Once upon a time, an email marketer believed she’d cracked the code on how to write sales email copy that dazzled. But did she need an example sales email? Of course not! She was a marketing maverick, after all. So, she wrote every perfect, artisanal-crafted sales email from scratch.
She obsessively tracked her click-through rates (CTRs), spent nights dreaming of campaign automation and responsive design, and tested out a few carefully selected emojis in her subject lines. As of 2022, the jury is still out on the overall power of emojis. That, however, is another story.
Then a sales rep told her he found the holy grail. He had acquired the best sales email templates in the world. And why were they the best? Because they had a high average response rate. What matters to the sales reps is that they craft emails that get responses. And our maverick marketer felt crestfallen.
But isn’t this a happy sales email story? If you’re getting mixed emotions, read on.
How to write a sales email that pleases both marketers and sales reps
As marketers, we may think we own the email domain—even when it comes to writing the best sales emails. Our sales reps often understand our prospects more nuancedly. But there’s more.
When it comes down to it, what constitutes a ‘perfect’ example sales email might differ if it’s coming from the marketing department or if it’s coming from sales. Especially true if teams are working in silos and not collaborating effectively.
Each team might have slightly different priorities and critical success indicators regarding writing sales email copy and tracking its performance.
Email metrics that businesses should track:
- Open rates
- Click-through rates
- Which color of a button converts better
- A/B testing
And the list goes on.
Sales reps, on the other hand, care about the following:
So, when it comes to sales emails, their metric for success or failure is simple. Good sales emails are sales emails that get responses.
But even though getting replies is the end goal, an example sales email that pushes for the sale or response at all costs will not be effective. That’s why sales and marketing need to supercharge their efforts by joining forces.
This blog is the result of that noble mission. Our team took our marketing hats off for a day and decided to do some research. What are the best sales email tactics that get replies?
We turned to our sales reps, dug through their inbox trenches, and compiled a list of their top seven example sales emails that got responses.
Seven types of sales emails that get responses
- Example sales email: White flag
We’re starting at the end of your email cycle or campaign with this example sales email. The “white flag” email comes when you’re ready to throw in the towel and want to make an impact.
When to send:
- When a prospect goes dark
- After you’ve called and emailed a few times with no luck
What it is:
- A short email signaling to your prospects that you’re going to stop contacting them since you haven’t heard back
- Asking if they’d prefer to be left alone, or if not, what do they want instead?
- Being upfront and honest about what you want or need from them
- Using tone is respectful, direct, and brief like you’re leveling with the person
Why it works: The best sales emails make it clear that you respect your recipient’s time. If you’re willing to be honest, and upfront, they will likely do the same to you. Of course, our reps often get replies where prospects aren’t interested anymore. However, they also get a lot of responses where a prospect is just busy now and wants a call in two weeks. Worth the email in both cases!
Tip: you can “bump” up a previous sales email in their inbox by replying to it with your white flag message. This way, you’re also reminding them of the value you’re offering.
How to write a sales email like the white flag
Remember: When prospects think it’s their last chance to speak with you, they’ll likely act. So, what would be the motivation if they thought you’d send them emails forever?
Sales email example:
Subject line: [Name], this is my white flag re: [insert offer]
I am checking in one last time. I’m confident you’ll forgive my persistence, as I’m sure of the value that [solution or offering] will add. I’d need a 10-minute call to give you the details.
We’re both busy, and I want to respect your time. Since I’ve yet to hear back, should I assume you’ve solved your biggest challenges?
I hate to wave the white flag but let me know if I should.
- Example sales email: Personality email
How to write sales emails with personality? Ask a marketing copywriter! This a great example of where the marketing department can help sales shine.
Some of the best sales emails are the fun ones that sound like a likable, professional human wrote. Oddly, this is easier said than done. But it’s a worthy mission.
Capturing the right personality in an email will help it stand out from the dozens of robotic, cookie-cutter inbox fillers your prospects get daily.
When to send:
- Anytime but use your best judgment
- If you receive a response from a prospect with a very formal tone, you might dial down on the personality to match
Why it works: Automation makes all our lives easier. But as much as people think they want to be sold to by robots (self-checkout machines), they don’t. They want to know if a natural person is sitting on the other end of that sales email you sent. Even more than that, they want to feel like they can trust that person. That’s how you’ll win your ideal prospects. The best sales email tactic is relationship building, facilitated by being human in your emails.
How to write a sales email with a personality
Adding personality and some lighthearted humor to your emails is a great way to open relationships with prospects and take those relationships deeper. In addition, it can very well increase your reply rate.However, it’s important to note that it depends on the recipient; some prospects prefer less voice-y emails.Also, a reminder to steer clear of questionable jokes and inappropriate slang.
Sales email example:
Subject line: [Name], do you have a bad reputation? 👀
Our churn study shows a massive correlation between reputation management and client retention. And it turns out that, contrary to rock legend Joan Jett, there are many reasons you should care about a bad reputation.
Reducing churn is a critical component of survival for your agency.
Do you have 10 minutes for a call to make sure XYZ solutions are in the following bundle you sell (and maybe talk classic rock)?
- Example sales email: The deal
Never underestimate the art of the deal! The best sales email might be the one that creates a sense of urgency by leveraging your prospect’s fear of missing out (FOMO, as the cool kids say).
When to send:
- Whenever there is a sales incentive going on
Why it works: Sometimes prospects need a sense of urgency to get them moving on a deal—savings are a great way to put a fire under them. Also, an email often works better than a phone call to get their attention because the details are upfront.
