8 Effective Sales Prospecting Email Templates That People Will Want to Open

Leslie Ye
Leslie Ye



We all know how hard it is to get started on a project when there’s no guarantee of success and every possibility of failure. That’s how prospecting can sometimes feel, especially if you’re using outdated sales tactics that make buyers roll their eyes.

salesperson customizing his prospecting email template

We know prospecting can seem daunting, and a string of unreturned calls and unanswered emails is discouraging, to say the least. So, we’ve got your back.

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Prospecting emails are also sometimes referred to as "cold emails" if they're sent to a recipient the salesperson has never interacted with. While you might have to send a cold email every now and then, it's best to send outreach or prospecting emails to recipients who are familiar with you or your business in some way.

That familiarity could come through actions like referrals or social media interactions You could also establish it by referencing a prospect's work or a business announcement as a reason for connecting.

But how do you write a relevant and engaging prospecting email that converts?

The Three Key Elements of Good Sales Prospecting Emails

Any good sales email template needs to include the following:

1. A reason for reaching out.

This reason should be your way of gut-checking yourself. Is the reason for contacting your prospect compelling? Do they fit your ideal buyer persona? Are they similar to some of your most successful customers in the past? Can you provide any value to this person?

If not, don't reach out.

2. A reason for reaching out right now.

Providing a compelling reason for a prospect to buy is just as important as establishing whether a buyer is a good fit.. If there’s no sense of urgency — like a relevant pain point, a trigger event, or an internal initiative — there’s no reason to buy. So don’t just prospect companies that fit in the vertical and size you typically sell to. Is there a good reason you’re reaching out right now?

3. A call-to-action.

Every touchpoint in the sales process should drive it forward. How quickly the process moves depends on your prospect’s buyer stage, but you should never send a "just checking in" email that doesn’t provide any value to your buyer.

Instead, make sure your email is helpful before asking your buyer for something. Here’s an example of a first-touch prospecting email using these three elements.


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Prospecting Templates You Can Start Using Today

Still stuck? Here are five prospecting email templates — each corresponding with an appropriate trigger event or reason to reach out.

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1. Reference a company announcement (A).

2. Reference a company announcement (B).

3. Connect with a customer referral.

4. Provide useful advice.

5. Respond to a social media post with advice.

6. Compliment their work.

7. Reference a new role.

Prospecting can be tough. Make it easy, with a fresh approach to outreach this year.

Prospecting Email Example

All of these prospecting email templates answer two questions: 1. "Why you?" and 2. "Why now?"

Make answering these two questions the goal of every sales prospecting email you send. Here's an example that incorporates a little of what we've talked about above into one reusable template.

In this example, I'm following up with a prospect I met at a networking event and am trying to secure a second meeting.


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Here, I’ve followed the best practices outlined in this article. I’ve also included a warm introduction, provided a "behind the scenes" view of our team solving for their problem, and saved some space to tailor the benefits of our product directly to what the prospect needs. The subject line makes it clear that I’ve met the prospect already. The CTA at the end is front and center along with a place for contact information.

If you want a little more practice before sending your first prospecting email, check out this crash course to email prospecting.

Craft Emails Your Prospects Will Want to Open

Make solving for your prospect's goals and priorities the intent of every sales prospecting email you send. Unopened emails and empty calendars will become few and far between once you master the art of the prospecting email.

Lead with the benefits you can offer and give your prospects a simple CTA to follow through the next step in the sales process. And always remember that answering "Why you, why now?" first and foremost shows the person on the other end of the message that you care about them, their business, and their success.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.



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