12 B2B Cold Email Templates & Samples That Win Sales in 2024
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’re in B2B sales, the world is against you.
Okay, maybe not the entire world. But your leads, prospects, email service, the government, industry executives—even the other people on your sales team—are against you.
Don’t take it personally. They’re not against you as an individual. It’s more that they’re against the practices and behaviors that give sales reps a bad reputation.
The sleazy sales techniques of yesteryear make it difficult to do simple things, like pinpoint a prospect's email address. Seriously, who hasn't killed two weeks on that? Madness! Certain governments have even banned cold emails unless specific requirements are met.
Though it may seem like everyone is against you, we’ve got your back here at Close.
We’ve sent literally thousands of cold emails and created hundreds of B2B email templates over the years, and have learned quite a bit about which techniques lead to a conversion and which don’t.
In this post, I’ll share 12 B2B cold email templates that you can use to level up your cold email outreach campaigns. Trust me, these bad boys will help you connect with more prospects, build meaningful relationships with them, and close more deals.
And if your sales emails aren't generating the desired response, explore the realm of technical email setup to enhance your communication impact.
12 Cold Email Templates for B2B Sales & Why They Work
You work hard on lead generation. But if you can't start real conversations with prospects, all that effort will be wasted. Fortunately, the cold sales email templates below will help you truly connect with potential customers more consistently. Let's take a look…
Shh… Seeking B2B lead optimization? Check out our comprehensive B2B Sales Funnel guide.
The “AIDA” Approach
We'll start with a classic cold email template for B2B.
The AIDA formula encourages sales reps to grab their prospect's Attention, speak to their Interests, arouse their Desire, and entice them to take Action. (That's why it's called AIDA.)
It's an age-old marketing tactic that still gets the job done today, which is why you should use it in your B2B sales emails. Here's a quick email example you can use:
This B2B cold email template works because it addresses the prospect's pain points. Then it gives the recipient a way to solve them, i.e., agree to a phone call with you.
The “PAS” Approach
PAS stands for "Problem, Agitate, Solution."
First, you address your prospect's problem. Then you agitate it, so the prospect thinks, "Yeah, my life sucks! I need to fix this ASAP!" Once they're frothing at the mouth, you present a solution that will solve the prospect's pain. (Hint: the solution is your product/service.)
Here is a B2B email template you can use to implement the "PAS" approach:
Psychology 101: people make decisions to either avoid pain or gain pleasure. The email above works because it provides a way for prospects to do the former.
When using the "PAS" approach, hit on one of your prospect's biggest struggles. This will help you achieve the most success with this cold email strategy.
The “Right Contact” Approach
This B2B cold email tactic is uber-popular. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you've used it in the past to elevate your sales process. Plenty of other sales reps definitely have.
All you do is ask the prospect if they're the right point of contact. Here's what it looks like:
The “right contact” approach is especially potent when messaging high-level decision-makers. Why? Because you'll gain instant credibility if the CEO of a company passes your email on to a lower-level employee. Then, when it's time for the CEO to sign off on a purchase, you'll have name recognition because the CEO has already had contact with your brand. Win!
The "Problem-Focused" Approach
If you’re selling something, you’re obviously trying to solve a problem.
The "problem-focused" approach to cold email strives to catch a recipient’s attention by revealing their issue(s) and claiming you can fix it. Like so:
The email template above focuses on the prospect's pain points. Then it shows the prospect how the salesperson can take those burdens off their plate. When you bring the prospect's problem to the surface, you force them to confront it and decide if they're ready for a solution.
This template works best when selling painkillers, not vitamins. A vitamin is a nice-to-have product. A painkiller is a must-have product that can make a super meaningful impact.
For those who find themselves struggling to craft emails that elicit a response, our AI Email Writer can be a game-changer, providing personalized, effective email templates with just a few clicks.
The "Central Intelligence" Approach
Do you ever feel like you're being watched?
What if I told you I knew exactly what you ate last night, where you purchased the food, and how it was made? You’d be interested, right? (And definitely a little creeped out.)
To use the "central intelligence" approach, you need to uncover something about the prospect’s existing business, then insert that knowledge at the top of your email.
If you sell marketing automation software, for example, you might write an email like this:
Your ability to discover the apps in your target prospect's tech stack, or learn which professional services they pay for on a regular basis, will depend on your industry.
These tools can show you the web frameworks, eCommerce platforms, analytics tools, advertising networks, etc., that specific companies use when you visit their sites.
The "Curiosity Hook" Approach
As alluded to above, a solid grasp on psychology will change the way you do sales.
For instance, one of the best ways to get a prospect to open your message is to pique their curiosity. In other words, if your recipients aren't totally sure what your email contains, they might be more willing to open it. The fact that they don't know what's inside will eat at them.
