Building a Cold Email Template for Digital Marketing

Building a Cold Email Template for Digital Marketing

Everyone likes a shortcut, especially when it makes things better, not worse. Email templates are a great example – they can take a lot of the pressure off of creating content.

 

The problem with finding templates on the internet is that there are so many, and it’s very tempting to just paste the template into your email, add in a few personalization tokens, and hit send.

 

So we’re not just going to give you a template to use – we’re going to help you build one yourself.

 

Building a Cold Email Template for Digital Marketing

 

Why Use a Template?

Marketers love efficiency. If you have a type of email you send often – say, requesting a 10-minute chat – you can write it from scratch every time, or you can set up a template for it. Then you can just load up the template, tweak the content as needed, and fire away.

 

You’ll save time by not having to re-write the same thing every time you want to send that type of campaign.

 

That’s not to say you should never craft emails from scratch – absolutely do that. But sometimes inspiration is a little lacking, you’re pressed for time, or you know one of your templates fits the bill perfectly.

 

 

Why Not Just Grab One Off the Internet?

If you find one of the many templates on the web, you’re probably going to paste it straight into your email editor, tweak it a little maybe, and hit send.

 

If it’s a really good template, that might even get some results. But today’s buyers get huge amounts of cold email, all the time. We’re really attuned to whether the email we just received feels like a cookie cutter templated message.

 

And those messages get deleted or flagged as spam. Not quite the result you’re looking for, right?

 

For really good results, your best bet is to craft your templates yourself. That way, they don’t sound like cookie-cutter I-found-this-on-the-internet messages. They’ll sound just like all the rest of your content, which is important when trying to build confidence in your brand.

 

Let’s build a multi-purpose template for a hypothetical company: say we’re marketing a software tool that helps sales teams use their time more efficiently.

 

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Step 1: Subject Line

This is something that will change with every email, so it doesn’t really need to be built into your template. It’s also one of the most crucial parts of your campaign.

 

Why? Because your subject line is what determines whether someone opens your email. And if they don’t open your email, all the best content in the world is totally irrelevant.

 

Don’t make the all-too-common mistake of just tossing on a subject line as an afterthought. If you put as much effort into your subject as the rest of your email, you’ll see much better results.

 

So what makes a good subject line?

 

Keep it short and sweet. If it’s too long, it’ll get truncated and your contacts won’t be able to actually read the whole thing – which defeats the purpose. We recommend keeping the length around 50 characters, but there’s no silver bullet. Perform A/B tests and see what works for you.

 

Personalization is a crucial factor too. Non-personalized content feels so generic these days, it’s liable to get ignored completely. Experiment with personalization tokens in your subject lines. First name and company name are our favorites.

 

Fear of missing out (FOMO) can be a powerful motivator. Think things like limited-time offers, flash sales, countdowns, limited-run offers. It’s a truly old-school marketing technique that’s still every bit as effective today as it was decades ago.

 

Be honest. Misleading subject lines that are just intended to generate opens might increase your open rate, but it will put a fork in any trust you might have been building with the recipient once they realize it was a trick. Besides, if you have to trick people into engaging with your marketing, they aren’t going to make very good customers anyway.

 

How do they benefit? People aren’t interested in what awesome features your software has, or what awards your company has won. They want to know what’s in it for them. Keep your language benefits-oriented and focused on the reader. A subject line should tell them exactly why they should open and read the contents. Don’t give everything away, but give enough to pique their curiosity.

 

For our example product, we might use the subject line:

 

Are Acme’s Reps Efficient Enough?

 

(In this case, “Acme” is the recipient’s company).

 

That line clocks in at 33 characters, and has the recipient’s company name in it. It makes them ask themselves a trick question – you always want your sales to be more efficient than they are. It accurately reflects what your hypothetical product can offer, and insinuates that they’ll get the benefit of increasing their sales efficiency.

 

Another option is to front-load an impressive claim.

 

Double Acme’s Sales Efficiency.

 

Of course, you need to be able to back this claim up later, so don’t go too crazy with it. Back it up with data in your body copy.

 

 

Step 2: Crafting Excellent Body Copy

As important as the subject line is, your body copy still needs to be rock-solid. Fortunately, this is where you can design some awesome templates and tweak them as needed for each campaign. Let’s break it down into the components of your email body.

