Cold Email Structure 101: How to Build Emails that Get Clicks

Cold Email Structure 101: How to Build Emails that Get Clicks

Cold email is undeniably effective as a way to generate leads, but it can be challenging to actually create one.


We’ve previously gone into great depth on cold email copywriting in general, so today we’re going to give you a quick crash course in how to structure your cold emails.


Here are our tips and tricks for structuring successful cold emails.


Cold Email Structure 101: How to Build Emails that Get Clicks


Tip #1: Don’t Waste Time

This ties into content creation, of course, but it bears mentioning in this context as well. When you’re planning how you’re going to structure a cold email, be concise and don’t waste the reader’s time.

You don’t want to give them any reason to close and delete the email – cold contacts have plenty of that already.

That means keeping your email structure clear and readable. Don’t just throw a wall of text at them – format it nicely.


Tip #2: Nail the Subject

We’ve covered subject lines in detail before, so we won’t dive too deep into it here. That said, here are our biggest quick tips:

  • Use personalization: If you include a personalization token in your subject line, such as first name or company name, you will likely see a big jump in open rate.
  • Identify a pain point: If your subject line mentions an issue that the contact has, and that your solution really does solve, they are significantly more likely to open your message.


Tip #3: Open with a Problem

When your subject line mentions a problem the contact has, you’ve got the perfect opening for your body content as well.


Here’s an example. Let’s say you sell office chairs that are particularly durable. If your target audience is companies whose office chairs break all the time, then your subject line could be something like “<Company>’s Chairs Breaking Too Often?”


Then you could open your email with “Flimsy chairs are a common problem in many offices. That’s why we strive to create the most durable office chairs on the planet.”


Obviously this is a humorous example, but you see what we’re getting at. If you hook them with a subject line that identifies one of their problems, and then reaffirm that you do in fact have a solution to that problem, your credibility jumps.



Tip #4: Build a Case

Once you’ve shown that you get the problems that your contact is facing, you should build a case for your solution.

That means highlighting what benefits your solution offers, a brief description of how it works, and clear next steps.

Along the way, try to predict and remove as many roadblocks as possible. For example, if the sort of solution you offer is typically a pain to integrate, mention that yours integrates quickly and easily – but only if that’s true.

Every argument you make in favor of your product or solution should be completely true. Otherwise, you’re setting your contact up for disappointment – and yourself up for failure.


Tip #5: Place a CTA Prominently

A strong call-to-action button is your friend. However, where you place it can have a big impact. If you tuck your CTA away in, say, the top right corner of your email, nobody’s going to notice it.


And yes, I’ve seen exactly that, just recently in my inbox. It took two glances before I realized that blob of color was not a logo, and was meant to be clicked. I didn’t click it.


Instead, make sure your CTA button jumps off the screen and is front-and-center in your message. A typically good place for it is centered just beneath your body copy.


Another position is in the middle of your copy as a separator between two paragraphs. Use this if the first paragraph leads naturally into a call to action.


Don’t use “Click here” or other generic calls to action. If at all possible, use something more descriptive. “Read the Article”, “Download the White Paper”, “Get a Demo” and so on all provide more clarity and will generate more clicks.


Tip #6: Include a Signature with a Photo

When I talk about creating cold campaigns, my favorite phrase is: the best cold emails don’t feel cold.


You should strive to make your message feel as personal as possible without coming across as doing so. As soon as you cross that line from subtle into overt, it reads like a marketing gimmick and has the exact opposite effect.


One way to subtly remind your contacts that you’re an actual human, and subtly build that connection, is to include a signature with a small profile picture.


A nice professional smiling headshot is ideal for this.


Putting It All Together

All the tips above come together to form a structure like this:

  • Personalized subject line that touches on a pain point
  • Mention the problem your product solves in more detail
  • State that your product solves the problem
  • Explain briefly what benefits the contact will get from using your product
  • Explain briefly how your product works (don’t dwell on this, though)
  • Place a CTA button that clearly indicates the contact’s next steps
  • Close with a signature including a warm, friendly photo


Follow this structure and send campaigns with proper email lead generation software, and you’re well on your way to success.




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