Cold emailing is a tough gig for any ecommerce business, and the subscription world is no exception, especially when there’s dozens of types of subscription business model out there.

To send a batch of emails only to get zero responses is disheartening to say the least, especially when you’re trying to figure out how to approach a new vendor by email. But when you do finally get the response you’re looking for, there’s no feeling quite like it. This is where cold email templates come in!

There are ways to make those positive responses come along more regularly — and we’re about to give you the best cold email templates in the land for exactly that purpose. But first, here’s why you should always be looking for suppliers for your online store.

Securing a business license and getting hold of an initial list of suppliers is how to get your subscription box business off the ground — but a large database of leads is just the beginning.

The fact of the matter is, running an online business is not always a smooth endeavor, and that goes for running a subscription box business, too — despite the unique benefits.

💡 Top tip
To an extent, this is a numbers game. Having a bulging list of suppliers will go a long way to making your life easier when things go south.

If you’re looking for an example, picture any of these scenarios that could lead to major concern:

  • Your supplier can’t deliver their goods by your deadline
  • There’s a recall on one of your supplier’s products
  • Your supplier can’t meet the quota of products you need
  • Your supplier raises their overall prices due to inventory storage costs
  • You can’t pay the price your supplier is asking for a minimum order quantity
  • The products you wanted are too big or too heavy for this month’s box
  • Your supplier decides to stop offering you trade credit

There are all kinds of intangibles outside of your control that could affect your relationships with existing customers, no matter your subscription business model. For this reason it’s always smart to be working with multiple suppliers at the same time, even if you can’t use them all each and every month.

If you want a positive initial response and eager potential suppliers, your cold emails have to tick all the right boxes. It’s the only way you’ll be able to nurture a fruitful long-term business partnership, whether you’re looking to start buying wholesale or simply secure a handful of product samples from a dropship vendor.

Tom Hanks sending cold email template

Below you’ll find three different cold email templates you can use for contacting suppliers.

1. The Short and Sweet

This cold email template is all about brevity. Chances are the people you’re reaching out to don’t have a lot of time on their hands.

By keeping things short you actually show that you value their business. It’s a weird piece of psychology. If your email was long and went on and on about your company it would probably just end up in the trash can.

The template below is one that one of our merchants, BusterBox, has used to great success. They’ve agreed to gift the email template to our readers below.

🧠 Don't forget!
It's always important to include a link to your company name and your own website (even if you're new and it's a quick and dirty website) as part of the signature.

Hello,

My name is [NAME] and I am the CEO of a [DESCRIPTION] subscription box service based in [LOCATION] called [BUSINESS NAME]. We send a monthly box of [PRODUCT TYPES] to [CUSTOMER TYPE].

Having looked at your products online we are very interested in getting sent prices. We have a growing subscriber count of over [SUBSCRIBER COUNT] and the boxes are shipped [weekly/monthly/quarterly].

Looking forward to hearing from you.

NAME, CEO

YourBusiness.com

Here’s a slightly different strategy to help you approach wholesalers and other suppliers. If you’ve already shipped previous boxes, then you’re going to have more email options at your disposal.

For this sample email, we’re going to highlight the beauty of your past boxes to get your potential supplier on board.

If you have some really enticing images of your own inventory that you’ve already shipped out you can use these to get your suppliers hooked. Images connect with us in ways words can’t.

Hello,

My name is [NAME] and I am the CEO of a [DESCRIPTION] subscription box service based in [LOCATION] called [BUSINESS NAME]. We send a monthly box of [PRODUCT TYPES] to [CUSTOMER TYPE].

We’ve looked at your products and would love a price sheet.

If you’re interested, here’s a quick look at some of our past boxes.

[IMAGE OF BOX #1]

[IMAGE OF BOX #2}

Your products are a perfect fit for our [NICHE] and the theme for this month’s box.

