9 tried and tested cold email templates to generate B2B leads

byRiya Uppal

Most sales and marketing professionals are quite familiar with cold emails but still find it harder than other customer interactions. The challenge with cold outreach is that you have little or no relationship with your prospect and there is no feedback in real time, which makes it tough to modify your approach. As a result, most cold emails do not land. 

When you are building or refining your own email prospecting strategy, it helps to see first-hand how others have done it successfully. That is why I compiled this list of tried and tested B2B cold email templates that have proved successful for a lot of our customers.

At the end of this blog, you will also find a winning formula for writing that perfect cold email regardless of which template you go with.

Nine cold email templates that get replies


1. Attention-Interest-Desire-Action email (AIDA)

AIDA is an effective copywriting technique that can help present your brand and product propositions lucidly. 

Attention: Grab your reader’s attention, for example by stating a USP of your product.

Interest: Explain why you think your offering is of interest to your prospect.

Desire: Build their desire for your offering with social proof or additional benefits.

Action: Show them how to take advantage of it with a frictionless Call-to-Action.

When to use this template: Use the AIDA template when your cold email prospect is with a data-driven brand or when you have high ticket clients to showcase.

Template

Email subject: {{first Name}}, Save time with automated lead generation

Hi {{First name}},

Won’t your life as a marketer be much easier if you could just find the right leads and reach out to them seamlessly through targeted outreach?

Staying ahead of the curve, especially in the pharmaceutical space with so much competition isn’t easy. This is why, we are focused on saving time for {{title}} like yourself by doing the brass tasks like data acquisition, cold outreach and iterating on the results, for you.

Just ask experts like {{client names}}, who we’re happy to count as satisfied customers.

I’d love to set up a time to walk you through a personalised demo to help you stay on top of your competition. What does your calendar look like next week?

{{signature}}


2. Before-After-Bridge email (BAB)

The BAB email is a great hit as it uses two very universal emotions in the same message to trigger a response from the reader. 

The BAB format is based on the Freudian pleasure principle, according to which, humans are instinctively seeking for pleasure and avoiding pain. This format not only paints a picture of these two emotions, but also describes an actionable way to jump from the pain state to the pleasure state.

As the name suggests, it has three parts:

Before – The Bleak Picture: Describe a challenge your prospect faces. Make sure to only list the problems and consequences that your product or service can reduce or solve.

After – The Promised Land: Give them a glimpse into how their future would look after they are onboarded. Make sure to showcase benefits using specific stats or numbers.

Bridge – The Yellow Brick Road: Explain how your product or service can help them reach that desired state.

When to use this template: The BAB format works best in scenarios where your prospect belongs to the expressive social style and favours emotion over logic. This technique flips the script and stays focused on the prospect, their current world/ pain and how this world can be transformed for the better. BAB helps you to remain focused on the benefits rather than the product itself.

Template

Email subject: ((first Name}}, your marketing efforts are getting wasted!

Hello {{firstName}},

If you are one of the 61% marketers who think lead generation is their number one challenge, you are likely not using a sales automation tool to help scale your business.

What if I told you our sales automation tool is the solution to all your lead generation woes? As per a recent survey, 80% of marketers that use automation software drive increased leads (as much as 451% more), and 77% of them convert more leads than those that don’t use automation.

hubsell’s B2B sales automation platform can help provide you on-demand generated contacts which can help you achieve success in your marketing efforts.

I would love to discuss this further with you over a quick call. Please feel free to set up a call by clicking on the link to my calendar below.

Best,

{{signature}}


3. Problem-Agitate-Solve email (PAS)

PAS is a great copywriting technique that works wonders as it is entirely centered around the pain points of the customer. As avoiding pain is even more motivating than gaining pleasure, a prospect is highly likely to be sold by this copy.

PAS technique has three components:

Problem: Start by identifying a problem specific to the customer you are cold emailing. 

Agitate: After pointing out the problem, poke at it a little. Try to evoke an emotional response from the reader by reinforcing why their problem is so frustrating.

