How to improve your cold emails in one simple step

by Steli Efti
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Most salespeople think they’ve mastered the art of communication, but 99% of all cold emails suck.

That’s why we share so many templates and tips. We hate reading bad emails, too. So if you’re looking for another simple way to improve your cold emails, here’s a quick and effective technique:

Read your shit out loud

I never see this mentioned in blog posts and workshops, but it’s one of the easiest ways to write better emails. And there are tons of benefits:

You communicate more clearly

Reading out loud helps you find a rhythm. If you trip over a word, or run out of breath, there’s a good chance your prospects will do the sameRevise any confusing or awkward phrases, so that you're communicating clearly and confidently with prospects. It's pretty hard to close deals when they have no clue what you're trying to say.

You catch mistakes

Our brains rely on context, so we occasionally skip misspelled words and grammatical errors. When you read silently, your brain is more likely to say, "Okay, yeah, I get it. What's next?" Reading out loud actually helps you focus on every word, so that you catch ridiculous typos like this noe one.

You control the tone

How you read cold emails aloud is a strong indication of how they’ll be read by your prospects. If you sound bored, your email is probably boring. If you sound energetic, it’s probably energetic. Pay attention to your tone as you read emails out loud. If you don't sound enthusiastic, active, and convincing, you have some rewriting to do.

You think differently

Writing and speaking are supported by different parts of the brain. By reading out loud, you flex other mental muscles, which leads to new ideas, insights, and solutions. 

When you’re reading out loud, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this clear and concise?
  • Does everything make sense?
  • What needs further explanation?
  • What should be cut, shortened, or replaced?
  • What value am I communicating?
  • What’s the next step for the prospect?

If you don't have a good answer for these questions, you're not ready to click send.

There are a few other things you can do, if you want more practice

  • Read your email to somebody else. Let a coworker or friend be your target audience. Ask them to listen while you read your email aloud—either in-person or over the phone. When you're done, run through the questions above to see if they have any feedback. Nine times out of ten, they'll catch something you missed.
  • Have somebody else read the email to you. Focus on what they’re saying and how they say it. Do they run out of breath? Do they trip over a specific word? Are they confused by a certain phrase? Is their tone right? You can learn a lot about your email simply by listening to a coworker or friend read it back to you.
  • Record yourself. Listen for all the clues outlined above, and ask yourself whether you’re ultimately sold on the email. If you record a video, pay attention to your body language and facial expressions. Are you confused, bored, excited, curious, interested? These non-verbal reactions will signal how you truly feel about what you've written.


Here’s some homework

Find the last cold email you wrote and read it aloud right now—even if you’re in the office or a coffee shop. You don’t have to shout it from the rooftops—just read quietly and see what stands out.

Was every sentence as clear and actionable as it should have been? Was anything misspelled? How did you feel after reading it?

I know this isn't a mindblowing topic, but it's one of the most underrated ways to write better cold emails. I can't believe more salespeople don't do this. If you create the habit of reading out loud, I promise you'll avoid careless mistakes, write more effective sales emails, and close more deals.

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