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Are you planning on sending cold emails to land new clients?

Wondering how to write a cold call email your prospects will want to open and respond to?

Every day MSPs use cold emailing to connect with potential clients, build rapport, and secure appointments that might lead to new business.

But with prospects receiving so many messages, you might feel timid about your email breaking through that noise.

Lucky for you, that’s what I’m going to help you change.

In this post, I’ll give you a 20-point checklist you can use to write a cold email your prospects will open and respond to.

Ready? Let’s take it from the top then – your subject line.

#1. The Subject Line

The subject line determines the success of your campaign.

If you manage to engage prospects with it, they’ll open the email. Otherwise, your message will go straight to the bin.

Therefore, you need to write a subject line that will grab their attention and compel them to click it. In fact, as Heather R. Morgan, the founder of SalesFolk, a B2B sales emailing consultancy, says:

“The subject line is your gatekeeper, so 50% of email work should be spent crafting and testing different subject lines..”

And here are a couple of questions that will help you ensure it meets the criteria:

  1. Does it relate to your message? Your subject line should engage a prospect, true. But it should also hint at what you’re going to talk about in the email.
  2. Is it misleading? It’s OK to write a witty subject line but make sure you’re not trying to trick a person into clicking it.
  3. Are you using your prospect’s language? Put yourself in your prospect’s position. Will they understand it without having to unscramble the jargon?
  4. Is it relevant to them? Finally, does it relate to their needs and pain points?

Here’s an example of a misleading subject line.
email subject line

Granted, the sender did praise my work. However, he then proceeded directly to a sales pitch for their software.

Here’s another example. The subject line is engaging but misleading. It didn’t include a question but a sales pitch, coupled with direct links to the payment page.

In contrast, take a look at the email subject line that helped Heather increase her client’s open rate and won them 16 new B2B customers:


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If you’re unsure where to begin, check out these 37 sales email subject lines from Pipetop or a list of email subject line examples from Hubspot.

#2. The Opening Line

You know:

If the role of a subject line was to get a person to open the email, then the purpose of the first sentence is to get them to read the next line.

And the next one. And the next…

Sales people use different approaches to achieve this goal. Some use the Problem-Agitate-Solve formula:


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Others, ask questions or include information that makes the email relevant to the person:


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Regardless of the approach you choose, you must ensure that your opening sentence ticks the following boxes:

  1. Engages a prospect. It needs to make them want to read the next line and any other copy after that.
  2. Includes information that builds rapport. It could be information about things you have in common, or a question relevant to their pain points.
  3. Explains why you might be reaching out to them. It should hint at why you’re sending the email to them. What makes them a good fit for your company.

For inspiration, check out the Yesware’s 9 cold email formulas.

#3. The Message

Your email should try to achieve only one objective. You may want to get a person to agree to a meeting, review your product or download a lead magnet.

Whatever your goal is, you need to make sure that your message clearly explains it.

When writing it, ask yourself:

  1. Do you have a clearly defined sales goal for the email? What is the next step in the sales process you want a prospect to agree to?
  2. Do you focus on benefits or bloat about your business?

#4. Call to Action

A call to action is a line in your email, typically close to the end. It tells a prospect what you want them to do.

  • It could be a question about availability (i.e. “Let me know if Monday at 5 pm suit you”).
  • A suggestion to view your calendar/online scheduling software (“Click here to pick the best time to chat”)
  • Or a download link to your report or any other document you want to share with a prospect.

So, when writing the closing section ask yourself:

  1. Does your message close with a question that could be answered with a yes or no?
  2. Does that question relate to your key objective?
  3. Do you include links or instructions that tell the person what to do next?

Here’s how SalesFolk close their winning email:


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Yesware closes their emails with a strong call to action too:

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#5. Formatting

How you structure the message is equally important to what you say.

After all, you could write the most compelling message. But if you make it too long, use jargon, or spend too much time talking about yourself, your email will most likely flop.

When putting together the email, pay attention to the following:

  1. Have you kept the message short and to the point? According to Hubspot, email length is the second biggest email cold calling pet peeve.


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Justin McGill, the CEO of LeadFuze, an email outreach software company, recommends 5 sentences as the perfect length for cold emails.

  1. Is your mobile readable on a mobile device? If you’re using an outreach software to send emails, ensure that your template displays well on mobile.
  2. Does it read like written by a person or a robot? Today’s buyers are weary of robotic copy and expect at least some form of personalization.
  3. A person’s email client might block images and denote your message as spam.
  4. Do you use any exclamation marks in the message? Exclamation marks make your email sound pushy. If you have to use an exclamation mark, use it once. But if possible, avoid including them altogether.

#6. Signature

Finally, your email signature serves as a trust mark, reassuring a prospect that a real person stands behind the email.

Since you might use a dedicated software to send email cold calls, ensure that your signature includes the following:

  1. Your name, position, and contact details. This will tell a prospect more about you.
  2. Your social media profiles. They will help them learn more about you, both professionally and personally.
  3. Profile picture. Seeing a photo of a real person makes people trust the message more.

And, that’s it.

If you follow this checklist, you should end up with a cold email that includes all the right elements to make it compelling and engaging.

What’s left to do then is to identify who to send it to and start emailing.