The Best Cold Email Examples: The Ultimate Guide

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Cold emails can often end up in the junk folder or sent straight to spam. To avoid this problem, it’s important that you build an email that’s personalized, clever and thematic. In this article, we’ll look at the best cold email examples to avoid common pitfalls that get your emails deleted. We’ll also discuss what makes these email examples so great and how you can leverage these strategies yourself.


Cold email example No. 1: Focus on the prospect

More often than not, emails focus on you and your product rather than the prospect and what they need. These ill-fated emails usually start with a dump of features, flashy logos and some reviews from customers. The problem with this approach is that the recipient usually just tunes you out. Practically, this means your email winds up in the junk box, or worse, gets reported as spam.

How do you avoid this problem? Focus on the prospect instead! Rather than making the email about you and your company, make it about who you’re reaching out to. Let’s take a look at what a well-tailored prospect-focused email looks like:

SUBJECT LINE: Sales Reciprocity and Problem-Solving Blog

Hi X,

I recently read your blog post about sales reciprocity and problem-solving versus product pushing. As a fairly new associate, it ended up giving me some great insights into how to develop myself professionally.

At the same time, it seems like a great opportunity to reach out to you since I saw you had also downloaded some of our content.

Given your passion for helping clients solve their problems through sales, I can only imagine that you’re coaching your team on these issues as well. I’m guessing there’s more I could learn from how you improve your team’s approach to better interact with clients and boost revenue.

Do you think we could explore this further? I’d appreciate learning more about your business and how we can help.

All the best,

What makes this cold email great?

  1. It starts with making it about the buyer and NOT the seller! In this case, the email references a blog post written by the prospect.
  2. It utilizes a pattern interrupt.
  3. The email continues to discuss information about the buyer (ideally, you could take this content from their LinkedIn bio or social media). 
  4. It finishes with a call to action that doesn’t feel threatening.

In the end, it probably took five minutes of research to learn about the prospect and then another few minutes to write the email. It comes off as genuine and specially written.


Cold email example No. 2: Personalize your message and build a theme

This leads us to our next example. Remember to take the time to personalize your message! If every email is based on the same template and is a copy-paste mess of information, they end up coming off as just another sales pitch.

The best way to avoid this is to identify a special interest that the buyer has, then incorporate that into your email. This means integrating their interests into the value proposition and the call to action.

Let’s take a look at example No. 2:

SUBJECT LINE: Out of Bounds? Or Traveling with the Ball? Managing a Sales Team

Hi X,

Being a basketball coach and sales leader, you’re aware that, unlike during coaching, it’s not always easy to know if your sales team is consistently playing by the rules since you can’t monitor every account they have.

As a mom and former HR manager, I’ve experienced firsthand the difficulty of ensuring everyone follows the rules, especially when it comes to clients with sensitive needs or large accounts.

However, insights into your reps’ approaches and how they conduct sales conversations can help ensure they aren’t on the court fouling the other team. Crunchbase’s lead management solutions can help keep you apprised of your team before you have to put players on the bench.

Do you experience any of these challenges in your work? If so, would you like to learn more about how Crunchbase has helped others score more 3 pointers?


What makes this cold email go “swish”?

  1. Used a clever subject line: In this case, Jim is a big basketball fan and a coach when not working as a sales executive. How does Marissa know this? By glancing at his LinkedIn profile. There, Jim talks about growing up in Kansas and attending Kansas University (“ROCK, CHALK, JAYHAWK!”). This quick background information took only moments to learn.
  2. Utilizes a hook and theme: “As a basketball coach and sales leader, you’re aware that, unlike during coaching, it’s not always easy to know if your sales team is consistently playing by the rules since you can’t monitor every account they have.” This hook and theme connect the basketball theme to the rest of the email and show some clever wordplay to maintain interest.
  3. Builds credibility: Marissa introduces her own experiences that show she knows how hard it can be to manage a team and expectations when there are multiple stakeholders.
  4. Incorporates theme into CTA: Finally, the email concludes with a CTA that ties together the basketball theme to score.

Cold email example No. 3: Utilize reciprocity

Psychology shows that people are obliged to return the favor when they receive a gift or service first. So, why not leverage this in your next cold email? This strategy can work wonders when trying to get your foot in the door and jump-start a sales relationship. Sometimes, a small gift can make all the difference to how your cold email goes:


Hi X,

USPS notified me that they delivered your gift today. Did the package arrive? I hope that porch pirates didn’t beat you to the treasure. 🏴‍☠️🏝

I thought I’d take a shot at grabbing your attention by sailing a box of treasure your way. I know it’s a bit corny, but since the summer is starting to feel almost Caribbean, I figured you and your family might enjoy the chocolate coins 💰 and pirate eye patches while you hunt for a place to cool off!

Per Sam, I know we’ve reached out in the past, and you’ve heard about our work at Crunchbase before, but I thought we could reconnect for a quick educational chat. That way, when your firm goes back on the search for the perfect sales solution, Crunchbase is on your map.

If you think this email marks ❌ the spot, would you be open to setting aside some time next week?


How does this email sail a meeting into port?

  1. Scott utilizes the law of reciprocity by sending a gift straight to Chris. Although it might seem a little corny, a small gift like this is unexpected and makes Scott the first to give. A business plan can help you map out how reciprocity can help your business.
  2. The email was personalized by mentioning Chris’ family. A quick look at his social media tells us that Chris has small children, and what family doesn’t like playing dress-up? The combination of pirate theme and reference to the summer weather makes this a fun surprise.
  3. Creativity takes center stage. Again, the email and gift are corny, but we’ve all dealt with “porch pirates.” Sending a gift straight to your prospect with a creative twist is a great way to catch their eye.
  4. Scott did his homework and mentioned that Sam had already reached out. This shows that Scott has already done research on the account. Finally, the email closes with a soft suggestion to set aside time the next week, which is far superior to making a hard suggestion.

Wrap up

In the end, utilizing data and a little background research can go a long way when sending out a cold email. Find a pitch that works with your prospects, and don’t forget to save it as a template to reuse whenever you need it!

Kiara Taylor headshot

Kiara Taylor is an expert on the integration of finance and technology. She writes about the impact of both micro and macro trends on global finance.

  • Originally published May 27, 2022