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 That’s how prospecting can sometimes feel, especially if you’re using outdated sales tactics that drive buyers crazy.

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.

Free Download: 25 Proven Sales Email Templates

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

This could include being introduced by a referral, interacting with your prospect on social media or LinkedIn before sending them an email, or referencing they work or a business announcement as a reason for connecting.

Here are a few key elements of a great sales prospecting email.

The 3 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.

Just as important than whether the buyer is a good fit is whether there’s something that will compel them to buy. If there’s no sense of urgency (this can come in the form of business pain, a trigger event, or an internal intiative, among other things), 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.

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) and a free email prospecting course.

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.

'Why You, Why Now' Email

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.

sales email template that answers 'why you, why now'

Make solving for your prospect's goals and priorities the main facet of every sales prospecting email you send. And answer 'Why you, why now' first and foremost.

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

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Originally published Nov 4, 2019 4:17:17 PM, updated November 04 2019

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Sales Email Templates