It’s hard to write a cold email template for sales outreach that cuts through the noise in a busy decision-maker’s inbox.

Research shows the average professional sends and receives 121 emails per day across their inboxes. Your email template needs to prove why it’s worth their time to read it and respond.

If you want to learn how to write high-performing sales templates, you're in the right place.

We’ll look at proven best practices for writing templates, show you real examples that you can use, and show you how to send personalized emails at scale.

  1. Do Cold Emails Work for Sales?

  2. 5 Best Practices When Writing Cold Emails for Sales

  3. 5 Powerful Sales Email Templates to Get More Replies

  4. Sending Personalized Sales Email Templates with QuickMail

Let’s dive in.

Do Cold Emails Work for Sales?

There’s a good reason why fast-growing startups, lead-generation agencies, and successful freelancers use cold email.

It works.

Fabi from ClinicBuzz used QuickMail to send a cold outreach campaign and received a 39.17% response rate from the prospects she contacted and was able to use the channel to consistently book more demos for her business. 

David Valentine, founder and CEO of lead generation agency Avadel says cold email accounts for the majority of their clients' sales meeting bookings.

Cold email is still the MOST effective way to generate leads in 2023. Our 81 clients book 88% of all of their meetings through cold email.


As well as that, our data shows that the best 25% of email sequences can see a 20% reply rate or more.

There are no other sales channels that compare when it comes to starting conversations with decision-makers.

However, you need to perfect your sales email templates if you want them to generate replies – which is why we’ve created this guide.

5 Best Practices When Writing Cold Emails for Sales

High-performing sales email templates follow several best practices. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Every Email Can Only Be Sent to One Individual

The people you’re reaching out to are decision-makers at their company. They have a lot of work on their plate, whether it’s managing their team or working on their strategy for the next quarter.

Your email needs to cut through the noise in their inbox and prove why it’s worth responding to.

The best way to do that is with personalization to the point where your email can only be sent to one person. You can do this by including elements such as:

  • Your recipient’s first name

  • Their company name

  • Using a custom introduction line

  • Adding a P.S. at the end with a personal note for extra personalization

  • A value proposition that’s relevant to them

All of these combined will prove to your recipient that you haven’t put them on a gigantic email list. Instead, they show that you are personally reaching out because you have something of value to them.

2. Your Prospect’s Time is Valuable

High-performing sales teams respect their prospect’s time.

Take this email template from AppSumo:

In a couple of short paragraphs, the recipient can immediately see the benefits to them of replying.

The template could have shared more detail about what the showcase would involve, what commitment is required from the prospect, or even more detail on AppSumo’s user base. However, that isn’t required at this stage.

Your goal is to prove to your prospect why it’s worth replying in 30 seconds or less.

Follow this approach in your sales templates, and you’ll see more replies than if you were sharing all of the details upfront.

3. Social Proof is Used to Build Trust

The nature of a cold sales email means that your recipients don’t know who you are.

It’s vital that you work to handle objections and build trust from your first touchpoint.

In your sales templates, integrate social proof in the form of past results, case studies, testimonials, or name-dropping your notable clients.

For example, this sales template is a pitch for a company to showcase at a conference.

After sharing some basic information, the sender mentions several key snippets of social proof: 4000+ prospective clients, 400+ VCs, and a possible $25,000.

If the recipient owned a relevant business, those numbers would catch their attention.

Social proof doesn’t guarantee that your prospect will move forwards with the deal, but building trust as early as possible is important to building a good buyer-seller relationship.

4. Starting a Conversation is the Priority

It sounds counter-intuitive, but you won’t get sales if you focus on selling.

Instead, use your sales emails to start conversations with decision-makers.

Once your prospect starts talking to you, they’ll share their main pain points, ask questions, and be more willing to jump on a call with you when they’re ready. 

When crafting your email templates for sales outreach, leverage your call to action (CTA) to start conversations. 

This email template from The Top does this well:

Even from the subject line, the recipient will already be considering their response.

Then, the template makes it clear that there’s an opportunity to collaborate, but only if the recipient meets the condition of having a SaaS company.

The final CTA makes it clear that the sender will follow up with more detail, so the recipient doesn’t need to invest much effort in their response.

If the sender had started by pitching their podcast and doing a strong invite, it would be harder to get a response as it’s a big commitment. With this approach, they start conversations with people and build a relationship. Even if someone isn’t ready to come on the podcast immediately, they’ll still be in the pipeline for a future episode.

