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How to Write a Sales Email That People Want to Respond To

Feb 11, 2024
(updated: Feb 12, 2024)
Max 5 min read

It's estimated that the average person receives 121 emails per day. Additionally, the average individual spends roughly nine seconds reading each email, meaning you don't have much time to grab their attention!

In this article, we'll show you how to write sales emails that not only avoid the trash but also captivate your audience.

5 Reasons to Write a Sales Email

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of composing the perfect sales email, let's address the question that might be lingering in your mind – why bother with sales emails in the first place?

Well, here are five compelling reasons that will have you hitting that 'Compose' button with enthusiasm:

1. Personalized connection

In our fast-paced world, a well-crafted email provides a personalized touch that other communication channels often lack. It's your chance to connect with your prospect on an individual level, making them feel seen and valued.

2. Efficient communication

Emails are the unsung heroes of efficient communication. They allow you to convey your message, share information, and answer queries – all in one neat package. No wonder businesses of all sizes rely on the power of email to get things done.

3. Global reach

Unlike traditional marketing methods, emails can effortlessly cross borders and time zones. With a well-constructed sales email, you can reach potential clients or customers around the globe, expanding your market and opportunities.

4. Trackable metrics

One of the beauties of email marketing is the ability to track metrics. You can analyze open rates, click-through rates, and responses, providing valuable insights into the effectiveness of your outreach strategy. Data-driven decisions, anyone?

5. Cost-effective

Forget about printing costs, postage fees, or the expenses associated with traditional marketing. Writing a compelling sales email is a cost-effective way to reach your audience, making it an excellent choice for businesses on a budget.

Prep Work Essentials: Setting the Stage for Compelling Sales Emails

Before you dive into the act of crafting a sales email that captivates, persuades, and sparks a response, there's a crucial phase of preparation that lays the foundation for success. The art of effective email writing begins with meticulous prep work.

Here's a quick prep list on what you should do before your fingers hit the keyboard:

1. Know your audience inside out

The most impactful sales emails are those that speak directly to the needs and desires of your audience. Before you start drafting, invest time in understanding your target audience. Create detailed customer personas encompassing demographics, preferences, pain points, and aspirations. The more you know about your audience, the more tailored and resonant your message can be.

2. Research your recipients

Once you've defined your audience, take the extra step to research individual recipients. If possible, gather information about their professional background, recent achievements, or challenges they may be facing. Platforms like LinkedIn can be invaluable for this research. This personalized touch in your email shows that you've done your homework and increases the likelihood of a positive response.

3. Clarify your objective

Clearly define the purpose of your email. Are you showcasing your services, seeking a collaboration, or following up on a previous conversation? Having a well-defined objective helps shape the content of your email and ensures that your message is focused and impactful.

4. Understand your unique value proposition

Before crafting your email, have a crystal-clear understanding of your unique value proposition. What sets your product or service apart? Why should the recipient care? This forms the core of your message and should be articulated succinctly in your email.

5. Define key messaging points

Identify the key points you want to convey in your email. These should align with your value proposition and cater to the specific needs or pain points of your audience. Crafting a concise list of messaging points ensures that your email remains focused and doesn't veer off-course.

6. Choose the right tone and style

Consider the tone and style that will resonate best with your audience. Are they more receptive to a formal, professional tone, or does a casual, conversational approach suit them better? Aligning your tone with the preferences of your audience enhances the relatability of your email.

7. Tailor your message to the sales funnel stage

Understand where your recipients are in the sales funnel. Whether they're at the awareness, consideration, or decision stage, your email should align with their position. An awareness-stage email may focus on introducing your brand, while a decision-stage email may emphasize specific product features and benefits.

8. Investigate previous interactions

If you're reaching out to someone you've interacted with before, review previous communications. This helps you build upon existing rapport and ensures a seamless continuation of the conversation. Referencing past interactions also reinforces the personalized touch of your email.

9. Check for compliance and personalization

Ensure that your email complies with email marketing regulations such as GDPR or CAN-SPAM. Additionally, double-check that you've personalized your email with the recipient's name, company, or any other relevant details. Personalization adds a layer of authenticity that resonates with your audience.

