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Cold Emails Are Not Websites

While websites and cold emails can serve a similar purpose - to capture the attention of new potential customers and get them to take a particular action - they still have a lot of differences in their purpose and how they should be written. Despite that fact, I get a lot of emails in my inbox that sort of look like mini landing pages, and so I wanted to write an article to share my perspective on cold emails and how they're best written.

The most significant differences between a landing page on a website vs a cold email, is that a cold email is only meant to generate curiosity while a landing page is meant to inform and strategically present different elements necessary for a buying decision. 

Founders know that things features, benefits, results, social proof, etc are necessary in someone being convinced that a call or purchase is worthwhile, but what they don't know is that data shows that putting these things in a cold email is a big turn off to prospects.

Okay, so if prospects need to see these things in order to be convinced that a call is worthwhile, but putting them in a cold email doesn't work, how do we make cold email lead to new sales meetings?

Well, the answer is to shift the intention of your cold email. The purpose of sending your cold email isn't to generate the meeting right there on the spot; but instead, it's to generate enough curiosity and rapport with the recipient that they educate themselves on the features, benefits, results, social proof, and all the answers to their questions.


Where can they find this information? Your website. Where are they going to go the instant your email successfully generates some curiosity? Your website. 

People mistakenly believe that if a prospect's thought after reading their cold email is, "Hmm. This is interesting, but I'm skeptical." that they lost. They think the proper response someone should have to a cold email is "Ahh, I understand exactly how this company can back up their claim. How do I speak to someone?"


In reality, the former is actually the exact response you're going after. Interest and skepticism are two of the main ingredients in curiosity. The prospect is going to seek to resolve that skepticism by going to your website.

When you give up the need to have in your cold emails every element necessary to convince someone your offering is worth a meeting, and instead you just need to get them to be curious enough to go to your website and read around there, you can now write the sort of copy that works in cold email.

So what kind of copy works in cold email? 

Copy that's conversational and less than 100 words long - You don't walk up to a stranger you want to get more acquainted with and begin talking about your life story. You start with short, casual, dialog. Usually, taking the form of small bits of interesting information followed up with a simple to answer question. This is how cold emails should be written too.

Copy that uses simple words at a 5th grade reading level - Your goal is to make it easy for them to read the email. And yes, even if you're selling to computer vision and AI experts, you need to use simple messaging. Let your more in depth content show off your ability to drop the latest buzzwords, keep your emails simple.

Copy that looks for a response before asking for a meeting - Data shows that interest based CTAs work better than asking someone for a meeting right out of the gate. Once someone has admitted they struggle with the problem being talked about, or that it's relevant in any way, they're far more likely to say yes to a meeting. Asking for a meeting before that point usually brings up resistance as it's a relatively big ask early on in the rapport building phase.

Copy that is centered around the recipient and not the sender - “you, you, you” not "I, we, us"

Copy that takes an inquisitive tone rather than an assuming one - People respond to emails far less when the sender takes a tone or stance that is assuming. Using phrases like "I'm guessing" or "correct me if I'm wrong..." rather than phrases that seem like the sender is sure of the recipient's situation.

Copy that calls out an observation about the recipient that can be tied to the problem being solved - So if you take the example of lawncare, a bad cold email would read "Hey prospect, we do lawn care. We trim branches. Do hedges. Work with mulch and soil. Retaining walls. And more. Want to discuss?" - What's far better would be to say, "Hey prospect, I noticed those trees out back will be touching the power lines in a few months. We could have that done in a half a day without you needing to call on your crew for a side project. Want to discuss more?"


Make the purpose of your cold email to generate enough curiosity that the recipient goes to your website and explores there, and make sure you keep each one of these points in mind when writing your copy, and your cold emails will be on fire.

Looking for more sales appointments? If you want to get better at outreach yourself then keep consuming content here and elsewhere. If you're interested in seeing what it would look like for Appt. to generate sales appointments for you then book a call.

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