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We’ve written hundreds and hundreds of our own sales emails—we’re no strangers to the anxiety of hitting send on an email you’re not confident in, the dread of coming up with new copy, and the confusion of whether your emails are even working. Over the years, we’ve nailed it down to a science. In this guide, we cover everything you need to know including our proven six-step framework that continuously gets results, clicks, and heartfelt replies so you always know what and how to write to close the sale.
Why Learning How To Write A Sales Email is Worth It
Most people check their inboxes every day. Many people prefer getting marketing and sales messages in their inbox vs. other forms of communication like SMS or social media. So, it makes sense to use email as a sales engine for your business.
You can even set up automated sequences that act as your best salesperson… on autopilot.
A salesman that doesn’t need vacations, breaks, overtime pay, or benefits. A salesman that works 24/7 showing up at all hours of the day (and night) even when no one else can.
However, the first step is knowing out what to actually type in those emails. You have a few options, including hiring a professional copywriter (which can cost thousands of dollars per email), treating it like any other piece of copy, or mastering a new skill and learning how to do it yourself.
The first option—hiring a pro—is always a good idea, but it’s not so friendly on the wallet. If it’s out of your budget, you’re not out of luck. Once you realize option two isn’t an option (regardless of how long that takes), you come to option three.
Not only will learning how to write sales emails yourself save you big bucks, but you’ll also learn an invaluable skill that most marketers treat like any ol’ piece of marketing collateral (read: you’ll be hundreds of steps ahead of them).
Once you get sales emails down, you’ll be able to start making sales on autopilot without forking over thousands of dollars or suffering from night sweats at the idea of hitting send.
The Investment Needed to Write A Sales Email
Learning to write effective sales emails doesn’t have to be a painstaking process that sucks up all your time. Even if you have no experience with copywriting, learning how to master sales emails is one of the most worthwhile uses of your time.
While there are a few great long-term tactics that can help you hone your strategy, like segmenting your list, getting to know your audience, and studying copywriting, you can still write effective sales emails… today.
Once you learn a few key pointers, you can write an effective sales email in less than half an hour at no cost (besides your time). If you have thirty minutes and the need to write a sales email, you have nothing to lose.
But keep in mind that any skill worth having takes time to build, learn, and refine–the more you practice writing emails, the better your emails will be.
6 Steps to Write A Sales Email
Writing a sales email is unlike writing any other piece of copy. You only have a few seconds to hook your reader, convince them to trust you, and show them why they need what you’re selling.
Throughout the rest of this article, we’ll walk through how to:
- Sign up for a free Hubspot account
- Craft the perfect subject line
- Personalize and polish your body copy
- Add a powerful CTA near the end
- Send, analyze, follow up
By the time you’re done, not only will you have a finished sales email, but you’ll also have a system in place to store customer info, consolidate your customer interactions, and make the most of the data you have.
#1 – Sign Up for a Free HubSpot Account and Set Up Your CRM Pipeline
Before you write a single word, the first step to a successful sales email is putting infrastructure in place to track your efforts. Doing so gives you an easy way to see what works, what doesn’t, and emphasize the former.
If you don’t already have a CRM in place, we recommend signing up for a free account with Hubspot.
You don’t have to pay anything (for real, it’s free!), it’s easy to use, and you get all the tools you need to monitor sales activities so you can start measuring success from day one.
It even comes with dozens of email templates you can use as a starting point if you’re struggling to find the right words or organize your thoughts in a way that makes sense. After you sign up, go to your Hubspot dashboard. Then, go to Contacts in the top navigation menu and click Contacts.
On the right-hand side of the screen, click Import.
If you have a list of potential prospects, you can upload them here as a CSV file. If you upgrade to a paid plan, you can also enable two-way sync with your email service provider as well to keep your contact list in Hubspot continuously up to date.
But that’s not a necessity at this stage, so there’s no need to upgrade if you don’t want to.
Once you’ve imported your contacts, go to Marketing in the top navigation menu and click Emails. On the right-hand side of your screen, click Create Email.
Here, you’ll see a list of templates you can use for various occasions with different types of features.
For sales emails, the best option is something that feels personal and not-salesy. Odds are, you can spot sales or pomo emails a mile away because they’re filled with images and fancy formatting. You also probably know that those types of emails don’t feel personalized… at all. For that reason, most people ignore them entirely.
We don’t want that. So, your best bet is to go with a plain text-based email template—just like an email you’d send to a friend or family member.
Once you’ve opened up the template in Hubspot’s email editor, it’s time to start writing.
#2 – Craft The Perfect Subject Line
Your subject line determines if your email gets opened in the first place. To say it’s an important piece of crafting a sales email is an understatement. Despite that, it’s often overlooked and tacked on at the last minute with next to no thought.
In a world where 35% of email recipients use the subject line to decide if they’re going to open the email, it’s a crucial piece you can’t afford to ignore.
The key is finding something that’ll entice your intended recipient just enough to open up your email. That’s all your subject line has to do—get them interested enough to want to know more.
When writing our own subject lines, we focus on:
- Personalizing it by including their name
- Being as direct and straightforward as possible
- Using punctuation to your advantage
- Making the recipient feel valued
Personalize it by including their name
HubSpot gathered some data and realized including your recipient’s first name in the subject line led to a higher clickthrough rate. Experian agrees. It found personalizing an email subject line led to six times higher transaction rates.
