The Ultimate Guide to Cold Email Personalization [+ The Best Subject Lines with 70%+ Open Rates]

The Ultimate Guide to Cold Email Personalization [+ The Best Subject Lines with 70%+ Open Rates]

You can’t succeed with just any cold email. Only really good cold emails generate ROI and help you reach your outreach goals. On the other hand, spammy and robotic emails end up at the bottom of the junk folder.

How do you make sure you end up where you belong: in the Primary tab?

With email personalization. Email personalization ensures that your emails are read and worth replying to. Plus, it increases your email deliverability, so your messages land in the recipients’ primary inboxes!

What Is Cold Email Personalization?

Email personalization doesn’t limit to including the {firstName} and {companyName} merge tags in an email—it’s much more than that!

An email is personalized when you tailor it to your prospect’s interests, and instead of sharing generic content, actually put in some effort to offer insights specific to their pain points.

A personalized email is:

  • Intriguing
  • Informative
  • Targeting a prospect’s specific problems
  • Capable of answering the main question your leads have when clicking through: “What’s in it for me?”

Email Personalization Best Practices

Do the Groundwork

Before you begin writing your cold emails, it’s crucial to spend some time researching a lead or at least a segment of leads you’re targeting.

Here’s how to effectively research a prospect:

1. Find Common Ground

When you have something in common with a person, even if it’s someone you’ve never interacted with, it gets easier to form a connection.

Leverage a common point of interest

To find common ground with your prospect, check their LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts and see if you have any common hobbies, interests, or likes (both professionally and personally).

Let’s say you found out they’re a New York Mets fan, and you share a deep interest in baseball as well. Use that information to break the ice in your email!

Talk about mutual connections

Mention the source from where you found their contact info. In your emails, mention who referred you to them and why you thought about reaching out. A little relevant praise might also get you a spot in their good books.

Take the following email as an example:

“Hi {firstName},

{Person A} referred me to reach out regarding your {pain point}. I checked out your work on LinkedIn and loved your perspective on {topic}.

I was wondering if you’d like to chat sometime this week to discuss more {topic}. Does Friday at 12 PM work for you?


{Signature} ”

2. Find the Perfect Opportunity to Reach Out

Timing is everything in cold outreach. And when you can catch someone right when they’re in desperate need of your services, it all works out great.

Pay attention to these activities in your leads’ socials or set up sales triggers:

  • A new development in the industry that might affect their business.
  • Someone they hired for a top executive position—you can use this information to break the ice or source new information.
  • Reach out when they might need you the most—especially when you see them sharing hiring posts or their experience (good or bad) about something relevant to your offer.

Give a Thoughtful Structure to Your Emails

1. Spend More Time on Your Subject Line

Your subject lines need to hint at what’s included in the email:

  • Make your subject lines snappy and crisp—long subject lines are a no-no!
  • Pay special attention to the preview text—ensure it’s an extension of your subject line.
  • Use numbers in your subject line to garner more attention. For example, “Extra 20% off on the annual plan—valid today only!”
Research: The cold email subject lines with the most opens on Super Send

We recently did some research and found out which subject lines used with Super Send received the highest open rates:

  • I have tips for {{company_name}} - Open rate: 80%+ - The information gaps make the recipient curious enough to click through.
  • Cold Email As A Service 💌 - Open rate: 75%+ - Subject line for the Cold Email Studio, which is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s an interesting product, but the opens on this subject line also show you just how important it is to have a good value prop.
  • {{company_name}} offline - Open rate: 70%+ - You can’t beat urgency, but you have to do it right. For context, the company behind this subject line, Unplugged, invites cold prospects to go offline in an off-the-grid cabin.

2. Break the Ice and Keep the Momentum Going

Once you’ve captured the lead’s interest, you have to maintain it. The best way to do it? By personalizing the heck out of your cold email!

