Structuring Cold Emails: Comprehensive Guide for 2024

Created On:
December 25, 2023
Updated On:
February 22, 2024
How to structure a cold email | Smartlead

Composing a cold email is not rocket science, but it can surely make you feel confused if you’ve never done it before. Writing cold emails requires both copywriting skills and a deep understanding of the target audience. 

Although millions of cold emails get sent daily, only a few marketers or SDRs succeed. And what’s common among all of them? A structured cold email strategy. 

In this blog post, let’s discuss structuring a cold email. This comprehensive guide will help you compose effective cold emails to conquer outreach in 2024. 

The Tone of Your Cold Email 

The ideal tone for cold emails should balance professionalism, friendliness, and relevance. It's important to create an approachable, respectful email that aligns with the recipient's preferences. Here are key considerations for setting the right tone:

  • Professionalism: Maintain a professional tone throughout your email. Use proper grammar and ensure that your message reflects professionalism suitable for your industry.
  • Personalization: Personalize your email by addressing the recipient by name and referencing specific details about their company or role. This shows that you've done your homework and are genuinely interested in their business.
  • Friendliness: Add a touch of friendliness into your email to make it more inviting. However, be mindful not to overdo it or come across as overly casual, especially in formal business contexts.
  • Clarity and Simplicity: Keep your language clear and simple. Avoid jargon or complex language that may confuse the recipient. Aim for straightforward communication that conveys your message effectively.
  • Respectful Language: Use respectful language that acknowledges the recipient's time and autonomy. Avoid overly aggressive or pushy language that might be off-putting.
  • Relevance: Tailor your tone to be relevant to the recipient's needs and challenges. Frame your message to resonate with their interests and pain points.
  • Empathy: Express empathy by demonstrating an understanding of the challenges the recipient may face. This helps build a connection and show that you're focused on providing solutions.
  • Positivity: Infuse positivity into your email. Focus on the benefits and solutions you offer rather than dwelling on problems. A positive tone can make your message more appealing.
  • Adaptability: Be adaptable to the recipient's preferred communication style. Some may appreciate a more formal tone, while others may respond better to a conversational approach. Gauge the context and adjust accordingly.

Remember, the tone of your cold email should align with your brand identity and the expectations of your target audience. Testing different tones to see what resonates best with your specific audience and industry is often beneficial.

Subject Line 

In 2024, writing an effective subject line for cold emails requires a careful balance of creativity, relevance, and brevity. Start by capturing the recipient's attention with a concise, engaging message that sparks curiosity or addresses a specific pain point. Avoid generic or overly salesy language, and personalize the subject line whenever possible. Consider incorporating numbers, emojis, or a touch of urgency to stand out in crowded inboxes. Aim for around 5 to 7 words, keeping it short and impactful for mobile users. Regularly test different subject line strategies to identify what resonates best with your target audience, and stay attuned to current trends in email marketing to ensure your subject lines remain compelling.

Read more: Exploring the Psychology Behind Irresistible, Compelling Subject Lines

Here are examples of effective cold email subject lines:

  • "Quick Question About [Recipient's Recent Achievement]"
  • "Struggling with [Specific Challenge]? Here's a Solution."
  • "Unlock [Benefit] with [Your Company]"
  • "Last Chance for Exclusive Access!"
  • "How [Industry Leader] Improved [Outcome] with Us"
  • "Can We Help You [Achieve Specific Goal]?"
  • "Insider Tips to Boost [Relevant Metric]"
  • "Join Us for [Event/Webinar] on [Topic]"
  • "Revolutionize Your [Recipient's Role] Strategy"
  • "Your Next Breakthrough Awaits"

Remember to adapt these examples to your specific context and personalize them based on your recipient's interests and challenges. Testing different subject lines with your audience is key to understanding what resonates best and optimizing your cold email outreach strategy.

  • Think about the length and the fact that less text is visible on a mobile.
  • Forget about click baits and CAPS LOCK... it's just not worth it
  • Don't reveal too much, but get people intrigued and excited
  • Not sure what subject line is better? Let the market decide by A/B testing it!


In cold emails, greeting your prospects appropriately is crucial for setting the tone and establishing a connection. Begin with a professional and personalized salutation, addressing the recipient by their name. This adds familiarity and demonstrates that the email is tailored specifically to them. The tone should be respectful and considerate, avoiding overly formal or casual language. Striking the right balance in your greeting contributes to the overall impression of your email, making the recipient more receptive to your message. A well-crafted greeting sets a positive tone for the rest of the email, fostering engagement and increasing the likelihood of a favorable response from your prospects.

