How to Write a Cold Email - Best Practices (5 Templates)

Write the perfect email to your prospects.
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The first email was written in 1971, making this way of communication with the help of technology one of the oldest besides calling.

More than 50 years later, emails are still one of the popular ways to talk to friends, clients, and peers or reach out to new connections. And it will continue to play a major role in the future as well.

Of course, technology has changed through the years.

Cold outreach via email is a great way to build relationships and create opportunities for your business. But you'll see a huge difference if you compare how cold emailing was done 10 or 20 years ago to how it works today.

To ensure you are all set for your next cold email campaign, read this step-by-step guide for writing cold emails and have a look at our new SDR support platform.

What is a Cold Email?

A cold email is one of several channels through which SDRs reach out to their prospects.

As the word "cold" implies, the prospects are neither familiar with your company nor your products or services. So there was no previous connection between the prospects and your company.

The intention is to educate prospects about how you can solve their pain points by starting a conversation. A cold email is a great way to make people aware of who you are and what you offer.

This type of email is special. Certain characteristics make a cold email outstanding from any other email you are writing or receiving.

One very significant aspect is the size:

It should only include 2 to 6 phrases, counting no more than 200 words. According to the data, 50–125 words is the ideal range.

The Intention Behind a Cold Email

Before we talk about the single steps to write a cold email, here are some important ideas behind this approach.

Educate

The worst you could do in a cold email is to aggressively sell by forcing them to buy now or by putting pressure through "limited" offers.

Starting a conversation about problems and solutions will make prospects more comfortable because the pressure they have to buy from you will not play a role.

It's more of a conversation for both sides to determine whether cooperation makes sense.

Brand awareness

Due to their nature, cold emails assist in increasing brand awareness.

They're aimed at potential customers who have never engaged with your company but could benefit from using your goods or services.

You are promoting your goods to them and raising brand awareness by cold emailing them.

Even if you don't get a response to your email, your potential customers have become aware of your product or service. And maybe a deal will happen in the future because someone else from your company contacted them again or because the offer makes sense at another time.

Networking

A skilled salesperson is very aware of the value of networking in the modern world.

You can introduce yourself briefly and describe your business, just like you would if you were meeting someone face-to-face. Moreover, if the recipient appreciates your sincere efforts, they might get in touch with you and aid in the growth of your network.

5 Steps for Writing Cold Emails

Going through the process of writing a good cold email needs time and much of your attention. To ensure you don't miss any details, use this step-by-step guide.
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Step 1: Start with an intriguing subject line

Your first chance to create an impression is in the subject line. Consumers are more inclined to read an email if the subject line piques their interest or offers value.

So, try to pique the recipient's interest or provide value for them. And remember that a fascinating subject line is about them, not you.

Here are possible subject lines that you can copy or customize:

  • Have you thought about switching X?
  • Want to scale up X at {{COMPANY}}?
  • Feeling {{insert emotion}}? Let me help
  • If you're struggling with {{common pain point}}, you're not alone
  • {{Name}}, saw you're focused on {{goal}}
  • Idea for {{topic the prospect cares about}}
These subject lines are particularly effective because they speak to prospects' concerns and are personalized.

We advise you to conduct an A/B test on your subject lines to determine which one has the highest open rate.

Step 2: Write a personalized cold email introduction

After you had a great opener, this is what people will read next. It is crucial that you make your prospect feel understood and interested.

This part of your cold email is very important to make people read the rest. Don't talk too much about yourself, instead, keep the level of self-introduction low and personalization high.

We tend to talk about ourselves and the products or services we offer, but this will not lead to success in the long run.

You have about 3 seconds to make an impact with an introduction and let the prospect continue reading. 2 to 3 phrases are a good length to refer to the recipient of the message, as well as their business, knowledge, successes, and industry. You can get their attention by doing that.

One possible example:

Hi {{first_name}},

I'm {{your_name}} with {{your_company}}. I've just seen your speech on {{event}} about {{topic that relates to your outreach}}. I really like {{aspect you like}}.

Step 3: Include value in your pitch

In this step, you have to make sure that you continue with this simple and natural tone from your introduction. Try to let it sound like a simple conversation, and avoid using long and complex phrases.

