Email is going exactly nowhere as the preferred means of business communication. Around 72% of professionals favor email over other any other form of communication and email usage rates are only rising. The average office worker receives 121 emails per workday. Salespeople and their prospects tend to favor email for initial contact.
Managing emails can take up at least a third of a sales professional’s day. Sales are all about communication, the impression you leave and building relationships. In this context, the ability to craft emails with context-appropriate content, tone, and overall choice of words is invaluable. Not all of us can shoot off finely crafted emails at machine-gun speed. Even fewer of us have nothing better to do with our time than try.
This is where email templates come in. Most of the emails we send as salespeople fall into a limited number of categories. Cold emails, follow-ups, and requests for referrals are a few of the big ones. Composing them from scratch each time is nothing short of foolhardy. An email template is nothing complicated, simply a standard text with some areas highlighted for personalization.
Various tools for making and storing email templates exist. These are often integrated into email service providers like Gmail. Check your ESP or email manager application for a template feature. If you don’t find one, even something like a notepad program works.
In the immortal words of Spinal Tap, it’s a fine line between stupid and clever. It is equally a fine line between a good cold email and spam. What sets them apart is personalization. There is a time and a place for casting your net wide with free email address lists. Anyleads has you covered if you need an email list template to prepare high-volume campaigns.
However, as tempting as it is to focus on the sales funnel flow and volume of emails dispatched as efficiently as possible, smashing out identical messages to thousands of prospects is not effective. Composing sales emails involves a balance between efficiency, standardization, that is, the template, and personalization. If your KPIs are getting you down, instead of increasing your email volume, consider increasing your level of personalization. Go for quality over quantity.
Steps to effective sales email technique:
Stop obsessing over funnel conversions
Abandon the idea of increasing email volume, especially with purchased or scraped lists
Focus on relationship building through genuine concern for your prospects
Personalize, balance template efficiency with quality research on your prospects
Templates are great, but personalization is key
Personalization takes research. The more you research you do on your prospects, the better quality your personalization will be. Personalization does not only bring you a better conversion rate but promises a number of knock-on benefits as well. The more genuine you sound, the more likely you are to build trust and rapport. With trust and rapport come new clients through word of mouth, more upselling, referrals, and greater customer loyalty.
You should do a deep dive on a prospect’s website and social media, especially Linkedin. Look through their Linkedin contacts and consider contacting a few. Google your prospect. Do whatever it takes to get to know more about them and what trigger events might be on the horizon. Find out who your recipient’s competitors are and what unique issues they face. Offer tailored solutions. Find out what kind of language they use. See if you can work it into a conversational style in your emails. Don’t forget to follow up.
Go through your prospect’s company website
Google them and their company
Find out who their competitors and partners are
Go through their social media accounts, especially Linkedin
Consider asking their Linkedin contacts for relevant info
Adopt the kind of language they use
Step one in personalization is using a recipient’s name. Putting a recipient’s name in the subject line greatly increases the chance that they will open the email and do so with interest.
How to write the best sales email template
If you are not a natural at writing emails, preparing a few templates can also be a drag. Don’t stress about it, like everything it comes with practice. If you are a perfectionist, try to remember that language is infinitely flexible, there is no perfect text. As long as you follow a few common-sense guidelines, there is a wide field of what can be considered excellent sales email templates.
George Orwell, one of the greatest writers of the English language, identified six rules for good writing. These rules are as relevant for sales email templates as for any other kind of text:
Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figures of speech which you are used to seeing in print. If you want to take your game to the next level, you need to think outside the box and go for more than the low-hanging fruit. If you’re now as nauseous as I am, you understand why this rule is important.
Never use a long word where a short one will do. Sales emails should be short, riveting and impactful. So should the words you use. Don’t sweat it too much, but avoid using long words to sound smart or formal. You will lose your prospect’s attention. Keep it punchy.
If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. This is especially true in sales emails where you must grab your reader’s attention and hold it until you can get to a conversion. Shorter is almost always better.
Never use the passive where you can use the active. Just like with a CV, you always want your sales emails to sound dynamic and active. Instead of ‘the issue has been dealt with’ say ‘we have dealt with the issue’. Businesses are just people acting in concert. The active voice conveys this and sounds more relatable, honest and human.
Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. Less pretentious means more relatable. We can’t stress enough that sales is all about building relationships. This is a great rule to follow to make your emails sound less like spam. Say price, not price-point, cooperate, not synergize. Strike the useless tautology ‘it is what it is’ from your vocabulary.
Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. Rules are made to be broken, as long as you know what you’re doing. For our purposes, barbarous means jumping the gun and going for a quick sale. Buy your prospects' dinner before you invite them home. Build that relationship and trust, offer value, avoid the spammy quick sale.
It’s not about you
One huge mistake we see in business communication and sales emails particularly is making it all about you. People who are in relationships with others who do nothing but rattle on about themselves tend to seek an exit rather quickly. The same goes for sales relationships. One of the most important things you can do is make sure your emails are all about your recipient, their needs and the benefits you can offer them. Do everything you can to let them know that you have their best interest at heart.
One of the worst ways to make a sales email about you rather than about the recipient is to express a nervous or apologetic tone. Sending out cold emails naturally makes this nervous. Prospects can smell fear, and it doesn’t smell good. Avoid phrases like ‘I am just writing to let you know’ or ‘sorry to bother you but’. Write succinctly and with respect, but write as if you deserve the recipient’s attention. Just do everything you can to ensure that you do deserve it. If you’re not sure that you are really offering value, you should probably improve it.
Use your recipient’s name
Waste their time with apologies for using their time or similar fluff
Express genuine interest and concern
Jump to the sale without offering value
Write concisely, confidently, and respectfully
Show off with content not relevant to them
Parts of an email sales template
Ideally, your sales emails should only be a few sentences long. Four sentences are plenty. The shorter it is, the easier it is to grab and hold your reader’s attention.
The subject line
Use the recipient’s name in an appropriate, non-spammy way, if possible. The more personal and relevant the subject line, the more likely your email will have an impact. Summarize the purpose of your email succinctly and accurately. With a vague subject line, your email will die on the vine. If you catch yourself wondering if your subject line sounds like spam, it does, fix it.
Recipients are most likely to open an email if the subject line sparks curiosity. This means offering something new about something important to the recipient. Make sure that whatever you promise in your subject line, you deliver in the body of the text. Otherwise, you may have great open rates, but disappointing conversion rates.
Usee your recipient’s name if possible
Keep it brief
Accurately summarize the content
Spark your recipient's curiosity
The opening line of the body of your email should usually be a fleshed-out rehash of your subject line. Throw in the recipient’s name again if you can and let them know what you are offering that they need.
Next you get a sentence or two to elaborate on the purpose of your message. Use statistics or concrete examples to back up your point. Offer unique, high-value content. Make it all about the recipient. Throw in as much personalization and flattery as you can fit. If need be, use some stats or other forms of evidence to hammer a point home.
This is where your call-to-action fits in. Make it short and sweet, a nice, cut and dry binary option, yes or no. This will increase the chances of conversion. You want them to feel that they can’t afford not to take the desired action.
A good email template represents you, your company and your brand in the best way. Check out our article on how to make an outstanding email signature template. In short, your signature should include your name, position, company, and contact info including social media links. Like everything else about sales emails, it should be short and sweet, four lines maximum.
Throw in some attractive formatting and an image, either you smiling into the camera or your company logo. Consider throwing in an added extra or two. This could be icons representing awards you have received, a little call-to-action, or anything that lends a sense of authenticity and, ideally, focus on the recipient.
Include the following in your signature:
your name, position, and company.
contact info and a physical address. Your email address isn’t necessary
Social media links
Your company logo or, better yet, a genial photo of yourself
Awards or other trust-builders
A call to action
Don’t get caught by the spam filter
If you compose a great email but it ends up in your recipient’s spam filter you have completely wasted your time. In the unlikely event that they ever see the message let alone open it, they will view it with a jaundiced eye. The chance of conversion will be practically nil.
Personalization is going to help you keep out of the spam box. If you are using a tool to automate sending emails, set it up to ensure that your messages are not sent at the exact same time of day. If we’re talking newsletters or similar, always include an unsubscribe link that will work for at least a month after receipt. Ensure that your email signature includes a physical address. If your email has any HTML formatting, as it probably should, ensure that the coding is up to spec and not sloppy.
Avoid using purchased or scraped address lists. Check out our article on free email lists. This is a dying strategy that will not help your campaign. It will only help you end up in the spam box. Following the overall advice in this article will also help you land in your recipients’ inbox.
