Discover a perfect cold email structure that will land your dream clients

Updated on
November 14, 2023

If your cold email doesn’t stand out, there’s a high chance you won’t get any replies. No replies = No meetings = No business growth opportunities.

Getting the structure of your cold email right can define whether your email will be read or not.

But how do you get people to answer your emails? Cold email sent by Adrian, co-founder of Dragonfruit Media, got a 76.2% open rate and 66.7% reply rate, 100% meetings booked, and 64.2% conversion rate - and we’re here to share all of their outreach secrets!

The anatomy of the email that made us immediately reply

The email Adrian sent to our CEO, Guillaume, was the first step of the 7-step sequence to follow. In total, 21 emails like this one were sent, and each had a personalized pitch video.

Goal? Their agency was doubling down on direct outreach as their acquisition channel. They wanted to hyper-focus on generating leads through cold email and augment through video pitches for high-value prospects.

Target? SaaS founders and expert coaches/consultants that could use Youtube to build a loyal community. They wanted to reach out to companies producing valuable content that have 5k+ subscribers and have made at least 10 videos (aka the ones that already have an acquisition channel built using Youtube as a top-of-the-funnel).

So how did Adrian’s outreach get us hooked from the start?

Let’s go through his cold email structure together:

perfect cold email structure

1. Catchy subject line

cold email subject line

Why does this subject line make prospects open the email?

  • It’s personalized with first and company names, which grabs the prospect’s attention.
  • The value is made very obvious from the beginning so they know what’s in it for them.
  • The question in the subject line triggers interest and generates curiosity in seeing the rest of the email.

There are many ways to write good subject lines that can boost your chances of getting replies. We have provided a list of 59 subject line templates to help you get inspired.

2. Friendly greeting

cold email greeting

What makes this greeting a good option?

  • “Hey” is an informal greeting that sets a friendly tone right at the start. As "Hey" is something that we use in communication with our users, it was a safe option for Adrian to go with.
  • It’s personalized with the prospect’s name which gives the impression that the rest of the email is carefully crafted just for them.

If you don't wanna sound too informal but still give a warm greeting, "Hi" is always a good choice.

3. Personalized intro line

cold email custom intro line

How did this icebreaker help them build a connection with prospects?

  • They showed they invested time in research about the prospect by congratulating them on their business success.
  • They gave positive feedback about the prospect’s tool as a common ground for future conversations. In the end, who doesn’t like to hear positive feedback about their work? ;)
  • They presented a clear understanding of what their prospect does exactly, which makes prospects believe their offer might be a good fit.

If you need more intro lines inspo to make your audience continue reading your cold email, check out our How to start an email guide.

4. Video pitch

Then, they didn’t only share an idea in the pitch - they made an entire video (seriously, you need to check this one out).

Then, they didn’t share just an idea in the pitch - they made an entire video (seriously, you need to check this one out).

What makes this video pitch one of the best ones we received?

It’s 100% customer-focused as Adrian talks about genuine motivation and will to help the prospect, aligned with the brand’s mission statement.

So, here's why having a custom video in cold outreach is a good choice:

  • Videos won’t just grab prospects’ attention but also prove you’re willing to go that extra mile as each video took them around 30 hours to make (that’s why you need to make sure you're targetting your ideal persona!).
  • The video gives the prospect a sense of having a real conversation and shows emotion that is harder to show through writing.
  • In just a few seconds, you can mention the pain point, the solution, and the value for the prospect, including interesting graphics that will be engraved in the prospect’s memory.
  • The personalized GIF as an addition grabs the prospect’s attention as it’s 100% personalized with their logo and is a unique way to tease into watching the whole video.

If you’re wondering how to create your own sales video that will get you replies, here’s our How to use video for sales guide.

5. Clear CTA

cold email cta

Why does this simple closing line work?

  • A single call-to-action gives the prospect clarity on which step to take to get the proposed value.
  • They don’t ask for too much effort (a simple response to an email is enough) as it could potentially prevent prospects from responding since it takes too much of their time.
  • They kept the casual tone by using “shoot” instead of “send” which is a more friendly jargon, and not necessarily business.

If you are unsure which closing lines could push your prospects to take action, find some inspiration in our Closing line tips guide.

6. Funny sign-off

cold email sign off

Why was this sign-off a great way to end a cold email?

  • If someone bothers to open and get to the bottom of your cold email, signing off with “thanks” is a simple way of showing appreciation.
  • A funny “p.s” element with an inside joke is that final personalization push that made us think “Wow, they really made an effort to get to know us” which leads to “We need to reply”.

The outcome

Open rate: 76.2%


Reply rate: 66.7%


Meetings booked: 100%


Conversion rate: 64.2%

This exact email got them pilot contracts with:

  • one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world
  • a VC at a top 3 firm
  • a SaaS unicorn
  • two of their favorite non-profits
Our results blew literally every other acquisition method we have out of the water. We're now systematizing this by hiring a full in-house editor to solely focus on these pitch videos. Gonna be using lemlist to blast them out at scaling them next quarter! - Adrian, Dragonfruit Media

Key takeaways

So, what should you keep in mind if you want the same or even better results than Adrian?

  1. “Show, don’t tell” -> If you are pitching a certain product or service to a client, make sure to demonstrate your expertise just like their video business did with a video pitch.
  2. “Go the extra mile” -> Just like they did, investing 30 hours per pitch video may seem like a daunting task to do, but it was an outreach game-changer.
  3. “There is less competition at the top” -> If you want outsized returns, invest in methods that nobody else is willing to do.

And for more outreach strategies and templates, join the lemlist family, the community where you can get daily advice on how to create better cold email campaigns. 🚀

P.S. Dragonfruit crew put together a YouTube mini-course open to any lemlister excited to learn more about acquiring traffic from YouTube. You can check it out here.

If you wanna get more replies and conversions, our eBook How to write a cold email that gets replies to get even more actionable tips for the best outreach results.

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