How to Write One Great Cold Email

Research, outreach, reminders, and tracking all limit the time your sales team has to connect with prospects and solve their problems. 

And although email is an extremely effective communication channel, it’s also one of the most time-consuming. Email automation makes the job a lot easier — but your automated emails can’t waste the prospect’s time or come off as hollow or impersonal.

At ZoomInfo, we’ve spent years building and refining outreach practices that you can employ in your sales motions. It only takes one great cold email to get started. Here’s how to write yours, today.

Three Pillars of Relevance

To create high-converting emails for prospects, it helps to focus on three key pillars that ensure your message is relevant. Keep these principles in mind, and you will stay on track:

  1. Persona Relevance: The individual and the persona associated with their role. If you’re sending an email to VPs of marketing for light industrial companies, craft your email with that persona in mind — not a cut-and-paste intro that may have been written for someone in a different field.
  2. Company Relevance: The prospect’s company, industry, and specific subsector if appropriate. Demonstrate that you know their pain points, their needs, and their goals, early and often.
  3. Prospect vs. Seller Focus: The prospect and their needs are the main focus, not you and your offer. Don’t sell your company first — lean into problem solving, and offer to help.

Best Practices for Writing Cold Emails

The key to a good email prospecting motion is keeping it tight and mixing it up.

Emails should be short enough for someone to read quickly on a mobile device, but have enough substance to demonstrate your expertise and your ability to help. 

Your campaigns should also offer variety and different angles for the prospect. Find new, varying ways to get and keep their attention — don’t just hammer one point over and over.

Our keys to success:

  • Get straight to the point and avoid formalities & preamble
  • Remove the ‘fluff’ — adverbs and adjectives are easy cuts
  • Limit your email to three to four lines with one idea per section
  • Scale that message to a persona or industry

A Well-Structured Prospecting Email

Here’s how to bring it all together in one email. In this persona-focused template, we apply the relevance pillars and concise, value-led tips into one tight, high-performing message.

Notice the F-shape of the lines of text in this email — this reflects longstanding marketing research about how readers scan content online. 

In short: attention fades quickly, so the content of your email should get tighter with each paragraph.

Ready for More?

Now that you’re ready to write one great email — get ready to scale. At ZoomInfo, we find it takes 8-11 touchpoints to convert a lead. That means multi-step email sequences, calling behind successful sends, and tailored offers.

ZoomInfo lets you automate and customize those outreach sequences, saving hours of research time that can instead be spent connecting with prospects.

Check out our GTM Plays today and get ready to uncover insights, engage customers, and win faster.