6 Not-so-common tips on how to write an effective sales email

The internet is flooded with articles describing the same-old tips for writing an effective sales email. Today, we will reveal 6 unsaid sales email tips that are worth their weight in gold.

Suchit  SawantSuchit Sawant

Cold emailing can be tough, really tough...

Considering the fact that a cold email response rate of 15-20% is considered as high, this is not a big surprise.

But the reason behind the response rates being so low for cold emails is down to the fact that very few people (I mean.. a bare minimum) are acquainted with the right way of doing it.

Keeping this not-so-welcome scenario in mind, we are coming up with an exhaustive guide on how to master cold email outreach in 2018... in just a couple of weeks time.

Till then, here are 6 highly valuable ‘unique sales email tips’ that you may have not come across anywhere yet - to hone your cold email writing skills.

So if you are one of those individuals involved in the relentless quest of sharpening their cold emailing skills, then you have come to the right place.

Let’s begin…

Sales Emails

Write the subject line last

The majority of the people involved in cold emailing write the subject line of their emails first before moving on to writing the body content of the emails.

This is certainly not a great idea though, as ideally, the subject line of an email should be a clear reflection of its body content.

This can only be possible (not always) if you finish writing the body content of your emails first and then move on to devising an eye-catching and suitable subject line.

Since subject lines determine whether your emails get opened or not, it is recommended to base them around the ‘main reason why you are reaching out to connect to the recipient’.

For example: If you want to primarily ask a question to the recipient in your email: ‘Quick question, (Recipient name)’ or ‘Quick question about ______ ’ would prove to be suitable subject lines.

Also, when it comes to subject lines, it’s best to stay away from some of the words which give out a spammy impression. Here’s a short list of such words:

  • Sale
  • Final
  • Exciting
  • Unique
  • Help
  • Discount
  • State-of-the-art
  • Reminder
  • Tempting
  • Specials

Base your emails around a proper structure

It is absolutely essential that the cold email that you send should comprise of a proper structure.

What do you mean by a proper structure?

Well, we all rightly talk about the fact that a cold email should be no longer than 3-4 sentences.

But besides that technicality, it is vastly important that those 3-4 lines that you write are structured in such a way that your entire email flows like a smooth river.

So what is the ‘proper structure’ for a cold email and why is it important?

Let’s answer a few questions that will help you understand:

What is the foremost goal of any cold email that you send?
A: To get it opened and read.

Next, what’s the primary goal of your first sentence?
A: It’s to get your second sentence read.

What's the goal of your second sentence?
A: To get your third sentence read.

And so on.. all the way through to your CTA.

Once the subject line works its magic and inspires the recipient to open the cold email, it is required that each one of the sentences in the body content of your email is carefully crafted.

P.S This delicate scenario is the main reason why the majority of the people involved in cold emailing fail miserably in it

In order to make it effortless for the prospect to read the email, each sentence that you include in your email should lead right to the next.

For openers, your first sentence should pick up from where your subject line left off with regards to the 'main reason why you are reaching out to connect to the recipient'.

Once you have stated the reason for reaching out, your second line should completely focus on ‘how your prospect is going to benefit’ by making use of your product or services. For best results, the benefit should be in relation to solving the chief ‘pain point’ of your prospect.

The third line should showcase the social proof/evidence of the benefits that you mentioned to your prospect. You can do that by citing your existing customers in relevant industries and the success that you have helped them achieve. This will contribute to establishing credibility in your email.

And ultimately, the last line should finish it all off with a simple, clear call-to-action that is easy for your prospect to answer.

Make sure that all of these lines are in separate paragraphs.

Use language that's conversational

Now that you have a clear idea as to how your cold emails should be structured, it’s time to focus on the tone of your cold emails.

The tone of your cold emails plays a significant part in determining their fate.

Sending cold emails with stiff, dull and a sales-y language is a sure-shot way to get your emails thrown in the trash.

So what kind of tone is considered ideal for cold emails?

Well, there’s no such tone which is guaranteed to get you great response rates but regardless of that, a casual and conversational tone is considered as the best bet to get cold emails to be opened and responded to.

Let’s go through an example to justify this point:

Scenario 1:
Imagine yourself travelling by a train when suddenly a person (salesman) shows up in front of you and offers you a product while talking in a boring, sales-y language about the product details and why you should be interested in it.

Sure to say, you will not only be completely uninterested in buying that particular product but will also be extremely annoyed with that person.

Scenario 2:
Now imagine the same situation but instead of that stereotypical salesman, a different person shows up who strikes up a casual conversation with you, breaks the ice and then goes on to pitch his product.

