How To Write a Good Prospecting Email That Actually Gets Responses

How To Write a Good Prospecting Email That Actually Gets Responses
16 April, 2023 • ... • 448 views
Tamara Liparteliani
by Tamara Liparteliani

If you’re in sales or business development, you know how important it is to make a great first impression. And one of the most effective ways to do that is through a well-crafted prospecting email. But how to write a prospecting email that stands out from the dozens (or hundreds) of other emails? 

In this blog post, we’ll share our top tips for writing a successful prospecting email that will capture attention and get you the results you’re looking for. Whether you’re new to marketing and sales or a seasoned pro, you’re sure to find some valuable insights in this post.

What is a prospecting email?

Prospecting emails are email marketing campaigns you send to your leads that aren’t yet your clients. They target individuals or groups of people who are likely to be interested in your products or services. Those emails are meant to build relationships with your prospects and increase sales by generating conversions in the future. 

Prospecting is a common B2B email marketing tactic for reaching out to cold contacts. In B2C, prospecting emails are useful for solopreneurs or consumer-oriented professionals (lawyers, real estate agents, personal fitness trainers, etc.). In that case, the business owners send emails themselves.

How to write a prospecting email?

In today’s fast-paced business environment, prospecting emails have become a vital tool for companies to generate leads, establish relationships, and close deals. So, whether you’re a startup founder looking to attract investors, a sales professional seeking new clients, or a marketer trying to build brand awareness, read on to learn how to create compelling prospecting emails that get results.

Craft a strong email subject line

An attention-grabbing subject line is vital to an effective prospecting email campaign. It’s the first thing your prospect sees, so it needs to interest them enough to click through to the rest of the email. If you fail to grab the reader’s attention with your subject line, they may never get to the rest of the email. 

There are many different types of email subject lines you can use.

A curiosity-inducing one to build intrigue:

  • You won’t believe what we discovered about [topic]
  • The one thing you’re missing in your [industry/field]
  • What [famous person/brand] can teach you about [topic]

An authoritative subject line to demonstrate expertise:

  • The definitive guide to [topic] from the experts
  • 5 insider tips from industry leaders on [topic]
  • As a [job title/position], here’s what I know about [topic]

A benefit-oriented subject line to highlight how helpful your content is:

  • Transform your [problem/challenge] with our proven strategies
  • Unlock the secret to [desired outcome] with our expert advice
  • Maximize your [benefit] with our exclusive tips

Here are the examples of bad subject lines for prospecting emails that you should avoid by all means:

❌ Buy our product now!

This subject line is too aggressive and salesy, which can turn off prospects who are not yet ready to make a purchase. It also doesn’t provide any context for the email or explain why the prospect should be interested in the product.

❌ You don’t want to miss this!

Similar to the “Free stuff inside!” subject line, this one is too spammy and may be perceived as clickbait. It also doesn’t provide any specific information about what the prospect will be missing out on or why it’s important.

❌ We’re the best!

While it’s important to establish credibility and expertise, this subject line is too self-promotional and may come across as arrogant. It’s also not very specific or compelling, which prompts the prospect to ignore it.

❌ Quick question

While asking questions can be a great way to start a conversation, this subject line is too vague and doesn’t provide any information about what the question is or why the prospect should care. It can also come across as manipulative if the question is actually just a sales pitch in disguise.

❌ Hi

Similar to “Hey,” this subject line is too generic and doesn’t provide any context for the email. It can also come across as too informal or unprofessional, which isn’t appropriate for all types of business communication.

Think the opening through

Once your email has been opened, the first few sentences are crucial to keep the recipient’s attention. You need to make a good first impression and show that you’ve done your research on the recipient. The opening should be personalized, friendly, and focused on the prospect’s needs or pain points.

Let’s say you are trying to reach out to a potential client who is the CEO of a company you want to work with. Rather than jumping straight into a pitch about your services, take a moment to think about how you can catch their attention and make a good first impression. Here’s an example:

Subject line: Congratulations on your recent award!