The best place to leverage curiosity is in your email subject line. Once you’ve done that, the first one or two sentences must continue to stir up curiosity in your reader.
The B2B cold email template below illustrates how this could work in the real world:
The link doesn't have to send prospects to a blog post, of course. It could be any additional resource you deem relevant, such as a case study, webinar, or ebook. As long as it's something your prospect will want to read, you can link to it in your cold outreach email.
The "10x Personalization" Approach
Nobody wants to receive an automated email. That doesn't stop pesky marketing and sales professionals from sending them—no wonder our inboxes are bursting at the seams.
If you want prospects to open, read, and respond to your emails, you have to personalize them. Doing so will make your messages appear more authentic—even if you use automation software to send hundreds of them every day. (And no, simply adding the prospect's first name doesn't count as true personalization. You need to dig a bit deeper than this, my friend.)
The "10x personalization" approach will help you connect with more prospects because it requires you to do meaningful prospect research. It's not easy to implement. If you take the time to do it right, you'll close more (and bigger!) deals.
The template below shows what an uber-personalized email might look like:
As you can see, this email template is highly personalized, which will help you gain your prospect's trust. It also includes a relevant value prop, which will grab their interest. Once you have these two things, a future sale is way more likely to happen.
The "Social Proof" Approach
Speaking of trust…
The "social proof" approach will give you credibility. All you have to do is base your cold outreach email on a specific customer and the outcomes your company helped them achieve.
Once prospects see you can deliver results, they'll be much more open to your sales pitch. Just use this simple email example to infuse your messages with the power of social proof.
What if you don't have a case study to send potential customers? No problem. Just use a testimonial. Oh, you don't have one of those either? Include a positive review from Google, Yelp, or a social media site like LinkedIn. Unless you're a brand-new startup, you can find a bit of social proof somewhere. Do yourself a favor and use it to make more sales.
Want to supercharge your lead gen? Dive into LinkedIn strategies.
The "BASHO" Approach
If you're not familiar with the term, a BASHO email is a relevant, ultra-personalized message.
The "BASHO" approach was invented by Jeff Hoffmann, founder of Basho Strategies Inc, hence the name, and designed to help sales reps start more conversations with prospects.
To create your own BASHO messages, craft a stellar subject line that makes your recipients need to open your emails. Then start your body copy with a hook to keep prospects interested. Next, address the prospect's pain points and tie them to the solution you sell. Finally, end your message with a clear CTA that explains what readers should do next.
Here's what it might look like if you use the "BASHO" approach yourself:
Tons of salespeople swear that this is the best cold email approach around. You'll have to try it for yourself to see. But it's not hard to see why it might work: it grabs the prospect's attention, speaks to their challenges, and offers a realistic solution.
The "Recent Event" Approach
I'm going to let you in on a little secret: your cold outreach emails don't need to be super clever. They just need to be well-informed and personalized.
For example, you can research your prospect, dig up information on a recent development in their company, and use this fact to strike up a conversation. Maybe the prospect just received an industry award. Or achieved an important milestone. Or released a new product.
Whatever the case may be, use this recent event to your advantage and address it in your cold email. Here's a quick template you can use to simplify the whole process:
Notice how this email is all about the prospect. It congratulates them. Then it offers to help them "build on your momentum." Finally, it asks a quick question to assess the prospect's interest in a phone call. In other words, it's a low-key message that doesn't feel slimy.
Because of this, the prospect is more likely to respond—even if it's just to thank you for the kind words. In this business, that's what we call a foot in the door.
The "Value First" Approach
Why do most cold email campaigns fail?
Because the sales reps who send them are more concerned about themselves than the people they message. They only talk about their products/services and their pricing structures. Meanwhile, the prospect is like, "Wait, why do I care what this person says?"
What if you took the "value first" approach instead and gave the prospect something they'd be interested in—no strings attached? I bet your reply rate would go through the roof.
As you know, once you start a genuine conversation with a prospect, you can earn their trust. Then, in the future, you can use the trust you've built to close the deal.
This email example will help you implement the "value first" approach effectively:
What would you do if someone reached out to you with this kind of message? I'll tell you exactly what you'd do: open the email, click the link to the piece of content, and then write the person back to thank them for promoting your work. (That's what I'd do, at least.)
Once they reply, you can build a relationship with them. Who knows? They might actually buy something from you in the future. And you won't have to bully them into it. Heck yes!
The "Manager-Approved" Approach
Last but not least, we have the "manager-approved" approach.
You can't use this one every day. In fact, you should only whip it out in specific situations. But when those situations present themselves, this B2B cold email template can work wonders.
