15 Killer Cold Email Templates to Nail Sales Outreach in 2023 (Updated)

15 Killer Cold Email Templates to Nail Sales Outreach in 2023 (Updated)

Cold emailing is one of the most effective sales tools in B2B sales.

However, writing cold emails is also time-consuming and, sometimes, downright painful. Enter: cold email templates.

Writing outreach emails can take a lot of time--time you could use to redefine your target account list, follow up with hot leads, or build your social selling strategy.

So how can you leverage the power of cold emails without spending an entire day writing them?

The answer is cold email templates that streamline outreach—and we have 15 free email templates to share.

Even better, our team at Close uses these proven templates, so we know they work!

There's one caveat—you can't just plug in your name and company, then hit "send." You need to take the time to select the right email template and customize it to fit your business and your prospect.

What is a Cold Email Template?

A cold email template is a customizable message sent to a 100% cold contact. You didn't meet them at an industry conference, they don't follow you on Twitter, and you aren't old colleagues. Sales teams use cold email outreach to target new prospective clients and entice them to enter the sales funnel.

And if you get them right, B2B cold email templates are incredibly effective at increasing leads and conversion rates for outbound sales teams.  

Take a look at this cold email example sent to Mark Cuban. After some back and forth, this cold email resulted in a total investment of $500,000—not a bad ROI.

Screenshot of an Effective Cold Email Template for Outreach

It's also important to talk about what cold email is not.

It is not an old-school cold call. It is not spam. It's not sending emails to your entire email list. It's a strategic approach targeting people at specific companies likely to be interested in your solution.

Which is why cold sales email templates can be so crucial to driving sales success. Using a template doesn't just save your sales team time—it improves open rates by ensuring every email includes critical elements for success, like focusing on benefits and social proof to build trust.

15 Killer Cold Email Templates to Improve Your Response Rate + Land More Meetings

Now that you understand why these templates are so powerful let’s dive straight into the most effective cold email templates. Many on this list are ones our sales team uses here at Close (and that our customers employ every day in their cold email campaigns.)

1. The Authentic Referral Cold Email

Subject Line: [Name], can you help?

Hi [first name],

My name is [my name] and I head up business development efforts with [my company]. We recently launched a new platform that [one-sentence pitch].

I’d like to speak with someone from [company] who is responsible for [handling something that's relevant to my product].

I am taking an educated stab in the dark here, however, based on your online profile, you may be the right person to connect with or can at least point me in the right direction.

If that’s you, are you open to a fifteen-minute call on [time and date] to discuss ways the [company name] platform can specifically help your business? If not you, can you please put me in touch with the right person?

I appreciate the help!


[your name]

Some cold email templates are short and concise; this one is a bit more involved—which is the point. You're looking to build an authentic relationship with the potential prospect and get passed along to the right person, even if it's not them.

This template uses natural language, but add your own touch. For example, how did you find them? Did they write a blog post you read or post something funny on LinkedIn? Small details build an authentic connection.

2. Asking for an Introduction Email Template

Subject Line: Can you direct me to the right person?

Hey [first name],

My name is [my name] and I'm with [my company name]. We work with organizations like [company name] to [insert one-sentence pitch].

[One sentence unique benefit].

Could you direct me to the right person to talk to about this at [company name] so we can explore if this would be something valuable for the company?


[your name]

This email template is ideal if you cannot find the right contact at all. There's no fluff, just direct and benefit-driven copy. Use this if you are pretty sure your contact isn't the right person—there's no need to waste their time.

3. Authority-Building Referral Email

Subject Line: Want [insert metric from case study]?

Hey [first name],

[Main pain point] is challenging. [Mention additional prospect's pain points.]

I get it—and I might have a solution.

[Your business name] helps [target audience] [benefit you deliver]. We've helped companies like [current customer names] reach [insert specific metrics].