Dear [CEO’s name],

I hope this email finds you well. I was thrilled to hear that your company was recently recognized for its outstanding achievements in [industry/category]. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor!

As someone who is passionate about helping companies like yours succeed, I would love to chat with you about how my team and I can support your growth goals. I believe that our [service/product] could be a great fit for [Company name] because:

  • [Reason 1].
  • [Reason 2].
  • [Reason 3].

I would be honored to have the opportunity to discuss this further with you. You can book a meeting with me at [link] whenever it is convenient for you.

Thank you for your time, and once again, congratulations on your impressive accomplishment!

Best regards,

[Your name]

In this example, you’ve taken the time to research the recipient and find a recent award or accomplishment to congratulate them on. This not only shows that you’ve done your homework, but it also helps establish a rapport with the recipient and creates a positive tone for the rest of the email. By “thinking the opening through” and crafting a personalized introduction, you increase the chances of getting a positive response from the prospect.

Provide the reasons for reaching out

Your email should clearly state the reason why you’re reaching out to the recipient. Explain what you can offer and how it can help them. Make sure to keep it concise and straightforward but also engaging and informative.

Imagine you’re reaching out to a potential client who owns a small business, and you believe your marketing services could help them increase their online visibility and generate more leads. Here’s an example of how you might “provide the reasons for reaching out” in your email:

Subject line: Enhance your online presence with our marketing services

Dear [Client’s name],

I hope this email finds you well. As a fellow small business owner, I know how challenging it can be to juggle all the different aspects of running a company. That’s why I wanted to reach out and introduce you to our marketing services.

At [Your company], we specialize in helping small businesses like yours enhance their online presence and generate more leads. We have a team of experienced marketers who are passionate about creating customized strategies that get results.

I noticed that your website looks great, but it could benefit from a stronger SEO strategy to boost your rankings on search engines. Our team can help you with that, as well as other marketing services such as social media management and email marketing.

I’d love to schedule a call with you to discuss your marketing needs and how we can help. Please let me know if that’s something you’re interested in.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Best regards,

[Your name]

In this template, you’ve clearly outlined the reasons for reaching out to the client by highlighting the specific ways that your marketing services can benefit their business. You’ve also added a personal touch by acknowledging the challenges of running a small business and showing that you understand their needs. 

Introduce your value proposition

Your value proposition is the unique feature or benefit of your product or service that sets it apart from the competition. It’s important to communicate your value proposition clearly and convincingly in your prospecting email. Focus on how your product or service can solve the recipient’s problems or meet their needs.

For example, you’re reaching out to a potential client who is the marketing director of a mid-sized company. You believe that your software can help their team improve their marketing automation and increase their efficiency. Here’s an example:

Subject Line: Streamline your marketing workflow with [Your software]

Dear [Marketing Director’s name],

I hope this email finds you well. As a marketing professional, I understand the importance of creating effective and efficient workflows to ensure your team is performing at its best. That’s why I’m reaching out to introduce you to [Your software], the leading marketing automation platform on the market.

Our software is designed to help marketing teams like yours streamline their workflow, automate repetitive tasks, and ultimately save time and resources. With [Your software], you can easily create and manage campaigns across multiple channels, track performance metrics, and collaborate seamlessly with your team.

One of our clients, [Client’s name], was able to reduce their campaign creation time by 50% and increase their ROI by 30% after implementing our software. I believe that [Your software] can offer similar benefits to your team and help you achieve your marketing goals more efficiently.

I’d love to schedule a demo for you to show [Your software] in action and discuss how it can be tailored to your team’s unique needs. Please let me know if that’s something you’re interested in.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

[Your name]

In this template, you’ve introduced your value proposition by clearly outlining the benefits of your software and providing a specific example of how it has helped a similar company. You’ve also added a personal touch by acknowledging the challenges of managing a marketing team and offering a tailored solution that can help the recipient improve their workflow. 

