How to Write a Compelling Sales Email

Published on Oct 03, 2017 by Michael Hanson | 4 min(s) read time

Sales emails are still a great way to nurture and generate leads but they need to be used effectively to do so.


While we all dread the endless cold emails that stream into our inboxes everyday, and do everything to avoid crafting badly written emails, that doesn’t mean all cold emails are bad. It just means that there’s a very fine line between emails that are read and those that don’t even get opened.

Here’s how to write a great sales email to make sure they result in warm and toasty leads:


1. Start off on the Right Foot

Use a subject line that generates enough interest to get the reader to open your mail. That said, your mail must actually deliver on what your subject line promises as the last thing you want is great open rates but miserably low response rates. A strong subject line that is tied to something your prospect considers important means the battle is half won.


2. Introduce Yourself or Grab their Attention 

Once you get your email opened, you can either introduce yourself briefly - who you are, who you work with, how you heard about them and why you’re emailing them - or grab their attention by mentioning something they’ve done recently such as a a blog, tweet or a compliment about their organization or work.

How do you get your reader to retain interest long enough to complete your email? Research! And tons of it. Set your emails apart by focusing on something your prospect is passionate about or a pain point you know they struggle with.


3. Be Brief But Human 

The only way to engage a prospect with your email is to get to the point quickly,  while coming across like a real human person. Inject warmth, good humor and personality into your email despite the relatively formal choice of words and language used.


If you are emailing a large number of contacts, you need to break down your lists into different segments defined by factors such as job title (e.g. HR Director, CEO, Marketing Director), industry (e.g. computer software, fintech), buyer’s journey stage, and adapt your messaging to touch the common pain points of these specific segments. Using the same message for thousands of people with different needs and challenges will result in much lower click, open and engagement rates.


4. Tailor Your Message to the Recipient

Remember It’s Not About You! This is why you should not just discuss features but their benefit and why your product or service meets the recipient’s specific needs or how it solves their problems. For example, mention cost benefits if it’s a CFO looking to reduce expenses or describe data security benefits if it’s the CTO you’re reaching out to.


5. Be Visual

Show, don’t tell, like  this smart pitch that doubled as a demo and wowed our partners at Hubspot. Instead of a long-winded email, create a video, infographic or short presentation that shows how it would work for them in real time. Bonus points if this shows the client’s own website/logo/branding elements as you want to personalize the email to demonstrate the effort you’ve taken to understand their needs and challenges.


6. Call to Action or Qualifying Question

You need to have a clear and reasonable objective. If the client is only in the awareness stage, you may want to ask them a qualifying question or download an eBook, whereas if they are in the consideration or decision stage, you may ask them to look at a case study related to someone from their industry or ask

If it’s a simple email that ends with a clear ask that doesn’t demand much,  you’re on the road to not just getting read but getting replies as well.


7. A/B Test

Change things up and keep testing to reveal formats that work better for specific segments or audiences. Ensure however that you do not change two aspects in the same email as this will influence your results. If you change the call to action and the introductory line for example, you will not know if the CTA or the introduction is what is really affecting your click rates. Focus on one change for effective and measurable results.


8. Follow Up

Have the appropriate follow up emails ready by using marketing automation to help customize your emails according to the engagement of your prospect (how many times they have opened or clicked your email) and the types of content they have engaged with (e.g. blogs, eBooks, case studies).


The Only Time Cold Sales Emails Work is when they’re...WARM!

Writing extremely targeted mails takes more time and effort but the ROI is much higher. You may send less but what you lose out in numbers you make up for in higher response rates. The formula examined here is a simple mix of customer-centric writing, an offer they can’t refuse and a human touch to make you stand out and subsequently, yield much better results.

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Topics: sales