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UPDATED: The Ultimate Compilation of Lavender Sales Email Frameworks

Getting results from your cold emails starts with using solid frameworks. Here are 16 of our best sales email frameworks and how to use them.

What if you could be taught how to send cold emails so good they could not be ignored?

Luckily, we help you do just that.

We’ve learned what resonates (and why) by mining data from millions of emails. We’ve created, tested, and refined dozens of frameworks. And now, the best of them are yours. Take ‘em, make them your own, and create unignorable emails that get replies and results.

Frameworks vs. Templates

It’s important to highlight that we’re giving you frameworks, not templates.

Sales is not for everyone. It’s challenging. It’s agonizing at times. And the only thing that makes it harder is the lack of guidance in the field.

The traditional idea of “email templates” adds to this problem. Templates may be easier to scale across an organization or enable you to start as an SDR. But it discourages critical thinking.

What are you learning if you’re simply working off templates and copying and pasting as you go? How are you improving?

Is this the best experience for your buyer? How do you stand out?

Templates are rigid, making it difficult to flex and adapt the context for why you’re reaching out. And they thwart writing personalized emails that resonate with your reader.

Behind your traditional template is a framework. Think of every email as being made up of building blocks or Legos. The more you understand each Lego piece that comprises the framework and how they work together, the better your email will be and the better you will become with each send. This means more replies more often.

With content analysis (that’s where Lavender comes in to help), frameworks unlock an understanding of what drives replies. They help you personalize, learn, and improve.

Embrace them and learn from them.

Now, here are our best frameworks for you to use. Are you ready?

Table of Contents

How to Use These Frameworks

Each framework is built for designated use cases. This helps identify where they’ll be the most effective for you. We include examples for each framework, but these are not meant to be copy and pasted. They only contain light personalization, so the framework bones are clear. Use these as the key elements of your email and build upon them.

Your emails should contain more personalization than the examples to make sure they resonate. Focus on the frameworks’ underlying structure and instructions.

Take a framework and make it your own. Then, plug it into Lavender and see how it scores. Our email coach will identify what needs to be fixed and how to edit your email to optimize for a 90+ score. Emails that score 90 or above have double the chance of getting a reply.

Not using Lavender it? We help thousands of sellers worldwide send better emails faster—and feel confident while improving. Try it today for free.

The Mouse Trap

Use case: First touch, DM, Follow-up

How to use it:

The Mouse Trap contains two steps. And it’s a one or two-sentence email.

1. Observation

2. Question

An observation is the context for why you’re showing up in their inbox. The question should be value-prop driven, meaning the value you add. It focuses on a challenge and implies your product or service has the solution.

The question should be binary (meaning it can be answered with a yes or no), and it doesn’t explicitly state what you do. The question is phrased so it implies what you do.


Will, looks like you're hiring reps.

Would it be helpful to get a more granular look at how they're ramping up on email?

Why it works: The mouse trap drives an impulsive reply based on curiosity. It’s a priority check. If what you’re mentioning is a priority for your prospect, you’re likely to get a quick response.

It’s a helpful framework to use when you have high-intent signals or are in demand capture mode.

The Mouse Trap with Context

Use case: First touch, DM, Follow-up

How to use it:

1. Observation

2. Question

3. Context

This is the same as The Mouse Trap, but also includes context for what you do. You want to hit on an implied solution to the challenge. You’re providing a little more background information for why you’re reaching out.


Will, looks like you're hiring reps.

Would it be helpful to get a more granular look at how they're ramping on email? Our in-inbox email coach, Lavender, helps teams ramp faster.

Why it works: You’re taking The Mouse Trap and adding how you can help your reader if the suggested problem is present. This added detail can bring them closer to understanding the purpose of your question.

It’s still short and direct, which is why it also works as a direct message (DM) or as a bump (a follow-up email).

