Do You Know How To Conduct Effective Cold Email Outreach?

I think you’ll be nodding your head in agreement when I say:

Getting responses for cold emails is plain out difficult!

Or is it?

Well, it turns out, you can quickly increase response rate by making a few simple tweaks to your email.

And in today’s post I’m going to reveal the cold email outreach tweaks I personally use to double response rate and create win/win relationships.

But first, a quick story (to show how effective these tweaks can be):

How I Used Cold Email To Land A 15-Minute
Call With A High-Level CEO

Back in College, I discovered the art of writing high converting cold emails. Then I sent one in particular that got me great results.

How great?

Well, it got me a 15-minute Skype meeting with a very successful (not to mention busy) CEO that you most likely know and follow (this was during one summer semester when I wanted to build my network of highly successful people + bring on new clients for the marketing agency I was running).

Here’s the email:

Here’s the response:

This cold email generated a bunch of new opportunities for me!

I don’t share this to brag.

Just to show you that we really do this stuff ourselves, and once you get good at writing cold emails, the world truly does open up to you. All you need is an email address and you can make pretty much anything happen!

Note: You may have different goals with your cold emails (wanting to build backlinks, establish affiliate relationships or secure guest post opportunities), but as you’ll now see the fundamentals of a well crafted cold email are pretty much the same.

So let’s get into it...

My Entire Step-By-Step System For Writing
Highly Effective Cold Outreach Email

There are 5 steps to writing highly effective cold email.

Step 1: Determine your call-to-action

Step 2: Put on your researchers hat

Step 3: Personalize

Step 4: Troubleshoot

Step 5: Test

Let’s discuss each in greater detail below.

Step 1: Start With The End: What’s Your
Call-To-Action (CTA)?

Every email has a purpose.

It’s your job to determine this purpose from the start so you can reverse engineer the process and write a highly effective e-mail.


Cause’ you’d be surprised to see how many people forget this. As a result, their email comes across as boring, non personalized, and plain out lousy.

Here are the questions I ask myself to determine the purpose:

  • What is the goal of this email?
  • What do I want the other purpose to do after reading this email? (make this super simple)
  • What do I want the other person to feel after reading this email? (make this super effective)

Most cold emails fail not because they get point one and two wrong, they fail because they totally forget point three.

Here’s the secret of writing killer cold outreach emails:

If you can’t make the person on the other side of the email FEEL something, your email will get trashed.

The job of your email is to trigger a feeling in the reader, a feeling that gets them to take take action and do what you want them to do.

That’s it. Simple, really.


Let’s assume I wanted to guest post on an authority site in my niche. Here’s how I would break it down.

  • The goal of this email is to secure a guest post opportunity with [site name]

  • I want the other person to give me a simple YES.

  • I want the other person to feel special, important, valued, excited, confident in my writing abilities, and eager to work with me.

Easy, right?

Now onto step 2… 

Step 2: Study Your Recipient Inside Out

The person on the other side of your email is just that, a PERSON.

Not a machine.

Not a robot.

Not a software.

To get a person to do something, you must make them want to do it.

That’s the only way.

In order to do so, you have to do 2 things:

  1. Take all the points you jotted down about what you want the person to feel
  2. Study up on the person and come up with ideas regarding how you can make them feel your desired emotions

Your study phase should include:

  • Reading their blog posts
  • Reading their email newsletter
  • Going through their social networks
  • Listening to interviews they’ve conducted
  • Etc.

By doing so, you’re really looking for a few nuggets:

  • What gets this person excited?
  • How can I position myself to build that excitement in this person?

Sounds complicated?

It’s really not. By studying your target inside out, you’ll learn to put yourself in their shoes. And from doing so, you’ll start coming up with ideas regarding what types of email copy will get this person excited and eager to work with you.

