A little more analysis, a little more insight… Exploring email marketing better

How to Write Sales Emails That Convert

“I could have converted the prospect – if only I had written a more effective sales email!” is perhaps one of the key regrets of your sales teams.

MailChimp’s 2022 statistics say only about 21% of emails are opened. That means nearly 4 out of every 5 of your recipients do not open your emails.

So how do you get your sales email opened more often? How do you get better responses to your emails? How do you drive results?

In this blog, we cover what are the features of great sales emails, how to write the perfect sales email, great sales email templates that stand out, and things to keep in mind while writing a sales prospecting email.

But before that, let’s understand what a sales email is.

What is a sales email

A sales email is an email you send to prospects you think might buy your product or services. The objective of such an email is to persuade the prospect to take some action that would take them further down the sales funnel. 

Depending upon the nature of your product or service as well as the sales funnel, that action could be downloading a brochure, requesting further information, agreeing for a phone call, signing up for a free trial, or even making a purchase.

Even if your prospect doesn’t take any of the action above, it doesn’t mean your email is a total failure or that you need to give up. An often-cited study says 60% of customers say ‘No’ four times before saying ‘Yes’.

Which means that all your followup emails are very much a part of your sales email campaign.

Features of a great sales email

1. Great sales emails talk about recipients, not senders

You receive dozens of emails everyday, so which emails get your attention?

No prizes for guessing: emails that talk about how your business will benefit, not how great the sender is.

Pretty much the same way, when you send out a sales email, be sure to make the email about them, not you. Don’t talk about what you are, talk about how you can help them. 

Here’s a few pointers:

  • Establish relevance: Mention, in brief, how other organizations in the same industry have benefitted.
  • Clearly mention one single benefit that stands out: Don’t clutter the email with a dozen benefits. Save it for the meeting.
  • Wherever possible, use numbers: Write, “Your furnaces will use upto 7% less fuel.”, instead of writing “We will improve furnace fuel efficiency.”

Check the sample sales email below:

Hi {First Name},

My name is {Your Name} and I'm with {Your Company Name}. 

We have helped organizations like TubeSoft and NineWells cut their fuel costs by upto 6%.

Since you are in the same industry as them, I would love to show you how our raisins can cut manufacturing costs for you as well.

What's more, our products begin to show results within a fortnight.

Are you available for a quick call this Wednesday at 2 pm or 4:30 pm Eastern Time?

{Your Name}

2. Great sales emails avoid spammy content in the message

No one intentionally uses spammy phrases in their emails (not even the real spammers). Yet, email spam filters redflag certain phrases, like:

  • Complimentary
  • Call now
  • Donation
  • Sale
  • Free credit card
  • Loan
  • Guaranteed weight loss

Of course, this list is ever-increasing. Here’s what you can do to avoid the spam filter:

  • Personalize your subject line: Make the email sound like it’s meant particularly for the recipient. One way of doing this is to use the name of the recipient.
  • Keep your email list clean: Verify emails and remove the invalid ones so that you get almost zero hard bounce. A high hard bounce rate is one strong indicator you’re spamming people. 
  • Use correct English: This may sound surprising, but many spammers don’t bother to check their language or grammar or spelling before sending. Proofread your emails carefully before you hit Send.

Remember, the mere presence of such words doesn’t mean your email will immediately be pushed to the spam folder. But it pays to be cautious all the same.

3. Great sales emails make scheduling a meeting easy

You don’t want your prospect to keep looking for a button or a link to schedule a meeting with you. (Flash news: They won’t spend much time looking for that button – they’ll simply forget you, delete your email and move on).

It’s nothing high-tech, so there are a number of appointment services (Calendly, for instance) that you can choose from.

  • Make scheduling simple: Be sure the interface is easy and simple to use. You don’t want to waste your prospect’s time to the extent that they’ll get fed up and leave.
  • Offer options: Let them choose from a range of your available times. If you force them to select only a particular slot (“Tuesday 1550 pm, Pacific time”), chances are you won’t get a meeting.
  • Don’t be too experimental: There’s nothing wrong in choosing a new appointment scheduling tool. However, make sure its UI (User Interface) is intuitive, something most people will be conversant with. Anything that’s too different can quickly dissuade people.