Vanilla Ice Cream

Use case: First touch

How to use it:

1. Make an observation: One sentence that shows you know your reader. Use your personalization research.

2. Share a problem or insight: One relevant sentence that implies a pain point or value prop. It should be related to your observation.

3. Build credibility: Speak to the challenge you’re solving and how you’ve helped solve this for other customers.

4. Share a solution: Explain what you did to solve this problem in one sentence.

5. Call-to-conversation (CTC): End with a question or interest-based CTA (call to action). Your primary goal is to start a conversation.



I saw you're hiring SDRs. I imagine you're thinking about how they'll ramp.

Usually, our customers focus on cold calls. But their email results lag.

We're helping reps at Sendoso ramp faster. They continue to improve each quarter with our in-inbox coach.

Worth a chat?


Why this works: The first part of the email creates logic and clarity for why you’re reaching out. Making an informed conclusion from an observation shows you understand the situation they may be in. This builds credibility.

The second half gives the email purpose. It establishes the context and illustrates to the reader that you know them.

And lastly, think of your prospecting as growing a plant. In order to grow, a plant needs nurturing and the right conditions. Similarly, with your first touch, you're planting a seed and beginning to build rapport.

So don’t pitch your product at this point. Your aim is to get a reply, not book a meeting (yet). Booking a meeting and closing a deal will come after you get a positive reply. So focus there first!

We call this one Vanilla Ice Cream because it’s foundational. Like a delicious sundae may have a vanilla ice cream base, this framework is the base for your fantastic emails.

Neutral Insights

Use case: Follow up, LinkedIn DMs, nurture or re-engagement

How to use it:

1. Reference a third-party resource: Bring a trusted, third-party publication to the discussion. Share the piece you want your reader to see, and show that you’re being neutral. Do not use your company’s blog or other branded resources.

2. Explain why they should read it: Reuse your context for reaching out and start a conversation with this question.

3. Explain why you’re sharing it: Tie your “why” to your understanding of their situation and their business needs, wants, and goals.

4. Optional: Make a soft ask and nod back to the original CTA or, ideally, CTC.


George, do you read Outreach’s blog?

Given you're likely ramping reps, I thought you'd find it interesting.

The VP of Sales Dev at Segment wrote about how she scaled her team to a $3.2B acquisition.

They did it without using canned templates (and using Lavender!)

Check it out


P.S. Any thoughts on my last note?

Why this works: Your reader knows you’re trying to sell something. Most people send their own branded content. However, your company’s content tends to be biased — at least, that’s your buyer’s perception.

By sending them a third-party resource, you’re breaking a pattern. You’re building trust on common, neutral ground. This approach creates a sense of safety. And it also keeps your reader engaged.

Sending relevant content that could help your reader builds connection as a trusted resource. And that’s a prerequisite for any next steps.

The Thoughtful Bump

Use case: Follow up

How to use it:

Context + Bump

This email should be one to three sentences. First, ask if your reader had thoughts on your previous message. Explain you’re curious because of the original reason you reached out. End with a simple question.


Hey George,

Given that you're growing the sales team, I thought this would be worth discussing.

Did you have any feedback on my note?


Why it works: With this framework, you’re still seeking to start a conversation. You’re being thoughtful by providing context for why you are reaching out. You’re showing you’ve considered their time and value their attention by asking a casual question in this “bump” format.

Genuine curiosity can both hook the reader and ensure you’re being human in your approach.

The Clarification

Use case: Follow up

How to use it:

Rephrase The Vanilla Ice Cream framework with these changes:

1. Restate the context for why you’re reaching out

2. Seek to clarify part 1: "What we do"

3. Seek to clarify part 2: "Why that's relevant”

4. Call-to-conversation (CTC)


Hey George,

Given you're growing the sales team, I thought coaching might be top of mind.

To clarify, we've built a sales email coach. Sits right inside their inbox.

High-growth teams like Twilio get great results (and peace of mind). Plus, you get a better sense of what reps are sending without hovering over their shoulder.

