5 Cold Email Templates to Land High Paying Gigs: For Freelancers and Contractors

Welcome! Click to view the 5 proven cold email templates for freelancers below.
Jump down to the email templates
Cold email for developers Cold email for writers Cold email for web designers Cold email for copywriters Cold email for SEO consultants
Download all templates in PDF

Programmer or coder

A few strategies to 3x return visits

Comment on something specific the prospect did or said to open the conversation and say you would like to share some ideas / strategies to help them achieve an important goal.

Present your ideas / strategies, explaining the results they deliver for the prospect.

Mention a relevant past project you did and the results it achieved to showcase your skills.

End your email by asking what they think of your ideas / strategies. If they are intrigued by what you can create / do for them, most of them ask for more details on their own.

Download a step by step cold email guide


Creating killer lead magnet ebooks

Compliment about one of their specific pieces to show that you have taken the time to go through their work.

Provide a few high quality topics they can write about to either gain a lot of leads or visitors.

Provide an additional tip about how you leveraged a written resource in the past.

Download a step by step cold email guide

📩︎   Like these templates? Check out 40+ more email templates to consistently close salesLearn more

Web designer

A few improvements to 3x your website request quote conversions

Provide a specific compliment about their business.

Provide suggestions to increase the number of visitors who perform the most important goal on their website. With visual examples of how they're supposed to look. This personalized approach is highly effective but takes time, which is why it's important to only target companies who have the budget and need for ongoing design work.

Download a step by step cold email guide

Success story: 10 repeat customers by offering initially free, now low-cost website reviews

By initially offering free, now low-cost ($10) thorough website reviews, Anthony Malloc was able to get 10 repeat customers for web design projects. The key part of converting samplers into customers? Simply by shooting them a follow up email mentioning "I would love to work with you again". The same reason why a lot of services offer a free trial period, by letting a potential customer see if you have the skills in a free or low-cost way, you eliminate their risk so they are much more likely to give you a shot. Once they do and see that your work is great, some of them will end up hiring you!

Cold email prospects who use products that serve needs relevant to your services

This template is part of Art of Sales, a system of 40+ proven templates covering every key stage of the sales process. Consistently gain new customers without worrying about dry spells. Click to learn more.

Mention where you came across this prospect and use the topic they commented on to open the conversation.

Provide them valuable lesser known insights related to the topic they commented on and the services you provide.

Mention a specific result you achieved for a client to intrigue them into asking for more details.


Some copy ideas just for Savist

Specific compliment about what the prospect built.

Share copy suggestions using a web annotator like Bounce. Prospects are much more likely to see the value of your services if you give them concrete ideas about how they can improve an important metric. Then they would be interested to hire you to implement them.

Cite a metric you achieved for previous clients to boost your credibility.

Download a step by step cold email guide

SEO consultant

2 tips you can apply right now to boost your Google visibility

Start off with a personal story about how you benefited from their services or why you find their services valuable.

Educate them in a storytelling way about what they can do differently to rank higher.

Give away one useful change they can apply right now to get results.

Download a step by step cold email guide

Step by step cold email guide Want to acquire hundreds of new customers for free and semi-automatically?
Show me how
Why offer strategic free work upfront to land long-term projects and clients

All the templates above require doing a bit of free work upfront to land long-term projects and clients. Why does this approach work much more effectively than an email describing your skills and past projects?

When prospects see that, no matter how impressive your skills and past projects are, it is very difficult for them to visualize how you will apply your skills to help them. They will wonder: "Would this unproven person be able to translate their talk into delivering results for me?"

When you use your skills to create something specifically for a prospect's business, whether it's an action plan to improve X (related to your services) or a copy rewrite of their homepage, it shows them exactly what you can do to help them. And people will hire you once you prove to them you can deliver.

Why freelancers should offer free work upfront to land lucrative projects and clients

Don't believe me? Charlie Hoehn emailed Tim Ferriss back when he was a fresh faced 23-year-old by laying out 2 detailed action plans to improve Tim's business. He became Tim's long-time assistant.

Jeff Sauer from Three Deep Marketing volunteered to help Moz fix their website after he saw Rand Fishkin tweet Moz's Wordpress got hacked. He landed a regular gig helping Moz plug security holes.

Devesh Khanal cold emailed 100 people about redesigning their presentations. Even though he included before and after pictures of the presentations, only 16% of the people responded and none of them hired him. After he actually redesigned the presentation slides of 3 companies and emailed those to them, one of those companies turned into a long-time customer.

Stefan Stokic landed an internship at Lowercase Capital, a venture capital fund, by creating a jobs page for their website when he was 15.

2 top reactions to the concept of doing free work upfront:

"Free work? No way! Also this is non-scalable."
"They'll just take the work I did / ideas I offered and do it themselves."

First off, you don't have to do free work upfront for everyone and their uncles. Strategically do it for a select few clients and companies who are in position to offer long-term work. And/or are very well-known so working with them would give you valuable experience and credibility.

Secondly, you know what is also a lot of work? Sending your resume or email to dozens of different companies and getting no results. By offering free work upfront to a very select high value companies, you'll be creating something meaningful,with much better odds of getting hired.

If you're presenting an action plan of strategies or ideas, the value of it isn't your action plan itself. It's having someone like you to actually implement it. If the company had the time and resources to do it themselves, they would have already done it.

Last updated:
Consistently generate leads and convert them into clients Proven sales system: 40+ email templates to conquer every key sales stage Learn more
More proven email templates