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How to Be a Superhero with a Proven Cold Email Template

Cold outreach can be awkward. Like, “hiding in the grocery store behind the oranges to avoid someone you don’t want to talk to” awkward.


But with the right cold email template, it doesn’t have to be.

Below are 11 templates that pave the way so you can focus on what matters: personalizing the details and winning the reply.

For each template, we’ve included a real-life example, email text to right-click-copy, and the science behind why it works.

Don’t just send a cold email. See when it gets opened.

3 Email Templates That Use Metaphors

According to eyetracking research, we spend no more than 15 seconds reading an email.

To get a response, you need to get them to read, not just scan.


By knowing them really well. Catch their attention with a personal note that ties in your purpose through a metaphor.

Need a quick way to copy the templates right now? Use this Google doc. 

1. How To Grab Attention By Incorporating Their Hobbies

Here’s how our team lead tracked down his recipient’s love for surfing on social media and then tied it to Yesware’s services:

cold email template using their hobbies

How this works:

  • The principle of reciprocity: When someone gives us something, we feel obliged to return the favor. Here, the sender takes the extra time to find an interest and get creative with a metaphor. As a result, the recipient feels like they owe a reply in return.
  • Metaphors help us understand complex ideas by comparing them to what we know.
  • The power of the first name: It’s in the subject line, introduction, and sign-off. Research indicates that seeing our own name in print (on the screen) has positive and unique effects on our brains.

And here’s the response:


Cold Email Template:

{!First Name}, 

Noticed on {!Social media} that you enjoy {!Interest}, which inspired me to reach out.

A good {!Person who does interest} is {!Quality}, {!Description of how person fits this quality}.

The same happens in {!Industry}, we {!Common action between industry and interest}. {!My Company} {!action/solution}.

Would you be willing to introduce me to {!Person}? Just looking to learn more about your team’s structure/growth to see if {!My Company} might align.


Save each template to your inbox in seconds. (Custom fields convert to plug-and-play placeholders.)

2. The Beyonce Effect: Compare Their Hero To Your Product

Yesware SDR Saniat Sheikh leveraged his prospect’s interest in Beyonce to book a meeting. By comparing Yesware’s service to an idol (and adding humor) he got a response.

 cold email template

cold email template for beyonce fans

Here’s Stephanie’s response:


Cold Email Template:

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 ready 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?



3. How to Use Their Sports Enthusiasm To Your Benefit

Sports are a simple metaphor for success. You can get more replies by grabbing their attention with their favorite team and then looping it back to what you’re emailing about.

Here’s an example that scored Sales Manager Dave Saccardo a reply when he was a SDR:

cold email template for prospects who love sports

And here’s the response Dave got:


Cold Email Template:

Hi {!First Name},

I see that you’re a {!team} fan, so you must be excited about {!player} {!player’s achievement}.

As {!company} continues to scale, your {!department} team needs {!pain point that you solve for} just as {!how same point applies to team}. We’re the {!player} of {!industry/market niche}…{!funny comparison}. 

{!First Name}, I’d love (if possible) to be referred to the best person on your {!department} team to introduce {!Your Company} as a mean to hit your {!goal}.


Log their personal details faster with this free template (it fills in custom fields en masse).

4 Templates That Appeal Emotionally To Your Prospects

Ever wish you could control what your prospect felt?

You can.

Enter: emotional-selling.

Emotion is an innate, powerful, and principally unconscious process that becomes a tool you can use to get people to associate you with positive feelings.

4. Grab Attention By Breaking The Norm

Here’s an example of a prospecting email Content & Engagement Manager Elise Musumano received. Watch how Haley breaks the norm to make her cold email stand out:

cold email template that gets replies

What to do:

  1. Don’t beat around the bush: Direct communication has benefits and can result in quicker action. By laying your cards out on the table, you get faster results.
  2. Personalization: She includes intricate details that help Elise envision working with Haley because of their similarities.
  3. What’s in it for them: Haley offers a leftover bluetooth speaker in exchange for a call with Elise. Why? People are more likely to act when they know it’ll benefit them.

Cold Email Template: 

Hi {!First Name},

{!Your Name} reaching out from {!Your Company} – {!Shared detail}.

Yep, this is another #coldemail that says who I am and asks for a meeting; but I’ve {!specific research you’ve done on person}.

{!Connection/uncommon commonality}.

{!Details of your service} – does this sound like something of value to {!Company} or maybe something you’re actively looking for?

Here is {!piece of content}.

