freelance writing

The Cold Pitch that Made Me $5,025 (or How to Craft an Irresistible Cold Pitch)


how to create irresistible cold pitches

While there are countless ways to get clients as a freelance writer, cold pitching is undoubtedly one of the easiest and fastest; in fact, early this year, as part of a cold pitching experiment I was able to land a new client that instantly awarded me a $625 writing gig in 2 hours; it’s been a few months now and I’ve earned exactly $5,025 with this client. What was the exact pitch I sent? Why was my pitch effective? This article answers both questions.

A Sample Cold Pitch

First, I’d like to clarify that this article won’t be teaching you my cold pitching process (such as how I prospect for clients, etc.); if you want that, get my guide The Freelance Writer’s Success Starter Guide. Instead, it’ll be teaching you how I go about crafting my cold pitch.

Without further ado, below is a sample cold pitch (it’s the exact pitch I used to land the client I mentioned at the beginning of this article):

sample cold pitch

I’ll recommend taking a second look at the above cold pitch, because it’ll be the basis for this article; the above cold pitch landed me a client within 2 hours and it’s been responsible for $5,025 in freelance writing income in months of getting this client.

So, without further ado, here’s how to craft an irresistible cold pitch (based on an analysis of the above sample cold pitch):

Step 1: Start With an Irresistible Headline

The first step towards a successful cold pitch is your headline. Your cold pitch can be highly persuasive and hard to ignore but it wouldn’t matter if the people you’re pitching won’t read it; with a cold pitch, you’re reaching out to strangers who didn’t know you existed a minute ago, and the best way to stand out and get them to take note is to have an irresistible headline.

In my case, with the example pitch used in this article, I used the headline “Content at {Company}”.

A quick look at the headline I used will show that it arouses curiosity, especially since I sent it mainly to people in charge of content or marketing at the companies I was pitching; I sent a total of 104 pitches with this headline and I had an open rate of 64.4%; for an email to complete strangers who probably didn’t know that I existed a minute ago, I think that’s impressive.

Your headline can aim for several triggers in the mind of your prospects; it can target their curiosity, sense of urgency, desire to get results, etc but it needs to get them to read your email IMMEDIATELY.

Step 2: Personalize

Busy people suck at email; some get dozens or even hundreds of emails every singe day – Imagine getting hundreds of phone calls every single day, you’ll probably throw your phone away. Email is more time-consuming because you have to type and sometimes you can spend as much as 15 minutes on a single email.

One of the most insulting things you’ll do to someone you’re emailing is not knowing their name, especially if you’re sending it to a personal inbox; simply saying “Hello” or “Hi” doesn’t cut it. If, after a busy day, I get an email that just says “hi” or “hello” without addressing me by name, I simply ignore it and focus on those who took the time to find out who I am. Why? Because this person is expecting me to take 5 to 10 minutes out of my already busy day to reply her email but couldn’t even take 1 or 2 minutes to find out my name. Is it fair? No. The same applies to people you are cold pitching; it’s true that you’re strangers, but at least knowing their name and addressing them by it can show that you’ve taken the time to study them and that they are indeed the one you want to write to.

Step 3: State the Purpose of Your Cold Pitch

In the sample cold pitch I referenced, the purpose of my cold pitch is instantly clear. Here’s it: “I’m reaching out to see if you need someone who can help with content at {Company}“.

Not everybody will reply your pitch or have an offer for you and there’s no point wasting time trying to convince someone who does not need your services; if they have a team of writers or if they don’t need work done in the capacity you’re offering, what’s the point of you wasting their time with your pitch? Save them time by clarifying the purpose of your email immediately.

Step 4: Introduce Yourself and Establish Credibility

Step 3 and 4 can be interchanged, but this post analyzes the order in which I used them in my cold pitch.

While introducing myself in my pitch, I simply wrote “I’m Bamidele Onibalusi. I’ve been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post and Digital Journal, and I run blogs that have been read by millions of people over the past few years.

That’s a simple and powerful introduction. Why? Because it tells them everything they need to know about me at that moment. They don’t need to know my life story, but the fact that I’ve been featured in top publications and have a popular blog sends two key messages to them:

  • I have been widely recognized as a writer
  • I can get results for them

Your social proof might not be as strong as mine, and it might be stronger, but you should find a way to communicate these two things. Social proof can come in form of leading blogs/publications you’re contributing to, high profile interviews you’ve done, awards you’ve received or some of your achievements that are relevant to potential clients. You want them to see you as someone who knows what he is doing.

Step 5: Outline Your Services

Once you’ve alerted them to the purpose of your email and you’ve introduced yourself, they’re probably contemplating using your services, the next step is to tell them how you can help.

Yes, you’ve told them earlier that you’re reaching out to see if they need help with content but you can be more specific; list some of the key services you offer. In my sample pitch above, I did this by writing “I can help with writing blog posts, guest posts, resources, newsletters, landing page content and any of your other content marketing needs.

You can take things further by linking to your writer website or portfolio; in my case, I prefer having them reply first so that I can gauge their interest in my services.

Step 6: Conclude and Encourage them to Reply

Conclude your email and let them know that you’re interested in hearing back from them; you should also encourage them to ask questions or voice out concerns they have.


I use the above six-steps process when writing my cold pitches, and hopefully you’ve gotten ideas on how to develop your own cold pitches as well.

Kickstart Your Freelance Writing Career: Get clients and make money. Get my guide, The Freelance Writer’s Success Starter Guide, to access my blueprint for building a successful freelance writing business. It also comes with a case study of how landed a new client and made $625 in 2 hours.

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