Finish with a CTA

A call-to-action (CTA) is a text or button that tells your reader what action to take next. If you add a right CTA, you’ll increase the likelihood of getting leads and opportunities. It should be short, clear, simple, and direct. The CTA should tell your reader exactly what action to take next and make it as easy as possible for them to respond.

Let’s take a look at the example of a prospecting email that finishes with a CTA inviting a prospect to buy a product:

Subject line: Improve your productivity with our time management software

Dear [Prospect’s name],

Are you tired of feeling like you’re constantly playing catch-up with your to-do list? Our time management software can help.

At [Your company], we’ve developed a powerful software tool that can help you prioritize tasks, track progress, and stay focused on what matters most. Our software is designed to be user-friendly and customizable, making it easy to fit into any workflow.

I’d love to offer you a special promotion to try our software and experience the benefits for yourself. As a new customer, you’ll receive a 20% discount on your first purchase.

To take advantage of this offer, simply click the link below to purchase our software and enter the promo code [Code] at checkout. If you have any questions or need assistance with the setup process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team.

[link to the product page with CTA button “Learn more”] 

Thank you for considering our software, and I look forward to hearing about how it improves your productivity.

Best regards,

[Your name]

In this email template, you’ve finished with a clear and actionable CTA that invites the prospect to purchase your time management software. By offering a special promotion, you’ve added an extra incentive to take action and try your product. Additionally, you’ve included a link to the product page to make it easy for the prospect to make a purchase, along with a promo code to apply the discount. By providing all the necessary information upfront, you’re making it as easy as possible for the prospect to make a decision and take action.

Tips and best practices you will find useful

In the part above, you’ve read about some basic principles of crafting effective prospecting emails. Now, let’s dive deeper into some specific tips and strategies you can use to make your prospecting emails even more successful.

Personalize emails

Personalizing your prospecting emails can make a significant difference in your response rates. Generic emails that lack personalization are more likely to be ignored or even marked as spam. On the other hand, personalized emails that demonstrate that you have done your research and understand the recipient’s needs are more likely to grab their attention and prompt them to respond.

One of the most effective ways to personalize your emails is by mentioning specific details about the recipient or their company. This could include their name, their job title, their industry, or even recent news or events related to their business. For example, you could reference a recent article the recipient published, an award their company received, or an announcement they made.

Here’s an example of a personalized prospecting email:

Subject line: Congrats on your recent promotion!

Dear [Recipient’s name],

I came across the news of your recent promotion to [Recipient’s position] at [Recipient’s company], and I wanted to extend my heartfelt congratulations to you! I can only imagine how exciting this new role must be, and I’m sure you’re eager to make a real impact.

At [Your company], we specialize in helping businesses like [Recipient’s company] succeed in [industry related to Recipient’s company]. Our team of experts has a wealth of experience in [service/product related to Recipient’s industry], and I believe that we could help you take your business to the next level.

I’d love to set up a call to discuss how our services can benefit [Recipient’s company] specifically. I’m available [date/time options], so please let me know what works for you.

Best regards,

[Your name]

In this template, the email begins by referencing the recipient’s recent promotion, which demonstrates that the sender has taken the time to research the recipient and has a genuine interest in their success. The sender then presents their services as a solution to the recipient’s needs, using language that is relevant to the recipient’s industry. Finally, the sender offers specific date and time options for a call, making it easy for the recipient to take the next step toward exploring their services.

Be short and clear

When it comes to writing successful prospecting emails, being short and clear is key. People don’t have the time or attention span to read long, rambling emails. It’s especially true for the fast-paced modern work environment. Instead, you need to get straight to the point and make it easy for the recipient to understand what you’re offering.

One common mistake that people make when writing prospecting emails is being too wordy. They might include unnecessary background information, overly formal language, or convoluted sentences that are difficult to follow. This can make the email feel like a chore to read, and the recipient is likely to lose interest quickly.

