a long way. Today all the professional information about a person is available either on LinkedIn or their organization’s websites. A short search about your recipients to ensure that they are the right fit with your campaign will lead to triumph.

The key takeaways on how to write a cold email are:

  • Treat your subject like a movie trailer, give a preview of what to expect
  • Open your email with the recipient’s work and your interest in it
  • Introduce yourself and how your work aligns with the recipient’s area of work
  • Use a low commitment call-to-action 
  • Don’t go overboard – keep your email concise
  • Follow-up on your email in case of no response 

Increase your cold email response rate and engagement with these simple steps. Get in touch to discover if we can be your growth partners. 

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5 Must-Haves in a Cold Email that gets Read

10 Key Takeaways From Grammarly’s Email Marketing

“Email marketing can help you win customers only if your emails are sent to right audience with valuable content at the right time.” – Anonymous

At Concurate, every week, one of the team members presents an insightful session around a business subject. Last week it was my turn, I wondered what should I pick up. Then I took a look at our clients, most of them are SAAS companies that have developed software to benefit IP professionals. Then I thought – Is there a SAAS tool that I use? …. I do…. I use Grammarly for leveling up my communication. (After all, I am a copywriter and content strategist)

Combine these two I thought I should pick up Grammarly’s marketing case study. From an interview of the head of growth and marketing at Grammarly, I understood that 3 pillars for Grammarly’s marketing success are:

  1. Content Marketing
  2. Affiliate Marketing
  3. Email Marketing

Then with a teardown by Email Mastery, I learned a great deal about their email marketing and shared it with my team. Our session’s “uncut” recording is available here as a YouTube video. However, for your power-packed learning, I am sharing the key takeaways here.

Takeaway #1 – What people actually buy?

First learning complies well with Professor Clay Christensen’s “Job To Be Done” theory. As a business owner, you need to understand what is the “job” that your customer is trying to get done with the “product/service” you are offering. People don’t use Grammarly just to check spellings or Grammar. Suggestions by Grammarly make your communication impactful helping you uplift your personal brand.

Takeaway #2 – Trust matters a lot in business relationships

There are people who absolutely hate to receive marketing emails on one side of the spectrum. At the other end or midway, people are okay with emails that they receive value from. You need to understand where do your customers lie on the spectrum. The best way is to ask them and act according to their preferences.

Takeaway #3 – People would read your emails only if they gain any value from them

Understanding the buyer persona and their pain points give you a great deal of insights to curate content. Emails are a great way to deliver curated content to your clients. For example – Take a look at the kind of blog post titles Grammarly shares in their marketing emails – “Why We’re Great on LinkedIn”.  It’s like giving pointers to reach where your client aspires to be.

Takeaway #4 – Timing is the key

Remember that Goldilocks story – “too hot”, “too cold”, “just right“. You got to crack that Goldilocks zone when it comes to timing.

Takeaway #5 – Progressing customers from free to paid tier

Email marketing is instrumental in moving customers from free to a paid tier. You need to focus on communicating the value that paid subscription shall provide. As a bonus tip – Try to give a discount offer to a customer who abandoned the cart.

Takeaway #6 – Humans are more drawn to visuals than text

Instead of telling, you got to show how your product works just as Grammarly shows using snapshots in their marketing emails.

Takeaway #7 – Longer subscription means bigger win

What would you prefer – 1 item for $4 or 3 items for $10? Probably 3 for $10…. As humans, we tend to prefer the second choice. While sharing pricing information in the email Grammarly does exactly the same.

Takeaway #8 – Who would not be up for a laugh?

It goes without saying that humor multi folds engagement – else memes won’t go viral like jungle fire. Look at how beautifully Grammarly created humor using cat – reminds me of Tom and Jerry.

Takeaway #9 – Retaining customers is harder than converting them

Grammarly does a beautiful job by constantly upgrading its software to go beyond customer expectations. They actually live by the mission of making Grammarly reach every place where people write. Besides consistently providing value Grammarly also uses gamification to keep customers engaged.

Takeaway #10 – Humans love to staying ahead in any competition

It’s inspiring to know how Grammarly has weaved its business efforts around human psychology. Whether it’s email marketing or affiliate marketing or content marketing.

