If you want to lead a successful sales email strategy, you need to know these sales email best practices.
I’ve listed the top 17 for you below.
Let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
- Cold Sales Email Best Practices to Maximize Conversions
- 1. Be an advisor, not a salesperson.
- 2. Master your subject line.
- 3. Optimize your text previews.
- 4. Provide value.
- 5. Don’t waste time on uninterested recipients.
- 6. Talk to a person, not a statistic.
- 7. Integrate your email campaign with other strategies.
- 8. Make it easy to convert.
- 9. Use active words to encourage action.
- 10. Imply urgency.
- 11. Use a strategic “from” line
- 12. Personalize your emails.
- 13. Send at least 4 follow-ups.
- 14. But don’t spam.
- 15. Automate emails based on event triggers.
- 16. Optimize your emails for mobile devices.
- 17. Experiment and measure the results
- Related posts:
Cold Sales Email Best Practices to Maximize Conversions
Assuming you’re conducting cold emailing, these sales email best practices can all help you maximize conversions:
1. Be an advisor, not a salesperson.
People are much more likely to respond to an email if they feel it’s coming from a place of good intentions, or value.
If they feel like they’re being sold to, they’re probably going to ignore the message. Frame your subject lines and body copy in a way that makes it clear how this email, and how their next actions, are going to benefit them.
For example, instead of saying “we have one of the best apps in the world!”, tell them “this app will save you 45 minutes a day!” For help getting started, see our list of sales email templates you can use.
2. Master your subject line.
Your subject line may be the most important component of your sales emails. It’s the first thing your recipients will see, and it will heavily influence whether or not they open the message.
It will also set the tone for your message—which means it needs to be compelling and inviting. I’ve written a robust guide on the subject of sales email subject lines, so make sure you review it and get some new ideas.
3. Optimize your text previews.
Text previews are snippets of text that appear next to your subject line in most modern email platforms. Go ahead and open your Gmail inbox to see it in action.
The subject line is what draws the eye, but some users may also catch a glimpse of your text preview—it’s a nice second chance to catch someone’s attention.
When testing your email, make sure you’ve captured enough valuable information from your body content, and try to tweak it to persuade more opens.
4. Provide value.
Let’s assume your recipient opens the email. What are they going to find?
If they spend a few seconds reading your message, but they don’t find anything interesting, they’re going to delete the message and move on. Accordingly, you need something truly valuable to your recipient—that could mean a new statistic, a discount on a product, or even a humorous joke.
The point is to keep your prospect reading.
5. Don’t waste time on uninterested recipients.
One of the most important principles in email marketing is sending emails only to people who want to receive your emails, and it applies to sales emails too.
Don’t spam random emails or buy/rent preconstructed email lists. Instead, curate your email list naturally with website signups and invites, and if someone falls outside your target demographics, take them off the list.
6. Talk to a person, not a statistic.
Many of the tips on this list require you to understand and appeal to your target demographics. But in the course of market research, it’s easy to start seeing your audience as pure statistics.
This can lead you to write messages that sound clunky or robotic. Instead, write your emails like you’re talking to a person—because you are. Don’t overthink your phrasing, and write in your natural voice.
Even if it doesn’t seem as “businessy,” your customers will likely appreciate it.
7. Integrate your email campaign with other strategies.
Email sales strategies can be powerful, but they’re limited by your brand presence in other areas. If you want to see the best results, you need a multi-point branding, marketing, advertising, and sales campaign.
For example, you can use a content marketing strategy to build brand trust and attract more traffic, and use your top pieces of content to invite email list signups; at that point, you’ll be generating warm leads who are already familiar to your brand.
8. Make it easy to convert.
Similarly, it needs to be easy to convert. This is perhaps one of the most important sales email best practices to ensure you get right.
If your email asks recipients to follow a 15-step process over the course of 3 days, they’re not going to go through with it. If all they have to do is click a button, enter two form fields of information and click send, they’ll be much more likely to go through with it.
Test to make sure the process is as quick as you think it is, and consider refining it to be even faster.
9. Use active words to encourage action.
Your calls-to-action (CTAs) are the point at which your recipients will make a decision. Try to use strong, action-focused words to encourage action more consistently.
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For example, “free samples of our latest product are available now!” doesn’t encourage action. “Get a free sample of our latest product now!” does encourage action.
They’re saying mostly the same thing, but one is a command. Use this phrasing to your advantage.
10. Imply urgency.
People are natural procrastinators. If they have time to think about a decision or delay a decision, they’re going to do so. Accordingly, you can use urgency to your advantage, motivating people to stop procrastinating, or taking the option away from them.
You can do this by implying a degree of urgency; for example, the simple phrase “limited time offer” can make people act, but it’s better to be more specific.
For example, tell them the offer is only available for 48 hours, or use a ticking clock to instill action.
11. Use a strategic “from” line
Most email platforms will allow you to customize your “from” line, so make it attractive. In many cases, a simple first and last name will be ideal. If you’re sending on behalf of your company, try using your brand name.
Even if you won’t be accepting replies, people will still see the from line and could react to it.
12. Personalize your emails.
The more personalized your message is, the better. If you’re an individual salesperson sending messages one at a time, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to perfect this approach; you can talk to your recipients as a friend and build the message from there.
If you’re mass-marketing, you’ll need to segment your email lists, and build out custom messages to people based on their past activities and current identity.
13. Send at least 4 follow-ups.
Follow-ups are more important than you might realize.
If you send between 1 and 3 emails, you’ll be looking at a 9 percent response rate. But if you send between 4 and 7 emails, you’ll triple your response rate to 27 percent.
That’s because each email gives you a new opportunity to pitch, but also because it reinforces the customer’s image and familiarity with your brand. See this list of perfect sales email follow up templates you can use, as well as this list of sales productivity tools to automate this process!
14. But don’t spam.
That said, you need to be careful. If a prospect feels like they’re being bombarded with unnecessary or uninteresting emails, they’re going to start ignoring you. Worse, they could block you altogether.
A handful of follow-ups, at least a few days apart, is usually all it takes to tell whether or not a prospect is interested.
15. Automate emails based on event triggers.
Sales email strategies can usually be improved with some form of automation. Many modern email marketing platforms offer the ability to automate sales emails based on “trigger points,” like a customer abandoning a shopping cart or viewing a specific product page.
This could be seen as marketing or sales, but either way, it’s an important opportunity to capitalize on existing customer interest without necessitating the manual drafting of a new email.
For help, see our list of the best sales prospecting tools.
16. Optimize your emails for mobile devices.
Your demographics may differ, but overall, it’s more common for people to check emails and read them on mobile devices than on desktop devices.
Accordingly, all your emails should be optimized for mobile devices; it’s much easier to view a mobile email on desktop than a desktop email on mobile. There are some basic tools you can use to make sure your email is mobile responsive, but you may also want to make additional tweaks, making sure your most important text is easily readable and your links are easy to tap with a finger.
Making sure your email is readable is one of the most basic email best practices to follow.
17. Experiment and measure the results
While many of the sales email best practices in this article should help you achieve more website conversions, you’ll still have your work cut out for you.
Every business is different, and their customers will respond to different things. While some customers will appreciate big, bold fonts, others will prefer something more minimal. Some will respond better to a short, humorous email, and some will respond better to something longer and more value-driven.
The only way to tell for sure is to experiment with different approaches, and measure the results. The more AB tests you run and the more data you collect, the closer you’ll get to an objectively-backed email sales strategy that works specifically for your business.
EmailAnalytics is the tool to use for measuring your results. Sign up for a free trial today, and see it in action!
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before selling it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.