Think this could help your team?


Why it works: This is another version of a Thoughtful Bump. It rephrases the original first-touch framework.

The added context gives you a shot to clarify exactly where your solution applies to their challenge. This email is not a place to feature dump. Instead, it’s an opportunity to explain how your solution fits into their life. It makes things concrete for the reader.

If an email is too focused on you or your company, it’s not a great cold email. But it’s a great follow-up email because you’ve already introduced the problem into their mind, and now you’re providing clarity on how you can give them a solution.

The Well-Researched Referral

Use case: Follow Up

How to use it:

1. Start with who (namedrop early)

2. Ask if they're a better person for the topic

3. Explain why they might be a better person.

4. Explain why you reached out in the first place.


Hey Will,

Would Jen be a better person to talk to about this webinar?

Realize she manages community activity. Given the event is going to be all sellers, I thought you'd want the exposure.


Why it works: When you haven’t heard back, or you receive a “not interested,” this framework can be a powerful tool. At this stage, you’re not selling; you’re soliciting. The key is to be well-researched. Otherwise, your reader will see right through it.

Do your research, and don’t just drop a name — have a reason for why this other person could be the better one to connect with. Example: Plug this new person’s experience, or mention the roles and responsibilities from their LinkedIn description.
You can also try this as a P.S. in your follow-up email. Our data shows that a P.S. on a personalized note can net 35% more replies.

Adding something like, “P.S. If this is something Jen is handling, I can reach out to her” can be an effective way to drive that referral forward.

Pro tip: Don’t dump the same email on two people at the same company simultaneously. They are very likely to backchannel to each other. If they find you’re sending the same email to multiple people, they’re unlikely to respond positively.

This approach can also cause deliverability issues. You might get flagged for spamming or, if done too often, blacklisted.

The Breakup

Use case: Objection, breakup/final email

How to use it:

1. State that you've reached out

2. Explain why you did

3. Assume the timing is off

4. Ask them to correct you

5. Clarify it's the last email


Hey George,

I've reached out a few times because you’re hiring so many new reps.

I thought our email coach could help.

I'm going to chalk it up to my timing being off. Let me know if I'm wrong, but I'll stop my outreach for now. Do you think this will be a priority in the next two quarters?

Why it works: Remember it’s not a breakup forever; it’s a “bye for now.” You’re not saying you’ll never talk to them again. But if you’ve sent a few notes and haven’t heard back, ask if you “missed the mark” and try to get them to correct you. People love to correct others.

The Competitor

(or Complementary Tech)

Use case: First touch

How to use it:
1. Acknowledge the competitor

2. Ask if they're happy with it

3. Compliment the competitor

4. Highlight the competitor's shortcomings

5. Open up a dialogue with a question related to #4


Hey Will,

Saw you're using Drift for chat. How are you liking it?

I know their product is killer for lead gen. However, most of their customers switch to us because they need more functionality for customer support.

Could you see chat playing a factor in reducing churn?

Why this works: Discussing the competitor's shortcomings helps reframe your reader’s point of view. Notice how the example’s second and third sentence reframes, establishes credibility, and creates a bridge to the next point. This can be an opportunity to get specific and build personalization.

You’re seeking to get a deeper understanding during the fifth step. If someone’s primary concern is the competitor’s strength, it’s hard to change their mind. You need to know more. This deeper understanding can also help you prioritize your time on deals.

While you should avoid badmouthing your competition, it can be useful to highlight your strengths.

Pro tip: Tie the differences you highlight to your reader’s situation and problems.

The Video

Use case: Prospecting (but never in a first touch)

How to use it:

1. Observation (to give context)

2. Tie the observation to their challenge

A video should never be your first touch. It gives the reader extra work and can hurt your chances of delivery.

The video also can’t stand alone. You need to give your prospect an idea of what’s in the video and compel them to want to watch it.

