The Ultimate Cold Email Template

A guest blog by Kluster:

As phone contact rates seem to slide away faster than our speed diallers can catch up, the cold email has become the prince of modern sales outreach. One major problem though. How do you stand out amongst the masses vying for the very same prospect’s attention?

Inboxes have never been so cluttered, and what used to be a race to be the best and most resilient cold-caller has simply transferred to the electronic envelope.

Unfortunately, despite the odd blog post you may read, there really is no silver bullet. Good cold email outreach requires careful crafting.

In this post, I’m going to share a cold email template that has been honed over the years and which, with the right preparation, will be your best foot forward in making it stick with your prospect.

We’re going to walk through the below 8 key steps, adding to our email as we go:

  1. Research

  2. Subject Line

  3. First Two Sentences

  4. Value Proposition

  5. Social Proof

  6. How you can help your prospect

  7. Call to action

  8. P.S.

Let’s get to it…

Research - Fail to plan, plan to fail

First things first, we need to research for three angles:

  1. Business Personal – Get on their LinkedIn. What does their bio say and what do they focus on? Get one snippet from here

  2. Business Business – What has happened to their business recently that you can use to tailor your email? Revenue growth news, acquisitions, recruitment, losses will all work

  3. Personal Personal – This is the most important part. Let us not forget we are selling to a human after all. Check out their LinkedIn and Twitter Groups. What hobbies and past-times do they have that you can use to add a truly personal touch? Perhaps they’ve written or posted about something very specific recently

Subject Line – Open sesame

We’ve got to get this email opened. The subject line is the chance to ooze creativity and really grab their attention. This is where the “personal personal” needs to be used.

Subject: I noticed your post about creating sales efficiencies

First Two Sentences – You’ve only got one shot

Think of it this way. When our email pops up on their phone or inbox, they’ll only see the subject and the first 5-10 words that you write. That’s it! So, let’s rule out “I hope you’re well” or “I’m getting in touch because” for a start. How is that different to anyone else?

Head back to the research and grab the “Business Personal” information gathered. This will form the first sentence and we need to get straight to it. As we add each component to the email, we’ll slowly unveil the finished article.

So, now we have:

Subject: I noticed your post about creating sales efficiencies

Hi Sarah,

You’re a “Sales Operations Enthusiast” according to your very own words on LinkedIn.

Already, this is hyper-personal and different to what Sarah is likely to receive elsewhere, however, we’re not done yet. Sentence two is where we can deploy out “Business Business” research and really hit the nail.

Let’s keep developing our email.

Subject: I noticed your post about creating sales efficiencies

Hi Sarah,

You’re a “Sales Operations Enthusiast” according to your very own words on LinkedIn. I also read in Forbes that CompanyX are set to increase the sales team by 50% which is no mean feat!

Now we have the opening to a very compelling email. The subject line is personal, the first sentence has taken an interest in their working life and we’ve demonstrated a background knowledge of their company’s direction.

We’re ready to move on to…

Value Proposition – Make it snappy

This is the bit where we tell them what we do. It needs to be very concise and it needs to ensure they keep on reading. There are typically two angles here; one being how you help businesses and the other being how you help this type of decision maker.

Subject: I noticed your post about creating sales efficiencies

Hi Sarah,

You’re a “Sales Operations Enthusiast” according to your very own words on LinkedIn. I also read in Forbes that CompanyX are set to increase the sales team by 50% which is no mean feat!

CompanyY helps Sales Operations Leaders improve sales enablement ROI by 43% whilst freeing up their time to focus on other meaningful areas as the business scales.

Note how we have appealed to both the “Business Business” and “Business Personal” in this value prop message.

Social Proof – there’s comfort in numbers

We need to offer solid evidence that we can do what we say quickly and with impact. Social Proof enables us to use the “customer voice” to gain credibility.

Ideally, a quote and a statistic should do it. Stats give credibility, but it is not what people remember. They remember the human or the story and they remember it more so if it’s credible and therefore believable.

