Freddie Marryat, Marketing Manager, EngageIQ

Are you looking for cold email templates?

We don’t blame you. When the average cold email campaign has a 1% response rate, it’s tempting to do anything to increase the odds of getting your email read. Cold email templates are often seen as the silver bullet reps need to succeed.

But they’re missing the point. Cold email templates aren’t all they are cracked up to be. 

Here’s the thing: what works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you. Plus by using templates, you’re not learning what actually does work with your prospects. 

Luckily, there is another way. Cold email templates may not work. But in this article, we’re going to explain exactly what SDRs should be doing instead.

Why Cold Email Templates Don’t Work

Before we let you in on our cold email secrets, it’s important to discuss why templates don’t work. 

Search “cold email templates” in Google, and you’ll get 31,000,000 results.

There are literally millions of articles out there with cold email templates that promise the world. But none of those templates will probably work for you. 

The truth is that most of the sales experts who write these articles probably aren’t regurgitating the same email over and over again to achieve success. If they were, why would they give it away to other reps for free? Would you give away a high converting email that was earning you thousands in commissions?

We probably wouldn’t either. Even if it did make for a great article. The truth is that sales experts are constantly innovating their outreach techniques, testing new headlines and body copy until they find a combination that works even better. That’s what makes them successful — not a template email.

Besides, even if an email template is effective at garnering a response, there’s no guarantee that it will work for your industry or for the person you are trying to contact. An email that works with a SaaS executive probably won’t work with an IT manager at a FTSE 500 company. 

Templates that do work certainly won’t work for long, either. When too many sales reps use the same email template, cold emails start to become very obvious. What would you do if a dozen emails appeared in your inbox one morning all with the same subject line? We’d delete them, too.

It’s also important to note that an obvious template shows a lack of effort. As our commercial director Callum Henderson explained in a recent LinkedIn post

“Asking for an email template is an attempt to cut out the hard yards, which means you cut corners on sending something engaging.”

If you’re not putting effort into sending something worth responding to, you shouldn’t be surprised when no one responds.

The Importance of Personalisation

When reps start to use cold email templates, it’s clear that the need for personalisation has been overlooked. This is a big issue because personalisation is such a huge part of a successful cold email. 

Automated follow-up SaaS platform Woodpecker has found that personalised emails can double your response rates. Emails with significant personalisation (i.e. more than mentioning their first name) received a 17% response rate. Those without that level of personalisation received a 7% response rate. 

Jean Tang’s experience with cold email campaigns backs this up, too. First, she hired a salesperson who sent 75 cold emails without response. Then her company outsourced the role. 40 emails were sent, which got three replies and no new clients. Then she sent out 25 emails of her own, all personalised. 15 people responded, six meetings were booked and they won one major project. Her results are clear: mass-mailed emails are ineffective. Highly personalised emails can open doors.

The simple truth is template emails just don’t cut it. B2B prospects demand a personalised response. Simply adding in their first name isn’t enough. You need to prove you’ve done your research by creating an email that is clearly meant for them. 

Our reps go over and above when it comes to personalisation. No one exemplifies this better than James Davies. In every single email, he finds something unique about the prospect so they know he has taken time to research them and better understand before reaching out. It’s not an accident that he is one of our most effective cold emailers.

If you want better sales development, why wouldn’t you click on that profile?

Asking for an email template is an attempt to cut out the hard yards, which means you cut corners on sending something engaging

Our Approach to Cold Emails

Despite everything I’ve said above, you might be surprised when I tell you that our reps actually use cold email templates.

Yes, seriously.

But hear me out. Our cold email templates aren’t like the ones you typically find online. In fact, only one or two lines are ever the same. The rest is completely personalised.

Why Even Use a Template as All?

Fair question. The truth is that if you’re serious about sending a large number of cold emails, you need to find a way to systematise the process. One way we do this is by batching our prospect research. The other is by creating a template that we can quickly personalise. 

Our emails tend to be very short, too. We only personalise the first two lines of the email. But that equates to over 50% of the email — far more personalisation than your typical email template. 

Our reps aren’t using the same templates as each other either. Each SDR creates their own template based on their personal experience. So even though we are using templates, each of the templates has been tested on a specific market and a specific type of prospect. Unlike the templates you find online, we know they will be effective. 

What Else Makes Our Personalised Cold Email Templates Effective?

It’s not just the personalised approach that makes our cold emails effective. We’ve devoted a lot of time to testing cold email strategies over the last few months and have found a few tactics to be consistently effective. We cover them in detail in our cold emailing article, but I’ll quickly run through them here:

  • Keep in short. Our cold emails are almost always less than five sentences long. At least two of those are devoted to personalisation, one covers our offer and one is devoted to a CTA. That’s it. There’s a good chance your email won’t get read, so there’s no point writing an essay.
  • Personalise the subject line. This is your first opportunity to stand out and prove you’ve done your research. Keep it short but make sure it’s enticing. 
  • End with a small ask. Unlike other cold email templates, we don’t offer a time to call or demand the recipient take action. The softest calls to action are often the most effective. So are no-orientated questions. 

Make Sure You Follow Up

Perhaps the strangest thing about cold email templates is that they negate the importance of following up. There’s almost never a follow-up email template, which is weird because it is by far the most effective way of getting a response.

As many people respond to our follow-up emails as respond to our initial outreach emails. If you aren’t prepared to follow-up your cold email, you may as well not send it in the first place. 

Don’t limit yourself to email when it comes to following up, either. LinkedIn messages, phone calls and texts can be great ways to touch base with prospects.

Want to make your cold emails even more effective? Then make sure you’re contacting the prospects most likely to need your product or service. Find out how EngageIQ helps you to identify opportunities with high purchase intent.

Images by: Miguel Á. Padriñán, Torsten Dettlaff, Andrea Piacquadio