Top Six Cold Emails They Ever Sent – And Why They Worked

In our line of work, we get a lot of cold emails. We get one that really stands out. It’s actually a cold email that came from a guy who owns a company called Skyhound. He’s a software engineer and he wrote a post about cold emails that he claims to have sent to thousands of people asking them to hire him. The post has over 6,000 comments (mostly complaining about how shoddy it is), and there are more than 30,000 views on the post.

Cold emails are a great way to get past the gatekeepers and start a conversation with an organization you are interested in, or if you need to get the attention of a specific person at that organization. The problem with cold emails, however, is that they’re rarely written properly. Most of the time they’re just a copy-and-paste of a sales email with a few rearrangements.

The first cold email you send out is crucial to your business success. Even if you don’t plan on staying in touch with your contacts, you should still do it. Initially, you will be rejected most of the time. However, if you keep sending cold emails and follow up with emails that show you are interested in the person’s business, you will eventually be able to get a response. Here are a few of the best cold email messages I’ve ever received.. Read more about best cold emails 2024 and let us know what you think.

As you construct your campaigns, cold email templates are a fantastic method to master the fundamentals of email copywriting. Wouldn’t it be even better if you could learn from the most successful cold emails ever sent?

To get you started, I’ve compiled a list of six of the greatest cold emails ever sent by marketers and salespeople, along with the elements that made them successful. Read through the samples below and use what you’ve learned to make your cold email marketing more effective.

1. The “Congratulations on your new role” email that prompted a lead to request a meeting

Caroline Ostrander, HubSpot’s Manager of Freemium Services, contributed to this article.

Scenario: I wanted to connect with a prospect who had just started their new job, so I reached out to express congrats and establish rapport right away.

What’s the end result? The prospect eventually requested a meeting.

This is the email I sent: congratulations cold email example

Why Does It Work?

Many things contribute to the success of this email. It:

  • Uses the prospect obtaining a new job as a trigger event.
  • To increase the open rate, choose a subject line that is both intriguing and familiar.
  • Previous attempts to assist the business are mentioned, as well as the names of coworkers.
  • Relates to the situation by implying that stepping into a new position is difficult.
  • My skill is presented very briefly.
  • Instead of asking for a time on the prospect’s calendar, offers an open-ended inquiry to elicit a response.
  • It’s a good idea to propose a meeting when the prospect responds. I utilize HubSpot Meetings to cut down on back-and-forth communications. This allows the prospect to easily arrange a call by selecting a time from my calendar that is convenient for both of us.


2. The Expert Connections-Creating “Quote Request” Email

Ryan Robinson, Writer/Content Marketer at, is a contributor.

Scenario: We intended to utilize our Close blog to offer upfront value before asking our prospect for anything in return, like as a partnership or other hands-on cooperation.

This strategy was used to create the most successful email I’ve ever sent. The following is our procedure:

  1. Request a quote from the company founder, executive, or business influencer for use in a future story on which they’d want to comment.
  2. Publish our blog article with their quote and begin aggressively marketing it.
  3. Reconnect with them to provide an update and express gratitude for their contribution to the article.
  4. In such email, emphasize early successes (number of social shares, traffic, any features on publications).

In a post distributed to our blog readership and email list, we prominently featured our collaboration opportunity. When we ask for a deeper engagement, whether it’s a partnership, participation in a podcast or virtual summit, a promotional request, or anything else, this gives us a lot more trust.

cold email template example for featuring on a blog

Why Does It Work?

This cold emailing technique works so effectively because we approach our first cold emails by offering value (rather than asking the receiver to perform an action that is mainly for our own advantage).

3. The Job-Gaining “Unorthodox Application” Email

Raul Galera, Partner Manager at Anafore, is a contributor (the company behind ReferralCandy and CandyBar)

Scenario: I had just turned 25 in August of 2016. On AngelList, I saw that ReferralCandy was recruiting for a “remote OK” sales job. I was intrigued, but while having worked at startups, I had no prior expertise with SaaS or even the e-commerce sector.

