One Thing That Kills Cold Email Response Rates

This one thing is killing your cold email response rates.

Formal writing. 

Formal writing sounds like this:

“We help RevOps reclaim the power of incentives with a platform built for revenue-focused teams.”

The cause?

Cold email inertia (“if other cold emails are written like that, this must be the way it’s done.”)

The cure?

Say it casually. 

Write the way you talk when explaining something to a friend over coffee. 

It’s called the coffee test. 


One theory is that speaking to prospects casually is more effective than formally is that brains subconsciously think, “I’m in a conversation, so I need to hold up my end of the bargain and respond.”

It feels like you’re texting with a human, not getting an email from a sales robot. 

Be cheeky. Few things forge a stronger connection than humor. Let your competition be boring. Show some fucking style.

Here’s an example of casual cheeky cold email copywriting for CaptivateIQ:

Email 1

Hey John – I came across your name through our work with Pete, BizOps at Gong. He cut down commission inquiries by giving reps visibility into how calculations were made. Since you have 100+ reps too, thought you might be interested.

Email 2

John – Did you see that video of BizOps teams getting payout accuracy within 2%? What do you think?

Email 3

John – Have an app with real-time pay statements – gives reps visibility into deal progression, so they’re informed of quota attainment. No responding to commission inquiries. It’s used by 5,378 RevOps teams. Have you tried something like this? 

Email 4  Address concerns + humor 

John – Yes, we can take in multiple data inputs & account for specific rules and logic. You can thank me later for being able to read your mind. ;)

Email 5

John – Running, verifying, and distributing commission for Pete’s team of almost 100 reps now takes less than an hour. Before, it took eight times as long. Does it take you more than an hour to determine payouts? Yes, that’s a loaded question :-)

Email 6

[Cheeky follow-up]

How have you gone so long without responding to me? I’m such a delight.

Can you pass the coffee test?

Learn casual cold email copywriting in the comments so you can motivate more prospects to respond.