8 cold email templates that will generate warm leads for your sales team!

8 cold email templates that will generate warm leads for your sales team!

There are 4.03 billion email users in the world in 2021. Pretty much any person that you want to get in touch with, you can do so via cold email. And ever since the pandemic caused more people to work from home, people pay even more attention to their email inboxes.

In our blog post "Six simple steps to getting started with cold sales emails", we discussed the basics of cold emails and offered some simple benchmarks on what results to expect.

Many of you asked us for some effective cold email templates. Today, we want to share five cold email templates that will generate warm leads and get you started on the right foot!

Every company, of course, is different but the below cold email templates and best practices will be a good starting point you. Keep in mind that the average business user gets 97 emails per day—these templates will help you stand out, get noticed, and elicit a response.

But before we dive in, let's address a question that often comes up: Is sending cold emails still an effective way to drum up business?

We've all seen examples of terrible cold emails—they're annoying, and often do more harm than good for the company sending them. But good, targeted, relevant cold emails can be a great way of initiating business conversations.

Take the example of Dhruv Ghulati, a startup founder, who sent a cold email to Mark Cuban and landed an immediate $250,000 investment (plus an additional $250,000 later on). At the time, he didn't even have a product yet.

Here's the exact wording of the message:

Subject line: Reaching out -- Factmata

Dear Mr. Cuban,
Apologies for my cold message. I am the founder of a Google-backed startup called Factmata that uses artificial intelligence to perform automated fact checking and referencing. We are a team of three NLP researchers and scientists with 30-plus published and cited papers within natural language processing, question answering, and information extraction. I am currently fundraising from people who care about the problem of online misinformation, want to reduce mistrust in the media, and change the way we consume online content. I would love to tell you more about us if of interest, especially given your recent public discussions about this topic.
Look forward to hearing from you soon,
Best regards,

There are many example of companies raising money, building important relationships, or initiating sales conversations that close deals of all sizes—but for now, let's get into the practical how-to aspects.

Step 1: The art and science of effective cold email subject lines


It's obvious, yet many people don't realize this: The subject line is the most important element of every cold outreach email you send. Because if the subject line doesn't appeal to the prospect, they won't open the email in the first place—and no matter how perfectly worded and relevant the body of your cold email is, if they don't open the email, nothing else matters.

I can't tell you how many times I asked sales reps to draft up a cold email and send it to me for review—and they forgot to include the subject line. Don't make this mistake!

When it comes to subject lines, follow these guidelines:

  • Use their name in the subject line when it makes sense.
  • Make the subject line as specific as possible. The more personal the subject line, the higher the open rate.
  • If you wonder if it sounds too much like a "marketing email", then it does sound too much like a marketing email.
  • Experiment with questions in subject lines.
  • Always deliver in your email what you promise in your subject line (if the disconnect is too big, you're going to get good open rates but bad responses).

Tip: Save time by using a CRM to automatically add fields like first name in your subject line. In Close, you can personalize email templates using Template Tags, which dynamically add details like first name or company. Try Close for free to try out these features, whether you’re sending emails one at a time or in bulk.

Here are 4 cold email subject lines that get open rates of +35%:

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

Make sure to check out Sales email subject lines: 50+ tips, examples, and biggest mistakes for a more in-depth guide on writing subject lines that get your emails opened.

Step 2: How to write effective cold emails


There are 2 approaches to cold call emails used today:

  1. You're emailing someone high up in the organization asking for a referral down to the right person (aka Cold Calling 2.0).
  2. You're emailing the decision maker, directly pitching them to sign up, hop on a call, book a meeting or otherwise.

Let's get started with three best cold call email templates that ask for referrals within your target organization.

Cold email: Referral V1

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

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

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!



Cold email: Referral V2

Hi [first name],

I hope I'm not bothering you. Could you please refer me to the person in charge of [something that's relevant to my product]?

Thanks for your time,


Cold email: Referral V3

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 to incorporate into your events?



The next referral cold email is a template directly from the team at Predictable Revenue.

