Effective sales emails

Whilst most salespeople understand the construct of a sales letter, far fewer then change this for their sales emails.  Let me give you my tips for writing effective sales prospecting emails that go beyond the given of a strong subject headline and personalised style.

The critical point to recognise is that most emails will be read online, not printed and then read.  So what you might say?  Well, a direct result is that your sales email must be shorter than an equivalent written letter.  Otherwise it won’t all be read.  You have to write copy that is succinct, punchy, to the point, no waffle.  If you need to include longer material then make this an attachment or a link to a website page.

This is so important to appreciate.  Two quick stories to reinforce this point:

I have used email marketing automation for many years and have seen for myself the increased use of mobile phones to read emails.  5 years ago, mobile client device rates were negligible.  In more recent campaigns, the mobile client device rates have been around 25% – and these won’t be printed to be read!  By the way, this fact also means you now must make sure that your emails display well on smart phones and tablets.

And I saw a perfect illustration of just how effective this was whilst working with Business Link as an adviser.  One “e-shot” style was particularly successful.  It comprised no more than 10 single lines, each summarising a key business issue addressed by a recent website article, with a link to that landing page.  The click-through rate was pretty impressive.

The next key difference for your sales email is to write in paragraphs of no more than 3 sentences per paragraph (and not excessively long sentences).  Each paragraph will have a focal message.

The overall construct of the sales email is no different from a sales letter; that is:

  1. Why I’m writing to you
  2. Benefit payoff statements (aka value proposition)
  3. Call to action

These are well enough understood.   But it follows for the sales email that each construct should be covered in a separate single paragraph.  You may need multiple paragraphs for your benefit payoff statements but recognise that the more you have, the more likely all the email won’t be read i.e. they will not carry out your call to action.

If you want to practice, feel free to send us a draft to sanity check.

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