12.29.2023

Crafting The Best Cold Email Template: Strategies for Effective Outreach and Lead Generation

Email outreach is the most effective channel for generating revenue, as reported by 59 percent of B2B marketers. However, as more businesses start to leverage cold emailing for growth, standing out in a crowded inbox becomes increasingly challenging.

The solution? 

Create brilliant cold email templates that grab attention and compel prospects to respond.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • What cold email outreach is and why it’s still an effective strategy.
  • How to create highly effective B2B cold email templates.
  • 5 critical mistakes to avoid when crafting cold sales email templates.
  • 10 cold emailing templates to revolutionize your next outreach campaign.
  • Top tips for evaluating and optimizing your cold email outreach samples.

Let’s dig a little deeper.

What is Cold Emailing?

Cold emailing is the practice of using email to reach out to potential customers who haven’t had any prior contact with the company. The main purpose of cold emailing is to introduce a business, product, or service to a new audience and initiate a conversation. Unlike spam, cold emails are personalized and targeted, focusing on providing value to the recipient — which can ultimately lead to fostering solid business relationships.

Is Cold Emailing Truly Effective?

Cold emailing continues to be a crucial tool of business communication for businesses worldwide. It’s a direct and cost-effective approach to initiate conversations with potential clients, partners, or investors, keeping them engaged and interested.

Cold emails can be particularly effective for B2B communication, where establishing professional relationships is key. They offer a way to bypass traditional gatekeepers, reach decision-makers directly, and can be a powerful tool for networking, lead generation, and sales.

Here are a few statistics to reflect the effectiveness and reach of cold emailing:

  • Email outreach is the most effective channel for revenue generation for 59 percent of B2B marketers. (Content Marketing Institute)
  • Email marketing yields a $38 return for every $1 spent in B2B. (HubSpot)
  • 73 percent of B2B buyers prefer receiving communications via email. (MarketingSherpa)

Crafting a Successful Cold Email Template

The Anatomy of a Highly-Converting Cold Email

A well-structured cold email can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your outreach efforts, creating a lasting impression and increasing the likelihood of a positive response. Each component of the email should work harmoniously to engage the prospect and convey your message clearly, prompting action.

Here are the essential components that form the backbone of a successful cold email:

Subject Line: Your first opportunity to catch the recipient’s attention, the subject line should be engaging, concise, and indicative of the email’s value.

Opening Line: This sets the tone for your email. A personalized and relevant opening line can pique the interest of the recipient and encourage them to read further.

Body: The main content of your email, where you clearly and succinctly state your purpose, offer value, and explain why it’s relevant to the lead.

Call-to-Action (CTA): This is a crucial element that guides the prospect on the next steps, whether it’s asking for a reply, requesting a meeting, or encouraging another form of engagement.

Email Signature: Your email signature should include your name, position, company, and contact information. A professional signature lends credibility and makes it easy for potential buyers to reach out to you.

Strategies for Effective Outreach and Lead Generation

The Most Common Mistakes to Avoid in Cold Emailing

1. Overly Generic Messages

One of the biggest mistakes in cold emailing is sending the same, impersonal email to multiple leads. This generic approach often results in low engagement rates because it fails to address the specific needs, interests, or pain points of the individual. Personalization — even in small details such as the first name or company name — can significantly increase your chances of resonating with the prospect and prompting a response.

This concept was best described by Jason Wise, Editor at EarthWeb, as follows:

“Sales teams in 2024 must balance innovation and tradition in a fast-changing digital world. Personalization at scale shines among the many options. Mass-blasted generic emails are obsolete. Today’s recipients are keen critics who resist impersonal approaches. Sales teams must grasp scaled personalization to break through the inbox noise.”

2. Long and Complicated Emails

Lengthy and complex emails can be overwhelming and energy-consuming for the prospect, which leads to them being ignored. It’s essential to be direct and clear if you want your cold outreach efforts to be successful. Get straight to the point, and ensure your email is easy to skim through and understand. Be sure to also break down your content into short paragraphs and use bullet points if necessary to enhance readability.