I'd be happy to connect and discuss how [your company] can help your team [service you offer.] Do you have 15 minutes tomorrow or the next day?

[Include link to schedule call]

Thanks for your time,

[your name]

You've likely heard the adage, "People don't buy from companies; they buy from other people." It's still true today. Building authority and trust with prospects helps your email (and business) not only stand out in a crowded email inbox, but gives you a chance to warm up your prospects. This cold email example nails that goal.

Offering specific case studies shows you've gotten results for other companies, so they want in. A strong CTA (call-to-action), like including a link to schedule a call and specifically asking your prospect to take that action, makes it clear what they should do next.

To customize this email, look for social media posts or blogs they may have published. Do they mention any specific pain points or struggles? If possible, include a company case study targeting their particular challenge.

Image of Sales Person Sending Cold Emails to Prospects (Doing Outreach)

4. Recent Event Cold Outreach Email

Subject Line: Congrats on [event]!

Hey [first name],

I saw you recently [insert event—acquisition, new product launch, etc.]. Congratulations! [Insert salutations about how excited they are, mention if you saw good press, etc.]

After [event] many companies focus more on [industry/value you offer]. Things are probably crazy right now at [prospect company name], but I'd love to share how we can help [main benefit.]

Do you have time to chat next week? [Insert 1-2 times you're available or link to your calendar.]

Congrats again,

[your name]

Not sure how to start off your cold email? Leveraging a recent event makes it easier to kick-start a real conversation. As you research a prospect, look for announcements about new product lines, awards, acquisitions, or other company achievements you can mention in your email.

Finally, offer a detailed congratulations, not just a one-liner and then your sales pitch. Use the event to establish a relationship, not as a bait-and-switch to get them to open your email. And as always, close your cold sales email template with a clear CTA, asking them to take a next step with you.

5. The Quick Question Cold Email Template

Subject Line: quick request

Hey [first name],

I have a quick request. Would you be so kind as to tell me who is responsible for [insert your biggest pain point here that resonates with your ideal customer; OR insert function like “sales” or “recruiting”] and how I might get in touch with them?

Thank you,

[your name]

People are busy; email inboxes are full. Sometimes the best approach is short and to the point. Just from the subject line alone, they know this email won't take much time—and it'll give them the satisfaction of clearing one thing off their plate.

This sales email template can also be adjusted to offer a direct sales pitch in your email if you know you have the right point of contact.

6. Referencing a Competitor Product/Service Cold Call Email Template

Subject Line: Scale [their company name] in [time frame]

Hi [first name],

While researching for [company name], I came across your profile - love how passionate you've been the past [number of years they've worked at the company, look it up on their LinkedIn profile] years to help scale the [department] team, while also being a go-to advisor for your growing customers.

However, I imagine you may be struggling with [address pain point your solution solves]. I'm curious - are any customer accounts at risk that would benefit from [what you offer]?

[Recognizable competitor], needed a way to [what you offer]. Since leveraging [your company name], their [major benefit]. As a result, their customers experienced [business impact].

Does it make sense to explore ways we can help your team as well?


[your name]

Nothing like a little FOMO to get prospects interested.

This template focuses on the prospect and the time and resources they've invested in the industry. Take the time to research them before customizing this section.

Then, mention the benefits you offer—and a competitor who might be getting ahead thanks to your solution. If you have a direct competitor, that's ideal. If not, use a closely related company. Knowing other companies have an advantage should be enough to pique their interest.

Don't forget the subject line, either. Use the competitor's specific results to encourage opens. For example: "See 10X organic growth in six months" or "Increase AOV 25%."

7. Short and Sweet Sales Pitch Email

Subject Line: Why [your company]?

Hey [first name],

I hope this email finds you well! I wanted to reach out because [explain how you got their contact information: talked to a colleague, saw your company online, etc.].

[Name of company] has a new platform that will help [your team] at [organization name]. [One sentence pitch of benefits].

