4 min read

SDR Game #5 - Cold emailing 101: How to write the perfect email

Bonjour 👋

Happy Sunday to 721 motivated SDRs.

Here's 1 simple tip on how to write the perfect email

Today's newsletter takes about 4 minutes to read.

Happy reading.


PS: just saw that the email address I was using to send this newsletter wasn't my email address, just changed it to bonjour@elriclegloire.com so now when you reply I'll get the email.

How to book a meeting with a person that you don't know or have never met?

It can start with a simple email.

But when you know that your prospects can receive up to 100 emails per day, how to stand out?

By sending a relevant email to your prospect.

Unfortunately, a few SDRs do it. They prefer to send templated emails and wonder why they don't get a reply.

Last year, Kyle Coleman analyzed his inbox for 10 days.

He received 84 emails:

  • 82 templated emails
  • And only 2 personalized emails

If you personalize your emails, you'll stand out.

A lot of SDRs don't personalize their outreach.

Today, we are going to talk about how to write a cold email.

5 parts of the perfect email:

  1. Subject line
  2. 1st line: be relevant
  3. 2nd line: what your product does
  4. 3rd line: social proof
  5. Call to Action (CTA)

Cold emailing 101: How to write the perfect email

The first thing your prospects will see in their inbox on their phones or computer are:

  • Subject line
  • Your name
  • The first line of your email

Your subject line and your first line are the most important elements of your emails to get your email opened.

#1 Subject line

1 of the 3 elements that pick your prospect's curiosity to stop scrolling through their inbox and open your email.

The length depends: with automated emails I use 1-3 words and 5-8 words with personalized emails.

For my personalized emails and subject lines, I use:

  • {{prospect first name}} - about [[your LinkedIn post/your LinkedIn profile, etc]]
  • {{prospect's CEO name}} words, not mines
  • {{other prospect first name}} suggested I talk with you
  • {{prospect first name}}, question about {{topic}}

With those personalized subject lines: 70-90% open rate.

Short and generic subject lines (Around 40-60% open rate in the US) :

  • demo form
  • {{Your company name}}
  • idea for {{prospect company name}} website
  • videor for {{prospect company name}}
  • for {{prospect first name}} ...
  • {{prospect first name}} + {{Your company name}}

#2 First line

The most important line in your email

It affects your open rate.  

In a cold email, you don't know your prospect.

Be relevant by showing that you've done your research and you have a reason to contact them.

In your first line, you need to show: what you know about your prospect, their company, their industry, etc.

And it needs to be relevant to what your product does.

It doesn't matter to say: "I saw you went to UCLA"

It's not relevant to why you're reaching out.

Don't do this with your first line:

  • I hope this email finds you well
  • I'm following up because I didn't get a reply to my previous email.
  • Our customers chose Chili Piper to help them grow their top-line revenue.  
  • Let me introduce myself
  • My name is Elric and I work at Chili Piper

What you need to do instead:

  • I was scrolling on LinkedIn and saw your article, one line that stood out to me was {{line that stood out to you}}
  • I was scrolling on your website and saw {{observation}} on your demo form.
  • Saw on LinkedIn that you are hiring 15 SDRs in London and that ...
  • I've listened to your podcast episode {{Name of the episode}} and I really liked when you talk about {{topic}}

2nd line: what your product does

In 1 line you need to explain 1 problem you solve and how.

You need to adapt it to your buyer persona.

If you prospect 3 different buyer personas, you need 3 different ways to explain what you do.

To create this, you need to speak with your customers, watch demos, read your customer case studies, or read the G2 reviews of your products.

For each persona you need the answer to those questions:

  • Why did you buy?
  • What problem did you want to solve?
  • What were you afraid of before buying?
  • What's your favorite part of the product?
  • What's changed the most?
  • How would you describe what we do to another persona? (VP of sales, VP of HR, etc)

#4 3rd line: social proof

Robert Cialdini defined social proof as people doing what they observe other people doing

So it could be G2 reviews or your customers.

The mistakes that I see all the time and that you need to avoid:

  • Mention your most famous customer when your prospect is a 50 people company.
  • Talk about a company from a different industry
  • Talk about a company that is 10x times bigger than the of one your prospects

What you need to do with social proofs:

  • Talk about a common VC from your prospect and your company or with your customers
  • If you sell to VPs of HR, talk about how you help other VP of HR
  • Talk about their direct competitor
  • Your prospect sell to restaurants and their direct competitor is not one of your customers? Talk about other customers who sell to restaurants too.

#5 Call to action

Most SDRs think the number 1 goal of prospecting is to book a meeting.

But it's not.

It's to pick your prospect's curiosity and then start a conversation.

Mistakes to avoid:

  • Send your booking link
  • Ask for 30 min of their time

What you can do:

  • Interested to learn more about this?
  • If you are interested, let's hop on a call?
  • Worth exploring?
  • Can I send you more information?
  • Watch this video
  • You can learn more about this in this article


  • Subject line
  • 1st line: be relevant
  • 2nd line: what you do
  • 3rd line: social proof
  • Call to Action (CTA)

So, there we go. Thanks for reading.

That's all for this Sunday. 1 simple tip for SDRs.

Quick Reminder: If you like my emails please do “add to address book” or reply.

See you again next Sunday.



Enjoy the newsletter? Please forward to a friend. It only takes 10 seconds. Writing it takes me 3 hours.

New round here? Welcome. SDR Game here. Join the newsletter here :)