Go ahead, check your email spam folder. How many messages are in there right now? 10? 15? 20? And how many of them sound just like the messages you’re planning to send your clients a little later today?
Don’t despair. You really can keep your sales email out of the spam folder, and you absolutely can make your words count. But you’ll need to do research, planning, and creative writing to make it all come together.
Moving from cold call email to personalized perfection
How to write a sales email 101: A lack of data about who your potential customers are and what they really want leads to email messages that start with the word “I.” Those messages lead right to the delete button.
Truly motivating messages are based on customer knowledge, and that’s the kind of data you can only get with research.
Use a pre-sales survey to take the pulse of key consumers before you reach them with your killer email message. With a survey, you’ll know all sorts of key information, including:
- The size of the company you’re targeting
- The department, position, and responsibilities of the person you’re writing to
- The priorities your contact holds dear
- The tools and setup your contact is using now
Take that data, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and think about the connections you share with this contact. Did you meet at an event? Do you have a friend in common? Did the person visit your website? Jot those notes down and bring ’em with you. It’s time to start writing!
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A sales email template
This sales email template can be broken up into five zones. Use it to pass the spam test with data your readers are dying to see.
Zone 1: The pickup line
Your subject line is a sneak peek of the juicy content hidden inside your message. Write it right, and the reader’s fingers will fly to the “open” button. Incorporate one of these key items:
- The name of the person you have in common
- The date you met
- The words “I was wondering”
- The words “To follow up on”
Zone 2: The sweet spot
You’ve prompted your reader to open the message. Good job. Now build on your success. Dig deep into the data and find the problem you hope to solve. Introduce the idea with:
- Empathetic statements
- Words of encouragement
Keep your writing tight here. This section shouldn’t be more than two or three sentences long.
Zone 3: The pitch
Your tight focus on your customer won’t ever fade away. But here, you’ll (finally) be able to discuss yourself or your company. Align what your company does with the goals, questions, statistics, or statements you made in the sweet spot. Use terms like:
- “I want to discuss…”
- “I can help….”
- “I have an idea…”
- “I’ve been thinking about…”
Zone 4: The proposition
Tap out a strong call to action. Make it clear what you want the person to do next. Should the person:
- Call you?
- Expect your call?
- Write you?
- Hire a sky writer?
Respect the time of your reader, and make the action clear.
Zone 5: The signature
Stick to the basics here. No fluffy photos, moving cartoons, or fancy fonts are required. Your name, your contact details, and a link to your social media profile should do the trick.
A sales email example
Want to see this work in action? Of course you do. Here goes.
The target for this message is Dan: A SBO with dismal web traffic that the writer (Bob: a web developer) met at a conference a week ago. The message might go like this:
Subject: Follow up to last week’s conference convo
Last week, you told me your website views were down by 50 percent. That’s rough, and I know that gaining high web traffic after a steep fall can seem impossible, especially in your market sector.
But I’ve been thinking: With the right website design, including content overhauls, I know we could boost your traffic quickly, without a great deal of pain on your part. And that’s a project my company could get started on right now.
I’d like to meet with you later this week to discuss a few ideas and get down to business. Can you call me to set up a time?
Bob the developer, 555.1212
Going one step beyond
Writing an email is just one step in the sales funnel. Measure the whole sales process with surveys held at key points from first inquiry to closing, then use your results to track sales progress, make integral changes, and close business deals.
Got any tips on how to write the perfect sales email? Want to share some of your sales survey success stories? Let us know in the Comments below!