Solve: End by offering a solution to the problem. The goal is to convince the reader that your product or service is a no-brainer that makes their problem go away. Make sure this section includes a clear and low-commitment CTA.

When to use this template: PAS is the most effective format to use once you have clearly identified a prospect’s pain point to which you can offer a no-brainer solution in response.

Template

Email subject: {{first name}}, we can help you save 550 hours a month

Hello {{firstName}},

Isn’t it extremely frustrating to lose approximately 550 hours and as much as $32,000 per sales rep from using bad data?

Not only does bad data cost you precious time of sales reps, lost deals and customer churn are also some common side effects of low-quality data. Moreover, research shows sales reps’ morale dips and frustration peaks with bad data.

hubsell’s Data Processing as a Service (DPaaS) provides you on-demand generated data which means the B2B data you get is accurate, relevant, freshly sourced and with a vast breadth of data fields available on each prospect.

Are you ready to hear more about how quality B2B data can turn around your marketing frustrations into easy success?

I’d love to set up a call and discuss this further with you. When are you free next week?

{{signature}}


4. Praise-Picture-Push email (PPP)

Sometimes a little flattery is all you need to open the door to a lasting business relationship. Start with a genuine compliment about a recent achievement or accomplishment, show your prospect what more they could achieve on a regular basis with your product, and then compel them to take action. 

This format consists of the following elements:

Praise: Start by appreciating the customer by mentioning his/her recent achievements. If you can’t find any, talk about the company’s growth.

Picture: Next, give a brief overview of what your product does and why you are addressing them.

Push: Third, tell them how your product can be used to tackle their problems and push them for the next engagement or meeting.

Template

Email subject: {{first name}}, let us check-off one thing on your to-do list

Hello {{firstName}},

I hope you are doing well. Congratulations on being promoted to {{title}} at {{companyId.shortName}}.

As you settle into the new role, let us handle data acquisition for you so that you can focus your attention further down the funnel. One less thing to worry about!

Each and every contact provided to you by hubsell is curated, enriched and validated only for your needs so you can rest assured that you are working with the best data. Quality data can set you up for easy success in sales.

If you are interested to know more, can I set up a quick call with you next week to give you a personalised demo?

{{signature}}


5. Share a helpful resource in your cold email

Adding value to your prospect’s inbox by sharing a resource is one of the best ways to build a relationship. By sharing a helpful resource, you present yourself as a credible authority in the space, which makes your reader more inclined towards doing business with you. 

When to use this template: This template can be used to share your content with your prospects and get them interested in your brand. The format works largely because you’re not asking the prospect for anything. You are not trying to book a meeting or see if they are interested in your product. The only aim here is to provide value to the prospect with a piece of content that will be useful to them and their team.

Template

Email subject: {{firstName}}, thought you might like this blog post

Hello {{firstName}},

I learned from your LinkedIn profile that you are interested in the topic of social selling.

Our content team just published a blog on the same topic, where you could learn all about how to get started with social selling. I thought it could be interesting for you to go through.

Here is the link to check it out <link>

I hope you find it helpful. Wishing you great success in your social selling journey.

{{signature}}


6. Challenge the current state email

Challenging the current state of your prospect’s company is a great way to show that you have done your research, have an understanding of their pain points as well as know how to help with them.

When to use this template: This template is a great fit when you spot a shortcoming in the way your prospect is currently handling their business operations and know that your product or solution could help them get there. This format with a brief and no-frills CTA can make for a very targeted and personalised outreach.

Template

Email subject: {{firstName}}, how is outbound prospecting working out for you?

Hello {{firstName}},

I am {{senderId.name}} from <your company name>

We help busy executives like yourself automate repetitive tasks of cold outreach like data acquisition, multi-channel and multi-track outbound prospecting and reiterate on the results.

I wanted to reach out to learn what productivity tools you are currently using for outbound sales and show you what we are working with.

Are you available for a brief call next week?

