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Three Creative Cold-Email Templates That Will Get Replies

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The problem: You worry that members of your sales team are not following the right messaging guidelines in their cold outreach to prospects.

The solution: You can give them templates to one-click insert.

Giving cold-email templates to your sales team guarantees two things: (1) You can rest easy knowing they're using the right positioning; and (2) Sending emails with proven copywriting techniques will increase their open and reply rates.

Remember: cold emails aren't about the sale; they're about initiating conversation and getting the ball rolling.

Sounds familiar to what you do every day, right?

To get you started, here are three standout cold email templates (used by our sales team at Yesware), plus the "science" behind their effectiveness.

1. How to Connect With Prospects on a Human Level

Misery loves company: It's a fact that people love to complain on social media. Especially about brand inefficiency.

According to research, Americans complain about brands 879 million times a year on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms; 10% do it every day.

What's the point? According to Edison Research, 79% of those complaining about a brand on Twitter do so because they want their friends to see; their purpose is to be heard.

Which means your salespeople can research to find an issue a specific prospect has. Then, they can slide in as a friend and compare it to a pain point your company solves. Here's how a Yesware account executive used this approach:

And here's the response she received (name and company changed):

Ready to send it to your sales team? Just copy the template text below.


SL: {!Thing Bothering Them}

Hi {!First Name},

Noticed from your {!Social media} that your {!item} has been problematic and {!pain point}. Ugh.

{!Pain point} is the worst. Similarly, your {!Employee type} at {!Company} are probably {!Pain point}. {!My Company} {!How you solve pain point}.

This is {!Your Name} at {!Your Company}. {!First Name}, can we schedule some time this week to discuss how {!My Company} can {!Solve Pain Point}?

Best of luck,

Hint: Make sure you fill in the {!My Company} {!How you solve pain point} section for the team before releasing the kraken.

2. How to Break the Norm to Catch Their Attention

If you walked into an elevator and faced the back wall, people would notice.

The beauty of breaking the norm is that it catches people's attention. In a world where inboxes are grazed with skims and deletes, this technique catches the eye.

Here's a unique way your sales team can get attention in an email:

  1. Find a prospect's favorite band: Look on their Facebook or Twitter profile.
  2. Pick a song by that artist: Find one that's popular and has simple lyrics.
  3. Get creative: Write a quick parody of the song relating to your company's value prop.

Here's how a Yesware sales development representative took his prospect's interest in Luke Bryan and remixed it to make contact:

And here's the response he received:

The moral of the story? Your prospect doesn't get this kind of email every day—or any day.


SL: {!Song parody name}

Hi {!First Name},

Noticed you are a big fan of {!Artist}. {!Funny banter}. I'm trying to get creative in my outreach, so here's a remix of "{!Song Name}," called "{!Song parody name}."

"{!Song parody}."

{!First Name}, {!Company} {!What services you provide}. {!Why your service benefits them}.

Would love to get some time on the calendar to give you a quick demo of {!Company}.

3. The Beyoncé Effect: Compare Their Hero to Your Product

Everyone has an idol.

It could be a thought leader, inventor, actor, or, yes—Beyoncé. So, what better way to explain a product/service than to compare it to the person they admire most?

Introducing the power of the metaphor.

Metaphors break down complex or new concepts into something familiar. They're particularly effective for cold outreach. Below, a sales representative uses this technique to compare Yesware's features to Queen Bey:

The result? An intro to a decision-maker:


SL: The {!Idol} of {!industry or niche market}

Hi {!First Name},

Based upon your {!Social media}, you're a fan of {!Idol}—inspiring me to reach out to you here. What would {!Idol} be without {!Point of relation}? {!Funny commentary}.

{!My Company} is the {!Idol} of {!Industry or market niche}. Our platform provides {!Benefit 1} and {!Benefit 2}. Features like {!Feature 1}, {!Feature 2}, and {!Feature 3} make your team {!Benefit 2}—making them reading to boost their fame (much like {!idol} and their team).

{!First Name}—might you be willing to connect for just a few minutes to talk about how we can get your team onto {!Idol}'s level?

Bridging the gap between marketing and sales can be as simple as sending creative reply-worthy templates that initiate conversation and make reply rates go up. What are your favorite cold email templates?