Here are examples of greetings in cold emails:

  • Formal Greeting: "Dear [Recipient's Name],"
  • Friendly and Casual: "Hi [Recipient's Name],"
  • Professional and Inclusive: "Greetings [Recipient's Name],"
  • Personalized Greeting Based on Time of Day: "Good [Morning/Afternoon/Evening] [Recipient's Name],"
  • Including a Personal Touch: "Hope this finds you well, [Recipient's Name],"
  • Acknowledging Recipient's Title: "Hello [Title] [Last Name],"
  • Adding a Touch of Curiosity: “Curious if you're free to chat, [Recipient's Name],"
  • Starting with a Relevant Compliment: "Impressed by your work, [Recipient's Name],"
  • Expressing Appreciation: "Thank you for your time, [Recipient's Name],"
  • Combining Professionalism and Warmth: "Dear [Recipient's Name], I hope this message finds you well."

Remember to choose a greeting that aligns with your brand, the context of your outreach, and your familiarity with the recipient. Personalizing your greeting adds a human touch and increases the chances of making a positive impression.

First Line

The first line of a cold email is critical as it sets the tone and determines whether the recipient will continue reading. It should be engaging, relevant, and tailored to capture the recipient's attention. Consider starting with a personalized introduction that connects with the recipient's interests, challenges, or achievements. For example -

  • "I was impressed by your recent [specific achievement or project]."
  • "As a fellow [industry/profession], I understand the challenges you may be facing."
  • "Given your expertise in [specific area], I thought you might find our [product/service] beneficial."
  • "Ever wondered how [industry-specific improvement] could impact your [relevant outcome]?"
  • "Our [product/service] can help you [achieve a specific benefit or goal]."

The key is to make the cold email opening line immediately relevant to the recipient, demonstrating that you've done your research and offering something valuable. Avoid generic or overly promotional language in the first line to ensure it resonates with the recipient and entices them to continue reading.

Pitching the Offer

Pitching an offer in cold emails requires a delicate balance between being persuasive, concise, and respectful of the recipient's time. Here are some tips on effectively pitching an offer in cold emails:

  • Understand Your Audience: Before crafting your pitch, thoroughly research and understand your target audience. Tailor your offer to address their specific needs, challenges, and interests.
  • Personalize Your Email: Start your email with a personalized greeting. Mention specific details about the recipient or their business to demonstrate that your message is not a generic mass email.
  • Capture Attention with a Strong Opening: Craft a compelling and concise opening that grabs the recipient's attention. Clearly state the value proposition or benefit they will gain from your offer.
  • Highlight the Problem and Offer a Solution: Identify a pain point or challenge your prospect might face and position your offer as a solution. Clearly articulate how your product or service addresses their specific needs.
  • Emphasize Benefits, Not Just Features: Focus on the benefits of your offer rather than just listing features. Help the recipient visualize how their life or business will improve by accepting your proposal.
  • Persuasive Language: Choose persuasive and positive language to convey your message. Use words that evoke emotion and appeal to the recipient's desires or aspirations.
  • Provide Social Proof: Include testimonials, case studies, or success stories highlighting how your offer has positively impacted others. Social proof can build trust and credibility.
  • Offer a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA): Clearly state the next steps you want the recipient to take. Whether scheduling a call, requesting a demo, or making a purchase, make the CTA explicit and easy to follow.
  • Create a Sense of Urgency: Add a sense of urgency to your pitch if appropriate. Communicate limited-time offers, discounts, or exclusive deals to encourage prompt action.
  • Keep it Concise: Cold emails should be brief and concise. Avoid overwhelming the recipient with too much information. Focus on the most critical aspects of your offer.
  • Address Objections Proactively: Anticipate potential concerns or objections the recipient might have and address them in your email. Provide reassurances and additional information to alleviate doubts.
  • Follow Up Strategically: Follow up if you don't receive a response. Send a polite and concise follow-up email reiterating the critical points of your offer and emphasizing any deadlines or special incentives.
  • Track and Analyze Metrics: Use tracking tools to monitor the performance of your cold email campaign. Analyze open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to optimize your approach.

