Updated May 6, 2022
B2B cold emails can be a tough game. Our original article provided the best cold email templates to help you send more effective emails.
Here are three additions to our original list to widen your options.
The average response rate to cold emails is just 1%. Yup, that’s it. However, not all cold emails are created equal. Email marketing tracking statistics show that companies that use advanced personalization and other targeted cold-emailing techniques can have a reply rate of up to 17%. So how do you ensure your B2B company has a reply rate that’s closer to 17% – rather than 1%? Use the right template. That’s why we’ve outlined seven of the very best B2B cold email templates and strategies of 2021. Keep reading (and copying and pasting, if necessary) to learn more about leading cold emails for sales consultants.
General Tips For Writing Better Cold Emails
Before diving into the best cold email templates for sales consultants, let’s review some basic strategies you should use in all of your cold emails, regardless of the template you choose. Here’s a quick list that summarizes the best practices in the space:
- Focus on writing catchy subject lines: Grab your cold lead’s attention with an informative and engaging subject line. The goal is to give your recipient a reason to open your email. You should mention a pain point, a connection, or a solution. For example, Want to Improve [Metric] by X%?
- Keep your emails as concise as possible: Introduce yourself and your company. Don’t be too formal. Mention the probable pain point, the negative consequence of the pain point, and how your product or service can be the solution. Tie it all together with a CTA and signature with your information and headshot. A lengthy email will be ignored. Provide value to your reader from start to finish.
- Use content personalization strategies whenever you can: Think in terms of what your lead wants, not just their company as a whole. You can also make a connection by mentioning where you found them, relevant mutual connections you share, or their recent accomplishments.
- Break up your paragraphs often: A cold email MUST be attractive to the eye and easy to read. Graphics, bullet points, or links can also help break up the text.
- Keep your call to action simple and the point: Tell the reader exactly how to take the next step, and make it easy on them. Embed links to phone numbers and calendars. Your prospect should be just a few clicks away from contacting you or scheduling a meeting with you.
- Always follow up: You should follow up 2-3 times after your first cold email, always adding more value for the reader. You might add to your emails by including a customer success story, a relevant article information, or a product promotion discount.
- Use a template, but don’t sound like a template: If you want to write a successful cold email, use a tested-and-proven template. Templates are effective, but it’s important your cold email doesn’t blend with everybody else’s. Tweak the language of your template to make it sound as if you wrote it.
14 Best B2B Cold Email Templates of 2022
1. The Compliment/Benefit/Time/Help Approach
Below is a classic approach to the cold email that has stood the test of time. It’s a pretty basic formula. You begin with a quick compliment to get the reader on your good side. Then sum up the benefit that your product offers in a few sentences. This needs to be direct and to the point to avoid losing the prospect’s attention and negatively impacting your B2B sales.
Next, this approach sets an expectation for the amount of time it would take for the reader to enjoy the benefits offered. This setup ends with an offer to help the reader unlock new benefits for their company.
Here are some examples to help you get started.
- As a small business owner, you’re one of only a few individuals who can successfully generate income out of nothing more than an idea.
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- It can be overwhelming to analyze and act on all of your site data. Our software flags high-priority visitors, instantly contacts new prospects, and automates reports and alerts for your sales team, so that you can focus on the bigger picture.
- Our most recent client saw results in less than three weeks.
- Our guaranteed average result time is six months.
- We’re reaching out today because we’re offering a discounted first-month price of $99. If you are dissatisfied with your results after one month, we will refund every penny.
- Here’s a demo that will show you in-detail how our program is the most affordable way to boost website visitors. To discuss pricing and scheduling, please set up a call with one of our awesome staff members here on the calendar.
2. The AIDA Formula
AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. It’s an acronym that you should keep in mind if you want to start seeing better results with your email marketing tracking.
Cold emails that follow the AIDA template begin by grasping the reader’s attention. There are many ways to do this, and the right approach will vary based on your company’s brand image. For example, you could grab a reader’s attention with a funny line or two. Or you could pique their interest with a compelling value statement right upfront.
Next, you’re going to get the reader’s interest. Quickly sum up why they should care about what you have to say in the email. For example, you might say something like: “What would you do if you had an extra 12 hours each week? Our product is guaranteed to save small business owners at least 8 hours per week. That time can go towards all of the other aspects of your business that might be neglected due to your busy schedule.”
Then you’ll express which of the reader’s business-related desires you can satisfy and close with a call to action.
3. The Two Things You Should Fix
The following is a clever approach to the cold email that will help you stand out from the competition. It could be just what you need to improve your B2B sales results.
