The ability to write an effective sales email is one of the most powerful tools that a salesperson can have on their belt. Email allows you to send a highly-personalized first touch in a way that is non-threatening and extremely informative. Unfortunately, the painful truth is that most sales reps are horrible at it. This is because effective sales emails do not follow the same communication style and etiquette that is used in everyday conversation, and are dependent on secondary factors like timing, personalization, and scalability. To help, we’ve pulled together a list of 15 ways that you can improve your sales emails.
1. Don’t Apologize
One of the most unappealing things that a salesperson can do in an email is to apologize for emailing their prospect. Apologizing for emailing a prospect communicates two things: You don’t believe in your product & you didn’t want to email me in the first place.
2. Keep it Short
It’s always tempting to pack as much information into an email as possible . . . Don’t do it. Keep your emails short and to the point. An effective sales email is easy to scan and doesn’t include multiple links or large text fields. Always keep in mind that the individuals you are emailing are busy and generally don’t have a lot of extra time in their day for reading emails.
Your target length should be 50-125 words.
3. Make a Clear Ask
Sending an email that doesn’t contain a clear call to action will receive no action at all. It’s very important to include a clear ask in your email. If you would like the prospect to email you back write, “Please email me back…” if you would like them to let you know when they are free to talk write “Are you free to talk tomorrow?”
4. Be Honest
Generally, people prefer not to be lied to. It’s shocking how many emails I receive from sale reps that contain lies. It might seem like an easy way to start a conversation but in reality, it makes your prospects question you and your intentions.
The goal of sales is to build a relationship. Lying is the worst way to start a sales relationship, if you lie in an email you’re probably going to be lying throughout the entire sales process. Not to mention that if the prospect knows the truth, they automatically assume that you think they are uninformed or just plain dumb.
5. A Clear Subject
Subject lines are one of the most important parts of your sales email. An effective subject line will determine if your email gets opened or placed in the trash at first glance. A great subject line will give the reader context for the email. It needs to be able to grab their attention without going over the top. Avoid irrelevant, vague, or click-bait email subjects. They might get a good open-rate, but the bottom line depends on conversations started.
There’s a good chance that your prospects receive multiple sales emails every day. It’s important to show your prospect that you’ve done your homework and know who they are. Knowing their name, other products they are using, some relevant company news, or even a problem specific to them will increase your chances of standing out and getting a response. This is the reason why social selling and account-based sales development is becoming so popular and effective.
People want to know that you have read their latest blog post, understand the issues they are facing in their industry and understand what is important to them.
7. Email Structure
There are several different email structures that salespeople use to compose their emails. It’s one of the most simple yet neglected techniques to create a great email. You can start with a basic structure like Problem – Solution – Ask. Then test different variations to find the most effective version.
8. Follow Up is Key
On average it can take up to 5 interactions before a lead responds to you. This means that one email is almost never enough. It’s important to use a multi-touch strategy and a tool that allows you to automate the process. Here at Colabo we have created a feature called Workflows, which allows sales reps to trigger automatic follow-ups for email and social interactions.
9. Test Your Templates
With all of the optimization tools we have available to us, not testing your email templates is crazy. When creating a new campaign template make two different versions, send 25% of your contacts version A, and 25% version B. Once you can see the performance results, send the other 50% the top performing email. This ensures that 75% of your contacts receive the better email. You can then continue to test different subjects and call to actions.
10. Add a Link
When reaching out to a cold prospect, or even a warm prospect that is not a customer, their first reaction will be to visit your website. You can make this process easy by adding a link to the end of your email, and send them to the exact web asset that you want them to see. For example, you can send them to a landing page that relates to the campaign you are running or a case study of someone in the same industry.
11. What do you do anyways?
With so many new products and technology emerging, it’s impossible for your prospects to remember exactly what you do. It’s key to make it clear what your product actually does, the problems you solve and how you solve them. Avoid over generalizing and speak to specific pain-points and features that will be relevant to that customer.
12. Timing is Everything
There is no ‘one-size fits all’ best time to send an email, but you can find times through A/B testing that are more effective than others. Try sending an email just after lunch or on a Tuesday morning, and avoid the obviously busy times like Monday morning or Friday afternoon when people are thinking about the weekend.
13. Email the Right Person
It doesn’t matter how good your email is if you send it to the wrong person. Take 2 minutes and check that the account in your CRM is still accurate. If you are using Colabo this is easy because it lets you know when an account’s records have changed on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Xing.
14. Build a Relationship
Warm emails will always be more effective than cold emails. You can easily warm up a lead with a few basic Social Selling techniques like adding them on Twitter or LinkedIn and interacting with them a few days prior to your email. You can even mention your interactions in your email to make it more personalized and improve your chances of a response.
15. Make it a Win-Win
When you are asking for someone to do something you need to give them something in return. Find out what is valuable to your prospects and include it in your email. It doesn’t have to be something of monetary value, it just has to provide real value to the prospect. Some examples might be a ticket to a conference, a free eBook download, or an extended trial of your product or a partner product. If you are willing to spend a few dollars you can do a giveaway or a raffle style contest.