Sales

18 Sales Prospecting Email Templates That Get Responses

April 1, 2022

Written byMixmax

18 Sales Prospecting Email Templates That Get Responses
  • How to write sales prospecting emails
  • When should you send sales prospecting emails?
  • 18 Attention-grabbing sales prospecting emails
  • Signing off
  • Frequently asked questions

Getting a response to sales prospecting emails was never easy, but since early 2020 the volume of emails people receive has skyrocketed. Now, prospects are so overwhelmed that it’s impossible for them to read everything that lands in their inbox.

This means you need to change up your email outreach tactics to get a response.

Before, you could blast off a quick product summary and ask for a meeting.

Not any more.

Now, the mission for sales professionals (whether they choose to accept it or not) is to connect with prospects as individuals and survive “inbox triage.”

 

And do it all at scale. 

With this in mind, we reached out to LinkedIn sales influencers and our own SDRs to find out what makes a great sales prospecting email, and which sales prospecting email templates get results. 

Read on for: 

  • How to write sales prospecting emails
  • When to send sales prospecting emails 
  • 18 sales prospecting email templates that get responses 

Let’s go.

Tired of not getting a response to your sales prospecting emails? Mixmax helps you send personalized emails at scale for better results.


See how it works

How to write sales prospecting emails

Great sales prospecting emails look a little something like this:

Subject line

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so a good sales prospecting email subject line is crucial.

Keep it short – 2-3 words – relevant to the email and avoid marketing speak. Simple lines like  “voicemail follow up,” “send more emails,” or just “tough” are good, or you can go for something relevant to their job, pains, or goals.

Structure

The body of a good sales prospecting email looks something like this:

  • Introduction - why you’re reaching out.
  • Benefit to them - why it matters. Why is it worth their time? 
  • Call to action -  invitation to learn more, meeting request, etc.

Like the subject line, you want to keep it as short, engaging, and relevant as possible.  

Bear in mind that sales prospecting email templates can lose their effectiveness if overused, but if you know the building blocks of an effective email, and why you’re reaching out, you can switch out elements to keep it fresh

Here’s the email framework recommended by Will Allred, co-founder of Lavender

  1. Observation.
  2. Problem/insight based on that observation.
  3. Credibility.
  4. How you can solve their problem.
  5. Interest-based CTA.

Which looks like this:

 

Example of sales prospecting email template structure

Why it works:

  • Short, catchy subject line, relevant to the email.
  • Relevant to the prospect’s role and challenges.
  • A good reason for reaching out.
  • Promises value.
  • Builds curiosity but doesn’t satisfy it.
  • Only one question (more risks overloading them).
  • Low-pressure call to action.

The preview line will also look appealing in the inbox, unlike these uninspiring examples shared by Florin Tatulea.

3 Email inbox with uninspiring preview sentences

Heard the one about the two guys surprised by a bear in the woods? This is the same: You don’t need to write the best sentence ever written; it just needs to outrun all the other lame previews in their inbox.

4 Film crew running from a bear

Related Post: 55 Sales Prospecting Questions to Get Your Prospects Talking

Length

Your email has a life expectancy of around 11 seconds (that’s a shorter lifespan than a Mayfly). This equates to 25-50 words, so get to the point. 

Ideally, stick to around three sentences, and always check the mobile preview. Big chunks of text are hard to read on a small screen, which means your email is destined straight for the bin.

Language and tone

With B2B sales prospecting, you need to meet prospects on their level, which is hard when you’re a fresh-faced SDR addressing high-level decision-makers. Uncomfortable with this dynamic, a lot of sales reps overcomplicate matters and try to establish credibility by waffling on about their product’s bells and whistles.

Take it down a notch, however, and your chances of getting a reply increase. As Will Allred says, “70% of emails we see going out at Lavender are written at or beyond 10th-grade reading level. The optimal level for response rates is 5th grade, with 31% more replies.”

If sticking to one sales prospecting question is tough, you can get around it by using “unsure phrasing” instead, like “curious if that resonates.”

Finally, ditch those tired old insincere phrases like “I hope this email finds you well,” or ones that scream “sales” like “want to pick your brain.”

Personalization and relevance 

To stand out in the inbox, you need to make every email sound like it was lovingly crafted for a single prospect. That’s not easy at scale, so get a little help from sales prospecting tools like Mixmax. As well as customizable email templates that autofill with prospect data from your CRM, each stage of our sales prospecting sequences can be tailored to each prospect based on personalization triggers, like those suggested by Jason Bay below. Just add the triggers of your choice in before the sequence is activated, or import them in bulk in a CSV.

features-sequences-personalization-1

Beyond that, you need to make it relevant to their role, responsibilities, pain, and goals. Combine deep industry insights with references customized for the individual by researching what Jason Bay calls “personalization triggers.”

  • Company achievements, news, and hirings
  • Educational content they share online
  • What their company invests in
  • Insights from their social media posts

And more.