3. Underestimating the Subject Line

The subject line shapes the first impression that many prospects are going to have of your company. Thus, it will determine whether your cold email will be opened and replied to or ignored. A vague or uninteresting subject line is the surest way to get your emails overlooked or deleted.

That’s why it’s important to invest some time in crafting clear, intriguing subject lines and test them on various prospect lists to guarantee their effectiveness.

4. Not Warming Up Your Email Account

Another common oversight in cold emailing is not properly warming up the outreach account. Any sudden influx of emails from a new account can trigger spam filters, causing your email messages to be marked as spam.

‘Warming up’ refers to the process of gradually increasing the volume of emails sent from a new email account to build its reputation. This practice helps you avoid spam filters and ensures your emails reach the top of your lead’s inbox. 

5. Failing to Showcase Clear Value

Perhaps the most critical mistake to avoid is failing to articulate the value or benefits you are offering to the prospect. Your product or service should not only be relevant to the recipient’s needs but must also clearly state how it will solve their problem or improve their situation. Without a clear value proposition, your email is less likely to engage — resulting in a low response rate.

Best Tips for Cold Email Template Personalization

Over the past decade, we’ve sent a huge number of cold emails to grow our own network and help our clients reach more customers of their own. Throughout that period, we’ve gathered invaluable insights into cold emailing, especially when it comes to personalization and building rapport with high-quality buyers. 

Here are a few tips to help you craft more engaging and effective cold emails:

1. Unlock the Power of Signal-Driven Prospecting with Buyer Intent Data

Transform your approach to prospecting by harnessing the power of buyer intent data, an innovative strategy that utilizes AI and machine learning to analyze the digital footprints and search behaviors of your prospects. This method offers a deeper, more precise understanding of what your prospects are seeking and their stage in the buying journey. By integrating this rich data, you can tailor your cold emails to be highly relevant and timely, significantly increasing your chances of engaging them effectively. Not only does this demonstrate your commitment to meeting their unique needs, but it also positions you as a knowledgeable and attentive partner. 

At Martal, we build and segment lead lists based on buyer intent signals. When asked about the effectiveness of this approach, Edd Young, our VP of sales operations, stated:

“Many assume that outbound is still just a numbers game — the more emails you send the more opportunities in your pipeline. However, we’ve studied that data, and the opposite is true. Once you start pumping out messages at mast-blast proportions, all your metrics start to plump, from open rates to conversions and everything in between. 

Today, the most successful cold email campaigns are those that target decision-makers engaged in the buyer’s journey, and that’s why analyzing buyer intent signals is an integral part of our lead gen strategy. When I started at Martal back in February 2020, the concept of signal-driven prospecting was fairly new to me, but now, I couldn’t imagine prospecting any other way. And the numbers don’t lie. I have witnessed our clients’ conversion double simply by matching the right buyer intent signals with the right audience segments and messaging.”

2. Use a Conversational Tone

Despite its importance, this one is often overlooked and underrated because it’s not directly related to cold emailing. To enhance rapport and engagement in your cold emails, you need to write as if you were speaking to the prospect in person. This approach makes your messages more relatable and less formal, breaking down barriers and fostering a sense of familiarity and trust.

A few examples of using a conversational tone in an email:

  • Use Personal Pronouns: Incorporate words like “you,” “your,” “we,” and “our” to make the email feel more like a direct conversation. This personal touch creates a sense of dialogue rather than a one-sided message.
  • Stick to an Informal Language: Opt for a more casual, everyday language as opposed to formal or technical jargon. You may do that by using contractions (like “I’m” instead of “I am”) or colloquial expressions in a friendly, approachable tone.
  • Ask Questions: Include questions that invite a response, such as “Have you considered…?” or “What are your thoughts on…?” This encourages the lead to respond as it makes your email more interactive.

3. Mention a Common Connection or Interest

If you share a connection or interest with a prospective client, mention it to make your email more personal and relatable. Many successful, long-term business partnerships have started with two individuals sharing the same hobby or interest. This tactic helps you establish common ground and shows that you’ve gone the extra mile trying to understand the prospect beyond their business role.

