Templates for Cold Emails: Save Time with These Frameworks

Woodpecker cold email templates

Here at Woodpecker, we always emphasize the quality of the cold email that you send to prospects.

With all the effort you put into identifying possible leads, putting your contact list together and organizing your outreach campaign, it only makes sense that you send the most persuasive, effective content in your email.

Cold email templates can help you get better results from your campaigns, and using them means saving time and launching campaigns more quickly. But you need to use them wisely.

Let’s look at what cold email templates are, what they can do for your outreach campaigns and some examples that will show how you can customize them in many different ways – so they work in your favor.

What is a cold email template?

A cold email template is a ready-made, pre-designed framework that provides the broad outlines and general form of your message. It contains certain parts that can be customized for the recipient and create the impression of one-on-one messaging even though it is done at scale.

Cold email templates are basically emails that you’ve already sent that can be updated and adjusted for sending in new campaigns.

While other email templates are designed for a huge range of occasions and contexts — thank-you messages, fundraising campaigns, invitations, surveys, etc. — cold email templates are focused on starting a conversation with sales prospects.

Benefits of using cold email templates

Now, let’s take a look at the key benefits of using the best cold email templates.

They save time & make your work more efficient

Let’s start with perhaps the most obvious reason to use cold email templates — you don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time you start a new campaign. With email templates, after you formulate the general outline and focus of the message, you can use it over and over with small changes as needed.

Of course, this assumes you’re using the best version of your cold email, which you can achieve through testing (something you should always do).

When you have an effective cold email template with a solid record of deepening engagement with the prospect, you can reuse it in future campaigns instead of starting from scratch.

Use the time you save thanks to cold email templates to test new variations or think of new, creative approaches to your next campaign.

They are (usually) better than starting from scratch

Using cold emails doesn’t mean that you can recycle the same content again and again forever without occasionally coming up with a fresh idea. It’s always good to add to your template library when possible or needed.

However, the advantage of using templates goes beyond time-saving. Remember that you save them because they work. When templates get used over and over, you get a chance to track their effectiveness, test different versions and make small changes based on feedback.

In other words, your templates have a track history of getting results. That text you just wrote a few minutes ago? Not so much.

Stick with what works while slowly introducing new material into your template library. Don’t risk losing a potential sales lead by rushing content that’s not ready or tested.

Easier personalization

Last but certainly not least, cold email templates make personalization at scale easy. A good template has plenty of snippets, or points where different words, names or phrases can be used to make the message sound like it was written with just the recipient in mind. Use those snippets correctly and the message definitely does not sound like one of many emails that are essentially the same.

It’s the very definition of irony — the best way to reach a large audience is also the best way to create messages that sound like they were written individually to everyone on your list. But let’s leave that for others to discuss while we move on to some great examples of cold email templates.

Maintain a consistent brand voice

There are lots of different “angles” your cold email templates can take and each of them can be part of a funnel that consists of multiple messages. You could potentially need dozens of messages for different situations and positions in a funnel.

This means it’s easy to lose control of the form, content and tone of your messaging, especially if multiple people are contributing texts for cold email campaigns.

With a library of templates, it’s easier to build consistency in your messaging, giving all messages a similar feel and making it clear that they are all part of the same overall brand identity.

Using cold email templates safely

Before we look at some examples of cold emails, let us share a reminder that there is a right way and a wrong way to use them and the wrong way can cause serious problems for you.

The right way to use them is by using them as a starting point, a framework. Think of the template as comprising most of your message but still missing important parts that personalize it for the recipient. There will always be certain elements that need to be changed for everyone who will receive your message — things like names, companies, positions and other bits that speak directly to the circumstances, challenges and needs of the prospect.

The wrong way to use cold email templates is to simply copy & paste them over and over and send them as a finished, complete message. This is a terrible idea for two major reasons.

First, using the copy-paste method means you’re not personalizing your message, which deprives your campaigns of one of the most powerful tools you have for getting a response from the prospect. Copy-pasting the same message over and over is the last thing you want to do in cold emailing.

Secondly, if you’re just copy-pasting the same message into all of your emails, it’s very likely that someone somewhere is doing the same thing with the same template. Powerful spam filters used by email service providers can detect large amounts of the same (or essentially the same) message being sent out and flag it as spam.

Once you are identified as a source of spam by email service providers, it is extremely difficult to get your sender reputation back and much of the work you put into your campaigns will be wasted because no one is likely to see your messages.

On the other hand, all you have to do to avoid these problems is personalize your templates as much as you can with all the information you have about the recipient.

