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Cold email

Email Teardown #1: A little more them > you

One of the best ways to learn something is to see it in action. Here's the first teardown (and build-up) in this content series, where we rewrite real cold emails. 

Before email - Scores 89 in Lavender 

Subject line: Congrats on funding 

Hi Will,

Congrats on your recent round of funding! I figured it’d be an opportune time to reach out and learn how you’re currently managing credit card spend at Lavender.

[Redacted company name] offers our own credit cards along with FREE spend management software to help you gain better control of recurring ads, vendors, software, supplies, and T&E spending, all while benefitting from up to 2% cashback

Given your funding, this would be an excellent opportunity to explore [company name]. Is it unreasonable to think that a quick conversation over the phone would be mutually beneficial? 


[Redacted name]

After email - Scores 93 in Lavender 

Subject line: Managing Spend

Hello Will,

Lavender’s seen quite substantial growth over the last six months. 

From onboarding marketing all-stars to quality engineering talent. 

One thing is for certain — they all have expenses. 

Teams going through similar growth use company credit cards and free spend management software to get more control over spend. 

How do you manage spend? 

PS. Congrats on the recent round. 

What we changed and why 

Let’s start with the original subject line: it’s a dead giveaway that this is a sales email. When someone scans their inbox, they engage their mental spam filter to determine which emails to open, ignore, or delete. 

A subject line like this triggers that mental spam filter and may send it straight to the trash. Use the subject line to make your email seem like it could be an internal email so your recipient is more likely to open it. 

Overall, the original email spent a lot of time talking about themselves and the offering rather than focusing on the recipient and their company. Focus on why you’re showing up in their specific inbox and how you can help them solve a potential problem. 

The rewrite also shows off some shortened sentences — the shorter and clearer, the better, as you have a matter of seconds to get your reader’s attention. Writing one sentence per line will also ensure your email is easier to read on mobile devices, where it’s 8x more likely to be read. 

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