To avoid this mistake, it’s important to be ruthless when editing your emails. Keep your sentences short and to the point, and avoid using overly formal or technical language. Use bullet points or numbered lists to break up your content and make it easier to read. And always remember to proofread your email before sending it, to ensure that it is clear and error-free. For editing, you can use Hemingway — a free online editor.

Provide social proof

Including social proof in your prospecting emails can help build trust with your recipient and increase the likelihood of them taking action. Social proof can take many forms, such as customer testimonials, case studies, or statistics that demonstrate the effectiveness of your services.

One effective way to incorporate social proof in your prospecting emails is to reference a successful project or client that is similar to the recipient. Here’s an example of how this can be done:

Subject line: How we helped [Similar company] increase the revenue by 50%

Dear [Recipient’s name],

I recently came across your business, and I was impressed by the work you’re doing in [Recipient’s company’s industry]. At [Your company], we specialize in helping businesses like yours take their operations to the next level, and I believe we could be a valuable partner for you.

I wanted to share a recent success story with you. We worked with [Similar company] on a project that involved [brief description of the project]. Using our services, [Similar company] was able to increase their revenue by 50% within just three months. You can read more about it in the case study — [link to the case study page]. We were thrilled to see such impressive results, and we believe that we could help your business achieve similar success.

If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help your business, I’d be happy to set up a call to discuss this further. Please let me know what works for you.

Best regards,

[Your name]

The email references a successful project with a similar company in the recipient’s industry. By providing this social proof, the sender is demonstrating their expertise and success in helping businesses like the recipient’s. This can help build trust and credibility with the recipient, increasing the likelihood that they will take action and explore the sender’s services further.

Don’t forget to follow up

Sending a follow-up email is an essential part of any effective email prospecting strategy. It helps you stay top of mind with your potential customers and increases the chances of getting a response. However, when sending follow-up emails to multiple recipients, personalize each message to make it relevant and engaging to each individual. It would be a nice touch to respect the privacy of your recipients and research how to send email to multiple recipients without them knowing.

Also, it can be helpful to use email automation software to streamline the process and avoid sending duplicate emails. The easiest way to manage your email campaigns and automate the process is to use Selzy’s email automation features. Selzy provides a powerful set of tools to help you streamline and optimize your email marketing efforts. Here’s how you can take advantage of email marketing with Selzy:

  • Segment your email list based on various criteria, allowing you to send targeted messages to specific groups of prospects and customers.
  • Personalize your emails based on the recipient’s behavior or preferences with dynamic content.
  • Create beautiful and effective emails with the drag-and-drop editor.
  • Improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns and increase engagement with your customers.
  • Increase open and click-through rates, as well as sales and customer loyalty.

Whether you’re a small business just starting out or a large enterprise looking to improve your customer engagement, Selzy’s email automation features can make a big difference for your business.

A/B test

A/B testing is used to compare two versions of a prospecting email to see which one performs better. By testing different versions of your emails, you can determine which elements resonate most with your audience and optimize your messaging for better results.

Selzy is a powerful tool that can help streamline your A/B testing process and provide valuable insights into what’s working and what’s not. With Selzy’s email A/B testing feature, you can easily test different subject lines, email content, and calls-to-action to see which version performs best.

Here’s how Selzy’s email A/B testing feature works:

  1. Create an A/B test campaign. With Selzy, you can easily set up an A/B test campaign by creating two different versions of your email. 
  2. Set the test parameters. You can set the test parameters for your A/B test campaign, such as the percentage of your audience that will receive each version of the email and the length of the testing period.
  3. Monitor the results. Selzy’s A/B testing feature provides real-time monitoring of your campaign’s performance. You can see which version of your email is generating more opens, clicks, and conversions, and adjust your messaging accordingly.
  4. Optimize your email. Based on the results of your A/B test campaign, you can optimize your email for better performance. Selzy’s email A/B testing feature provides valuable insights into what’s working and what’s not, so you can make data-driven decisions about how to improve your email messaging.

