Are you frustrated by writing sales emails that don’t get a good response? Either you’re not getting many replies (cue the crickets) or your emails don’t move the sales process forward much. (Cue the snails!) Well, there’s good news – there are strategies that can help. In a recent webinar I hosted called “How to Write Sales Emails that Really, Really Work”, I talked with Steve Slaunwhite, professional copywriter, who shared his best techniques and strategies that will boost your sales email success rates by 35% or more. These are step-by-step techniques you’ll be able to use right away to craft emails that get noticed, get opened and — most importantly — get actions.
1. Do your homework on the prospect.
Treat your email as you would a meeting. The more prepared you are, the better that meeting will go. Before sending an email, find out about…
- The professional background of your prospect.
- Actions taken on your website. (Have they downloaded or subscribed to anything?)
- Previous interactions with your company. (Have they sent inquiries previously?)
- News, issues, buzz, etc., in the prospect’s industry.
- Events that might “trigger” an interest in the type of solutions you offer.
- Similarities with other customers you’ve had success with.
Doing your homework on your prospect will provide you with the knowledge to creatively customize an email just for them – which in turn has proven to get a far better response rate.
2. Write conversationally to ONE person (This isn’t mass email marketing!)
- The prospect should feel like it’s an email just for them. (So, make it just for them!)
- Personalize as much as possible (without seeming creepy.)
- Avoid apology-talk. “I know you’re busy, so I’ll only take two minutes of your time…”
- Show you’ve identified an opportunity to help the prospect solve a problem or achieve an objective.
- Write the way you talk. Your email should sound natural when read out loud. (So, read it out loud!)
- There should be twice as many you-words than we-words.
3. Keep it short and easy to scan.
- Ideally, no more than 200 words.
- Write in short paragraphs to make reading easier – looking at large amounts of text without any breaks may seem daunting and discourage your prospect from even reading it.
- If appropriate, use a bullet list.
- Avoid bolds, font colours, etc., that make the email seem like a mass marketing piece.
- No attachments. Some companies have firewalls that will prevent your email from ever being received if it contains attachments.
- What does the prospect need to know to take the action you want them to take?
4. Ask a question that gets the prospect thinking (dreaming) of a solution.
- Is this a challenge you’ve encountered?
- Can you see how [product name] might boost ‘pick and pack’ times in your distribution centre?
- Do you happen to be looking for ways to solve this problem?
- Would being able to do [x] make it worth a few minutes to learn more?
5. If possible, drop in some “social proof”.
- Names of customers with similar issues that your product/service has helped.
- Number of satisfied customers.
- Industry ranking, product reviews, publicity (“As featured in…”)
- Customer stories and case studies.
6. Suggest an easy-to-say-yes-to next step.
- Don’t ask for too big of a decision. (Don’t propose marriage on a first date!)
- What is the next easiest action a prospect needs to take to learn more?
- Consider making two calls-to-action. A hard offer and a soft offer.
7. Use a benefit-focused subject line.
- Curiosity-focused subject line:
- Another spill on aisle 10…
- Ask-focused subject line:
- Do you have a moment to chat? Topic: new, safer forklifts
- Benefit-focused subject line:
- Will our safer forklifts lower your insurance costs? Let’s find out…
If you implement these strategies, along with the double-whammy approach of reaching out to prospects through more than one platform (an email followed by a LinkedIn connection, or a telephone call followed by an email) you can increase your response rate by 50%. This really, really works!
Lisa is driven by the mantra – Be Strategic. Be Pro-active. Be Brave. – and has been successfully training and coaching sales leaders and their teams to do the same for over 15 years. As the President of Teneo Results since 2003, she has trained thousands of sales professionals at more than 250 companies across North America. She transitions salespeople away from the standard “product & price” approach to having purposeful business conversations with their customers that drive results.