10. Set clear goals and metrics

Define your goals for the email and establish metrics for success. Whether it's a certain open rate, click-through rate, or conversion rate, having clear benchmarks allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your email campaign and make data-driven adjustments.

How to Write a Sales Email People Want to Respond To (Step-by-Step)

Now that we've established the importance of sales emails, let's roll up our sleeves and get to the heart of the matter.

Here's your step-by-step guide to crafting a sales email that not only grabs attention but elicits a response:

Step 1: Know your audience

Understanding your audience is more than just knowing their basic demographics. Go beyond surface-level details and invest time in creating detailed customer personas. Explore their psychographics, behaviors, and preferences. What are their daily challenges, aspirations, and pain points? The more granular your understanding, the more targeted and resonant your sales email can be. Consider conducting surveys, interviews, or leveraging analytics tools to gather comprehensive data for robust persona building.

Tips to gauge your audience:

  • Client Interviews for Tailored Understanding: Instead of relying solely on general surveys, conduct one-on-one interviews with existing clients. This personalized approach can provide deep insights into the client's journey, challenges, and motivations, helping you refine your understanding and craft more targeted personas.
  • Industry-Specific Research: Extend your research to include industry-specific trends and challenges. Understanding the broader landscape in which your potential clients operate allows you to tailor your message to their unique circumstances and positions your solution as a strategic fit within their industry.

Step 2: Craft an irresistible subject line

Subject lines are the first touchpoint, and experimenting with different types can enhance their impact. Beyond curiosity-driven lines, try urgency-driven or benefit-driven subject lines. Test variations to see what resonates best with your audience. Consider using A/B testing tools to evaluate the performance of different subject line approaches. The subject line sets the tone for the entire email, making it a critical element in capturing your recipient's attention.

Tips to write catchy subject lines:

  • Solution-Oriented Urgency: Craft subject lines that convey a sense of urgency tied to a specific solution. For instance, "Unlock Efficiency Now" or "Enhance Productivity Today" communicates immediate benefits, enticing potential clients to explore further.
  • Highlight Industry Recognition: If your company or solution has received industry recognition or awards, incorporate this into your subject line. Phrases like "Award-Winning Solution" can capture attention and build credibility from the outset.

Step 3: Start with a personalized greeting

While addressing recipients by name is a good start, take personalization a step further. Consider referencing recent interactions, acknowledging milestones, or even aligning your greeting with specific preferences. Personalized greetings can extend beyond the individual recipient to address the entire company team. The goal is to convey that your email is tailored and thoughtful, not just another automated message.

Tips for writing personal greetings:

  • Acknowledge Industry Milestones: Begin your email by acknowledging recent milestones or achievements within the client's industry. This demonstrates that your outreach is informed and specific to their context, fostering a connection based on shared industry dynamics.
  • Connect Through Shared Goals: Reference shared goals or challenges that are prevalent in their industry. Demonstrating an understanding of their sector's common objectives immediately positions your communication as relevant and insightful.

Step 4: Clearly communicate value

Getting to the point about the value you bring is crucial, but consider structuring it in a hierarchy. Start with a compelling headline that encapsulates the primary value proposition. Follow up with supporting details or key benefits in a concise manner. Use formatting such as bold text or bullet points to highlight essential information. A clear value hierarchy ensures that even skimming recipients grasp the core benefits of your offering.

Tips for communicating value:

  • Tailor Value to Industry Challenges: Align your value proposition with industry-specific challenges. Clearly articulate how your solution directly addresses pain points unique to their sector, emphasizing the tangible benefits they stand to gain.
  • Highlight Success Stories in Similar Industries: Share success stories or case studies from clients in similar industries. This not only adds credibility but also illustrates practical applications, making the value more tangible for potential clients.

Step 5: Keep it concise and scannable

Brevity is key, but so is the structure of your content. Break up text into short paragraphs and utilize bullet points or numbered lists for easy scanning. Use subheadings to guide readers through different sections. Conciseness doesn't mean sacrificing clarity; it means presenting information in a format that respects your recipient's time and attention span.

