Cold Email · · 9 min read

Prospecting Emails: 101 + Templates

Prospecting emails are essential in every sales campaign. Here are tips and best practices to help you get higher open rates in your next prospecting campaign.

prospecting emails

Businesses, no matter the niche, rely on customers to grow. One of the best ways to find customers is through prospecting emails.

Here’s the catch. The availability of data online resulted in an “information surplus”. Customers would rather do the research themselves than have a sales team present “curated” information.

There’s a simple workaround to information surplus—provide value in your emails first, then present what you’re trying to sell.

If you want to know the best ways of providing value in your email prospecting campaigns, stick around. In this article, we’ll be discussing:

  • The basics of prospecting emails.
  • What makes a great prospecting email.
  • The tools you need.
  • Example templates to draw inspiration from.

What Are Prospecting Emails?

Prospecting emails are your introduction to your customers. There’s a debate about whether or not this should be done by sales or marketing.

What’s not debated is the need for sales automation software for streamlining prospecting campaigns. Still, the goal isn’t to immediately sell your products or services—it’s building trust.

Remember, you’re reaching out to people that don’t know you or your brand. They’ll be hesitant to trust whatever you’re trying to sell.

If that’s the case, why is email prospecting one of the most preferred communication channels for customers? To answer this question, let’s see what makes a great email prospecting email.

What Makes A Great Prospecting Email?

The crux of an effective prospecting email is an emphasis on fundamentals paired with strategic analytics. So, in every campaign, consider:

The Subject Line

Your subject line will be the first thing prospects are going to see. According to a Barilliance study, 64% of customers decide to open an email based on subject lines alone.

To make a good subject line, sound natural. Be too robotic and your email might end up in spam. Consider taking note of spam words that trigger spam filters such as:

  • Best Price
  • Winner
  • Click Here
  • Double Your
  • Money Making

If you know who you’re sending to, try personalizing by using a prospect’s name. A campaign monitor study suggested that personalized subject lines can improve open rates by 26%.

Next, consider the length. Subject lines need to be short and concise. But the exact number of words depends on a case-to-case basis.

However, a study on The Effect of Subject Lines on Open Rates suggested subject lines that are concise, have emotional triggers and are personalized all lead to higher open rates.

The Main Body

Subject lines can get prospects to click an email. Engaging, valuable, and relevant content can get them to complete your call to action.

This is also the place where email personalization truly shines. Before drafting your email, visit your prospect’s LinkedIn profile and check out the company website or social media.

If you want a streamlined and more efficient way of getting contact information, you can use an email finder tool to help you grow your network.

You might find a great conversation starter or, better yet, a way to provide them with a pitch on how your product or service can solve their pain points.

Focusing on providing value through relevant information makes your emails more personalized. You can share insights on how to use products on a day-to-day basis, case studies, and more.

But you don’t want the body to be a giant wall of text. Studies suggest that 300 words or less are the ideal word count for your email body.

The Call To Action

After providing value, you want to guide prospects to the “next step” with a clear call to action (CTA). It could be a link to a product page, another guide, a contact form, or whatever your brand wants to achieve.

According to a Umea University study, the most effective types of CTAs are sign-ups and CTAs used to direct prospects to more information.

There are several ways to make your CTA. But, if you want a good starting point, consider doing the following:

  • Use verbs such as register, sign-up, download, and subscribe.
  • Keep CTA text concise and actionable.
  • Convey a sense of urgency (FOMO)
  • Write CTAs in first person (Start my Free Trial Today!)
  • Track your CTAs using analytics.

The Analytics

You can use a plethora of different strategies to improve your prospecting emails. To find out which one is the best, you need to track their performance using analytics tools.

If you’re using an email outreach tool like Instantly, you can track the performance of your prospecting email campaigns with ease.

On the analytics dashboard, you get to see important key performance metrics such as open rates and reply rates that help identify which strategies to continue and the ones to let go of.

Prospecting Email Tools

If you want to scale your email campaigns, track insightful data through analytics, and streamline your overall workflow, you need to use great email prospecting tools. Here are some of our top recommendations:


Instantly is an AI-powered email tool built by cold emailers for cold emailers. Instead of charging per email account, Instantly offers unlimited email accounts for your subscription.

This tool’s strongest suit is its AI-powered email warm-ups. If you want to improve your campaign’s deliverability and open rates—Instantly is the tool for you.

And, if you want to learn more about email outreach 101, Instantly has tons of content available and offers a full step-by-step tutorial on how to launch effective campaigns.

You can use this for every step of your campaign, from warm-ups and personalization all the way to analytics. After importing leads and fine-tuning settings, you can run campaigns on autopilot.

Main Features:

  • Email warm-up.
  • Analytics and A/B Testing.
  • Custom tracking domains.
  • AI-powered email personalization.
  • Advanced sequencing and scheduling.


  • Growth Plan: $30/month.
  • Hypergrowth Plan: $77.6/month.
  • Offers a 14-day free trial.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn is the perfect place for finding prospects, especially for B2B or SaaS. It’s the largest professional social network and offers several ways to interact and connect.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator helps you find your audience thanks to advanced search filters. You don’t have to spend countless hours searching manually to find who you’re looking for.

If you’re struggling to figure out who you’re supposed to reach out to, LinkedIn Sales Navigator also has a Lead Recommendation feature so you can discover the right people.