5. Friendly Follow-Ups Are Key to Campaign Success

No matter how much research or time you spend on your sales email templates, you won’t always get a response.

But, don’t worry – you can boost your response rate by adding follow-up emails in your campaign.

For example, we already looked at ClinicBuzz’s success story above. They shared their results with us and the first thing we noticed is that their responses didn’t all come from the first email.

In fact, the majority came from their follow-up email steps.

Always add at least one follow-up to your campaign.

Nearly all good sales cadence software allows you to do this, so make sure to include these for the best results.

5 Powerful Sales Email Templates to Get More Replies

In our templates, we’ll use real examples and situations. This will help you understand why they work. When writing your templates, edit them to fit your unique business and prospect.

1. Simple B2B Outreach Sales Template

Our first template is an all-purpose sales email template that you can adjust for almost any situation.

It combines all of the best practices we looked at earlier in this guide.

Subject: Helping with YouTube strategy at {{}}

Hi {{prospect.first_name}} - enjoyed your recent podcast episode with [notable guest], particularly the segment on sales strategy.

I’m {{}}, and run a YouTube growth agency. We’ve helped companies like [similar company] and [similar company] add 3,000+ subscribers each since we started working with them three months ago.

Is growing your channel a priority this year?



Why it works:

The template is highly personalized, even going as far as mentioning a specific segment of the recipient’s podcast. Immediately, that will build trust.

Next, there’s a brief introduction to provide context about why the sender is reaching out. 

There’s social proof with real company names and numbers, and then a simple CTA.

If YouTube strategy was on the prospect’s mind, it’s an easy email to respond to. 

2. The Appropriate Person Email

This email template involves reaching out to someone at a target company and asking if they’re the right person.

It works because you can start a conversation without requiring the recipient to immediately confirm their interest in your product or service. Instead, all you're asking of them is to confirm that they're the right person or refer you to the right one.

Let’s take a look.

Subject: Are you the right person at {{}}?

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Noticed you recently won an award at [conference name], nice work. 

I run [your company], a platform to help remote teams manage their sales pipeline. 

Are you the right person at {{}} to talk with about your sales goals?


Why this works:

This template works because it provides immediate context about what your business is. However, the CTA isn’t asking if someone is ready to buy from you.

It’s focused on learning about the prospect’s business and getting in touch with the person responsible for sales.

Depending on your prospect list, you’ll see a mixture of responses: if your prospecting process was effective, people will be happy to let you know you’ve found the right person.

If you got the wrong person, a high number of recipients will be happy to forward your email on because it’s personalized and focuses on helping the prospect.

3. Offering Value From the First Email

Your recipients know when you’ve put real effort into your outreach.

This template makes most sense if your company has a high average contract value, as you can afford to spend more resources acquiring each prospect. 

Some ways to offer value include:

  • Recording a short video for them

  • Making an actionable suggestion to help their business

  • Sharing a custom resource you made for them

Here’s an example template.

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Awesome how you’ve helped 10,000 people find new jobs in tech since you started {{}}.

I noticed that your company has been using your blog to drive new site visits and growth. As our agency works with a few similar companies to {{}}, I thought I’d share some recent trends we’re seeing when it comes to content creation.

I recorded a 5-minute video for how these would apply to {{}}’s strategy. Here’s the link: URL

Let me know if this is useful?



Why it works:

If your email is personalized and you go out of your way to record a personalized video for someone, they’ll watch it.

The one caveat to this approach is that your video must be of incredible quality. If your prospect isn’t impressed if you're only showing them things they already know, they won’t reply to you.

Even if they’re aware of the points you mention, you’ll still stand out.

4. Helping Them with Growth

Some of the best-performing cold emails do well because they show an aspirational future to a prospect.

CEOs and decision-makers are happy to engage with sales outreach if they think they can benefit.

If you can make the benefits of your product/service clear from the first email in your sequence, it’s a powerful way to generate responses.

Subject: 30 demos scheduled per month for {{}}

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Enjoying the content you’ve been sharing on LinkedIn lately. Found it super actionable.

As your company has grown without VC funding, thought you might find this sales playbook I made useful. Companies like [similar company] use it and were able to attribute 30 new demo bookings to our process last month. 

Want me to send you a short preview to see if it’s of interest?



Why it works:

This template is personalized and simple, which is a good start.

Next, there’s a promise of direct growth – 30 new demos per month – if the prospect replies.

