Even with the rise of social media, email continues to be a marketing powerhouse. Unlike with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where companies have to fight against algorithms for exposure, email is still the only way to ensure that 100% of your contacts see your email.

According to McKinsey, email marketing is 40x better at winning new customers than social media.

And with email use expected to top 3 billion users within the next two years, it is a forum where nearly every business can create targeted messages for lists of customers and leads that speak directly to their unique needs.

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When you are reaching out to a cold lead, it takes the right cold email opening lines to see a return on your effort.

For many people, when they sit down to draft a cold email opening line, they want to explain who they are.

“Hello, My name is Jane Doe and I work for ABC Company.”

Unfortunately, not only is this information your lead can find in your signature line, but it wastes the opportunity to immediately spike curiosity, offer value, or establish trust.

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Good cold email opening lines will do one of these things and great cold email opening lines will do all of them.

If you’ve ever wondered how to craft a powerful cold email opening that will catch a lead’s attention and cause them to read further, there are five powerful techniques you should try.

5 Effective Cold Email Opening Lines You Should Steal

1. Name-drop a common connection.

This is a great way to tap into the power of word of mouth without waiting for someone else to send prospects your way. One of the best cold email opening lines immediately turns a prospect warm via a common connection.

If your first sentence mentions someone they know and trust, it ups your credibility and relevance immediately.

Of course, only do this when you have the blessing of the person you’re referencing, but once you have the green light, this tactic is incredibly powerful.

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This technique can be used in a lot of different ways – from a solid referral to an opening to discuss how you’ve helped someone else.

Examples: “I have been working with [Connection X] on …”

“[Connection X] said I should reach out to you.”

2. Mention something you have in common.

The technique above doesn’t just have to apply to people. You can use any detail to establish a connection and build rapport. Science has shown that people tend to like others that remind them of themselves.

Since these are tips for cold email opening lines, you won’t know your connection. Heading to social media is a great way to find these nuggets of information whether that’s finding out you both went to the same college on LinkedIn or learning that they loved Mean Girls too from a tweet.

Examples: “We have something in common – both are Brown alumni!”

“I wanted to reach out because I noticed that you are also a member of [industry group]…”

3. Throw out a compliment.

Everybody loves to know that their work is appreciated or that their accomplishments are noticed. A recent promotion or award is a perfect opening to offer your good wishes and possibly spark a conversation.

LinkedIn makes this easy as it updates you on contacts’ recent job changes and promotions.

You can also use a recent article, blog post, webinar, or another piece of content to warm up cold email opening lines. Finding something that relates to the product or service you’re selling is a great way to set up the platform to discuss your value offer.

The sky’s the limit here.

Examples: “Your TedX Talk was incredibly inspirational – I really appreciated your thoughts on [topic] in particular.”

“Congratulations on your recent promotion to [title]!”

4. Offer unique insight into their problem.

This is a great way to craft cold email opening lines that offer immediate value. You can use an interesting statistic or fact about your industry to underline your expertise and your solution.

You can also use high-quality content as well – a thorough whitepaper or a helpful webinar offers value without asking for anything in return. That will get your lead thinking if you offer this much value for free, how much you could accomplish for a customer.

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Examples: “What if I told you that …”

“I recently read this amazing white paper on [topic] and thought of you.”

5. Try out the Zeigarnik Effect.

More commonly known as click bait, the Zeigarnik Effect is when you raise curiosity so your lead continues reading. This is named after a psychiatrist that found that humans cannot stand unfulfilled curiosity.

If you pique a lead’s interest with your cold email opening lines, chances are good your lead will keep reading. That’s why headlines like “You won’t BELIEVE #12!” still work even though they are clichéd. Once someone sees that, they want to open the article and scroll to #12.

Word to the wise, however, unlike click bait, you don’t want to promise something either in your subject heading or opening line that the rest of the email does not deliver.

If your lead clicks into your email to read it and you don’t deliver what you promised, you will hurt any chances you had of making a good impression.

Example: “I saved one client $100,000 in one week with a simple trick.”

Make it personal.

Finally, when you are writing cold emails to prospects, it’s important to tailor each email to each prospect. Each of these tricks relies on you tapping into a common ground that you have with a prospect.

Even if it isn’t immediately obvious, there is likely something you share with a lead you can use to break the ice.

If your company is looking to expand its email marketing and ROI with fresh leads that fit the image of your company’s ideal customer, consider Growbots.

From finding target markets to crafting sales campaigns, Growbots makes email marketing easy and effective.

Do you have a trick for writing cold email opening lines that work? Let us know in the comments.

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Kasia Kowalska

Kasia Kowalska

Content Manager at Growbots. Reading good copy makes me want to sing.