How To Cold Email A Professor

A cold email is an uninvited email that you send to a person to benefit in terms of favor. The purpose of cold emailing is to build a relationship with strangers and convert them into potential customers.

However, sending a cold email to a professor or a google scholar may make you feel uneasy. You are not sure how the professor would react at first.

A dilemma might come to your mind whether to email him or not. Then, if you finally fix your mind to do so, you may wonder how to cold email a professor.

In response to your query, we have come up with some steps and strategies for your assistance. These cold emailing strategies might help you to cold email a professor for research projects. Then you might succeed in converting him into your potential customer.

So, without further ado, let’s get started with the steps first.


How to Cold Email a Professor: Steps You Need to Follow

Here’s what you need to follow –

Find a Professor

You definitely can’t reach out to a professor without finding someone. But the question is how to find a professor?

There are many ways to find research professors. If you are a LinkedIn or S Sendzilla user, you have your Artificial Intelligence then.

Even if you don’t have these tools, it’s not a problem, though. There are many ways to find an email manually, like from the faculty website of a university. All you need is your patience and persistence.

Study His Interest

Most professors always remain busy with their studies and research projects. So the most important thing to base the ground for your offer on is to know his research interest.

You may visit his web page or follow him on social media to have a little knowledge about his research position and ongoing research.

Make a Proper Introduction

Now you have a professor’s email and his research interest? If yes, you are ready to cold email a professor.

You must address the professor as “Dear Professor X” at the beginning of your email. Use his last name here. Never use the terms “sir” or “hello.” It sounds unprofessional. You can also use “Dear Prof” or “Dear Dr.” as an alternative. Before that, add an informative subject line that will catch his attention.

If you address him, you need to introduce yourself just in a sentence or two. Briefly explain your genuine interest. Do not make it lengthy, and keep it as simple as possible.

Base The Ground for Your Offer

Another important step in a cold email is to initially base the ground for an offer. As you know the professor’s interest, propose your offer according to his interests and needs.

Remember, basing the ground is very important for cold emails. It may be ignored if you fail to hit why this email is of the professor’s interest.

Provide Some Important Features According to His Needs

After you have based your ground for the offer, you need to provide him with some key features of your product. The formula is simple.

You have based the ground. Now add your features to the offer. Describe those features only that he might need for his research.

Use Images to Visualize Your Products

Not only just to a professor, always use customized images of your products while sending cold emails to anyone. By doing that, Professors will know what your product is and gain trust even if it is a little.

If you don’t know how to customize your images, try any tools like Hyperise Editor. It can provide you with the best customized images for cold emails.

 Inform Your Drawbacks Too

Remember, no product is completely free of flaws. Every product has its drawback. As a scholar, a professor is well aware of this too.

So it would help if you informed him of its drawbacks too. It will establish his trust in your product.

Make a Game-Changing Approach

This is the most important step to converting the professor into your potential customer. It would help if you did something unique. Suppose your product is a paid tool.

You may offer him a 14-day free trial of your product in this case. Or, demonstrate your products. This approach could be a game-changer in converting him into your customer.

Put a Proper Ending

At last, put a decent conclusion to your cold email. You may thank the professor for his patience and tell him you will look forward to hearing back from him.

But simply following these steps won’t make it a success. You also need to follow some strategies.

Some Strategies You Need to Follow

Here they are –

Take a Formal Approach

When you send an email to a professor, you must do it formally. So you also need to take a formal approach to make it a success. Use formal language and tone. For example, you can say “Dear Dr.” and use his first name to approach him.

Take a Polite Tone

Remember, you are talking to the professor. Whatever you say, you must say it in a very polite tone. It doesn’t mean that you need to flatter him. But never be rude or blunt. Rather make your tone polite.

A Catchy Subject Line

You must choose a catchy and appealing subject line. The professor should know what this email will be about in the first impression.

A professor gets hundreds of emails daily. So it is very natural for him to ignore your email if he thinks it is none of his business.

Then your email might be immediately ignored. So make your Subject appealing, and keep the possibility of getting it to read at least. You might get a response just for your subject line.

Make it Short but Also Effective

As we have already said, professors always remain busy. They get hundreds of emails daily. They do not have the time to go through all of them. But if you make it short with a catchy subject line, there is a possibility that they might read it.

Making it short doesn’t mean you say anything. To make it a success, you also need to make it effective, including all the important features that suit the professor’s interest.

Never Forget to Revise

Write whatever you want. But never forget to revise the email, even mistakenly. Because when you revise it, you might get shocked at finding your silly mistakes.

  • Bonus Tips: If you don’t know how to customize cold emails or images, you can use tools like Hyperise editor. This way, your work will be easier.

What You Should Never Do

Here’s what you should avoid –

An approach without a Study

Remember, cold emailing professors without a study may result in futility. If you don’t know his research interests, you might not base the ground of your proposal according to his needs.

You don’t have to study all his works. You might pick something interesting and learn a little about it. You will surely get some ideas about him.

Using a Copy-paste Format

You are already familiar with the fact that professors are always busy people. Even if you are lucky and the professor reads your email, he might immediately get irritated looking at a copy-paste writing in the email. So try to avoid a copy-paste email.

Deviation from the Point

You must stick to your point. Introduce yourself and describe the product properly. Any deviation from your point might make your email bad.

Grammatical Errors and Spelling Mistakes

You expect it to be free of grammatical and spelling errors when you read something formal, right? The professor is as well.

few professors will surely get irritated finding your grammatical errors and mistakes. So be careful to write emails free of grammatical errors even if it is simple or major.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should I write a follow-up email if the professor doesn’t reply?

The answer is a yes. We have already discussed many reasons why your email might get ignored.

It is okay to go for a follow-up email if you don’t get a reply from the professor. But you need to follow the basic principles of a follow-up email.

  • What should be the format of a follow-up email?

A follow-up should maintain its etiquettes properly. There should be a moderate gap between your first and previous follow-up emails. You should also keep it within 200 words.

You can start a follow-up email by referring back to your previous email. Then make sure you’re offering it within a few sentences.

Wrapping Up

Cold emails are a bit weird to send out the first few times. However, if you spend some time on them, it could be a very effective manner of getting research positions. Though few professors might not even respond as they are extremely busy, all it takes is one yes!

However, sending a cold email to a professor may make you feel uneasy. But, as you now know how to cold email a professor, I hope, you can do it precisely and easily from now onwards.

But remember, you should always write the cold email properly and customize it. If you don’t know how to do it, or if you don’t want to spend more time on it, you can use Hyperise editor for the customization of your emails and images.