Writing an Effective Sales Prospecting Email [Templates]

Salespeople need an acute understanding of the difference between a lead and a prospect. While a lead is a raw possibility, a prospect has been qualified and moved into the sales process. This distinction is no more apparent, and no more important, than in your prospecting email. 

Your prospecting email is the first impression you set with the freshest additions to the sales funnel. While they are one of the most crucial communications to get right, they also have a spectacularly high failure rate. Because these preliminary communications have no established relationship backing them up, the majority of sales prospecting emails are trashed. 

It’s a formidable task. Salespeople have to find a way to capture and hold attention in their prospecting emails long enough to get their CTA across.

Fortunately for sales reps, crafting succinct yet powerful prospecting emails has been a marketing priority for decades. Sales tips and best practices have been identified to help eliminate the guesswork for your next email effort. This article will outline how to write effective prospecting emails as well as share email examples and cold email templates.

Crafting Response-Worthy Sales Emails

The introductory email that gets results is elegant in its simplicity. With these four basic elements, you can create a complete sales email that captures attention and eliminates filler:

Opening Line

The opening line reflects the research and care you put into understanding the prospect. Address the reader by name and explain why you are writing. Put the focus on the reader and their situation.

Offer Line

Discuss a specific pain point relevant to your prospect, referencing them or their business to make it personal. Use industry data or social proof to support the implications of the problem and the power of your solution.

Closing Line

Close your prospecting email with a concise, reasonable and unambiguous call-to-action. This is a rare sales moment when a “yes” or “no” answer is ideal. By making it easy to answer and unimposing, you raise your chances of earning a reply.

Signature Line

The signature line is a chance to display your branding. Along with the essentials (name, title and contact information), include testimonials or links to valuable content to build credibility.

Sales Prospecting Email Templates

Like landing pages for generating leads, prospecting emails may need several tweaks to find a successful formula. A/B testing in verbiage or entirely different layouts is helpful to gauge what generates responses. The following are useful templates to borrow, with explanations of why they are effective. With these guidelines and insights, you can develop your own unique sales emails to generate the right business.

Requesting Permission

Hi Steven,

I’m reaching out because I have some unique ideas on how you can increase your monthly revenue.

Would it be okay to contact you within the week to discuss these options?

Thank you,

John Doe

Asking for permission is a respectful and non-aggressive way to introduce your solutions. It also carefully employs omission to create intrigue. With few details and a lack of sales pitch, you display patience and integrity. The prospect will be more at ease following up for more information on how you can benefit them.

Asking for Directions

Hi Kelly,

I’m looking for the best person at your organization to discuss [problem they are having, pain point].

Would you be able to direct me to the appropriate person and the most convenient form of contact?

I appreciate your assistance in this matter.

Thank you,

John Doe

People like to do favors, and the easier you make it, the more likely they will accommodate your request. By employing an inside agent, you can reference that person when sending a follow-up email to the best contact. With “James instructed me to contact you regarding [issue]”, you sound more credible and worthy of a reply.

Rapport Builder

Hi Samantha,

I found that you and I are both parts of the Texas Outdoor club in Dallas. Since we share a passion for bettering our community’s outdoor spaces, I was wondering if you would be interested in attending my organization’s seminar in three weeks.

The seminar is on January 5th and will feature one of the nation’s top thought leaders on community improvement. Would you like me to send you the registration information?


Jane Doe

Doing research and personalizing your message can break the ice and impress your prospect. Use social media, such as LinkedIn, to gather information and find points of connection.

Problem Solver

Problem Solver

Hi Daniel,

Due to the recent industry changes, you have probably been affected by higher fleet costs.

We completed a quote for another transport company and were able to reduce costs by 30 percent. Would you like to schedule a meeting to see what options are available to you?

Thank you,

Jane Doe

This approach eliminates the fluff and cuts right to business. Rather than try to build connections, this email displays value by referencing a real problem and its successful use.

Friend of a Friend

Hi Jacob,

I was jogging with [mutual friend] and she said you were having an issue with [pain point]. As it happens, my company specializes in [specific goal] for businesses like yours.

She wanted me to contact you because of our success in helping [recent customer] with our


If you would like to discuss this further, would you be available for a short phone call next week?


John Doe

Name-dropping a mutual friend can put your prospect at ease and provide a positive perception of you immediately. By putting context to your recent meeting, you show that you are really part of the same circle. This positions you as a relatable peer, a potential partner instead of an everyday salesperson.

Classic AIDA

Hi Jennifer,

Are you ready for a 20 percent revenue increase?

That’s what other [industry] clients have seen from their sales after just two of our sales team workshops. We recently moved to the area and have already started impacting major change with [notable business].

