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Cold Email Template: Boost Your Response Rates with These Proven Tips

RepVue Team
RepVue TeamFeb 14, 2024

Cold emailing is a powerful tool that can help you reach out to potential customers and generate leads. The reason cold emails are effective is simple: instead of waiting for potential customers to discover and express interest in your product or service, you initiate the contact and skip the wait. When effective, they let you introduce yourself and your business, build a relationship, and ultimately persuade the recipient to take action — on your timeline instead of the prospect’s. .

It’s important to keep in mind, though, that cold emailing is a numbers game. Not every email will result in a response or a sale — in fact, the vast majority will not. But over time, with the right approach, you can use cold emails to keep your pipeline full so that you can lead the board in quota attainment.

To have success, it’s important to personalize your emails and make them relevant to your prospects’ specific needs and pain points. This will help you establish credibility and build trust, which is essential for a successful cold email campaign.

Below, we’ll help you craft an effective cold email template that you can use over and over with repeatable success. 

Are you an SDR sending cold emails? Compare SDR salaries here.

Effective Cold Email Subject Lines

The subject line of your cold email is the first thing your recipient will see, so it’s crucial to make it count. A well-crafted subject line can make the difference between your email being opened or ignored. Here are some tips to help you write effective subject lines:

Keep it Personal

Personalization is key to making your email stand out in a crowded inbox. Sometimes you can use the recipient’s name in the subject line to grab their attention. You can also reference their company or recent news about their industry to show that you’ve done your research.

Be Specific (Or Maybe Not?)

Vague subject lines like “Quick Question” or “Introduction” don’t give the recipient any idea of what your email is about. Instead, be specific and tell them what they can expect to find inside. For example, “Helping You Increase Sales with [Your Product/Service]” or “Connecting You with [Industry Expert/Influencer].”

The opposite approach can also be effective. Some sellers have had success by being intentionally vague.

In our post on email subject lines for sales, we included several examples from Jen Allen-Knuth who saw engagement with subject lines like “[CEO Name] comments,” “Year End,” and even “7, 3, 598.” So, if you’re not seeing success with specific subject lines, you may want to try intentionally vague subject lines like these instead.

In all cases, you should always be doing experiments with different approaches to see what works best with your prospects.

Use Numbers and Statistics

Numbers and statistics can grab attention and make your email seem more credible. Use them in your subject line to highlight the benefits of your product or service. For example, “Increase Your Sales by 50% with [Your Product/Service]” or “Save 20 Hours a Week with [Your Solution].”

Add an Emoji

You’ll see this more often lately, but it’s still pretty uncommon. However, at least one study suggests people are 56% more likely to open emails with emojis in the subject line. Don’t over-do it though. Only use one emoji, and keep it professional.

Keep it Short and Sweet

Long subject lines can get cut off in the recipient’s inbox, so keep it short and to the point. Aim for 50 characters or less. 

Example Cold Email Subject Templates

Here are some effective subject lines to get you started:

  • “Quick Question about [Their Industry/Company]”
  • “How [Their Company] Can Increase Sales by 50%”
  • “⏰ Last Chance to Save 20% on [Your Product/Service]”
  • “Connecting You with [Industry Expert/Influencer]”
  • “5 Ways to Improve Your [Their Industry/Company]”

Crafting Your Message

In the body of your email, you want to grab the prospect’s attention and keep it while delivering a clear message. In this section, we’ll go over the three main components of a cold email message: opening lines, body content, and call to action.

Opening Lines for Cold Emails

The opening lines of your cold email are the most important because they determine whether the recipient will continue reading or not. You need to make a strong first impression and pique their interest. 

One effective way to do this is by personalizing the email. Use the recipient’s name and reference something specific to them or their company. For example, “Hi [Name], I noticed your recent blog post on [topic] and thought it was insightful.” The catch here, though, is that it needs to be relevant to whatever you have to say or offer next. 

Another way to grab their attention is by asking a question or making a bold statement. For example, “Have you ever considered [idea]?” or “Did you know that [statistic]?” This can intrigue the recipient and make them want to learn more. Again, relevance is key. Don’t ask “Have you ever considered [your product]?” — they haven’t. That’s why you’re cold emailing them.

The opening line may be all they read before deleting your email. Make it count.

Body Content for Cold Emails

To be effective, your cold email will need to resonate with the recipient. A common mistake is to focus too much on your product and its benefits instead of the user and their problems or challenges. 

Remember, this is a cold email. The recipient doesn’t know or care about you, your product, or its benefits.  They care about themselves — and you need to show that you care about them also.