Tips for keeping things concise:

  • Utilize Client-Centric Formatting: Structure your email content to resonate with potential clients. Use headings that align with their priorities and break down information into easily digestible sections, ensuring they can quickly grasp the key points.
  • Visualize Client Success: Integrate visuals that showcase the success of clients in a format that potential clients can quickly absorb. Infographics or testimonial quotes accompanied by relevant visuals can provide a snapshot of the positive outcomes your solution delivers.

Step 6: Include a compelling call-to-action (CTA)

Your CTA should align seamlessly with the stage of the customer journey. If the recipient is in the awareness stage, your CTA might encourage exploration, such as downloading a resource or watching a demo. For those further along, guide them towards decision-making actions, like scheduling a call or making a purchase. Tailor your CTAs to meet the specific needs of different audience segments, ensuring relevance and impact.

Tips for writing effective calls-to-action:

  • Encourage Consultation for Tailored Solutions: Invite potential clients to schedule a consultation for a personalized discussion. This aligns with their exploration stage, offering them an opportunity to delve deeper into how your solution can specifically address their needs.
  • Provide Access to Industry Insights: Offer downloadable resources or webinars that provide valuable industry insights. This positions your CTA as an avenue for potential clients to access relevant knowledge, positioning your brand as a thought leader in their sector.

Step 7: Add a personal touch

While a personalized greeting is a good start, infuse your entire email with a personal touch. Share relatable anecdotes, experiences, or industry insights. Use a conversational tone that mirrors real-life interactions. This personal touch not only humanizes your message but also establishes a connection that goes beyond a transactional relationship.

Tips for adding a personal touch:

  • Reference Industry Challenges You've Overcome: Share anecdotes about how your solutions have addressed challenges similar to those faced by potential clients. This not only showcases your experience but also establishes a shared understanding of the obstacles prevalent in their industry.
  • Connect Through Mutual Industry Events: If applicable, mention industry events or conferences you both may have attended. Highlighting shared experiences fosters a sense of camaraderie and can serve as an icebreaker in the outreach.

Step 8: Test and optimize

A/B testing is not a one-time effort. Regularly analyze the results of your email campaigns and use the insights to refine your approach continually. Test different elements such as subject lines, CTAs, and even the overall tone of your emails. Embrace a culture of ongoing optimization, ensuring that your emails evolve in harmony with the changing preferences and behaviors of your audience. Regular testing and optimization are the hallmarks of a dynamic and effective email strategy.

Tips for testing and optimizing:

  • Segment Testing Based on Industry Verticals: When conducting A/B tests, segment your audience based on their industry verticals. This granular approach allows you to refine your strategies based on the specific preferences and responses within each sector.
  • Iterate Based on Industry Feedback: Actively seek feedback from clients within the same industry and incorporate their insights into your optimization strategy. Tailor your approaches based on the nuanced preferences and expectations prevalent in each industry you target.


Follow-Up Email Strategies: Nurturing Relationships for Success

Congratulations! Your initial sales email has been sent, and now it's time to talk about the often underestimated yet crucial aspect of email marketing – follow-up strategies. Crafting an effective follow-up sequence can be the key to turning initial interest into lasting engagement.

Let's explore some strategies to keep your audience intrigued and responsive:

1. Timing is everything

In the world of follow-up emails, timing plays a vital role. You want to strike a balance between staying present in your recipient's mind and avoiding the annoyance of excessive emails. Consider sending a follow-up email a few days after the initial contact to gently remind your recipient about your offering.

2. Value-driven content

The content of your follow-up email should build on the value proposition of your initial message. Provide additional insights, case studies, or testimonials that reinforce the benefits of your product or service. Showcasing value creates a compelling narrative that encourages the recipient to take the next step.

3. Addressing objections

Use follow-up emails as an opportunity to address any potential concerns or objections your recipient may have. Anticipate common questions and proactively provide information that alleviates any hesitations. This demonstrates a proactive approach and a genuine interest in meeting the recipient's needs.

4. Personalized touch

Continue the trend of personalization in your follow-up emails. Reference specific points from your previous communication, acknowledge any interactions or engagements, and showcase your understanding of the recipient's unique requirements. This personal touch reinforces the connection established in the initial email.