This template begins with a few quick sentences to make an introduction and get to the point. You can also throw in a line of humor early on to develop something that’s in good taste.
Once you’ve described who you are and what you do, you’re going to say something along the lines of:
“I love what [Company X] is doing, but we’ve noticed two things that you need to fix.”
Then the email should close by asking the reader to set up a time to review those two things, which of course, you’ll fix with your company’s product or service.
When you use this template, make it easy on your prospects to contact you. You should include a direct phone number link, email link, or link to a schedule where they can set up a call at a convenient time.
4. The Bribe
The “bribe” isn’t really a bribe in the negative sense of the word. But this cold emailing strategy does involve giving your reader something in the hopes that they’ll return the favor by considering your B2B sales offer.
There are several ways to do this. If you identify a valuable prospect, you might give them premium content that you usually put behind a paywall for free. Doing so could be just what’s necessary to grab their attention and get them to seriously consider doing business with your company.
The “bribe” that you use can also be unrelated to your company. For example, you might send over a link for a $5 Starbucks gift card. You could send it over with a message like:
“I know we’re not in the same city, but I’d still love to have a coffee with you.”
Then you could write a few sentences about what you would discuss with the prospect if you were to have coffee together. This is a pretty uncommon approach, so it will help you stand out from the barrage of emails that most high-value prospects receive on an average day.
5. The GIF Strategy
Some companies using email marketing tracking find that their humorous B2B emails perform better than their straight-faced ones. If that’s the case, or if you think that taking a unique approach might be good for your email marketing strategy, try this template.
First, start with a quick introduction, saying something to the effect of:
Did you get a chance to check out [X Company’s] free trial last week? I know what you must be thinking….”
Here, insert an amusing GIF that captures your sentiment and pokes fun at the somewhat awkward nature of cold email introductions – perhaps something like this:
Of course, taking the humorous route won’t be a good idea for every business. You need to carefully toe the line here. But when done right, the GIF Strategy can help you acquire new clients and boost your B2B sales.
6. The Competitor Satisfaction Method
The idea behind this cold emailing template is to show your reader what makes you a better solution than one of your competitors. This can be a good option for targeting email lists that you know currently work with the competition.
It’s best to be upfront about your intentions. Begin with a quick reference to the fact that you know this prospect uses the competition’s product. Then give a quick summary of what makes your product a better fit for them. Then end with a call to action by setting up a meeting to discuss the improvements you can offer in more detail.
One thing to keep in mind if you decide to try this is tactic: keep it classy. you shouldn’t bad-mouth the competition. Rather, you should go for a neutral tone that highlights your strength while pointing out some weaknesses that may make the competition a worse fit for your prospect.
7. The Proof of Relevance
When you’re making first introductions with a cold email, you need to prove yourself. The Proof of Relevance B2B email template involves a simple introduction paired with social proof of your company. It should go something like this:
Good morning [First Name],
I’d like to introduce myself as your go-to resource here at [Your Company Name]. I work with businesses in the [Target Industry] field. I was happy to see you’ve visited our website in the past, and wanted to learn more about your business.
While exploring your website, I noticed some areas of opportunity in [X strategy for sales, marketing, customer service etc.] My company [Your Company Name] is working with similar companies to yours, like [X Company Name] and [Y Company Name] to help them accomplish [X goals] with our tools and solutions.
Do you have 10 minutes to discuss your [X strategy] this week? You can reserve a time that works for you here on my calendar: [Calendar Link]
The magic in this email lies in the subtle name drop, as well as the direct call to action. Hopefully this winning combination will catch your prospect’s attention.
8. The Short and To the Point
The short-and-to-the-point email is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a cold emailing template that focuses on offering a brief overview of your company, why the reader should care about it, and how to learn more.
You only need three one-line paragraphs for this template. Begin with an introduction in the first line. Then tell the reader what you do in the second. Finally, close with a line that says how you think you can help the reader and what they can do to learn more.
The only downside to this approach is that it can be tough to show any personality in so short an email. For that reason, this template may be best reserved for direct outreach to decision-makers with little bandwidth that you’re confident care only about the cold hard facts.
9. The Decision-Maker Appeal
This template starts with a direct ask of who the best person to speak to about the topic you’re referencing is. Typically, you’ll want to write something about the value of your product or service.
Here’s an example of what that might look like:
- Quick question: Who’s the best person to speak to about marketing at your company?
- Dozens of corporations like yours use our software to meet their marketing goals while saving money.
- We provide the following benefits: [X, Y, Z]
- Are you the best person to speak to about this? If not, who should I contact?
10. The Value Prop
You can also use a template that focuses primarily on establishing your value. With this approach, it’s good to start with a brief introduction of who you are and why you’re reaching out.
