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7 Tips To Generate Leads Through Cold Emails (With Templates)

20 min read
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Acquiring leads is one of the most common objectives for any given organization. An individual who expresses an interest in your company’s product or service is what we call a ‘lead’ in the business world.

The process of acquiring a lead through cold emailing has become challenging in recent times because everyone out there is firing up their keyboards and hitting send! Inboxes are becoming noisy and cluttered!

It has indeed become a competitive place, and if your emails don’t have the ‘it’ factor, your Click-through-rate (CTR) will suffer massively. 

The average professional receives over 120 emails a day. Out of those emails, 59% are sales emails that are considered ‘irrelevant’ by recipients. 

It’s getting tough out there—largely because everyone has something to offer, including you. 

But hey! It’s not all bad, cold emailing is still around because it obviously works. It just needs to be undertaken with precision and, most importantly, SKILL!

In fact, buyers want to hear from sales reps in the research stage of their buying cycle. 71% of buyers want to hear what sellers are offering when they are exploring a new product or service. 

Research has also shown that emails drives higher ROIs than any other lead generation method. Despite it becoming increasingly difficult, cold emailing is still an effective way to generate leads. 

By the way, in case you are new to cold emailing—here’s a quick refresher on the definition. A cold email is an unsolicited message sent to a recipient that has no knowledge of you in the hopes of gaining a favor, opportunity, or a closed deal.

So it has been well established that the world of cold emailing is extremely competitive. How do you as a unique marketer or salesperson showcase your brand individuality and generate a long list of qualified leads? 

This blog discusses exclusive hacks you can use to generate leads through cold emailing. In this blog, we touch up on every aspect of your cold email that must be given extra attention to achieve the results you desire. 

Follow these tips meticulously and remain consistent in your efforts, and in no time the leads will come pouring in!

How to generate leads through cold emails?

Before you start firing up the send button, take a step back and assess the quality of your prospects. How do you do this? 

You analyze your prospect list. Analyze the email addresses of all the prospects to avoid hard and soft bounces. A great way of doing this is to use email finder/verification tools. Too many bounces can have a negative impact on your email deliverability (I recommend using Saleshandy Connect).

Saleshandy Connect helps you to find verified email addresses within minutes. You can find any new leads within seconds and directly add them to your email sequence.

Watch here how Saleshandy Connect works.

Additionally, practice email list segmentation to organize your prospects. Segmentation involves grouping different types of prospects based on geographical location, income, qualification level, industry, etc. 

A targeted list will benefit your cold email campaign as recipients are 75% more likely to click on emails from segmented campaigns than non-segmented ones.

A lot of cold email marketers typically create targeted email lists to tailor messages according to their prospects’ characteristics.

Continue segmenting your list even once you launch the campaign, this will make it easier for you to narrow in on interested prospects. It is important to keep in mind that nearly two-thirds of your leads aren’t sales-ready; so continual segmentation can help eliminate uninterested prospects. 

Now let’s delve into how you can generate leads through cold emailing! 

#1 Write A Creative Personalized Subject Line 

The subject line is one of the first elements visible to your prospects. Did you know that over a third of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone? You must put a considerable amount of effort into creating a good first impression.

Strong subject lines play a vital role in convincing leads to click on your email. If you fail at this task, then your chances of an open (let alone a response) plummet significantly. 

Including the prospect’s name in the subject line can boost your open rate by 22%! Beyond using their name, try to use something your prospects can relate to. If you are unable to establish a connection through the subject line from the get-go, then unfortunately your emails will be deleted. 

A subject line that reads “Hey {{First Name}}, I loved your new blog post!” has a greater chance of being opened as compared to this subject line, “Check out my product!”. The best way to determine what subject lines are prompting more opens is to do A/B testing. 

Here are a few quick tips on how you can craft the perfect subject line: 

  • Avoid spammy verbiage (it will end up triggering the spam filter) 
  • Personalize as much as possible (do research beforehand if possible for personal data)
  • Keep it short and concise 
  • Pique their interest and curiosity 
  • Be honest with your offers

Also, here’s something that almost no one ever mentions! Give love to your preheader text too! A lot of companies completely overlook the email preview text. You are missing out on higher open and click rates because of this.