If you’re even semi-interested in WeKinnect Global Branding Agency, and I send you a sales email with the subject line “Website Deal: Save $500 in website fees!” you’ll probably open it before answering my mysterious phone call about who knows what.
How to write a sales email with a deal
Here’s an anecdote instead of an example, as it will depend on what you have on offer. We changed some of our pricing structure a while ago, sparking our BDRs to email their prospects beforehand and allowing the prospect to sign up before our pricing changed, giving our reps an easy way to generate some hot leads (94, to be exact!).
Sales email tips:
- Please get to the deal’s details quickly; put them front and center.
- Communicate the consequences of not taking the value (missing the window to sign up before prices increase, for example)
- Provide a clear timeline for acting
- Create a sense of urgency
- Make sure the next step is simple.
- Example sales email: A short, sweet intro
When in doubt, keep things brief. A best practice when it comes to how to write sales email copy? The shorter, the better.
All the BDRs I spoke to were unanimous on this point: When reaching out to a prospect for the first time, the best sales email spans only a few sentences.
When to send:
- At the beginning of the sales email cycle
Why it works: The person you are reaching out to doesn’t know who you are and is most likely very busy. This intro email serves two purposes:
- Introduces the rep to the prospect and gives them an easy way to reach out on their terms
- Reminds them of who the company is and what they are interested in
How to write a sales email that’s short and sweet
Note that the messaging will change depending on the context (the content the prospect downloaded, for example).
Sales email example:
Subject line: Need help scaling? I’m your resource!
I’m [Name], and I work at [XYZ] on [team]. Since you downloaded our eBook “Challenges businesses face,” it seemed important that we connect.
I’m your touch point at [XYZ] if you want to scale your business. Respond to this email or book a meeting using my CalendarHero link—happy to chat more.
- Sales email example: The undesigned email
When to send:
- Any time (arguably all the time!)
Why it works: As we discussed in the personality section, sales emails that get responses look like they are coming directly from you. You might be surprised to learn that means throwing design out the window. We aren’t saying you should get rid of sales email templates; instead, make your templates look like plain-text emails.
How to write a sales email that feels undesigned
Sometimes, ‘plain Jane’ is best. Your design attempts might get your sales emails stuck in spam filters (Nutshell). If you mess up some HTML code or add too many images, your sales emails might never reach your prospects.
Think of it from the perspective of the recipient. Does it look like an email that might be coming from a friend, colleague, or trusted professional, or does it seem like a marketing campaign?
Keep branding minimal and have a clear CTA. Why complicate the rest?
- Example sales email: Funny guy
When to send:
- It works best when you’ve already developed a relationship with the prospect
Why it works: Do the best sales emails have a sense of humor? It depends on the context. Our reps like to send a humorous email when they last got in touch with a prospect a while ago. It’s a beautiful, lighthearted way to say, “hey, I’m still here!”. Sometimes, the sales emails that get responses are the more memorable ones.
Chances are the reason someone isn’t replying to your best sales email ever is that:
- They aren’t interested and want you to go away.
- They are super busy and have yet to have a chance to dig into your solution further.
- They just forgot!
A lighthearted and humorous approach is a great way to get someone to stop, smile, and think about who you are and why you’re messaging them about ninjas. No matter which of the above camps your prospect is in, your reply rate will beat out a salesy severe email.
How to write sales emails that sound funny (in a good way!)
This “ninja template” is one of our rep’s favs, and we see why.
Sales email example:
Subject line: Abducted by ninjas?
I’ve tried to contact you several times but have yet to be successful. I’m hoping ninjas haven’t abducted you!
Should I contact Jack Bauer?
On a serious note, how are things going with you and [company name]? Don’t hesitate to contact me if you want a refresher on [product or service].
- Example sales email: Hyper-personalized
Emails should always be written about the prospect and not about yourself. It’s straightforward to change a sentence from being about you to being about them, and the results are entirely worth it.Want an example of how to write a sales email that is more prospect-focused? It can come down to something as simple as wording.
Change “I’d like to set up a time to talk more about XYZ services” to “Would you be available to chat more about your goals for XXX?”
I’d love to learn more about how “XYZ service” could help you reach them!” That’s how the best sales emails refocus on adding value to the prospect.
When to send:
- After doing your hours and hours of research.
Why it works: Personalized material just works, period. Would something generic capture your prospect’s attention over something custom-tailored? I don’t think so.
If you can tell a prospect something about their business they don’t know or demonstrate that you’ve done your homework by zeroing in on a unique pain point, you bet they’ll take the two minutes to read your email.
A final note on the best sales email tactics
In conclusion, marketers can think more like sales reps by understanding that the definition of successful sales emails is sales emails that get responses. The goal is to get prospects to act and respond. The emails needn’t be poetic, have special buttons, use colors, or include HTML design flourishes. The best sales emails are often more straightforward than you think.
Sales reps would do well to understand that content marketers are their greatest assets. For example, sales email copy that performs well often sounds human funny or conveys information impactfully in a short amount of time. It may seem easy, but it’s not.
Collaborate with us marketers and learn how to write sales email copy that sounds human to create some of the best email templates your team has ever seen!
To summarize, sales emails that get responses often employ the following tips:
- Respect their time
- Have some personality
- Let them know about special deals
- Keep your intros short and sweet
- Don’t bother with the design
- Use humor to your advantage
- Get as custom-tailored as possible
- Be data-driven
So, marketers, you should carve out some time to spend with your sales reps to get on the same page about the best sales emails. Then, see what kinds of emails they are sending on their own! I bet it will surprise you how creative they are.
Who knows, it might even spark your next campaign idea.