Cold Emailing: What Does It Take to Write a Cold Email Template?

Author
Vladislav Podolyako
Published
Jul 01, 2021
Reading duration
16m

It takes a lot to get a cold email delivered to your recipients’ inboxes. Not only must you ensure that your writing is top-notch, but you also have to choose the right moment for contacting prospects and build your entire schedule around it. 

However, let’s start with the most fundamental part of cold emailing — the content of your email. If you work in the B2B area, you have probably received cold sales emails once in a while. Some of them (let’s call them Group A), you closed without reading to the end; others (we shall call them Group B, accordingly) managed to pull you in and read till the last sentence. 

Can you relate to that? Want to know how to make your emails look less like Group A and more like Group B? 

Then you’re ready to dive into this blog post. Here, we will talk about:

  • what a cold email is;
  • cold email vs. cold call;
  • 6 steps to making a fantastic cold email template for B2B.

What is a cold email?

To put it simply, a cold email is an unsolicited email. It’s a message you didn’t expect or agree to receive, yet it still lands in your inbox and asks for your attention. In general, users treat cold emails with a degree of hostility because they value their privacy. However, in the world of business relationships, cold email is a way for company representatives to introduce themselves, offer you a handshake, and start a conversation. 

In other words, a cold email is an ice-breaker. You can compare it to being approached by a business representative at a trade show, exchanging a couple of words and then leaving with their business card in your pocket and an offer on your mind. 

However, while trade shows usually imply networking and getting new business connections, business inboxes don’t include an open invitation to send unrequested messages. Therefore, your introduction must be powerful, compelling and appealing, not to mention friendly to email servers. 

Cold email vs. cold call

“Why should I use cold emails when cold calls exist?” you might wonder. Indeed, it feels like reaching out to your prospects in a more personal way. Letting them hear a human voice would warm them up quickly and set the conversation on the right track. 

But let’s be honest — would you be excited about getting a call from a stranger in the middle of your working day? When you’re overwhelmed by your tasks, the last thing you need is a human voice distracting you from your work with a random sales offer. This is why the average success rate of cold calling is around 2.5%. It means that cold calls can generate one appointment or one steady sales conversation a day. It’s like making door-to-door sales where everybody, but one person, slams the door in your face. 

Meanwhile, the average cold email conversion rate varies between 1% to 40%. Indeed, the range is huge because it’s affected by several massive factors. Will you be converting 1% or 40% of your recipients? It depends on your content and your understanding of email template guidelines. In general, around 86% of marketing experts prefer email marketing and cold emails over cold calling because it’s a less invasive and a much more creative way to get prospects’ attention, retain it and steer them towards making a target action or booking an appointment. 

With that said, yes, we do believe that cold calls are dead and replaced with pre-heated calls. It means that you can’t do cold calling anymore, but you can warm your prospects up with a couple of emails introducing yourself and asking for permission to call. Once that permission is granted, you can jump on a call and talk to your prospects, who would be a lot more eager to know you better. 

As you can see, business relationships rely on cold emails a lot. But how do you crank up your conversion rate to 40% and beyond?

6 steps to making a cold email template for B2B

Step 1. Realize your mission

It may sound like a piece of advice from some Instagram success guru but trust us: Your approach matters. If you start writing your first cold email thinking, “I need only one message to close the deal,” you’ll end up rewriting your entire batch and wasting more time than it’s healthy for your business. Accept the fact that it will take you at least six consecutive emails and from two to three weeks before your efforts bear fruit. Embrace the truth of one sales message per campaign. Resist the desire to hurry things up or cram your entire messaging into one cold email template. 

Once you transcend these mental limits, you’ll grow closer to the art of cold emailing. 

  • Outline your sales message. What do you want your prospects to do? Learn more about your services? Switch from their current vendor to you? Add your product to their budget plan? Be extremely precise because when recipients see that a sender has no idea about their message, they get annoyed. 
  • Break your sales message into several parts. Treat your email campaign as a story that your prospects want to explore from its beginning to its end. Think about how you want to start that story and what you want to conclude it with, what kind of emotions you would like to steer in your prospects. Break it down into segments: Introduction, Cliffhanger, Interlude, Finale. 
  • Write a story within a story. So, you’ve got your main story and its segments — now you must segment your cold email template. 

