Sending a cold email can be an anxiety-provoking task, but it’s not without benefits. Sometimes, doing it the hard way makes for the greatest success story.
Why Send a Cold Email About a Job or Opportunity?
Reaching out to someone that you want to get to know is flattering for them, so don’t let your worries about getting in contact with a stranger deter you from sending a cold email. You just have to make sure that you send the right message to the right person.
What you write depends on what you want. Be direct about your intentions.
How to Craft Your Message
When crafting your cold email, keep things concise, professional and easy. The goal is to reach your goal with as little back-and-forth as possible. You don’t want to waste any of their limited time since they’re already giving you some of it by opening your email.
Before you sit down to write, you should start by asking yourself these questions:
Before Writing, Ask Yourself “What Do I Hope to Gain From This Cold Email?”
Then Ask Yourself, What Do I Have in Common With This Person?
Did you both attend the same university for undergrad? Do you have a friend or a previous employer in common? Mention it in your email. The person you’re reaching out to will be more likely to help you out if you share common interests or experiences.
Once you figure out who you want to email and what you need from them, format your cold email like this
Now Use This Cold Email Template
- Start by introducing yourself, telling the person what you do
- Note your common acquaintance(s) or shared interest
- Clearly outline how you think they can help you
- Include a direct ask, specifically a call-to-action. Do you just want to send them some questions about their job? Do you want to meet up and and potentially gain a new mentor? Include the specifics so they know how to respond
- If you’re looking to schedule a time to talk to them, make sure to include your availability so booking a meeting requires as few emails as possible
Bonus: Cold Email Subject Lines
1. If you luck out and have a common connection, try this:
“Anna, Mark Johnson recommended I reach out”
2. If you don’t know them but found and read some of their published work, try this:
“Ms. Connor, I loved your LinkedIn article on networking”
3. If you don’t have much to go on at all, offer value:
“Social Media Manager with Non-Profit Expertise Interested In Helping Your Team”
4. When all else fails, try a question:
“Any advice for someone who loves the marketing work you’re doing at Company X?”
(This is just an excerpt. For more, read all about cold email subject lines and our some of our favorite techniques.)
Keep Your Expectations Realistic
If you do meet with them to talk about their employer or industry, don’t show up expecting to hear that it’s an amazing place to work or thinking that this meeting is going to get you a job. Be honest with them and yourself about your expectations. If you really want to get the inside scoop on PR and marketing for a non-profit, then show up only expecting to have a conversation and learn something. If anything more comes out of it, that’ll just be a bonus.