For many, writing a sales email is as tough as cold calling door to door. Nine times out of ten, you'll be left out in the cold. More often than not, the door will be opened, only to swiftly have it shut in your face. If you're lucky, you might just get a welcome response and a chat on the doorstep.
Fortunately, writing a sales email doesn't have to be that way. With a little effort and careful preparation your sales email could be the perfect door opener. A top-notch sales email has two simple aims – to be opened, and to get a response. To help you craft an email that gets results, here are our top tips.
Write a killer subject line
The subject line is the opener – it's the first thing a prospect sees and it needs to be relevant to them. Take a look at your own inbox. Which emails have you opened and which have you ignored? From experience we tend to open emails that are intriguing, useful, or personal to us. Subject lines need to be short – if they're being opened on a desktop 6 – 10 words works best. However, given that 40% of emails are now opened on mobile first, this optimum is becoming shorter at around 4 – 7 words. Remember, each word is prime real estate, so you need to choose wisely.
Here are a few examples for you to try: “Emily, quick question for you”. The potential question is intriguing. Whilst the receiver may not know you, the fact that you have a question for them could be enough to get them to open your message. Or, “Jackie suggested I get in touch.” Mutual connections are a great way of opening the door. Do your research, find shared contacts and use them where possible. Alternatively, you could mention a recent event, or comment on something personal to them. “Were you at x last week?” Or, “Just read your blog...”
Keep it short and to the point
In the digital age, we expect information to be short-form. People are busy, and decision makers are especially busy. You need to keep your email short and to the point. 2 – 3 short paragraphs are more than enough. In that time, you need to cut to the chase and avoid waffle like the plague. Remember, your sales email is not a sales pitch. You're not trying to sell to them right now. All you want to do is get their interest... sales will come later once you've built up trust and rapport.
Give them a reason to care
When push comes to shove, the prospect staring at their computer screen, has to have a reason to carry on reading and make the effort to reply. How many times have you got two lines into reading an email, and swiftly shut it down and got on with your day? Often the reason is that you simply didn't care enough about the content. It's the classic “What's in it for me”? (WIFM). If it's unclear why you should carry on reading, let alone respond, why would you bother?
Essentially you've got one or two sentences to pique their interest. Whatever your offer is, it has to speak to them. What can you do for them? How can your solution solve their problem?
Make it personal
Including the recipient’s name in the subject line and email body increases your chances of your sales email being opened and read. Experian's email benchmark report cited that emails sent with personalised subject lines, including either a first name, surname, or another unique identifier such as account number, were 7% more likely to be opened than emails sent with blanket subject lines. The key is to make it sound natural, and not automated. Do this by including something that is personal to them. Do your research – read their blogs, scan their LinkedIn profile, find mutual contacts… Whatever you do, take the time to make your approach to them meaningful and personal.
Provide a clear call-to-action (CTA)
At the end of your concise email, you need a clear call to action. There should be no doubt in the reader's mind as to what they should do next. The goal is to get them talking to you, and to do that you're going to need to ask. This call to action needs to be easy for them – and it needs to be short. Ask if they have five or ten minutes to spare on a particular day to discuss how you can help them. If the body of your email has sparked their intrigue, all they have to do is say yes. You'll pick up the phone, you'll do it a time that suits them, and it'll be short and concise, just like your email.
If you’re looking for your next Sales opportunity, or you’re seeking a top Sales professional to join your team, then please do get in touch with us - we’d love to help!