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Cold email

Email Teardown #5: Short and simple subject lines

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

Before email - scores 88 in Lavender

Subject line: Ron - quick question

Hey Ron,

Your LinkedIn was impressive and I wanted to reach out directly:)

So we're helping (target group) from (location) to fill their cal with 5-12 calls with (their ideal customer) daily. If you let me have a call with you about how we can do the same for you,

I will send you a burger with UberEats:D

Are you free any time this week for a quick chat?



Reply “No thanks” if you wish to no longer receive messages from me.

After email - scores 97 in Lavender

Subject line: Series B

Hi Chelsea,
Noticed Lavender raised a Series A and is now growing the sales team.

Guessing new pipeline is a focus to get that Series B done successfully.

ACME company was in a similar spot.

They were able to add 8 calls with sales leaders to their calendars, daily.

Does that sound like something that could be helpful?


P.S. Saw you're a big fan of burgers. When we talk I'll get some sent to you for dinner!

What we changed and why:

While the original email was meant for a Chelsea, it is clearly addressed to a Ron. It also has some gaps that look as if they are supposed to be filled with text. We’ll ignore those things and focus more on the email itself :)

Like a lot of emails people write today, both the subject line and opening text (which often shows up as a preview in someones inbox), are likely to trigger the mental spam filter.

The subject line reads like a mass message. No need to include someone’s name, and to make a very general statement about someone's LinkedIn being impressive is also likely to get deleted.

Changed the subject line to what is likely a desired state. Short and simple, relevant to the business in particular. Looks like it could be coming from someone close to their business or internal.

The opening line is an observation, not only likely to catch their eye when filtering through the inbox, but also relevant to their business.

Including a very specific customer story about someone who was in a similar position is always going to grab attention. Backed by a very specific number. Showing you’ve helped other companies like them (social proof) is huge.

Finally, we opted to try to start a conversation with the prospect - not asking for a specific time on their already busy calendars. We’re seeing these types of CTAs as being the most effective. Asking for time directly can push a cold prospect away!

If you’ve got any irrelevant or silly personalization, it’s often best to leave that for the P.S.!

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