Remember to refine your pitch continuously based on feedback and data, and be prepared to adapt your strategy as needed. The goal is to engage your prospects and encourage them to take action based on your value.

Call-to-Action (CTA)

Writing effective cold email calls-to-action (CTAs) is crucial for encouraging recipients to take the desired action. However, it's recommended not to add any CTAs or attachments to the first email. Send a plain text email as your initial message and then send a follow-up containing a clear CTA. Here are some best practices for crafting compelling CTAs in cold emails:

  • Be Clear and Direct: Clearly state the action you want the recipient to take. Avoid ambiguity, whether it's scheduling a call, downloading a resource, or making a purchase.
  • Add Only One CTA: It's best to keep one CTA per email. Multiple CTAs often confuse the prospects and weakens the main CTA.  
  • Do Not Hard-Sell: Hard-selling with sales-y words should be avoided in cold emails altogether. Your goal is to build a connection with the prospect and move them through the sales funnel, at their pace. Instead, focus on offering value to their needs.
  • Highlight Benefits: Clearly state the benefits or value the recipient will gain by taking the desired action. Focus on how it solves their problems or fulfills their needs.
  • Personalize When Possible: Tailor your CTA to the specific recipient, addressing their pain points or needs. Personalization can increase the relevance of your message.
  • Keep it Concise: Limit your CTA to a few words or a short sentence. The goal is to convey the message quickly and clearly without overwhelming the recipient.
  • Test Different Variations: A/B test different versions of your CTAs to see which ones perform better. Experiment with wording, placement, design, and other elements to optimize for engagement.
  • Align with Email Content: Ensure that your CTA is aligned with the rest of your email content. It should flow naturally and feel like a logical next step for the recipient.
  • Mobile-Friendly Design: Many people check emails on mobile devices, so make sure your CTAs are easily clickable and visible on smaller screens. Test your emails on various devices to ensure responsiveness.
  • Include Social Proof: If applicable, include social proof such as testimonials or success stories to add credibility and influence the recipient's decision to take action.

Remember, the key is to make it easy for the recipient to understand what you want them to do and why they should do it. Tailor your CTAs to your specific audience and continuously refine them based on performance metrics and feedback.


In conclusion, mastering the craft of compelling cold emails involves more than just placing words together—it requires a strategic and structured approach. You can create emails that resonate with your target audience by maintaining a delicate balance of professionalism, personalization, and relevance.

Remember, a well-crafted cold email is a powerful tool for outreach, and success lies in understanding your audience, adapting your tone, and providing value. Whether you're capturing attention with an engaging subject line, establishing rapport through a personalized greeting, or pitching an offer that addresses the recipient's needs, each component plays a vital role in the overall effectiveness of your outreach strategy.

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Author’s Details

Sattwik Das

Sattwik is a Digital Marketing professional at Smartlead. He is a dedicated content writer who focuses on juggling words to bring out meaningful content. He is experienced in well-researched and SEO-optimized content creation, content editing, and copywriting for various businesses throughout the globe. His expertise in SEO, SMM, and SMO with a touch of creativity helps businesses grow and maximize their credibility and sales.


Edited by:

Sattwik Das


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Frequently asked questions

General Questions

What is Smartlead's cold email outreach software?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Smartlead's cold email outreach tool helps businesses scale their outreach efforts seamlessly. With unlimited mailboxes, fully automated email warmup functionality, a multi-channel infrastructure, and a user-friendly unibox, it empowers users to manage their entire revenue cycle in one place. Whether you're looking to streamline cold email campaigns with automated email warmups, personalization fields, automated mailbox rotation, easy integrations, and spintax, improve productivity, or enhance scalability with subsequences based on lead’s intentions, automated replies, and full white-label experience, our cold email tool implifies it in a single solution.

How does the "unlimited mailboxes" feature benefit me?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Our "unlimited mailboxes" feature allows you to expand your email communications without restrictions imposed by a mailbox limit. This means you won't be constrained by artificial caps on the number of mailboxes you can connect and use. This feature makes Smartlead the best cold email software and empowers you to reach a wider audience, engage with more potential customers, and manage diverse email campaigns effectively.

What do you mean by "unibox to handle your entire revenue cycle"?

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The "unibox" is one of the unique features of Smartlead cold email outreach tool, and it's a game-changer when it comes to managing your revenue cycle. The master inbox or the unibox consolidates all your outreach channels, responses, sales follow-ups, and conversions into one centralized, user-friendly mailbox.