6 sales prospecting personalization triggers categorized by type

Make it about them, not you

Cold hard truth time: Your prospects don’t care about you.

Here’s another great tip from Jason Bay:

Too many emails start with “My name is….,” “I’m reaching out because…,” “I was hoping…,” etc., etc. yawn. 

All about the seller. (Yawn.)

Compare with: “Your….,” “Loved your…,” Do you…” 

Now it’s all about your prospect.

Mixmax email template

Value 

Get prospects’ attention by promising value from the word go. Here’s a sales prospecting technique from Michael Judge that leverages prospect pain.

What not to do, aka the “feature dump”:

Hi [PROSPECT FIRST NAME], 

Established in 1967 we are the largest supplier of qualified and experienced truck drivers in the UK. Our unrivaled network and broad reach allow us to create unparalleled synergies between organizations and employees alike. 

Are you free this week for a call?

[SENDER SIGNATURE]

Compare with: 

Hi [PROSPECT FIRST NAME], 

We're working with other trucking companies such as [COMPETITOR COMPANY] to help them eliminate the shortfall of drivers they are experiencing today by allowing them to select, contact and hire in minutes. Interested in learning a lesser-known way businesses are overcoming this issue?

[SENDER SIGNATURE]

This works because it references a common industry pain and offers a solution, in under 50 words.

Remember to be specific about benefits, too. Round numbers like “300% growth” are not believable; exact numbers like “297.5%” are.

Pattern disruption 

Anything a prospect has seen a thousand times will trigger a mental spam filter that’ll have your email dead in the water. To elicit a different response, you need to do things differently. According to Justin Michael, this means playing with: 

  • Language, tone, and grammar (make it weird to get their attention)
  • Rhythm and frequency of your sequence
  • Humor, and self-deprecation (if you’re using Mixmax, the Giphy integration allows you to drop in humous GIFs)
  • Creative visuals like Venn diagrams
  • Voicemail and video (use the Mixmax Vidyard integration)
  • Dropping their name or any standard formatting, as here:

Hey, your quote about keyless entry and geolocation in wired was spot on. Our tech enables that but gives much more accurate fences, so you could trigger the app loyalty program from the parking lot and deep link each user into the exact door unlock function seamlessly. Would that warrant a quick zoom? Thanks, Justin

Mixmax sales email template with GIF included

Reduce friction 

Make it easier for them to respond and book meetings by using Mixmax to share your availability and in-email polls and surveys.

share-availability-new-1

Call to Action  

These should be interest-based and low pressure. Don’t ask for a meeting; nobody wants to contemplate more of those. 

Compare the high-pressure: 

Are you free for a phone call on Tuesday?

With

Worth checking out? 

Which do you think get the most responses?

Cheat Sheet_55 Sales Email Subject Lines That Boost Open Rates_Mixmax

 

When should you send a sales prospecting email?

The timing of your email outreach will depend on your industry. For some, it’s always a good time to prospect. For others, it pays to monitor industry and company news, regulatory changes, and whether they’re hiring people who could use your product/service. Check company and LinkedIn job pages, and set up alerts to keep tabs of prospects when they change roles.

Use Mixmax customizable multi-channel sequences to send emails, LinkedIn messages, and create tasks, as well as track email opens so you can follow up with precision. Features like smart send and auto-delay also help get your emails in front of prospects at the right time, without them ever looking automated.

features-send-later-recommended-send-times

 

18 Attention-grabbing sales prospecting email templates

Cold first touches are the hardest of all, so we’ve front-loaded our list with cold email templates to help you stand out in the inbox. 

Cold first touch email templates

Why it works: Super short, to the point, relevant, and includes social proof and specific, realistic figures and outcomes. Note the lack of “sales” in the sender’s job title, too.  

Adapted from an example by Justin Michael. 

Why it works: References their LinkedIn activity and a competitor, and shows you understand their role, responsibilities, and challenges. 

Thanks to Patrick William Joyce for this one.

Example of a Cold Prospecting Sequence 2

Why it works: Includes social proof and a case study, but doesn’t overwhelm the prospect with too much information.

Here’s an email sent by Sarah Brazier, AE at Gong, that, at first glance, seems to break a lot of rules.

12 Sales prospecting email example written by Sarah Brazier

Why it works: Well, it’s longer than three lines, and not personalized, but Sarah demonstrates an understanding of her prospect’s pain, so it’s relevant, references a universal problem, is grounded in fact, and supported by evidence. The CTA is also low pressure. Note that she doesn’t say a single word about her product; what she’s doing is starting a conversation. 

How do we know it works? Because Sarah achieved a 73% open rate and 2 meetings booked from sending to 37 prospects.

Here’s another great example from Taylor Griffith, shared by Kyle Coleman, and sent to a prospect who claimed in their work history on LinkedIn to be "The Burrito King."

13 Alt text Sales prospecting email example written by Taylor Griffith

Why it works: Personalized in a humorous, creative, and original way, this shows the salesperson has done their research and is reaching out to the prospect as an individual.

