15 Best Cold Email Templates (to Generate Better Leads)

15 Best Cold Email Templates (to Generate Better Leads)

Cold emailing is one of the most effective ways to generate leads, but it's also time consuming AF. The right cold email templates will save you time, get more replies, and generate more leads.

I’ve been sending cold emails for 20+ years, and I’ve seen it all. Rejection, excited replies, laughter, and everything in between. These cold email templates are my best of the best. They’ve established high-value prospect relationships and landed us big new deals, but more than anything else—they get opens, replies, and start conversations.

There's just one small caveat to using these templates—you can't copy, paste, hit "send," and expect a flood of new business from potential clients. The best cold email templates are those that continue to evolve and work for you over time.

Now, let’s dig into 15 of our favorite cold email templates.

1. The Authentic Referral Cold Email

Subject Line: [Name], can you help?

Hey [first name],

We recently launched a new platform at [your company] that [one-sentence pitch] and we’re seeing awesome [get specific] results for [your target customers].

Do you handle [the thing your product/service does] at [company name]?

Thanks

[your name]

When to use this cold email template:

The most effective cold email templates are short and concise. You're looking to build an authentic relationship with the potential prospect and get passed along to the right decision-maker in their organization, even if it's not them.

Use this sales email template when you have a bigger ask (in this example, a meeting) but aren’t sure you’re talking to the right person.

Have fun with your email game. Use our free cold email generator to leverage the power of AI and write high-impact cold emails instantly.

Generate Customizable Cold Email Templates with Our Free AI-Powered Tool

2. Asking for an Introduction Email Template

Subject Line: Can you show me the way?

Hey [first name],

I'm with [my company name], and we work with organizations like [prospect company name] to [insert one-sentence pitch].

Can you point me towards the right person on your team to chat with about this?

Cheers,

[your name]

When to use this sales email template:

This email template is ideal if you can’t find someone who feels like the perfect point of contact at a company you’re prospecting. There's no fluff, just direct and benefit-driven copy. Use this if you’re pretty confident your recipient isn't a decision-maker—there's no need to waste their time.

3. Authority-Building Referral Email

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

Hey [first name],

I’ll get straight to the point, we help [your target customer] [main pain point] and [our solution, tool, service, product, team, etc] is extremely effective.

We've already helped companies like [3-4 current relevant customer names] reach [insert specific metrics].

Do you have 15 minutes tomorrow to chat about [#1 benefit your prospect can expect]?

[Include link to schedule call]

Thanks for your time,

[your name]

When to use this cold outreach template:

Building authority and trust will dramatically help your email (and business) stand out in a crowded inbox. This cold email example passes that test with flying colors.

Use this template when building trust matters most. For example, if you’re trying to land an enterprise client with a long sales cycle, or if your solution comes with a premium price tag. Consider customizing this email by adding some social proof to get your recipients excited to reply.

Image of table and computer in an office where sales reps send cold emails

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.]. Congrats! [Include 1-2 more genuine, brief sentences elaborating on how excited they are, mention if you saw good press, how it made you feel, 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]

When to use the recent event outreach template:

Before launching any email outreach campaign, ya gotta research your prospects and draw some insights about the people you’re messaging. If you come across an event or announcement that peaks your interest, that’s when this outbound template will come in handy.

Being genuine is key here, otherwise this email will get sent straight to the trash. Think about how you’d feel receiving a cold email with a shallow, disingenuous congratulations about a meaningful event in your life. Be sure you offer a detailed congratulations based on your real research, not just a one-liner followed immediately by a sales pitch. As always, close out this cold sales email template with a call to action, asking them to take a clear next step.

5. The Quick Question Cold Email Template

Subject Line: Quick question

Hey [first name],

Over at [your company] we’ve helped [number of customers] companies like [recipient company] achieve [quick major benefit, numbers or statistics are a major bonus].

Could you point me towards the right member of your team to chat about[insert your biggest pain point here that resonates with your ideal customer; OR insert function like “sales” or “recruiting”]?