Note: Your salespeople can quickly save and insert the above email templates in their Gmail or Outlook inbox with a free trial.

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Melissa Williams is a content marketing specialist at Yesware, an email productivity plugin that simplifies outreach with email tracking, templates, mail merge, and more tools. Visit the Yesware blog for email templates.

LinkedIn: Melissa Williams

Twitter: @msmelwilly

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  • by Tim Rank Thu Nov 2, 2017 via web

    I find every one of these approaches creepy. In a B2B setting I'll accept a mention of something from LinkedIn, but if you stalk my Twitter/Facebook accounts and use that as an "in" I'm more than likely going to block your email address.

  • by Mark.Etting Thu Nov 2, 2017 via web

    Usually I find MarketingProfs content on point, but this? I'm skeptical of the "replies" given here. Those seem like outlying exceptions because if I got an email like this it would creep me out and it would essentially make me NEVER want to do business with that matter what they are selling. Anyone else find this disturbing??

  • by Michelle Yue Thu Nov 2, 2017 via web

    I have to agree with Tim. It creeps me out when I know people have been looking at my social media sites to do recon. I know people do it all the time, but it's a little weird when they say "hey I was just stalking your Twitter feed..." In fact, a potential intern once submitted a writing sample featuring me as a character, and it was filled with references that could only have been gathered from my FB account (which I didn't realize was public at the time). I threw his resume in the trash, and immediately made my FB account private. If a salesperson sent me an email like above, I'd delete it immediately.

  • by Over familiarity Thu Nov 2, 2017 via web

    A successful professional who's been in business for awhile would not offer this advice, as you would be overly familiar with someone you don't know. Marketing Profs should vet these articles to offer more substance rather than a sales pitch.

  • by Annette Thu Nov 2, 2017 via web

    On top of being creepy, it's also a sales pitch to purchase Yesware's products. Every sample of writing is pushing their product, and the clickable link takes you straight to their sign in page for a 'trial' after which you'll pay. This should be listed as an 'advertorial' and not the helpful article it claims to be.

  • by Brittany White Thu Nov 2, 2017 via web

    I have a hard time believe these replies are actually real. All three conveniently "loved" the creepy, stalkerish approach AND forwarded onto a decision maker...? True marketers are better than this.

  • by Ginger Lynch Thu Nov 2, 2017 via web

    Respectfully, YIKES! I'm just not buying it. First, it IS creepy. Second, folks are just more savvy than they used to be and these email approaches are overly presumptive and come off as condescending. I've received a few using similar strategy myself and immediately deleted because I was turned off and annoyed right out of the gate. Please remember, you are marketing to a HUMAN, and generally a smart one. This tactic is the wrong approach in today's climate and I am SHOCKED I am seeing this on my beloved MarketingProfs. Trying too hard to be "fresh" has really not worked for you here. As a marketing professional for the past 22 years, I strongly advise any newbies to disregard the advice in this article.

  • by Peter Tue Nov 7, 2017 via iphone

    As far as I can see 2 out of 3 replies besides being positive were just forwarded to another email addresses which is from my experience usually a dead point. Please correct me if I am not right I’d like to read other opinion. :-)

  • by Michelle Mon Nov 13, 2017 via web

    Couldn't agree more with the other commenters. This article is below par, and the suggested emails are overly familiar and absolutely creepy. In many B2B companies, this approach would be entirely inappropriate and for me personally would result in an immediate delete/block. Awful article, awful advice!

  • by Michele Engel Mon Nov 27, 2017 via web

    The first example doesn't creep me out because the email sender has observed that the reader is struggling with a specific problem that their company might alleviate. Randomly targeting people who have not expressed an interest or a need for one's product, no matter how cleverly done, does seem a bit over the top.

    But when it comes to using tactics that are creepy, how about ad re-targeting and popups? I find those far more intrusive and annoying than I would receiving an occasional email from someone who noticed I'm a ballet fan and tried to use that to get me interested in their product or service. I might delete such an email, but I'd probably be more amused by it than distressed.

    I think some of the commenters are being a bit hard on the article's author and on Marketing Profs for presenting it.

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