Are you open to chatting next week? {!Incentive to call}.


5. Win An In: How To Gain Trust with Flattery in Seconds

Even when there’s an ulterior motive, flattery creates a positive impression of the giver.

Here’s a real-life sales email example that uses flattery:


What works in this sales email example:

  1. Leads with prospect: We spend 60 percent of conversations talking about ourselves. In other words, entice them with their favorite subject: themselves.
  2. Include your accomplishment: This establishes credibility. Alexa includes that her team recently took on a big client.
  3. Direct ask: Includes a specific time and date for the point of contact.

Cold Email Template:

Dear {!First Name},

You and your team have really accomplished something with {!accomplishment}. The {!feature/product/press mention} yesterday is making a big impression with the people I talk to. I wanted to reach out and say congratulations.

My company has also been doing pretty well. We recently announced {!customer/competitor} as a client for our {!product}. Maybe something like this could help you continue your impressive momentum?

I’d like to follow up about this with a quick phone call. We can cover the important issues in 20 minutes. Can I call you at {!time and date} EST?


6. Be Their Hero: Step Up When Competitors Aren’t

Take your competitor’s weakness as an opportunity. If you see that a competitor is having issues, show up as their knight in shining armor to help.

Here’s an example how you can use the power of persuasion (and good timing) to grab their attention:

cold email template - competitor takeaway

What works:

  • Hitting a pain point: Justify their frustration with the competitor and alert them there’s a solution.
  • Social proof: Naming other well-known clients builds your credibility.
  • “Stability, security, and reliability”: Use words that will make them feel safe.

Cold Email Template:

Hey {!First Name},

We’ve been hearing from several existing {!Competitor}’s customers that they’ve been experiencing significant application performance issues recently. We can imagine your team would be getting frustrated if that’s also happening at {!Company}!

We’ve developed our solution to support leading enterprises such as {!Customer 1}, {!Customer 2} and {!Customer 3} with stability, security, and reliability in mind so you won’t have these problems with {!Your Company}.

Are you available early next week to discuss why companies like {!Customer 4}, {!Customer 5} and {!Customer 6} moved from {!Competitor} to {!Your Company} this year? If not, please let us know when’s best to reconnect.


These subject lines will get your cold emails more opens/replies.

7. How To Use Their Funding To Your Advantage

More money means more willingness to hear out new vendors. Use Google Alerts to track when your top accounts secure additional funding, so you can reach out with seemingly serendipitous timing.

Here’s an example one of our SDRs has had success with:

cold email template when they just got funding

Why it works:

  • Perfect timing: Even the perfect sales outreach falls flat when the timing is off. Your context for reaching out here makes them much more likely to give you their time.
  • Envision the future: William shows what Rebecca’s company could achieve with Roundtech and packs social proof in by mentioning three customers.

Hint: if you don’t hear back, don’t just give up. Use a tool like Mail Merge to automate two follow-up emails. That way, you don’t risk slipping through the cracks on a busy day.

Get More (Easily Actionable) Sales Prospecting Tips with This 7-Day Crash Course

Cold Email Template:

Hey {!First Name},

Congrats on the recent {!funding/investment} and growth of {!Company}! Based on your responsibilities as {!position}, I was inspired to reach out.

{!My Company} helps other {!industry} companies like {!Company 1}, {!Company 2}, and {!Company 3} to {!achievement}. I see a fantastic fit to help {!what your company will achieve}.

When might you have 15 minutes {!Day 1} or {!Day 2} for a quick call?


How To Be A Consultant: 4 Cold Sales Emails That Get Replies

People respond positively when others try to help them, not sell to them.

8. How to Send Your Recipient Help (And Not Bombard Them)

Here’s an example of how a little help goes a long way:

no pressure cold email template

Techniques that make this email work:

  • Addresses recipient’s concerns: What better way to show someone you know them than to state outright the questions that keep them up at night? Hint: use “we” only if you’re in the same department as your recipient. If you aren’t, use “you” instead.
  • Shares helpful content: When you do something for someone (direct them to content that helps them in their job), they feel obliged to do something for you (reply to you).
  • Leaves communication open: Emphasizing that something (in this case, having a call) is optional actually increases people’s desire to agree. 

The Cold Email Template:

Hi {!First Name},

As we look to {!year or quarter}, our {!team recipient is on} has a lot to think about and prioritize. {!Question 1} {!Question 2} {!Question 3}

Since so many of the companies we work with are asking the same questions-I thought you would appreciate a couple of articles on building on those strategies:

  • {!Link to content 1} – {!type of content}
  • {!Link to content 2} – {!type of content}
  • {!Link to content 3} – {!type of content}

{!Pain points} (Grab 15 minutes on my calendar here this week for a free trial of {!product} if interested – {!link to calendar}.)


