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Combine the word “sales” with the word “email” and you have a recipe for night sweats, second-guessing everything you say, and turning into a corporate robot when it comes time to actually write the thing. But after writing hundreds of our own, we nailed the process 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
It’s no secret that most people check their inboxes every day. In fact, many people actually 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.
You can even set up automated sequences that act as your best salesmen… 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 figuring out what to say to close the deal. 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 probably way beyond your budget. If so, you’re not completely out of luck. Once you realize option two isn’t an option, you come to option three.
Not only will learning how to write sales emails yourself save you a ton of money, but you’ll also learn an incredibly valuable skill that many markets gloss over and treat like any ol’ piece of marketing collateral. Once you get sales emails down, you’ll be able to start making sales on autopilot without forking over thousands of dollars.
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.
While there are a few great tactics that can help you craft better emails, like learning to segment your list or learning the art of copywriting, you can still write effective sales emails by learning the key principles we’ll go over today.
Once you learn a few key pointers, you can write an effective sales email in less than half an hour at virtually no cost. Still, it’s important to remember any skill worth having takes time to build, learn, and refine–and the more you practice that skill, the better at it you’ll get. You see, you might not get your emails perfectly right the first time, but the more sales emails you write, the more you’ll improve over time–much like building muscle at the gym.
To get started on the right foot and to ensure your chances of success, you’ll want to sign up with a free customer relationship management tool like HubSpot. It’ll make the sales email writing process ten times easier.
6 Steps to Write A Sales Email
- Sign up for HubSpot free to set up your CRM pipeline
- Craft the perfect subject line
- Personalize and polish your body copy
- Add a powerful CTA near the end
- Send, analyze, follow up
Let’s dive into what it takes to ensure your sales emails are as fine-tuned as possible.
#1 – Sign Up For HubSpot Free and Set Up Your CRM Pipeline
As I mentioned previously, you’ll want to sign up for a free customer relationship management tool like HubSpot’s CRM software. As one of the leaders in the marketing industry that provides comprehensive tools for marketers, HubSpot’s CRM makes it easy to write your sales emails quickly and effectively with its easy-to-use dashboard and a convenient set of email templates you can use at a moment’s notice.
Once you’re signed in to your free HubSpot dashboard, head on over to Contacts and click Contacts. Then on the right-hand side click the button labeled Import.
Here’s where you’ll be able to import a CSV list of contacts from your computer. With HubSpot, you can also do a two-way sync with your ESP with a paid plan.
Once you have a list of contacts, imported and ready to go navigate to Marketing and Emails then on the right-hand side click Create Email.
You’ll be met with a list of templates you can use depending on the occasion. For this example, we’re building a sales email from scratch. You can either choose to go with a simple template or a plain email template to begin. Usually, the more personal an email seems the better. When an email is built with too many fancy features it can come off as too salesy or impersonal. Remember, what we’re trying to do here is create a sales email that feels personal and speaks to your customer.
Now you’re ready to start writing the contents of a kickass sales email.
#2 – Craft The Perfect Subject Line
The difference between an email that gets opened or overlooked in a sea of emails is an enticing subject line. This is why you don’t want to only focus on the contents of your email. What your subject line will be is just as important.
According to Convince & Convert, a whopping 35% of email recipients decide whether to open an email or not based on the subject line alone.
It helps to first stop and think about what would get your ideal customer to click and read more of the email you’ve sent?
To guide you in the right direction, here are some ideas to help you craft your perfect subject line:
- Personalize it by including their name
- Be direct
- Use punctuation to your advantage
- Make them feel important
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.