Email Marketing Bonus Takeaway – Habit Creation

Hope you enjoyed reading this post! Want to learn more about email marketing?

We are sure you would love to read – “The A B C of Persuasive Marketing Emails

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The A B C of How to Write Good Marketing Emails


“If social media is the cocktail party, then email marketing is the ‘meet up for coffee’. The original 1 to 1 channel.”

Erik Harbison

Up for a coffee 😉 ?


Marketing Emails – A Use Case

John downloaded the IP analytics report from MyCompany’s website two days ago. Kelly, one of the managers at MyCompany, is reaching out to John to understand his goals and discuss how MyCompany can help John.

How to Write Good Marketing Emails example
  • Target Persona 

The most important thing in marketing emails is identifying the target audience for the product, tool or service. Focus on a single audience, as it helps to emphasise the benefits of the product, which the recipient wants. The target persona in this email, John, is involved in the R&D and/or development of automotive products.

  • Pain Point

Identify the pain points of your target audience and provide ways to alleviate them with the help of your product. It results in increased desire for the offer. The pain point in the above email is that John is having trouble with the research and analysis of his company’s IP or ideas. Kelly has mentioned how MyCompany’s services and products can help and benefit John and his company keeping in mind his needs.

  • Ask – CTA – Call-To-Action

The goal should not be to just reach your recipients inbox; it should be to increase click-through rates, engage with the recipient, creating more conversions. Kelly is asking John for his time to get on a call to discuss his requirement in depth and provide a more personalised solution. This is an example of a good email which focuses on the customer, has a personal approach, provides the benefits of the products and services and includes a direct CTA leading to further customer engagement.

The following tips will come in handy while drafting marketing emails:

  1. Write an intriguing email subject line to increase open rate
  2. The less personal, the less interesting
  3. Make the body of your email strong, clear and simple
  4. Use intrigue or a promise to attract interest
  5. Present the benefits clearly, with sub-heads
  6. Use high-energy copy to create a buzz
  7. Include a very straightforward Call to Action (CTA)
Grammarly Email Marketing Key Takeaways

 #1.  Write An Intriguing Email Subject Line

David Ogilvy rightly said “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”. This proposition holds true even in the modern times of marketing emails.

The subject lines of the marketing emails is the first thing that the recipient looks at. Think of the subject line as the trailer of a movie, it has to tell the audience what to expect. It needs to pique interest and enough curiosity so that the reader instinctively wants to open the email. It needs to set the context for the product, tool or service and the benefits that the reader can get by using it. The subject line needs to show that the product will be helpful for the target audience. It will make them take action and read your emails.

No: This tool helps you to find out if your idea or invention is new.

Yes: Are you worried that your idea or invention is not new? 


#2.  The Less Personal, The Less Interesting

Jake Sorofman rightly said “When you start with what’s at stake for the buyer, you earn the right to their attention”.

Keep the focus on the email subscribers, not the brand. Write in second person. Use more actionable words and keep the tone conversational. Think about how you want the recipient to feel and think when looking your marketing emails.

No: This invention disclosure form will make it easier to capture ideas.

Yes: Doesn’t it drive you crazy when your organisation is not able to capture ideas due to long and complex invention disclosure forms? Well, you don’t have to put up with this anymore …


#3.  Make The Body of Your Email Strong, Clear and Simple

The writers and content creators tend to write using fancy vocabulary with a mind-set to impress the reader. However, it is not always helpful as the reader wants to read an easy to digest email or marketing ad. If the words are so heavy that the reader is not able to comprehend the message in the first instance, you will probably lose the interest of the reader midway.

Use short, punchy sentences. It helps to filter out the jargon and keeps the marketing email simple, making it easier for the recipient to understand. Don’t go overboard with the vocabulary. Great copy in content marketing is about putting the point across as succinctly as possible.

No: Do you ever get the feeling that you are paying too much for your website upkeep and maintenance?

Yes: Looking for savings?


#4.  Use Intrigue Or A Promise To Attract Interest

Using words that raise the interest of the recipient and promises to deliver what the recipient might be looking for helps in more conversions. To make reading the marketing email a great experience, the choice of words is crucial. Appeal to the emotions of the reader to arouse their curiosity. 

No: Reduce the time for conducting the search to find out if your idea is novel.

