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Cold Email Formula That Works

Hello, this is spam. Alternatively, if your unsolicited email does make it to the inbox, it's either deleted, blocked, or, in some cases if the prospect is feeling especially irritated, or blacklisted.

Not nice, is it? For the most part, cold emails do work like that. In most cases, avoiding getting blocked is the best-case scenario. You do not, however, receive a reply. Either receiving an unwelcoming email or selecting "send to spam" is the worst-case scenario.

They must call it "cold" for that reason, I suppose. Everyone dislikes the cold, after all. It's not as simple as it seems when it comes to writing an effective cold email. Every line matters and must pique the interest of your readers.

Fortunately, there are effective formulas you can implement to compose your copy and increase the response rates for cold emails. But before we get into that, lets us clarify what we mean by cold emailing and how it's different from spamming.

Cold Emailing Definition

Sending an email to a lead(or, in marketing and sales, the potential customer) without no prior conversations or knowing them personally is known as "cold emailing." Building a relationship with a person or company via cold email is intended to lead to future collaboration.

It is not necessary to start from scratch when cold emailing as a newbie; there are many battle-tested, easy formulas that can be used. We would review each formula of a cold email below, and it's up to you to customize it for your company. There is no one perfect solution that applies to all situations, so if one doesn't work well enough, try another and keep trying.

Let's take a look at some of the most well-known and successful ones, supported by real-world cold email examples.

Examples of Cold Email Formulas That You Can Use For Your Cold Email Campaign

1. Current - Future - Solution

Start with the current situation or issue that the potential customer is currently experiencing; succinctly describe it to your lead as it is their present. Tell them about a potentially better future in which all the problems are resolved. Finally, describe how your business/solution/etc. will help realize this wonderful future.

Here is an example using Poseidon as the solution:

Hi Frank,

I saw on your career page that you're hiring SDRs to make 40-50 calls each day. **{CURRENT}

I wanted to reach out because we at Poseidon work with companies that do cold calls to scale their efforts and helped over 100 companies like yours run personalized cold calls, quality prospect data, and real-time coaching for their reps. **{FUTURE}

Is this something you'd want for your company? Happy to discuss more details if this is interesting. **{WAY}


This email's body is based on the behavioral school of psychology, which holds that people are most motivated by pleasure and pain. You will get closer to your objective by leveraging both.

2. Short - Straightforward - Simple (SSS)

Better if it were shorter. People value simplicity and clarity. Don't go around in circles and omit all the extra adjectives. Build your SSS email using the following guidelines:

Short - Make it as brief as you can. Shorter emails produce quicker responses and improve your reply rate.

Straightforward - Cut right to the chase by being blunt. Describe your offer and why it might be beneficial or useful.

Simple - 5th-grade writing, keep it that way. Don't overly complicate your words or sentences. Remember to who you are sending this email. Don't be vague or make appointment requests.

The shortest email letters are produced using this cold email formula, so each word must be useful. Here is an example of a cold email using this formula:

Ash, looks like your company focus on outbound for lead gen. **{SHORT}

Poseidon helps reps scale outbound personalization and get accurate prospect data.**{STRAIGHTFOWARD}

Open to exploring?**{SIMPLE}


3. Question - Value - Closing (QVC)

One for the books. This is another superb email formula that aids in boosting response rates.

Q - question. Just one sentence, please.

V - Value proposition. This section should only have one to three sentences.

closing, or C - It's required to contain a single sentence and a call to action.

For this formula, here is an example of a cold email:

Clinton - when's the last time your SDRs personalized their whole sequence? **{QUESTION}

Your team might be finding it hard to research all prospects individually and send them personalized messages, as a result, they play the numbers game instead. With Poseidon what goes away is time wasted in prospect research and non-personalized messages. **{VALUE}

Would it be a bad idea to see how Poseidon does this? Happy to give you a "tour." **{CLOSING}


PS - Your article on SDR persistence and follow-ups changed the game for me.

Everything revolves around the advantages you can offer this potential client. In order to move on to the next step, we are concluding the email with one more question. This is the ideal spot for CTA (call to action). You can also spice it up with a little personalization.

4. Attention - Interest - Desire - Action (AIDA)

AIDA, which concentrates on a particular reader, is probably the most popular copywriting model. Your email will become more recipient-focused and personalized if you use this formula.

Additionally, an AIDA-based email will appear as something from a mutual friend than an email blast.

These are the components of AIDA:

Attention - A compelling subject line or opening sentence will grab the prospect's interest. Evaluate your target market to find out what will make them take notice of you.

Interest -- Once you have the interest of your intended audience, try appealing to their individual or professional interests. Point out the areas of concern. Focus on your prospect, not on yourself.

Desire - List all the advantages you provide and explain their worth. Leverage case studies, the scarcity effect, exclusivity, or descriptions of how your offer will transform your prospect's life to arouse desire.

Action - Now that you've gotten your lead's attention, aroused their curiosity, and increase their urge for your offer, it's time to ask them to take specific action as you close your email. Be clear in your instructions and avoid giving them too many choices.

