Learn how to create your own cold email template from scratch: a fintech guide

Learn how to create your own cold email template from scratch: a fintech guide

Reusing cold email templates you found online can be dangerous. Your prospects' email service providers already use antispam AI that can study email copy that's consistently being marked as spam, and blacklist it.

If you see messages like this, know the bots have studied the copy and blacklisted the copy's pattern 

So, if you're using a template that is popular, chances are high that it's been misused and flagged by email service providers as an indicator of spam. As a result, your campaigns might be doomed from the beginning.

To overcome these risks and increase your chances of success, let's explore a simple 6-rule approach for creating your own cold email templates from scratch.

  1. The role of the first line and subject line is to combine to create enough curiosity for your prospect to open your email. It's your email clickbait.
  2. Focus your email on 1-2 key pain points or benefits of your product, and their impact.
  3. The focus is on the email recipient and the person being impacted (colleague, end customer) by the problem you want them to pay you to solve.
  4. Your email should be less than a hundred words if possible. Though do not be afraid to break this rule if need be.
  5. Choose between a direct call to action (e.g., 'let's talk') or a softer/implicit approach (e.g., 'open to learning more?') based on testing to determine the most effective option.
  6. Consider the method you used to build your prospecting list, as it should influence the template you choose.

With this in mind, let's explore a structure for creating effective cold email templates.

Subject line:

First line:

Pain point/benefit/impact:

Call to action:

Every element of this structure has a specific purpose. 

The first line and subject line are designed to generate curiosity and encourage recipients to open your email. 

The pain point/benefit/impact section aims to shift their focus from whatever else is on their mind towards the problem you aim to solve for them. 

Lastly, the call to action guides them towards the desired next step.

With this structure established, you can create different cold email templates just by changing the style (storytelling, humour, straightforwardness, etc) and the order of each element within the structure.

Let's get practical and develop a cold email template for a fintech operating in the identity verification and storage category.

These companies help other fintechs in achieving faster customer onboarding, such as online stock trading apps that mandate identity confirmation before granting app access.

Some companies take days on this process, which has led to the emergence of identity verification solutions. (PS: Notably, Plaid recently launched a product in this space.)

As the spine of the email lies in the pain point/benefit/impact section, let's begin our template development there. Here is the workbook I use to work through this.

As shown in the screenshot above, the pain point being solved is friction in customer onboarding, characterized by a heavy administrative burden on customers during onboarding—which takes a long time and is tedious.

The impact of this challenge includes high customer signup abandonment rates, revenue loss stemming from abandonment, and increased compliance (KYC) costs due to extended onboarding periods.

Parties affected by this issue are end customers, compliance team members handling manual checks, and the organization as a whole, grappling with revenue losses due to customer abandonment.

With this clear understanding of the pain point, it becomes easy to create several template variations to pitch this product while still conveying the same message. For example:

"Subject line: Onboarding pain

First line: I saw reviews of {{company name}} on Trustpilot. Curious how your onboarding process affects those?

Pain point/benefit/impact line: {{A case study customer's name}} decreased the time it took to onboard a new customer from three days to one.

Have you solved this onboarding headache too? It helps with customer satisfaction.

 Anyway, open to learning how {{our company name}} might help?"

Let's analyse the template:

The subject line 'Onboarding pain' aims to capture the recipient's attention; working with the first line that introduces Trustpilot reviews to create curiosity.

The pain point/benefit/impact line focuses on the success story of a case study customer who reduced onboarding time from three days to one. 

The call-to-action invites the recipient to consider the solution.

By following this structure, you can address the pain point and, hopefully, get the prospect to bite. But as long as you have the rules we've talked about above in mind, you can switch this format up to create a different template that you can test.

Here's a template that relies on storytelling as the foundation of the email.

Subject line: How this trading app increased usage

"{{First name}}, there's an online trading app in Barcelona that has cut the time its customers take between signing up and executing their first trade by two days, which has increased retention and app usage.

They transformed their onboarding and KYC process through a blockchain identity verification solution.

Curious if you've explored this already.

PS: It eliminates the need for {{name of a colleague from their compliance team}} to do manual document verification.”

This template focuses on a pain point/benefit (slow customer onboarding) and uses the story of a customer as the vehicle to carry that message.

The subject line 'How this trading app increased usage' captures the recipient's attention by mentioning a company that's similar to them.

The salesperson's product is only mentioned as a secondary character in that story.

Also worth noting is how this template includes the name of a colleague who might be experiencing the problem you’re pitching to solve. (I’ve had success with this technique as seeing a colleague’s name—who might be experiencing the problem you’re highlighting—makes the email feel thoughtful)

All in all, once you have a deep understanding of your customer and the impact of your solution on their needs, it becomes easy to experiment and create unique templates based on the pain point/benefit/impact structure. Try it.

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Gabriel Onyango
Gabriel Onyango
[email protected]

About Me

A writer, in a marketer's skin, wearing a cold emailer's floppy socks. The unorthodox combination of these is what you've probably experienced in this blog. Freelance cold email manager; open to working with teams on cold email campaigns, copy, ICP research (snooping()and custom list building. Connect with me on LinkedIn

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