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Professional Email Templates For Lead Generation



Email is the most important means of communication for business people worldwide. Email has been around for decades, but its global penetration and usage rates are only set to rise. If you are like most office workers, you spend about a third of your time at work, 28% of it, managing emails. That is a considerable proportion of your daily productivity.

Professional email templates are a great way to cut down on that and manage communication more efficiently. Most of the professional emails that we send share one of a limited number of purposes. Rather than wasting time composing a new message from scratch each time, professional email templates allow you to plug in context-specific information into a pre-composed, standardized message. The time-saving benefits are apparent.

Professional email templates are invaluable both for internal and external communication. They will make your life much easier, whether you are:

  • looking for a new job,

  • hiring or firing,

  • organizing an event,

  • coordinating operations within your company,

  • dealing with suppliers, sales or customer support

Professional email templates are also an invaluable tool for any email marketing strategy. The most utilitarian templates are simply text files with markers where personalized information must be input. 

If you are dealing with either potential or established customers or clients, you should consider giving your emails the extra pop of HTML formatting. This adds things like color, backgrounds, columns, and images to give your messages some extra pop. HTML can make your emails resemble little web pages designed to catch and direct your readers' attention right where you want it.

Whether you are working with plain text or HTML professional email templates, there are a few basic guidelines to composing messages that you should follow. Business emails are as varied as the people and companies that send them, but there are always best practices to follow. Don't miss Anyleads' guide to the specifics of making the ideal sales email template.

When preparing a professional email template, you must include:

  1. a subject line

  2. an appropriate and preferably personalized salutation

  3. a body of text

  4. a sign-off

  5. a signature

Also, don't send professional emails from an address like funkyhipster96@gmail.com. Ideally, use your name or initials separated by a period followed by the domain name of your company website. It should look something like j.doe@universal.enterprises.com. 

The subject line

The subject line should be concise but descriptive. The only thing worse than forgetting to include a subject line is containing a single word or phrase that gives the reader little to no information, for example, 'Urgent', 'Major issue', 'Good morning' or 'Please reply'. If you are sending out a message about a major update to a SAAS offering, consider something like, 'Major Update for (Given Service), Take Action Now'. When choosing a subject line:

  • Concisely summarize the message of the email

  • Reflect the first line of the email body

  • Capitalize every major word to increase your open rate

  • Incite curiosity

  • Be unique

  • Don't use emojis, texting abbreviations, greetings or exclamation marks

For more in-depth info, check out Anyleads' guides on how to compose the best cold email subject line and the best networking email subject line.

Making the best opening salutation for a professional email template

Your opening salutation is important for negating any spammy feel to your email. 'Dear Jane Doe:' is still the gold standard for professional email greetings. If you don't know the name of your recipient, do everything you can to find it. 

Check their company website, seek help through your network or call the receptionist at their company and ask. Anyleads offers a nifty tool for retrieving information about all the employees at a company. All you do is input a list of domain names, and in a few minutes, you will have an Excel file with 40 data points. If you can't find the name of your recipient, the next best thing is to go with Dear followed by their position title. 

A common mistake in opening salutations is going with the title case, meaning capitalizing every major word. Correct form is to use sentence case, capitalizing only the first word and any proper nouns. Note that a position title is not a proper noun. Round it all out with a colon rather than a comma.

'To whom it may concern' is an option, but sounds so wooden that it will likely make your recipient's eyes glaze over. If you are stuck with next to no information about who you are addressing, try a simple 'Greetings' or 'Good morning'. Of course, the more familiar you are with the recipient, or the longer the email chain goes, the less you need to stand on ceremony. Use your common sense here.

The best email greetings ranked:

  1. Dear Jane Doe:

  2. Dear Mr. Smith:

  3. Dear HR manager:

  4. Greetings:/Good morning:

  5. Hi Clara:

How to compose the main body of your professional email template

There are countless use cases across the full spectrum of business practices that warranty composing a professional email template. Nevertheless, there are still key guidelines for making the main body of your template as effective and professional as possible.

As noted above, concision is always a virtue in business communication. Try to keep the main body of text down to three short paragraphs at most. Business communication is something of an art form. Remember that you are communicating with human beings and emotions always play a role in any interaction. Studies show that just as with first impressions, your email only has seven seconds to catch the recipient's attention.

The danger of concision is that your message can come off as brusk and rude. Recipients have a tendency to read an email with a coarser tone that may have been intended. The written word is not accompanied by the subtleties of tone that accompany the spoken word. Putting please and thank you in a message can actually make it more off-putting if that message is still pushy or presumptuous. "Please be at your desk and ready to work by 9 am sharp" is not the most diplomatic use of language, even if there is a real problem.