{{signature}}


7. The sales follow up email

The make-or-break part of any interaction is the second touch, this is where you start turning leads and prospects into customers. Follow up emails can be a great way to initiate a conversation and get the ball rolling to achieve just that. The exact template of the email would change depending on what you are following up after. Below are some example use cases. 

When to use this template: As the name suggests, this template can be used for following up after a meeting, after a prospect clicks on a link or downloads a resource, when they show up at an industry event such as a conference, networking event or after your first meeting, etc.

Template

Email subject: {{firstName}}, great connecting with you at <<event>>

Hello {{firstName}},

I hope you had a great time at the <<event>> and enjoyed learning about our sales automation tool to improve your cold outreach.

I remember you mentioned that managing your cold outreach at scale is a top priority for you. How would you like to get on a call with our sales team to see if there’s a mutual fit?

As you may remember from our conversation, hubsell campaigns enable you to outreach from your personal accounts to the contacts’ personal accounts with a steady drip rate and at random intervals. This kind of an integration allows you to scale up your outreach, all the while being indistinguishable from the same outreach executed manually.

Let me know when you’d like me to set up a call with someone in our sales team who can walk you through a personalised demo.

{{signature}}


8. The Star-Arch-Success formula email (SAS)

The SAS formula represents Star-Arch-Success. Crafting your emails with stories will provide more readability and understanding of your product or service offerings. In addition, it makes the reader much involved. 

We shall look into the three stages in detail. 

Star: At this point, your email context has to introduce the star of the story. It can be a customer, another business, an individual, or yourself. 

Arch: Here you give a brief about your star journey, explain who you are, or describe the similar problem your targeted prospects face. 

Success: Explain how the star succeeded at the email footer or end of the email. People like stories, and it is an excellent opportunity for the business to guide, teach, think, and create caution.

When to use this template: The SAS formula creates a story that strengthens your cold email. It works particularly well with case studies, personal experiences, and success stories.

Template

Email subject: {{firstName}}, want to make your cold outreach more effective?

Hello {{firstName}},

In the latter half of 2018, the future was looking bleak for <<star person/company>>.

With a small marketing team and small budget for customer acquisition <<star person/company>> needed to expand their multi-channel cold outreach.

A tough task, considering the huge cost data acquisition usually has. So how did <<star>> win?

Thanks to hubsell’s advanced tool, <<star>> was able to get hot leads at 25% of the customer acquisition cost compared to channels such as paid social media marketing or search engine optimisation.

We’ve also helped <<company 1>> and <<company 2>> do this.

If you have a similar problem and are looking for a scalable way to do cold acquisition, I have 50 on-demand generated B2B contacts to offer, on the house. Please reply to this to set up a call to discuss your needs further so we can get started on those contacts for you.

{{signature}}


9. The competitor satisfaction email

The idea behind this cold emailing template is to show your reader what makes your solution better than one of your competitors. The competitor-satisfaction email can be a good option for targeting prospects that you know are currently working with a competitor.

When to use this template: This copywriting technique can be useful when targeting your competitor’s customers.

Template

Email subject: Hey {{first name}}, I had a quick question about {{competitor’s product}}

Hello {{firstName}},

I noticed on your website that you are using <<competitor’s product>>. How is it working out for you? I work for <<your company>>.

Our product is similar to <<your competitor’s product>>, only our customers’ report we’re better with <<key USP and differentiators>> which might work better for {{companyId.shortName}}.

I would love to hop on a quick call with you and see if we could make {{companyId.shortName}}’s marketing teams better.

How does <<date and time>> work for you?

{{signature}}


The winning formula of a cold email that actually works

Now that we have gone through a few examples of cold email templates, let us look at some best practice tips for creating the perfect cold email copy.

  • A custom ‘From’ field

This may come as a surprise to you, but the subject line usually isn’t the first thing a person notices when he or she sees an email pop up. It is the ‘From field’, hence the first thing you must do in a cold email is customise the ‘From field’ to create a personal connection with the receiver. 

Here are some ideas in varying formats for the ‘From line’ customisation.

