Email remains one of the best mediums for salespeople to work with. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s used universally for both professional and personal use. Personally, you’ve already been the recipient of hundreds or even thousands of sales emails. But how many of those actually resulted in you buying a product or subscribing to a service? Chances are, not many. The odds of securing a conversion or sale with even an expertly-written email are low, so if you don’t have good sales email templates to work with, there’s very little hope for success.
That’s why I’ve put together this guide, covering the basics of what makes a sales email successful, along with templates and examples you can modify for use in your own campaigns.
How to Write a Sales Email
Ultimately, your sales email has one goal: get people to convert (be sure to see our list of sales email best practices for help achieving that goal). If you’re just looking to improve brand recognition or boost your brand reputation, those emails are closer to “marketing” in nature. In the realm of sales, you’re trying to get your email recipients to take some kind of meaningful action; in some cases, that means downloading a whitepaper. In others, it means purchasing a product. In still others, it means filling out a form or watching a video or a webinar.
Whatever it is, your goal is to, through email only, prompt users to take these actions. There’s both an art and a science to this, but you can think of your goals in terms of four main sections:
- The subject line. First up is the subject line—arguably the most important part of your email. If your subject line is boring, predictable, annoying, or overly sales-y, people aren’t even going to open your message. You have to give them something original, and something relevant to their interests. Just as importantly, you have to present it concisely. We’ve written a full guide on sales email subject lines, so make sure to check that out if this is a common problem point for you.
- The attention-grabber. Let’s assume you’ve been successful with the subject line and your recipient has opened the message. What now? You need something fast to grab your recipient’s attention, and convince them it’s worth continuing to read the message. The first few sentences of your email need to jive with your subject line, and lure people in with some kind of promise of value—or at least an informative or entertaining introduction.
- The appeal to value. After that, you’ll need to make some kind of appeal to value. It’s helpful to think about securing a conversion as a kind of exchange; your recipient is taking some action on your behalf, but they expect something in exchange. Sometimes, that just means getting a product in exchange for money. Other times, it means getting information in exchange for personal details. Whatever the case, your job is to convince this reader that what you have to offer is worth it.
- The call to action. Finally, you need to close the deal. You need to motivate your reader to take action, with a link or a button to make it easy. This is the last chance your reader has to back out, so without a strong call to action, you could lose everything at this point.
If you can draft a message that excels in all four areas, and send that to relevant target demographics, you should be able to build an impressive conversion rate.
Coming up with a purely original message that succeeds in every dimension can be difficult, but with the help of templates, you can tweak your way to success.
Warm Introduction Sales Email Templates
Let’s start with some sales email templates that work if you already know the person you’re emailing. You might have met them at a networking event, or you might have gotten their contact information from someone in your personal network.
Whatever the case, these email templates can help you make the right introduction:
1. Subject: [Connection] gave me your info!
You and I both know [connection]—they gave me your info so we could connect. I saw some of your work on [platform] and really enjoyed it!
Are you having any issues with [subject]? If so, I might be able to help you save [time/money statistic].
Thanks for your time!
2. Subject: What was your biggest takeaway from [event]?
You and I met at [event]! I really enjoyed the seminar on [subject]. What were some of your biggest takeaways from the event?
Anyway, I was hoping we could meet up to discuss [subject]. Part of my job is to help people with [issue/problem], so I’d love to spend some time getting to know your perspective better.
3. Subject: Hey! It’s [name] from [event/school/place]
We went to the same [event/school/place], and I was hoping we could reconnect. Are you free this Wednesday for [coffee/lunch/etc.]?
With a warm sales email, getting a meeting or connection point is often more important than securing a sale right away; overly salesy language can be off-putting.
Sales Email Follow-Up Templates
Following up to your initial emails is vital, especially after a cold email that didn’t receive a response. Sending 4 to 7 emails as part of your sales sequence, rather than just 1 to 3, can triple your reply rate. That’s because some people only fail to respond due to time restrictions or forgetfulness, and because pursuing the same targets from multiple angles can improve your success rate.
Try some of these follow-up email templates to close the deal.
4. Subject: Following up on [reference to first email]
I emailed you earlier this week about a special deal, and wanted to remind you it’s a limited time offer! If you act in the next few days, you can still lock in this price. Let me know if you have any questions I can help you with—I’ll be here!
Talk to you soon,
5. Subject: I get it, you’re busy
If your inbox looks like mine, you’re probably overwhelmed with emails. I sent you one earlier this month that may have gotten lost in the shuffle.
