Optimizing Email Content | Your Cold Emails Suck, But They Don’t Have To

Your Cold Emails Suck, But They Don’t Have To

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Learn how to start optimizing email content and start standing out.

Optimizing Email Content

In a cold email, our goal in every sentence is to get the prospect to read the next sentence. It’s tough.

Here’s what the average cold email framework looks like:

what the average cold email framework looks like

As you might imagine, it’s pretty hard to stand out when you look like the average. If you’re not offering something prospects can’t live without, you’re probably getting ignored or deleted.

Here’s the step-by-step process your prospect uses for opening your email:

Subject line

  • Intriguing? Open it.
  • Vague & boring? Ignore it.
  • Obvious sales pitch? Delete it.

Attention getter

  • Interesting? Read on.
  • Obvious? Ignore it.
  • False? Delete it.

Value prop

  • Related to problem I’m experiencing? Read on.
  • Doesn’t resonate? Delete it.

Call to action

  • No benefit to me? Delete it.
  • Benefit to me? Take action.

That being said, there are many ways to test deviating from the norm in order to drive better results:


There’s an old adage in journalism: “‘Dog bites a man’ is not news. ‘Man bites a dog’ is news.”

When we see something out of the ordinary, it draws our attention. Sometimes just reordering the way we present the information in our email can cause a prospect to stop and think, “Wait, what?”

In this example we’ve reordered the information and combined several concepts into a single sentence.

In this example, we’ve dramatically shortened the copy. While you may also be able to draw attention for a lengthy email, it may be difficult to get your prospect to read through it all during a busy inbox review.

Email is a unique medium. Unlike the phone, we can switch out graphics for text to really stand out from the crowd.

*Small warning: using an image in the body of a cold email may affect the deliverability of that email (it can get flagged as spam). This tactic may work best as a follow up strategy to get a prospect to reengage.

You can even add unique details to the beginning, middle, or end of an email to drive interest. Here are three examples:

You’re going to be tempted to go and try all of these right now.

But here are two things you absolutely must keep in mind if you’re trying to stand out with your emails:


If you’re just trying to get attention, but your value proposition does to resonate with the prospect, it’s all for naught. You have to have something worth acting on. Your offer has to be worth accepting.

Don’t try these tactics with the expectation that they can solve your problem if you aren’t selling to the right prospects.


If you use something too crazy, you can come off as unprofessional. Remember that you represent your brand and your product every time you fire off an email. Don’t do something your company wouldn’t be proud to call its own.


You know you should be standing out, but where do you start?! We’ve put together this free PDF so you have a quick reference guide with 6 ways to make your email stand out.

Download Now


What tactics have worked for you to stand out in your prospect’s crowded inbox? Drop a comment below, connect with us on LinkedIn, or contact us here and let us know!

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