Not only will prospects be laying their eyes upon the subject line, but your pre-header will also be visible. Instead of the first line of your email appearing as your pre-header text, opt to write a personalized and attention-grabbing preheader text.

The general rule of thumb when it comes to preheader text is that you provide additional information that complements your subject line. 

For example: 

cold email lead generation agency

#2 Keep The Email Length Short and To the Point

How do you read most of the content on the internet? You most likely scan and skim through any wordy post, right? Focusing only on information or phrases that are relevant to you. 

An exhaustive study conducted by Boomerang involving over 40 million emails to determine which factors led to getting responses found that emails with 75 to 100 words had the highest response rate at 51%. 

Keeping your emails short and to the point is extremely important. Always assume your prospects are busy individuals and are short on time. Come up with an email copy that is powerful and effective whilst providing value to the prospect all at once. 

In order to make your cold emails easier to scan and process, it is recommended that you stick to 2-3 sentence paragraphs with simple easy-to-read sentences. 

By doing it this way, you are respecting the recipient’s time and also retaining their attention by articulating your value with fewer words. This practice can definitely help you hone in on a hot lead!

#3 Personalize Content

Imagine receiving an email with the most generic content ever. Content that you know has been copy-pasted and sent to loads of prospects! *Instant delete*

A personal touch can warm your ‘cold’ emails. Emails with personalized content resonate with prospects because of their relevance. Beyond using their name, you can do a little research and find more personal elements to include. 

Do proper research if you have the time. (Pro tip: Do extra research on prospects that you know will bring in a lot of revenue for your business. This research can be undertaken at a much later stage once you have gauged their interest levels).

Your research can include their job title, recent achievements, events they participated in/went to, their general background, etc. The idea here is to find something that you can highlight as a common interest with your prospect. This, in turn, will increase the chances of your prospects converting into a lead. 

#4 Provide Value

Always put yourself in the shoes of your prospect when you are writing the content of your email. This will help you gain perspective to generate valuable content. 

The main reason behind this practice is to pitch your idea without going unnoticed. What sort of content will prompt a reply? A piece of content that acts as an asset to your prospects. 

The value provided should tie in with their pain points (something your research will reveal). So for example, if you are aware that your prospect is running a customer-led business and isn’t using a CRM software; you can easily pitch your product to them. 

Creating a buyer persona can also help you in generating valuable content. Your buyer persona will make it easier to segment your prospects. Knowing their email address and the first name is enough, you need to know: 

  • Their pain points
  • How they measure success 
  • Their career goals 
  • Industry 
  • Position in the company (are they a decision-maker?)

When pitching your product as a solution, remember to highlight the benefits they will gain if they select your product as their desired solution. Don’t go on and on about the features—mention features but also how exactly the particular feature will solve the problem.


#5 Identify The Right Time To Send Out Your Email 

Timing is everything! 

How many times have you woken up to a cluttered inbox but had no interest in browsing through, so you simply ignored it? Your prospects behave the same way! This is why timing is crucial for your cold email campaign. 

You’re already putting in so much hard work to ensure your prospects engage with your email, the last thing you want is to give them another reason to ignore or delete it. 

It is extremely pivotal to identify the best time to send out your cold email campaign. Every one of your target audiences will have an optimal email receiving time, and your job is to find that peak period. 

There isn’t a one size fits all approach to identifying the peak timing for your emails to be opened and replied to. However, there have been several studies conducted on this that has revealed insightful data. 

One such study conducted by CoSchedule concluded that emails sent in the morning between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM receive the highest open rates (declaring 10:00 AM to experience peak opens). The same study found that Tuesday was the best day to get your email to be opened. 

small business lead generation

The best way to determine the peak timing for your emails is to identify the professional stance of your prospects; are they full-time working individuals? Working part-time? Or are they students? 

This will help you determine the hours your readers would be available to receive and reply to your cold emails. 