The best way to demonstrate that you care about the customer and their problems is to make that the focus of your content with problem statements. Here are some examples that can help you get your foot in the door:

  1. Lack of Efficiency — “I noticed that your team is still using manual processes to manage your sales leads. This can be time-consuming and prone to errors, which can impact your bottom line. Our software can automate this process and help you close deals faster.”
  2. Unmet Needs — “I understand that you’re looking to expand your customer base, but you’re struggling to find qualified leads. Our company has a proven track record of generating high-quality leads that convert into paying customers.”
  3. Current Pain Points — “I read your recent blog post about your struggles with managing your social media presence. Our social media management tool can help you streamline your content creation and scheduling process, saving you time and stress.”

By clearly articulating the problem and offering a solution, these problem statements can pique the recipient’s interest and lead to a successful cold email campaign.

You can also include social proof, such as testimonials or case studies — especially if it’s from someone your prospect will know or recognize — to show that your product or service has been successful for others.

Call to Action for Cold Emails

The call to action (CTA) is what you want the recipient to do after reading your email. Make it clear and easy to follow. Use action-oriented language and provide a sense of urgency. For example, “Schedule a demo today and see how our product can benefit your business.”

You can also offer a free trial or consultation to encourage the recipient to take action. Make sure to include a way for them to contact you, such as an email address or phone number.

By following these guidelines and using effective examples, you can craft a compelling cold email message that will grab the recipient’s attention and lead to a positive response.

Design and Formatting

Design and formatting play a crucial role in making a good first impression with your cold emails. Here are some tips to help you structure your email and use visual elements effectively.

Email Structure

The structure of your email should be clear and easy to follow. 

Think about how you read emails from people you don’t know. You probably don’t read every word, and neither will your prospects. You need them to understand the value of what you’re saying or offering at a glance. 

To make your email more readable, use short paragraphs and bullet points where appropriate. This will help break up the text and make it easier to scan. You could even make the most important few words bold to help them stand out.

Visual Elements

Visual elements can help make your email more engaging and memorable. However, it’s important to use them judiciously and in a way that enhances the overall message of your email.

One effective visual element to include in your email is a professional-looking signature. This can help establish your credibility and make it easier for the recipient to contact you if they are interested in learning more.

Another visual element to consider is the use of images or graphics. These can be especially effective if they help illustrate a point or provide additional context to your message. Lately, we’ve seen sellers use personalized images and even short videos in their cold outreach. However, be sure to use high-quality images that are relevant to your message and don’t distract from the main content of your email.

Cold email we received at RepVue where the seller included a personalized image of himself with our platform pulled up on his phone.

Follow-Up Strategies

You probably won’t get a response to your first cold email. (Like we said before, it’s a numbers game.) Following up is crucial to increase the chances of getting a response. Let’s discuss some follow-up email strategies that you can use to improve your response rates.

Timing Follow-Ups

Timing is everything when it comes to follow-up emails. You don’t want to send too many follow-ups too quickly and come across as spammy, but you also don’t want to wait too long and miss the opportunity to engage with your prospect.

A good rule of thumb is to send your first follow-up email 2–3 days after your initial email. If you still haven’t received a response after a week, send a second follow-up email. If you still haven’t received a response after two weeks, send a third and final follow-up email. At this point it’s also a good practice to ask if the timing might be better to connect with your prospect in 3–6 months.

Response Handling

When you receive a response to your follow-up email, it’s important to handle it properly. The way you respond can make or break the deal.

First, make sure to respond promptly. The longer you wait to respond, the less interested the prospect will be.

Second, personalize your response. Use the information you gathered in your initial email and follow-up emails to tailor your response to the prospect’s needs.

Third, keep the conversation going. Don’t just respond to the prospect’s email and leave it at that. Ask questions, provide more information, and keep the conversation flowing.

Most importantly, make sure that you know what your preferred next step is. Are you trying to get a phone call set up? Or maybe the prospect can sign up for a free trial online? Be sure that your response is geared toward driving this outcome.

ABT (Always be Testing)

There is no single best approach to every situation. The best strategy and content for your emails will probably be unique to you and your company because every seller and solution are different. 

What doesn’t change from one scenario to the next is the importance of testing. Testing and constant experimentation are how you will find your best approach over time.

In order to get accurate results, the best approach is to run small A/B tests at each stage of the process. Send out 50 emails with version A, and 50 with version B, and track which version has the higher response rate. 

Whenever possible, try to get a true representative sample by keeping all of the other variables as constant as possible. This includes things like time of day.  If you send version A in the morning, and version B in the afternoon, how will you know if the superior response rate for version B is due to the subject line or simply the fact that your prospects are more likely to reply in the afternoon?  Instead, alternate between version A and version B to get a more representative sample.
Once you find something that works, you can start using that approach consistently and move on to test another part of your approach. Keep iterating, and you’ll find that your performance will steadily improve over time.

Take Action! Be Proactive!

Here’s our last piece of advice: take action! Be careful not to spend more time planning than you spend actually reaching out to your prospects. Have a bias for action and you’ll be more likely to find success.

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