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Write the perfect cold email with these tips and cold email templates

Cold Email Templates
Topics
What is a cold email?
Cold calling vs. cold emailing: which is right for my business?
Cold email essentials: What you need to get your message opened
7 expert tips for cold emails that convert
10 highly effective cold email templates
10The straight-to-the-point email
Final thoughts

It has never been harder for cold emails to cut through the inbox noise. For sales teams, the best way to beat the odds is by refining your cold email templates.

In this article, we’ll discuss what makes a great cold email and expert tips for how to write a cold email. We’ll also share effective cold email templates you can use to supercharge your cold email campaigns.


What is a cold email?

A cold email is an email sent to a receiver with no prior contact. It’s a lead generation tactic and an integral part of the sales process. It’s the way a company or service provider introduces itself to a potential customer it has never interacted with before.

Cold emails tend to have lower response rates than other forms of communication, such as cold calling, but they also require less effort on the salesperson’s side (especially when using sales automation).

Effective cold emails can be difficult to master because the sales reps sending them typically have no prior relationship with their recipients.

Crafting a cold email outreach campaign that speaks to prospects on a personal level is key. These messages have to be tailored, compelling and clear to stand out in crowded inboxes.


Cold calling vs. cold emailing: which is right for my business?

Cold emails don’t offer the same level of control a sales rep has during a phone call, but they do have one major advantage: Reps can send messages to their entire email list in a short span of time.

Cold emailing is scalable, so it’s great for sales teams that don’t have the resources to make lots of cold calls.

Heather R. Morgan, CEO of cold email company SalesFolk believes the trick is to do your research and avoid spam filters and improve email deliverability. The important thing to remember is that you’re trying to start a conversation with your new customer.

Email copy should feel personal and thoughtful, and should always be targeted (if not at a specific person, at least at a specific buyer persona).

Morgan believes in building comprehensive buyer personas that succinctly define your ideal customer. On her strategy, Morgan says:

I like to take a sample of about 10 to 15 leads from a given persona or audience, such as ‘VP sales at SaaS companies of 100-500 employees’ and do thorough research on those 10-15 individuals.
I try to get as much information as I can for these individuals and then try to see where there's overlap between them. Then I can create really targeted email templates that can scale to the hundreds or thousands, so long as the audience is still the same.

Heather R. MorganCEO, Salesfolk


To adopt Morgan’s approach, aim for a positive/neutral response rate of between 10–35%. If the response rate is less than 10%, your cold emails need to be adjusted.

Morgan believes there’s no downside to being good on the phone – most reps will have to get on the phone with their customers at some point. Still, as people become more reluctant to pick up unfamiliar numbers, many reps are less interested in cold calling to drum up new business.

On email vs. cold calls, Morgan says:

Some people might say ‘If you can't cold call, then don't be in sales,’ but as the world becomes increasingly digital, I think the salespeople who are not able to ‘sell digitally’ via email and social will be the ones that really fall behind.

Heather R. MorganCEO Salessfolk


Cold email essentials: What you need to get your message opened

A good cold email includes two factors: it’s well researched and it has a well-defined strategy.

Whether you want to build a relationship, offer a discount or go straight for a sale, cold emails should always aim to move a sales prospect down your funnel. To do this, reps must conduct thorough research to personalize their communication.

The email should reinforce not only that you’re informed about the prospect, their company and their pain points, but also that you can identify exactly how your product will help them.

Without these things, it’ll be hard to convince a stranger over email that they should invest time in reading what you’ve sent them.

How to write the perfect cold email

The main goal of a cold email is to get your prospect to open and read it.

Each sentence should have a purpose and draw the reader in. Without making the email too lengthy, any cold sales email template should include these crucial elements:

  1. Subject line. Grab the reader’s attention and ensure they open the cold email. Be exceedingly clear and concise.

  2. An opening line. Something that will catch the reader’s attention, like “Quick question?”

  3. A value proposition. Your value prop must clearly explain what the email is about and what’s in it for them.

  4. A call-to-action. This is the equivalent of the home stretch and, arguably, the most important part of your pitch. Make it clear whether you want them to reply to the email, book a call or take another action.

Your cold emails should also share these characteristics:

  1. Personalization. You need to show that you understand and can relate to what interests them by referencing it conversationally.

  2. Validation. Your prospects likely receive dozens of cold emails per day. Quickly explain who you are and why they should give you their time. Cite relevant or impressive results to justify why they should read the rest of your email and follow your CTA.

  3. Pain points. Show you understand and can address the prospect’s pain points. This will give you a better chance of making a connection.