You can view accounts that visited your profile in the last 90 days. Plus, its InMail messages feature allows you to reach out even if you’re not connected with them on the platform.

Main Features:

  • Advanced Lead and Company Search
  • Lead recommendation
  • CRM Integration
  • Real-time Sales Update
  • InMail Messages


  • Core: $71/month
  • Advanced: $117.45
  • Advanced Plus: Requires demo request


If you’re in B2B, ProductHunt has a lot of useful features for you. It’s one of the best places to launch and discover new businesses and products, especially in tech.

ProductHunt also has a big emphasis on community building. Upon entering their site, there’s an “Ask” platform reminiscent of Quora. Here, people can ask members of the community, “What’s your favorite productivity app?” or “What’s the best app for managing social media?”.

The platform also has a “Collections” tool that categorizes businesses by specific niches like “Email Apps”, “Social Media Apps”, and more.

Main Features:

  • Large product and business database.
  • Product launching.
  • Community-curated content.
  • Deal discoveries.
  • Community forums.

ProductHunt is more for launching businesses and building an online presence. But you can still use the platform as a tool to find these businesses early on.

Pricing: Free


Clutch boasts a robust directory of digital agencies across the globe. You can find everything from marketing and advertising companies all the way to software development agencies.

It also features an advanced search filter allowing you to look for your target audience based on location, topic, company size, services, and more.

The search bar is so simple to use; all you need to do is type in what you’re looking for and the location.

There are also quick links for development, design, marketing, advertising, business services, and IT services. Plus, they also have a ton of resources to help you with your sales journey.

Main Features:

  • Advanced search filter.
  • Industry categorization.
  • Comprehensive resource material.
  • Review system
  • Pricing guides.

Pricing: Free

Prospecting Email Templates

Now that we’ve gone through the tools, it’s time to make our prospecting emails. Here is a list of templates for different types of prospecting emails to draw inspiration from.


Milestones are always worth celebrating! It can also be a great conversation starter, especially when you’re doing cold email or prospecting.

A little research can go a long way in personalizing your email. So, before sending your draft, look through your prospects’ company website or LinkedIn profiles for updates on their achievements.

Don’t try to sell anything yet. Focus on giving genuine compliments and begin to strike up a conversation. Here’s a template you can use for this type of email:

Hey {{First Name}},
Congratulations on hitting {{X}} followers on {{Platform}}. We love what you’re doing for the industry and I think you’re going to make a bigger splash this year. Can’t wait to see what you have lined up!
{{Your name}}

Delivering Value

Prospects are more likely to communicate with you if you provide them with immediate value. Find out what your prospects’ pain points are and offer solutions. Try to use the formula: compliment + critique + solution. Here’s an example template:

Hey {{First Name}},
We love the new update to your website’s UI. The visuals are absolutely stunning! We even tried to imitate what you did on your {{Landing Page}}.
But, when we were trying to see the CSS, we noticed the page didn’t have meta descriptions. Maybe it was an issue after the update. We also noticed the same issue on several of your key pages as well.
{{Landing Page 1}}
{{Landing Page 2}}
{{Landing Page 3}}
This is just a quick fix that your web team can handle. If you want a more in-depth look, I’d be happy to get on a call. It’s the least I can do after all the help your free content gave my team.
{{Your name}}

Offering Help

Offering help via email can help you get a response from your prospects.

The goal of your prospecting email campaign isn’t to close a sale—it’s to start a conversation. Similar to delivering value, offering immediate help is a great way of striking up a conversation with your prospect.

This is true even if the fix isn’t related to your business at all. There are always ways to help. Here’s an example:

Hey {{First Name}},
My family and friends love your food. The place is aesthetic and the service is immaculate. Saturday dinners at your restaurant are becoming a tradition for us.
But, when I tried to recommend you to some of my friends, they had a hard time finding you on social media or Google.
This isn’t something I’m familiar with, but I know a good social media guy that could help you out. Would you like to meet?
{{Your name}}

Discussing Common Interests

Common interests are a great conversation started. But DON'T be weird about it. It’s easy to look up somebody on Facebook or LinkedIn. However, saying something really specific about a prospect’s personal life is enough to get you blocked or worse.

Instead, try opening up an email with safer topics and personal interests that you genuinely have in common. Here’s a quick example:

Hi {{First Name}},
I saw that you and I both work in {{Industry}}. But I couldn’t help but notice your LinkedIn photos look waaaay too aesthetic for the platform. Are you into photography by chance?
If you have a photography Instagram account, I’d love to give you a follow. Your LinkedIn photos are incredible, and I want to see more of them.
I just started putting real effort into photography, and it's definitely been fun.
{{Your name}}

(let's be honest—a little flattery can go a long way)

Key Takeaways

Prospecting emails are an important part of any sales campaign. But, before sending out your drafts to your prospects, consider the following:

  • The goal of prospecting or cold emails is to start a conversation, not close a sale.
  • Offering immediate value is one of the best ways to get an email response.
  • Focus on personalization in the subject lines and main body of the email.
  • CTAs with verbs get higher engagement.
  • Warm up your new email accounts to improve deliverability.
  • Streamline your campaigns using email tools

If you need an all-in-one email tool to help you streamline and scale, look no further than Instantly. Start for free today!

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