Cold email: Referral V4

Hey [first name],

I'm sorry to trouble you. 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,


Let's check out two cold email templates that are using approach #2 and pitching the decision maker directly on the value proposition and next action steps.

Cold email: Engaging a quality prospect

You know who the right person in the organization is. A highly personalized, targeted outreach email can really break through the noise. Look at this example from tray.io.

Here a templatized version of this email:

Hi [firstname],

During some research of [company name], I came across your profile - love how passionate you've been the past [number of years they've been working at the company, look it up on their LinkedIn profile] years to help scale the [department] team, while also being that go-to advisor for your growing customers. This [software review site name] review about [highlight of the review relevant to your product].

However, I imagine you still have customers requesting [address pain point your solution solves]. I'm curious - are any customer accounts at risk that would benefit from [what you offer]? [Recognizable brand name], new [your company name] customer, 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?


Drafting a personalized cold email like this takes more effort than loading a template into your outreach tool and hitting "send all", but by being genuinely relevant, you'll see drastically higher response rates.

Cold email: Selling V1

Hey [first name],

I hope this email finds you well! I wanted to reach out because [explain how we got their contact information and how we relate to them: 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]. We do this by:

  • Benefit/feature 1
  • Benefit/feature 2
  • Benefit/feature 3 (optional)

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



Cold email: Selling V2

Hey [first name],

I hope this email finds you well! I wanted to reach out because [explain how we got their contact information and how we relate to them: 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] will be able to help [name of your company] [insert high level benefit here].

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



Cold email: My higher-up asked me to reach out

Another cold email template is based on the "my higher-up asked me to reach out" technique.

Basically, you, the sales rep, write an email that is written as if a higher-up (e.g. your CEO) asked you to reach out to this company specifically. You then forward that email to the prospect, including the "forwarded email". The subject line plays into this with "Fwd: YourCompany + ProspectCompany"

Here's an example of a company that's been using this cold email strategy a lot recently:

cold email template higherup

While an email like this might earn you some ridicule from people who are familiar with it already, it can be very effective. The prospect won't just feel like "some sales guy is reaching out", but that the CEO of your company itself cares.

(And if you care about the ridicule you earn, then you should work on your sales mindset anyway.)

But the biggest take-away here is that you need to intimately understand your ideal customer, and use an approach that's most appropriate to them. If you're sending to very sophisticated B2B buyers, then this might not be the best approach, as they might perceive it as gimmicky and tricky. If you're sending 100 cold emails, and you get 5 positive responses from prospects that match your ideal customer profile and express genuine interest because they could actually benefit from your offer, that's worth a lot more than sending 100 emails and getting 20 positive responses from prospects that don't match your ideal customer profile and most likely won't convert into paying, long-term customers.

Step 3: How to set up and send cold emails

Are you ready to start utilizing these effective cold email templates? You can do so easily within Close by simply creating a new email template for each of these examples. Once created, you can edit and use them without having to retype them, copy and paste, etc.—saving you more time in your day. Here's how:

  1. First, sign up for a free 14-day trial of Close here (no credit card required).
  2. Once signed up and logged in, create a new email template (Your Account > Your Email Templates). You can customize this further by inserting template tags, adding attachments, and more.
  3. Import your leads and select which lead you would like to send an email to. Navigate to your name in the top left and click the drop down menu. Select “Import Data,” then drag and drop your email list, click to upload it, paste from Excel, or import from a CRM.
  4. Visit a lead's activity page from your lead list. Click to send an email, choose a template, then schedule the email to send now or schedule it for a later date.
  5. Send more emails and close some deals!

You also have the ability to connect your email account with Close. By doing so, you can send emails right from within your CRM, or continue using your current email client. After you connect your email, Close will begin to automatically track and auto-log your email.

When it comes to email prospecting, the fortune is in the follow-up!

Don't stop at the first best cold email you send to a prospect. You always want to follow up with prospects multiple times. Which is why we've also created the ultimate guide to follow-up emails, where you will find more examples on different kinds of follow-up emails for sales and marketing teams.

Be sure to also download your free copy of Cold Email Hacks.

It's not just about which cold email templates you use, but about how you use them.