  1. First name (Peter)
  2. First name + Last name (Peter Jackson)
  3. First name + Last name, Title (Peter Jackson, Head of marketing)
  4. First name + Company name (Peter, Jackson and Co)
  5. First name + Last name + Company name (Peter Jackson, Jackson and Co)

People are likely to take note, follow or interact with experts from their field. For instance, you can use your marketing head’s name as the sender if you’re reaching out to marketers. If you do not have anyone with industry experience, you can also use your company CEO’s name to grab reader’s attention.

  • Write an intriguing subject line

Next comes the subject line, which can be imagined as the key that unlocks the door to your message for the reader. The subject line should be short, specific and useful. A poorly written subject line not only puts off the reader but also may cause problems with email deliverability, as most email servers automatically mark emails as spam based on the subject line. 

Below are some general tips for nailing the subject line:

  1. Personalise it: Grab this opportunity to assure your readers that you’re not a spammer who sends myriads of identical emails to people and waits to see what sticks- but rather have actually put in some research before reaching out to them.
  2. Keep it short and intriguing: Use the subject line as a way to pique their interest and engage their attention by making them reflect on a problem they may have.
  3. Make it sound human: A formal or salesy subject line is often one of the most common put offs for readers today. Do not be afraid to inject some personality into your subject line that compels readers to click on your email.
  4. Connect it with your email body and objective: Whatever you put in your subject line, you should connect it with the rest of your message. A click-bait can only prompt a click, but once the reader realises they have been fooled, they are most likely to close the email window and have a lasting bad impression about your brand.
  • Make sure to work with only quality B2B data when creating your email lists 

Simply put, data can make or break your cold email campaign. If you generally rely on the data researched by your internal team based on information available on the listing portals, contact us page, review sites, etc, you are at a serious risk of hurting your email conversions. Data collected from these sources can often be inaccurate, inconsistent or outdated. Instead, you can partner with advanced sales automation solutions like hubsell to help you with on-demand generated data that ensures that you are only working with accurate and high quality data. 

  • Keep your call-to-action easy and friction-free

Last but not least, end your cold email with an easy and frictionless call to action (CTA) that persuades your prospects to do what you want them to with your cold email.

To ensure your reader takes action, your CTA should:

  1. Express the purpose of your email – the CTA should clarify the aim of your email in a single sentence.
  2. Be short and to the point – the CTA shouldn’t take more than a single sentence. You should be as concise as you can but don’t be curt either. 
  • Personalise the copy and A/B test your cold email elements to see which one works best for your audience

As this blog outlined, there are many cold email templates you can use—but it’s important to customise each email and tailor it to the specific person you’re reaching out to. Your prospect probably gets hundreds of emails like these and personalisation is likely the only effective way to rise above the noise. Cold emails should be sent on an individual, case-by-case basis. However, you can scale up your sales outreach by mass emailing prospects by partnering with a sales automation tool like hubsell and hyper-segmenting your email lists. Segmentation can be done by content, product, persona and customer lifecycle stage.

Lastly, please note there is no one size fits all approach to writing cold emails, and the only way to know which works best for you is to A/B test various elements of your email such as subject line, opening line, CTA and template.


Conclusion

The point of writing any sales email is to close a deal. It doesn’t help to stall so always make your cold emails direct, punchy and personalised. As cold emails are the beginning of your conversation with a prospect, don’t forget to introduce yourself and your company by including solid social proof. Finally, the call to action (CTA) is one of the most important elements of your emails and one that can make or break your chances of hitting the bull’s eye. The ideal call to action should mirror your prospect’s state of mind when they reach the end of your email. Last but not least, try out different templates using A/B tests to see which one works best for your audience. Armed with the right templates and a sales automation tool like hubsell to back you up and scale your outreach, you can make cold emailing work for you and see success off the back of it. 

Happy emailing!


New readers

For those unfamiliar with hubsell, we provide an end-to-end B2B prospecting solution with on-demand generated B2B data and multi-channel personalised outreach automation software to generate qualified sales leads.

Book your discovery call today to see how you can scale your opportunity generation.



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