Outbound emails are rarely a one-size-fits-all sort of thing. Truth be told, every time you change a target of your outbound email campaign, you need a new template.
Unfortunately, the same template that worked on decision-makers at digital agencies won’t work on decision-makers in recruitment.
Nonetheless, with experience, you’ll get the insight you need to structure email templates in a way that the whole process is easy. I’m sure I’ve got my tricks of doing that. And today, I’m going to share them with you.
We will focus on:
- Subject line templates for getting your emails noticed and opened
- Outbound email templates for setting appointments
- Outbound email templates for prospecting
- An outbound email template for a reminder email
Are you ready?
1. Subject Line Templates For Outbound Emails
Are you a person who likes to think about a subject line before writing the rest of the email? Or do you leave it until the last possible moment?
I’m in the first group. I like to start from writing an outbound email headline.
At Woodpecker, we believe a subject line is key to higher open rates. It is, indeed, the first thing recipients see when they open their mailboxes. So, it can either spark their curiosity or make a bad first impression — compelling them to click “delete.”
How do you spark recipients’ curiosity?
Ask them a question. This shows that you’re interested in getting a reply from them.
Focus on a problem that you can solve. This positions you as an expert who’s worth listening to.
Write a short subject line. At least 50% of all opens are on a mobile device.
Trouble is, subject lines are cropped on mobile to fit on a smaller screen. To make sure your subject line is readable, make sure it’s no more than 41 characters.
Avoid putting the recipient’s first name in the subject line. Maybe you’ve heard that personalization can drive up response rates. But honestly, that’s a marketing play. In sales, you don’t want your outreach emails to be confused with a branded newsletter. You’ll need to test this for yourself, of course, but I generally avoid anything that makes my email look like a generic marketing blast — including putting a name in the subject line.
Avoid clickbaiting. Trickery won’t get you any replies. A good subject line refers to something your readers will get inside your email.
Don’t offer your product in the subject line. This harms rather than generating trust. Always remember, cold emailing is about building relationships, selling comes later.
Examples of outbound email subject lines
Are you ready to talk?
Saw you use X. How does it work for you?
There’s more efficient way of doing X
Any more X appointments this year?
Some people experiment with putting emoji in their subject lines or starting it out with a lowercase letter. You can try that too if you think your target group will be responsive to it.
Now, with your subject line out of the way, let’s jump to your outbound email copy. Here we go.
2. Outbound Email Templates For Setting Appointments
Generally, outbound emails end with a call to action (CTA), that is, a short declarative statement designed to prompt recipients to take a specific action, such as downloading an ebook, setting an appointment, or whatever else we want them to do.
My favorite CTA has always been to ask people to schedule a Skype call via Calendly.
For me, this works. I want to avoid too many email exchanges and move the conversation quickly onto a more personal channel. But many salespeople prefer to exchange a few emails to build trust or protect their outbound domain (I’m testing that approach, more on that later).
How do you write an outbound email that gets you an appointment?
Find your “Why.” You need to be purposeful about sending outbound emails, so ask yourself, “Why am I reaching out to this person?” If there’s no concrete reason, don’t waste their time (or yours).
Write about them (not you). Use your empathy. Do some research about their industry and business, then include relevant discoveries in the outbound email copy. Be careful when you do this, though. You want to be personal and friendly — not sound like you’ve been stalking them online.
Prove value to them. Don’t try to lure them in with features or percentages. Your goal is to offer value, not make a sale (yet).
Don’t act as if you know what’s right for your prospects. Be open-minded and ask questions about their business. Show them some unique information you found on the web or heard from a mutual connection. But don’t presume to understand their needs before you’ve talked with them. That makes your product appear too cookie-cutter to be a good fit.
Now let’s see how this advice looks when it’s used in outbound email templates.
Outbound email templates for setting appointments
Let’s say I’m prospecting small companies who invest in inbound. If they produce their content internally and have a few referrals, I write something like this:
Tip: Start a new paragraph with a powerful sentence you want prospects to focus on.
When trying to find prospects among larger companies, I try to show them that we’ve been thinking about contacting those companies for some time now.
You can also use a forwarded email from your CEO as a personalization strategy. It looks like this:
Tip: The signature is where you introduce yourself. Don’t write anything like, “My name is…” in the body of outbound email, it makes you look inexperienced.
That’s two outbound email templates for setting up an appointment. Here’s a Sales Hacker’s article on effective cold email CTAs, so if you want to use a CTA other than appointment setting, read it.
3. Outbound Email Templates For Prospecting
Remember my last post on Sales Hacker, where I wrote that asking a question in an email is becoming a major trend in outbound emailing? Well, if your intention is to send an email to continue prospecting the addressee (why not?), sending a short one-question email will cut it.
I try that strategy any time I’m not sure if my target is 100% accurate.
For example, I use a prospecting tool to get me a ready list of prospects instead of sourcing contacts manually, as well as when I don’t have the time to do a deep research on prospects because my list is huge. Then, I continue to prospect over email.
This strategy pays off when you’re afraid some people may mark your email as spam because you will generate many responses to your first email — providing your question is relevant.
It’s time for outbound email templates for prospecting. Here are two templates to try right away.
And then, you explain what you can do for them in a follow-up email.
Yours follow up can be longer than usual, because it needs to show them the value your offering has for their business.
Another email in this style?
If you pick this strategy, don’t forget to write a script that outlines the conversation you’ll have after sending this opening outbound email. I encourage you to run some experiments.
Tip: The things in curly brackets are mail merge fields used for email personalization.
4. An Outbound Email Template For A Reminder Email
A reminder email is an email designed to get the prospect’s attention back to the first email we sent.
- They haven’t opened our email, and we need them to do it.
- Or they opened it but we never saw them replying.
- Or they asked us to get back to them after some time.
All of these are regular scenarios in my job as the head of our outbound team. To find the best solution, we usually brainstorm email copy together.
It’s fine to use templates, but be aware, they often have a life span.
My favorite is a break-up email that you can find among these 15 email templates, but that kind of email stopped working for us. The “Have you seen my previous email?” approach lost its allure too.
Send something original. What I always have in the back of my file are those reminder email senders.
Yup, I’m asking them a question to prove to them that I’m genuinely interested in making a connection. I don’t want to spam them with additional emails.
I hope I helped you a bit with writing an email outbound copy. I know that’s always nerve-wracking. You never know what to expect until you get first responses.
The best way to learn, though, is to put these outbound email templates to work in your own outreach efforts. Watch your metrics, and pay attention to what works.
Who knows, you may discover the next best template that everyone wants to copy.
Do you rely on pre-written templates for your outbound emails? Or do you write your own? Let me know in a comment below.