5. Varied communication channels

Don't limit your follow-up efforts to just email. Consider utilizing other communication channels, such as social media or even a brief phone call, to reinforce your message. A multi-channel approach increases your chances of reaching your audience where they are most responsive.

6. Limited-time offers and incentives

Create a sense of urgency by incorporating limited-time offers or exclusive incentives in your follow-up emails. Whether it's a discount, a bonus service, or early access to a product, these incentives can motivate recipients to act promptly, driving conversions.

7. Progressive calls-to-action (CTAs)

Each follow-up email should guide the recipient towards the next step in the sales journey. Craft progressive CTAs that align with the stage of engagement. From scheduling a demo to making a purchase, ensure that your CTAs are clear, actionable, and seamlessly lead the recipient through the sales funnel.

8. Leverage automated sequences

Consider setting up automated follow-up email sequences to streamline your communication process. Automated sequences can be triggered based on recipient behavior, ensuring timely and relevant follow-ups without requiring constant manual oversight.

9. Seek feedback

Use follow-up emails as an opportunity to seek feedback from your recipients. Ask about their experience with your initial communication, their expectations, and any areas for improvement. Gathering feedback not only enhances your understanding but also demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement.

10. Respectful persistence

Persistence is key, but it must be approached with respect. While it's crucial to follow up, be mindful not to overwhelm your recipients with too many emails. Strike a balance that communicates your dedication without becoming intrusive.

Final Tips for Sending Sales Emails That Captivate Your Audience

As you gear up to hit the 'send' button on your meticulously crafted sales emails, it's essential to consider the finishing touches that can elevate your communication from good to exceptional.

Here are some final tips to ensure your sales emails are not only read but genuinely loved:

1. Ditch the cookie cutter templates

Resist the temptation to rely on generic, one-size-fits-all sales email templates. Personalization goes beyond just inserting the recipient's name; it involves tailoring the entire message to resonate with their specific needs, challenges, and preferences. Craft each email as a unique piece of communication that addresses the individuality of your audience.

2. Optimize for mobile responsiveness

In an era where people check their emails on various devices, ensure that your emails are mobile-friendly. A significant portion of your audience will be accessing emails on smartphones or tablets, and a poorly optimized email can lead to frustration and decreased engagement. Remember, an email for sales purposes shouldn't feel like a blog post. Your email should be concise, easily skimmable, and formatted with short paragraphs for effortless reading on mobile devices. Test your emails across different devices and email clients to guarantee a seamless experience.

3. Harness the power of storytelling

Humans are wired to respond to stories. Instead of presenting your product or service as a list of features, weave a narrative that showcases real-world scenarios or relatable anecdotes. Storytelling not only captures attention but also establishes an emotional connection with your audience, making your email more memorable.

4. Employ the rule of reciprocity

The best sales email examples follow the rule of reciprocity, which suggests that when you provide value upfront, people are more inclined to reciprocate. Offer something of value in your email, whether it's a useful resource, exclusive content, or a limited-time discount. This generosity sets a positive tone and increases the likelihood of a favorable response.

5. Craft engaging email previews

The preview text of your email is the sneak peek that recipients see before deciding to open it. Use this space strategically to generate curiosity or highlight a key benefit. A well-crafted preview can entice recipients to open your email even before they read the subject line.

7. Leverage social proof

Highlighting testimonials, case studies, or social media endorsements in your email can instill trust and credibility. People are more likely to respond positively when they see that others have had a positive experience with your product or service. It's a subtle yet powerful way to build confidence in your offerings.

8. Perfect your email signature

Your email signature is a valuable real estate for reinforcing your brand and providing additional contact information. Ensure your signature is professional, includes your company logo, and provides ways for recipients to connect with you beyond the email.

How Can Indy Help?

Writing a killer sales email is a great way to open up new business opportunities, but you'll need contracts, task management tools, and invoicing to manage your entire business from start to finish.

That's where Indy comes in!