  • Keep your story appealing. Any competent writer must think about their target audience. Those who say “My book/script is for everyone” aren’t entirely correct. Indeed, everybody wants to create content loved by people of every age, preference and social group. However, that’s not how it works. Certain plot points hook certain kinds of people who make up the main part of the target audience. This audience fuels your work and keeps you moving forward. So, you must take care of your audience. Think about what they might like and what kind of words and phrases would sing to them and hit close to home. 

So, it was email template story building 101. Now let’s move on to polishing your story.  

Step 2. Introduce yourself the right way

The “from: line”

It all starts with the “from” line. Literally. Quite a few people pay attention to this little yet very important part of your cold email. Why is the “from” line important? Because it shows who sent the email. When you reach out to your cold leads, every component of your email must persuade them to open and read it. Therefore, you should provide as much information as possible. Every detail makes a difference. 

For example, “From: <[email protected]> Sally Jones, CompanyTech CTO” is a lot more insightful than “From: <[email protected]> Sally Jones”, isn’t it? If you’re going for a good first impression (and we assume that you are), you would want to erase all possible suspicions regarding your email. Injecting valuable information into your “from:” line is the first step towards building trust.  

Editing your “from:” line also lets you build the style of your email, making it look whole and seamless. For example, if your campaign is less formal, you can change your “from:” line to “From: <[email protected]>  Sally at CompanyTech”

Subject line

The “from:” line is the first thing your recipients notice about your incoming email. The subject line comes second but is equal in its importance because it introduces the message. A proper introduction can ignite your recipients’ interest. A poorly done one can send your email straight to the spam folder, so don’t treat your subject lines lightly.  

  • Put yourself into your recipients’ shoes. What kind of subject line would prompt you to open an email at once? Probably, it’s a short yet intriguing one. Or the one that promises you some benefit from a 2-minute read. 

  • Play your cards right. Some senders make the mistake of spilling the beans before getting to the body text. You’ve probably come across annoying subject lines, such as “[Name], try our 5-star new package till the end of October!” or “[Name], join our innovative digital platform and get more high-value clients.” Not only do they spill the beans and suck all the fun of finding out, but they are also diminishing the value of their offer. After all, if you have to instantly rub your proposition in everyone’s faces, you either can’t build up intrigue or don’t have anything interesting to offer. Whatever the case is, your recipients are quite likely to reject you. Therefore, save the juiciest details for the body text. 

  • Stay casual. Coming off as overly official is bad for your business. Modern recipients don’t respond well to a dry, formal tone or a bot-like sentence building. Be natural and honest with your intentions, don’t try to mislead or put on airs. This is how you win your prospects over and convince them to have a look at the rest of your message. 

As you can see, it’s helpful to phrase your subject lines as questions. Such an approach creates an almost instinctive urge to answer. However, don’t go overboard with your questions. Keep them polite and devoid of any pressure. Don’t make it look like you’re forcing your recipients into playing “Truth or Dare.” Ask only about the things that your recipients might want to talk about; never ask questions your prospects can’t answer in a couple of sentences. 

Among other basic guidelines for writing subject lines are good grammar (naturally) and lack of attention-grabbers, such as exclamation marks or caps lock. Make your introductions sound like a greeting, not a holler. 

Opening lines

So, you have introduced yourself and your goals in your “from:” line and your subject line. Now it’s time…for a more detailed introduction, of course!

Every good sales pitch always starts with an introduction. Yours shouldn’t be an exception. It doesn’t take long, just a couple of sentences. However, it carries on with breaking the ice and making contact with your recipients.

How do you start your cold email? By introducing yourself and your company? Nah. If you did Step 2 correctly, your recipients already know who you are and where you are from. There’s no point in repeating yourself. Instead, you can:

  • Elaborate on your expertise. Something about your area of expertise must hold some value for your recipients. Maybe you know a lot about solving their pain points, maybe you’re well acquainted with the industry giants your recipients look up to or, maybe, you can provide good advice for the market your recipients are braving into. Whatever the case, make it clear from the very beginning. 

  • Praise your recipients. Flattery will get you nowhere, but the acknowledgment of your prospects’ achievements and skills would make it much easier to start the conversation. Take your time to research your recipients and their success stories, congratulate them on their work — you’re here to advance their company, so don’t hide it. 

  • Stick to business. If you want to offer your services as a vendor, make it clear that you’re good at locating and fixing problems. Inform your prospects about hidden issues or ask specific questions that must lead your recipients to the conclusion that they’re a) dissatisfied with their current vendor, b) really need some perspective into their recent issues. 

