The Ultimate Guide To Creating Effective Prospecting Emails (With Templates)

Guide To Creating Effective Prospecting Emails

With the average person receiving 121 emails per day, competition for each prospect’s attention is fierce. It takes a well-crafted prospecting email (and the right sales outreach tools) to cut through the noise and stand out from the competition. This guide will introduce best practices for crafting great prospecting emails and provide you with some templates to help you get started. It will also introduce you to Mail Merge for Gmail—a free Google Workspace add-on that can help you personalize, automate, and track your prospecting emails.


Ready to win more prospects? Let’s dive in!

What Are Prospecting Emails?

A prospecting email is a way to reach out to potential customers to introduce yourself, your product or service, and the benefits you’re offering. Its purpose is simple—to set up a meeting with the prospect via phone, video, or in person to discuss their requirements further.

If a prospecting email is sent to someone you haven’t contacted previously, it’s known as a cold email. These prospecting emails in particular play a key role in pinning down your target market, fine-tuning your messaging, and most importantly, winning new business.

Why Are Prospecting Emails Important?

  • Lower Cost: Prospecting emails are a more cost-effective marketing tactic than some other options. Emails are free to send, and there are options to automate the process.

  • Less intrusive: According to studies, 80% of people prefer when sales reps contact them via email. Prospecting emails take advantage of this preference, avoiding less appreciated marketing tactics like cold calling.

  • More Targeted Campaigns: Prospecting emails allow you to target prospects more effectively since you can customize each email to the recipient. Personalized messages are 26% more likely to be opened, leading to a higher ROI.

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How to Create the Best Prospecting Emails

1.   Research Your Prospects

Although it may be tempting to send emails to any and everyone, sending them to people who have no interest in your offerings is a waste of precious time (and theirs). Plus, you could end up annoying receipts and harming their perception of your brand.

Research your prospects to avoid targeting the wrong people with the wrong message. The best way to see steady growth is by focusing on ideal customers—or sales-ready leads. Your prospects should be almost ready to convert.

So, how do you pre-qualify companies for high-quality leads?

The best way is through research. Consider the following points when evaluating a company's fit:

  • The persona of the decision maker(s) you are contacting. The person in charge of making the final decision should have characteristics that meet your desired criteria.

  • Industry (niche or market)

  • Geographic location

  • Company size (number of customers and employees, annual revenue)

  • Length of time established

  • Product offerings

  • Typical sale size

2. Create an Engaging Subject Line

Although your prospect may not mind receiving emails from you, this doesn't guarantee they'll be opened. But research has found that 47% of email recipients were influenced to open an email based on a captivating subject line. However, crafting one takes practice, so be prepared to experiment.

You can cheat a little by personalizing it using the receipt's name. Personalizing your emails is critical to striking up a friendship, giving the message a 50% higher chance of being opened.


Mail Merge makes mass email personalization easy. You can increase open rates by customizing all elements of your emails, including the subject line and content.


Here are some engaging subject lines to consider:

  • “Let's solve your (pain point) problem.” Everyone's looking for solutions to something that’s annoying them.

  • “Quick Question for (prospect).” Or “Got a second, (prospect)?” Friendly, personalized, short, and direct.

3. Keep it Short and Snappy

Remember, your prospects may not have the time to read a lengthy email. Keep your emails concise and to the point. A recent study confirmed that approximately 49% of messages are read on the go, so consider drafting it on your phone to check out how it displays on a mobile.

Aim for a length between 50 – 125 words, and try to avoid large blocks of text.

4. Keep it Relevant 

The best prospecting emails earn engagement by providing relevant information, like offering solutions to specific issues. Engagement can develop into trust, and increase the chances of conversion.

If you're targeting an account, familiarize yourself with the annual report, recent performance, and the products or services they use that you could replace and offer more value.

You can determine your prospecting email strategy's effectiveness by tracking metrics such as open, click-through, and conversion rates. This information helps decide which areas of the campaign to focus on for improvement.

Use Mail Merge to send your email campaigns straight from your Gmail inbox. Its email tracking feature tells you when your messages are opened in real-time. Messages coming from Mail Merge are unique and feel familiar; this will improve your deliverability and opening rates.


5. Keep it Warm


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A good prospecting email should have a warm and friendly tone that makes the recipient feel a connection. You don’t want to sound too stuffy or robotic, as this can put people off from responding.

Here are some quick tips for injecting a bit of warmth into your prospecting emails:

  • Use emotional words to convey a human voice and invoke enthusiasm or emotion, for example, “adorable,” “comforting,” “horrendous,” and “exciting.”