For this formula, here is an example of a cold email:


We know getting positive responses from your outbound campaigns is not easy. **{ATTENTION}

There are 100+ other fintech companies reaching out to your prospect at the same time.Separating yourself from the pack guarantees more deals **{INTEREST}

Personalization. Multi-Channel. Social Selling. These are just a few things that can help you improve your outreach efforts. Poseidon provides you with this. Don't blend in like Waldo. **{DESIRE}

Let us help you get a quality pipeline. No more time wasted on activities that don't yield results. Can I show you how? **{ACTION}


PS - Big fan of Lakers, so we have a lot to talk about. Lebron in or out?

5. Problem - Agitate - Solve (PAS)

Finding a specific pain point is the foundation of the PAS formula. However, you are only adding salt to the wound rather than painting a picture of the glistening future devoid of this issue. It goes as follows:

Problem - Identify a sensitive area.

Agitate -- Emphasize the severity of this issue by delving into its details. Add examples, personal anecdotes, or references to sources that support your assertion.

Solve - At this point, you ought to be the champion with the answer to the issue.

Here is an example of a cold email that utilizes this formula:


Outbound is hard. You need one tool to get accurate prospect data, another to send out emails, a different one to automate your Linkedin outreach, and one to handle your cold calls. **{PROBLEM}

You need at least 3-4 tools for your campaign and 50% of the time the data is incorrect because the prospect has changed jobs, your emails end up in spam, your LinkedIn account gets blocked and you keep getting sent to voicemail. **{AGITATE}

Poseidon helps remove the numerous issues you face when it comes to outbound. It's an all-in-one tool that removes the friction you experience using multiple tools.**{SOLVE}

Would it make sense to take a look at it? No commitment or pitch if you don't fall in love with it.

With Love.

Your prospect must feel just the right amount of frustration from the Problem and Agitate factors for them to take action. Just make sure that the Solve component fully resolves them; never annoy a potential customer with a problem that your product or service is unable to resolve.

6. Star - Chain - Hook (SCH)

Originally intended as a marketing strategy, this SCH formula shares many of the same components as the AIDA formula, its essential components are more distinct and precise. You should take the following actions as you develop your cold email templates using this strategy:

Star - Introduce your idea, service, or product, as the star of the show. Make a compelling and upbeat opening.

Chain -- List several compelling reasons why your recommendation will make your recipient's life better. This part aims to pique the recipient's interest, which will then turn into desire.

Hook - Grab their attention with a compelling call to action.

The part on which you should concentrate is the chain. It ought to contain sufficient details to back up your star and hook. This could include distinctive information, reliable sources, endorsements, case studies, or important use cases.

Here is an example:


Finally, an all-in-one outbound tool. No more using 5 tools for your outreach. **{STAR}

Generate accurate leads, verify, send out emails, Linkedin messages and make cold calls all from one tool. No need to switch from one tool to another and miss out on deals. Save time and budget with no effect on quality. Go from spending $2k per rep on tech stack to just $300.**{CHAIN}

Poseidon is the right tool for startups like yours. Want to see how you can use it and book meetings with Restaurants that need your product?**{HOOK}

With Love.

This formula is excellent because it gives you a lot of creative freedom with your copy, making it ideal for experimenting with novel, out-of-the-box concepts. Include information about any current discounts or offers that will persuade your prospect to act sooner for better conversions.

Cold Email Tips For Beginners and Pros

Recipients' failure to open your email does not imply a lack of interest on their part. They might not have read the email because it wasn't clear or they might have been busy that day and missed it. To help with cold emails, we want to recommend some excellent tips.

Personalize Your Emails

Keep in mind that the person you're writing to receives a lot of sales emails; therefore, stay away from template-like elements like impersonal salutations (Hello, Dear, Hope this finds you well...), which will undoubtedly mean your email ends up in the "Deleted" folder.

Find out who you are writing to specifically and use their first name instead. Researching the recipient's interests or hobbies and mentioning them in the email opening line or emphasizing your shared interests at the PS line works. When done manually this takes time but with Poseidon, it's an easy task.

Be Customer Focused

Focus on your potential client's (or their business's) needs or problems and demonstrate how your company can help rather than highlighting your company's advantages and accomplishments.

It conveys your concern to your recipient and may act as a motivator for them to respond.

Avoid Long Emails

Remember that your email is cold so your prospect isn't sitting down somewhere expecting a cold email. If it is opened at all, that's an indication you're ahead of the pack. But in case it happens, the reader shouldn't be put off by the lengthy message.

Place your most important points near the beginning of your sentence after giving them some thought. Use short paragraphs, bullets, etc. to make your message easy to read and concise.

Specify The Next Action

No, it shouldn't sound like a call to action in an advertisement, but at the end of your message, ask the recipient to take the action you want them to---respond, contact you by phone or chat, visit your website, etc.

A question at the end of your cold email is also thought to be a great strategy because it can sometimes force the recipient to respond. Keep in mind all of the advice given above for the greatest impact.


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