  • Proposals: Craft compelling project proposals effortlessly and win more clients.
  • Contracts: Get ready-made contracts that protect your business and build trust with clients.
  • Invoices: Generate polished invoices with ease and get paid right through Indy.
  • Tasks: Manage projects with to-do lists and Kanban boards. Plus, organize your tasks within their own project workspaces.
  • Client Portals: Collaborate with clients in a centralized communication hub where you can chat in real-time, share files, and keep everyone on the same page every step of the way.
  • Time Tracker: Automatically track and log the time spent on each project to make billing easier.
  • Files: Upload, store, and share documents with clients and get feedback and approval.
  • Forms: Indy has questionnaires, intake forms, project briefs, and feedback forms to help you get the information you need from clients to nail your projects and grow your business.
  • Calendar: Schedule meetings and get a daily, weekly, and monthly view of everything that's due or overdue. Indy's Calendar integrates seamlessly with Google Calendar to keep everything in the same place.

Indy has everything you need to manage your business under one roof. Get started today for free!

A Quick Recap

Remember, sales emails aren't just about selling a product or service – it's about building relationships, solving problems, and creating a positive experience for your audience.

As you kickstart your email-writing journey, keep in mind that authenticity and relevance are your best allies. Understand your audience, speak their language, and let the conversation flow. With these tools in hand, your sales emails will not only be read but eagerly awaited.

Want even more templates? Indy has all the templates you need to supercharge your business, including business proposals, contracts, forms, and invoices. Plus, you can easily manage tasks and clients with Indy's powerful tool suite. Get started today for free!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I effectively use emojis in my sales emails without appearing unprofessional?

Emojis can add a touch of personality to your emails when used judiciously. Opt for emojis that align with your brand tone and the context of your message. Consider the recipient's industry and preferences; in some cases, a well-placed emoji can enhance the relatability of your email, signaling a more human touch. You can also consider adding emojis to a sales email subject line to help it stand out in their inbox.

Are there specific subject line strategies for overcoming spam filters?

While there's no foolproof strategy, certain practices can help. Avoid all-caps subject lines, excessive punctuation, or overly salesy language. Instead, focus on crafting subject lines that are relevant, personalized, and provide a clear indication of your email's content. Regularly monitor your spam score using email testing tools to ensure your emails have the best chance of reaching the inbox.

Can I use humor in my sales emails, and if so, how do I strike the right balance?

Yes, humor can be a powerful tool, but it's essential to tread carefully. Ensure that your humor aligns with your brand personality and is appropriate for your audience. Steer clear of controversial or polarizing jokes. Test the waters with a friendly, light-hearted tone, and monitor recipient responses to gauge the effectiveness of your approach. When sales reps write sales emails, they should aim to strike a balance between persuasive messaging and genuine personalization, ensuring each communication resonates with the unique needs and preferences of their target audience.

What's the ideal frequency for sending follow-up emails without becoming overly persistent?

The frequency of follow-up emails depends on the context and your audience's expectations. Generally, spacing follow-ups a few days apart is a safe practice. However, use your judgment and be mindful of any specific preferences or instructions received from your recipients. If in doubt, consider directly asking your audience about their preferred communication cadence.

How do I make sure my email is accessible to all recipients, including those with disabilities?

Accessibility is crucial. Ensure your emails are formatted with clear headings, alt text for images, and readable font sizes. Use a combination of visual and textual elements to convey information. Test your emails with screen reader tools to ensure they provide a seamless experience for users with disabilities.

Should I include multiple CTAs (calls-to-action) in a single email, or is it better to focus on one specific action?

While multiple CTAs can be effective in certain scenarios, sales professionals generally advise to have a primary, focused CTA that aligns with your email's objective. Too many competing CTAs can create confusion and dilute the effectiveness of your message. Reserve multiple CTAs for more extensive, segmented email campaigns.

Do I need a mutual connection to send a sales email, or is it acceptable to reach out directly?

While having a mutual connection can provide an initial point of reference, it's not a strict requirement for writing sales emails. Direct outreach can be highly effective when approached thoughtfully. Prioritize personalization in your email, referencing the recipient's background or interests, and clearly communicate the value you bring. Mutual connections can establish a level of trust, but the most important thing is that your emails provide value to the recipient. Incorporating personalized and value-driven content into your successful sales emails is a pivotal element of a streamlined and effective sales process.

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