As a seller, you must put yourself in a decision maker’s shoes. They’re in meetings and calls all day. They simply can’t watch your video (or listen to your audio message) during a meeting. An email is much easier to read when they’re multitasking.

Some buyers will never watch your video. Others love to receive them. It’s important to test multiple formats and channels on each buyer. But never start off with a video because it’s unlikely to be watched or responded to. First, build familiarity via text.


Hey Will,

Given your team is growing, I thought you'd find this interesting. Growth typically either leads to one of two things: trying to standardize or risking having no idea what’s working across inboxes.

Assuming you’re personalizing emails, thought you might enjoy this: [insert video here]

If so, worth a chat soon?

Why this works: When you’re sending a video, your only goal is a video play. Like other frameworks, you need to start with context and connect it to a potential problem your prospect is facing. This is a common theme because selling is about solving your buyer's pain.

Finally, end with an ask to continue the conversation. Here are other powerful ways to incorporate video in your emails.

The DM

Use case: LinkedIn InMail / DM (or other social platforms)

How to use it:
1. Give context on what prompted you to reach out

2. Tie that observation back to an insight or challenge they have

3. Ask a question that either ties the original context to the question or the challenge to a different observation about them or their business


Hey Emily,

Great to see the traction on your hiring post. For SDR ramp, I’m seeing a lot of sales leaders leaning on phone training and email templates.

Do you have a playbook from your time with Salesforce?


Why it works: Social inboxes aren’t email inboxes. It’s a water cooler. Not a to-do list. This framework takes best practices from email and applies them to social.

You’ll notice it’s shorter and focused on starting a controlled dialogue where you can naturally introduce what you do. It pulls in personalization at the bottom of the message (not just the top).

Seek to start a conversation: Try to give the reader context on why you’re showing up in their DMs.

Here are a few other tips and tactics to remember when crafting your next LinkedIn InMail or other social media DM.

Founder Card

Use case: Founder-led sales, Entering a new market, Launching a new product

How to use it:

1. Start with a problem and a benign goal

2. State that you’re looking for feedback

3. Say what you do and establish credibility

4. Share what you want feedback on and ask if they're open to the conversation


Will, is anything frustrating you with your email analytics?

I ask because I'm looking for feedback. I run Lavender. It's a real-time sales email coach. We help sellers at orgs like Sendoso, Twilio, Clari, etc.

We're currently building out cadences and personalization analytics.

Are you open to sharing how we could build it to solve your problems?

Talk soon.

Why it works: This framework can set you up to get feedback and find product market fit. People will likely give you helpful feedback if you've hit the mark with the problem.

This only works if you’re clear on why you want their feedback and think it can help them. You’re telling your reader you have influence in the company, and you can make the product fit their specific needs.

Toe Dip

Use case: Conversation starter

How to use it:
1. Observation

2. Interest-based CTC (call-to-conversation)


Looks like you're hiring reps, Will.

Sales leaders with growing teams usually lean on templates to coach email writing.

Does that sound similar to what you're doing at Lavender?

Why it works: All first-touch emails seek to start a conversation. But this is a simple and brief way to do that.

Re-Engage 3 Ways

Use case: Re-engage old accounts

How to use it:
We have three different approaches that are effective for re-engagement.

A common theme you’ll see in each framework is using unsure tones. Because you’re showing up in your buyer’s inbox again and attempting to revive a convo, everything you say should be assumption-free.

1. One sentence re-engagement email:

Is XYZ still a priority?

Is challenge still a priority?

Are you still working on <initiative to achieve outcome>?

Last we spoke [X problem] was a focus. Is that still top of mind?

Why this works: It’s important to be mindful of how much time you’re requesting from your recipient. Especially when you’re attempting to re-engage and have shown up in their inbox. That’s why a one-sentence email can be highly effective.

This approach helps you get to the point with a straightforward question. Because it’s brief and conversational, they may be more likely to respond with a simple answer, giving you something to work with for a follow-up.

