While making cold calls has its challenges, it can be even trickier to send a cold email. Whether it’s to a fresh lead or an industry colleague you’d like to befriend, grabbing a stranger’s attention via inbox isn’t easy. How you introduce yourself via email impacts a lot of things, from whether your email is opened, to getting a response.

Grammarly writer Joanna Cutrara covers this topic in a recent blog post. She shares her own “cheat sheet” that includes a six-step process to writing an effective introductory email:

Step One: The Subject

The all-important subject line is particularly vital to cold emails. Often, this seemingly simple line is what drives the recipient to click open or delete. Make sure you keep it under 30 characters and be specific. Cutrara offers suggestions for potentially effective subject lines:

  • Name a mutual acquaintance
  • Mention what you have in common
  • Bring up your company
  • Suggest meeting up
  • Show you admire their work

Step Two: The Greeting

Congratulations, the recipient opened your email! Now, it’s time to establish a connection. Go-to greetings like “Dear” are popular for a reason, as they are polite and formal. For a more casual tone, “Hi” or “Hello” are appropriate. Avoid anything too generic, like “Dear Sir or Madam.” In addition, always make sure you spell his or her name correctly.

Step Three: The Intro

This step formally introduces you to the recipient. Cutrara’s advice is pretty simple: “Be clear and concise about who you are, and remember to include details that will be relevant to the recipient,” she writes. Remember, relevancy is key to keeping the reader’s interest. Also, try to mention things that reveal your own potential value that will make a reply worth their while.

Check out the rest of Cutrara’s post to learn the remaining steps, as well as her suggestions for implementing each one. Finally, use the step-by-step cheat sheet as a guideline for your next cold email, and you should get the results you want!