Now I won’t say that you will certainly buy the product from this particular person, but I am quite sure that you will be more likely to consider the purchase in this scenario than in the previous one.

Avoid the inclusion of sales-y words

As we saw above, a sales-y language is sure to afford you with a great chance of getting a zero response rate to your cold emails.

Now if you are one of those people who want to avoid doing that, then you need to absolutely make sure that your cold emails contain none of the phrases/words that give out a sales-y impression.

Keeping that in mind, here’s a comprehensive list of words that are considered as sales-y in the world of cold emails:

  • Sale
  • Discount
  • Promotion
  • Guaranteed
  • Innovative
  • Cheap
  • Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
  • Superior quality
  • Customer-oriented
  • Innovative
  • Cutting-edge
  • Amazing
  • Fantastic
  • Incredible
  • Wonderful
  • ! (exclamation mark)

Each and every sentence should pass the “So What” test

If you want great response rates for your cold emails, then it is absolutely mandatory that each and every one of the sentences in your cold email pass the ‘So What’ test.

What is this test and why should you care about it?

Let’s decipher that through an example:
We are quite familiar with the fact that the majority of the business people receive massive amounts of cold emails every day.

Now consider that you send a cold email with a sentence:
Our product consists of a number of unique features like ______.

Now, it will be quite natural for the reader to think to himself: “So what? Why should I care about the features of your product?”

In such a case, it will be highly likely that the reader will straightaway click on the trash button without reading any further (even if you may have mentioned about the benefits of those particular features to the reader in the subsequent lines).

So while coming up with a cold email, always make sure that each and every one of your sentence passes the “So What” test and your message as a whole focuses primarily on the ‘Benefits to the prospect’.

One excellent way to do that is by getting creative and showcasing how your product can provide value to the prospect through a personalised video or image.

This will cast a favorable impression with regards to you in the minds of the prospects and propel them towards taking the desired step.

Step into the shoes of your prospects

Now that you're done with writing all of the content of your cold email and are ready to send it, it’s time for the final test:
Step into the shoes of the recipients and read the email right from the subject line to the CTA.

Once you are done with the reading part, it’s time to reflect and ask yourself some questions with regards to the email:

  • Will you open the email after reading the subject line?
  • Would you like to have a conversation with a person who sent this email?
  • Will you take the desired CTA after reading the complete content of the email?

If any of the answers for the above questions is No, then it is required for you to make the necessary changes so that the answer turns into a Yes.

One thing to always keep in mind:
All your cold emailing efforts should be directed towards affording your prospects with a solid reason to connect with you, a reason to care.

And for that to happen, you truly have to get into the shoes of your prospects and start thinking like them!

Quick Summary

Here's a brief summary of all of the priceless tips discussed above:

  • Write the subject line last:
    The subject line of an email should be a clear reflection of its body content.
    Therefore it is suggested that you keep it for last, as it will afford you with the best possible chance of accomplishing that.
    Besides that, it is highly recommended that you base the subject lines of your cold emails around the ‘main reason why you are reaching out to connect to the recipient’ - for maximum success.

  • Base your emails around a proper structure
    It is absolutely vital that the cold email that you send comprises of a proper structure.
    The 3-4 lines that make up the body content should be structured in such a way that your entire email flows like a smooth river, making it effortless for the prospect to read the email.

  • Use language that's conversational
    The tone of your cold emails plays a pivotal part in determining their fate.
    Hence, it is suggested that your cold emails have a casual and conversational tone, as it is considered as the best bet to get cold emails to be opened and responded to.

  • Avoid the inclusion of sales-y words
    Cold emails and sales-y language is a combination that is almost always sure to lead to a zero response rate.
    Thus, it is absolutely crucial that your cold emails contain none of the phrases/words that give out a sales-y impression.

  • Each and every sentence should pass the "So What" test
    If you want great response rates for your cold emails, then it is imperative that each and every one of the sentences in your cold email pass the ‘So What’ test, wherein the recipients after reading a sentence don't get the chance to think to themselves: 'So What?'.

  • Step into the shoes of your prospects
    Once you're done with writing all of the content of your cold email and are ready to send it, you need to "Step into the shoes of the recipient and read the email right from the subject line to the CTA".
    After your reading is complete, you need to reflect and ask yourself a trio of key questions which will give you a sound idea as to whether your cold email has a great chance of success or is simply going to be trashed. Modify accordingly.

Suchit  Sawant
Author

Suchit Sawant

An admirer of the English language.. writing for a purpose.

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