Whatever path you choose, remember not to shoot blanks. Put as much awareness into your introduction as you can. Your introduction must look like a message crafted for a specific person with a certain goal, not a bot mail. 

Step 4. Pick up the right speed with your sales pitch 

Finally, the fun part (we know you’ve been waiting for it)! 

Your cold email body text is where you pitch our collaboration idea or your value proposition to your recipients. Whether they will accept it or not depends on how good you can balance selling and nurturing

Remember what we mentioned in step one? Don’t try to make a sale with your first email. You’ll fail inevitably. Trying to push a buying decision on a recipient has been perceived as bad manners since 2010, so you’re only guaranteed to piss your recipients off and make them blacklist you. 

What should you do to write a good cold email pitch?

  • Be relatable. Your recipients don’t want to read your company’s biography. They don’t care how much money you’ve made. They don’t feel anything about your achievements unless they mean something good for their business. But…if you tell a tidbit about how your company encountered and overcame the very issues your prospects are dealing with right now, you hit the nail right on the head. Map out the aspects of your success story your recipients can associate themselves with and emphasize them. This is how your prospects know that you’re here because you care, not to show off. 

  • Be subtle. If a sales pitch doesn’t make you feel like you are talking with a door-to-door salesman who jammed your door with his foot and refuses to leave, it’s a good sales pitch. Keep that in mind when writing texts for cold emailing. Motivate your recipients to talk to you, stay clear about what you do, but keep them interested in what you can offer. 

  • Be informed. Personalization doesn’t end at your subject line or your opening lines. Your body text must continue it, appealing to your recipients’ victories and ambitions, make them realize that you make your assets fit their needs and move along their roadmap. 

Step 5. Finish off with a call-to-action

When you write a cold email template for B2B, a call-to-action is a sentence or a phrase that sums up your email and makes it clear what you want from your prospects. Compared to a body text, it’s the easiest part of cold email writing. However, it doesn’t mean that you should relax and throw caution to the wind. Your call-to-action phrase mustn’t conflict with the content or style of your email. It should briefly explain the following:

  • The actions you expect from your recipients.  The worst message is the one that doesn’t have an end goal. It’s not enough to provide information and tempt your recipients with benefits. You must also tell them what they can do on their behalf. 

  • The next step of your conversation. If you’re aiming for a long-term partnership and setting an appointment, you must prepare your recipients for a conversation that would take more than one email. 

Don’t go overboard with explaining the next steps to your prospects. The goal of your first cold email is to start a conversation and warm up your recipients for a phone call or a Zoom meeting. Motivate them to discuss matters in person and move on to the next level of human-to-human interaction. 

Step 6. Answer unanswered questions with your signature

Your email signature matters as much as your introduction lines. This is where you can add a link to your LinkedIn profile, write your full title, place your company’s logo, physical address, phone number and website link without breaking the text to HTML ratio. Such a smart use of space turns a simple element of your email into an interactive business card, letting your prospects start researching you right here, right now.

Depending on your goal (promotional, educational, etc.), you can add links to your free webinars (if you provide those, articles written by you and dedicated to a relevant subject or even a link to your CEO’s presentation during an industry-wide event. The possibilities are limited by your imagination only! 

Conclusion

It takes a while before you’re fully comfortable with writing cold email templates for any B2B campaign. However, the guidelines mentioned in this blog post should make your task a little bit easier. Remember:

  • Research your recipients before writing an email. The more you know about them, the more you have to tell them in your message. 
  • Make stories, not sales. One email won’t help you close a sale. You can generate appointments and close deals once you build a bond with your prospects and move them through every stage of the sales funnel. 
  • Personalize your content. Make everything about your recipients, not about you. It is them who benefit from working with you. They’re the ones getting their issues fixed, their goals met. They’re the pros that get the services and tools they deserve. 

Also, we’d like to remind you that it’s alright to read and check your email and rewrite one sentence several times until it hits the spot and appeals to your recipients. If you’d like some more cold email writing tips, you can read our blog post about spam trigger words and see why they shouldn’t be in your cold email templates.

Vladislav Podolyako
Author:
Vladislav Podolyako
Founder & CEO
Vlad’s decades of entrepreneurial wisdom and business building experience have allowed him to successfully mentor a diverse group of business owners, entrepreneurs in growing their companies. A recognized expert in the areas of transforming organizational culture and leadership development, B2B Sales, Marketing, spent more than 10 years building technology products, with a background in communication networks and electronic device engineering.

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