Cold Email Templates That Work

One of the most common questions I get at Replyify is…..”How do I write effective cold emails that get opens, clicks, and meetings booked for my sales team?”

My response is usually, something like….”well, what are you sending now?” and I follow this up with, “how’s that been working for you?”

Chances are, you already have the foundation for creating a high performing cold email campaign sitting in your sent folders.  You’ll want to refer to your existing emails when strategically creating your next cold email campaign.  It’s good to test new things.  But seriously, start with what you have an borrow or steal from the template below!

Use this FREE Cold Email Campaign Creator Strategy doc to create an high performing cold email campaign sequence before you are sitting in from of your Campaign Creator in Replyify wondering what to write for your initial cold email and subsequent follow-up emails.

If you are in sales and required to reach out to new prospects, chances are you already have a process in place.  Folks typically come to Replyify for reasons like:

  • Sending emails through my CRM takes too much time
  • My emails are going to the Spam or not getting delivered to the primary inbox
  • My email provider suspended my account because I sent cold emails
  • Need a better way to generate more qualified leads and sales demos
  • Cold calling isn’t working as well as it has in the past
  • Cold emails don’t work for me, but everyone is talking about them
  • My team needs a more efficient sales solutions

Maybe you’re reading this post because I linked you here from a conversation we had about Replyify.  Or, maybe this article ranked high for a Google search looking for cold email templates that get replies.

Either way, this post includes some of the best cold email templates I’ve either tested or received as someone else’s prospect.  Pro Tip – pay attention to the cold emails you received.  What about them did you like or dislike.  What got you to open?  Borrow from the best examples and make a note to avoid the mistakes from the worst emails.

The best cold email campaigns usually have the same basic ingredients.

  1. 5 – 10 emails sent over 21-45 days
  2. Concise subject lines (try ‘variables’ to add their name to the subject line)
  3. 3 to 5 sentences (max) per email
  4. Personalize the email with variables
  5. Don’t say the same thing over and over
  6. It’s a mix of give and take. (you ‘give’ value & ‘take’ their time)
  7. Replace I/me/my/we/our with YOU, YOU’RE and YOUR
  8. Limit images and links
  9. Clear, low commitment Call To Action

You know your customers better than me.  You know how they communicate.  Maybe they’re formal, maybe they’re not.  Maybe they need a lot of data to be convinced.  Maybe they like images of a T-rex chasing a person who doesn’t respond (I don’t).  Your cold email will set the tone for a (hopefully) long lasting relationship between you and your prospect as they move through your sales cycle and convert into a paying client.

There’s no one-size-fits all holy grail of cold emails.  And the ‘Top 10 this or that’ posts we’ve been reading all these years aren’t always written by the people who are in the trenches every day selling like you or me.

If you’re looking for some inspiration to help fill out your cold email campaign template and build or optimize your existing outbound cold email strategy, then you’ll dig the examples listed below.  If you’d rather just steal my go to cold email campaign structure, then you should also check out our google doc and this post.  (ps – have a great cold email template to share with us?  Forward it to Now, on to the templates…

Initial Cold Email (Right to The Point)

Subject: {Company Name} + Replyify


Hi {first name},

What are you doing to make sure the top of the funnel is full of fresh leads every month?

We’ve helped companies like {Competitor or Brand} to 2-3x their XYZ/leads/etc by automating their prospecting and sales intelligence. Here’s how we did it [insert link].

I believe this same concept could apply to {company}.

When is a good time next week for me to share a few quick ideas I have?


Why It works: The key with this cold email template is to offer social proof to support your straightforward claim.  You referenced a solution for a relevant company and didn’t waste anyone’s time beating around the bush.

Initial Cold Email (Irritate a Wound)

Subject: Question about {something they do}


Hey {first name},

I noticed that your site currently isn’t {something that you solve}.

Implementing {best feature} is actually something that we help companies {insert social proof like a competitor you work with or customer count} like yours with all the time.

