How to cold-email professionals

Hey everyone!

Here’s an example of the most recent cold email I sent. No guarantee that this will always work, but worked well for me :)

For context: Ben (changed name for privacy) is Head of Growth at a startup in the UK and is a Columbia Alumni. He has worked at startups all around the world - something I’m very interested in doing myself.

Subject line: Columbia undergrad reaching out!

Hey Ben!

I'm Michael Riley and I am a rising senior at Columbia studying Economics. I'll be working in consulting this summer at Bain & Company, but am very excited about startups and entrepreneurship.

I came across your profile on LinkedIn and was fascinated by your global experiences working at startups all over the world. This is something I'm considering for my own career and would love to learn more about your experience. 

I'm sure you're extremely busy, but I'd love to chat at some point if you're available!

All the best,


5 things (4 + 1 secret tip) to takeaway:

  1. Try to find their email addresses. You can use something like PersistIQ or

  2. Notice how personalized it was.

    • Ben is an alumni of Columbia, has a passion for startups, and we both have global ambitions

    • Try to find people you share things in common with!

  3. “I’m sure you’re extremely busy, but I’d love to chat..”

    • Many times I get cold emails from people who say “are you free to chat this week?” — sometimes this might come off a bit too forward and turn people off

  4. Cold email, not cold LinkedIn message.

    • Email is more effective

  5. Secret tip: Be smart about emailing people when you think they might be free

Opportunities with Consulting firms:

Redstone Strategy Group (Social Sector Consulting)

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2020 12 P.M. CT | 1 P.M. ET

  • Learn more and sign up here

Make sure to forward this email to friends :)