Adding please and thank you is an effective way to create an adequate, professional tone. Where 'arrive at the meeting by nine sharp' sounds aggressive, 'please arrive at the meeting by nine sharp' is concise and polite. Managing the tone of an email by reducing the formality can be off-putting. Imagine replacing 'please' in the example above with 'Hi'. Instead of lending the sentence a cordial tone, it would sound disingenuous.

A common problem in professional emails is using the word 'this', for example, 'this needs to be taken care of as soon as possible'. The worst is when sentences like this come at the beginning of the email, and the recipient is left wondering what you are talking about. It can be tempting to use vague constructions like 'this' in professional email templates thanks to their flexibility. However, concision should not come at the expense of clarity.

It is also possible to waste words making yourself sound excessively deferential. There are many times, especially when cold emailing, that we feel unconfident or uncomfortable sending out the message at hand. That doesn't mean that we need to show it. You want to represent yourself and your company with an air of modest yet solid confidence. 

As such, there is no need to lose your recipient's attention with phrases like 'I just wanted to let you know" or "I am writing to tell you". These phrases mainly belong in emails from West African minor royals with cash withdrawal problems. The use of such phrases is usually motivated by a self-conscious shyness to ask for the recipient's attention. Be bold, avoid unnecessary self-reference and focus on the matter at hand. In business as in life, calm confidence attracts respect and interest.

Shorter, simpler sentences will hold the reader's attention more readily than long meandering ones. A major culprit in the formation of the latter is the use of the comma splice. This is when two full sentences are joined together with a comma rather than separated by a full stop. Take, for example, "Please double check payrolls for March, I'm not sure the new employees are in the system yet." You're much better off trading that comma for a period. In fact, don't be afraid to use bullet points as a way to get the message across in a clear, attention-grabbing manner.

The message you are trying to get across in your email should be worth remembering. Otherwise, there is little point in sending it at all. The key to memory retention is repetition. The key point of a professional email should be repeated in at least three different places, the subject line, the first line of the email body and the conclusion. Besides helping the reader remember the key point, this helps keep the key point within view no matter whether the recipient is looking at her inbox, or has scrolled to the top or to the bottom of the email.

How to write the best sign-off for your professional email template

Sign-offs can be automated or personalized, and each approach has its own benefits and drawbacks:


Automated Sign-off

Personalized Sign-off

Benefits

Benefits

Time-efficient

A greater level of personalization

Easier to adhere to company policy

Less likely to resemble spam

Drawbacks

Drawbacks

May feel impersonal for the recipient

Requires more time

Gives you fewer customization options

May even be too informal or contain typos


After the main body of your email, it is a good idea to throw in a line of pleasantries to leave a good impression. Whether you are requesting or instructing that the recipient take a particular action, a cordial sign off can leave a positive association with the task in question. Something like 'thank you very much for your time' is a classic option that never goes out of style. 'Thank you and let me know if there is anything more that I can do for you' is another solid option. Other great sign-offs include:

  • I know you are busy and I appreciate your help with this

  • I hope you can find some time in your schedule for a meeting

  • Looking forward to talking with you soon

  • I hope this helps

  • Let me know if you have any questions

  • Thank you for your consideration

  • Thank you for all your hard work

Russian dolls: use an email signature template in your professional email template

No professional email should be without a well-designed signature. If you haven't already, check out Anyleads' guide to making an outstanding email signature template. That's right. You should have a customizable email signature template that you customize and insert into all of your professional email templates.

More than any other part of your email template, the signature represents you, your company and its brand image. The guide linked above is highly recommended, but in brief, there are a few rules of thumb to follow.

  1. Include your name, position, company, and the company URL

  2. Use a professional and engaging headshot in color

  3. Throw in some links to your professional social media accounts

  4. Keep it simple, try not to go over four lines

  5. Make restrained use of color, fonts, dividers and other design features

  6. Include a call to action or icons of awards if appropriate.

Companies may have guidelines on how to compose an email signature template. There may be branding guidelines or legal information that must be included. You don't need to include your email address in the signature as it invariably comes with the email.

Separating your sign-off from your signature template makes it easier to personalize your sign-off for a given recipient. Signature templates can be tweaked for suitability with different email purposes too.

Tips and best practices

The golden rule is that more personalization better. Again, you have to balance your tone here. Recipients will tune out if an email looks like it has been sent to millions of other people. At the same time, if you come off sounding overly familiar and jovial, it can be really off-putting. This is especially so if you jarringly throw a sales pitch in at the end or tell them that their mortgage has been foreclosed.