  4. Appreciation. Thank your prospect for reading your email, which will help start your relationship off on the right foot.

Improve sales team performance by following a cold email process

Copywriting is just one component of how to send cold emails that generate results. Establishing a clear cold emailing testing process is key to improving sales team performance, management and optimization. So is having intuitive software to manage workflows when sending cold emails and utilizing open and click tracking.

Heat up your cold emails with 25 customizable email templates

These cold email templates sourced from Pipedrive sales experts will help you scale your prospecting, drive more replies and stay out of those trash folders.

Opt for a more scientific approach than simply “try and fail” over and over again. Instead:

  • Have someone create versions of emails and include the subject line, email body and call to action (perhaps someone from your marketing team).

  • Provide context as to why the sales team should adopt these emails (a winning cold email strategy will help them get more deals). Their commitment is essential to get data and improve performance.

  • Ensure everyone has a tracking tool: one that tracks if an email gets opened, what links were clicked and traces the call to action.

  • Depending on the size of your team, set a clear goal and test until you reach that statistical significance.

  • Analyze the results (e.g. open rates and response rates) and plan your optimization for the next cold email campaign. If possible, A/B test your emails by changing up just one element to see if metrics improve.

With the emergence of email marketing software, the level of personalization and nurturing required to build relationships with prospects can be automated using templates.

With a CRM tool like Pipedrive, sales reps can automatically send emails to prospects when they enter their sales funnel. Using pre-made cold templates, the emails will already be personalized using merge fields, so prospect details like their company name and industry will fill in the gaps.

Automating cold emails helps you work more efficiently, reaching out to prospects with an email that ticks all the boxes, without having to write every line from scratch.


7 expert tips for cold emails that convert

Cold emails are both a science and an art. Many businesses have been successful off the back of cold emails, but many have failed.

To give you the best chance at succeeding, here is some cold emailing advice from industry experts who have perfected their craft.

1. Be succinct

Introduce yourself up front. To evaluate whether it’s the right length, read your email out loud. If it’s longer than a minute, start cutting. Long-winded emails are unlikely to be read so make sure you get to that all-important CTA as efficiently as possible.

James Davies, former Sales Manager at Stylo

My approach is to keep the email short and sweet and focus on using powerful imagery to sell itself. I work in a very creative market and for the client to see the final result does all the talking.


Sarah Brazier, Account Executive at Gong

For cold outreach, I try to keep my first email short, sweet and to the point, i.e. three sentences long.
The first sentence ties whatever events are happening in the business directly to something I’ve learned about them (usually lifted from their LinkedIn profile).
The second describes how folks in their role who are experiencing a business event leverage our solution to remedy the accompanying business pain related to that event.


2. Get personal

Start with an engaging hook or show you have a connection in common right away. Research your prospects online to identify who the decision-maker is, then use the appropriate person’s name in your opener.

Barry Moroney, CEO at Leadable

When it comes to enterprise sales, I believe that personalization and relevance should be at the core of all cold email strategies. As the larger contract values associated with Enterprise justify the time and effort spent researching and writing unique copy for each prospect, applying a ‘quality over quantity’ approach is critical to success with cold email.


Ahmed GabAllah, Business Development Executive at Athena Capital

Personalization is enough to separate you from the majority of the lazy sales reps. Use merge tags and go beyond ‘first name’ and ‘company name’. Use ‘location’, ‘info pulled from social accounts’ and the ‘last news and activities for your contacts or their companies’.


Gaurav Patel, Founder at Pipe Bagger

Cold emails must be short, to the point and the reader should sense it was written just for them and is not a copy-paste job. Basically, they must feel that the sender has done some homework.


3. Use clean email lists

Effective cold emails start with quality data on who you’re trying to target. Avoid buying lists to maintain the quality and integrity of your data. If you do buy or rent lists, take the time to clean them up before reaching out to your target audience.

Ahmed GabAllah, former Business Development Executive at Athena Capital

Don’t get me wrong, I purchased lists many times and achieved some results, but I am not proud of that. If you think a list of contact information for 500 investors for $50 from someone who reached you via LinkedIn is the answer, then think again.


4. Don’t be boring

Make your cold emails stand out by playing on your brand’s unique voice (or even your personal selling style). Capitalize on opportunities to make a positive, lasting impression.

Dale Dupree, Founder of The Sales Rebellion

To create effective cold emails, reps have to embrace what might feel uncomfortable. No more clickbait, generic outreach copy, safe subject lines or jam-packed newsletters that continue to go straight to the trash bin.
Create undeniable curiosity. Bring a level of familiarity with your outreach that the prospect feels compelled to respond to and start changing the game. Use GIFs, memes and emojis and talk to people like a normal human being that they would encounter in real life.