Personalize as much as possible
Don’t use a template straight off of the internet
Send automated emails at varying times of day
Don’t forget to include your physical address and an unsubscribe link
Use clean, syntactically correct coding
Don’t use purchased or scraped address lists
Typo-free, well-formatted and mobile-ready sales email templates
Remember that at least half of business emails are opened on mobile devices. You must ensure that any formatting in your sales email templates is mobile-ready. If your recipients open a message on their phone to find some illegible hot mess, it’s game over.
There is no excuse for having typos or grammatical mistakes in your emails. It is even less excusable to have any in your sales email templates. Spellcheck is a ubiquitous feature but it doesn’t always catch everything. Double-check your texts for mistakes like writing “its” instead of “it’s”.
Ensure formatting is optimized for mobile platforms
Use spell check
Double-check all your spelling and grammar yourself
Examples of email templates for sales
There is an endless number of sales email templates available on the web. The best thing to do is to find a few examples tailored to your purpose, steal the ideas and write a completely unique one. You never know how many times spammers have used a template freely available on the internet. Stay out of the spam box and use your own templates. That said, here are a few examples to give you some inspiration. Click here if you specifically need an introduction email template.
Cold email template
Subject: Quick question on [topic]
Hi [prospect name],
How are you doing with [topic]? My focus is helping companies like [example company] to [specify service, for example, save time with email templates]. The response has been stellar. My clients love [top benefit, for example, how much time they save with our intuitive template editor].
I’d be thrilled to offer you a 10-minute demo. How does your schedule look [ early next week]?
Have a great weekend,
This template is short, sweet and to the point. No words have been wasted on apologizing for having the audacity to send a cold email. It expresses the confidence that what you have to offer is worthwhile. The template gets to the point quickly and gracefully. Suggesting a time for an interaction helps to make it actually happen. Don’t forget to add your signature template and feel free to sprinkle in a bit of personalization here and there, especially early on.
Sales introduction email template
Subject: [prospect name], want help with [target accomplishment]?
Hi [prospect forename],
I'm [full Name] from [company name]. [Contact name] is a good [friend, co-worker, etc] of mine. He/she suggested that I get in contact with you.
As a [job title], I work with [who] such as [client name] to [target accomplishment]. [Mutual contact] has suggested to me that this could be just what you need.
We can arrange a time for a quick chat about it, maybe [time frame]? I'd be thrilled to spend [amount of time] to get to know what challenges you are facing and how we can help you reach your goals.
Thanks for your time,
Here we have a catchy subject line and a quick segue into mentioning the mutual contact and how you can help the prospect. This template is pushing it a bit for length, but that comes with the territory. Again, don’t be afraid to add some personalization outside the square brackets.
The good old AIDA
Subject: Ready to help up your [KPI]
Hi [prospect name],
Are you looking for strategies to increase your [any KPI]?
I'm [name] at [company], and I work with clients like [example cilent] to realize substantial increases in [KPI] in a short time frame. We're having great results.
If you would like to go over what we do and examples of the results we've had, I’m available for a 10-minute chat at [time]. Would that work for you?
Have a good one,
AIDA (attention, interest, desire, and action) follows a tried and true sales technique. First you seize the prospect’s attention. Next, you fire their interest by explaining the value of your service. Following that, spark their desire with the results they can expect. Finally, give them a concrete and time-specific way to take action and benefit from your offer. This is a classic technique, it is to the salesperson what the three-chord song is to the pop star. Use it well.
Subject: [prospect name], checking in on [service offered]
Hi [prospect name],
Just following up on my previous email, I'm curious whether you're eager to [raise or lower a variable/KPI]. If so, I'm here to discuss how.
My job at [Company] is to develop techniques for [business sector] such as:
[List services or tools in bullet points and very briefly describe their benefits]
I'm ready to give you a quick overview of these options and discuss how they can work for you.
Eager to hear from you,
Follow-up emails obviously have to be relevant to your previous email to the prospect. This is just an example, but it is incredibly flexible. It is also concise and impactful. More than our other examples, this one gives great room for personalization. Think outside those square brackets!
Remember that using sales email templates is all about balancing the efficiency of the template with the necessity to personalize. Personalization is what gives you a fighting chance at getting replies and conversions. The guidelines above might seem like a lot to take in, but once you have applied them for a while, they will come naturally. Good email composition is all about clarity, concision, and common sense. Be bold and stay out of that spam box!