Basically, ask your sales manager—or, better yet, the CEO of your company—to point you toward a specific lead that might be interested in the products/services you sell. Then include your manager's or CEO's message in the outreach email you send to the prospect.
Confused? Don't be. Here's a template you can use to implement this cold email strategy:
Now, why can't you use this approach all of the time? Unless your superiors send you lead ideas on a daily basis, using this tactic every day would be inauthentic.
Also, it might come across as a cheap email marketing trick if you try it on big-name brands. So, save it for special occasions, and only let it rip with startups and small businesses.
How to Write a Perfect B2B Cold Email Template
I just shared 12 effective cold email templates for B2B companies—you're welcome. But if you want to create your own templates, too, make sure you keep these tips in mind:
Research and Understand Your Target Audience
What's the first rule of sales?
Know your customer. If you don't, you won't be able to craft compelling subject lines, personalized copy, or relevant CTAs—A.K.A. all the things that make cold emails effective.
Fortunately, getting to know your target audience isn't that hard. Just pick a name on your email list, then study that person's online persona. Who do they work for? What position do they hold at this company? Are they a dog person or a cat person? Most importantly, what are their pain points, and how can your products/services help them?
Social media is a fantastic tool for this kind of research. Check out their LinkedIn profile. Take a gander at their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles, too, if you can find them.
Then take everything you learn and personalize your outreach campaigns. About that…
Personalize and Customize Your Emails
Fact: effective cold emails never start with "Dear Customer." If you begin your message this way, you'll be on a one-way trip to the trash bin. Guaranteed.
Why? Because it's super impersonal and screams, "I'm a salesperson, and I want to sell you something, but I don't actually care enough about the deal to figure out your name."
Riddle me this: if you put so little thought into your emails, why should you get a response? You shouldn't, which is why every cold email you send should at least include a first name.
Don't stop there, though. Do your best to personalize every aspect of your email. It's the only way to avoid a spammy reputation and boost your reply rate. That means dropping deets like the prospect's company name, information about their pain points, whether you attended the same college—whatever you can dig up to help build a legit connection with this person.
If that sounds like a lot of work to you, well, you're right. Thankfully there are tools you can use to streamline the process. Close, for example, will automatically input information from your favorite CRM into your campaigns to help you send personalized emails.
Ready to elevate your B2B sales strategy? Our article on B2B CRMs provides essential insights into leveraging CRM technology.
Craft Compelling Subject Lines
Next order of business: your email subject line.
Forty-seven percent of people open emails based on the subject line alone. If your subject line sucks, your prospect won't give you a chance, no matter how amazing your body copy is.
So, how do you craft stellar subject lines for your cold email campaigns? Keep them short, pique the recipient's interest, and use personalization. Let's dive deeper into these three tips:
- Short and sweet: The best subject lines usually clock in at about 60 characters or less. This keeps them from getting truncated. Try not to go over it.
- Super interesting: Top-level subject lines also make recipients think, "Huh, I should probably open this to see what's inside." You can pique your prospect's interest by addressing their pain points or adding a bit of mystery and intrigue.
- Personalized: Look, there it is again, personalization. Customize your subject lines so they speak directly to your recipient whenever possible. You can do this by adding their name to the subject line or addressing a specific element of the prospect's life.
How about a few examples? Here are a few of the best B2B subject lines I've seen:
- "Looking to outsource [service you can provide]?"
- "First steps to improving your [issue you're helping with]"
- "From one small business to another…"
Subject lines are tricky. But if you get them right, your open rates will skyrocket. When that happens, your chances of closing a deal with this person go way up.
Craft Compelling Opening Lines
Your subject line worked, and your prospect opened your cold email. Now what? Hopefully, you've given your message a compelling intro that keeps them reading.
Your prospects do not want to read three long-winded paragraphs about your company, the awards it won, or the crazy amount of money it makes every month. You can share those details with them later. They want to read about themselves.
It doesn't matter what you're selling, who you're messaging, or whether they work for a sleek SaaS startup or an old-school manufacturing company. You need to answer the question "What's in it for me?" for each of your prospects to find success.
Good news: you don't have to be an expert copywriter to make this happen. You just have to show prospects that you understand their pain points and, most importantly, can solve them.
Write an Engaging Email Body
Your cold emails need more than a good intro. They need personalized email copy that keeps your prospects interested and makes them think, "I should probably write this person back."
There are different ways to structure your messages—I covered a bunch of them in the B2B cold email templates section above. You can use the AIDA formula, for example, and grab the prospect's attention, speak to their interests, arouse their desire, and entice them to action.
The Compliment/Benefit/Time/Help framework can be effective, too. Basically, you compliment your prospect, then you make them understand how you can benefit them. Next, you tell the prospect how much time your sales meeting will take. Finally, you offer to help.