I know that [our product/service] will be able to help [name of your company] [insert high-level benefit here].

Are you available for a quick call [time and date]?


[your name]

This cold call email template works for two main reasons—it's short and to the point, plus it includes personal elements about the recipient.

There's no beating around the bush, just a quick intro and an explanation of how you can help. Depending on your target audience, consider adding a brief case study.

Take the time to look the prospect up on social media, add how you found them, and be genuine.

8. Selling Your Benefits Cold Email Template

Subject Line: Tired of [pain point]?

Hey [first name],

I hope this email finds you well! I wanted to reach out because [explain how you found them and how you relate to them: talked to a colleague, saw a post on LinkedIn, etc.].

[Name of company] has a new platform that will help (your team at) [organization name]. [One sentence pitch of benefits]. We do this by:

Benefit/feature 1

Benefit/feature 2

Benefit/feature 3 (optional)

Let's explore how [name of your business] can specifically help your business. Are you available for a quick call [time and date]?


[your name]

People want to know what is in it for them—and this cold email outreach template delivers. Using bullet points keeps the email clean and easy to read (especially for those on mobile devices) and tells them why they should care about your offer.

Also, note the subject line uses a question, which helps draw the reader in to learn more.

9. Manager FWD Cold Email Template

Subject Line: FWD [your company] + [their company]

Hey [first name],

My [executive position, maybe CEO, CFO, etc.] asked me to reach out to you (see below.)

Our company, [your company name], is specifically designed for [insert relevant information about target audience and what you do.]

Our customers enjoy [quickly mention core benefits or value proposition.]

Do you have a few minutes this week or next to chat?

Thanks for the time,

[your name]

Here's the kicker—underneath this email is a forward email from their boss, telling the salesperson to reach out. Here's an example of how Brex used this exact cold email template on Close:

Screenshot Example of the FWD Manager Cold Email Template

This template should be used sparingly. But it can be incredibly effective because prospects don't feel like "some sales guy is reaching out", but that the CEO of your company is interested in them.

Notice the deal the manager offers as well—I feel like I'm on the inside, not just a random target.

The biggest takeaway is that you need an intimate understanding of your ideal customer and the specific prospect. If you send cold call emails like this to sophisticated B2B buyers, they might see it as gimmicky email marketing, rather than authentic outreach email.

However, a startup or smaller company might respond positively. You won't know unless you test!

10. No-Ask Outreach Email

Subject Line: Your feature on our blog

Hi [first name],

My name is [first name], [position] at [company]. We recently published a post [title of the post with link]. In it we [details about the post and what it covers].

Due to your expertise in [industry or topic], we included [how you referenced them—link to a blog post, quote, etc.] Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge, it made this post much stronger.

I'd love to hear your thoughts or if you have additional insights to add!


[your name]

The goal of this cold email template is to simply get a reply from your prospect—not book a call, make a pitch, or close a sale. This cold call email template is all about building a mutual connection by providing value first (before you make an ask).

Value-based outreach creates a foundation of trust. In this example, we've mentioned they were featured on our blog. This might be a link, a quote, or even an embedded tweet.

The key is to adjust the email copy to fit each situation. Maybe they posted a question on LinkedIn or Twitter, and you provide an answer. Perhaps you read or watched a video they shared and found it interesting.

Whichever approach you use, focus on providing value, not a sales pitch. That can come later, once you've established a relationship.

11. "My CEO is Excited" Cold Call Email Template

This outreach email can work really well--if you use it right. If someone reaches out and says "My CEO at Twitter is really excited to see you spend more money on ads!" well, that won't be very effective.

But including data can make this really effective.

Subject Line: My CEO is excited about that 185% growth opportunity

Hi [first name],

My CEO [name] noticed this [growth data from a tool like Semrush] and wanted to make sure you saw it, too.

[add chart or other visual]

[CEO's name] wants to involved himself. Is there a good time this week to schedule a call?