Thank you,

[your name]

When to use this sales email template:

Use this approach when you’re reaching out to time-strapped decision-makers, or when your previous outreach campaigns have had low open rates. People are busy; email inboxes are full. Sometimes the best approach is short and straight to the point.

From the subject line alone, your recipient knows this email won't take much time to read—but if it does, don’t expect a reply.This cold email template can also be adjusted to offer a direct sales pitch in your email if you know you’re reaching the right point of contact.

6. PAS Competitor Mention Template

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

Hey [first name],

While researching [company name], I came across your profile—looks like you’ve been busy the past [number of years they've worked at the company, look it up on their LinkedIn profile] years scaling the [department] team

Does your team ever struggle with [address pain point your solution solves]?

[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]

When to use this B2B cold email template:

This email template uses the PAS (problem, agitate, solution) framework by mentioning a competitor that’s already benefited from your solution. Use this template with prospects in the sales funnel's consideration stage.

Take the time to research them and mention a real problem they face, then agitate the problem by highlighting a competitor that struggled with the same challenge. Finally, mention the solution you offer—hone in on the benefits and show how their competitor benefited from your solution. Knowing other companies in their space have an advantage will pique their interest and hit on the FOMO factor.

Don't sleep on your subject line, either. Use specific results to increase your cold email open rates. For example: "See 10X organic growth in six months" or "Increase your AOV by 25%."

Stock Image of Salesperson Typing a Cold Email to Send to Prospects

7. Short and Sweet Sales Pitch Email

Subject Line: Why [your company]?

Hey [first name],

I [explain how you got their contact information: talked to a colleague, saw your company online, etc.] and wanted to gauge your interest in [#1 major benefit of your solution, specific numbers are great here].

[Over at [name of your company], we have a new platform that’ll help [your team] at [organization name] with [one sentence pitch of benefits].

Are you available for a quick call [time and date] to explore this further?

[your name]

When to use this outbound email:

I love this particular cold call email template, because it works for just about any pitch and any type of prospect. 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 somewhere in the mix.

Take the time to look up your prospect on LinkedIn, add a quick note about how you found them, and be genuine in your approach. The extra love will pay off, I promise.

Take your lead generation to new heights with these proven LinkedIn strategies.

8. The AIDA Cold Email Template

Subject Line: Tired of [pain point]?

Hey [first name],

I [explain how you got their contact information: talked to a colleague, saw your company online, etc.] and wanted to gauge your interest in [#1 major benefit of your solution, specific numbers are great here].

Over at [name of your company], we have a new platform that’ll help [your team] at [organization name] with [one sentence pitch of benefits]. We do this by:

Benefit/feature 1

Benefit/feature 2

Benefit/feature 3 (optional)

Are you available for a quick call at [time and date] to explore this further?

Cheers,

[your name]

When to use the AIDA cold email template:

If this cold email format looks a little familiar, it’s because it works! Adjusted to work with the AIDA (awareness, interest, desire, action) framework, I love this email because it’s one of the most effective marketing framing techniques.

Use this cold template for prospects that are a strong fit for your ideal customer profile. You’ll have a deeper understanding of their pain points so you can really tap into their desire for a solution. If you know they’re currently using a competitor’s product, you should address that objection head on in the benefits section.

Using bullet points keeps the email clean and easy to read (especially for those on mobile devices) and shows them exactly why they should care about your offer.

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

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 (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 time for a 10-minute call this week or next?

Thanks for the time,

[your name]

When to use the manager FWD cold email template:

I’ll be honest with you, this template should definitely be used sparingly. However, it can be incredibly effective in small doses, because prospects won't immediately feel like "some sales guy is reaching out." If the CEO of your company is interested in them, it adds something unique into the mix.

Here's the kicker—underneath this email is a forwarded email from their boss, asking the salesperson to reach out. Here's a real cold email example showing how Brex used this exact email template on a Close team member:

Screenshot Example of the FWD Manager Cold Email Template

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

For this to work though, 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 may see it as a gimmicky email marketing ploy, rather than a creative outreach email.