Ahmed GabAllah, former Business Development Executive at Athena Capital

Capitalize on the ‘P.S.’. If done right it is a game-changer. It doesn’t matter what is within your email, the P.S. section is your opportunity to shine or use a charm offensive that keeps your brand top of mind.

Ahmed GabAllahBusiness Development Executive, Athena Capital


5. Hook readers with a compelling subject line

Cold email subject lines may be a fraction of your total word count, but that doesn’t mean they should be an afterthought. Use research to tailor the subject line to the recipient and look for timely news to incorporate or incorporate a surprising statistic.


Dipak Vadera, former Sales Manager at Leadfeeder

Most unsolicited emails (cold emails) will end up being deleted. If you want to stand out from the other hundreds in a prospect’s inbox, you need to start with the subject line.
If your subject line is [bad], your email might as well delete itself. A personalized hook, a low-commitment call to action and a value proposition that solves the prospect’s problems are useless if your email doesn’t get opened.
Subject lines are therefore the gateway to your cold email’s success.


6. Bookend your email with strong opening lines and clear CTAs

Once you’ve grabbed your recipient’s attention, you need a thoughtful introduction that keeps them reading. When readers make it to the end of your cold email, there should be no question of what you want them to do next. The best cold emails close with a singular call to action.

Kyle Racki, CEO at Proposify

The opening line of the email should be heavily customized to the prospect.


Statements like those below work really well and show that you are a real person:

  • I saw you…

  • Read your post about…

  • Noticed you had talked to [shared connection] a few months ago…

  • I heard you...

  • [Specific name] told me X about you…

With CTAs, don’t ask for a meeting or offer a proposal yet. The goal of a cold email isn’t to close a deal, it’s to find out if the prospect is right for you.

If the prospect is interested and desperately wants your solution, they will ask for a call.

Instead, make a very light ask: ‘Any chance you’d be up for helping me make an introduction to [specific name]?’

A vague ‘Can you intro me to your VP of Sales’ or, worse, ‘Who in your company should I talk to?’ won’t have the same effect.

Finally, closing with an open-ended question like: ‘What are your thoughts?’ is all you need to start a dialogue. If they want to talk, they’ll reply.


7. Follow up

Successful cold outreach campaigns are built on more than one-off emails. Develop protocols for following up respectfully.

Ahmed GabAllah, former Business Development Executive at Athena Capital

Follow up, and I don’t mean with meaningless ‘touching base emails’. Every follow-up email is an opportunity to warm your lead or to establish a good relationship.


10 highly effective cold email templates

The following cold email templates sourced from Pipedrive sales experts will help you scale your prospecting, drive more replies, stay out of spam folders and increase conversion rates.

You can use these email examples as inspiration for how to write a cold email template or use them as-is. Read on for examples of cold emails that get responses.

1. The cold introduction email

This cold email’s primary purpose is to introduce you and your company to a new decision-maker for a B2B sale.

The email should begin with both you and your prospect’s basic information (your names and companies), showcase a touch of your research and then inquire if they’re interested in learning more.

Hi [name],

My name is [your name] with [your company name].

I came across [company name] on G2, and I was super impressed by your customer reviews.

We help companies like yours in [industry] free up time increase revenue by [%]. I wanted to learn what [industry] tools you’re currently using and discuss how you could make some changes to get the same revenue results for your business.

Are you available for a 10-minute call next week?

Thanks,

[Your name and email signature]


Remember that a cold introduction email template is a starting point for your discussion and you don’t want to overwhelm your prospect with too much information early on.

Instead, show them something of value. In the above template, it’s the revenue percentage that your product or service can bring to the table. Show the prospect that, above all, you just want to help them achieve their goals.

How to get a response:

  • Make your offer jump out. The email isn’t about your business; it’s about theirs. Offer a single insight on what your product or service can help them with, like revenue or productivity. Ask yourself, “how is your company going to help them?”

  • Do the research. Adding the prospect’s company name and industry are must-haves to any introductory email. Go a step further and include where you came across the company to add a personal touch. In this example, it was the company’s reviews on G2.

Leadfeeder Sales Manager Dipak Vadera says writing how you talk and avoiding buzzwords and sales cliches can make all the difference with cold emails like this. He also says that writing two to three-sentence paragraphs is important because it allows the reader to scan the content quickly, especially on mobile.