 

The opening line: Your opening line should be directly related to your subject line. Try to avoid introducing yourself in any detail (that’s what signatures are for); you’re sending cold email and trying to convince your contacts to spend time paying attention to your message. Don’t waste their attention with “Hi, I’m John from Example Incorporated, a software company specializing in example content.”

 

Make it an extension of your subject line, so that the contact’s experience flows smoothly from reading the subject line, opening the email, and starting to read your message.

 

Your opening line should, as clearly and concisely as possible, explain what benefit they will get or what pain point you’re going to help with. That way, they know right from the outset what they’re going to find in the rest of the email.

 

Continuing our earlier example, our subject line (“Are Acme’s Reps Efficient Enough?”) should feed into our opening line. So we could say something like:

 

Most sales teams spend twice as much time filling in details between calls as they do actually selling.

 

Then we’re drilling down a bit more from the subject line into more detail, talking about time between calls. Which will lead right into the benefit our entirely fictitious product can offer in the next bit.

 

The main body: At this point you’ve done a whole lot of insinuation and hinting, and it’s time to deliver on the claims you’ve made. It’s important to remember that the people you’re emailing are just that: people. Conversational, casual tones are usually the way to go to avoid the old-school stuffy B2B tones.

 

Personalize where you can, but keep it focused. Your content should get right to the point. Remember, they’re cold contacts, they’ve never heard of you and you’re barely holding on to their attention. Don’t waste that.

 

This is where you straight-up tell them that you can solve the problem you mentioned in your opening line. If you can back that up with concrete numbers, or – even better – with case studies, absolutely do it.

 

Awesome Example Product cuts that time in half – which means your reps can spend twice as much time on the phone closing deals.

 

From there, if you were nice and brief, you might have breathing room to explain a little about how your product accomplishes that solution.

 

It uses cutting-edge machine learning and a super-streamlined interface to make filling in call details easier than ever.

 

The ask: Close out your message with one crystal-clear, compelling, and very low-friction call-to-action. Your email campaign should be designed to get recipients to do one thing and one thing only. That might be schedule a call, download a free trial, watch a video, or anything else – but there should only be one.

 

It needs to be something that takes very little time and effort to accomplish. The easier you make it for your contacts to take the desired action, the more likely they are to do it! For bonus points, work an extra-compelling reason into your CTA.

 

I’ve helped multiple companies in (their industry) boost sales efficiency dramatically, and I think I can help you achieve similar results. If you have 10 minutes to chat, I’d love to explain how. Here’s my calendar link.

 

 

The Template

Let’s take those individual example pieces and put them together, and then turn that into a generic template you can use:

 

Subject: Double Acme’s Sales Efficiency

Hi John,

Most sales teams spend twice as much time filling in details in between calls as they do actually selling.

Awesome Example Product cuts that time in half – which means your reps can spend twice as much time on the phone closing deals.

It uses cutting-edge machine learning and a super-streamlined interface to make filling in call details easier than ever.

I’ve helped multiple companies in (their industry) boost sales efficiency dramatically, and I think I can help you achieve similar results. If you have 10 minutes to chat, I’d love to explain how. Here’s my calendar link.

Sincerely,

Joe Exampleman

 

That’s a crystal-clear email that gets the point across without wasting anyone’s time. If we boil that down into a template, here’s what it looks like:

 

Subject: <Strong, snappy claim>Hi <first name>,

<Elaborate on the subject line and highlight a pain point>

<Clearly explain that your product solves that pain point, and what the benefit is>

<Explain a little about how your product works>

<Easy, low-friction ask with a clear course of action for the reader>

<Signature>

 

That’s it. Once you look at it that way, writing a great, convincing email isn’t all that daunting, is it?

 

The Real “Secret Trick”

All of that gives you a pretty solid email, but your campaigns will quickly stagnate if you’re using the exact same format over and over. The true key to success is to test, test, test. Perform A/B testing constantly, so you never stop improving.

 

Include some case studies in one version and omit them in another. Does the version with the case studies generate more leads? (I’m betting it will.) Great – keep those in there and test something else next.

 

Cold email lead generation is a truly powerful, underused tool for B2B marketers that can be a game-changer if you do it right.

 

 

 

 

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