Get Your Foot in the Door with these Sales Cold Email Templates

Cold email is one of the most common and tested tactics in a modern salesperson’s repertoire. And yet, sales reps constantly look for ways to improve their sales email strategy. 

It’s not hard to see why — only 21% of emails from email campaigns are opened .

Fine-tuning your cold email strategy might not make your open rates skyrocket, but it can make a major difference. The right email approach is critical to cutting through the noise — and getting your foot in the door with your next buyer.

Opening A Cold Email Template

Ready to start a conversation with any sales prospect in your database or CRM? 

With the “foot in the door” method, you can reach any prospect — whether it’s a CEO, marketing VP, industry influencer, or your favorite podcast host. A simple, 5-sentence email is all that’s needed to land meetings, and possibly more. 

While this email approach is effective, it faces worldwide restrictions. For example: Japan. 

Japan is one of many countries that regulate email marketing efforts and enforce heavy penalties on spammers. But that does not mean cold emailing is impossible. 

What is the “Foot in the Door” Method?

Two psychologists, Freedman and Fraser created The concept of “foot in the door” in 1966:

“The foot in the door technique assumes agreeing to a small request increases the likelihood of agreeing to a second, larger request. So, initially you make a small request and once the person agrees to this, they find it more difficult to refuse a bigger one.”

Applying this method to an email can start off as a simple exchange of emails, followed by scheduling in-person meetings.

Using the Foot in the Door Cold Email Template

By now, you should have access to an accurate list of verified emails to reach out to. The question is, how do you apply this “foot in the door” technique to emails — and implement it ethically?

Start by thinking of a simple, almost-impossible-to-deny CTA. This is the focus of your initial opening email, and this initial message should not ask much of its recipient. But the CTA you use should naturally transition into the larger request you ultimately want to make (a meeting, demo, interview, etc.).

Remember: be upfront about your intentions. 

Don’t disguise your reason for emailing the prospect, or pretend to be someone you’re not just to get a conversation going. The “foot in the door” method is not about deception. It’s about starting small and establishing a connection before asking something of your prospect.

Cold Email Template Examples

Now, let’s put the “foot in the door” method into practice and create a few hypothetical cold emails.

Example 1: Selling B2B Software

Hi (First Name),

I noticed you’re using (competing software tool). Are you happy with the way it (primary benefit of your product)?


P.S. I’m asking because my company actually developed a similar tool that helps solve (problem) and I’d love to hear your feedback on this.

In this example, the intent is clear and is composed with a more personal tone. In addition to using some sales intelligence intel, the sender pinpointed what technologies the prospect uses. 

Performing just a little research beforehand can go a long way with an opener like this.

Example 2: Selling Sales Consulting

Hi (First Name),

I know this is out of the blue, but as a fellow salesperson, I’d love to hear what your favorite pieces of sales training are. (Books, courses, seminars, workshops, etc.?)

Personally, I’ve gotten a ton of value out of (book) and (seminar) lately!



P.S. Full disclosure, I do sales consulting, but I’m genuinely curious to hear what other successful sales folks like yourself are reading. Happy to share some notes/tactics/ideas with you as well!

What makes this example different from a spam email is asking for personal feedback on non-specific sales materials instead of propositioning a product. This casual, friendly approach can open the door to more dialogue leading to a meeting.  

Final Thoughts: The ‘Foot in the Door’ Cold Email Template

If a cold email does not land you a meeting, don’t be bummed out. More importantly, an opened email sparks a connection and gets your “foot in the door,” so to speak.

Once you get past that tricky first step, cold emails are no longer “cold” and it becomes significantly easier to cultivate a relationship with your target prospect. There’s only one way to find that success!

To learn more about how ZoomInfo can dramatically scale and improve all aspects of your go-to-market strategy, contact our sales team today. We offer the most intelligent B2B contact database on the market.

This blog post was updated on June 29th, 2020 and originally published on DiscoverOrg. The founder of Emails That Sell, Jack Reamer, is the original author.