4. Incorporate Buyer Intent Data Into Your Prospecting Process

Show that you’ve done your research by being specific about how your offering relates to their needs or industry. Specificity doesn’t only demonstrate your thorough understanding of their challenges but also helps you position your genuine interest in helping them. Consequently, that grants you an advantage in promoting your offer as the perfect solution to their specific problem.

5. Provide a Relevant Solution, Case Study, or Quantifiable Value

Providing a relevant solution, case study, or quantifiable value in your short email can be incredibly effective. This shows that you’re not just making promises but offering concrete, proven results. By quantifying the value you’ve delivered to similar clients, you differentiate yourself from competitors and underscore the tangible benefits of your offering.

10 B2B Cold Email Templates to Skyrocket Your Success

Introduction and Networking

Introduction templates are ideal for initiating a professional relationship, proposing a networking opportunity, or setting the stage for future collaborations.

1. The “Quick Insight” Template

Hi {{first_name}},

Ever wondered how some tweaks in [industry-specific process] can lead to [desired outcome]? I’m {{your_name}} from {{your_company}}, and I’d love to share with you some fresh, actionable insights to help your business grow.

How about a 10-minute call this {{day}} to dive into this? This might be the spark {{prospect_company}} needs to reach new heights.

Best Regards,

Sales and Lead Generation

These B2B sales templates are designed for initiating contact with potential leads or advancing existing prospects further down the sales funnel. You can use them to introduce your product or service, highlight its benefits, and create a sense of urgency or interest. 

2. The “Lunch on Us” Template

Hi {{first_name}},

Do you have lunch plans for next {{day}}, say around {{time}}? I’d like to invite you to a virtual lunch (on us) to discuss how {{your_company}} can help {{prospect_company}} achieve [desired outcome]. 

If you are free, I will send you the details so you can order your lunch and have it delivered before the meeting.

Cheers,

💡Offering a free lunch during the discovery call does require a more complex setup on the backend of your cold email campaigns, but it’s well worth the effort. We’ve 3x our clients’ conversion rates through our Lunch and Learn lead gen strategy. 

3. The “Did You See This” Template

Hi {{first_name}},

Did you see the latest trend in [industry process]?

This is revolutionizing the way [breakdown why it’s important]. 

Currently, we are [how your company solves this problem by offering a proactive solution].

Are you the right person to talk about the impact of [trend] on {{prospect_company}}?

Thanks,

4. The “What if” Template

Hi {{first_name }},

What if you could [ideal solution]? I’m with {{your_company}}, and we [problem you solve].

I’d like to set up a brief chat with you and [colleague leading the meeting] so you can learn more about [offer] and achieve [desired outcome] for {{ prospect_company}}. 

Are you available {{date_and_time}}?

Best,

5. The “Does This Sound Familiar” Template

Hi {{first_name}},

Other {{title}}s who use [competitor product] love [feature] but could do without the [downside].

{{your_company}} has found a way to provide [feature] without [downside] and [exciting benefit].

Have you had a similar experience? If so, I would love to hop on a quick demo call to show you just how easy [product] can help you [desired outcome]. How about next {{day}}?

Regards,

💡We’ve doubled our clients’ conversion rates by targeting decision-makers using similar solutions, but you must be careful not to bash the competition. One snarky comment about your competitors can cause your reply rate to nosedive. To capitalize on this strategy, you will need access to an advanced prospecting platform with technographic data. 

Event Invitation or Follow-up

Such templates are suitable for inviting prospects, clients, or industry colleagues to events and conferences. You may also use them for following up after an event to maintain the connection or discuss potential business opportunities.

6. The “Event Invitation” Template

Hi {{first_name}},

I’d like to personally invite you to an exclusive event we’re hosting at {{your_company}}. It’s a unique opportunity for leaders in {{industry}}, and I believe it could be particularly beneficial for {{prospect_company}}.

Join us on {{date}} for a day of insightful discussions and networking with industry experts. It’s a great 

chance to explore new trends and how they might impact your business.

Looking forward to potentially meeting you there,

7. The “Post Event” Follow-Up

Hi {{first_name}},

It was a pleasure connecting with you at [event name]. I was impressed by your insights into [industry-specific topic] and thought there could be a great synergy between our companies.