Yes: Discover the secret of quick prior art search.


#5.  Present The Benefits Clearly, With Sub-Heads

Enabling the Information Age through Network Computing – Oracle, in this tagline, opens with the benefit of network computing, which is to enable the information age and makes a strong impact.

Talk about the benefits and not just the features of the product in your email message. Features are the characteristics of the products or services that provide certain benefits. Whereas benefits are the results which the recipient will receive due to the features of the product or service when they use it. By presenting the benefit of your product in a clear and concise manner, you’ll make it much more appealing to your audience and ultimately drive more conversions.

No: This tool is easy to use for your idea management process.

Yes: Gain a competitive advantage by easily capturing productive ideas using this idea management tool.


#6.  Use High-Energy Copy To Create A Buzz

Use strong verbs in active voice. Passive voice is boring and adverbs add to the monotony. Avoid generic marketing terms. Sometimes instilling the fear of missing out (FOMO) in your recipient helps the energy flow and results in conversion. Give the recipient a reason to respond now, not later. Consider using strong sales-offer messages.

No: Is your website optimised for high sales? Grab the free conversion toolbox and start succeeding.

Yes: Before you leave – don’t miss out on the free website conversion toolbox!


#7.  Include A Very Straightforward Call To Action (CTA)

The CTA is the point where your recipient will decide if he/she wants to engage with your brand. It is the most essential piece of email marketing. Focus on the key action you want the recipient to take. Don’t include multiple CTAs. Keep it simple and easy to identify. Always write a CTA that makes taking the action you’re requesting seem effortless.

No: So why don’t you find out more?

Yes: Simply click here now so you don’t miss out.

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Wrapping Up

Statista says, in 2019, the number of global e-mail users amounted to 3.9 billion and is set to grow to 4.48 billion users in 2024. Email marketing campaigns remain one of the most effective marketing tools with an average Return on Investment (ROI) of 42:1, according to Litmus.

A great marketing email is short and crisp but at the same time relays the message in an impactful manner. Focus on a single audience and set one clear conversion goal for your campaign before you start writing and sending emails. Lay out the benefits of the product or tool clearly and make the message powerful. Simplicity is the key. Once you are able to catch your reader’s attention, it’ll help in more conversions. Lastly, as Matt Byrd said ‘Use low commitment CTAs. Emails are invites, landing pages are parties’.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post!

We are sure you would love to read – “Checklist for editing a Written Piece of Work

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Marketing | How to write emails that get opened?

Knowing the purpose of writing helps you write better. Be it a Newsletter or a Love letter 😉

So, What’s the purpose of writing a Newsletter?

The purpose of writing a Newsletter is:

  1. To provide some value to the reader (who is possibly your future client).
  • Only if the reader does not find it valuable, he would not open the next newsletter from you.
  • Or even worse …
  • The subscriber would completely cut connection with you by….
  • “UnSubscribing”!!!!
  1. It’s an opportunity to:
    • develop empathetic relationship with your subscribers.
    • nurture the subscribers with your wisdom in the common field of interest.
    • inspire them with your innovative ideas.
    • show them how they can replicate your success.
    • Make them believe that it’s a win-win for both.
  2. To get your name out there. To be on Top-of-Mind when the time comes that subscriber needs your services. And to convert the subscriber into the client.

How could I accomplish this exercise of writing Newsletter effectively?

I could do this effectively by learning from experts. So I Googled, “How can I write a newsletter that gets opened and read”. The result that I found most helpful was this interview with Joanna Wiebe (An expert Copywriter).

Here is what I learnt from Joanna Wiebe:

  1. Newsletter should look like a personalised email and not like a website.
  2. Instead of putting images in left column and text in right, write it in simple and easy to understand text.
  3. Let the subscriber read just one thing at a times it’s powerful. Notifications in a mobile phone are enough for distractions.
  4. Don’t bug the subscriber with irrelevant information, he is already too busy, value his time.
  5. Provide value through your words. Something that can help your subscriber.

Reading this interview saved me from making the biggest mistake I was about to make. phew !

I was about to use the following HubSpot template to make my newsletter look like a website rather than a personalized email.

#AQuickTip: HubSpot is just a tool but using it blindly won’t reap you any benefits. However, if you learn to use it wisely, it can do wonders J

#FoodForThought: Which email has higher chances of getting opened? Personal or otherwise?