However, when like sees like, a clever recipient at a startup or small business could really appreciate the ingenuity and respond positively. You won't know unless you test!

10. No-Ask Outreach Email

Subject Line: Your feature on our blog

Hey [first name],

My content team over at [your company] recently published a post featuring [recipient company name] in a post about [title of the post, hyperlinked to the article].

We’re big fans of [what recipient company is uniquely doing] in the [industry] space and we included you [how you referenced them—link to a blog post, quote, etc.].

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

[your name]

When to use the no-ask sales email template:

Use this when you have a big ask, but don’t have a relationship established with the prospect yet. The goal of this cold email template is to provide value first and simply get a reply from your prospect—not book a call, make a pitch, or close a sale. This template is all about building a mutual connection by providing real value (before you make an ask).

Value-based outreach builds a sturdy foundation of trust. In this example, we've mentioned they were featured on our blog. This might be in 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 enough to share your genuine thoughts with them.

Whichever approach you use, focus on providing value and being honest, not just coming up with a shallow excuse to trojan horse a sales pitch. Having a goal in mind is great, but that can come later, once you've established a relationship.

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

Subject Line: My CEO is excited about your XX% growth opportunity

Hey [first name],

My CEO, [name], over here at [your company] noticed your [growth data, for example website traffic growth from a tool like Semrush] has exploded recently and wanted me to deliver a high-five 🙏

[add chart or other visual]

[Your CEO's name] wants to join the party [him/herself] and chat with you about [#1 major benefit of your solution]. Is there a good time this week to schedule a call?

[Your name]

When to use this outreach template:

Like the manager FWD template, this one should also be used sparingly. This email template works best with SaaS companies, but can be effective in any setting as long as you adjust it to fit your company and industry.

Including data in this cold email template can make it extremely effective; but don’t forget to A/B test different versions and experiment with the goal of boosting open rates and getting more replies

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

Subject Line: Two ideas for [company]

Hey [first name],

I’m with [your company] where we [service you offer] for [target industry]. We've worked with companies like [name of 2-3 relevant past customers] to achieve [specific results, figures, etc] and I noticed [something related to your offering, ex: “that your team publishes a lot of content.” — if you sell a marketing tool and the prospect publishes a lot of blog content].

Do you have a process for [solution you offer]? If not, I'd love to send over a quick, no strings attached, video with two simple ways you can [prospect's pain point you solve.]

What do you think?

[your name]

When to use this cold outreach template:

While this email template can be adapted for just about any use case, it works particularly well for service-based companies with deep industry expertise.

This creative cold email template is inspired by a clever 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. (And the video delivered, it was super insightful!)

13. The 'Making Connections' Cold Email Template

Subject: [Industry] trends and [prospect company name]

Hey [First Name],

Have you seen much about the [specific recent shift, new trend, industry change] in our space? Specifically, [Trend 1], [Trend 2], and [Trend 3].

My team at [your company] has been diving deep into these changes with our [your solution’s #1 major benefit] and our customers like [2-3 relevant companies] are seeing some solid lift in [meaningful metric].

Are you up for chatting about how we could help your team get similar results?

[Your Name]

When to use this cold email:

Use this version for new prospects, with the goal of building a relationship rather than hard selling straight out the gates.

Always remember that the purpose of a cold email is to start conversations and qualify prospects—not close a deal in your very first interaction. That’s not a realistic goal during the business development phase, and more than anything else, it’s not how most people are primed to make a purchase.

14. Find Pain Points After an Announcement or Award

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

Hey [First Name],

I just saw the news that [prospect company] was [the recipient of a specific award, scored a big mention in the news, or won a grant]. [Your company] specializes in helping teams like yours [brief sentence highlighting your #1 major benefit with a clear metric], especially when big changes are afoot.

What are some of the biggest pain points your team is currently facing? We've worked with companies like [2-3 relevant companies], and I’d love to share some insights with you.

Do you have time for a quick chat on [day this week] to explore this a bit?