This template will work best for SaaS companies in sales or marketing, but feel free to adjust it to fit your company – and don't forget to A/B test different versions!

12. "Can I Send You Ideas?" Cold Email

This email template is inspired from an email we received from Alan at Growth Gorilla. He reached out to ask about our content promotion strategy and offered to send us a quick video with a few ideas to improve our process. (Which was acutally very helpful!)

Subject Line: Two ideas for [company]

Hi [first name],

This is [first name] from [company]. We do [service you offer] for [target industry]

We've worked with [name of past customer] and many others to [results.]

I noticed [something related to your offering -- in Alan's email he noticed we publish a lot of content.]

Do you have a process for [service you offer]? If not, I'd love to send over a quick video with two simple ways you can [pain point you solve.]

What do you think?

[your name]

13. The Making Connections Cold Email Template

Subject: [Industry] trends and your company

Hello [First Name],

As a fellow player in the [Industry] space, I thought you might be interested in some recent industry trends that have emerged. Specifically, we've seen some interesting developments in [Trend 1], [Trend 2], and [Trend 3].

I'd love to hear your thoughts on how these trends might impact your company's strategy. If you have a few minutes to chat, please let me know!


[Your Name]

Not all cold emails need to push a close right off the bat. In fact, most cold emails shouldn't.

This template is all about connecting with someone and opening the conversation. Rather than trying to sell right off the bat, this one aims to get to know who they are and what challenges they might be facing.  

14. Find Pain Points After an Announcement or Award

Subject: [Prospect's Company] and [Your Company]: A Winning Combination?

Hi [First Name],

I found [Prospect's Company] on [place or site] and was impressed by [name of award, mention, or grant]. Our company [Your Company] specializes in [Your Product/Service], and I think we could help you achieve even greater success.

I'm curious, what are some of the biggest pain points that your team is currently facing in the [Industry] space? We've worked with many companies in the same field, and we might have some unique insights that could be helpful to you.

Thanks for your time, and I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

This email is a great way to connect with people after a prospect's company won an award, earned a round of funding, or was mentioned in a news outlet. Mention their recent accomplishment, then ask for more information.

15. The Low Pressure, Data-Backed Cold Email Template  

Subject: [Stat and metric] [prospect company] traction in 10 minutes

Hi [name],

I hope you're doing well. I came across your company, [prospect company name], and I wanted to reach out to see if there might be an opportunity for us to collaborate.

Our team has been working on some killer strategies to help companies in the [industry] space, and I believe we could offer valuable insights to help your comany overcome [biggest challenge].

I recently worked with[Company/competitor], and we were able to help them almost [stat and metric, for example: triple their monthly run rate.] I think some of the strategies we used could be applicable to your business as well.

If you're interested, I'd be happy to share some of these strategies with you on a 10 minute call. No pressure at all, and it's completely free. Just let me know if you're open to a conversation, and we can find a time that works for you.

Thanks for your time.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Providing data is an easy way to pique a prospect's interest and schedule a call. Combining data with mentioning a competitor is a one-two punch that helps drive prospects to take action fast. And, mentioning it would be a 10-minute call takes some of the pressure off.

How to Write a Cold Email (and Make the Most of Our Cold Email Templates) in 5 Steps

You have 15 email templates to build a better cold outreach campaign—now what? Below, we'll cover using those awesome templates to build an effective (and repeatable) cold sales email process.

1. Identify Qualified Prospects

Before you start writing a cold email (or using these templates), you must ensure you're reaching out to the right people.

Consider this—would you rather send 100 emails to get 20 responses from prospects not in your ideal customer profile or send 25 and get 5 positive responses from prospects that do match your ideal profile?

When it comes to prospects, quality matters.