Don’t forget to send the emails in the prospects’ time zone too! You don’t want to send an email at 12 AM in the morning in their time zone, just because it is 5 PM in the place you are residing. Be mindful. 


Pro Tip: Automate your cold email campaign with a software that has the setting of selecting different time zones.

#6 Insert A Powerful Call-To-Action 

Did you know that cold emails with just one single call-to-action (CTA) can increase your click-through-rate by 42%? 

It is best to include a powerful and compelling CTA at the end of your email. Don’t present your prospect with too many options and confuse them. Excessive links and attachments can often be flagged as spam by ESPs as well. 

Funnel your content down to one main point and skillfully guide your prospect to one CTA. 

Here’s an example:

lead generation email template

In order to determine your CTA, refer back to the main intent of your cold email campaign. Are you hoping to schedule a product demo? Get the prospect to sign up for a free trial?

Whatsoever your intent may be, you need to provide them with step-by-step instructions; don’t just assume they know what to do. Do not leave any room for ambiguity. 

#7 Include A Follow-Up Sequence

One of the most common mistakes salespeople and marketers make these days is giving up after not receiving a reply from the first primary email. 

If you didn’t get a reply the first time, then a follow-up is warranted. Nearly 80% of sales are made in the fifth or twelfth touchpoint (ideal to have seven). 

Now, this does not mean you start spamming your prospects. Instead, come up with a follow-up schedule with properly timed intervals. Here is an example of an ideal follow-up sequence: 

cold email follow-up sequence

Prospects are busy and they most likely did not get a chance to open or respond to your email-even if they intended to later on. A follow-up serves as a gentle reminder. 

The general rule of thumb is to wait for around 5 days before you send out the first follow-up email. 

It is also recommended you automate the entire process with cold emailing softwares. Try to opt for a software that allows for trigger-based actions for your follow-up sequence.

Saleshandy allows you to create multiple trigger-based follow-up steps i.e. emails are sent out based on the prospects’ behavior with the previous email.

You can add multiple steps that will help to filter out the interested lead and chase only those who are interested.

Generally, marketers and salesperson stop after sending 1 or 2 follow-ups, but we recommend going up to 5 to 6 follow-ups email.

Bonus Tip

Experiment using GIFs and Emojis To Elicit An Emotional Response

Including gifs and emojis adds a splash of color to your dull ‘black and white’ content🚀🚀. The way our brains are wired is such that, we buy things from people we like.

Add GIFs

GIFs, emojis, and images are known to: 

  • Add personality to your emails 
  • They help you convey information in an attractive way 
  • They are fun and emotive and effectively keep your prospects engaged 

However, as the subheading suggests, EXPERIMENT! It might not work with every group of prospects. A/B test all elements; perhaps one email can have a subject line with emojis only, and another with only GIFs. 

GIFs and emojis have a track record of yielding favorable results. One study found that using emojis in subject lines can increase your open rates by 56% (so do give this a try!). 

Another case study on the usage of GIFs by tech giant Dell revealed that they were able to increase their open rates by 6%, click rates by 42%, and their revenue by 109% (all from using GIF-centric messages). 

Cold Email Lead Generation Templates 

Now that you have got handy tips and tricks to generate leads from your cold emailing campaigns. Here are some templates that can help you get started. You can use these templates for free, but just don’t copy/paste them. Remember to add your own tone and brand voice to it.

Template #1 (The AIDA formula)

AIDA stands for attention-interest-desire-action. The name in itself is an instruction manual on how you should craft your email: grab the attention of the prospect, highlight why it would be of interest to them, create a sense of desire, and lastly, show them how to take action and get the benefits you have outlined.

Subject: Care to share your thoughts, {{First Name}}?

Hey there, {{First Name}}

Imagine having 25 hours a day! 

What would you do with that extra hour? 

I ask this question because ever since our clients started using our CRM software, they have been able to use their time more efficiently. 

In fact, one of our clients that was spending well over 10 hours a day organizing his customer relations tasks, and now only spends about 3 hours a day after using our software. 

To see if {{name of your product}} is worth a deeper dive, I would like to schedule a product demo with you and your team. 