Lastly, don’t add a ton of links and attachments to the email. “This could trigger your email being inadvertently marked as spam,” Vadera warns.

2. The personalized email

A personalized email template lets the reader know that you follow their industry trends, have studied their company and know exactly why your product can help them.

Emails don’t need to be hyper-personalized, but they do need to give enough information to show the reader that they aren’t receiving a generic blast. A personalized cold email template should do the heavy lifting of breaking the ice with a prospect by referencing:

  • The names of products and people at the company

  • What the prospect’s company does and what its goals are

  • Any problems, concerns or risks they’re battling (i.e. changes in their industry)

  • Specific details you’ve kept on file like a recent LinkedIn comment or blog post

Here’s a cold email template based on this advice:

Hi [name],

I just came across your [blog post/comment/status] on [platform] and thought the points you made were very insightful and I agree with a lot of your views.

It also made me want to reach out so I could talk to you about how [their company] could benefit from our software that totally takes care of the issue you raised about [issue].

I’m free on Tuesday afternoon if that suits for a quick 10-minute chat.

Thanks a lot,

[Your name and email signature]


This level of personalization goes beyond adding a company name and works for two reasons:

  • It’s in-depth. The information you’ve outlined proves you’ve gone beyond a quick Google search. Even if the person isn’t ready to chat about your product at that moment, the least you can hope for is a reply. Then you can tag the lead to follow up with in the future.

  • It’s not generic. The problem with templates is that it’s hard to make them look like they aren’t automated. With personalization, some prospects will believe that the email is only being sent to them.

When Woodpecker studied 20 million cold emails over two years, their number one takeaway was the impact of personalization. The average response rate for emails that go beyond basic personalization elements (such as a recipient’s company name) was more than double that for emails with minimal custom information.

3. The before-after-bridge email

The before-after-bridge email is a way to weave your product into a larger narrative.

This is done using a tried and tested copywriting technique:

  • Before: Here’s where your company stands now (i.e. highlighting the problem)

  • After: If the problem was solved, this is what it would look like

  • Bridge: How to get there (i.e. your product/solution)

The key to setting up this email correctly is describing a problem that the prospect is facing and presenting the path beyond it.

According to behavioral psychologists, the human mind is spurred to action based on two feelings: pleasure and pain. This cold email template targets both and triggers a response.

This example ticks all the boxes:

Hi [name],

I noticed that your [blog/site] isn’t optimized for mobile. This might be causing you to lose many potential customers.

What if I told you there was a [tool/service/plugin] which could optimize the experience of your website on mobile devices?

That’s exactly what [your product] helps you do.

Would you be interested in learning more?

Thanks,

[Your name]


Rather than just talking about the product, the email flips the problem back onto the prospect. The result is the prospect feels empowered by your outreach and solution rather than agitated by an overly pushy sales pitch.

4. The useful content email

Not all cold emails have to be about selling.

One of the best ways to build a relationship, especially when you’re cold emailing, is by adding value for your prospect. Instead of pitching your product right off the bat, send them a helpful resource or relevant new data instead.

Keep it short and to the point:

Hi [name],

I read your latest article over on [website], and you piqued my interest in [topic]. Particularly on your points about [sub-topic].

During my search, I came across this article on [subject title] that may be helpful to you and your team and further add to your piece about [topic]:

[article URL] Hope you find it useful. Keep up the awesome work!

[Your name]


Content emails work largely because you’re not asking the prospect for anything. You’re not trying to book a meeting or see if they’re interested in your product. The only aim here is to provide the prospect with information that will be useful to them and their team.

However, it’s essential to not just push your own content. Share the most actionable content you can find on the topic from a credible source.

5. The mutual-connection email

Plugging a mutual connection into a cold email is an ideal way to create an instant level of trust that adds to the relationship-building process.

That doesn’t mean you should talk about yourself. As with all cold emails, you must put the focus on your prospect and their pain points. Use your commonalities to open the email, then quickly move on to why you’re contacting them:

Hi [name],

As a fellow [your college name] alumni, I thought I’d reach out!

I noticed on LinkedIn you’re hiring for a sales manager. At [your company], we help salespeople generate more prospects through social selling, and I’d love to ask you a couple of questions about your experiences at [company].

Would you be open to a quick call next Tuesday or Thursday afternoon? Let me know a time that’s good for you.

Thanks,

[Your name]


Highlighting a mutual connection is one of the best ways to leverage social proof, so if you have connections mention them.


6. The social media email

A prospect’s social media channels can be a goldmine.