To optimize your outreach, start by analyzing your target list. Look at demographic information, such as:

  • Company size (eg. 100 employees, >$35M in ARR)
  • Location (eg. specific: Alabama; general: North America)
  • Industry (eg. software, real estate, construction, services)
  • Growth stage (eg. startup, B-series funded, bootstrapped)

If they are in the wrong industry (or the wrong stage of growth), cut them from your email list—the last thing you want to do is waste time sending cold sales emails to prospects that aren't a fit for your business.

Next, look at intent. If you can access behavioral data from your CRM to fuel your cold call email templates, such as activity on your site or engagement with your brand on social media, this information is gold! Use that to see where the company is in the sales process. For example, if they're already subscribers on your marketing list, then they're a warm lead you can reach out to without as much preparation in advance.

Pro tip: You can pull this data into Close automatically via integrations with top prospecting tools, including Clearbit, Voila Norbert, Leadfuze, and more.

2. Find the Right Point of Contact for Your Outreach Email

If you're working with a list of company prospects, it's time to find the right person to reach out to—ideally a decision-maker. There are several ways to do this; I'll walk you through a few.

Obviously, you want to start with LinkedIn but use their search features to save time.

Let's say I want to find the marketing manager for Close. I could find their company page, sort through people, and eventually find the right person. Instead, I typed "marketing manager" into the search bar, selected People, then added Close to the company drop-down:

Screenshot of Using LinkedIn Before Writing a Cold Email (to Find Your Recipient Email Address)

One click, and I have the information I need.

Here are a few other ways to find the right contact for your cold call email:

  • Use the About Us section on the company website (this should be easy to find if they have good SEO).
  • Use a company database, like ZoomInfo to find contacts.
  • If they have a phone number listed, make a phone call and ask the receptionist for the appropriate person.
  • For publicly traded companies, look at their annual report. They may list top executives or an influencer at the organization.

If none of the above strategies work, use one of the email templates for referrals. You're likely to find a way to reach the right person through someone else on their team.

Finally, make sure they're a decision-maker.  If not, use one of the referral templates to find the right person.

3. Choose Your Cold Email Template Wisely

There's a reason we shared 15 different cold email templates—because not every cold email campaign is the same. To find the right template, you need to consider your prospect, your company culture, and your outreach goal.

For example, a modern SaaS company reaching out to a trendy startup might select a cold email template that uses natural language and offer more context.

On the other hand, if you offer manufacturing equipment to massive enterprise companies, you might choose a more concise template or a benefits-driven email.

As yourself these questions before selecting an email template:

  1. Do I know I have the right contact person? If not, use one of the referral templates.
  2. Is my contact likely to be exceptionally busy? Consider using a shorter template. If that doesn't work, try the event-based or manager FWD template.
  3. What tone does my company use as a whole? Use a template that matches your branding/tone or customize the template to match.
  4. How competitive is our industry? Very competitive industries should focus on benefits or mention a competitor.
  5. What is my average open rate? If you struggle with open rates, consider the No-ask providing value template or using a question in the subject line.
  6. What is my goal? The end goal is always a sale, but what is your direct goal from this one email? Find the appropriate person? Increase reply rate? Use a template that matches your needs.

Keep in mind that the right template is the one that feels natural to you and to your prospect.

4. Customize the Subject Line and Body Content of Your Cold Call Email Template

Many sales reps wonder, "Should you introduce yourself in a cold email?” — the answer is yes. Introduce yourself and customize both the body and subject line of every email.

Cold email templates serve as a starting point to building a customized cold email campaign—not a plug-and-play solution.

After selecting the right cold email template, adjust the body content to fit your business and personality to make for much more personalized emails. Share your name, position, and company name. Tell prospects why you are reaching out.

Once the email body is completed, use these tips to customize the subject line:

  • Use their name in the subject line—but only when it makes sense
  • Make the subject line as specific as possible. The more personal the subject line, the higher the open rate. Use stats, company names, and numbers
  • Experiment with questions in subject lines
  • Deliver on subject line promises. If the disconnect is too big, you'll get good open rates but bad responses

Finally, if you're wondering whether your cold call emails sound too much like a "marketing email", then they do sound too much like a marketing email.

