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  • Writer's pictureGrant Ongstad

4 (Silly Easy) Do’s and Don’ts of the Cold SaaS Email

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

Of all the emails you get every day, how many do you open? Better yet, how many do you read all the way through?

I bet you could count them on one hand, not including your thumb.

Your prospects are the same. Selling SaaS is challenging, prospects are getting bombarded daily.

I’ll be completely honest with you - they’re probably not going to open your email.

But they might…

Here are 4 Do’s and 4 Don’t that will increase the odds your cold email will be opened and read.

DO – Make the Subject Line Interesting

It all starts with the subject line. 64% say that the biggest reason for opening and email is the sender. As an anonymous SaaS provider, that’s out..

Next is the subject line at 47%. Remember, they’ve got dozens of unread emails. What do they open?

What would you open?

Here are some ideas for creating compelling email subjects

Name the problem.

What problem does your prospect have that you think your product can solve? For example, if your product is a cyber security platform, you could write ‘end phishing attempts forever’ or ‘How not to get hacked in 2022’

You’re betting here that this problem is somewhere in their mind, or that they’ve spent some time thinking about it.

They may want to continue reading to find out how to solve it.

Ask a Question

Questions do great for open rates. When people are asked a question, they’re naturally more curious than if they’re just being told something.

Surprisingly enough, the vaguer the better. Here are some examples:

When’s the last time you were phished?

Want to know how not to get hacked?

Or my personal favorite, albeit sleazy - “What do you think of this?”

Make your question short that elicits intrigue or curiosity.

Shorter is better than longer

I won’t spend much time on this, but generally shorter subjects are better than longer ones. There is some debate here but try to keep it less than 10 words and if you can make it shorter. Do it.

Don’t – Use fancy templates

Don’t waste time designing a beautiful looking email for a cold prospect. First, it’s not worth the effort. Second, they don’t care. Third, it’s more likely to land in spam.

Instead, start with a plain text email from a named sender. The idea is to write an email like you’re writing to a colleague, or a coworker.

Keep it personal, keep it brief and focus your reader on your message, not your design.

A few lines is enough.

Do –Include Proof

If your product can solve their problem what’s your proof? Do you have testimonial or reviews? Use them.

Proof establishes credibility and shows that you’ve addressed problems like theirs.

Don’t – Give your life story

I get it. You think your product and the service you provide is great. There will be a time and a place to talk more about who you are, your mission, values, and your product features in detail.

A cold email just isn’t the time. Keep it brief and concise

Do – Offer a gift

This is the oldest trick in the copywriting book and for good reason. People love free things. They always have, and they always will. A gift is a great way to incentivize action, when done right.

I’m not saying offer a free beer koozie or a meaningless trinket.

The gift has to someway relate to your product, or make sense in the context of your product offering.

For example, if you’re the cyber security company, the gift could be a whitepaper packed with studies and statistics on cyber threats or an eBook on cyber security best practices.

It could also be a free trial of your product or consultation. This is an opportunity to take them to your website or landing page.

Don’t –forget a clear call to action

“Click here to learn more”, sounds suspicious and vague. What will I learn?

Give the prospect something specific to do next. What is the next step if they are interested? The call to action doesn’t have to be to purchase your product.

Likely, the cold email is not the place to do that. It may be a link to a calendar to book a consultation or download a whitepaper.

It could even be asking for a ‘reply’ by ending in an open-ended question.

“Would this be something that may interest you, perhaps? Is better than NO call to action, but

“What cybersecurity threats are you most worries about?” asks an open ended questions and provides an opportunity for the prospect to engage with you.


Like anything, there is a right and a wrong way to do anything. Your email may be cold, but you don’t have to go into it blind. There are entire industries and studies dedicated to understanding how humans are persuaded to act - ask the community and learn from others.

At WeWriteSaaS, we help our clients reach more customers by writing compelling copy and content. You don’t have to go it alone. Send me one of your cold email’s for a free critique at

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