Once you do, it’s time to open up that Word Doc and…

Step 3: Write A Highly PERSONALIZED Email

After you’ve studied your target inside out, you’ll have a bunch of ideas to work with. You’ll know what they like, what they need, what gets them excited, and how you can position yourself to appeal to their unique needs and desires.

Now comes the fun part:

Use what you know to personalize the email and position yourself accordingly.

Here’s a quick checklist to run through (after you’ve written your first email draft):

  • Is every word in my email creating the desired feelings in the reader?
  • Does the email sound like ANYBODY could have sent it to just about ANYBODY... or is it an email that only I could have sent to [e-mail recipient]?
  • Is the first sentence compelling enough for the reader to read the next sentence?
  • Is it quick and concise?
  • Does it get the reader's attention immediately? 
  • Would I open the email if I saw the subject line?
  • Did I flatter the reader?
  • Did I show the reader I actually know and give a hoot about them?
  • Did it answer the reader's most important question: "WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?" 
  • Did it make it super easy for the reader to say YES (the more complicated your ask, the lower the response. Rule 1: Always make it easy to say yes)
  • Did I position myself as someone who is high value (Note: high quality people want to work with other high quality people. Your email needs to get across that you are a high value person. You can do this by including stats of what you've accomplished, you can do this by including samples of past work you've created)
  • How is my email different from every other email this person receives? If your email doesn't stand out, it won't get response to, or even read for that matter. 
  • How is my email different from every other email this person receives? If your email doesn’t stand out, it won’t get responded to, or even read for that matter.
  • If you can achieve the above in your email, your response rate will go through the roof. But if you can’t get it right, worry not! That’s what the next step is for…

    Step 4: Troubleshoot Your Email Copy

    After you’ve written your first draft and gone through the above checklist, you’ll start noticing you did some things well, and you totally forget to do other things.

    Maybe your email is too long.

    Maybe your email is too boring.

    Maybe your email is burying the ask, or complicating it.

    Whatever the issue, you’ll know it’s all writing related. You’ll want to troubleshoot it before you send it out.

    Here is the quick and easy reference guide to troubleshooting your writing:

    • Spend most of your time on the subject line. If it doesn’t get opened, it doesn’t get read. The best subject lines for me have been: 
      • Quick Question
      • [Name] Open and read…
      • Yo
      • [Name]!

    • The first sentence of your email should start with ‘You’ (if you don’t talk about the reader’s best interest from the jump, you’ll bore them. Nobody cares about you. They only care about what you can do for them. Never forget this and you’ll go far)

    • Use their language.

    • Keep your words simple and your sentences (and paragraphs) short.

    • There is no such thing as a long email. Only a boring email. You’ll notice the email I shared with you was QUITE LONG. That’s because I needed more real estate to transfer the feelings I wanted the reader to feel. You’ll probably want to write MUCH shorter emails. But if you do decide to go long, always repeat your CTA throughout the email copy… so the reader doesn’t forget about the purpose.

    • Include a PS. Most people skim through emails and read the PS to get a quick summary.

    • If you’re going to use numbers in your email, use specific numbers.
      • Bad example: I have a site with 20,000 monthly viewers.
      • Good example: I have a site that generated 20,293 views last month.
      • The more specific, the more believable and impactful it is. Avoid generalities.

    • Transfer and build excitement in the reader by referencing and including samples of your past work. If you’re asking for a guest post opportunity, include posts you’ve written before and the specific stats they’ve achieved (comments, shares, backlinks etc.).

    • Every word should create and transfer an image of success and excitement. Get them to want to work with you. 

    Finally, you are ready to...

    Step 5: Test Your Email Copy

    Once you’ve gone through the above guide and tweaked your email, it’s time to send it out.

    Without testing, nothing is possible.

    So send it out!

    And then sit back and measure your results.

    Tip: If you can send 2-5 cold emails a day and test, test, test you’ll be able to grow your online business in the next three months. Easily.