  • Write in an active voice for easy reading and engagement. “The dog chases the ball,” and not “the dog chased the ball” (passive). A bit of a random example, but you get the point.

  • Be natural by injecting humor and being yourself.

6.   Let Them Know Your Reasons for Contacting Them

You need to address the reason you're emailing each prospect as early into your message as possible.

If they were a referral, let them know who the mutual connection is. If you’re offering an alternative to a solution they’re using, explain what makes your offering better. This can help your prospect distinguish between your messages and spam.

7. Be Customer Centric

In addition to a personalized message, focus on customer impact—what's in it for the customer. Show more interest in them, their business, and how your offerings can help. Write in the second person—use “you” instead of “I”.

If you’re struggling, ask yourself whether the first 3 seconds of your email are focused on your prospect.

If it isn’t, here’s how you can fix your prospecting email:


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8. Include Social Proof 

Let prospects know your email is legit and increase response rates by approximately 468% using social proof. A sensible way to include social proof is by attaching a case study or a link to testimonials from prominent customers.

9. Include Call-to-Action

Tell your prospects what to do next and help move them further along your sales funnel by ending the message with a call to action (CTA).


For example, if you want them to book a discovery call, you could include a button labeled “book 15-minute discovery call”. Alternatively, you could say, “Are you free for a quick chat sometime this week?”


Consider these quick tips for a killer CTA:

  • Start with a strong verbal command: Let the prospect know it's their turn to take action. Examples include: “download,” subscribe,” and “visit”.

  • Include a compelling reason to take action: Support your command verb with a reason to take action. For example, “Book a 15-minute discovery call and receive a $10 Amazon voucher. This offer is available until: (date). Don't miss out!”

  • Use numbers instead of words: Try “60% off” instead of “sixty percent off” when discussing price and sale rates, especially since numbers and the percentage symbol resonate better.

10. Add a Signature

Add an email signature for a bit of extra legitimacy and professionalism (and to help with CAN-SPAM compliance).

Your e-Signature should include the following:

  • Full name

  • Current position

  • Company address

  • Email address

  • Company website link

  • Phone number

Be sure to give your colleagues the heads-up about possible contact from your prospect via email or phone, so they're prepared to give them all the information they need.

Examples of Prospecting Email Templates

Use this as a guide to help structure your emails:


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Of course, the specific content you use will vary, but incorporating the tips discussed above is a surefire way to help you meet your goals. Here are some possible wording ideas to get you started.

1.   Connect Through a Customer Referral

This example is a great way to introduce yourself to a prospect who has been recommended by someone you both know.

Hello, {first name}!
 {referral name} recommended that I reach out to you. We work together at {company name} and do {explain products or services}.
 Regarding your position at {company}, I know a few suggestions will work wonders in supporting your team.
 Our {product or service name}is always in demand and has helped many teams like yours achieve {X, Y, and Z}. I think it could help you too!
 Does this line up with your current priorities?

2. Quick Question About {{Company}}

A message like this is a great way to generate interest in your offerings by explaining how they benefit the recipient’s business and customers. It also ends with a low-pressure CTA to nudge the reader towards some desired action.

Hello there {first name}!
{your first name} here. {describe what your company does and why that matters}.
I wanted to run our newly launched reviews tool for agencies by you.
Think of all the top review sites, including TripAdvisor and Trustpilot, combined into one dashboard. You can offer your customers a new billable service, and your customers get easy access to 5-star reviews from the top review sites and more.
We've recently partnered with {company #1} and {company #2}, and we think you should check it out too.
Interested in learning more?

3. Share Some Advice

If you want to demonstrate your understanding of an industry and position yourself as an expert, consider offering advice on a specific problem. Also, tell them about what other businesses are doing that they aren't.

Hi {first name},
When working with other fast-food restaurants like {competitor name}, they regularly struggle with {main pain point}.
In the last six months, we've helped several fast-food restaurants to achieve {goal}, resulting in {tangible benefit}.
We've seen a higher success rate with {strategy}, and I'd like to share what I know about how you could make {strategy} a part of your everyday workflow.
- {example #1}
- {example #2}
- {example #3}
Is your restaurant going through the same? I'd love to share an uncommon tactic businesses in the fast-food industry use to overcome this.

Use Mail Merge for Lead Generating Prospecting Emails 

Getting a response to prospecting emails has never been easy. However, with an attention-grabbing subject line, personalized content, and valuable information, you can win half of the battle.

Mail Merge for Gmail can help you increase the chances of your messages being noticed, read, and acted upon. Using this tool, you can send up to 1,500 unique emails daily from your Gmail account to contacts listed in a Google spreadsheet. Your recipients are more likely to trust messages received from you when they are sent from the familiar Gmail platform.