Our subscriber count of over [SUBSCRIBER COUNT] is steadily growing and would love to expose your awesome products to our audience.

Look forward to hearing from you.

NAME, CEO

YourBusiness.com

Social proof can be a very powerful tool for an online store. If you’ve managed to score a business relationship with a well-known brand in this month’s subscription box, then it’s a good idea to mention them in the email.

The same can be said for any large media outlets you’ve been featured on, whether they’re international or from your own country. On their side, a simple Google search is all they’ll need to verify it.

When you’re cold emailing the deck is stacked against you, so you want to build credibility in any way you can to boost your negotiating power, whether your goal is to avoid having to pay upfront for cash flow reasons or obtain a sellers permit as a new business wanting to stock a particular licensed product. Highlighting your track record is a great way to do this.

This sample email is very useful in that it allows you to leverage your social influence and position yourself as high-value enough that your potential new supplier is likely to be more flexible when it comes to things like minimum order quantities for products that they’re selling wholesale, shipping costs for products being sent from abroad (such as from Chinese vendors, for example), or how generous they are when you request samples.

Hello,

My name is [NAME] and I am the CEO of a [DESCRIPTION] subscription box service based in [LOCATION] called [BUSINESS NAME]. We send a monthly box of [PRODUCT TYPES] to [CUSTOMER TYPE].

We’d love to feature some of your products alongside [BIG BRAND ONE] and [BIG BRAND TWO] in our next box.

We are very interested in getting sent prices. We’ve been featured in [MEDIA OUTLET ONE] and [MEDIA OUTLET TWO] and the boxes are shipped [weekly/monthly/quarterly].

Looking forward to hearing from you.

NAME, CEO

YourBusiness.com

If, like most small businesses, you’re using Gmail or Outlook to send out cold emails, you’re very likely to lose track of them. Or, you’re likely to spend a large amount of time keeping track.

How to organize your email outreach

Here are some quick tips on how to stay on top of your outreach campaigns linked to your sourcing strategy.

Tip 1: Use GMass for Gmail follow-up

Your follow up email is just as important (if not more important) than your initial email.  

GMass is a tool that can help you send out bulk emails and remember to follow up with your prospects. It’s super easy to use and can take the headache out of sending a ton of emails.

You can even create auto-follow up sequences for recipients who didn’t respond to your first email.

Tip 2: Use Mailshake for super easy automation

Okay, so this is a paid tool. If you don’t have the budget for an extra $9 a month, then feel free to use the other two tracking methods highlighted.

But, Mailshake is awesome.

Managing long-term supplier relationships can get tricky if your strategy to communicate effectively relies predominantly on email. This tool lets you see if your emails have been opened, manage replies, and view your entire email history. You can even create campaigns that let you email all of your suppliers at once.

Tip 3: Go old-school with Excel

If the two tools above don’t strike your fancy, you can always kick it old school with Excel.

Excel worksheet old school

When creating your spreadsheet make sure that you track the name of the company, the date you sent your initial email, their response, and further dates to follow up. You may want to create a new spreadsheet for each box you ship, so your spreadsheet doesn’t get too messy.

Before I go I wanted to leave you with one more quick tip. If you ever have a hard time finding emails for potential business partners, you can use a nifty app called Hunter.io.

All you need to do is sign up for the app and enter your website of choice. The app will work its magic and you’ll have a list of all the emails associated with the company.

If you’ve never done email outreach before it can be a little overwhelming. But, just remember there’s another person on the other side of the email. It’s easy to get caught up being super formal, but just be yourself.

Effective communication is both efficient and personable – if your email doesn’t read like a conversation, then you’re doing it wrong.

Make your email about the other party, not your company. Entice them with social proof, your subscribers, previous boxes, and a little bit of cash and you’ll have a steady stream of solid suppliers to work with.

Now get out there and start selling! Have any questions about sending those first supplier emails? Please tweet us!

By Zaki Gulamani
Сontent creator at Subbly