Then, get right into the value that you can offer by detailing specific things you’ve done for companies in the past.
You might mention that you helped a similarly-sized company grow its customer base by X percent. Or you might say that you reduced waste by Y amount.
The key to this template is spending the bulk of the email outlining the value you can provide in specific, tangible ways that will resonate with the prospect.
11. The Free Offer
There’s nothing like getting something you want for free. So why not give it to your prospects with a cold email that offers them a free version of your tool?
This can be a fantastic way to get people to try your product. And if your product truly adds value, you turn a new lead into a customer.
The template for this type of email doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as introducing the free tool and outlining the benefits that it provides.
12. The Simplified Transition
One of the biggest reasons a company may not want to switch from a competitor’s service to yours is the transition. Importing data, creating accounts, and building up institutional knowledge can take a ton of time and energy that some companies simply won’t want to spend.
This cold email template is a direct response to that need. You begin by laying out a problem with the company’s current provider. Then you say why your offering would be a better fit for them.
After that (and this is key), you offer to simplify the transition process for them by setting up their accounts, importing their data, and providing training.
The idea is that you may be able to address one of a company’s biggest concerns for switching to your product with this template, and that could be enough to get them to engage.
13. The Reviews Approach
This template starts with a screenshot of a company’s reviews and a congratulatory note for how good they are. This gets the company’s attention and shows you’ve done your homework. Then you transition into a sales pitch that focuses on something that companies with happy customers tend to ignore. For example, you might say something along the lines of, “We’ve found that many companies with happy customers like yours tend to leave additional business on the table by not tapping into their existing customer pool.”
Talk about how your business helps companies like this retarget their existing pool of customers to earn extra business. This approach could show a company that they’re missing out on a potential source of revenue.
14. The Newsletter Reply
The vast majority of people who send cold emails end up sending the first email in exchange. But you can also reply with a cold approach. This can sometimes help you stand out from other cold emails the business receives.
Newsletters are perfect for this. Most companies have them, and replying with some type of response to the content they contain can be an excellent way to get someone within the business to start talking to you.
For example, if the newsletter contains information about an industry trend, you can attempt to tie what your company does into that trend and ask for the company’s thoughts.
Even if this new relationship doesn’t end up turning into a sale, it could be an opportunity for your business to get backlinks on a company’s blog, which means it could help you find new leads another way.
15. The BAB (Before, After, Bridge)
The BAB cold email template is straightforward and very effective. The idea is this:
- Begin by describing the problem the recipient is experiencing before finding a solution to it
- Highlight the benefits the person will receive after solving the problem
- Paint your product or service as the bridge between before and after
To use this template effectively, you need good insight into your target audience’s issues. If you don’t describe a problem that the recipient is experiencing, they’re not going to care why your company is a solution.
16. The PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solution)
You may also want to look into the PAS option. This strategy involves the following steps:
- Highlight a problem that causes pain or frustration
- Then agitate the problem to help the lead see why it’s so important to solve
- Conclude by showing how your product or service is the solution to this problem
The main difference between the BAB and the PAS is the style of motivation they appeal to.
The BAB appeals to the positive emotion that the lead will experience after resolving their problem. The SAS appeals to their desire to avoid the negative consequences of leaving an issue unresolved.
It’s an excellent strategy to vary your cold email approach in subtle ways like this. Because what motivates one person to engage with your company won’t always motivate another to do the same.
17. The PPP (Praise, Picture, Push)
Here’s another three-letter acronym that makes a great cold email template. The PPP features the following steps:
- Begin by praising the lead with a genuine compliment about a recent success
- Encourage them to picture all of the additional successes they could have if they partnered with your company
- Conclude by pushing them to take action
This cold email template can be effective when you know that the lead has recently achieved something significant.
It shows you’re interested in their success and happy for them. But it also plays on the person’s interest in achieving even more success in the future to position your product or service as an ideal pairing for their goals.
You may not be able to use this one on every lead. If you don’t know about any recent successes that a prospect has had, this template could come across as disingenuous.
18. The Rock-The-Boat
Many digital marketers are hesitant to challenge their leads in any way. But sometimes, rocking the boat just a little bit can help you stand out from all of the other sales messages that your prospects get in their inboxes every day.
With this email template, your goal is to challenge the status quo. That typically means asking your lead a pointed question, such as:
- When was the last time you analyzed your options for [X, Y, Z] software?
- Do you know how effective this new [tool or service] is over your existing one?
Then you tie it all together by asking them to schedule a phone call with you to discuss why, even if they’re happy with their current solution, it may not be the best one for their goals.
