How to Write a Perfect Sales Outreach Email (Best Practices and Examples)
Are you planning to start a sales outreach campaign? Wondering how to write a sales outreach email that people will want to respond to?
Have you ever heard the term “tight five?” Tight five is a term used in standup comedy. It’s a “five minute set with consistent big laughs and no fat on it. No soft premises or weak punches. No rambles. Just big laughs.”
The point of crafting a great tight five is to capture your audience immediately, so they’re eager to continue to listen to what else you have to say.
When you’re reaching out to potential customers, your first email is your tight five. Your “applause” is closing the deal, but you can only do that if you provide “laughs,” which, in your case, is demonstrable value to the reader.
In this sales outreach email guide, we will deep dive into each element:
- The Subject Line
- Personalized Opening Line
- Email Body
- Call To Action
Each piece is equally important, and each piece has the power to make your break your sales outreach email. If you want each piece to add up to a pie that will net you a higher response rate, read on!
The Art of Writing the Sales Email Subject Line
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Those few words you use to introduce yourself and capture the recipients’ attention determine whether or not your email will be opened and whether it will help you start a conversation with them. It’s a lot of pressure, I know! So let’s get it right!
Subject Line Best Practices
A good subject line can increase the open rate by 49%. Thus it is quite mandatory to know the best practices of subject lines.
Only the first letter of your subject line sentence should be capitalized. Anything Else Looks Spammy And Unprofessional. See?
A good practice is to read your subject line aloud before moving on to the body of your email. In fact, read all of your emails aloud before sending them. The way we write differs from the way we speak.
Our speech tends to be more natural than our writing. That’s appropriate to a degree, but sometimes our writing can seem robotic to the reader. Also, because it looks like it’s coming from a human. It’s one of the most common do’s and don’ts of cold email. Reading it aloud can help us root out “template speak.”
Personalizing Your Line:
Find out details about the person you’re addressing and include them in your sales email. Showing that you took time to learn a little something about them proves that your email isn’t just a template that’s been blasted out to a thousand other people (even if it has).
Asking A Question:
Not a clickbaity question, though. Ask an open-ended question relevant to the reader. An example would be a question about a project you know they’re working on or have just finished relating to what you have to offer.
Mentioning Mutual Connections:
Would you rather go on a blind date a friend set up for you or a blind date from a dating site? The friend date, of course, because your friend has a personal connection with your date, which gives that person more credibility than a total stranger has. The same is true when trying to establish a business relationship.
Common Mistakes in Subject Lines
- A Big Blank: Leaving the subject line blank is the cardinal sin of subject line faux pas. It makes the entire email look sloppy, rushed, and unfinished.
- Poor Formatting: Your subject line is not the place to SCREAM IN ALL CAPS, capitalize every word, or use bolding.
- Click Baiting: No one likes being duped, and that’s essentially what click-baiting is. It may entice a reader to open your email, but once they realize what’s happening, you’ll lose their trust, which means you’ve lost the sale.
- Promotional Words: Words like “Free,” “100%,” “Guaranteed” are spam trigger words, and email providers may send messages with spam words in the subject line straight to Spam.
Personalized Opening Line
Great, you’re in! Your email subject line opened the door. Your opening line is the line immediately after Greeting Contact’s Name. This sentence has to grab the reader and fast, or they’ll bail.
Now’s Your Chance
An effective sales email solves a problem the reader is having. If you need a black dress and walk by a shop with a black dress in the window, you walk in. Why? Because you need a black dress. Your opening line should at least tease how you can help the reader.
Keep it Relevant
Essentially, your opening line should be a continuation of your subject line. The subject line cracked the door; the opening line pushed it open a little further.
Set the Tone
A cold sales email sets the stage for all interactions to follow. The reader could do you a very great favor, i.e., buy what you’re selling. Always address them respectfully and with the humbleness of someone asking for a favor which is what you’re doing.
Talk About Them
Before writing a single word of an initial sales email, you should have done recon on the person you’re writing and their company—mention recent events related to either a promotion, achievement, or success.
Again, LinkedIn and Google Alerts are great ways to gather this kind of information.
Everyone uses a sales email template; I know it, you know it, the people reading, our potential customers know it. But there are ways to make templates more personal for the reader and more successful for you.
Determine Your Goal
The thrust of your email needs to thrust the reader into performing some action you want them to take. What is that action? To make a sale, schedule a call, sign up for a free trial? Know your goal before you start writing.
Segment Your Prospects
Your goal is to create a personal relationship with each potential customer. But you’re sending a cold email! Unfortunately, those two things don’t seem to go together.
That’s why segmenting based on things like location, position, and demographics is so important. Your email body should be crafted based on the segmentation of the leads list.
People like to know who is addressing them. So introduce yourself, mention or mention again a mutual connection to help establish trust.
Craft Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
You’re not the only game in town (or out of town); otherwise, the business will come to you. You have to have a banging UVP (unique value proposition) to set yourself apart from the mere rabble that is your competition! What can you do for them that no one else possibly can?