This is great news for you. You get to come up with a subject line faster and you don’t have to get overly creative with it to where you draw a complete blank (hey, email writer’s block can be a thing too).
Some email service providers (ESPs) make it easy to automate a name insertion in the subject line if you’re sending a sales email to a select group of people.
HubSpot has a quick tutorial on how to do this with its CRM account you can check out here.
Sometimes, getting down to it and not pulling any punches works best. It’s safe to say people are tired of the same repetitive emails they get bombarded with on a daily basis.
Being direct cuts right to the heart of what you’re wanting to say, it doesn’t waste your customers’ time, and it helps the chances of you getting a response. Being overly flowery or too clever as a means to get someone’s attention can be a hit or miss and tends to get old fast if you do it often. This is mostly because it’s easy to see through. And it doesn’t add anything to the conversation between you and your prospects (unless being flowery is a fundamental part of your brand and how you run your business).
Use punctuation to your advantage
According to Smart Insights, using punctuation marks like a period, exclamation point, or question mark in your subject line has the potential to increase your open rates anywhere from 1-20 percent. But that’s only if you use them sparingly.
If you’re emailing a prospect, chances are you’ll be sending them more than one email. You don’t want to overdo it with the exclamation marks and the questions in every subject line. This is easy to ignore after the first one or two.
So feel free to experiment with punctuation in your subject lines, but don’t overdo it.
Make them feel important
Who doesn’t like being made to feel important? As far as building rapport goes, writing a subject line that makes your prospect feel valued or important can help pique their interest enough to open your email.
The key here is to be real, not bombastic. Compliment them on something they published online, their book, their website, their creative portfolio. Complimenting them on anything that tangentially relates to what you’re selling can be a good starting point as you draft a subject line that works.
In the end, a large part of creating effective subject lines boils down to one thing: empathy. Putting yourself in your prospect’s shoes and seeing the world through their eyes is a key step in sending a message that truly speaks to their needs.
It’s important to remember that people tend to make decisions based on emotions first, and then try to rationalize them later. It’s no different when making a snap decision on whether or not to open an email based on the subject line.
As I’ve mentioned before, writing an attention-grabbing subject line will take practice. So don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it exactly right the first time.
Once you’ve decided on a great subject line, it’s time to work on the contents of your email.
#3 – Personalize and Polish Your Body Copy
Ah, now for the fun part. What in the world are you supposed to include in the body of your email?
The short answer? It depends. The long answer? Let’s look at what makes great body copy for a sales email.
Contrary to what you might be thinking, an exceptional sales email doesn’t have to be really long. It can be short, sweet, and to the point. As long as you cover all your bases without making your customer scroll through an endless block of text.
The body copy of a sales email:
- Makes the email about fulfilling your customers’ needs
- Doesn’t ramble about the features of your business or product offering
- Is a slippery slope that keeps your customer reading and offers value
- Has plenty of white space and is easily legible
The more personal a sales email feels, the better. From now on, you have our eggspert permission to not sound like a textbook, or worse, a cable TV salesman needing to meet a sales quota.
To help with the sales email writing process, we’ve compiled a separate list of the best sales email templates you can find for free on the internet. Check out our top picks here.
#4 – Add A Powerful CTA Near The End
Time and time again, our eggsperts see the best email results when they write a powerful call to action that meets these three things:
You want your closing call to action to be direct and clear in what it states. The more specific you can make it the better– adding a date or specific timeline for further action can help here. Finally, it’s always good practice to not make a million asks in one email. This only leads to analysis paralysis and inaction. Make your CTA singular in that you only ask for one thing.
Some great examples of effective calls to action for sales emails include:
- Does a quick chat on either X or X work for you?
- Check out my Google Calendar to set up a quick appointment
- Do I have permission to follow up with you in a month?
- Would it be possible to hop on a quick 5-minute call tomorrow?
- How does (day of the week) sound?
- Let me know what next steps you’d like to take to resolve this issue.
- Click here to get started
- Set up a meeting with me here
In short, the easier you can make it for your customers to take action and not have to jump through a ton of hoops the better your sales email will be. This goes for both you and your customer.
#6 – Send, Analyze, Follow Up
Once your sales email is polished, you’re ready to hit send, right? Not quite. As a final step for good practice, you’ll want to send the email at the best possible time. Good timing increases your chances of the prospect actually opening and reading the email.
When is the best time to send a sales email? Well, that’s the question marketers are constantly asking themselves. However, according to CoSchedule, the best times tend to be around midweek, sent at around midday. This means sending a sales email anytime from Tuesday to Thursday at around 10 a.m. or noon could potentially get you better results.
However, a great sales email doesn’t stop after you push send. Much like playing sports, the follow-through matters just as much if not more as you build rapport with your customers.
Before you follow through, use your HubSpot CRM to check if the email was opened and what its clickthrough rate was. This can help you measure the interest of your customers, as well as whether they answered your call to action at all.
Once you’re informed, you can decide whether to send a follow-up email to nudge a response, try a different tactic to reach the customer, or take the next steps in your sales process if you received a positive reply.
You’ve learned the basic principles of what it takes to create an effective sales email. Where do you go from here?
Well, we pride ourselves in publishing some of the best content in marketing that’s out there. So you bet I’m going to recommend you check out our copywriting guide and our in-depth guide to creating a powerful sales funnel explainer post. Oh, and don’t forget to check out our list of the best sales email templates from around the industry.