4. Great sales emails use automation to scale

Not every email you send out will get you a response (unless you are the IRS). So you want to be prepared to send many emails before you land your first meeting (or whatever is your desired response). 

Automation will make things super easy and super efficient for you. 

  • Use pre-send checklists: Be sure to run your email through an email campaign checklist before you hit Send.
  • Schedule follow-ups: Timely followup is key to success in sales. Let automation take up that task for you.
  • Templatize and optimize: Scaling the activities of sending emails is very easy. Have great sales email templates ready so you can keep sending emails without typos or missing information.

How to write the perfect sales email

While there can be tons of advice on how to write the perfect sales email, only three things really matter:

  1. How well you research your audience,
  2. Is your sales email subject line compelling, and
  3. What is your email opening line

1. Research your audience

If you want your emails to be successful, you need to know who you are writing to. This is how:

  • Match the pain with the person: Within each of the target organizations, find the person who is most keen to solve the problem to which your product has a solution. Now you have the right fit – the problem you solve and the person with that problem. 
  • Learn more about them: An intelligent lead gen tool should easily give you more information about the person and the organization you want to reach out to. In addition to their contact details, also find other information like company size, or the person’s recent achievements. That will help you build context when you send out cold emails. 

Researching your audience helps you better personalize your email. And, as this Experian study suggests, personalized emails deliver 6 times higher transaction rates.

Check the sales email example below:

Hi {First Name},

{Your Name} here and congratulations on winning the Greater Birmingham Marketing Person 2022 award! Super impressive!

In your post-award speech, you mentioned attribution as one of the principal challenges in marketing data and that resonated with me.

At {Your Company Name}, we’ve been working on something quite similar and we’ve just released a new tool that delves deeper.

I realize this might just be the right solution you are looking for.

Would you have time for a 15-min chat next week?

Here’s my Calendar.

Either way, you rock!

{Your Name}

  • Find their contact details: There’s so many places you can find that, but for most people professional networks like LinkedIn is the best place to begin. 
  • Verify email addresses: Sending out emails to addresses that have long expired, undeliverable, or are incorrect make no sense. Instead, use an email verifier that will check the validity of any number of email addresses you have. That way, you’ll spend your time writing only to real people, not invalid addresses.

2. Use powerful Subject Lines

SuperOffice suggests that 33% recipients uses the Subject Line to decide if they’d open the email. That’s 1 out of every 3!

So here’s the bitter truth: If the subject line doesn’t grab your recipient’s attention, your email won’t be read. 

Below are some of the most successful sales email subject line strategies you can use in order to get better results:

Mention a common connection

It’s difficult to ignore an email that mentions someone you know. Here’s how one salesperson got better open rates. (Needless tip: Don’t fake it.)

Here’s a sample:


Stoke a controversy

The nice type, of course. By controversy, we mean something refuting something that’s been traditionally considered correct, without being offensive.  

For instance, it’s widely accepted that customers want value in whatever they buy. The following subject line disagrees:


Offer ideas for something

Offering some ideas or tips for a commonly known problem is another good way of making your recipients want to open your email. 

The subject line doesn’t mention all the details, but mentions something you likely care about.

Build suspense

Without being specific, you can create suspense  in a way that the reader wants to open your email and read it. 

Here’s one example:

Make a promise

Clearly state what difference would your solution make. That difference should be specific and measurable. It might not be possible for all kinds of businesses.

For instance, one social media engagement tool made a promise of improving audience engagement below:

Raise a common query

Sometimes, a very simple, direct question is a great way to make people open your email. It’s important to make sure that the question doesn’t have a commonly accepted answer.

See below:

Employ humour

The usage of humour has been found to be quite successful. For example, Groupon’s Subject Line: Best Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve), is well-known.

The only challenge with using humour is that sometimes the impact is ‘lost in translation’. Differences in cultures or language may either lead to a flat joke, or, in rare cases, make it sound offensive.

The following is a good example of humour in the subject line where there’s no risk of misinterpretation. It’s simple, direct, and short.

Use the ‘Have you considered…?’ line

These kinds of Subject Lines refer to some important (but not urgent) event or situation that’s shaping up. The objective is to nudge the recipient into thinking about it and suggest you might have a solution.

Have a look at the below example:

Leverage an event

If you are connecting with someone who’s likely attending an upcoming event, this subject line can be really effective. By setting a relatable context, you immediately win their attention – and lead them into opening your email.