Let me know if you are interested. 

Best, 
{{Your Name}}

Template #2 (Praise Picture Push PPP Approach)

A little flattery can go a long way! The PPP approach entails using compliments about recent achievements or accomplishments. You then paint a picture of all the added achievements they could achieve if they started using your product by encouraging them with the benefits. 

Subject: Let’s team-up, {{First Name}}

Greetings, {{First Name}}

Congratulations on your recent promotion to Digital Marketing Manager! I am reaching out because I think Company X would be a great fit for Company Y to increase its inbound sales. 

Some of our clients were facing a lot of issues with generating revenue from inbound sales till they started using {{name of your product}} and noticed a significant increase.

I would love to show you how this works. Let’s schedule a call sometime this week? 

Looking forward to hearing from you. 

Best, 
{{Your Name}}

Template #3 (Before-After-Bridge Email) 

The before-after-bridge method entails describing a problem the prospect is facing, getting them to imagine the solution, and finally, solving the problem in a positive manner. 

Subject: Can I have your 15 minutes, {{First Name}}? 

Hey there {{First Name}}, 

Sending out mass emails and not knowing if your contacts have read or opened them is so frustrating. It becomes especially problematic if you are using email marketing as a tool to narrow in on interested prospects. 

Now, imagine an email tracking tool that lets you track each and every single email you have in all of your inboxes. A tool that provides you with data such as open time, time spent on email, links clicked, the number of times email was opened, etc. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Luckily, Saleshandy Connect is here to help you! It works as a Google Chrome plug-in that tracks all your emails, and best of all it is very easy to install (I promise no lengthy technical procedures are needed). 

If you are interested in learning more about our email tracking tool, I would love to schedule a short 15-minute meeting with you.

Regards, 
{{Your Name}}

Template #4 (The PAS formula)

PAS stands for pain, agitate and solve. You start off by painting a picture of their pain point (the more specific the better), you then move on to really honing in on the disadvantages of this pain point, and finally plugging in your product as the desired solution.

Subject: I have a solution for your {{mention the problem}}.

Dear, {{First Name}}

Does your organization face an issue generating qualified leads?

Lead generation is a costly process, so not yielding the results you desire is unfavorable to anyone. In fact, I recently came across an article that organizations in the {{industry name}} have a tough time securing revenue-generating leads. 

Our {{name of your product/service}} can help you fix this issue! 

{{add one-sentence pitch}}

I’d love to discuss this further with you, reply to this email if you are interested. 

Regards, 
{{Your Name}}

Template #5 (Direct approach)

The prospect generally spend very less time reading emails so directly getting to the point is a good idea. But you need make sure you email empathizes with the prospects pain pint, and how you actually want to help them.

Subject: I have a solution for your {{mention the problem}}.

Hi, {{First Name}}

I recently came across your LinkedIn profile and noticed you mentioned your concern about finding verified emails. 

Honestly, verified emails have a big role to play in your email deliverability. I can say this because I have noticed sales team's emails bouncing for this very reason. I would not like it if something like this happens to you as well. 

Saleshandy Connect is an easy solution to this. I would love to give you a demo if you are free this Tuesday. Promise not to take more than 10 minutes of your time.

Let me know if you would be interested. 

Thanks, 
{Your email signature}

Final Thoughts

Generating leads through cold emailing can be easy if you make it out to be! Follow the tips mentioned above to a tee and you’re good to go; you will start seeing results in no time. 

To start seeing results at an accelerated speed, use cold emailing software. A cold emailing software will allow you to automate this entire process, provide you with analytics to make data-driven decisions, and ultimately serve you with features that can make a huge difference to your lead generation (features such as A/B testing, inbox warm-up, trigger-based actions, timezone settings, AI email assistant, merge tags will help you go that extra mile and make you stand out from your competitors).

In a nutshell, use these cold emailing techniques to bolster your lead generation efforts, personalize as much as possible (do your homework on prospects), and lastly, stop pitching to hundreds, if not thousands of prospects who are not interested (you will be wasting your time). 

Skyrocket your conversion rates with cold emailing

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