Is there a day next week when you have 10 minutes to connect so we can talk about getting this taken care of for you.

Why It works: The key with this cold email template is to put pressure on the prospect to consider whether it’s acceptable to pass on something that their competitor is using to beat them.  Some people just don’t give a damn.  They’re happy collecting a paycheck.  If you deploy a wound irritating approach, consider continuing to irritate the wound and substantiate your claims in the next 1 or two follow-ups to this email.

Initial Cold Email (Ask For a Referral)

Hey {first name},

My name is John, and I’m co-founder of {my company}.  (I don’t like the intro unless you are a founder.  People tend to have a soft spot for helping startup founders)

We work with organizations like {insert competitor client} to boost {tangible success pain point} with {awesome feature} by {a real statistic}.

Could you direct me to the right person to talk to about this at {prospect company} so we can explore if this would be something valuable to incorporate into your {group/team/business}?


Why It works: The key with this cold email template will ensure you don’t make a fatal cold email mistake by reaching out to the wrong person. This approach also give the recipient an ‘out’ if they’ve ignored your first few emails.  It’s all about getting work off your plate and delegating to someone else on the team to ‘deal with.’  My favorite referrals are from the boss to a more junior person on the team who can’t ignore the request.


Initial Cold Email (Research Driven)

Subject: Saw your post on Twitter


Hi {first name},

I saw that your post on Twitter about how to generate new leads for your company.

{Ask them a question or state your point of view}.

Clients like {company 1} and {company 2} use {insert your company name} to {insert value prop}.

I would love to set up some time to chat about how you could take your approach to the next level by {insert a key feature}.  How does your schedule look next Tuesday for quick call so I can show you what I’m talking about?


Why It works: The key with this cold email template is to offer a very clear and tangible benefit to your prospect without asking for anything in return. You demonstrated that this isn’t a blast to a random, purchased list and that you want to help them.

Initial Cold Email (Trigger Event)

Subject: Congrats!


Hi [first name],

Just saw the news about {trigger event}. Congrats!

Usually when this happens, {insert value prop} becomes a priority. So, I thought you might be interested in finding out how we helped {similar company} {insert benefit}.

I know things at {company name} must be crazy now, but If you’d like to learn more, let’s set up a quick call.

How does [specific day and time] look on your calendar?  Alternatively, here’s a link to my calendar or feel free to send me yours.


Why It works: It’s pretty easy to spot a cold email written by someone who hasn’t taken the time to research and test different tactics (just like you’re doing right now).  Good news for you is that most other cold emailers competing for the prospect’s attention fall into this category.  The downside is that your prospect might be resistant to all cold emails.  The upside is that a well researched email sets you apart from the pack.  If I could personalize EVERY cold email, I would…it just doesn’t scale.

Initial Cold Email (Commonality)

Subject: found you through {mutual connection}

Hi {first name},

Your name was suggested while messaging our mutual connection, {insert mutual connection} last week.

Figured I’d save {mutual connection} the hassle of making an introduction by reaching out to you directly.

We work with companies like {company 1} and {company 2} to {insert value prop}.

In thinking about your role at [company}, I thought there might be a great fit for your team.

Do you have time to chat next week to see if there’s a fit?


Why It works: There’s nothing like applying a little social pressure to the situation.  If your mutual connection is mutually respected by both of you (ie – it’s someone successful), your recipient won’t know exactly how well you know the mutual connection, and they may feel the pressure to look good and give you attention.  It’s pretty common for the recipient of a cold email to feel empowered and talk down to the sender.  Referencing a mutual connection puts the recipient on notice to use their best behavior.

Follow-up Cold Email (First Follow-up)

Subject: Hi {first name}, question about {company}’s {some component of their business}


Hi Ryan!

Did you see my email about increasing {a KPI} by {tangible metric}?

You can boost {your company}’s {KPI} with {your best feature}.

