Ankur Warikoo Profile picture
Apr 2, 2021 25 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
The art of cold emailing

A thread...
Cold emailing is the act of sending an email (or a DM) to someone who doesn’t know you (hence the word, cold!)

Every day I get 300+ emails, most from those I do not know, and a shocking number of them are poorly written.

Here are 10 things that work for emails that I reply to
1. A different (but not aggressive) subject line

Ask yourself, what is the most likely subject line that EVERYONE will tend to write.
And then DO NOT write that.

What works?
Personalization (I think Vidur and Uzma will love this)
Intrigue (This is when I first saw you)
What doesn’t work?
Common themes (Seeking investment; Job application)
Aggression (Your content sucks - true story btw. It was used only to catch attention)
Buzzwords (AI/ML startup by Stanford founder)
2. The salutation

It is crazy how this small thing is so impactful.
How do you start your email?

Hi Ankur / Hey Ankur / Good Morning Ankur / Dear Mr. Warikoo etc

Adding harmless emoticons helps (😊)
The worst ones?

Dear Sir/Ma’am (ridiculous how many of these I get everyday)
Hi (that’s it! Nothing else. Just a hi!)
Wasssup bro (I am not your bro!)
Guru Ji (please!)

The idea is to strike a warm connect over a medium where your words are reflecting your emotions.
3. The purpose

Assuming you are writing to someone busy, you do them a world of good when you state the purpose of the email right upfront.

This way, they know what you want from them.

It is critical you do not dilly-dally in the purpose. That just makes it hard to decipher.
Worst ones?
This is for a potential collaboration that we wish to explore (loose af)
Trying to explore synergies
Want to see where I can fit in the team

Good ones?
I want to show the progress of my startup, current traction and see if you would be interested to invest?

4. Relevance
This is the crux of the conversation where the best emails establish relevance.
This requires homework, research and customization.

Which is why, you cannot, by definition, send more than 3-5 cold emails a day.
Anything more and you are most likely doing it wrong.
You have to, in this section, find
Sender-Receiver-Fit (SRF)

You as the sender, have something to offer or ask, that fits what the receiver is seeking or willing to offer.

When you do not get a reply, it is because there was no SRF.
5. The ask

Post attempting SRF, you ask.
Clearly and precisely.

Mistakes people often make?
1. Assume on behalf of the receiver (oh, this must not be imp for them)
2. Ask broadly (I am looking for guidance!)
3. Not ask at all (hoping to hear from you)
6. Follow up

This is where most people fail. They take no response as rejection. While in most cases, it may simply be lack of priority.

Always follow up - once.
And in the follow up ask, specify your next step...
“To make it easy for you, in case I do not hear back, I will assume this isn’t priority right now. I respect that.”

“In case I do not hear back, I hope it is fine that I check back in x. Please let me know if you would much rather not hear from me.”
7. Myths about cold emailing

It is not about your grasp over the English language.
Establish your comfort.
The key is to communicate, not to impress.
8. Myths about cold emailing

It doesn’t work

Cold emailing works. I have made it work for myself and on a daily basis I hear from people who have created opportunities simply by sending an email.

Remember, if you do not ask, the answer is always no.
9. Use cases which work the best

Send emails to the hiring manager, not to HR. They need the candidate more than HR.

Send emails to those who could help you in life, through their experiences.

To solicit views on how you are doing, what you are doing
10. The golden tip

The best cold emails I have got have one thing in common

They are authentic (you can make out from the way the email is written. For instance, no one uses the phrase “any inconvenience caused is deeply regretted” in real life)

They sound human!
For all those in your 20s, use cold emails to create opportunities that you didn’t know existed for you. This is your exploration tool.

For those in your 30s, use cold emails to build a network that builds on your identified strengths.
And always remember life’s simple truth

If you do not ask, the answer is always no.
If you liked this thread, please do yourself a favor and send a well researched cold email today to someone.

And retweet this thread, so that it reaches others :)
Sample of a poor email Image
Poor email.

I know it’s just a 18YO and I would frankly reply to this email too, but it is an example of an email that will not have a high response rate. Image
Extremely poor email Image
Good cold emails I would (and have) respond to ImageImageImageImage
And one of my favorite cold emails of all times :))

This goes out to one of my favorite thinkers @kunalb11 Image

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Ankur Warikoo

Ankur Warikoo Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @warikoo

May 25
Almost every month, towards the end of it, my bank balance goes below the mandated INR 5K.

It is not because I am broke.

It is because I chose to.

I personally believe money in your bank is a crime.

Instead... Image
It should in either of these 3 places:

1. Parked in an emergency fund elsewhere
Your monthly mandatory expenses times 6 (and ideally 12 times) - parked in a short-term fixed deposit, which has no breakage penalty.
2. Invested for the future
Depending on your risk appetite - whether stocks, or mutual funds or gold, or real estate or corporate bonds, or PF.

My split is
35% Indian stocks
35% US stocks
20% startups
10% crypto
Read 6 tweets
May 24
Which book would you want from this pile?

I will pick 10 folks randomly and gift them their choice.

No need to follow me or anything. Just reply with your pick.

Books ❤️❤️❤️ Image
This is not my library. I wish. This is from a bookstore :))
I love people 😂😂😂 Image
Read 4 tweets
May 23
As you grow, you will change.
Your needs, your desires, your wants will change.
How you wish to get to them will change.
What you are willing to give up for them, will change.

And that's ok.

A beautiful life isn't one that remains the same.
A beautiful life is ok with the new.
I recently met my school friends, 25 years since graduating.
One of them recalled a trip we took together in 2006.
I was 26 back then.

I was sharing with him back then that all of my life's definition of success was pegged to one thing: "Owning a Honda CRV"

In school, success was getting into IIT.
In college, success was going to the US.
In MBA college, success was a consulting job.
At work, success was a fancy car.
Later on, success was awards.
In my startup, success was becoming a unicorn.
Today, success is owning my time.
Read 4 tweets
May 19
Those who say money is not important, are lying.
Money is important.

Story time:
At a party, Kurt informs his pal, Joe, that their host, a billionaire, had made more money in a single day than Joe had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history.

Joe responds, “Yes, but I have something he will never have: ENOUGH.”
May 2003
At the age of 50, my parents had decided to buy a house.
They had moved to Delhi 20 years back.
Made it home.

But they had no home to call their own.
Read 23 tweets
May 18
"What just happened?"
"What happened?"

"You went up on stage. Your lips started moving. But there were no words coming from your mouth"
Class 7th

I was terrified of the stage.
I hadn't stepped on it ever, to really know.
Just the thought of it made me nervous.

I did not want to be on stage.

But my teacher thought I should.
There was an inter-class poem recitation competition.
Not sure why, she felt I should represent the class.

I wasn't so sure.
But I wasn't courageous enough to say no to her, either.
I said yes.

The day arrives.
My name is called out.
I head towards the stage.
Read 11 tweets
May 12
13 psychological hacks that will make you instantly smarter.

A thread…
1. When speaking to people, look into their eyes.
It makes you come across as attentive and unbiased.

In virtual meetings, look into the camera pinhole and not their face (will take some time getting used to). That way you look straight into their eyes.
2. When nervous, chew gum. It helps you calm down.

If it isn’t available, deep breathing.
Take air in, through your nose, while inflating your stomach.
Breathe out through your mouth, while deflating your stomach.
Repeat 7 times.
Read 18 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!