One big mistake is if the pitch sounds pushy. So the recipient who's just learning about your company feels pressure to buy something right away or to agree to a meeting.

This pressure kills your pitch before it begins.

When pitching, make sure to include the prospect's name and company and how exactly they will benefit from your offer. Talk less about your features and more about them.

You can also ask simple questions that prospects might have while reading to make them feel understood and answer them directly. Try to use the pronoun "you" instead of "we" and "I".

Step 4: Use a clear call-to-action

Again, keep it short. Your call to action (CTA) should be just one phrase.

What you want your prospects to do doesn't just have to be a meeting. Of course, this is a possible next step after your cold email or after a follow-up. However, some people aren't ready yet to hop on a call.

Instead, you can ask for advice or information since it enables the prospect to quickly show off their experience and skills. If you can provide something in exchange, such as benchmarking data, this can be especially effective.

We recommend you do an A/B test with this as well to find out what your ideal customer profile (ICP) prefers.

Possible CTAs:

"Does it make sense to explore how we can [positive-outcome]?"

"Are you open to learning how to get [desired-outcome]?"

Step 5: Improve reliability

This step covers the first lines of your email, which is visible in the recipient's inbox.

The "from" line is one of the first things prospects notice when they open your email. With the "from" line, you have the potential to either win their trust or scare them away.

  1. First & Last name, Title (John Brown)
  2. First & Company name (John at SalesPipe)
  3. First & Last name + Company name (John Brown at SalesPipe)
Another factor that improves reliability is a decent signature.

It should introduce you to the receiver and provide information on how they may learn more about you or your business.

Only incorporate relevant information: remove any data that only takes up space and offers no benefit. Consider the value of each piece of information in the signature.

To show you what a complete cold email as a template looks like, here 5 cold email templates that you can use for your outreach.

Best Cold Email Templates

The following templates are created for different industries and occasions. You can copy and customize the templates to make them suitable for your prospects.

Recent Event Cold Outreach Email
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Making use of a current occasion makes it simpler to begin a genuine dialogue. Look for news about new products, endorsements, or another corporate achievement you may highlight in your email as you investigate a potential client.

Finally, extend a thorough congratulations rather than just a one-liner before making your pitch. Instead of using the event as a bait-and-switch to get them to open your email, use it to build relationships.

Referral Cold Outreach Email
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Even though this one is a bit longer, the intention is clear. Starting a conversion to find out more about the prospect and the company. Even if the prospect isn't the right person, the call to action ensures that the right person will be contacted.

It also makes use of small unique details. This template employs everyday language but doesn't forget to personalize it.

How, for instance, did you discover them? Did they publish a hilarious LinkedIn post or a blog article that you read? Small touches can establish a genuine relationship.

Solution-Offering Cold Outreach Email
cold outreach email sample infographic
This template offers a solution for some of the prospect's possible problems. With the personalized subject line, the recipient is curious about the sender's solution and will most likely open the cold email.

Pleasure and Pain Cold Outreach Email
cold outreach email infographic
The success of this strategy is due to common human characteristics. According to behavioral psychologists, two emotions—pleasure and pain—are what motivate human conduct. Both are the focus of this cold email, which also prompts a response.

The email shifts the focus back to the prospect's issue rather than just discussing the product. As a result, rather than being upset by an overly aggressive sales pitch, the prospect feels empowered by your approach and solution.

Competitor Cold Outreach Email
cold outreach email template infographic
You probably know how your competitors work with your prospects when you analyze their outcomes or if you check certain numbers of your prospect's company. So you're able to see where your competitor isn't performing well and that your company is the better fit.

Through cold emails like this, prospects will consider the status of their current partnerships and whether a switch to another company might be a better solution.

If you know where your competitor isn't doing well, bring it up and show your prospect how you can outperform the competition.

Conclusion

Writing cold emails should definitely be part of every SDR's skillset.

Success is not easy and requires patience, the right mindset, and the knowledge to write a cold email properly.

This step-by-step cold email guide showed you what to look for and provided you with examples for your next outreach campaign.

Join the Community to unlock more cold email templates.
Post by Mattes Wöstemeier.
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