Check this out:

3. Use a strong opening line

Your recipients receive dozens, or possibly hundreds, of emails every day. So you want to grab their attention from the word go.

If your effective email subject line has encouraged them to open the email, your opening line should make them want to read your entire email. And that’s the secret behind the most successful sales emails everywhere.

Here are five styles that help create powerful, successful opening lines for your sales emails that will make email conversion easy:

(a) ‘I noticed…’

You can build context by mentioning one their recent comments at an industry meet or opinion expressed in one of their blogposts, preferably a guest post on a third-party site.

Here’s a good example:

Hi {First Name},

During your interview with Radio 55 last week, I noticed you mentioned the challenges of conducting swift yet accurate customer surveys.

Recently, Fortune ran a story on how new age businesses leverage insights captured through surveys. 

I’m {Your Name} from {Your Company Name}, and our latest online survey platform {Your Company Name} solves the exact challenges you mentioned. 

I’d be happy to discuss how {Your Company Name} can serve you with great customer insights. 

Sounds interesting? Let’s set up a 15-min call early next week.

{Your Name}

(b) ‘Congratulations…’

While people like being congratulated, your sales email can produce results if you add details that connect the dots.

The following email is a great example. While congratulating, it references to the recipient’s dream of helping underprivileged girls. If this can’t get you attention, nothing will.

Hey {First Name},

Congratulations on winning the Fem Tech Startup Founder Award at the Baltimore Meetup!

You must be so proud of yourself!

{First Name}, do you think your mission of educating more African American girls would be easier to achieve if there were a tech-enabled, personalized tutoring tool?

{Your Name} here from {Your Company Name} and I think our platform might check all the boxes for you.
I’d love to explain how it can be a game-changer. 

Can we fix up a time later this week?

{Your Name}

(c) ‘Is [activity] your priority?’

Businesses solve problems. And in doing so, they need to solve their own problems too. 

For instance, a business coach who helps others sell more may have issues in qualifying their leads. Solve this problem for them and you have a new client. 

Here’s a template you can use to pitch:

Hey {First Name},

Is qualifying leads a top priority for you right now?

{First Name}, I know that as a successful business coach, you receive tons of leads, only a fraction of which are actually valuable for you.

Our lead qualifying solution can help you, just like it’s helped 230+ consultants in the past quarter.

This is {Your Name} from {Your Company Name} and I’d be happy to explore further.

How about a quick call next week? Here’s my Calendar.

Talk soon

(d) ‘I loved your thoughts on [subject]’

There’s never a wrong time to compliment someone for something they said or did. In addition to being a great conversation starter, a compliment goes on to prove you’ve taken time to understand the recipient. 

Be sure your message doesn’t come across as hollow flattery. One way of doing so is mention a specific reason you like their inputs. 

Check out the following email:

Hi {First Name},

Enjoyed reading your guest post (“Setting The Field”) in TechCrunch! Insightful!

In particular, I liked the way you articulated the strategic importance of onboarding news sales reps.

Turns out that’s exactly what we specialize in - designing and delivering onboarding programs for pharma sales reps.

Why not give me a 10-min slot the coming week and see it for yourself?

Let me know.

{Your Name}

(e) ‘We’ve worked with [company] and helped them…’

This type works even better when you add numbers. That’s because your claims turn objective and measurable.

The below email comes straight to the point and also mentions the most relevant numbers. No wonder such emails enjoy superior engagement.

Hi {First Name},

{Your Name} from {Your Company Name}.

Dental hospitals like Wisdom White and LaPearls could slash their patients’ waiting time by almost 29%.

Our new software, designed exclusively for dental hospitals and specialists, made this possible.

If that’s a challenge you’re trying to solve, let’s get on a call for a quick conversation.

Does this Wednesday or Thursday suit you?

Let me know

{Your Name}

Over to you

Even if your product is world-class and your pricing highly competitive, you still need to let your target audience know about it. And cold sales emails are probably the most cost-effective way of doing it.

Researching your audience, verifying your email data, using a great subject line, and starting off with a strong opening line are the four key factors that lead to a great sales email.

Now that you’ve read everything you require to learn how to write a sales email that stands out, it’s your turn now to try out these sales emails. Feel free to use any of the above templates for sales emails!

And don’t forget to let us know how your emails performed!


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