[Your Name]

When to use this template:

This email is a great way to connect with people after a prospect's company won an award, closed a new round of funding, or was mentioned in a major news outlet. It’s as simple as shining a light on their recent accomplishment, then asking to share how your solution can help them achieve a meaningful goal.

Asking about problems they have (maybe their conversion rate is down or they’re struggling to get more organic traffic, whichever problem you solve) will give you a clear topic to discuss and help custom-tailor your sales pitch for each prospect you reach out to.

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

Subject: [Stat and metric] for [prospect company] in 15 minutes

Example: "20% traffic growth for Close in 20 minutes."

Hey [name],

My team at [your company] has been working on [your deliverable, ex: some killer strategies, a robust tool suite, etc] to help companies like [prospect company name] to [brief #1 major benefit of your solution] I’d love to partner up and see how we can help you overcome [biggest relevant challenge].

We've been working on [your deliverable, ex: some killer strategies, a robust tool suite, etc] to help companies like [prospect company name] to [brief #1 major benefit of your solution] I’d love to partner up and see how we can help you overcome [biggest relevant challenge].

Do you have 15 minutes for a quick call and I can run through a few actionable insights with you?

[Your Name]

When to use this sales outreach template:

Use this email template when you have access to some insightful data or metrics you can leverage as a part of your hook.

Providing interesting (legitimate) 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’ll encourage prospects to take action fast.

Have fun with your email game. Use our free cold email generator to leverage the power of AI and write high-impact cold emails instantly.

Generate Customizable Cold Email Templates with Our Free AI-Powered Tool

5 Components of a Great Cold Email (How to Write Better Cold Emails)

A great cold email includes a few very specific elements—which is one reason why using these email templates can be so effective. By making sure every outreach email includes these elements, your overall cold email strategy will become significantly more effective at scale.

Want the scoop on lead generation? Our guide to sales prospecting has all the answers. If you're in real estate, we've got you covered with more curated guide to real estate prospecting.

1. Target Only The Most Qualified Prospects

The best cold outreach begins long before you write that first email. Ahead of writing your cold emails (or using these free templates), make sure you're reaching out to the right people. Think about it, would you rather send 100 emails to get 20 responses from prospects outside of your ideal customer profile, or send 25 and get 5 positive responses from prospects that are a good fit to sell to?

I know which I’d prefer.

To optimize your outreach efforts, start by analyzing your prospect list. Look first at key demographic information, including:

  • 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’re in the wrong industry (or the wrong stage of growth), cut them from your email list—the last thing you wanna do is waste time sending cold sales emails to prospects who aren't a fit for your business.

You can also clean up your email list to refresh it by removing inactive subscribers and duplicate emails you may have collected before through a LinkedIn email finder, lead magnets, pop-up forms, and other means.

Next, look at intent. If you can use your CRM to tap into behavioral data like activity on your website or engagement with your brand on social media, this information is gold. This will show you where a company is in your sales process. For example, if they're already subscribers on your marketing email list, then they're a warm lead you can reach out to without as much preparation.

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

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

If you're starting with a list of companies, it's time to find the right point of contact to reach out to—ideally a decision-maker.

Let's say I want to reach out to the Head of Content at Close. One way to do that is by finding the company page, sorting through people, and eventually finding the right person. Instead, I typed "head of content" into the search bar, selected People, then added Close to the company drop-down:

Example of Lead Generation on LinkedIn for Cold Email Campaigns (Screen Shot of Search)

One click, and I have all the information I need.

You can also use a company database, like ZoomInfo or Hunter to find contacts. If they have a phone number listed, make a phone call and ask for the right contact. If none of those strategies work, use one of the referral templates to try making your way to the appropriate person.

Having trouble coming up with the perfect subject line? Try our (free) email subject line generator.

3. Customize Your Subject Line and Body Content

After selecting the right cold email template, have fun adjusting the body content to fit your business and personality. Ensure to include a professionally designed email signature that incorporates your name, position, and company name. If you're unsure how to design an email signature, there are various online tools and resources available to guide you through the process. This'll increase your reply rate, plus it's also just polite to introduce yourself!

