Making sure your sales emails are being opened is without a doubt the first and most important step in converting prospects. You would not be able to reach your goals if the emails you send out are being ignored. With that in mind, this article will explain what are the best practices for deploying sales emails, as well as offer some practical examples.
If you are interested in the topic of sales emails, you might find our articles from the Email for Sales series extremely useful. We have already covered the main types of emails that can be deployed for sales purposes and created some templates for the cold emails you will work with. Subscribe to our blog to remain connected with tips and tricks, best practices and useful information for sales representatives, solopreneurs and digital marketers. We feel very passionate about email marketing and we are sure you would benefit from reading our resources.
Sales emails best practices
There are a lot of common misconceptions about emails send by sales teams. One of the most frequent is that sales emails are just spam. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, some sales emails, such as cold emails, are unsolicited, making them feel like junk email. But do not let these misconceptions fool you. Sales emails provide value to businesses and when they follow the best practices that we are going to discuss below they can also be extremely effective. The main idea here would be that if you do things by the book you will be more likely to achieve your goals and convert leads.
Craft your subject lines
Subject lines are your recipients’ first interaction with you. MailChimp offers some great suggestions for how to create subject lines, that you can easily apply to email marketing or sales emails. Try to include personalization in your subject lines, even if we are just talking about the first name or the company name of the recipient. Seeing an email that is addressed exclusively to you might increase the engagement probability. As often as possible, make a habit of testing out various subject lines, either by A/B testing several variants or by simply diversifying the range of the subject lines that you are currently using.
One great example here would be to test out multiple hypotheses at the same time. Based on the information you have collected about your prospects, you can make some educated guesses as to what type of messages they are more likely to react positively to. Even if you don’t have any clues where to start, you can test subject lines that address questions, others that promise some incentive for prospects and a third type that starts a conversation.
Start with a bang
As you might already know, people have a very short attention span. We are all inundated with information, especially in the online space, that it becomes practically impossible to keep track of everything. That applies very well to the work environment. When you receive multiple emails per hour, the only thing that you will be able to do is to prioritize information that is relevant or helpful from that which you could do without. So, even if your emails are being opened at a good rate, you still need to grab your reader’s attention in the first paragraph.
Include a strong, creative and engaging opening line to encourage engagement and replies. Avoid the cliches that you could already be accustomed to. The standard opening line would be to introduce yourself. But that doesn’t tell anything to a recipient and that’s something that they have to read on countless emails. Instead, try something new, something that you yourself would be more inclined to respond positively to. Do your research and use the findings to showcase that this is not going to be the usual sales email. Congratulate the prospect on their new LinkedIn post, a new job or their company’s new announcement.
Let’s focus on the body of your email for a while. There are several things you will need to keep in mind when creating it. Starting with the tone of voice and ending with call to actions, it is critical to construct the body of your email in such a way that it sells your main idea. It is also important to focus on delivering a message that would prove helpful to the recipient.
Make your email more engaging by addressing questions that the recipient can respond to. You are trying your best to convince them to give you at least a status on their projects so that you can have an opening to introduce your solutions, services or products. Depending on the starting line you have chosen, you can try an approach where you expand on that initial idea with some helpful questions.
Don’t skip the CTA
Some sales specialists do not see any value on adding CTAs in their email, because they perceive them as more of an email marketing tactic. Sure, in some respects, they are right. But while you are pretty sure with what the purpose of your sales email is, you can never assume that the recipients skimming the content will actually understand it as easily. Having a call to action in the body or at the end of an email will increase the likelihood of getting some replies.
Schedule a meeting or a call, invite them to ask you questions or to send you a request, such as a Request for Quotation RFQ), Request for Information (RFI) or a Request for Proposal (RFP). By doing so, you will give your prospects something actionable to react to, instead of just hoping that they have the time to communicate via email.
The signature is where you will want to highlight some options for prospects to get in touch. Another important aspect that you need to pay attention to is to try to use the signature to build credibility. If you include your company’s website there, as well as your LinkedIn profile, recipients will be able to research both you and your company. We have explained this in one of our previous articles as well, but it might be appropriate to make the case for transparent signatures once more. Take into account that the people you are contacting are expecting to interact with another human being, not just with a system that delivers them emails regularly. Nothing looks shadier than not presenting yourself.
If you are sending the emails from Outlook or a similar email client, set up your signature before deploying any sales email campaign. This is usually a thing you will only have to deal with once and then you can focus on the other aspects of your emails that encourage engagement.
Sales emails have a bad reputation. But our best practices are here to illustrate what kind of rules sales emails need to adhere to. Like most users, your prospects will only allocate a few seconds to your email, that’s why we suggest paying attention to the following:
- Make your subject lines stand out from the crowd by constantly testing out different variants until you find something that works to your expectations. But even then, never settle and continue to try to find other subject lines that will deliver even better results.
- Do not be presumptuous and assume that prospects will be involved right from the start. Work on creating an opening line that grabs their attention and build on it when generating your email body.
- Help recipients reply to your email by asking questions or by proposing a call or a meeting.
- Make yourself visible by including as much relevant information as possible in the signature.