#AQuickTip: Wouldn’t you want to know whether your subscriber read your email or not? If yes, Congratulations!! Email tracking facilities by tools like HubSpot can do this for you.

In order to write a personalized email, I need to have a clear understanding of what’s on the mind of our subscribers. What are their pain points? How can I address them and help them out?

Let’s do some brainstorming here:

Who am I?

I am a Copy Writer for Concurate.

Who are our ideal Clients?

Companies that have achieved good level of success but are struggling to grow beyond that!

What do we do at Concurate?

We partner with the founders/CEOs of such companies to help them grow beyond the point where they find themselves stagnant.

What’s their biggest challenge?

They know how to bring business themselves. But what they don’t know is: “How to replicate this charm of selling in their sales team?”

I know, that founders/CEOs do not have time to read about just anything under the sun. However, one thing is for sure. They will definitely take out any amount of time to read how can they generate 2x or 3x revenue. JUST like a mom whose child has speech difficulty would read any length of advice to help her child improve.

Hence, I need to know what exactly are the challenges that my subscribers are facing! However, the most common problems faced at such a stage are:

  1. Most of the business coming from star sellers in the sales team.
  2. Even by hiring high priced sales veteran and expanding sales team, did not get expected revenue growth.
  3. Even after spending tons of money in marketing, no significant ROI.
  4. 100s of leads, but only fractional conversions.
  5. Not sure of what’s happening in the sales team. And how can you use sales data to increase revenue.
  6. Spending lot of time to acquire new clients but it doesn’t seem worth it.
  7. Need help to upsell or cross-sell.
  8. Leads not able to recall you when in need of your services.
  9. Other (Lets us know we would be happy to help).

/* Wondering how do I know about these challenges? It’s because, these are the  same challenges our founder faced few years ago. */

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And, then share the wisdom and expert advice from the founder of the company who has 15+ years of experience of running a business. He is the one who has been there and done that. It’s good to learn from somebody who has already burnt his fingers instead of burning our own.

I also tried to apply the concept of “REVERSE ENGINEERING” to this Newsletter writing exercise.

/* My first goal is to make the receiver open my email! */

As a first strategy I went to my inbox to see which was the last newsletter that I opened and read. As I recalled, I had read a newsletter by Joanna Wiebe from Copy Hackers. (Renowned Influencer in the field of Copy Writing). Her name was on “Top-of-my-Mind”. As you all know I am a Copy Writer, and I want to be better at it with each passing day. Hence, I like to learn from SMEs.

I still so clearly remember reading Joanna Wiebe for the first time. “Is $5000 a lot to charge for a sales page?”The main idea of the post was paying $5000 for a sales page is not too much if the ROI that it’s going to bring is multifold. And the article was written after interviewing 14 marketers. Hence it brought valuable insights direct from the industry.

Anyway, Here is a little snapshot from my mailbox.

Snapshot of my mailbox

As you can see the snapshot, out of 11 mails from Joanna Wiebe I have opened 3 emails. What triggered me to open these 3?

  1. Curiosity to know what does BOFU mean.
  2. The usage of word copywriter in the subject line.
  3. The word “Rookie”, I don’t want to come across as a newbie after all.

All this triggering information was present in subject line.

Here is what I learnt and applied based on reverse engineering from my own inbox.

What does the receiver see before opening my email?

  1. My or my company’s name.
  2. Subject of the email.
  3. Some initial text of my email.

#AQuickTip: Subject line has to be really powerful to grab the subscriber’s attention.

Here is how my first Newsletter email looked like!

Short, Personalized, To-the-Point, Value = Tips to handle pricing questions.

It went with:

  1. My name as sender that’s Aditi Syal. We like to hear more from humans than companies 🙂
  2. Subject: How to answer “How much is it?” question asked by your clients?
Snapshot of my first newsletter

How does this look like to you? Would you have opened and read it, if you had received it?

#OurWisdom: It’s worthy to curate personalised content for just a few than writing generalised content for masses.

Besides, once your subscriber base increase in number, segmenting them and curating content accordingly shall be of great help.

BTW, Do you hear podcasts while gymming or walking? May be you would like to hear these podcasts too 🙂

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