17 sales email tips to crush 2017 (+ 13 templates)

by Crystal Williams
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Experts have long predicted that social selling will spell the end of sales emails. Yet, email is 40 times more effective at getting new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. What’s worked in the past still works.

Here are 17 top sales emailing tips to help you generate leads and close more deals this year. You’ll learn how to:

  • Get started with writing sales emails
  • Use email templates effectively
  • Increase your response rates
  • Follow up after sending the first email
  • Nurture leads with drip campaigns

Ready to write emails that sell?

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How to get started with sales emails

1. 6 simple steps to getting started with cold emails

Sales emails let you reach more leads in less time. Yet, getting started can be intimidating: What should you write? How many emails should you send? How do you know if you’re getting good results?

It doesn’t have to be this way. We’ve broken down how to write emails that sell into six simple steps to help you get started today.

2. How to write subject lines that increase email opens

The subject line makes or breaks an email. [Tweet this!] If no one opens your email, it doesn’t exist. Yet, most people treat the subject line as an afterthought. If you want to write irresistible subject lines that demand to be opened, this is a must-read guide.

For instance, did you know that misspellings, if done right, can actually increase open rates? Or that writing an email with only a subject line and no body text can increase response rates? Keep reading for nine more mind-blowing tips!     

3. 3 unusual ways to make your emails stand out

Are you afraid of sending out the same yawn-inducing emails as everyone else? Use these three easy yet proven techniques to write sales emails that stand out and get higher response rates.

Because these techniques aren’t obvious, very few salespeople are using them. To give you a hint, your signature can be used as a selling tool. If your signature only includes your name, title, and contact info, you’re wasting valuable space in your emails.

Sales emails that work

4. 5 sales email templates that will generate warm leads for your sales team

Effective emails are the result of methodical experimentation and meticulous tracking. But we've done all the hard work for you and rounded up five proven templates.

We know all about emails because we’ve had years of practice. Before Close.io, we ran ElasticSales, an outsourced sales company that did sales for 200+ venture-backed startups. We tested emails in hundreds of different verticals and markets and these were the ones that consistently worked.

5. 8 CRM-ready email templates for every step in the sales process

Do you know what your sales reps are emailing prospects? Probably not. If your sales team’s emails wildly vary in quality and content, you’re losing deals. Get on the same page and start building a scalable sales process with these eight CRM-ready email templates.

There’s a template for every scenario, whether a prospect has gone cold or is ready to be closed. Plug these templates into our inside sales CRM and close more deals.

6. How to experiment your way to more effective email templates

Even the best templates become ineffective over time. You could wait until that day arrives, then scramble to find new ones. Or, you could get ahead of the game by adopting a more methodical process that leads to continuous improvement within your sales organization.

The first step is to decide what you want to learn and what you need to improve. Here, you’re primarily looking at two things: open rate and response rate. While the list of things you can test is long, always test one thing at a time to generate the most accurate results. Here are a few things you need to consider.

How to increase your response rates

7. How to improve your response rates

You have strong email open rates but your response rate is abysmal. The first step is to determine whether you have a gimmicky subject line. If there’s a gap between what your subject line promises and what your email body delivers, readers will quickly jump ship.

However, what if your subject line isn’t gimmicky? In that case, you need to fix your email body using this 2-step approach: acknowledge the prospect’s current situation and rise above the noise. Let’s jump right to it.

8. Get 457% more replies with the 1, 2, 3 hack

Don’t make prospects do the heavy lifting. [Tweet this!] This is simple in theory, yet many salespeople do the opposite. They send 3-page emails with five different calls to actions and wonder why prospects fail to respond. Psychologists call this the paradox of choice.

The more choices people have, the more overwhelmed they feel. The upside is that if you present prospects with a limited number of options, they’ll be more receptive towards you.

Simplify life for your overwhelmed prospects by writing emails that make it quick and easy for them to respond to you.

9. How to A/B test your emails (without a statistically significant sample size)

You want to A/B test your sales emails. But either you haven’t sent out enough emails or A/B testing software isn’t in your budget. Don’t worry, there’s an alternative: call the people you emailed.

While numbers are great, they can’t always tell you how or why certain aspects of an email did or didn’t resonate with readers. That’s why you need to pick up the phone. What you’ll gain in qualitative insights will more than make up for the lack of quantitative data. Here’s how to segment your email list and the exact questions you should ask recipients when A/B testing your emails.

Win deals with the email follow-up

10. The winning sales email follow-up game plan

Sending the first email is the easiest step. Anyone could do it. But even if you send an incredible email with a killer value proposition, many prospects will be too busy or distracted to reply. If you want to become a priority and get results, you need a follow-up plan.