So, at first sight, I wasn’t the best choice for the job. I understood that sending my CV/LinkedIn profile through AngelList in the conventional manner would almost certainly result in my application being rejected.

Instead, I decided to send a customized cold email to ReferralCandy’s CEO, Dinesh Raju, outlining my experience, abilities, and, most importantly, what I could offer for the company. Because it landed me the job, this email had a significant effect on my professional (and personal) life.

unorthodox cold email example

Why Does It Work?

Each part of this email was meticulously designed to achieve the desired outcome. Here’s what I did for each of them:

  • The first paragraph and the subject line are as follows: The email’s summary – Forget about the fact that I didn’t complete my second statement – your referral program software*. My first paragraph was just a synopsis of what the email would be about. I introduced myself and explained why I was contacting you. Dinesh may have been pleased that I was able to get his email address and figure out how to contact him.
  • Second paragraph: Clarify the situation – I went right to the point and stated briefly: 1) the jobs I was interested in, and 2) why I was a good match for them. I hate wasting people’s time, so anytime I’m sending a cold sales email, I strive to make sure the person on the other side of the computer can understand my objectives right away. Again, this might have been an audition for a genuine job.
  • Third paragraph: Call to action – The most essential element of every sales email is the call to action. We all know the rules: just include one call to action, make it simple to comprehend, and make sure your recipient understands precisely what they need to do to proceed. In my instance, I provided many methods for my receiver to contact me, but I could also have inquired about their availability or recommended a couple dates for a possible call.

I ended my call to action with the phrase “work together.” Give before you get, and show the receiver what you can do for them, is something I always suggest when writing a cold email, particularly if you’re searching for a job.

This isn’t new information, and every cold email tutorial will tell you the same thing, but it’s critical to frame it well so you stand out from the throng. In this instance, I wanted to stand out from the crowd of “other individuals seeking for a job at ReferralCandy,” so I decided to “give assistance” rather than simply “ask for a job.”

  • Other pertinent facts (fourth paragraph) – I can presume the reader is interested in what they’re reading if they’ve read this far into the email. As a result, I included a short section with more information. A link to a relevant case study or blog post that discusses a particular issue that impacts your prospect and how you can solve it would be the sales outreach cold email equivalent of this.

4. The Ingenious “Success Check-In” Email That Resulted in Several Prospects Scheduling a Meeting

Taylor Dumouchel, Marketing Strategist at Peak Sales Recruiting, is a contributor.

Scenario: Andrea Nellestyn, my colleague and Head of Sales Enablement, wanted to work on a unique initiative to attract the attention of her target client list.

Hiring managers on the account list were looking for top-level sales executives (our area of expertise) through conventional recruitment techniques like job advertisements. We understand how time-consuming and difficult it can be to filter through hundreds of unqualified applications sent in response to job advertisements, so we decided to target those pain areas via a unique medium — a customized video.

What’s the end result? Our response rate increased by 83 percent, and we were able to schedule many meetings as a result.

Here’s one of the emails we used as an example:

how to ask for a referral - just checking in example email

Why Does It Work?

This email does a lot. It:

  • Has a hyper-personalized and timely subject line that includes the recipient’s first name and business to boost open rates.
  • Refers to a current job post as well as typical recruitment pain issues the business may be facing.
  • Uses a customized video thumbnail with the prospect’s name to signal that this is a personalized video rather than a generic “explainer” video.
  • It discusses how Peak can assist sales executives in attracting top sales talent in their community.
  • Lightly inquires about the effectiveness of the present recruiting strategy. It does not attempt to offer services right away.
  • Allows you to schedule a meeting straight in Andrea’s calendar.

5. The Email With The “Flattering Ask” That Helped Build Backlinks

Mark Lindquist, Marketing Strategist at Mailshake, is a contributor.

Scenario: For a customer of mine, Pandadoc, I wanted to implement a link-building strategy to promote content. The aim was to develop connections with the individuals we were interacting with, as it is with any outreach we undertake to promote content.