Could we schedule a time this week to discuss potential collaborations or ways our services/products might benefit {{prospect_company}}?

Best regards,

Feedback or Testimonial Request

As their name suggests, these templates are best used for gathering feedback from clients or customers about your products or services.

8. The “Feedback Request” Template

Hi {{first_name}},

As someone who has recently experienced our {{services_or_products}} at {{company}}, your feedback is incredibly essential to us.

Could you spare a few minutes to share your thoughts in a brief survey [insert link]? Your honest feedback will help us serve you better in the future.

Thanks in advance,

9. The “Testimonial Request” Template

Hi {{first_name}},

I hope you’re doing well. Your recent success with our {{product/service}} at {{company}} has been a highlight for us, and we’d love to feature your story.

Would you be open to writing a brief testimonial about your experience? If you’re interested, I’d be happy to provide more details or assist in any way.

Thanks for your time and support,

Strategies for Effective Outreach and Lead Generation

Buyer Persona Segmented by Industry

This template comes to us by way of our friends at Reply. With an open rate of 80 percent and a reply rate of nearly 5 percent, it’s hard to deny this template’s ability to generate quality leads. Use this format when you have the resources to add custom variables and conduct additional research on your target prospects. 

10. The “You Would Know More” Template

Hi {{first_name}},

{{your_name}} from {{your_company}} here – [short value proposition].

I am reaching out to you because being {{job_title}}, I’m certain you would know more about the current processes in place at {{prospect_company}} for the [department] department.

While we have already helped companies in {{industry}} industry, such as [similar company 1] and [similar company 2], I felt you might be interested in [pain point].

Open to learning a bit more?

Best Practices for Cold Email Campaigns

From timing to A/B testing and follow-ups, success often hinges on the finer details of how you execute your cold emailing campaign. A lot of elements can play a crucial role in determining the effectiveness of your cold email outreach

Let’s delve into some of the best practices that can elevate your cold email campaigns:

1. Leverage A/B Testing and Analytics

A/B testing is a powerful tool for optimizing your B2B cold email campaigns. By testing different subject lines, email formats, or calls to action, you can understand what resonates best with your target buyers. 

However, Vlad Oleksiienko, VP of Growth at Reply, first emphasizes the importance of self-assessment in this process:

Be honest — when you finish your template, read it and ask yourself whether you would respond back if you received such an email from someone else: 

1. Do I like this email template? (yes/no)

2. Do I want to see something similar in my inbox? (yes/no)

3. Would I reply if I received a similar email in my inbox? (yes/no)

4. Ask your friend/colleague if he would reply to this email. (yes/no)

1. Reach Out in the Right Moment:

When done right, timing can significantly impact the open and response rates of your cold emails. As a cold email lead generation agency, we’ve found that sending emails on Tuesday mornings often leads to higher engagement. However, it’s crucial to note that this can vary based on your industry and target audience. 

Best Days for Cold Outreach:

  • Tuesday: Known for high open and response rates; recipients are more settled into their workweek.
  • Thursday: Effective for decision-making and pre-weekend planning; second-best in terms of engagement.
  • Wednesday: Mid-week stability; good for follow-ups and continued conversations.

Best Hours for Cold Outreach:

  • Mid-Morning (10-12 AM): After the morning rush, recipients are more likely to check and engage with emails.
  • Early Morning (6-8 AM): Effective for reaching recipients before their day gets busy; often checked first thing in the morning.
  • Early Afternoon (1-3 PM): Post-lunch period where recipients are back to their desks and checking emails.

As for frequency, there’s a balance to strike to ensure that your emails are neither spammy nor buried in the prospect’s inbox. You want to stay top of mind for your audience — but without overwhelming them or getting them annoyed. A good rule of thumb is to start with a weekly email and adjust based on the responses and engagement you receive.

3. Follow-Up Consistently 

Following up is an essential aspect of cold emailing, often making the difference between a successful campaign and a missed opportunity. The reason is straightforward: your first email might not always elicit a response, possibly because the prospect is too busy or simply uninterested at the moment.