This post will answer your questions such as:

  • “How often should you follow up?”’
  • “Which type of follow-up emails should you send?”
  • “When should you stop following up?”

What you write isn’t always as important as when you write. [Tweet this!]

11. How to call prospects who open your email

The prospect opened your email. In fact, due to email tracking, you even know the exact time and date they opened it. But when you call them, they have no idea who you are and get irritated that you interrupted their day. The problem?

Salespeople assume prospects who opened their email have read it and care about their product or service. Unfortunately, many people open an email only to delete it. Even if someone did read your email, they might’ve forgotten about it by the next day.

Yes, you should call prospects who opened your email, but you need a better approach. Let’s look at the two most common responses from prospects and how you can engage, rather than annoy, them.

12. Put some funny in your follow up :P

Being professional doesn’t mean your sense of humor has to go in a corner and die. In fact, humor is an effective way to connect with prospects and add a personal touch to an impersonal medium like email.

Putting a smile on a prospect’s face can be the difference between being ignored or noticed, forgotten or remembered, and deleted or replied to. Check out these four examples of funny follow-ups and get inspired.

13. The breakup email: Before you stop following up, send this

According to the loss aversion principle, people prefer avoiding a loss to receiving an equivalent gain. In other words, people may like winning, but absolutely hate losing. One way to use this principle is by sending unengaged prospects a breakup email.

Two of the main points of the breakup email are:

  • I wanted to share a potentially valuable solution with you.
  • However, you don’t seem interested so this is the last email I’ll send you.

Suddenly, prospects who may have been too busy to reply are flooding your inbox. That said, there’s an art to the breakup email. Here’s how to do it the right way and the one mistake you must absolutely avoid.

Nurture leads with drip email campaigns

14. Convert more trial users with drip campaigns

It takes time and resources to convert a lead into a trial user; don’t drop the ball in the last quarter by neglecting them. Instead, activate, engage, and communicate with trial users via a drip campaign to convert them into customers. To get started, these are the four principles you need to create a successful drip campaign.

15. Short vs long emails: What works best for drip marketing campaigns?

Short versus long emails is the wrong question. Instead, the best length is whatever length will achieve your desired results.

For instance, we normally recommend you write short emails when reaching out to prospects. Why? Because your objective is to move the conversation from email to phone as quickly as possible. Yet, in one of our drip campaigns, the longest email is the most successful in getting readers to sign up for a free trial of our sales CRM.

Confused? Here’s a framework for determining how long the emails in your drip marketing campaign should be.

16. Behind the scenes of our drip email course

A few years ago, we created our free Startup Sales Success Course. Driven by the mission, “Never again should a great company fail because of a lack of sales”, we wanted to empower startups to succeed with sales.

Since then, over 23,000 people have signed up in order to learn how to sell SaaS or startup products. As a bonus, our email course has proven to be a powerful lead nurturing tool.

In this behind the scenes, you’ll discover: our objectives, our reasoning for structuring the course the way we did, and our results (including open rates and readers’ responses).

17. Steal these high-converting drip campaigns from 2 killer startups

Hubspot and TrunkClub are killing it in the B2B and B2C space, respectively. Hubspot had a successful IPO and TrunkClub was acquired by Nordstrom for $350 million.

One of their secrets? Great emails. There are many examples we could use but these two case studies focus on how Hubspot and TrunkClub use email to move prospects who signed up for a free trial or account forward in the sales process.

Not only will we show you the exact emails these two startups are using, but we’ll break down why they work so you can adapt their techniques for your own drip campaigns.

The future of sales emails

Sales emails are here to stay. Even though people often loathe receiving cold emails that are not relevant to their needs and like to vent their frustration about it, there is a solid business case to be made: they work.

Joanna Wiebe from Copyhackers for example admits that she's been a skeptic when it comes to cold emails for a long time. But she also noticed that a lot of the freelance copywriters in her audience are successfully getting clients and growing their business with cold emails. Here's an in-depth post by Laura Lopuch where she breaks down her process for crafting sales emails that get her more clients.

Email is one of the few communication channels everyone has access to, independent of any platform or app.

That said, the competition is only going to grow more fierce. Every email you send is competing for prospects’ attention against hundreds of other emails, funny cat videos, and Facebook memes on a daily basis. Never stop experimenting on your sales emails.

For even more advice on writing sales emails that work, check out our free Cold Email Hacks guide. It’s short and packed with actionable advice that’s not included in this post. Get your copy now.

Download Cold Email Hacks... Free!

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