Call To Action For Sales Email
A good CTA helps the reader help you! Without a CTA, your devastatingly great email might prompt them to action, but you want the action to be explicit and the action you want them to take.
- Keeping it focused
- Always keep it short
- Never add more than one CTA
- Never make it critical
- Never ask for absurd things
Keep It Focused:
Remember when we carefully determined the goal of our email in the body? Your CTA should focus on what that goal was. Tell the reader exactly what you want them to do.
Keep It Short:
Dorothy Parker said it best, “Brevity is the soul of wit and lingerie.” It’s the soul of a good CTA too. A CTA is not a recipe; it’s a simple line of instructions.
One And Done:
We have seen so many cold emails containing multiple CTAs. This is a horrible practice, never use more than one CTA. Multiple CTAs can confuse your prospects.
No matter how good the sales pitch is in a prospecting email, it’s not always possible to close a sale on a single interaction. So don’t ask for too much commitment in your CTA; just ask the reader to make a small decision that seems like it will benefit them.
Where is your reader on the buying process? If they know almost nothing about your company, “Click here to learn more” is a suitable CTA. “Give me your credit card” is not!
Make It Stand Out:
The reader shouldn’t ‘t have to go hunting for your CTA. Make it large enough to see quickly; a colorful CTA helps. Add a button when appropriate and if your CTA is a meeting or calendar link, be sure it works!
The Signature Says it All
You’ve nailed it up to this point! You want your signature to help you seal the deal, not be the kiss of death!
This is your initial email. You and the reader are not on a first-name basis yet! A professional email signature can help brand all of your correspondence. More importantly, an attractive signature can set the difference between you and a spammer when it comes to cold outreach emails.
Your email signature is essentially your digital business card, so make sure it contains all of the relevant contact information:
- Phone Number
- Email Address
- Brand Logo
But Wait, There’s More! Bonus Section: Email Etiquettes
Part of crafting an effective email is using impeccable etiquette! Be nicer to your prospects than you are with your mom!
- Introduce yourself
- Research your prospects
- Keep it short
- Make it all about them
- Mention how it helps them
- Be that friendly guy
People like to know who is addressing them immediately, so introduce yourself right off the bat.
Research Your Prospects:
The more you know about the person reading your email, the more personalized your email can be. And the more personal it is, the better your chances of building trust and building relationships.
Keep It Short:
Brevity is the soul of wit and lingerie, as we mentioned above. It’s the soul of politeness too. The person on the receiving end gets more emails per day than you can imagine. That they opened yours is a gift. Return that gift by keeping your email short and to the point.
Make It About Them:
People love to be the center of attention; it’s flattering. And it makes us more receptive to the person paying us all of that lovely attention.
Mention What You Can Do For Them:
In fact, more than mention it. It should be the entire point of your email. How you can make their life better or easier or solve a problem they’re having. They know what they can do for you, give you a sale. So you need to make them understand what you can do for them.
Be That Friendly Guy:
As you’re in sales, you must have natural charm and charisma. Use it! People are attracted to and want to deal with friendly, charming people.
To Wrap It All Up
Writing the perfect sales outreach email can be a painstaking process. But getting it right can really boost your reply rates. And it’s like writing a cover letter when you’re job hunting; you only have to get it right once. You can then just customize it for each reader. You don’t have to write a new one each time.
Postaga, of course! We are a one-stop-shop for all of your prospecting and outreach tool needs! But, please don’t take our word for it. Try Postaga yourself with our 14-day free trial!
No! ALL CAPS NO! Not only are people more likely to ignore a business email sent on the weekend, but it’s also just rude to interrupt someone’s private time with non-urgent business matters.
During standard business hours, Monday-Friday 9-5. However, Monday mornings tend to be a bad time as they are often one of the busiest times of the week for many people.
Do plenty of research! Find out what your potential customer needs and explain how you can give it to them. And research the persona as well so you can personalize all of your correspondence with them.
Segmentation can help you here, something we discussed above. Combing through social media profiles can provide a lot of helpful information too. If you learn things about their personal life, use it to craft your approach but don’t mention it directly. It makes you look creepy.
Avoid attachments. Your email address is not yet on the person’s safe list, and sometimes unsolicited emails with attachments will not make it past the spam filter. Once you are on the safe list, send attachments as PDFs as PDFs are universally compatible.
It’s a fancy name for a highly-personalized email. A lot of research goes into this technique as it must be written with a deep understanding of who the reader is and what’s important to them.
Generally speaking, they don’t. The world is so highly specialized now that most people will not find value in a stock email. So they won’t bother reading it or responding to it.
Personalize your emails as much as you can. This takes more time than the generic template, “throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks” approach, but the reward is much greater.
No. Have you ever received one of those “holiday newsletter” cards from a friend or relative? They’re very generic, not at all customized for the reader. Sadly that’s exactly how they appear in a business setting.
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