Subject: I noticed your post about creating sales efficiencies

Hi Sarah,

You’re a “Sales Operations Enthusiast” according to your very own words on LinkedIn. I also read in Forbes that CompanyX are set to increase the sales team by 50% which is no mean feat!

CompanyY helps Sales Operations Leaders improve sales enablement ROI by 43% whilst freeing up their time to focus on other meaningful areas as the business scales.

Here’s Nike’s Head of Sales Ops, Gerrard Davies, explaining how their sales stack costs reduced by over 70%.

“This has been a game changer!”

Call to Action – Be different

We’ve nearly crafted out the perfect hyper-personalised email, but there are a couple of crucial items still left to answer. The first is working out how on earth we’re going to get them to reply. Again, we have to be different here. If we go for the usual “when do you have 5 minutes to speak?” we’ve essentially undone all the good work by conforming to the average again. Big no no.

Here’s a couple of alternatives to try and get the juices flowing:

Subject: I noticed your post about creating sales efficiencies

Hi Sarah,

You’re a “Sales Operations Enthusiast” according to your very own words on LinkedIn. I also read in Forbes that CompanyX are set to increase the sales team by 50% which is no mean feat!

CompanyY helps Sales Operations Leaders improve sales enablement ROI by 43% whilst freeing up their time to focus on other meaningful areas as the business scales.

Here’s Nike’s Head of Sales Ops, Gerrard Davies, explaining how their sales stack costs reduced by over 70%

“This has been a game changer!”

Data tells me you have a 51.4% chance of replying to this email, so leaving no stone unturned, I’ll likely follow up on the phone in the next couple of days. However, you can reach me on [email protected] or 0203 790 7724.

Thanks,

Rory

The above is interesting for a couple of reasons. Whilst you will likely NOT get a 51.4% reply rate, it sounds good doesn’t it? In fact, it sounds so good, yet believable, there’s an argument to suggest one would feel compelled to reply because their peers are more likely to have than not. Secondly, it’s an incredibly different approach, and again, stands out amongst the usual call to actions.

You could also try something like:

I have a Starbucks voucher with your name on it. There’s a spacious store just around the corner on Coleman street. What 30-minute windows do you have tomorrow or Friday?

Thanks,

Rory

Again, it’s a refreshing approach and although we’re suggesting a meeting fairly soon, they still have the power of choice between the two days.

The key to this is experimentation and testing. We had a lot of success with the first approach and have used it in a few campaigns since, reiterating as we go.

P.S. – I love you

Time to bring this email full circle, landing right back at the subject line and leaving your prospect with that fuzzy feeling.

Ideally, this is your chance to make your prospect feel special, liked, revered, generally good about themselves. And it’s that good feeling, when matched with all your craft and attention thus far, that gives us a whopping great chance of a reply. Try something like:

Subject: I noticed your post about creating sales efficiencies

Hi Sarah,

You’re a “Sales Operations Enthusiast” according to your very own words on LinkedIn. I also read in Forbes that CompanyX are set to increase the sales team by 50% which is no mean feat!

CompanyY helps Sales Operations Leaders improve sales enablement ROI by 43% whilst freeing up their time to focus on other meaningful areas as the business scales.

Here’s Nike’s head of Sales Ops, Gerrard Davies, explaining how their sales stack costs reduced by over 70%

“This has been a game changer!”

Data tells me you have a 51.4% chance of replying to this email, so leaving no stone unturned, I’ll likely follow up on the phone in the next couple of days. However, you can reach me on [email protected] or 0203 790 7724.

P.S. We loved the post so much, we’ve started rolling out your idea here!

Summary

So, there we have it. The perfect cold email template to help you fight for supremacy in your prospect’s inbox. Remember to keep it punchy, personalised, include social proof, make it relevant to their business, drop in a neat call to action, and show them some love.

Find out more at kluster.com.