Once your email body is ready to rock & roll, use these tips to customize your email subject line:

  • Use their name in the subject line—but only when it makes sense
  • Make the subject line as short and 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 and zero responses

Finally, if you're staring at your draft and wondering whether your cold email sounds too much like a "marketing email," then it probably does. Be sure your opening line begins with a touch of personalization featuring their name and genuinely captures their attention with something compelling—not just a generic “Hello sir,” that’ll land you straight in the trash.

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

Having trouble coming up with the perfect subject line? Try our (free) email subject line generator.

4. A Clear, Direct Call-To-Action

Most companies have an average cold email response rate of between 1 and 10%. Ouch. To improve your response rate, you have to tell prospects what to do next – should they view your pricing page, schedule a call, or just reply?

In B2B sales, the most common CTA is going to be asking for a call. If that’s your goal, make sure to provide a link to your calendar, or propose a couple of day/time options. If you want them to download a report, make sure it's easy to access. If you want a reply, ask a specific question.

In general, make your CTA clear and ensure the task is simple to complete.

One more note: make sure you're following up until you get a “no.” The first email might get lost, slide to the bottom of their inbox, or they may just forget. Use our best follow-up email templates to make your life easier, in addition to employing these cold email examples in your outreach workflow.

Having trouble coming up with the perfect email subject line? Try our (free) email subject line generator.

Pro tip: Set up automated follow-ups with Workflows 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!
workflow-full-app

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5. Follow Up (Until You Get a “No”)

If you’re lucky, 9 out 10 cold emails you send will go unanswered. That’s why all of the best cold email campaigns share something crucial in common—they include a carefully curated sequence of follow up emails that go out over time, with the goal of landing that eventual yes.

How often should you follow up? With cold outreach when you’ve never interacted with the potential customer before, we recommend following up a maximum of six times. You really don’t have the kind of relationship that gives you permission to do much more than that without running the risk of becoming a pest.

If you’ve already had an interaction with the prospect and it ended without a clear, definite NO, then follow up as long as it takes to get a response. We never stop till we get a response, and you’ll be surprised how often this persistence pays off.

Here’s a quick follow up frequency you can experiment with:

  • Day 1: First follow-up (+2)
  • Day 3: Follow-up (+4)
  • Day 7: Follow-up (+7)
  • Day 14: Follow-up (+14)
  • Day 28: Follow-up (+30)
  • Day 58: Follow-up (+30)

Still no response? Going forward, aim for checking in once a month. Our team uses the Close sales CRM to create automated sales Workflows that include calls and emails. These Workflows mirror your most successful follow-up frequency, and you can adjust them over time as needed—which makes it one of the best CRMs for small businesses (in our opinion).

If you’ve already tried cold calling this particular lead and left them a voicemail, try referencing that additional context in your follow ups to see if it sparks some recall. Keep in mind that most prospects won’t remember that you’ve sent them previous emails, so be sure your follow up email sequences don’t lean heavily on assuming leads will remember you.

The Close AI Email Writer not only saves time but also enhances the effectiveness of your cold emails by providing personalized, data-driven content. By integrating AI into your cold email strategy, you're setting yourself up for more opens, replies, and successful conversations.

4 Cold Email Subject Lines to Increase Open Rates

Your subject line is the most important element of any cold sales email. If you want to improve your cold email 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]"

Make sure to avoid words that might land you in the spam folder, like free, dollar signs, limited time offer, or phrases related to money.

Want more subject line ideas? Check out our best sales email subject lines for more tips on getting your sales emails opened.

The Benefits of Using a Cold Email Template

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 relationships, and following up.

It also makes it easier to test, iterate and scale the cold outreach strategies that are performing best. For example, if one particular email template is especially effective (say a higher open rate or more responses), you can quickly roll that out to your entire sales team.

Close makes cold email outreach easier with intuitive email workflows, powerful integrations, and detailed lead data—all shared across your entire team.

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

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