And another shared by Kyle, this time from Breigh McKnight.

14 Sales prospecting email example written by Breigh McKnight

Why it works: The right blend and roast of research, humor, and personalization. Plus, it’s relevant to the prospect’s challenges and industry and references their online activity. Bound to stand out in the inbox.

Email templates to send after a trigger event

Following a prospect company announcement

Why it works: Timely, and shows you’ve done your research and are monitoring industry news and hirings of people who could use your solution.

When you have something to share / upselling opportunity

Why it works: Upsells to a current customer. 

Thanks to Daniel Kleinowski for this one.

Warm first touch email templates 

In this case, with a referral from a mutual connection.

Why it works: Super short, generates curiosity, and doesn’t elaborate on the why. The power lies entirely in the referee’s name. 

Thanks to Daniel Kleinowski.

Follow-up email templates 

Let’s face it, even those amazing openers may not get a reply the first time. It takes an average of 8-12 touches to get a reply, so you’re likely to need some follow-up emails to educate and nurture your prospect. 

For the truly gusty, Justin Michael recommends sending short, 3-day email clusters. The original email comes on day 1, and days 2 and are simply a reply to that to bump it back up to the top of their inbox with the body text “Thoughts?”

If, however, you prefer to write something a bit longer, here are a few approaches that work for us.

With a bribe 

Why it works: The gift card! Who doesn’t want a free lunch? Sure, says sender Daniel Kleinowski, it costs $25 for every prospect who redeems the card, but it’s won him several on-site visits and demos. 

With a testimonial

Why it works: Short, includes social proof, and promises value from using your solution. 

With a video/GIF demo 

Why it works: Short and to the point, and demonstrates clearly the benefit of your solution. Plus, it includes a GIF to give them a break from all that text.

After a meeting

Why it works: Shows you understand their pain points and challenges and shares useful content to help solve them. It also gives you an excuse to check in a few days later to see if the resource you shared was useful.  

Re-engagement email templates 

You can’t win ‘em all so if a deal goes cold, you can drop the prospect into a re-engagement sequence to be activated further down the line. This one starts two weeks after the last contact. 

Follow this with a series of emails, LinkedIn engagement, and calls to educate the prospect about your solution and breathe life back into the deal.

Example of a Re-engagement Sequence

Inbound prospecting email templates 

If your marketing is on point, you should also have a steady stream of inbound leads to prospect to. 

Here’s a sales email template that works well for us when potential customers sign up for a webinar:  

Why it works: References pain, includes social proof, and makes it easy to respond with the poll. 

When they sign up for a trial 

Why it works: Helpful, includes social proof.

Break up email templates 

Knowing when to call it quits is an important life skill. With the best will and email templates in the world, your messages just aren’t getting a response. If this happens, your final email in the sequence aims to establish whether to stop or not. 

Why it works: Self-deprecating and humorous while leaving the door open to a response. 

Thanks to Daniel Kleinowski.

Why it works: Short, humorous, breaks up the text with a GIF and includes a one-click poll.

Related Post: The Ultimate Guide to Sales Qualification: Steps and Questions

Signing off

So there you have it: 18 sales prospecting emails and a bunch of tips that should see you strike prospecting gold in no time, especially if you’re using a sales engagement platform like Mixmax to personalize outreach at scale. 

Before you send them out, however, it’s worth checking:   

Are your emails short, to the point, personalized and relevant? Do they speak to the prospects’ pain, deliver value, and read well on any device? Do they have a subject line and preview sentence that make you want to read on?

If the answer to all those is “yes,” you can confidently hit send.

 

Tired of not getting a response to your sales prospecting emails? Mixmax helps you send personalized emails at scale for better results.


See how it works

Frequently asked questions about sales prospecting email templates

How do you write a sales prospect email?

You write a sales prospecting email by making it personalized and relevant to your prospect’s pain, challenges, goals, role, and responsibilities. Always deliver value, keep it short and to the point, and include an eye-catching subject line and preview sentence. 

How long should a first cold email be?

A first cold email should be very short. Ideally, not more than 3 lines / 25-50 words. Data from Lavender shows the average read time of a first cold email is 11 seconds so your email has to be short enough to be understood in that time.

How long should prospecting emails be? 

Prospecting emails should be short. Ideally, under 100 words as anything longer may not get read. However, if you get a response to your first super-short cold email, the next emails in the sequence can be a little longer depending on the content you need to share to educate your prospect.

How do you end a sales prospecting email?

You should end a sales prospecting email with an interest-based, low-pressure call-to-action (CTA), and your name and job title.

Thanks for insights and inspiration:
Will Allred
Justin Michael
Patrick William Joyce
Jason Bay
Kyle Coleman
Breigh McKnight
Florin Tatulea
Sarah Brazier
Daniel Kleinowski
Michael Judge
Taylor Griffith