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How To Write A Cold Email That’ll Get You A Reply

Chances are your emails suck.

Shocked to hear that? Well, you clicked on this link because you wanted to know how to write emails that get a response. Therefore, I can only assume that the reason you clicked is that you’re not getting replies.

Well, you’re in luck for a few reasons.

Firstly, it’s not overly difficult to write an email that gets a response and gets you what you want.

Secondly, you’re in the right place to learn how to do just that.

In this article, you’ll learn a few little tricks that I’ve used to get replies from marketers at some very well known digital startups. But don’t worry, you can use these ideas to create sale emails, pitches, whatever you like.

It’s worth noting though that this concept won’t work for you if all you do is copy/paste what I’ve written.

This article is aimed to show you why you should write emails like this and give you an idea of what tone of voice to use. It’s by no means a copy/paste template.

So what do you need to bring to the table?

Charm. That’s it. 



When was the last time you got an email from an individual person that made you laugh? Like, genuinely chuckle and smile, not just exhale audibly?

By writing an email that’s charming and humour-based, you’ll get this reaction.


Because people are very rarely charming and funny in emails. Furthermore, the people who you’re sending your email to receive a lot of dull, dry and boring emails every single day. They’re all business based, very formal and just not memorable at all.

But your clever writing and a little bit of humour can shake all this up. By talking to them like a human, and not just a suit and tie, you break down a facade that a lot of these people have up every day.

That’s a good thing. That makes you stick in the mind of people that can help you get what you want.

But what is it that you want?


When to use these kinds of emails.

Charming emails can be the basis of emails asking for just about anything.

  • Backlinks – for your blog, ecommerce store or anything
  • Guest posts – land guest post spots on popular blogs
  • Sales Calls – book a phone number with someone to seal a deal
  • Job interviews – get your foot in the door with a recruiter

You can be clever in an email no matter what you’re asking for. I have used them for just about all of the above, but also things like asking for content to be added to an email list.

The versatility of charming and witty emails is limited only by your imagination!


Added benefits of being charming

Before going into fine detail about writing a clever email, it’s important that you know some of the extra benefits of writing original emails, as this can affect the way that you write the emails.

One of the best things about crafting clever and memorable emails is that YOU are remembered, as well as the company you’re writing on behalf of. The person you’re emailing remembers your name because you made them laugh. You did something that everyone does but in a unique way.


Denzel Washington being smooth


This is great for personal branding. If you’re a freelancer or are looking to spread your name through certain circles, this is a potent approach. Include a link to your Twitter or LinkedIn profile in your email signature so that if the person emailing you really likes you, they can find out a little more about you.

The other added benefit is that you can often get a lot more ‘wins’ than what you just ask for. Look at the way I first discovered the Informi blog.

I found the article Planning your Christmas Marketing Campaign, and I thought that would be a great article to link to my company’s blog on Christmas Marketing Ideas.

I reached out to a marketer at Informi with a very clever email asking for them to update the article. I got the backlink, and because my reach-out email was well written, they asked me to write a blog on writing clever emails.

And you’re reading that blog now.

So, by writing a clever email, I’ve been given the opportunity to put my name and my company’s name in front of the Informi audience even more. More people will read my content and remember my name, plus my website gets more backlinks.

All this from a cleverly written email that’s just asking for a simple backlink.

So now you know why you need to write witty emails to get a reply, let’s take a look at how to create them!

When was the last time you got an email from an individual person that made you laugh? Like, genuinely chuckle and smile, not just exhale audibly? By writing an email that’s charming and humour-based, you’ll get this reaction. 

What to put in an email

Start from the very top when writing your email – start with the subject.


Subject line

This is without a doubt, the most important part of your email. This is the first thing that’s read and the most important part to get your email open.


  • Your sports team will lose this weekend
  • I’m making you an offer that you probably can refuse – if you want.
  • I can’t think of a witty subject line so I’m hoping this will suffice

Where in the rule book does it say that your subject needs to show what the email is about? The role of the subject line is to get the email opened. Use a tool like MixMax to track your opens and adjust subject lines accordingly.

Remember that the open rate is only a measurement of the quality of your subject.


Craft your introduction

So you’ve got your contact to open the email. The last thing you want to do is hit them with a simple ‘Hey’, ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’.

You need your introduction to be as memorable as your subject line and set the tone for the rest of the email.

  • Aloha
  • Howdy
  • Greetings and salutations

Use a greeting that’s obviously a greeting, but not commonly used. Then go on to craft the rest of your introduction and introduce yourself.



People don’t always like what they don’t know. So get that out of the way first.

‘You don’t know me, but my name is Sally’. 

This one line brings attention to their apprehensions (the fact that they don’t know you) while simultaneously solving that problem (you introduce yourself).


Make your request

Get to the point. Don’t waste your reader’s time with sweet talking or complimenting them.

‘I’ll get straight to the point – I’d love you to update your article with a backlink to my blog.’

‘I won’t draw you away from your exciting day-to-day tasks for too long – I’d love to contribute to your blog’

By getting to the point, your reader doesn’t have to consume too much fluff and straight away knows if you’re worth replying to. The wit and charm of your email will speak louder than your request as well.


Drop a punch line

‘If you follow through with the deal, I’ll come wash your car for the next 6 months’. 

There’s very little value in this, other than the fact that it adds a perceived value – your wit. Sure, you’re not going to go wash that person’s car, but it’s funny because it’s unexpected. It empowers the reader and makes them think ‘yeah damn, I do need my car washed actually’.

The other sections of your email need to be in there. This section clearly doesn’t, but it still does probably the most important part of your email – it adds a little comic relief.


Exit out of there

You’ve just cold emailed someone, and, depending on how you got their email address, there’s every chance that you’ve angered them with what they see as clickbait or spam.

That is, without a doubt, one risk you take when sending cold emails. But it’s a risk that can very well pay off.



Finish up with something punchy and honest.

‘I await your expletive-laden response.’

‘I’m looking forward to your understandably frustrated reply.’


Over to you

And that’s honestly it!

Your witty email doesn’t have to be overly long or complex. It’s actually best if it’s short and straight to the point.

I’ve found this concept is most effective when you send several emails spaced out over the period of a few weeks.

Like all things in digital marketing, it’s about testing, fine-tuning and figuring out what works best for you. Get out there and get creative with your emails. Let me know which ideas work best for you in the comments below!

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Phil Forbes is a hairy Australian guy living in Warsaw, Poland, writing and marketing content for Packhelp. In his spare time, he takes care of his travel blog and enjoys his dog, Dinosaurs and Star Wars – in no particular order.

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