7 Prospecting Email Templates to Stand Out from the Crowd

Getting responses to your sales prospecting emails is tougher than ever — the average cold email reply rate is just 8.5%, according to a recent study. The good news is that 8 out of 10 buyers still prefer to be contacted by email

But to succeed in today’s competitive sales environment, you’ll need to take a more targeted approach. Be sure you spend time reaching out to the right buyers, with the right message, at the right time. 

This might seem daunting, but we’re here to help. Let’s explore:

  • 6 tips to write effective sales emails
  • 7 prospecting email templates to close more deals

What’s a sales prospecting email?

A prospecting email starts a conversation with a potential customer. It’s considered a cold outreach because the sales rep doesn’t know the prospect. The goals of a prospecting email are to:

  • Introduce yourself and your business
  • Generate interest and awareness about your product
  • Secure a meeting to discuss the prospect’s needs 

Personalization, timing and relevance to the recipient can make the difference between getting a reply and going to spam. For example, emails sent between 1 and 4 pm on workdays get the most replies, while emails sent on Fridays and weekends tend to get the fewest. 

If you want to write an effective sales email, you’ll have to put in the effort. This means taking the time to include unique information and finding the right timing for your particular audience.

6 tips to write effective sales prospecting emails

Wondering how to write a relevant and engaging cold email that converts? Keep the following strategies in mind.

1. Make your subject line engaging

Your subject line is crucial for getting noticed by prospects. Studies show that 33% of people open emails based on the subject line alone. According to Yes Lifecycle Marketing, emails with personalized subject lines get 50% higher open rates. 

Here are some personalized subject lines to get you started and increase your open rate:

  • Hey {{first_name}}
  • Idea for {{company}}
  • Nice to meet you at {{event}}
  • A better way to solve {{pain point}}

Other techniques that have proven to increase open rates include adding a question, emoji or numbers to your subject line.

2. Include value-focused messaging

If there’s nothing in your email that speaks to someone’s pain points, you guarantee crickets. From the first sentence, highlight how your product solves their specific problems or improves their situation.

Spend some time researching the prospect to understand their industry, pain points and specific needs. A little bit of research can go a long way when it comes to demonstrating the value of your product.

3. Keep it short

Remember that you’re sending something that prospects haven’t asked for — if they decide to open it, you need to get to the point before you lose them with a wordy email.

There’s no hard rule when it comes to length, but aim to keep your cold emails around 200 words or less. The shorter the better!

4. Make it personal and relevant

We already established that personalization gets results. It’s a great way to make prospects feel valued and can increase your reply rates by 17%. To stand out in a prospect’s inbox, you need to make every email sound like it was crafted for them and them alone. 

Tailor your emails to the specific recipient and show that you understand their needs and challenges. Including their name, job title and company name is a good starting point. Speak to them even more directly by congratulating them on a recent funding round or new position. Compliment them on a recent article or an insightful LinkedIn post.

Pro Tip: Set up Crunchbase alerts to follow potential leads and receive email notifications when a company raises money, makes headlines or hires new leadership.

5. Use simple language

Sales emails crafted at a third-grade reading level are more likely to elicit responses. Studies show that the more readable the text is, the more likely people are to engage with and enjoy it:

  • Keep your emails focused and to the point
  • Avoid overly formal language and jargon
  • Aim for a friendly, conversational tone that resonates with the recipient

Simplifying your cold emails will drive better engagement and get higher conversion rates

6. Add a call-to-action (CTA)

You should never send a “just checking in” email that doesn’t provide any value to your prospect — every email should help drive the sales process forward. Consider including an “interest-based” CTA in your next cold email that’s tailored to the specific interests or preferences of the recipient as opposed to a generic CTA like “shop now.” Some examples include:

  • For an audience interested in fitness: “Get Fit Today”
  • If you’re selling a SaaS product: “Start Your Free Trial Today”

While directly asking for a meeting may put pressure on your prospect and get ignored, a study by Gong found that interest-based CTAs can double your email success rate. The study also found that CTAs asking prospects for their thoughts caused reply rates to skyrocket, but reduced their chances of booking a meeting by 20%. 

So avoid asking for your prospects’ thoughts or if they’d like to book a meeting — use an interest-based CTA instead.

7 sales prospecting email templates that get responses

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of what to include in your cold emails, here are some prospecting email examples to jumpstart your outreach. Feel free to use these as email templates and customize them for your prospects.

1. Captivating prospecting email

Why it works: Seize your prospect’s attention with a personalized statement or question. Then explain the value of your product or service, build their interest and clearly state the next steps for moving forward with the deal.

Hi [prospect name],

Could your team use more [highlight a key result of using your product]?

[Product name] will help you hit your goals by:

  • [Benefit #1]
  • [Benefit #2]
  • [Benefit #3]

In fact, three of our customers just had great results using [product name] for [what your product helps achieve].