No matter which structure you use, make sure your email copy addresses the prospect's pain points and provides a potential solution. If you can add a bit of social proof into the equation, too—without turning your email into a novel, of course—all the better.
One more thing: use short sentences and paragraphs. This will make your emails easier to read. If your messages look like work, your prospects will delete them in no time flat.
Include a Call-to-Action
What do you want recipients to do after they read your cold email? That's what CTAs are for.
Maybe you want prospects to forward your message to the appropriate person. Or write you back. Maybe you want them to book a meeting with you via your favorite scheduling app.
Give them the option to do one of these things at the end of your email. One is the key word here. Don't ask prospects to write you back, book a meeting, and download a case study.
This will lead to a paradox of choice. Your prospect will freeze. Then they'll do none of the things you want them to do. Instead, give them a single, easy-to-complete task. This will boost your forward rate, response rate, download rate—whichever rate you want to improve.
Cool? Cool. Now just make sure your CTA is clear and to the point. You don't need to get fancy here. You need to tell prospects what you want them to do, then sign off.
Personalize Your Follow-Ups
Looking for another way to boost your reply rate? Send more than one message.
The money is in the follow-up, as they say. If you only send prospects one cold email, you won't strike up many conversations. Not because they hate you, but because they're busy. And responding to strangers isn't as important as, you know, doing their actual jobs.
So, send follow-up emails to each of your prospects. Just make sure to adjust each one so that you don't say the same exact thing every time. That would be really weird.
Start with one of the B2B cold email templates above. If you don't hear back, send a second message that says something like, "I know you're busy, but I really think [Your Product] will help you [Top Benefit]."
If you still don't hear back, follow up again and say something along the lines of, "We just helped [Similar Customer] achieve [Results]. I'd love to help [Prospect's Company] do the same. Are you free to chat this Wednesday at 2 pm?"
Remember, 80 percent of sales require five follow-ups. So don't get discouraged when your first message gets ignored. Or your second. Or your third. Keep sending those bad boys.
But don't send them manually! Use a CRM software like Close to build entire email workflows, then shoot them off at predetermined intervals. That way, you can focus on other, more important lasts, like nurturing leads, closing deals, and driving revenue.
Optimize for Deliverability
Okay, we need to get a bit technical for a minute.
You can write the perfect outreach email. But if it doesn't land in your prospect's inbox, it doesn't matter. They won't open, read, or respond to it, and you'll have wasted your time.
Email deliverability is a complicated topic. But there are a few simple things you can do to ensure your messages reach their intended targets, such as:
- Get quality leads: Are you sending emails to the right addresses? Make sure the contact information you have on file is accurate and up to date. If you get a bounce, scrub it from your list immediately to avoid harming your sender reputation.
- Nail the basics: Get your domain name from a reputable DNS provider. Choose a reliable sending provider, too. These things aren't sexy, but they're important. If you don't invest time into them, some of your emails will go undelivered.
- Warm up your address: I know you want to message dozens of cold leads a day. But you need to cool your jets. If you go too hard, too soon, your email address will get flagged. To avoid this, only message a few leads per day. Then gradually increase this number until you can contact as many leads as your heart desires.
Like I said, email deliverability is tricky. For more of the deep technical information you need to know to crush your B2B outreach efforts, check out this in-depth article.
Continuously Improve Your Cold Email Approach
Last but not least, keep a close eye on your metrics. What's your open rate? What's your response rate? And are these important KPIs above or below industry standards?
If your open rate sucks, work to write better subject lines. If your response rate is subpar, look to adjust your email copy. In both scenarios, you may need to restudy your target audience. Perhaps your metrics are down because you're approaching prospects the wrong way.
Also, commit to A/B testing your cold email campaigns. Craft two different subject lines to see which performs best. Do the same thing with your email content and CTAs. Eventually, you'll hit on a winning combination that not only boosts replies, but also leads to sales.
As long as you continuously look to improve your cold email approach, you'll do fine.
Crush Your Quotas with a Killer B2B Cold Email Template
For many companies, cold email is a cornerstone of business development. But you won't succeed with cold email if you just message prospects willy-nilly. You need to take a strategic approach. And your strategy should begin with a quality B2B cold email template.
Once you've chosen the one (or two, or three!) template you want to use, personalize it for each recipient. That way, you can start more meaningful conversations.
Also worth mentioning, you'll need software to send your cold emails. I recommend Close. Why? Because it includes an email workflows, allowing you to automate multiple messages simultaneously. Close is also a top-level CRM, which means you can easily personalize your messages using the information stored in your company's database.
Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Close today to see how it elevates your cold outreach efforts!