9. Use Statistics To Show Them They’re Not Alone

Research proves we’re more motivated by pain than pleasure. First, use statistical evidence to hit your prospect’s pain point. Next, help them envision how your product will help them solve it.

Here’s a sales email that shows how you can use statistics to persuade:

how to start your email with a statistic - cold email template

How it works:

  1. Statistics: Performance statistics catch our attention and give whoever uses them an aura of authenticity. Here, they serve as the hook and introduce the problem.
  2. Reality about most teams: Here, you use another statistic to show that you aren’t alone. Times are tough for most teams. But they don’t have to be; there’s a way that you can come out ahead of the rest…
  3. Includes benefits: Then, pose your benefits so they become the easy way out of tough reality. Like when you see a Sarah McLachlan commercial and feel the impulse to sign up for a monthly donation. Case in point: that commercial raised $30 million dollars.

Cold email template:

Hi {!First Name},

On average, {!pain point statistic}. Is {!Their company} achieving its goals? 

{!Statistic about most teams}. 

{!benefits of your service}. {!pain points company relieves}.

{!accomplishments of company}. If you are looking to {!achieve what product serves}, it would be great to connect for a 15 minute call next week.



10. How To Be The Hero For New Trialers (And Book Meetings)

You might be new to your prospect, but your product isn’t if they’re on trial.

Position yourself as a personal guide for them as a win-win; they become more apt to use features, which makes them more likely to convert to a paid subscriber (read: your shoe-in to the account).


cold email template for trial users

Why it works:

  1. Establishes familiarity: The first sentence gives context (why I’m reaching out) plus the What’s In It For You, all in two sentences.
  2. Put the ball in their court: Persuasion works when the other person sees the benefits. Show them that you can improve their situation without being pushy.
  3. Add value with content: Leaving a “Getting Started Guide” nurtures them even if they aren’t ready to talk.


Hi {!First Name},

I saw you signed up for {!service} to {!do what service provides}. That’s great because {!What trial offers}. 

Would you have a few minutes to chat? If there’s a time that you have in mind you can throw something in my calendar HERE or just try me directly at {!Phone number} any time.

Have a great day!

P.S. Here’s our {!Starter guide} that will help you {!Benefit of product} in {!Period of time}.


11. Do Their Homework For Them To Win Their Trust

We listen to those who know us well.

Use this to your advantage by doing some quick homework on your prospect to show them you know them. If you’re in the SaaS space, Ghostery shows you which tools they’re currently using. Your email should refer to a specific tool in your first paragraph (“JayBase” in the example below — names are changed).

Then, it should segue into the “easier way to manage things” end picture, painted with a customer story, a description of benefits, and what’s in it for the team.

cold email template that shows youve done your homework 

Why this sales email example works:

  1. Identifies service that company uses: This establishes familiarity. It’s scientifically-proven that we give preference to things and people we’re familiar with, which leads to comfort.
  2. Envisions the end picture: Like a fortune-teller, help them glimpse to the future. Show how great their life will be with your product. Note: This persuasive technique only works if you have the right claims and credentials. No grasping at straws.

Cold Email Template:

Hi {!First Name},

This might sound impossible but this is {!service} made easy. {!What you do + hyperlink}.

You can {!action your product allows}.

In addition to this {!benefit of product}. This will {!pain point relieved}.

If this sounds like something that will make your life a whole lot better let’s chat for 15 minutes this week. How does your calendar look this {!day of week}?


Here’s an easy place to revisit all of these templates later.


  • Always personalize: No shame in owning up to your research. Flattery is always well-accepted whether it’s sincere or not.
  • Grab their attention: Use their interests, idols, or favorite sports teams to stand out.
  • Use tools to your advantage: Save templates and one-click insert them into emails. Right from your email compose.

BONUS: Here’s how to personalize up to 200 cold emails at once.

Want to save yourself hours of time and try automating an entire drip email campaign in minutes, right from your inbox? Just go here to start a free 28-day Yesware trial. Then, open a new Mail Merge (you’ll see a button in your inbox) and paste a template from above into the email body. From there, use a CSV file like this one to organize the custom fields and tie them to your email (note: you can insert entire customized sentences like in the examples above).

tool to personalize a cold email template to 200 people at once