They offer insight into their thoughts, company and interests, so use them as a research tool for your cold email outreach. They can also help your email stand out in a crowded inbox. If everybody is emailing your prospect about an offer or a discount, but you’re mentioning one of their Twitter posts, it can pique their curiosity.

Here’s an example of this in a cold email template:

Hi [name],

I caught your recent tweet on how to drive revenue using SEO-based blog content, and it got me thinking.

[Ask a question about their position/argument on the topic]

While we're on the subject, other companies like [a client of yours] and [another client of yours] have started to use [your company/product] to [drive revenue/sales/traffic].

It would be great to see if we could talk about this more and see how this could help [their company]. How are you for time on [insert day]?

I am looking forward to more Twitter content!

Thanks,

[Your name]

Tip: Don’t pick the most recent post on their social media feed (that could be perceived as lazy). Take a few minutes to see if there is a recurring theme or product mention within their posts. If so, choose one that discusses this overarching point or product.

If you can intrigue them with their own subject matter, it will only increase the chances of them replying to you.

7. The competitor email

Going after prospects who use your competitor’s products is a proven tactic when deployed delicately.

You don’t want to accidentally throw your competitors under the bus and risk your reputation. Instead, you need to get the prospect to draw their own conclusion that your product is a better fit.

Highlight your company’s strengths in the email as they relate to the prospect. Use an example of a customer who benefitted from switching from your competitor to your tool and benefitted.

Here’s how to position your product against a competitor’s:

Hi [name],

I noticed you’re using [your competitor] to take care of [solution/activity]. How are you finding their [capabilities]?

We help salespeople like you to [do things that competitor products or solutions can’t do].

Many of our customers have switched from [your competitor] to handle this critical task.

If you’re looking for this particular solution, I’d love to show you how we do it at [your company]. Would this be of interest?

Thanks,

[Your name]


This cold email is unique because you already know the prospect needs your product. You don’t have to prove the value of investing in your solution – you have to prove the value of making a change.

Use the email as an opportunity to show them your product’s unique selling points and highlight a customer’s achievements since they made the switch to your company.

However, make sure you aren’t negative about your competitor, as starting an engagement like this can give your prospect a negative impression of you as well.

8. The results email

This cold email shows your prospect, in real numbers, how well your product or service works. The data points might highlight the revenue you’ve added to a customer’s business or their increased customer count, for example.

This email is all about driving the message home that your product gets the job done:

Hi [name],

I was checking out [industry] software on G2 and, after reading some of your reviews, thought you’d find this of interest.

We help companies like [customer names] generate more customers by using proven website optimization techniques.

For example, we’ve helped [client] achieve [result] in [time frame]. I’d love to share how we did it.

Would you be interested in learning more?

Thanks,

[Your name]


This cold email template works because it mixes content with results. It acts as a brief case study, showing how companies similar to your prospects have achieved an outcome using your solution.

9. The demo email

Use this cold email template to explain concisely what your product/service is, outline exactly what you have to offer and show how it can help your prospect. If you have a short demo video or a webinar recording, include it.

Hi [name],

I have worked with organizations like [customer names] who have had the same problem with [common challenge].

With [describe product/service] they were able to solve it and [show a relevant statistic demonstrating an increase in production]. Here is an example of a project I produced for [customer name]: [insert link].

Would you be interested in something similar?

I made a demo for you to show you what it could look like in less than two minutes: [link to video].

Is this something you would be interested in?

Thanks,

[Your name]


10. The straight-to-the-point email

Here’s a quick final cold email template to kickstart a conversation.

Here’s how to write a cold email for sales:

Subject: [prospect’s company] + [your company]: Potential Synergy?

Hi [prospect’s name],

I hope this email finds you well. I came across [prospect’s company] and was impressed by [specific aspect]. Our company, [your company], specializes in [relevant solution] and has successfully helped similar organizations [achievement]. I would love to schedule a brief call to discuss potential synergies and how we can add value to [prospect’s company] – looking forward to connecting soon.

Best regards,

[Your name]

[Your title/company]

[Your contact information]


With the subject line, you put your intent and interest front and center.


Final thoughts

Successful cold emailing is an investigative task that requires thorough research, expert copywriting and persistence.

Every prospect that enters your sales funnel is unique, so you should pitch them with the cold email template that has the best chance of converting them into a customer.

Once you get the formula right, your cold email templates will become your secret weapon when connecting with prospects and turning conversations into sales.

Heat Up Your Cold Emails With 25 Customizable Email Templates

These cold email templates sourced from Pipedrive sales experts will help you scale your prospecting, drive more replies and stay out of those trash folders.

Driving business growth