Image of Writing a Cold Email Template Subject Line for Smart Sales Outreach

5. Follow-Up on Your Cold Email (Until You Hear “No”)

Most companies have an average cold email response rate of between 1 and 5%. Ouch. Ideally, you should aim for at least a 30 percent open rate, and one of the best ways to get there is to nail the follow-up email.

In general, you just want to drop a quick line by replying to the same email, though you may want to adjust this cold email strategy based on the content in your first email. Here are a few examples of follow-up messages;

  • "Hi [name], do you have any additional questions about my last email?"
  • "Hi [name], Did you have a chance to read my last email? I'd love to discuss how we can help [their company] grow."
  • "Did you see my last email?"

You can also use these follow-up email templates to make your life easier, in addition to employing these cold email examples in your outreach workflow.

The true key to the follow-up email is to keep at it until you get a 'no.' This doesn't mean you follow up 15 times in 10 days—instead, aim for at least three follow-ups spread over two weeks. Generally, we aim for days 3, 7, and 12. That avoids annoying your prospect but keeps your message at the top of their inbox.

After two weeks, consider adding a note to reach back out at the beginning of the next quarter. They might be bogged down by a huge project, out on leave or something else entirely.

Our advice? Try offering different CTAs like hopping on a phone call, scheduling a demo, doing a video conference (via Zoom), joining a webinar to learn more about your product, signing a contract & inputting their credit card information, or otherwise. Your CTA will depend heavily upon where the prospect is at in your sales funnel, but focus on encouraging them to give you a quick response about whether they're interested in progressing to the next step right now, or not.

One more note: make sure you're warming up emails to improve deliverability and avoid landing in the spam folder.

Pro tip: Set up automated follow-ups with Sequences in Close. Try it for 14 days, no strings attached and see how the power of automation can level up your cold sales email campaigns!


What Are the Advantages of Using Cold Email Templates in Your Sales Emails?

The most significant advantage of using cold email templates is they save you time. When sales reps spend less time writing personalized emails, they have more time to focus on lead generation, nurturing leads, and following up.

There are several other benefits, as well:

  • Easier to scale effective strategies: If one particular cold call email template is especially effective (say a higher open rate or more responses), you can quickly roll that template out to the entire team.
  • Easier to onboard new sales reps: New reps can get started quickly when they already know what emails are most effective for your target audience.
  • Keeps outreach consistent: Consistent outreach improves the effectiveness. By streamlining the process, sales reps can easily send more (and better quality) cold emails.
  • Customization keeps things fresh: There's a misconception that templates lead to repetitive, boring emails. These temples serve as a starting point for the copy. Each email is customized, which keeps the conversation from feeling stiff or formal.

Bonus: 4 Best Cold Email Subject Lines That Get 35%+ Open Rates

The subject line is the most important element of a cold sales email. It seems obvious, but so many salespeople spend an hour drafting their cold call email templates, to slap on an uninspired subject line.

But if your email never gets opened, all that effort was in vain.

If you want to improve your cold email outreach open rates, give these proven subject lines a try:

  1. "[Introduction] [name]" or "[Introduction] [your name/company] <> [their name/company]"
  2. "quick request"
  3. "Trying to connect"
  4. "[Name of their company]"

Want more subject line ideas? Check out: Sales email subject lines: 50+ tips, examples, and biggest mistakes for more tips on writing subject lines that get your sales emails opened.

Final Thoughts: The Right Outreach Tools Can Make or Break Your Cold Email Campaigns

Building a cold email campaign is a labor of love. It takes time, knowledge, and a deep understanding of who your audience is and what they want. Close makes the process easier with intuitive email sequences, powerful integrations, and detailed lead data.

Try Close free for 14 days, or watch our on-demand demo to see how easy cold emailing can be.