Don’t rely on a single template alone
It’s important to mention that you should never rely on a single B2B cold email template alone. Instead, each of the templates featured in this article (and many others) can help you reach your sales goals.
Consider what each prospect you reach out to would respond to, select a template and personalize accordingly.
How to follow up your cold email
Just sending an effective cold email is rarely enough to close a deal. You will also undoubtedly have many leads who don’t respond to your cold emails at all. In both situations, you will need to have a strategy for following up on your initial email to give yourself the best chance of closing. Of course, you don’t want your follow-up to be obnoxious or overkill, so here are our best strategies to ensure you give yourself the BEST chance at closing.
1. Start by replying to your initial email
You generally want to reply to your initial cold email instead of creating a new thread. That’s because you want the lead to go back to your initial correspondence and refer to what you said — especially if they never responded to it.
That being said, you can change the subject of your follow-up email if you want so that it catches the lead’s eye. Add some personalization to the subject line so your prospect can see they’re not just receiving another mass email.
2. Provide context
The next step to writing a good follow-up is giving the lead a reason why you’re reaching back out. Be direct here. You’re only able to hold your lead’s attention for so long. That’s why it’s important to start with the good stuff and not distract them with unnecessary verbiage.
Say you’re following up on your initial message, but that’s usually not even necessary — especially if you’re emailing someone who didn’t open your first cold email.
It could make sense for you to segment your follow-up emails based on who opened your first email and who didn’t. That way, you’re able to craft a more precise follow-up to each group.
3. Highlight the value you offer
Now you’re ready to highlight your value to the recipient. At this stage of the sales cycle, you’re not trying to prove to a lead that they should buy your product. You only need to prove to someone that they should give you more of their time to make your case.
There are multiple ways to do this, and the best approach will depend on your product and the client. But if you can be specific and cite how your product addresses one of the lead’s pain points, you should be in great shape to get them interested in what you have to say.
4. Close with a strong call to action
The last part of a strong follow-up to a cold email is a solid call to action. This is when you direct the lead towards the action you’d like them to take.
When crafting a CTA, be concrete. You can include a link to your schedule through Calendly, so leads can instantly schedule a meeting with you. You could even ask to meet with them at a certain point of the week. The key is to make it easy for the lead to take the next step in your sales process.
5. Follow the 3×3 rule
It’s been a few hours… or days… or weeks… and your prospect still hasn’t responded to your cold email. Allen Gannett, previous CEO of TrackMaven, advises that you follow the 3×3 rule: Follow up a maximum of three times, with at least three business days apart. It’s essential to be persistent (so you don’t get lost in the shuffle) without being annoying (and building a bad rep for your business).
6. Avoid cheesy
When it comes to a follow-up, most people are going to prefer the direct approach. Avoid cheesiness, emotional manipulation, passive-aggressiveness, and cliches at all costs. Don’t start your email with “I hope my prior email didn’t offend you…” or “We haven’t heard from you, and we’re starting to worry!”
People prefer honesty to these techniques. It’s okay to say things like “I wanted to take one last shot,” or “I wanted to jump to the top of your inbox because I think you could really benefit from our services.”
7. Don’t grow stale
We all know the definition of insanity – trying the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. While it’s possible that your prospect just missed your first email, it is also possible that your approach didn’t resonate with them.
With each follow-up email, take a different approach. Use a different template, offer a new benefit, or address a new pain point. Try sending your emails at different times of day or different days of the week.
Best practices for creating your own cold emails
Following a pre-existing cold email template is sometimes your best option. But don’t forget that you can also create your cold emails from scratch. Sometimes these are more effective since you can target them precisely.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of this approach.
Personalize, personalize, personalize
If you had to pick just one cold email strategy to follow, personalization would be it. Research shows that emails with personalized subject lines are 26% likelier to be opened.
Additionally, revenue generated with personalized emails is about 5.7 times higher than with non-personalized emails.
You don’t have to go crazy with this, either. Simply adding a prospect’s name to the email’s subject line can be enough to make it stand out from the dozens of other marketing emails they receive throughout the day.
Do your research first
It can be tempting to skip the research for each cold email, but that email is far more valuable if it includes just a little bit of relevant information about your prospect. Visit your prospect’s LinkedIn profile and look for one or two specific things in their bio or job description that relates back to your product or service.
If you can’t find anything that will tie this person to your company, maybe you’ve got the wrong guy. Look for a more suitable contact on the prospect’s company website or the LinkedIn Sales Navigator. If you can find a connection between your contact and your business, you’re well on your way to closing the deal.
Always establish yourself
The #1 barrier between you and your cold lead? Mistrust. You’re a stranger to your recipient, so it’s critical to build credibility right away.
