5 Simple Copy-and-Paste Cold Emails Virtual Advisors are Using to Start Power Conversations


If you’re like most virtual advisors, you:

  • Pay for a cold email list
  • Send a hastily-written email to the list
  • Get an extremely low response rate
  • Swear off cold email and try other things.

What you’re left with is a wasted investment, frustration, and general pessimism towards cold prospecting. 

Here’s a rough sketch of what many advisors experience with cold email:

You’re excited when you hear someone mention the idea of cold email.

Then once you stop daydreaming and start executing, you realize it’s harder than it looks.

This leads to the plateau where you stall out and start thinking about other things.

Then you inevitably give up. 

But when cold email is done right…like the way I’m going to show you in this article…your experience will look more like this:

With the method I teach, you start with the hard work.

Then you execute.

But as you execute, you start seeing results.

This gradually increases your energy and excitement.

Then you iterate based on the results and get even more results…

Which fuels you to continue investing more energy into cold email as time goes by.

In this blog post, I’m going to walk you through exactly how you can use cold email to grow your advisory and generate a steady flow of leads with limited effort.

Let’s get to it!

The Purpose of Cold Email

I’m not going to take a ton of time to talk about the basics of cold email. (It’s something that you most likely have some experience with.)

But I do want to touch on a few key principles before we dive into the meat and potatoes of this discussion.

The first thing we need to get clear on is the notion that cold email is essentially a cold call in written form. You’re emailing someone who doesn’t know you from Adam. You’re coming in with no prior interaction or engagement, which means you have to take a unique approach.

The second key point – and arguably the most important – is this:

The purpose of a cold email is NOT to make a sale – it’s to START a conversation.

Highlight that…write it down…get it framed in your office…

Do whatever it takes to remember that one key point.

I’ll spell it out again just to reiterate…

The purpose of a cold email is NOT to make a sale – it’s to START a conversation.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to get someone to buy something via a cold email. Prospects will hit the delete button faster than you can blink. 

The closest thing to a call-to-action (CTA) should be to schedule a meeting via some sort of calendar app or automatic scheduling tool. 

The third point of emphasis has to do with compliance.

In order for your cold emails to be CAN-SPAM-compliant, you need to include a few different elements:

  1. You must have your real name.
  2. You must have your full contact information in the email (title, website, social media, phone number, etc.).
  3. You should have customized content to that person.
  4. You should have a specific request or call-to-action (but not a call to purchase something).

Consider these the very basics of cold email – the groundwork that must be laid before you can begin building up. 

If you follow these pointers and treat cold email as the start of a conversation, you’ll have every chance to successfully generate leads.

Building a List for Cold Email

You can’t implement a cold email sequence or strategy without a list to work from.

So let’s begin here.

While there are dozens of options to choose from, these are – in my opinion – the two best places to harvest cold email leads


This email finder tool is a Chrome extension. Set up properly, it can help you grab 100 to 500 email addresses per day.



This is a Chrome extension as well – though it’s slightly more technical than SalesQL. (If you’re pursuing white collar prospects like doctors, attorneys, optometrists, or psychologists, this tends to be a really effective way to build a cold email list.)

If you’re serious about using these tools – as well as other qualified lead resources – you’ll have a deep cold email list in no time at all… 

BUT…you’re not ready to send emails yet.

Before doing anything with cold email, you MUST clean up and optimize your list.

I specifically recommend doing the following:

  1. Scrub your list to get rid of bad/old emails. This will improve your deliverability. (If you start sending cold emails to emails that don’t work, they’re going to bounce back as undeliverable and hurt your domain score.) Recommended Tool: ZeroBounce.
  2. Invest in a second domain. You don’t want the transactional emails you have going with your clients to be negatively affected by your cold emails. So it’s a good idea to have multiple domains – one for cold email and one for your everyday engagement with clients.

Trust me on these points…I know from personal experience just how imperative these steps are.

We once purchased a list that cost $60k – an incredibly expensive list that came with tons of valuable information for a specific industry that we ended up going into. 

But here’s the kicker…

After we ran it through ZeroBounce, we found out it was mostly junk. Many of the emails were no longer good.

I don’t want to get into the rest of that story right now…but the takeaway should be crystal clear: Scrub your email list and optimize it accordingly so that you have every chance of being successful in your cold email outreach.

Cold Email Sequence Tips

Okay, that’s enough build-up – let’s get granular.

If you remember from the beginning of this post, the point of cold email is to start a conversation.

Put another way, you need to condense down what you do so that people who receive your cold emails will say, “Okay, I’ll give you 10 minutes of my time.”

In fact, that’s the key to writing cold emails to convert.

However, you’re rarely going to accomplish that in a single email. 

You MUST use a sequence with cold email. 

The data shows that you’ll get roughly 30% of your replies on the first email, and then it’ll go down. 

Then by email four, five, or six, you’ll get another 10% lift (approximately).

So if you’re only sending one email, you’re undercutting your results. And if you only send two or three, you’re not hanging around long enough to ride that second wave of engagement. 

