6 Tips for Writing Better Sales Emails

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Hi Reader,

I hope you’re having a great day! My name is Scott Amerson, and I am VP of Sales for VanillaSoft. In this post, I would love to share with you 6 ways to write better sales emails. Do you have a few minutes?

Let’s face it – if I sent that email to you, you would have deleted it by now, right? Such a snooze fest. This is not the beginning of a winning email. In fact, it sounds a lot like the beginning of a thousand other generic emails I’ve received. Instead of copying the same old shtick that every other salesperson uses, try these tips instead.

Cut disingenuous niceties

Cut the disingenuous niceties

Whether we are the customer or the seller – emails that start with “I hope you’re doing well” or similar sentiments aren’t all that sincere. You probably didn’t spend time thinking, “What’s going on with John Doe today? I hope he’s really giving ‘em hell and making a difference! If not, just wait until he sees my well-wishes!” Now, I’m not saying you aren’t a nice person. In a general sense, we all likely do hope the recipients of our emails are having great days and doing well. We aren’t monsters! However, we have a job to do, and that job is the primary reason for our outreach. You know that. I know that. The prospect knows that.

Personalize Emails

Personalize your outreach

While people may not care how concerned you are about the type of day they are having, they do like it when you know their names and concerns.

When you write your email, consider using the prospect’s first name in the subject line. According to research done by HubSpot and Litmus based on over 800 million sent emails, including the first name of the recipient in the subject line has a higher click-through rate than emails that did not. Reference the person’s potential pain points and how you can help. A general template email can be a great tool so that you don’t have to start from scratch. Just remember that it’s a tool — not the finished product that you share with your customer.

Keep Emails Short

Get to the point

You cut the warm and fuzzy fluff mentioned above. Now what? Easy — get to the point.

People are drowning in email. According to a report from The Radacati Group, Inc. issued in February 2017, around 269 billion emails were projected to be sent and received PER DAY that year. PER DAY! That number is expected to reach 319.6 billion by the end of 2021.

While your specific prospects didn’t get all of those billions of emails personally, you can bet they each received way too many for a single day’s thorough read. Don’t make your potential customers work hard to figure out why you emailed them.

Write a clear and meaningful subject line. If you met at a conference, reference the conference. If the contact requested information about a product, refer to the question. Make it easy for the person to think, “Yep, this is an email I want to read.”

Write a clear and meaningful subject line on your sales emails. Make it easy for the prospect to think, “Yep, this is an email I want to read.” Click To Tweet

Once they open the email, thanks to your well-written subject line, get to the point. There is a lot of work and a ton more emails this person has to deal with today. Be concise — it will let your prospects know you respect their time.

Avoid being too salesy

Avoid sounding like the stereotypical salesperson

The stereotypical salesperson wants to immediately begin talking about himself or his company instead of the prospect. Re-read my silly example that opens this blog post — “My name is Scott Amerson, and I am VP of Sales for VanillaSoft.” Most prospects will think, “big whoop.”

Another issue is that a new or less-than-stellar salesperson may simply not understand how unimpressive her generic or unresearched statements and questions are. “Do you need widgets?” “I was reading your website . . . .” BORING and lazy.

“What’s in it for me” (WIIFM) should apply to the potential customer, not you as the salesperson. The above examples demonstrate that the sales rep only cares about WIIFM from his or her perspective.

WIIFM that your contacts will care about include:

  • mentions or congratulatory notes about recent company news or events
  • comments or insights related to a recent blog post or social post the prospect shared
  • a mutual connection’s introduction or recommendation of your service or product to the prospect
  • information on how you can help resolve a known or potential problem
  • details about how you can help the person become a hero by helping the prospect solve a company problem

Clear call to action

Be clear about the call to action

It’s so tempting to stuff as many options into an email as possible, isn’t it? “Suzy may not want to set up a demo, so I need to also give her a link to the video. Maybe I’ll include information about our free trial, too, as well as our latest blog post.”

Well, you certainly covered your bases with all the possibilities of what Suzy may want to read, do, or see. However, Suzy is sitting there thinking, “what is it that this joker actually wants me to do?”

Do you want Suzy to request a demo? Then that’s your call to action. Follow up later with a different option if she doesn’t respond to your offer for a demo.

email signature

Use a well-crafted email signature

Your email signature doesn’t need billboard-sized graphics, and you don’t need to go off the rails with your various contact options. Next of kin information is not required. Here is what you should include:

  • Name
  • Title
  • Company
  • Phone number
  • Links to your most active social profiles

You may also consider adding a link to an upcoming event, offer, or recent blog post, but be judicious. Remember — you don’t want competing calls to action. If your link relates to your call to action and reinforces the action you want the person to take, include it.

Email pet peeves

What Are Your Sales Email Pet Peeves?

These are just a few areas where you can make or break your email. I, of course, have other pet peeves — such as not using spell check or when someone forgets the attachment. What do you find most annoying in a sales email? Share your favorite — or most despised — email behaviors. Let’s talk about what works and what doesn’t.


Scott Amerson

As Vice President of Sales, Scott is responsible for leading our global sales team. He is a results-driven professional who brings more than 25 years of sales and executive-management experience to VanillaSoft. He is a proven veteran at building scalable infrastructure for inside sales and call center teams by defining key performance indicators, sales process, and training programs. In his previous role as Director of Sales at BenefitMall, Scott built and launched their inside sales team. In this position, he created and delivered policies and procedures, strategic planning, and technology integration leading to a 42% decrease in their sales cycle, and 30% increase in revenue per sale. Scott has also held prestigious positions at multi-million-dollar companies, including Capital One, where he overhauled the entire sales and training processes to drive goal-surpassing revenue from $300 million to $900 million. Scott holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Marketing from Nicholls State University.

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