It only takes 10 seconds to see how it works. (linked to a video)


Why It works: The first rule of cold email is that you have to follow-up.  Avoid the ‘naked follow-up’ which is the lazy man’s approach of writing back and saying something like, “Hi Kelly, following up on the email I sent last week.”  Use the first follow-up as an opportunity to reinforce (ideally with data) why it would be a good idea to talk.

Follow-up Cold Email (Simple Follow-up w/ Trial)

Subject: Hi {first name}, question about {company}’s {some component of their business}

Body: {your company name}

Hi Ryan,

It looks like we both have had a busy week! I’m writing to follow-up on my previous email about potentially replacing your {pain point} to {value prope}?

Are you free for a quick 5 minute call this week?

PS: I already prepared a free trial for you with no strings attached. Click here to check it out.

Why It works: Folks have different psychological motivators.  This is a great option to jump straight to a tangible next step that the prospect can use to evaluate your offer without any risk.  This let’s them consider your offer on their own time without feeling like they need to add another meeting to their calendar just to hear a pitch.

Follow-up Cold Email (Simple Question)

Subject: beating quota?


Do you have enough prospects in the pipeline to beat your quota?

Why It works: Near the end of the campaign, before I move to break up or ask for the referral, I like to use the ‘simple question’ technique.  Assuming you’ve sent a few solid follow-up emails prior to this point, try asking a one liner question.  You want to bait a reply so you can pick up the phone or push a little harder on the follow-up email.

Follow-up Cold Email (BreakUp/LAst Chance)

Subject: Re: {previous email subject line}


Hey {first name},

I know you are busy, can you reply with a quick 1, 2 or 3?

1) you still want to set up a 5 minute call

2) you are making me work for this and I should keep trying to reach you

3) you aren’t interested in {amazing value prop}

Thanks, Ryan

Why It works: If the prospect hasn’t replied to you by now it’s likely one of three things happened: 1) they’re just not that into you/your offer 2) your emails are landing in spam or other inbox (Replyify fixes this) or 3) they’ve ignored you so often that replying back to you would be awkward.  By asserting that you know they are busy and letting them select a next steps removes the burden from the prospect to explain why they’ve been ignoring you.

You Cold Emailed Me (and it was awesome)

Subject: Ryan, I’ve been researching Replyify


Hi Ryan!

I was wondering if you are in charge of managing Replyify’s cap table?

I was hoping to speak with someone to find out if automating the process would be of interest at this time. Are you the person to speak with?

Thank you,
Justin King

(719) 310.3183
To book a demo, please click my CALENDAR

If you don’t want to hear from me again, please let me know.

Follow Up #1 (6 days later)

Subject: Re: Ryan, I’ve been researching Replyify


I hope all is well- I was doing some research and I think you might be the best person to reach out to in regards to equity administration at Replyify.

As an introduction, we are the top equity administration platform for private companies when it comes to cap table management, 409A valuations, electronic exercises, and liquidity events.

When time permits, I’d love to connect over the phone or via a webinar to evaluate whether eShares would be a good fit for your team.
Please let me know a time that works well for you to connect. Or if you would like to see a demo just click here to get started.

Thank you in advance,

Follow-up #2 (3 days later)


Hello Ryan,

I Wanted to follow-up with some additional information on eShares. As your company continues to grow, the ability to provide liquidity to investors and employees can be of utmost importance.

We provide a platform that allows you to run liquidity transactions (tender offers) without ever needing to go public, and without the burdensome administrative costs typically associated with this process.

As I am sure you are aware, more companies are staying private longer and this unique ability of our platform allows you to make strategic decisions on your own terms and timing.

If you are interested in learning more let me know, or you can request a demo and set up a time to speak with someone.

Thank you,


Cold emails bring the good and the bad out in people.  Either way, you need to be ready to reply.  Here’s how to handle the replies you get to your cold emails sent with Replyify.