    Here are the most important things you need to test, optimize, and re-test:

    • Subject lines
    • The first sentence of your email
    • The PS
    • How you transfer the feeling you want the reader to feel
    • How you position yourself
    • Your CTA

    Once you have a good sample of emails you’ve sent out, you’ll start noticing what works and what doesn’t.

    You’ll have a clear game plan for what subject lines to use, what types of emails to create, and how to best sell yourself.

    Once you do, the world will open up to you.

    And you’ll secure backlinks and guest post opportunities with ease.

    Bonus: Cold Email Outreach Templates

    I know I made things pretty simple and easy. 

    But the truth is: email outreach can be quite difficult… especially if you’re just starting out.

    I know because it used to take me days on end to come up with the perfect email.

    I would struggle, staring at a blank page for hours on end.

    I found templates to be of great help.

    So here are some templates you can tweak, personalize, and use to get started:

    1. Promoting Existing or New Content

    Subject: quick question

    Hey [Name],

    You’re busy -- I’ll cut to the chase.

    2 quick things:

    1. Since I know you’re interested in [insert topic that piques their curiosity here], I thought you’d like to know I recently published a massive post [insert word-count here] on [insert problem they’re interested in solving here] that [insert benefits of post here]. More importantly, I [insert additional benefits and value here].

    2. Would love to send it over to you if you’re interested… can I share the link with you?


    [sig block]

    PS - I only wrote this post AFTER I [insert accomplishment you achieved after using the contents of the post here].

    2. Guest Post

    Subject: [Name] Open and read... 

    Hey [Name], 

    I’m a HUGE fan (or should I say addict) of your site, [insert name of their site here]. After going on a binge reading spree, I saw you published this guest post from [author name] that really generated quite the engagement for you.

    I thought since that article blew it out the water for you, you may also be interested in publishing this article I wrote that solves the problem(s) your readers were experiencing in the comments section of the post by [insert guest post’s author name here].

    My article goes into detail about [insert article’s value prop here] and it has generated the following results for me [include stats]! I think your audience will love it. I’ve included it below for you to check out and republish if you’d like:


    Let me know your thoughts!

    [sig block]

    3. Link Building

    Hi [Name],

    I noticed you previously published a blog post covering [topic] here:


    I recently published a much more comprehensive and updated post that [insert benefits of post here]. More importantly, I [insert additional benefits and value here].

    Would love to send it over to you and have you share if you’re interested… can I give you the link?

    Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you!

    [sig block]

    Side Note: Want To Gain Access To More Email Templates And Build 50 Backlinks In Just 5 Months?  Check Out Our Link Building Blueprint


    As you can see, cold email outreach takes a bit of time (and patience) to perfect. It’s not a quantity game, it’s a quality game.

    The more effort you put into each email, the better your results and the higher your response.

    Follow the 5 step system and you’ll be well on your way to drastically growing your online business.

    Enjoy this article?

    Tell me your biggest takeaway in the comment section. 

    Amtej Dosanjh

    Amtej Dosanjh is CloudLiving’s Content Marketing Apprentice. He’s been an entrepreneur at heart since the age of five, having started off selling baseball cards and slowly... [Read full bio]
    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      Thanks Chris! Appreciate the kind words.

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      Thank you, Tania!

  • Wow Amtej!

    That is something I was looking for. I’m a big fan of Tung Tran and Jon Morrow now you are added to the list.

    That is an awesome post. Learnt a lot about email outreach and special thanks for the templates. It will help a lot in crafting new emails and getting responses as well.

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      Thank you, Shubhanshi. Means a lot!

  • Did you know what I hate most about Email templates?

    Subject lines!

    Many influenced blogger just include their email body text and explain why these emails converted. I like that very much.

    But if they include the subject of the email(because it was all about open rates) I’ve to share it with my friends (I feel it was my respect for the author).

    Keep up the good work Tung and Amtej

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      Agree, Pradip!

      Thanks for reading and the kind words. Greatly appreciated.

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