It’s also very low commitment. You’re not asking for them to book a meeting with you, but rather, are asking if they’d like a free resource. If your prospect is a good fit, they’ll almost certainly reply with a yes to this.

5. Sales Follow-Up Email Template

Over half of replies to sales campaigns come from a follow-up email.

It’s vital that you include at least one in your cold email campaigns.

Here’s a follow-up template you can use as a starting point to boost your reply rate:

Subject: Re: Helping {[}} with app security

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Reaching out again to see if your iOS app's security is a priority.

We recently helped [notable app] fix a critical user privacy issue that could have affected 400,000+ users.

Our audits are free - interested us carrying out one for {{}}?



Why it works:

This follow-up template is a friendly reminder about why you’re reaching out. You bring up the reason why you’re contacting them and add more proof of your expertise with a past example of your results.

The CTA is a simple question that’s easy to respond to.

If a prospect missed your first email but felt this was relevant to them, there’s a strong chance they will respond.

Sending Personalized Sales Email Templates with QuickMail

As you’ve seen, the best sales email templates are personalized for every recipient.

However, it takes too long to write them out one by one. If you want to level up your sales productivity, you need a cold email tool like QuickMail. Here’s how it works:

1. Bring Your Sales Prospect List into QuickMail

The first step is to format and import your prospect list.

Add your prospects to a spreadsheet with information split into columns.

You can add a custom column for any other information you may want to bring into your email templates.

When your prospect list is ready, you’ll import it into QuickMail. During the import process, you will have a chance to confirm the information is correct and assigned to the right attributes.

Once your prospect list is in QuickMail you can move to the next step: writing your templates.

2. Write Your Personalized Sales Email Templates

QuickMail lets you create one email template and customize it to every prospect in your list using attributes.

Attributes are snippets of text such as {{prospect.first_name}} that you add to a template. 

As you write your template, you can include these wherever you need to.

They can relate to your prospect’s personal details, their company, or even date and time-related attributes if you want to make dynamic date suggestions for a meeting.

When your emails are sent, it will automatically fill with the information from your prospect list.

The result is a completely personalized campaign to give you the best shot at getting replies.

You can send personalized emails to as many prospects as you need to simultaneously.

3. Automatically Follow Up After No Response 

As we’ve already seen, not everyone will respond right away.

To keep your email top of mind, use automatic follow-ups in QuickMail.

These will send another email and bump the thread to the top of your recipients’ inboxes.

Adding a follow-up is simple. Add a new step to your campaign and choose how long you want to wait before following up. In most cases, three working days is enough.

After your delay, you can add a new email step, then write your follow-up email template.

Your follow-up step doesn’t need to be another email. QuickMail lets you add multi-channel steps such as cold calls, a note to message a prospect on LinkedIn, or even an SMS. These can help you catch a busy prospect’s attention even if they’re not checking their emails. 

When your campaign is ready, you can set it live and your emails will run in the background.

All replies are sent directly to your inbox, or you can manage them directly in QuickMail’s Opportunities inbox.

4. Manage Every Conversation without Leaving

The Opportunities inbox will track every conversation you’re having with prospects.

When someone replies, they’ll show up here and you’ll immediately be aware and ready to reply.

When you receive a reply, it’s bumped to the top of the Opportunities inbox so you can easily prioritize your responses.

It also avoids replies being siloed into any one person’s inbox. Your whole team can see the responses and will know if they should step in to reply or not. 

5. Track Your Key Sales Email Metrics

Once your sales campaign is running and your replies are coming in, you’ll already have a feeling about how successful your campaign was.

But, you can’t trust your gut when measuring success. You need hard data to report back to your team and inform your approach to future outreach campaigns.

QuickMail will track all of your key sales email metrics, such as:

  • Open rate

  • Click-through rate

  • Reply rate

  • Unsubscribe rate

  • Bounce rate

These metrics help you understand how your emails are performing, and you can even track results across multiple segments or accounts at once.

Over time, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t and can optimize your campaigns to get the best results.

Wrapping Up

Cold emails can generate high reply rates and be a shortcut to you booking more calls with qualified leads.

However, it’s not easy. Your emails need to be personalized, relevant, and concise if you expect responses.

The templates we’ve looked at are an excellent starting point for different scenarios your sales team will face. Edit each template to fit your prospects and your business, and it won’t be long before you’re ready to hit send.

When you’re ready to send your personalized sales emails, start your 14-day free trial of QuickMail.