I wanted to reach out to you about [special offer]. If you’re interested, let me know, and we can have a bigger conversation.
6. Subject: Can you help me find the right person?
I’ve been looking to find the person in your company responsible for [subject]. Is it you? If so, I’d love to have a conversation with you about your company’s current needs. If not, could you possibly point me in the right direction?
Thanks in advance!
Make sure your follow-up is different than your original message in some key way; obviously, the first message didn’t work, so you’ll need something different if you want to succeed. We have a bunch more sales email follow-up templates in another blog post, so head over there for more ideas!
Cold Sales Email Templates
Cold email templates, or outreach email templates are all about making an impression on people you’ve never met before. They can be tricky, since you’ll need to overcome more obstacles initially if you want to win an audience. However, they can also be some of the most powerful, since they can be broadcasted to a wider network.
7. Subject: Did you know [statistic]?
Have you heard that X percent of people in your industry are unhappy with [subject]? According to our research, that’s because they’re missing [product/service].
I’d love to get your take on this. Are you interested in sharing your opinion, or learning more about the state of your industry?
Looking forward to hearing from you,
8. Subject: Are you available this Thursday?
I saw your work on [subject], and I’d love to get some insights from you. Are you available for a quick chat this Thursday? I’m available all afternoon.
Let me know,
9. Subject: Are you struggling with [subject]?
Our records indicate that people like you are frequently struggling with [subject], which is why my company has derived a product that can resolve your troubles. You can sign up for a free sample/trial today on our website if you act now! And if you have any questions, you can reach out to me directly.
Hope to hear from you soon,
Cold Email Follow-up Templates: Changing Tactics
If you’ve followed up a few times, but you aren’t getting traction, there are a few ways you can change tactics and appeal to your audience differently. These cold email follow-up templates are designed to contrast with your initial efforts:
10. Subject: Have you seen our latest whitepaper?
You might have seen my previous emails. I wanted to reach out and let you know we just published a new whitepaper on [subject]. If you’re interested, we’ve made the whitepaper available for free—you can check it out at [link].
Let me know what you think!
11. Subject: Sorry I missed you!
I tried calling you earlier, and left a voicemail. Sorry I missed you! When you get the chance, could you call me back? I’d love a few minutes to talk about [subject].
Talk to you soon!
12. Subject: Can you provide some feedback?
We haven’t heard back from you, so I was hoping you could provide me with a bit of feedback. Is there anything we could be doing better? I’d love to get a few pieces of insight from you.
Let me know,
Unresponsive Sales Email Templates
Sometimes, you’ll follow up with a cold prospect multiple times without a single reply. Here, you’ll be treading on thin ice. If you continue to be persistent, you might annoy or enrage your prospects, damaging your brand reputation or increasing your spam score. But at the same time, you might be only one or two emails away from closing the deal.
13. Subject: Not interested?
We’ve sent you a few emails about [subject], but haven’t heard back from you. I take that to mean you’re not interested. If that’s the case, I’d love to know why, if you can spare a minute to draft me a message. If not, no worries.
If you are interested, just let me know and maybe we can continue this conversation! I’ll be available.
Thanks for your time,
14. Subject: One last opportunity – [special offer]
We’re going to stop sending you emails soon, but before you go, I wanted to give you one last special offer. We’re giving you a chance for [freebie/discount], but only for a limited time. If you’re interested, just reply to this email and we can have a conversation, or head to [link] to purchase our products directly.
And as always, let me know if you have any questions!
15. Subject: We get it. We’re not for everyone.
We’re not delusional—our products aren’t for every business. But we’re doing everything we can to improve over time, so if you could tell us what’s unappealing to you, we’d love to get your insights.
Of course, if you change your mind, we’ll always be here. Just reach out, and we’ll be happy to help you solve [problem].
Hopefully, these sales email templates can guide you to a better, upgraded version of your previous sales strategy. For more help with your sales outreach campaign, see this list of sales prospecting tools we highly recommend, as well as this list of sales stats to know!
And if you need help measuring and analyzing your results, or if you want to track the progress of your team, you’ll need something extra—a tool like EmailAnalytics. With EmailAnalytics, you can measure employee response times, outgoing emails, and even their busiest times of day. All it takes is a couple of clicks, and you can integrate the tool with your Gmail account or the Gmail accounts of your team members. Want to see just how easy it is? Sign up for a free trial today!
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 exiting it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.