Sales Email 101: A Winning Game Plan to Writing a Good One

Radhika posted this in the Sales Skills Category
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Sales Email
How many of you are tired of listening to the debate that “cold calling is dead” or “sales email doesn’t work”? Well, most of us are. Ask any seasoned salesperson, and they will guarantee that cold emailing and calling is the way to go if you want new customers and grow your business. But let’s talk about cold calling another day. Let’s discuss how to create a winning game plan for cold emailing. The first goal of writing cold emails is, of course, to get it read. The second goal is to make sure that the person reads until the end of the email. So every word and sentence you use should persuade the reader to move to the next one. Your cold email should be personal, relevant, and hit the prospect’s biggest challenge to get them interested in your offering. While there isn’t any hard and fast rule or formula to write the perfect cold email, below are some of the tips and tricks you can use to increase the chance of getting a response.

Sales Email 101: Experiment with Subject Lines

Nothing is more frustrating than sending out a carefully crafted outreach email that does not get read, right? But wait. Did you take a second look at your subject line? According to Convince and Convert, 35% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line. If the subject line isn’t enticing for the recipient, they aren’t going to open and read your email. So how do you write cold email subject lines that boost open rates? Here are three types of subject lines you can start using in your cold email.
  • Subjects that are personalized: When we say personal, it means including the recipient’s first name, title, company name or anything that shows that you have researched about them before getting in touch.
Example: “A personal note to {company name} from a fan!”
  • Subjects that are short and simple: The most basic, almost amateur subject lines work best than the sophisticated ones. And since an increasing number of people today access their inbox via mobile, they tend to treat it as text messages and reply to it quickly.
Example: “Hello, {first name}”
  • Subjects that generate curiosity: One effective way to make sure that your emails get opened is to generate curiosity. Don’t give away too much in your subject line. Instead, it should be provocative, and pique the lead’s interest in finding out what is in the email body.
Example: “Let’s decide, {first name}”

Sales Email 101: Make It Clear Why You’re Reaching out to Them

When you want your cold emails to stand out in your recipient’s cluttered inbox, you need to hyper-personalize them. Your research shouldn’t limit to just the company information, but should also include finding the right contact in the organization. Your research shouldn’t limit to just the company information, but should also include finding the right contact in the organization. Click To Tweet When you reach out to the recipient, it’s not enough to make it clear why you are reaching out. You will also have to make it clear why you’re reaching out to them in particular. A data shared by Tucker Max on the Harvard Business Review website said that “people are far more motivated to help others when they feel uniquely qualified to do so.” For instance, this could make a great opening line for cold emails: I am reaching out to you because being the {recipient’s current role}, I was certain you would know more about the current process in place at your company for {which department}. 

Sales Email 101: Use Social Proof to Win over Prospects

Just personalizing your cold emails isn’t going to entice prospects to spend their precious time with you. You need to build credibility and trust with the recipient for them to take you seriously and consider buying from you. And one effective way to do that is by adding social proof in your cold email. By social proof we mean, mentioning the name of:
  • A famous company who happens to be your customer
  • A well-known investor
  • A person whom you know in common
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon which makes people think that you are great because the people whom they know think that way. So when you mention a well-known company who is using your solution, it automatically builds credibility, and you are likely to get more customers because they trust the initial customer’s opinion.

Sales Email 101: Mention the One Thing You Want Them to Do

Your cold email should specify the next step you want your recipients to do. For instance, the call-to-action (CTA) can be to reply to your email, access a link that you sent, or sign up for your solution. Your CTA has to be clear and actionable so that the recipient doesn’t have to wonder too much about the details. For instance, if you want to initiate a meeting with the recipient, you can craft your CTA like this: I’d love to show you those innovations. Does Monday (January 16th) at 10:00 am sound good for you? Giving them a specific date and time works as it makes the decision a lot easier for them. This way it also reduces the stress of having to look at their calendar and thinking of a date which works for both of you. Another way to end your cold email is to leave the communication open. Take this case for example, I wanted to see if there is a way to help you out. Looking forward to hearing from you. The above example does not come across as being too pushy or sales-y, which is great because your recipient will just hit delete if your CTA sounds pushy. Instead, giving them an option to get in touch with you largely increases their desire to do so. The whole idea of your CTA is to initiate a short discussion which could eventually lead to a meeting and sale.

Sales Email 101: Keep Your Emails Short, Simple and Casual

Your prospects don’t have time to read long, boring emails that brag about your company and achievements. For one it makes your email harder to read if it exceeds a scroll in the mobile, and two, they tend to lose interest faster. Instead, get straight to the point and explain everything that you want in the first two sentences. Keep your language simple, reduce the number of ‘I’ and ‘we’ in sentences, and maintain a casual tone. Make sure you follow a structure in your cold email — a great opening line, your objective, social proof, and a call-to-action in separate paragraphs. If a paragraph exceeds more than 2-3 lines, break it up by using bullet points so that it’s easy for the prospect to scan and understand the meat of the cold email. Take this sample template for instance, Hi {first name},   As the {title of the recipient}, I thought you might find this data interesting. {add a recent study or metrics about the recipient’s industry} With this rapid growth in {recipient’s industry}, I’ve had the opportunity to work with {well-known customer 1} to improve their {the result of using your solution}. {first name}, I wanted to see if there is any way to help you out. It will be great if we can get on a short 10-minutes call on Friday at 2:00pm.


You can’t sell to your prospects in a cold email. That’s not how cold emailing works. Cold email is meant to build a connection. It’s meant to start a conversation. It’s meant to build a background for cooperation, which will eventually lead to them buying your product. Cold emailing is meant to build a background for cooperation, which will eventually lead to prospects buying your product. Click To Tweet If you’re writing a cold email and don’t know where to start, try some of the tips we discussed above, or you can make some of these cold email templates your own.

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