I love this example from Saleshacker:

  • Understand your ICP completely to know their biggest, most specific pain points. (Andrea here references challenges that are top of mind for any hiring manager.)
  • Stay updated on your leads, or use a data enrichment service. (The example references the specific position they’re hiring for.)
  • The video is a neat touch!

Personalize Everything!

Plain old text emails work wonders, but when you can jazz them up with images, videos, and GIFs, they become extra fun to read!

You can personalize any image with Super Send. Just add variables that will be personalized when sending the automated sequence.

You can use memes, images of your pet, you working in an office, you checking out their website, or something they might relate to.

3 Personalized Cold Email Templates

Template 1: Asking For a Free Product Signup

Subject: This will scale your Cold Outreach Efforts by 2x, I promise!

“ Hi {firstName},

Can I get 5 minutes of your time? I promise it’ll be worth it.

Still with me? I appreciate it!

When we started building Super Send, we knew how hard it is for bootstrapped founders like yourself to get your first 100 customers. In building our own customer base, we swore to make it easy for fellow entrepreneurs to acquire customers by doing the heavy lifting for them.

I’m sure you agree with me: cold outreach is hard, especially when you don’t know if your efforts are being rewarded. That’s where we come in with Super Send:

  • Scale your outreach efforts while knowing the outcome
  • Keep track of your open rates, engagement rates, and bounce rates
  • Don’t lose the human touch - use the simplest approach to email personalization you have seen
  • Automate everything

If this sounds like something you need right now, grab this 1-month free trial offer. Test before you invest!

Looking forward to seeing your higher open rates,


Why Does This Personalized Email Template Work?

  • The subject line piques interest by touching upon a pain point of the target customer—”2x their outreach efforts.” (Numbers are always good in subject lines!)
  • A short and simple introduction to help the prospect get acquainted with the sender.
  • Making it relatable for the prospect by sharing a common problem.
  • The bullet-point list explains the key benefits.
  • Clear CTA.

Template 2: 1st Follow-Up

Subject: This will only take a minute, {{first_name}}!

Hi {{first_name}},

Just bumping this to the top of your inbox (I know it's probably more crowded than Walmart on Black Friday.)

Let me know if you’re still interested in resolving {{challenge}}. Alternatively, we can hop on a call and discuss ideas for {{outcome}} based on {reference research, e.g., industry trend, gaps you found in their materials, etc.}.



Why Does This Email Work?

  • It doesn’t take a long time to read—it’s short, crisp, and simple.
  • It references their challenges and goals.
  • Shows the reader that you understand their concerns/ objections when you offer them an alternative.
  • The subject line shows urgency—and how long it will take the reader to read the email and take action.

Template 3: Requesting A Meeting

Subject: Congratulations on hitting 10K users!

Hi {{first_name}},

Saw the announcement in your newsletter that you recently hit 10K users on your platform—congratulations!

I know you’re busy planning how to cover multiple touchpoints to use this momentum and onboard even more users. I’m swooping in to take that work off your plate!

We helped {company X} double their response rates within 2 months of joining us. How? With hyper-targeted email campaigns sent to their Twitter and LinkedIn connections.

I’d love to explain how Super Send could help you with {goal}.

Are you available sometime this week to discuss this? Here’s my Calendly link - {Link}.



Why This Works?

  • It clearly shows you’ve researched them and care enough to know about their milestones.
  • You’re showing credibility and social proof by mentioning your existing customers’ results.
  • The CTA, a.k.a the invite for a meeting, doesn’t look forced since you’re sharing a Calendly link for them to book their convenient slot.

Bottom Line: Personalization & Email ROI Go Hand-in-Hand

There’s nothing worse than firing off an email to hundreds of prospects only to hear crickets in return. You just can’t do it without personalization, which makes sure your prospects are actually reading.

The key is to do your homework before reaching out and leverage your findings to hit the right spot with your prospect, and you’ll be golden!

And if you want to scale your outreach efforts while personalizing, make Super Send a part of your arsenal!