Writing a cold email can be nerve-wracking, but for us new and young professionals it will be a necessary part of the job. Unless you are born with a silver spoon, chances are you have to forge those connections yourself, not over dinner at a country club but via email. So what’s the secret to a good blind email? Intent. With clear intent, you can get anyone to not just read but take action. Here are some tips:

Get to the Point

Say your hello’s and explain how you know or why you’re contacting this person. The big shots you are trying to get in touch with have just 24 hours a day like the rest of us, but the pool of contestants competing for their attention is way bigger than most. Why should they allocate a fraction of their precious time for an unfamiliar name that just popped up in their inbox? A clear, concise hook that spells out your objectives and sparks their interest. Do you both a favor and cut to the chase; no life story, please.

Be Specific

Do you need someone to take a look at your resume? Are you inquiring about a job? Do you want to sit down with them and pick their brain? Whatever it is, it shouldn’t take more than a few sentences to explain. Address your needs with their fields of expertise and specialties in mind– an on-target question is more likely to get you places than generic inquiries. For instance, ask how to write a blind email like a boss instead of advice on networking.

Do Almost Everything

When you reach out to someone to ask for any kind of advice or favor, they are less likely to help if you have no clear objective. If you are asking for help on improving your resume, you should have already written a draft and have done all the necessary research on the position you want to apply to. Then your contact will see that you have taken the 999 steps and just need a little input on their part. Know exactly what you’re doing and what you need, so your contact knows exactly how to help you get there.

Be Persistent

In the age of thousands of emails a day, it is completely possible your email got lost in space. Wait two days then try again. After a week, pick up the phone and give them a call. (People still do that by the way.)  It is the professional thing to do.

Sample Email


   My name is ____ , and I am run marketing and publications (at) in the office of _____. I have been following your new campaign targeting startups and entrepreneurs. I believe there are many synergies between a similar campaign I am running at my agency and I’d love to connect with and talk about a possible partnership. Would you be available to connect this week or next week for 20 minutes? If you, I’d love to buy you a cup of coffee. Feel free to contact me directly at __ – ____ – _____. I look forward to hearing from you.

Follow Up

After your meeting, be sure to follow up with a thank you.

Ursula Lauriston Avatar

Ursula Lauriston is the Founder & Chief Digital Strategist at CAPITOL STANDARD. A dynamic speaker and syndicated writer, she has been featured in Huffington Post, The Vault, The Muse, Washington Post, and more.