If you want to learn more, let’s have a conversation. Are you free for a quick call at [specific day and time]?


[your name]

2. Celebratory prospecting email

Why it works: Show your prospect you’ve done your research with a hyper-personalized email, and build a rapport by congratulating them on recent events. Then, introduce yourself and offer to connect over a call.

Hi [prospect name],

Congratulations on your $50M Series B! I’m a big fan of your company’s [product/feature/mission], and I’m excited to follow your growth.

By way of introduction, I’m [your name], [your job title] at [your company name]. I work with businesses like yours to achieve [specify results of using your product]. Just last week, we had a customer tell us that [what your product helped them achieve].

I’d love to connect to see how I can help you meet your goals as your company grows. Are you free for a quick chat at [specific day and time]?


[your name]

3. Resource-based prospecting email

Why it works: Everyone loves free stuff, and offering a free educational resource shows that you genuinely care about serving your customers, not just selling your solution. If you put time, care and thought into talking to your prospects, they’ll be more likely to do the same with you.

Hi [prospect name],

We know that [what your product helps achieve] is at the top of your team’s priority list. So we created a free resource to help.

This free [name of resource] will show you:

  • [Main takeaway #1]
  • [Main takeaway #2]
  • [Main takeaway #3]

Give it a read and let us know how you liked it! In the meantime, are there any other ways we can help your team with [specify pain point]? I’m happy to jump on a call at [specific day and time] to walk through it with you.

Talk soon,

[your name]

4. Complimentary prospecting email

Why it works: Build a positive rapport from the start by acknowledging and praising the recipient. The combination of a genuine compliment and upfront value will help capture the prospect’s attention and increase the chances of a response.

Hi [prospect name],

I admired your recent piece on [insert topic/title] in [insert publication]. I especially liked your point about [insert salient point from article].

I thought you might appreciate this piece on a similar topic: [insert article with a tie to your product/service].

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject! Do you have time to chat this week?


[your name]

5. Prospecting email with useful advice

Why it works: This approach allows you to position yourself as a knowledgeable resource who genuinely wants to help the prospect. By offering guidance or insights related to the prospect’s industry, you’ll demonstrate expertise and offer value upfront, which fosters trust and captures the prospect’s attention.

Hi [prospect name],

I’ve noticed that one of the key issues [job titles] like you are struggling with is [key issue].

This past year we helped many companies to [business driver], resulting in [money saved, revenue added, productivity increases].

A strategy our clients have seen a lot of success with is [key strategy]. Based on what I know about your business, here are a few ways you could put that strategy into action:

  • [Tip #1]
  • [Tip #2]
  • [Tip #3]

Does that sound similar to past challenges you’ve faced? I have some ideas that might help if you’re free for a chat.

All the best,
[your name]

6. Referral prospecting email

Why it works: Leverage the power of social proof and networking by mentioning a mutual connection. In addition to creating a warmer introduction, it establishes a sense of familiarity and trust, which increases the likelihood that the prospect will pay attention and read your message.

Hi [prospect name],

[Mutual connection] recommended we get in touch. I work with [him/her] for a company called [company name] that does [X, Y, and Z].

In thinking about your role at [company}, I know a few tactics that would work well for your team.

Our [product name] has been well-received in the marketplace and I think it’s something that might be helpful for you too.

Does this sound aligned with your current priorities? Let me know if you’d like to chat about this and I’ll get something on our calendars.

[your name]

7. Follow-up prospecting email

Why it works: You should almost always follow up with a prospect if you don’t hear from them after your first email. According to a Backlinko study, sending multiple follow-ups can double your response rate. While the exact boost you’ll get from sending follow-up emails depends on a lot of factors, it’s almost certain that you’ll improve your average response rate by sending follow-ups.

Hi [prospect name],

I’m writing to follow up on my email, since I didn’t hear back from anyone on the team. I’d still love to talk about [subject] and how it can help your team hit their goals. Let me know what your calendar looks like.

If not, who is the appropriate person for me to talk to? Feel free to loop in any other interested team members, too.

Thanks, and look forward to chatting soon.
[Your name]

As you can see, there are lots of different angles you can take when reaching out to prospects. Regardless of your approach, keep these points in mind:

  • Use a punchy and concise opening line
  • Personalize the email based on the prospect’s industry, pain points and notable successes
  • Offer help, whether in the form of guidance or a free resource
  • Emphasize the benefits of your product, rather than the features
  • Have a clear call-to-action with next steps

Pro Tip: Crunchbase helps you send emails like these at scale with pre-built templates. These emails are tailored to your prospects using live Crunchbase data, like recent funding or relevant industry news. Learn more about the Crunchbase engagement suite.

  • Originally published June 15, 2023, updated November 3, 2023