On this outreach, we had a 90% open rate and a 66% response rate. As far as I can tell, the high success rate was due to a combination of providing a clearly useful offer, making it simple for the receiver to take advantage of it, and writing content that was short and clear.

One of our objectives for this customer was to establish connections with other content producers in our industry. Considering that we were a relatively underdeveloped blog, working with these businesses on co-marketing efforts made a lot of sense for the client at the time, given that there are a lot of sales blogs out there run by companies that aren’t rivals but target the same consumers.

The outreach we conducted was founded on the notion that the simplest way to connect with someone is to offer them something valuable in exchange for free. We found that providing a link to their website and a favorable review of them on our blog was the simplest and most scalable method to do so.

The post was essentially a ‘best sales blogs’ listicle. This is what the outreach email looked like:

cold email for backlinks example

Why Does It Work?

There are many factors that contribute to the success of this email:

  • Personalization — For the outreach, I utilized Mailshake, which enables you to upload a.csv with text replacement fields and personalize parts of your email. Anything enclosed by brackets in the email was replaced with content tailored to the individual or the blog. This also applies to the topic line. In the email, I tell them precisely what I’ll be talking about and utilize their blog name to grab their attention.
  • Straight to the point — On the first line, I explain what I’m doing and why I’m writing, as well as a little flattery. I tell them precisely what I want from them on the second line. This also makes it simple to scan through the email. There is a lot of white space and very few words.
  • Low-friction inquiry – All I ask is that they provide a brief description of their blog (which many of them already have as boilerplate information) and a link to their greatest post.
  • This is the simplest backlink these blogs will ever receive, apart from the flattery/coverage of being featured on a top blogs list. That’s also why I ask for a link to their greatest blog post – they may offer me an article they’re trying to promote, and I’ll give them something more in return.

6. The Most Effective Cold Email For Attracting New Clients (Hyper-Targeted Outreach)

Laura Lopuch is a writer who contributes to Copyhackers.

Laura sent 328 cold emails to prospective clients as a new freelance writer, with a 56 percent open rate and a 9 percent positive response rate. As a consequence, she was able to increase the size of her company by 1,400 percent in only four months.

Here’s an example of one of her cold emails, along with the answer she got from one of her leads:

targeted cold email

Why Does It Work?

Laura discusses how essential research was to her approach in her Copyhacker piece. She focused her research on the following topics:

  • She was sending an email to someone she didn’t know (aka her reader).
  • Their current job title.
  • How long have they been in that situation?
  • Recent events/achievements involving that person (aka flattery).
  • Their company’s recent news (aka flattery).
  • Any new projects that their firm is working on or has just published.
  • Information about them that is relevant to her offer.

Laura was able to make her communications more relevant to her receivers by using this information. She could not only tailor her messages to the intended audience, but she could also factor in what she thought her receivers’ business objectives were to produce a more effective email. “Do the hard work and put your message into perspective for your reader,” she advises. Forget about the details and instead structure the discussion to keep it on track.”

You Can Write Your Own Cold Email

Use these examples as a starting point. Don’t duplicate them verbatim – not just because plagiarism is against the law, but also because the particular combinations of variables that made these messages effective for their senders are unlikely to apply to you.

Instead, consider the many arguments raised in the “Why It Works” sections. The reality is that the greatest cold emails are the ones you write specifically for your own needs, rather than using an email template you found online.

Do you have a favorite cold email template? Please share it with me in the comments section below.

You’ve been in the sales industry for a while, but have you ever heard of the cold email? The cold email is a form of a email that is sent from a trusted source to someone you don’t know. The goal is to do 2 things: 1. Make the reader feel comfortable 2. Give them value. Cold emails are an effective way to introduce your brand and get a response.. Read more about cold sales email examples and let us know what you think.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • cold emails that get responses
  • cold email to potential client
  • funny cold emails
  • cold email
  • cold email marketing