Examples of cold email templates

Now let’s look at some examples of different kinds of cold email outreach, a brief examination of what makes them effective and what a follow-up mail might look like.

The 4T format

This effective template arrangement from cold email expert Josh Braun uses four “T’s” to set up the issue, inspire action and spark a conversation:

  1. Truth sentences. A pure statement of fact, usually about a potential threat or an actual challenge coming up, like “Black Friday is almost here”, “Costs are rising everywhere”, “Finding new talent has never been so hard”, etc.
  2. Think sentences. Get the prospect to consider how or if they are preparing to deal with this challenge — “What are you doing to get ready…”, “Is your current staff large enough to…”, “Are you exposed to too much risk…”, etc.
  3. Third-party validation. Essentially the same idea as social proof, this is where you mention that another company is using your solutions and getting great results — “X is setting new sales records with our…”, “After just two months of working together, X is already…”, etc.
  4. Talk sentences. An invitation to keep the discussion going with a phone call, online meeting, etc. — “Want to know how they’re doing this?”, “Worth considering for {{COMPANY}}?”, “Have 5 minutes to learn more?”

Put together, it all might look something like this:

What makes it good

  • Follows the 4T formula
  • Aware of a problem that needs to be solved sooner than later
  • Definitely a sales pitch but feels like an offer of help
  • Easy closing invite to move conversation forward

Follow-up email example:

Share expert knowledge

A common sales strategy is to depend on your reputation as a thought leader and problem solver. You might reach out like this:

What makes it good

  • Right to the point, sending knows that the recipient is in a relevant industry
  • The challenge/problem we’re talking about is clear
  • Offer of help
  • Offer of follow-up support

Follow-up email example:

The Before-After-Bridge format

Here’s one you can probably guess from its name. It simply contrasts the before and after of a certain situation and closes with the solution (bridge) that made it possible. Simple but effective, it draws a picture for the prospect of what their life could be like with your help.

What makes it good

  • Starts with a reference to a common problem, including a problem that you know the prospect has
  • Explains what prospect is losing by living with this problem
  • Shows how much better things could be
  • Offers the solution

Follow-up email example:

Offering recruiting services

This is an increasingly common type of B2B service given the staff shortages and hyper-competitive nature of the business. Still, staffing is a mission-critical challenge for many employers and a major pain point, which means opportunity for those who can craft a persuasive message.

What makes it good

  • Bold subject line gets attention
  • To the point, focused
  • Same format can be used for similar problems with just small changes

Follow-up example:

The AIDA Format

Like the 4T format above, this is a formulaic approach to composing cold emails. It consists of four parts – Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.

  1. Attention (sometimes Awareness). Hey! Over here! Look at this! That’s how things have to start, right? In the context of an email, this part is typically assigned to the Subject Line so it’s visible at the Inbox level.
  2. Interest. What you’re offering and why it should be of interest to the prospect. In other words, you’re answering the question Why should you care about this?
  3. Desire. You definitely want this, right? More sales, higher traffic, better conversions – whatever the metric is, it’s now within your reach!
  4. Action. All you have to do is click here and we’ll take care of the rest. Now is the time!

Here’s what your AIDA cold email might look like:

What makes it good

  • There is a sense of urgency throughout, moving the prospect to act
  • The offer is presented as something too good to miss (FOMO)

Follow-up example:

Looking for partners

After B2B sales, this is another very common reason for cold outreach. The key here is to share as much as needed to gain interest but not so much that you make it too long and have nothing left for your follow-up or the conversation you hope to have.

What makes it good

  • Again, short and to the point. You could add more info about who you are and what you do, but you risk making the email too long
  • Makes the case with the use of recent successes – even better if you can mention something that they can see if they Google it (because they will Google it)
  • The {{REASON}} for cooperation leaves room to reference something personal about the recipient

Follow-up example:

Offering services in a particular marketing channel

If you’re a marketing agency with special know-how in digital marketing channels that some brands may struggle with, there’s an opening for you. You might reach out like this:

What makes it good

  • Start with a question to mix things up in your messaging – don’t rely on the “Hi, my name is X and I…” formula too much.
  • Clear value proposition — “This is what we do, it has worked with x,y and z and we can do it for you too”
  • Very direct sales proposition without feeling too salesy

Follow-up example:

Offering B2B services

Companies need all kinds of services provided by other companies. From servicing computer networks to keeping the office clean to selling pens & paper, the list is truly endless. Let’s take the example of offering logistics support such as warehouse or yard management solutions for an ecommerce company for an example of what your outreach might look like:

What makes it good

  • The threat-solution formula gets attention and puts your value proposition into focus.
  • FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is also effective when pitching B2B services — “If you don’t deliver this to your customers, someone else will”.
  • In this example, you know that logistics support is always a concern for online businesses so you can afford to be a bit more aggressive and ask for more (“ten minutes!”) in your first cold email.