With the "unibox," you gain the ability to:
1. Focus on closing deals: You can now say goodbye to the hassle of logging into multiple mailboxes to search for replies. The "unibox" streamlines your sales communication, allowing you to focus on what matters most—closing deals.

2. Centralized lead management: All your leads are managed from one central location, simplifying lead tracking and response management. This ensures you take advantage of every opportunity and efficiently engage with your prospects.

3. Maintain context: The "unibox" provides a 360-degree view of all your customer messages, allowing you to maintain context and deliver more personalized and effective responses.

How does Smartlead ensure my emails don't land in the spam folder?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Smartlead, the best cold email marketing tool, ensures your emails reach the intended recipients' primary inbox rather than the spam folder. 

Here's how it works:
1. Our "unlimited warmups" feature is designed to build and maintain a healthy sending reputation for your cold email outreach. Instead of sending a large volume of emails all at once, which can trigger spam filters, we gradually ramp up your sending volume. This gradual approach, combined with positive email interactions, helps boost your email deliverability rates.

2. We deploy high-deliverability IP servers specific to each campaign. 

3. The ‘Warmup’ feature replicates humanized email sending patterns, spintax, and smart replies.
4. By establishing a positive sender reputation and gradually increasing the number of sent emails, Smartlead minimizes the risk of your emails being flagged as spam. This way, you can be confident that your messages will consistently land in the primary inbox, increasing the likelihood of engagement and successful communication with your recipients.

Can I integrate Smartlead with other tools I'm using?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Certainly, Smartlead is designed for seamless integration with a wide range of tools and platforms. Smartlead offers integration with HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, Clay, Listkit, and more. You can leverage webhooks and APIs to integrate the tools you use. Try Now!

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What type of businesses sees the most success with Smartlead?

No, there are no limitations on the number of channels you can utilize with Smartlead. Our multi-channel infrastructure is designed to be limitless, allowing you to reach potential customers through multiple avenues without constraints.

This flexibility empowers you to diversify your cold email outreach efforts, connect with your audience through various communication channels, and increase your chances of conversion. Whether email, social media, SMS, or other communication methods, Smartlead's multi-channel capabilities ensure you can choose the channels that best align with your outreach strategy and business goals. This way, you can engage with your prospects effectively and maximize the impact of your email outreach.

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Do you provide me with lead sources?

Smartlead distinguishes itself from other cold email outreach software by focusing on limitless scalability and seamless integration. While many similar tools restrict your outreach capabilities, Smartlead offers a different approach.

Here's what makes us uniquely the best cold email software:

1. Unlimited Mailboxes: In contrast to platforms that limit mailbox usage, Smartlead provides unlimited mailboxes. This means you can expand your outreach without any arbitrary constraints.

2. Unique IP Servers: Smartlead offers unique IP servers for every campaign it sends out. 

3. Sender Reputation Protection: Smartlead protects your sender reputation by auto-moving emails from spam folders to the primary inbox. This tool uses unique identifiers to cloak all warmup emails from being recognized by automation parsers. 

4. Automated Warmup: Smartlead’s warmup functionality enhances your sender reputation and improves email deliverability by maintaining humanized email sending patterns and ramping up the sending volume. 

5. Multi-Channel Emphasis: Smartlead places a strong emphasis on multi-channel outreach. You can reach your prospects where they are with the LinkedIn outreach feature.   With Smartlead’s cold email automation software, you're always one step ahead in your outreach efforts, enjoying the freedom to scale your initiatives and seamlessly integrate with other tools—all while maintaining a focus on maximizing the impact of your outreach.

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How secure is my data with Smartlead?

Ensuring the security of your data is Smartlead's utmost priority. We implement robust encryption methods and stringent security measures to guarantee the continuous protection of your information. Your data's safety is paramount to us, and we are always dedicated to upholding the highest standards of security.

How can I get started with Smartlead?

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Getting started with Smartlead is straightforward! Just head over to our sign-up page and follow our easy step-by-step guide. If you ever have any questions or need assistance, our round-the-clock support team is ready to help, standing by to provide you with any assistance you may require. Sign Up Now!

How can I reach the Smartlead team?

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We're here to assist you! You can easily get in touch with our dedicated support team on chat. We strive to provide a response within 24 hours to address any inquiries or concerns you may have.

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