Use This 4 Part Framework To Write Cold Emails That Actually Get a Response

Use This 4 Part Framework To Write Cold Emails That Actually Get a Response

Have you ever cold emailed the CEO of a public company?

When I was 18 I sent out 20.

I knew I needed advice to build my company, and figured they might have the answer…

… so I found the list of top tech CEO’s at the time, and sent them an email with a simple question:

Everyone argues that it’s who you know (network), what you know (education) and perseverance (not giving up) that are required to be successful.

If you had to pick just one of these three, which would it be?

That was it, very little context, super specific with an ask…

My favourite response was from Mark Cuban (this was 15 years before he ever invested in my company, and to this day I don’t think I’ve told him this :).

Choosing all 3 when everyone else is picking 1.

Pure Cuban.

Sending outbound emails to potential customers that could be facing challenges you can help them with is a POWERFUL strategy.

IF you do it right.

Most mess this up because they don’t personalize it, they send out thousands of broad and non-targeted messages and they don’t come from a place of service.

Now when I was 18, I didn’t know the 4 pieces of a great outbound email, but in this week’s video I’ll share with you how to craft your message that gets a positive response every time.

To generate customers, high responding cold emails need to have these 4 parts to work properly.

If you forget one, they’ll fall flat…

  1. Research: Open with a personalized sentence. Show you’ve done your research.
  2. Reference: To similar customer, situation or experience you have.
  3. Reward: You have to give, to get. Provide value.
  4. Request: Have an ask. Quick call. Meeting in town. Reply with answer.

Also, it’s important to write it like you would to a friend.

Short, simple and not needy.

One of the biggest reasons cold emails don’t perform is because they look like a sales email within the first 2 seconds.

The easiest way to fix this is to reframe things in your mind as “I want to serve this person, but first I need to know if we’re a fit, so it’s not about selling, but instead digging deeper to assess if we’re a fit or not.”

Don’t sell. Serve.

If you reframe all your cold outbound emails using this approach it will come off as natural, helpful and super generous.

Now, before you hit send, check your local email laws as every country has their own restrictions.

But don’t let that stop you.

Anyone can email another person asking to be of service…. The key is to nail the email structure to get a response.

Hope this serves.


  • Julie Gordon White, B/Coach

    Hey Dan! Thanks as always. So here’s my question: What about the subject line? Is there a subject line or two that you have found the people can’t resist opening? Thanks in advance for your brilliance!

    • Dan Martell

      anything with their name in it usually does the trick.

      I do have one that crushes for my clients but if I share it’ll be overused.

      hope that makes sense.

      post ones you’re thinking about and I can provide feedback.


      • Julie Gordon White, B/Coach

        Thanks Dan and makes perfect sense. I’m going to use their name in the subject line today… wish me luck! 😉

      • Goli

        Hi Dan – what about using the name of their portfolio company (if reaching out to a VC who’s portfolio company you’ve served before)?

  • Lora Johnson

    Feedback welcome:


    I’ve recently appreciated some of your marketing videos. I also enjoyed your presentation last year at Oulton College where I teach some accounting.

    My firm, Johnson Accounting, provides bookkeeping and cloud systems design. The majority in the accounting field are sluggish when it comes to embracing the cloud based services that small businesses could benefit from. However, Xero cloud accounting alone has over 500 apps that integrate with their accounting software. Not only are we happy to use these services for our clients, we also help businesses choose and set up the right SaaS products that will automate their operations.

    If you think your clients would benefit from cloud accounting implementation,, I would be happy to show them some custom solutions.

    All the best,

    Lora Johnson

    • Dan Martell

      Lora, email me / [email protected] – do you know how to migrate Simply or Quickbooks to Xero?

      That would be a huge value add.

      LMK. Email ^


  • Markus Baskets

    You’re so right! We need to focus on the specific problem of the company that we send email to. Our point is to help them to solve their problem. Thanks for your article Dan.

    • Dan Martell

      It’s always about their problem. Glad that resonated Markus.


  • Laszlo Alt

    Awesome video, though I am cautious with the unsolicited email laws that are in place for Canada. How does this affect B2B in Canada vs US?

    • Dan Martell

      Laszlo, I definitely recommend you follow local laws… other than that I can’t comment of legal matters / hope that makes sense.


      • Laszlo Alt

        I did some research and found B2B cold emails are legal here at least in Ontario.

        • Dan Martell

          Perfect, got crazy 🙂


  • Jay Lee

    Hey Dan, where can I find the 80 cold email templates that you had? It was awesome but I can’t seem to find it.

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