Discover how to earn a great living from freelancing.

One of the BEST methods I have used as a freelancer to find high quality clients is cold emailing.

When I first started out, I would mass email potential clients with a pretty rubbish email. You can imagine the results, not a single reply. Not long after, I sat down one day and decided to take cold emailing a bit more seriously. I spent a day crafting an email template that I would then use going forward. Shortly after writing it I decided to test it out by using it on a 4 potential clients.

They all got back to me! Not only that, but I secured $25,000+ in freelance work that day. That's when I realised the power of a great cold email template.

You can write one yourself, it would be a lie to tell you there is one phrase or sentence that will magically turn a rubbish email into a great one.

However, since I first created my cold email template I have sent it to hundreds of clients. Using the feedback and responses from each one I have been able to tweak it over the years.

I want to save you the "trial and error" and share with you my highly converting cold email template which will hopefully get you similar results. The template will work for any freelancing sector - so even if you are a copywriter, web developer, graphic designer or anything else, this template will work for you.

Free Download: High Converting Cold Email Template
Download my free, high converting Cold Email Template that I used to generate over $25k+ for my freelancing business. Get more clients today.

The brackets in the template are areas where you make each email unique to the client you are emailing. It's important to fill these sections out correctly because if you don't the template will not perform as it should.

Let's go through the template and I will explain how to fill out each section.

How to get the client to read the email

Arguably the most important step is getting the potential client to actually open the email. You have to understand that they are probably busy and receive hundreds of emails a day. It's well know that a lot of freelancers these days copy and paste proposal emails and if the client senses this they will delete the email before reading it.

That's why it is critical to make the subject UNIQUE TO THE CLIENT. It will make them pause when they read it and fill them with intrigue.

In my template I take this a step further. By identifying a problem they might not know they have and that is unique to them, you will definitely grab their attention.

For example:

Subject: I can help you fix [your broken shipping cost calculator]

Where do you find a problem? Simply browse the clients website as a potential customer. Anything that would put you off, or stop your purchasing from them is a problem which you can leverage in the subject of this cold email.

What you are trying to do here is firstly make a potential client aware of a problem which could be costing them money and secondly impress them with the fact that you have spent time looking for ways in which you can help.

For the best chances of getting an email open, try to find a problem that only that specific client has. The more unique the better. If they receive an email that says "I can help you fix your bad SEO" then that could easily have been sent to hundreds of other businesses - and the client will know that.

How to impress your potential client

By now you will have the interest of your new potential client, but a strong subject is not enough. You now need to provide facts to back up your "I can help you" claim.

The number one mistake freelancers make when cold emailing is talking too much about what "they" want and not what a client wants or needs. To be frank, businesses don't really care what you as a freelancer want, they want what benefits them - usually sales.

That's why in the template we immediately let them know that something is potentially stopping sales on their website.

YOU MUST then back this up with a detailed breakdown of the issue. People aren't stupid and they will know if the issue you mention is a legitimate problem or just you trying to sell your services.

  • Walk them through the user journey to the point you came across the issue.
  • Explain the issue in depth.
  • Provide screenshots of the problem.
  • Tell them why it stopped YOU buying from them.

The key goal is to make this potential client think.

"Wow, this freelancer has spent time identifying a real problem on my website and it really is losing me sales and money."

For example: [I was on your website and about to buy 2 of your t-shirt's. The first t-shirt added to the cart fine, but when I went to add another t-shirt the button would not work. I could not add any more products to the cart after I had 1 product in it. This prevented me from not only purchasing multiple t-shirts but purchasing at all. As I could not get the 2 I wanted, I did not purchase anything].

You can see from the example above, this is detailed, precise and clearly explains how the client could be losing sales from the perspective of a customer.

How to make potential clients interested in you

So now you have them really hooked. They have a problem that you identified and guess what? You can help.

Their mind will already be thinking about how it will get fixed. Immediately pointing out that you can fix it will make you a pretty strong candidate for them to hire.

Mentioning in the email that this is a problem you have ALREADY fixed for other clients before will make you even more appealing to them. After all, if you have fixed this problem for other clients before then you will be fast and efficient when fixing it for them.

Note: if you haven't fixed the problem for another client before, use an example that is related.

Lets say the identified problem is: Bad copy of the product pages of an e-commerce website. You haven't written copy for product pages of an e-commerce website before but you have for a sales page? That's fine. You have "fixed" the problem of bad copy before.

It's important to note that you have not shared your portfolio yet. This is not a "sales pitch". Potential clients will immediately be turned off if they sense a sales pitch. If they want to find out more about you they will be able to with a quick Google search.

Seal the deal with a big benefit

You have pointed out a problem, said you can fix it and that you have fixed it for other clients before. Now you can seal the deal by mentioning a BIG benefit that came about because of you fixing the same problem for another client.

9 times out of 10 the big benefit will be MORE SALES. A very relatable benefit that most potential clients will want.

For example: This resulted in them getting [more sales because customers were able to add multiple products to the cart easily and not be turned off by a broken checkout process].

You can see in the example, it's very precise. It tells this potential client exactly how fixing the problem will bring a benefit and it explains what that benefit is.

You don't need to write multiple paragraphs about the benefit, keep it to the point and make it something that will really bring VALUE to them.

How to make sure they respond

A big problem freelancers make when closing off an email is being vague, or leaving too many questions unanswered.

This might leave your potential client thinking:

  • Should I ask for a portfolio?
  • Should I ask the freelancers rate?
  • Should I call them?

The client could be confused about the next steps. If you want to make sure they respond simply give them a call to action or a question to answer.

Asking them if they would like a proposal from you which outlines the next steps to fix the issue you have identified gives them a strong call to action to make sure they respond. After all, why would they not want a proposal to fix an issue losing them money?

It makes their response simple. Yes, or no and the easier a response needs to be for a busy client, the more likely they will respond.

Now what?

The next steps are all on you now. You will need to follow up with an amazing proposal and make sure you offer the client value.

Remember, this email template will help but it is important to understand WHY and the methods used within in to persuade a client to use your services.

Lastly, make sure you are offering true value and not selling services the client doesn't really need. The best way to build a lasting client relationship from a cold email is to offer value from the first interaction.

Hopefully this template generates good results for you, as it does for me.

You've successfully subscribed to Freelance Lemon
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Great! You've successfully signed up.
Your link has expired
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.