Follow-up example:

The PAS Model

Another formulaic approach, the PAS (Problem (sometimes Pain) – Agitation – Solution) Model frames your message in three important parts. It’s all about a pain point, how much that pain point really hurts and the solution that brings relief. We all want relief from pain, right?

  1. Problem. Every business has a problem or a pain point that interrupts their operations, makes them spend too much, lowers productivity, etc.
  2. Agitation. The problem hurts so much because it results in A, B and C. How can you get out of this mess?
  3. Solution. Yes, there IS a way out! All you have to do is click here to find out more! Oh, sweet relief…

Follow-up example:

What makes it good

  • Starts with a relevant, relatable problem that every company deals with
  • Contrasts “Here’s what you should get” with “Here’s what you usually get”
  • Presents a simple solution to the problem

Using cold email templates in Woodpecker

Woodpecker now allows you to create, store, customize and reuse your own templates in your cold email campaigns. This new feature makes your cold email outreach quicker and more efficient. Among other things, you can:

  • Tag templates to make them easy to find for future campaigns
  • Use snippets to personalize every email
  • Share templates between different users
  • Create templates from existing emails
  • Edit, delete or disable templates as needed

To create your own template library in your Woodpecker account, just go to the Templates tab:

Woodpecker templates feature

Want to test it? Go here.

Use ours, create your own, see what works

As you can see, there is a rich variety of templates to use with your cold email outreach. Use them to save time and get better results in your future campaigns.

Remember that a template is a framework, a general outline of what your message should be. There is still lots of room for creativity and putting your own personal stamp on your communications. It’s important to experiment, borrowing inspiration from different sources, to what works for your prospects.

When you find something that works, save it to your library, but keep testing and refining it for even better results!

How can I create an effective cold sales email template?

To create an effective cold sales email template, start with a compelling subject line that grabs attention. The opening line should be personalized, using the recipient’s first name, and quickly address a pain point relevant to the prospect’s company. Include a brief call to action, like suggesting a quick call to discuss further.

What are some key elements to include in a B2B cold sales email?

Key elements of a B2B cold sales email include addressing the appropriate person or decision maker, clearly stating your value proposition, and relating it to specific pain points or industry news relevant to the prospect’s company. A clear and concise subject line and a personalized greeting like “Hi [First Name]” are also crucial.

How can I ensure my cold email campaign targets the right person in a company?

To ensure your cold email campaign targets the right person, research the prospect company to identify the decision maker or the most appropriate person for your message. LinkedIn and company websites are useful resources for this. Tailoring the email to address their specific role or challenges can increase the chances of a positive response.

What makes a subject line compelling in cold sales email templates?

A compelling subject line in cold sales email templates should be concise, personalized, and create curiosity or urgency. It could reference a mutual connection, a recent blog post or guest post by the recipient, or specific industry news that resonates with the recipient’s interests or needs.

Can you suggest a few ideas for opening lines in cold sales emails?

A few ideas for opening lines in cold sales emails include addressing a recent achievement of the prospect’s company, mentioning a mutual connection, or referencing a relevant industry trend. Starting with something like, “I noticed your company recently…” can immediately make the email more relevant and engaging.

How important is social proof in cold sales email strategies?

Social proof is very important in cold sales email strategies as it helps build credibility and trust. Including brief mentions of how your product or service has helped similar companies or citing endorsements from industry leaders can significantly increase the likelihood of a positive response.

What role do follow-up emails play in a cold email strategy?

Follow-up emails are crucial in a cold email strategy as they increase the chances of your email being noticed and responded to. They should be sent if there is no response to the initial email, reminding the recipient of your previous message and reinforcing the value proposition.

How can sales reps use cold outreach email templates effectively?

Sales reps can use cold outreach email templates effectively by customizing them to each prospect. This includes personalizing the subject line and opening line, and tailoring the content to address the specific pain points and needs of the prospect. The template should serve as a starting point, not a one-size-fits-all solution.

What are some tips for crafting the perfect subject line for cold sales emails?

For crafting the perfect subject line for cold sales emails, keep it short and to the point, make it relevant to the recipient, and try to evoke curiosity or highlight a benefit. Using phrases like “Quick question about [Prospect’s Company]” or “Ideas for [addressing a specific pain point]” can be effective.