You can’t expect to get far in sales if you aren’t at least a little skilled at crafting cold emails.
So, what gets your prospects to click? How do you create subject lines that consistently earn solid open rates? And what do you need to include in your body copy to drive action?
That’s exactly what we’re talking about today—how to cold email clients. And along the way, we’ll look at some of the best cold email templates I’ve used with spectacular results.
Now, email—it’s how business gets done these days.
Of course, cold calling still has a place in any sales rep’s cadences. And social selling is on the up and up, especially if you’re particularly savvy on platforms like LinkedIn.
The problem is, effective cold emails are notoriously hard to craft. With the massive amount of junk mail, spam, and otherwise useless crap that fills our inboxes every day, it can be tough to make sure your email stands out from the crowd.
So, what does it take to craft cold emails that earn opens and drive action? What does a great cold email look like? And what are some winning templates you can start using today?
Don’t worry—we’re covering all this and more right now.
1: Get Their Attention
Perhaps the most important step of any cold email outreach campaign is to first get your prospect’s attention with a great subject line.
Now, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do this.
On the one hand, you can get your market’s attention through gimmicks. Stupid things. Extreme things. These can grab the eye of your buyer. But this tactic comes with the tradeoff of reducing confidence in your abilities as a solution provider—no one wants to buy from a clown.
The other technique is to grab attention while still remaining professional. This, of course, takes a bit more tact to pull off correctly. But when done well, it accomplishes the dual effect of building both intrigue and trust.
So what are some subject line structures that get attention while still maintaining trust? Well, there are four in particular that I use…
A) Direct Subject Lines
Direct headlines state the sales proposition directly. No wordplay. No hidden meanings. And no fancy bits stuck on the end. Just straight-to-the-point zero BS.
A direct subject line might look like this:
“The world’s fastest CRM tool – 20% off today”
B) News Subject Lines
This is a great option if you have an update about your product or service. It could be the introduction of a new product, a change in the law or legislation that affects your customers using your product, or something else newsworthy that’s along these lines.
It could even be industry news like a company merger or emerging competitor.
A winning news subject line looks as simple as this:
“X law has moved on. Have you?”
C) “How To” Subject Lines
The words “how-to” are magic in email subject lines. “How to” headlines offer the promise of solid information, sound advice, and solutions to problems. And prospects find them especially clickworthy when they talk about a problem they’re facing at the moment.
This subject line might look like this:
“How to reduce your ad spend in 14 days”
D) Question Subject Lines
Careful here— To be effective, question headlines must include a question that the person receiving the email will either empathize with or would love to see answered.
A solid one may be:
“Is [X] costing you more than it should?”
Now that you’ve got them opening your email, it’s time to build the emails body.
2: Story email structure
How can you actually help? What can you offer to solve your buyer’s problems? And why should they spend their valuable time hearing what you have to say?
Whereas the attention-getter mainly happens in the subject line, this step of the framework should be handled in the body of your cold email. It takes a bit longer to really flesh out, so a mere seven words—the ideal subject line length—isn’t going to do this step justice.
Now, one of the best ways to demonstrate that need is by using…
The Story Telling Framework
The goal of the story telling framework is to…
- Highly their Current Reality – Acknowledge where the prospect is now.
- Show their Future Reality – Show them where they could be.
- Give the Reality Bridge – Identify the steps they need to take to get there, a.k.a. the “Reality Bridge.”
Here’s what that might look like in practice.
I recently worked with [NAME], he is in the [INDUSTRY] like you.
Traditional salespeople had failed [NAME]. Here is his story – [LINK TO INSIGHT POST]
He went from zero motivation, to proactively racing to get to his desk each morning to prospect.
All by implementing proven frameworks to relieve the pressure of choice from his job.
Does it make sense to jump on a quick call to see if you can use these frameworks too?
Current reality / Desired future reality / Reality bridge
See how that all works?
Here we have the current reality, the desired future reality, and the reality bridge, all within just a few lines.
It’s simple stuff. But it’s wildly effective.
3: Call to Action
It isn’t enough to just say hello to a prospect. You’ve also got to get them to take the next step. Setting up a discovery call is usually the right way to go here. So tell them how to do it and make it especially easy on them too.
Doing so is simple too. Just ask them at the end, “Does it make sense to jump on a quick call to see if we can…” and then add the desired outcome. It can be “increase your sales”, “boost your team’s efficiency”, “reduce your costs”—whatever.
I’ve seen fantastic results with this templated call to action. And I even teach it to my students as part of our Closing Framework.
It’s to the point. It’s unassuming. And it’s damn effective too.
Alright, so let’s see what all this looks like when we put the four steps together.
That’s all it takes!
And when you cater this template to your industry, you can start seeing fantastic open and response rates too.