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[Hemingway Corner] Analysis of a Cold Email About SEO Services

Reading time 3m 42s
Hemingway Corner

Hooking readers so that your emails receive the attention they deserve requires two elements:

  • A compelling subject line (that isn’t too clickbaity that it triggers spam)
  • A captivating opening line

Your opening line is prime real estate that you don’t want to let go to waste.

Opening lines should:

  • Avoid generic intros (more on that below)
  • State why you’re reaching out
  • Make an observation about the recipient

There are many possible approaches for your opening, such as mentioning a recent blog or LinkedIn post, a shared connection, or a recent event or conference. Ultimately, your approach should make your email feel alive and keep readers from losing interest.

Here’s a closer look at a cold email that could have started with a stronger opening.

Cold email example

This is a cold email we received in late April:


I hope you are doing well.

I am representing a full-service Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Agency, that delivers high-quality Service’s to your needs at lowest prices.

Making your brand look good

·         SEO, SMO, SMM, PPC Campaigns

·         Branding, Logos, & Graphic Design

·         Content Writing, keyword research, Reporting

·         Digital Strategy Consulting

·         Photography & Videography

·         Website Audits

Other Service are-:  Web design and Mobile apps services at affordable prices etc.

Let me know if you are interested, I will send you our SEO Packages and price list!

Kind regards,
Business Development Executive

The Good

Here’s what the email did well:

  • Tone – The writer keeps a friendly tone throughout the email.
  • No link – Currently, outbound best practices maintain that first-touch emails should omit links since links increase the chance that cold emails will be marked as spam. 
  • Call to action – The email ends with clear next steps. Specifically, if the recipient is interested, the sender will provide additional info and pricing.
  • Signature – The sender signs off using their name and position, which adds a bit of professionalism and credibility to the message.
  • Different subject line – Whether or not email subject lines should include emojis depends on personal preference. However, emojis are a simple way to help make your email more visually distinct and appealing, helping it stand out in crowded inboxes (so long as not everyone’s using emojis).

The Bad

Now here’s what went wrong:

  • Unclear value proposition – This email doesn’t explain any unique value or competitive advantage that could compel the recipient to want to use the agency’s services. As a result, it’s up to the reader to fill in the blanks on how SEO would help them.
  • No personalizationLack of personalization is a big red flag in modern outreach. It prevents emails from looking generic, shows you’ve done some research into the recipient, and keeps your email from landing in spam. This email doesn’t use the recipient’s name, company, or any other personalized info.
  • Grammar and punctuation errors – Emails don’t need to be 100% grammatically correct. However, too many errors will look unprofessional and a bit careless, and this email has several.
  • Bad opening line – Cold emails have to hook the recipient from the first sentence. While the email doesn’t go ‘slim shady’ and start with “Hi, My name is…”, it does start with the next-worst option, i.e. “Hello, I hope you are doing well.” In the end, if you don’t lead off with value, recipients won’t keep reading.

The Spammy

And here’s what can be considered spammy:

  • Generic greeting – Emails that don’t include the recipient’s first name in the salutations are likely to set off spam detectors.
  • No unsubscribe – Cold emails must include links or buttons that allow recipients to unsubscribe. If they don’t, spam filters will likely get triggered.

See how AiSDR can run your outreach

This email’s biggest issues can be summed up in three points:

  • Too many grammatical errors
  • No personalization
  • No value prop

All emails by AiSDR solve each of these issues.

Content is written in the language of your choice (you can even specify whether you want British English or American English) and tailored to highlight your company’s value proposition for prospects. On top of that, emails are personalized using a lead’s most recent LinkedIn activity and your HubSpot data. 

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