Time and again, we’ve seen businesses like yours make that leap into the next stage of growth. If you would like to discuss how we can help, I would love to chat with you next Monday. Would you be available for a quick call around 2 P.M.?

Best regards,

Jacob Doe

AIDA is a classic sales and marketing structure:

  • Attention: Grab their attention.
  • Interest: Detail the value of your product or service to the prospect.
  • Desire: Build their desire for the product or service.
  • Action: Explain how they can take advantage of your offer.

These elements expand on one another to keep the reader engaged and enthusiastic to take action. AIDA is a fundamental concept, a tool that can be effectively used several times throughout the sales process.

The Giver

Hi Adrian,

My company is expanding into [their industry] and I learned that many businesses in your industry struggle with [pain point].

If you are having trouble with a similar issue, I wanted to make you aware of [piece of content]. It explains how businesses like yours have seen great success in overcoming their struggles with [pain point].

I have come across a wealth of resources recently and was interested in showing you what I have found. Would you be free to talk about it sometime next week?


John Doe

Like a lead magnet, offering something of value in a prospecting email increases the likelihood of an exchange. In this case, you may get a meeting or at least a reply. Offering useful content also gives you a follow-up point, as you can ask about their thoughts on it. The key is to have interesting, insightful content to send. It may take time to find the right piece to forward, but the prospect will appreciate the extra effort.

Before After BridgeBefore-After-Bridge

Hi Darryl,

We’ve seen it a thousand times. You spend so much time generating those new leads and pushing them into the funnel. Meanwhile, your warm leads are left cooling off and your conversion suffers.

What if there was an automated way to generate and schedule the follow-ups to keep your sales moving?

With our solution, we can increase your productivity and keep your leads interested while you build your business.

Are you available to talk on Monday for details?

Thank you,

Jane Doe

This approach explains a common problem in the industry and goes on to describe an ideal situation without the problem. You explain how this can be the reality with your product or service as the solution.


Hello Tom,

We at Company X offer a flexible CRM solution.

It offers an intuitive dashboard, user and manager alerts and automated follow-up templates to work with your schedule.

This means you can easily manage your business and optimize the customer experience.

Are you free to discuss this in more detail tomorrow?


John Doe

Quick and to the point, the formula packs a lot into a small amount of space. Outline two or three product features and explain why they are useful. Finish by stating how the prospect will benefit in particular.

The 5 Basic Objections

Hi Cheryl,

Our service is designed to double your email response rate in the first month. Don’t think it’s possible? I only need ten minutes to explain.

Will you be available tomorrow for me to explain more?


Jean Doe

Prospects are all unique but their excuses are pretty common. If a prospect does not purchase, it is often for one of five reasons:

  • I don’t have the time.
  • I don’t have the money.
  • This service won’t solve my problem.
  • I don’t believe your solution will work.
  • I don’t need your product.

It would be overkill to try to address all of these objections in a single email. However, if you have experience with a recurring objection, you can remove it before it comes up.

The Cliffhanger EndingThe Cliffhanger Ending

Hi Heather,

One of our clients launched our SEO software last month.

In that month, they increased traffic by 500 percent.

What made the difference?

If you are available for a call this week, I can explain further.

Best regards,

John Doe

Nothing’s more enticing than a cliffhanger. It pushes the prospect’s interest to the max, and they will be more likely to reach out for closure.

The OATH Formula

Hello Kevin,

I’m with Company X. We sometimes fly under the radar, but we have quietly been making big things happen for businesses in your industry.

Better leads. Higher conversion.

Are you free to talk tomorrow to learn how we can help you?


Jane Doe

OATH outreach strategies account for the stages of reader awareness:

  • Oblivious: Never heard of you.
  • Apathetic: Know about you, but not interested.
  • Thinking: Open to what you have to say.
  • Hurting: In great need of what you have to offer.

With research, you can find out where your prospect falls and send a more targeted email for their involvement level.

Using Templates Effectively

Prospecting email templates are an excellent way to stay focused on the effective copy. When used properly, they will increase your response rates.

At the same time, copying templates will not work. They should be viewed as skeletons, with the meat being completely unique to you, your business and your customers. Without personalizing a targeted email, you lose the chance to promote your brand and display your thoughtfulness. Your customer will feel the lack of effort and quickly dismiss you.

Templates should serve as inspiration, but the result should be completely novel. Feel free to experiment. There is no proven formula for a particular business type, so don’t limit yourself to what others do.

Follow our blog for more tips and techniques to boost your sales effectiveness. The Selling Revolution was built to help small and medium-sized businesses boost their conversions. Contact us to learn how we create strategies that will enhance your sales team’s output and maximize your bottom line.