Sales & Marketing Tech

5 Sales Templates That Will Engage Cold Email Leads

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Find out why targeting cold leads via email can be effective—especially when you use these tactics and templates.

Sales managers and salespeople know that in order to engage and interact with a potential lead, you have to get straight to the point to hook them.

While cold sales calls still have their place, cold email outreach can be seen as less invasive, easier to track and follow up on, and may actually be an easier way to reach someone than their cell or desk phone.

Sending cold emails is also generally easier and less time consuming than cold calls. With emails, you can be direct and get to the point right away.

If your email subject lines and overall tactics could use some fresh inspiration, keep reading for a refresh on successful B2B emails as well as five templates you can use for your cold emails.

4 elements of a successful cold B2B email

1. Write a catchy subject line

If a cold lead doesn’t open your email in the first place, you’re squandering the rest of your copy and time. Keep subject lines short (60 characters or less) and outcome-focused.

Since you are trying to tickle interest and tease curiosity, keep your subject line brief but enticing without giving too much away. Try personalizing it and, at the very least, include their company or name.

To make it more attractive, further personalize your email’s subject line by adding a statistic relevant to their position or industry, highlighting a network connection, or even a fact about them.

Some examples:

  • “Your sales process is missing xyz”
  • “I found you through <mutual connection>”
  • “I saw you use <software/tech/tool>.”

2. Use short paragraphs and sentences, and no more than 100 words

According to Boomerang’s study of 40 million emails, cold emails between 50 and 100 words yielded higher reply rates.

To make cold emails easier to scan and digest, use two- to three-sentence paragraphs with brief, simple sentences that give your cold lead a quick idea of what it is you are looking to discuss and the benefits you can provide.

Don’t get a prospect to open your email with a catchy subject line only to turn them off with long body copy.

3. Be emotionally engaging

We’ll touch more on how to achieve this in the templates below, but writing with emotion is bound to get more responses than using a neutral tone.

People prefer to purchase things from people they like. While B2B outreach is often very straightforward, using a little fun and humor to be friendly can help you achieve more authentic connections.

To use more emotion and invoke some warmth, you don’t necessarily need to use additional words. Try inserting a relevant image (such as a meme or gif), or even an emoji.

4. Have a simple, single CTA

A confused customer will turn into a lost lead.

Make sure you don’t include multiple calls-to-action (CTA) or confuse your lead by giving them a list of different directions to go next. Your lead should know exactly what their next step and desired outcome should be.

Make sure your email has a single motive, and stick to it.

5 templates to engage cold email leads

We covered some guiding tactics for engaging cold leads, and now it’s time to explore five templates you can use for your next engagement.

Each template can be used as-is, or as something to build on and add your own flair.

1. The classic “request a 10-minute meeting” template

By using this template, you can be upfront about your intentions (even if the call ends up going longer than 10 minutes) and offer a low-pressure invite to chat for a few minutes. Since your cold email is designed to get your lead on a call, this template is a good way to get to the point without burdening your lead.

Subject Line A: 10 minute idea for [company name]

Subject Line B: 10 minutes for a quick chat?

Hey [first name],

I have an idea I can explain in just 10 minutes that can get [company] its next 100 best customers.

I recently used this idea to help our client [company/competitor] almost triple their monthly run rate.

[first name], let’s schedule a quick 10-minute call so I can share the idea with you. When works best for you?

– [your name]

2. “Industry knowledge” template

This template is designed to help you showcase your industry knowledge and serve as a simple, direct way to show a lead what you can offer their business. Highlighting your knowledge can foster initial trust with a lead, spurring them to pay attention to your proposal and look to learn more.

Subject Line A: Can we help your [industry] business?

Subject Line B: A major priority for [industry].

Hey [first name],

Because I work so much with [industry], I constantly follow industry news. I noticed you recently [name the company’s action].

Usually, when that happens, [business issue] becomes a priority. I thought you might be interested in finding out how we helped [company/competitor] get going quickly in their new direction, without any of the typical glitches.

[first name], let’s schedule a quick 10-minute call so I can share the idea with you. When works best for you?

Let’s set up a quick call.

How does [time & date options] look on your calendar?


P.S. If you’re not the right person to speak with, who do you recommend I contact?

3. “Flattery and compliments” template

Who doesn’t love a good compliment from time to time? With this template, you aren’t just demonstrating positive knowledge of a company but showing your lead (through personalization and research) that this email wasn’t blasted out to hundreds of prospects at once.

Subject Line A: Big fan of the [company name] blog

Subject Line B: We ❤️ [company name]!

[first name],

I love [company name] (been a customer for several months) and I’ve also been a big fan of your blog. I work with companies like [company name] and [company name].

Here’s an example of [results]. I wanted to reach out and see if [company name] might be interested in a similar [solution].

I made a demo for you based on [desired solution] and would love to go over the details.

Is this something you would be interested in?


4. Social media outreach template

Since companies and their employees are eager to share their wins and value over social media, it’s easy to find a lead in your network that you’ve been following and reach out to broach working together.

Subject Line A: Love the [social channel] account!

Subject Line B: Been following your [social channel] and wanted to reach out!

Hey [contact first name],

We haven’t met in person, but I’ve been impressed with your [thought leadership/social channel] for some time. [Details about how this made an impression on you]. This isn’t a particularly easy environment to excel in—amazing work.

I was wondering if I could ask a few questions. My company is having some success with [product/service], but your insights could really help us accelerate.

I’d like to follow this email up with a quick phone call; I think we can cover the important issues in 20 minutes. Can I call you at [time and date]?


5. Congratulatory introduction template

Similar to the flattery template, by recognizing a company or an individual’s achievements, you can inject some personality and show a potential lead that you’ve done the research and know your stuff.

Subject Line A: Congrats on [achievement]!

Subject Line B: Whoa…congrats on the success!

Dear [contact first name],

You and your team have really accomplished something.

The [achievement] has made a big impression with the people I talk to. I wanted to reach out personally and say congratulations.

My company has also been doing pretty well; we recently announced [customer/competitor] as a client for our [product/service]. Maybe something like this could help you continue your impressive momentum?

I’d love to chat about this with a quick phone call; we can cover the important points in 15 minutes. Is there a good number I could reach you at on [time and date]?


More tools and templates for your outbound sales

Now that you have proven elements of success for your sales emails and templates to borrow from that will invigorate cold leads, it’s time to get going.

For even more resources on tools and techniques to help your sales efforts, check out these resources from Capterra:

Looking for Email Marketing software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Email Marketing software solutions.

About the Author

Kyle Rich

Kyle Rich

Content Producer @ Capterra, helping organizations connect with the software and tools they need. BA in marketing communications from Columbia College Chicago. I enjoy outdoor adventures with my dog and exploring new eating experiences within my city.

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