Nothing should distract the reader from your message, from the content of the email. Mistakes in spelling, grammar, tone, or formatting will cost you respect. The same can be said for using all-caps, textspeak like lol or emojis.

It's bad enough when a typo slips through in a one-off email, imagine how you would feel if a typo in your professional email template got out to dozens if not thousands of recipients. There is no excuse not to use real-time spelling and grammar checker, even on your phone. 

Image source: mailgun

Edit and proofread carefully though, the software won't necessarily catch differences like those between 'there', 'they're' and 'their'. Ideally, take a break, get a coffee, clear your head, and proofread your professional email template with fresh eyes before you hit the send button.

This is about the time you will want to think about attachments. A professional email template can come with a default attachment. Once again, you never want to be the one sending out dozens or thousands of 'with apologies, the attachment intended for the previous email can be found here' emails. 

If you are designing or selecting a professional email template that uses HTML formatting, it is absolutely critical that your template is designed to look good on mobile platforms. Smart Insights notes that about half of all business emails are opened on tablets or smartphones. HTML that is only designed to look good on a standard browser will either look like a dog's breakfast on mobile, or the writing will be too small to comfortably read.


Do

Don’t

Personalize as much as possible

Forget the attachment

Optimize for mobile platforms

Be too informal

Focus on the message and be concise

Introduce a situation with the pronoun ‘this’

Make the subject, intro, and conclusion match

Use long sentences or comma splices


Make outstanding email templates with Anyleads

If you want to design and edit your own professional email templates but don't know where to start, Anyleads has got you covered with its email template editor. It has custom macros that work with either HTML or plain text. 

You can add your custom macros to personalize the subject and content of your emails. You can set it up to receive statistics on which templates have been most effective for your email marketing campaigns or other purposes.

Examples of fantastic professional email templates

This is an elegantly simple example of a plain-text-only email template from Productivity Theory. The concision with which it is composed is a thing of beauty. The use case for this template is when you receive a rambling, unclear email from a client and you have no idea what they want. We've all been there. 

This template assumes a certain level of familiarity by opening with 'Hello' rather than 'Dear'. Note how the variables are set apart using square brackets. Template editors like Anyleads' can make filling these in quick and easy. Run it through the editor, slap a good email signature template on this bad boy and you're ready to go.

 

Here is a great example of a professional email newsletter template using HTML from mailshot. Note how it is formatted to look like a webpage, with a banner and a sidebar with links to content. The formatting and design features, colors, and rounded corners match the branding. 

There is a cunning link on the left inviting recipients to forward the newsletter to their friends and increase the number of subscribers. The main content, the two articles showing, give the reader just enough to spark their curiosity and get them to click through. The link across the top is a good failsafe given the diversity of non-standard devices and apps that the email may be read on.

 

This is another example of a plain text email template, this time designed by Entrepreneur.com for reaching out to influencers. You'll note that the length is right in that sweet spot for professional emails of three short paragraphs plus a sign-off. As with the example above, the variables are set apart with square brackets for automated customization with Anyleads' template editor. 

Concise variable tags like these are easier to work with. Use your own discretion to determine whether 'Hi' is too unprofessional a greeting in a given context. Again, don't forget to add a signature to a template like this. Don't be afraid to use an HTML signature template with a plain-text email template.

 

Finally, here's a great example of a profession email template from Sendinblue. This is a very nicely designed template with a fetching color scheme and eye-catching text. This coupon offer has all the right stuff in all the right places. You are immediately struck by the bold, three-word-long offer taking pride of place in the template. 

There are two well-placed calls to action and three clear, concise reasons that the recipient should click through. All this key information is front and center and backed up with imagery. 

Note that although this looks nothing like a traditional email, it still has a signature. The signature includes social media icons and just enough contact information and legal jargon to do the job without getting in the way. The 'view in browser' link at the top allows the recipient to continue rummaging through her inbox without letting the coupon offer get lost and forgotten.

Conclusion

Creating professional email templates is not as complicated as it may seem. Most of the guidelines listed above are based on common sense. Of course, you should use your own judgment when creating professional email templates for the contexts that you face. Anyleads' template editor is the perfect tool to help you get started. Remember that no matter what your use case is, try to keep your template concise and don't forget to proofread it carefully.

Email is the main form of business communication and looks set to hold onto its reign for a long time to come. Taking the time to master the design of professional email templates will save you time in the long run and, if used right, help you build a respected brand image.

 

Author

Mathieu Picard

CEO, Anyleads, San Francisco

We are the leading marketing automation platform serving more than 100,000 businesses daily. We operate in 3 countries, based in San Francisco, New York, Paris & London.

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