Introducing a mutual connection is one of the best ways to establish trust between you and your cold lead. Mention the connection in the first one to two lines of your email.
You can also gain trust by noting your business’s accomplishments – but only mention something that is applicable to your cold lead and use a relevant stat to prove your success.
Alternatively, you can find any commonality between yourself and your cold lead. Maybe you share a favorite sports team, a hobby, or a hometown. Connecting with your lead on a human level can build trust and encourage a response.
Be open and vulnerable
The tone of your email can make or break your efforts. It is best to recognize that you need your cold lead just as much as they need you – and make them feel important. Don’t hesitate to show a little vulnerability, even if your business is established and successful. People enjoy feeling needed and important. Including a simple line like “I really appreciate you taking the time to read this email” can make your suggestions more appealing.
Never use a tone of entitlement or expectation, like “Let me know how quickly we can get this done.” Research also shows that giving your cold lead a way out (“If you’re too busy to meet with me this week, I completely understand”) may actually make them more likely to respond or assist you.
Keep it short and easy
Your prospects are busy. They don’t have time (or the interest) to read through several paragraphs before you make your point. That’s why the best cold emails are short and easy to digest.
Focus on being direct and writing clear, valuable sentences. If you can’t find an important reason for including a sentence in the email, delete it. The more succinct you can be, the likelier your prospect is to read the message.
Make a clear value proposition
You also need to clearly state the value you can offer a prospect when writing a cold email. Note, your value proposition doesn’t have to be a product. It’s often better to highlight one of your product’s benefits instead.
Instead of saying I can sell you accounting software, say I can save you thousands by reducing accounting mistakes and automating key processes. This often grabs someone’s attention more than offering them a product might.
Give before asking
Give before asking when writing a cold email. Your initial goal should be to establish relationships with your prospects. This helps them see you as someone who can help. And when a lead sees you in that light, it becomes much easier to sell something to them down the line.
Besides being kind and providing solutions to your lead’s problems, you can also offer something of value for free. You might share a relevant blog post, video, or chart. Even if you didn’t create the content yourself, it is valuable as long as it is helpful to your lead.
Know your prospect’s pain points
There are few things more important than understanding a prospect’s pain points in sales. The same is true when writing cold emails. You need to have vital insight into what’s making a lead’s life difficult before you can convincingly write to them.
Understanding a prospect’s pain points helps you understand how your product appeals to them. And you can use that understanding to share content and data points that help you build stronger relationships and close deals faster.
Tracking the effectiveness of your cold emails
Improving your cold email performance starts by tracking it. You need to understand where you’re at and how that changes over time based on content decisions to figure out which decisions work and which don’t.
With that in mind, here are four metrics that are worth looking at as you evaluate the performance of your cold email campaigns.
Your delivery rate equals the number of emails delivered divided by the number of emails sent. For example, if you sent 100 emails and 99 were delivered, your delivery rate would be 0.99 or 99%.
Your delivery rate is important for two main reasons.
First, if you have a low delivery rate, it means many of your cold emails aren’t reaching your potential audience. This means you’re not driving as much impact with this marketing style as you should be.
Second, if you have a low delivery rate, then it could mean that you’re blacklisted as a “spam” email sender.
Your open rate equals the number of emails opened divided by the total number of emails delivered. Anything above 60% is considered a good open rate.
Ultimately, you want people to do more than just open your email. You also want them to read it and engage with your CTA.
But it’s still important to track this because open rate lets you know how effective your subject lines are. If your open rate is lower than you’d like, you may need to rehaul your subject lines to fix the problem.
Click-through rate (CTR)
Your click-through rate equals the number of people who clicked on the CTA in your email divided by the total number of emails you sent. Anything over 25% is considered decent for this metric.
Click-through rate is an excellent metric for measuring the overall effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.
This metric doesn’t tell you how many people you converted. But it tells you how many people read your email and took the action you wanted them to take.
If you can achieve that, you’ll know conversion issues are coming from elsewhere in your marketing funnel – not your cold emails.
Reply rate is a measurement of the number of replies you receive to a cold email divided by the total number of emails you sent in that campaign.
This one is great for determining how good your cold emails are at starting conversations with your leads. You’d want to keep this percentage at around 20% or higher, ideally.
That said, you may not need to track this metric if your goal is to get people back to your website instead of sparking up an email conversation with them.
Get The Most Out Of Your Content Marketing Strategy
Play around with multiple templates and tactics when it comes to cold emails for sales consultants to figure out which performs best according to email marketing standards. But improving the content of your cold emails isn’t the only way to boost your content marketing results.
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