Overall, A/B testing is a powerful tool for optimizing your prospecting emails and driving better results. With Selzy’s email A/B testing feature, you can streamline your testing process and gain valuable insights into what’s resonating with your audience.

Templates to use when writing a marketing email to prospects

Using a template is a great way to save time and ensure that your prospecting email is well-structured and effective. Here are some prospecting email examples that you can use as a starting point for your emails:

The referral email template

  1. Start with a personalized subject line that mentions the person who referred you.
  2. Thank the person who referred you and mention how you know them.
  3. Introduce yourself and explain what you do.
  4. Provide a reason for reaching out and how you can help the recipient.
  5. Finish with a CTA.

Here is the referral email template that you can use:

Subject: [Mutual connection] recommended I reach out

Hi [Prospect’s name],

[Mutual connection] recommended I reach out to you. They spoke highly of your business and thought we could help each other. We specialize in [specific area of expertise], and I think we could help you with [specific problem they may be facing]. Would you be open to a quick call next week to discuss this further?


[Your name]

The social proof email template

  1. Start with a personalized subject line that mentions the recipient’s name.
  2. Introduce yourself and explain what you do.
  3. Explain how your product or service can help the recipient.
  4. Use a customer testimonial or case study to provide social proof.
  5. Finish with a CTA.

Here is a social proof email template that you can use:

Subject: [Prospect’s first name], see what others are saying about [Your product/service]

Hi [Prospect’s first name],

I am working at [Your company] — an innovative software company. For the past [number of years] years, we’ve been helping businesses in the [industry] to raise their profit. I believe [Your product] is a good fit for you and your business.

To prove the quality of [Your product] I wanted to share some feedback from our satisfied customers.

Here are a few recent reviews:

“I absolutely love [Your product/service]! It has completely transformed the way I [describe the benefit].”

“I was hesitant to try [Your product/service], but after using it for just a week, I’m hooked. It’s incredibly easy to use and has saved me so much time.”

“I’ve tried other [similar products/services] before, but [Your product/service] is hands down the best. The [feature/benefit] is unbeatable.”

We’re thrilled to hear that our customers are seeing great results with [Your product/service], and we’re confident that you will too.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about [Your product/service], please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Best regards,

[Your name]

P.S. If you’d like to see more reviews, check out our website or social media pages.

The follow-up email template

  1. Start with a personalized subject line that mentions your previous email.
  2. Reference your previous email and provide a reason for following up.
  3. Explain how your product or service can help the recipient.
  4. Finish with a CTA.

Here is a follow-up email template that you can use:

Subject: [Prospect’s first name], just wanted to check in

Hi [Prospect’s first name],

I wanted to follow up with you and see if you had any questions or concerns about [Your product/service]. We’ve been making some exciting updates and improvements, and I thought it would be a great time to touch base and see if there’s anything we can do to help you get the most out of our product.

If you’re still considering [Your product/service], I wanted to remind you of some of the key features and benefits:

[Feature/benefit 1]

[Feature/benefit 2]

[Feature/benefit 3]

We’ve also recently launched a new feature that allows you to [describe the new feature and its benefits].

If you’re interested in learning more or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help in any way I can.

Best regards,

[Your name]

P.S. If you’re no longer interested in receiving emails from us, you can easily unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of this email.

Final thoughts

Email prospecting is an essential part of any modern marketing strategy. Writing effective prospecting emails takes time, effort, and skill. 

Follow the tips and best practices outlined in this article, and you’ll be well on your way to writing prospecting emails that get results:

  • Remember to personalize your emails.
  • Keep them short and clear.
  • Provide social proof.
  • Don’t forget to follow up.
  • A/B test.

Use the templates provided as a starting point, and don’t be afraid to experiment to see what works best for your business!

16 April, 2023
Article by
Tamara Liparteliani
As a content marketing specialist in the IT industry with a focus on cybersecurity, I bring a unique perspective to crafting compelling and informative content for IT companies. A background in professional photography helped me to understand how important is visual storytelling and how to create content that resonates with audiences and drives results.
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