Sending a well-timed follow-up can dramatically improve your chances of getting noticed. Ideally, you should send a follow-up email within 3-5 days after your initial outreach.

As Draven McConville, CEO and Founder of Klipboard, puts it:

“A shocking SalesLoft survey found that 80% of sales require five follow-up emails. This number alone emphasizes cold email perseverance… Follow-up emails every few days or weeks show persistence without being intrusive. It’s a rhythm that keeps prospects interested without overpowering them… Each email is an opportunity to add value or information. It’s an opportunity to ask intelligent questions, plan a meaningful meeting, or remind the receiver of your prior letter.”

Now, how do you craft a highly effective B2B cold email?

The most important factors to keep in mind are brevity and clarity. You must quickly reiterate the value proposition of your initial email and include a clear, direct call to action. This approach reinforces your message without overwhelming the recipient with new information.

Refining Your Cold Email Template: Advanced Tips and Tricks

To truly stand out in a crowded inbox, you need to employ advanced strategies that effectively capture and retain the attention of your target prospects. Here are some of our most insightful tips and tricks that you can use to enhance your cold email sample:

1. Harness the Power of Social Proof

Social proof, such as testimonials or case studies, will significantly boost the credibility of your message. When you mention how your product or service has helped similar companies or individuals, it provides tangible evidence of your value.

Here are some ways you can do this in your own cold email template:

Case Study Highlight: “In a case study with {{similar company}}, our strategy led to a 40% boost in their online engagement in just four months.”

Portfolio Success: “Our portfolio includes work with {{similar company}}, where we successfully increased their market reach by 25% last year.”

Client Achievement: “We’re proud to have assisted {{similar company}} in scaling their user base by over 100,000 within six months, as detailed in our latest project review.”

Service Impact: “Through our specialized marketing services, {{similar company}} was able to double their website traffic, achieving a record-high online presence.”

Not only will that capture the attention of your audience, but also set a solid foundation for your pitch.

2. Use Storytelling to Connect and Engage

For centuries, storytelling has been a powerful tool for creating emotional connections and driving action in sales and marketing. A good story in your email can illustrate the challenges faced by similar clients and how your solution helped them overcome these obstacles. This approach transforms your email from a simple proposition to a compelling narrative that the recipient can relate to and remember.

But that’s not all! 

Storytelling extends beyond just sharing client successes. Personal stories may also play a pivotal role in personalizing and engaging your audience. When you share a personal anecdote or experience that relates to the challenges or aspirations of your target lead, it adds a human touch to your message. That can break down formal barriers and foster a sense of connection, making your email more memorable and impactful.

3. Quantify Your Success With Previous Clients

As you may have already noticed, all the examples used above to feature achievements include numbers and data.

Quantifying the impact of your solution with specific figures or percentages can greatly enhance the credibility of your cold emails and make them more appealing. Despite the outstanding results this practice can lead to, it remains a crucial strategy that very few businesses utilize.

Let’s look at a few examples of how this works:

  • Instead of “Our tool improves productivity,” you could say, “Clients using our tool have seen a 40% increase in productivity…”
  • Instead of “Our platform helps startups scale quickly,” it’s better to say, “Startups using our platform have experienced a 60% acceleration in growth rate within…”
  • Instead of “Our financial analysis tools optimize investment strategies,” you should use, “Financial institutions using our analysis tools have seen a 30% improvement in investment returns…”

These specific, quantifiable claims provide clear evidence of the value you offer, making your proposition more persuasive.

How to Measure the Success of Your Cold Email Templates

Monitoring the success of your cold email templates goes beyond just knowing what works. It’s about understanding how to make your future email campaigns even more engaging and effective. That’s why tracking key metrics is crucial for ensuring your messages resonate with your audience.

Most Important Cold Emailing Metrics to Track

Open Rate: This metric measures the percentage of recipients who open your email. A low open rate indicates that the majority of your prospects aren’t reading your emails, which means your outreach efforts might be going unnoticed.

Click-Through Rate (CTR): CTR measures the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links contained in your email. It’s a key indicator of how compelling your email content is in driving recipients to take action.