PS. This approach is also great for when you’ve been ghosted (not only for re-engagement).

2. The “We've got something new” angle

  • Remind your recipient of context from previous conversations (in one sentence).
  • Update them about what's new since you spoke. This should be something that could help them achieve the outcome they said they were interested in.
  • Ask if it's worth re-engaging.


Hey Meagan,

Last we spoke, personalization was a big focus for your reps.

Not sure if that's still the case, but we made some great updates to our personalization assistant. It’s now 10x faster.

Think this could help? Or is this no longer a focus?

Why this works: First, you’re restating something familiar from a previous conversation. Hopefully, this triggers a memory for them; at the least, you’re reinforcing your thoughtfulness.

You’re then directly connecting a product update to their need. This may or may not be enough for them to have interest, but you’re closing with the open ask. You’re simply seeking to start a conversation (again) and not assuming it’s of interest.

3. New updates on their end:

  • Remind your recipient of context from previous conversations (in one sentence).
  • State what you've observed change. (Remember to be tentative, don’t make assumptions.)
  • Share how you think priorities may have changed and how your company aligns.
  • Confirm if your hypothesis is accurate.


Hey Sam,

Last time we spoke, getting your AEs to prospect was a big focus.

Now that you're hiring SDRs, I wonder if that means the AEs weren’t successful?

Our dashboards can help you get ahead of these coachable moments. It’ll give you data on writing time, content analytics, where to improve, personalization, etc.

Am I off in thinking you'd like a deeper sense of what's working in your email efforts?

Why this works: This is similar to the last approach. However, here you’re making a connection between a change or update in their company and how you might be able to help.

It’s easy to be off-base when making an observation, so using unsure tones is critical. Best case, your observation lands correctly. Worst case, they set you straight, and you have a reply to work with.


Use case: Late-stage deal or when you’ve been ghosted

How to use it:
Executives don’t have a lot of time. This email should be short and direct.

1. Explain why you’re showing up in their inbox.

2. Reinforce that your team is aligned on the problem you aim to solve for the recipient.

3. Close by offering your support.



I understand you’ve been working with Ashley on our team in hopes Lavender can solve your challenge with diving reply rates.

Is there anything we can do to assist you here?


Why it works: Think of this framework as a nudge. Sometimes, all it takes is someone with a similar title as your decision-maker to help move the conversation. There’s no ask happening here. By showing up and simply offering to help, you’re creating a connection with another stakeholder with zero pressure.

The Customer Mirror

How to use it:
1. Start with an observation. Avoid any “I saw” or “I noticed” narratives.

2. Tie the observation to a similar situation. This is where you loop in your customer. The customer’s similarity is your reason for reaching out. Make sure you know who you’re reaching out to.

3. Offer a challenge faced by that customer. You’re creating relatability.

4. Explain how the customer approached the challenge. Explain how they were dealing with the problem. Nail these two sections of copy and watch your reply rates 📈.

5. Ask if they’re seeing a similar situation. Great opportunity to either sandwich the email with new personalization or reuse your original observation.

Pro tip: Bringing in something new? Use their work experience. Shapes their perspective.


Your team is off to the races, Will.

Curious if this sounds familiar. With the round, and your time at [company], it reminds me of our customer [name].

Big round. New faces. Team knew personalization was working in outbound. But scale was tricky. They lost sight of what was working.

Personalization is big at [company name], no? Curious if this is a challenge for you too?

Why it works: There’s no pitch involved in this email. It’s nothing more than sharing a story your buyer can relate to.

We don’t want to overwhelm the reader. It’s already a longer framework. Save the finale for a follow-up. (See our follow-up frameworks above. :)

With these frameworks, you can personalize, learn, and improve with each send. Give them a spin, and let us know how it goes!

See what your emails look like in Lavender by installing it for free.

Want to get your whole team on Lavender? We can do that too.

Email Templates via Video

Is video more your style? Jump into these frameworks with Will Aitken.