If you can get to email #4 and up, you’ll enjoy additional lift, more conversations, and the potential for higher conversions further on down the funnel. 

Before we take a look at a cold email sequence that you can copy and paste into your own strategy, let’s address some helpful suggestions that will allow you to achieve better results from the very start.

Subject Line Ideas

Subject lines can make or break cold emails. Prospects are well-trained at spotting spam and will trash your emails without opening if they suspect your email is spam. Prevent this from happening by using a few of my favorite subject lines:

  • [2nd degree connection]’s connection + NAME
  • great article! (something they did)
  • FNAME (always good)
  • Are we on for monday…
  • Is this the right number? 312-493-9972 (change the last digit by one number)

I’ve got more where those came from, but I’ll let you chew on those for a while. A/B test a few different combinations to see which ones resonate with your list.

CTA Ideas

Remember: You aren’t trying to sell something. You’re starting a conversation. So keep your CTAs simple, humble, and low-commitment. Many of my clients get good results with some of these:

  • How does that sound?
  • Would you be open to a 15 min call
  • Are you the right person to chat with about this at [company]?
  • Is this of interest to you?

A conversation should sound natural and informal – make sure your language reflects these standards.

Helpful Measurements

Naturally, cold email has lower open and engagement rates than warm email. But sometimes it’s hard to know what “good” numbers are. Here’s a very basic measuring stick:

  • Anything that’s a 3%-5% reply rate is LOW.
  • Anything that’s 7%-10% reply rate  is GOOD.
  • Anything that’s 10%+ reply rate is GREAT.

Understand that these are general ranges that apply across the board. Don’t stress if you’re one or two percentage points off where you think you should be.

Your initial objective is to start a conversation with a few prospects so that you can refine your methodology and iterate over time.

Cold Email Sequence [SWIPE]

Over the years, I’ve used a variety of cold email sequences with varying degrees of success. 

Today, I’m providing you with one of my absolute favorites. 

It’s one that’s working right NOW and is helping advisors generate some pretty noteworthy results. 

It’s a four-parter… 

All you need to do is copy, paste, and customize a few blanks.

Here’s Email #1:

Day 1

[subject] reduce your companies 401k fees in 10 minutes

Hello [Prospect Name],

I have an idea that I can explain in 10 minutes that can get [company] a $10,000 minimum haircut in your 401k fees.

I recently used this idea to help our client [company name] save [insert amount here] even during this downtown.

[First name], let’s schedule a quick 10-minute call so I can share the idea with you. When works best for you?

Wellness to you and your family.


This first email works because it provides an immediate benefit in the headline.

It also gets straight to the point. There’s no fluff or filler at the beginning. (The first paragraph packs a serious punch!)

Finally, because there’s no fluff, the email is really short. It can be read in less than 20 seconds, which lowers the likelihood that prospects will drop off before reaching the end.

Now for Email #2:

[subject] re: reduce your companies 401k fees in 10 minutes

[Prospect Name], Just nudging this back up the ol’ inbox, I know you’re busy. : ) 



Hello [Prospect Name],

I have an idea that I can explain in 10 minutes that can get [company] a $10,000 minimum haircut in your 401k fees.

I recently used this idea to help our client [company name] save [insert amount here] even during this downtown.

[First name], let’s schedule a quick 10-minute call so I can share the idea with you. When works best for you?


Did you see what I did there?

I’m just adding the “re:” tag at the front of the email subject line. 

Then I plug in a one-liner that comes across as natural/conversational, followed by a direct copy and paste from the body of Email #1.

This email works well because it indicates that there’s been some sort of discussion or lead-up prior to this message.

This continuation makes people more likely to engage.

…Okay, so that’s the first half of the cold email sequence.

The second half is where the magic really starts to happen.

I’d love to share it all right here, but it’s much easier to see in one big PDF format.


Plug your email in below and I’ll be happy to send it to you.

Plus, if you go ahead and ask for the full cold email sequence PDF, I’ll throw in something else…

At Advisorist, we call it the 80/8 Direct Prospecting Message Template.

The name originates from a case study in which one advisor implemented the email and generated 80 leads and 8 appointments in less than 20 days.

Want More SWIPE Files and Templates?

The swipe files and templates you see in this blog post were covered in-depth in a recent Virtual Advisor Power Hour.

If you want more tangible resources you can use to grow your virtual advisory, please join the nearly 1k advisors who sign up each week.

Register to join our weekly LIVE Virtual Advisor Power Hour Class.

It’s totally FREE.

And the content is TIMELY and PROVEN. 

Each week we’re celebrating huge WINS from inside our community.

And to make it even more fun, I give away cash prizes up to $500 to advisors that show up live.

Our Power Hours take place every Wednesday afternoon at 12 noon EST…

Jeremiah Desmarais

Jeremiah Desmarais

Jeremiah is the founder and CEO of Advisorist® and is a 23-time award winning financial marketer, a TED speaker and philanthropist. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNN, and Worth. His work has generated over $2 million insurance leads and helped advisors in over 51 countries generate over $300 million in sales commissions. He is the author of the best selling book, SHIFT.

5 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other Articles