Response Rate: This reflects the percentage of recipients who reply to your email after reading it. Higher engagement levels through replies often lead to better conversion rates.

Conversion Rate: This measures the percentage of recipients who completed a desired action after clicking on a link in your email, such as booking a meeting or downloading a whitepaper.

Best Tools and Software for Cold Email Analytics

In this digital age, leveraging technology to gain insights into your cold email campaigns is more than just a necessity. With the right tools, you can track various metrics, understand lead behavior, and fine-tune your strategies to maximize impact.

Let’s explore some different tools and platforms you can use:

Dedicated Cold Email Tools

Cold email tools are specifically tailored for personalized, one-to-one business outreach, like B2B communication. They focus on the nuances of cold emailing, such as personalization at scale, tracking individual recipient engagement, and managing follow-ups. These tools often include features for A/B testing specific elements of cold emails, detailed analytics on lead responses, and integration with sales pipelines. They are particularly valuable for sales teams and businesses whose primary focus is on generating leads and building business relationships through direct, personalized email outreach.

CRM Software

CRM software offers a broader perspective as it integrates email interactions with overall customer relationship management. These tools track how email interactions contribute to the sales pipeline and customer engagement over time. CRMs are particularly useful for businesses looking to understand the long-term impact of their cold emails on customer relationships and sales cycles. They’re best suited for those who want to align their email outreach with broader sales and marketing strategies.

Email Marketing Platforms

Email marketing platforms are comprehensive solutions designed for a broad range of email marketing activities. They excel in managing large-scale email campaigns, offering features like audience segmentation, automated email sequences, and integrated marketing tools. These platforms are ideal for businesses conducting various types of email marketing, including newsletters, promotional campaigns, and more. They provide robust analytics on open rates, click-through rates, and subscriber behavior, which are essential for optimizing broad marketing strategies.

How to Improve a Cold Outreach Email Template Based on Feedback

Optimizing your cold email template is a dynamic process that hinges on effectively utilizing feedback and data. This approach not only enhances the relevance of your emails but also ensures they resonate better with your target audience.

Here are some tips on how to refine your cold email templates using the valuable insights you gather:

1. Understanding Key Metrics

Open Rate: Indicates how compelling your subject line is, reflecting the initial appeal of your email. To improve this, you must focus on crafting more compelling and personalized subject lines. Be sure to experiment with different styles, such as questions, direct benefits, etc.

Click-Through Rate (CTR): Shows the engagement level of your content and how effective your call-to-action is. The best way to improve CTRs is to ensure your content is engaging and directly aligned with the CTA. 

Response Rate: Measures the percentage of responses you get for each campaign you launch. To boost response rates, you have to personalize your email content and make it conversational. 

Email conversions: Track the success of your email in prompting prospects to complete a desired action (book a meeting, fill out a form, download a case study, etc).

2. A/B Testing for Optimization

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a strategy used to compare two versions of a single variable to determine which one performs better. In B2B cold email outreach, this practice involves sending out two variations of an email to a small segment of your target audience to see which version yields better results.

By experimenting with different email elements, you can identify what truly resonates with your ideal prospects, leading to improved engagement rates. A/B testing not only allows for immediate improvements but also fosters a culture of continuous optimization, ensuring that your cold email strategy consistently evolves and adapts.

Here are some expert-driven tips to help you with your first A/B test:

Only Test One Element at a Time: To accurately measure your results, be sure to change only one element (like the subject line, CTA, or email body) with each test.

Use a Significant Sample Size: Ensure your test groups are large enough to provide statistically significant results. A few dozen emails might not be sufficient when there are many external variables, such as timing and audience segmentation.

Document Your Results: Always keep track of your tests and results for future reference.

Be Patient: It’s all about gathering sufficient analytics data. Give your test campaigns enough time to run so you can collect insights in real time.

Bottom Line

A well-designed email template is a decisive factor in the effectiveness of your email outreach strategy. It’s crucial to not only craft a compelling template but also to continually refine and improve it through testing and optimization.

Vito Vishnepolsky
Vito Vishnepolsky
CEO and Founder at Martal Group