“To open, or not to open?”
The question running through everyone’s mind each time they skim their email inbox.
And if that someone is one of your potential customers, the answer to that question could become the difference in your paycheck. So, naturally, you want the answer to be “open.”
Of course this leads to the next dilemma — your recipients wondering, “To respond, or not to respond?”
And the answer to this question also has the power to change the figures of your paycheck. So, naturally, you want the answer to be “respond.”
But, how do you get your email recipients to open and respond? Below we'll review the steps to writing and sending an effective sales email so your recipients do just that.
This guide will cover the steps to writing the perfect sales email, great examples of sales emails, when you should send your emails, and strategies to improve your response rates.
Let’s dive into each of these five components. The suggestions below come from real results seen by HubSpot's sales team and Jeff Hoffman's sales workshops.
Keep your subject line short and enticing. Remember, the goal is to pique the interest of your reader, not to sound like a used-car salesman. Here are some examples used by HubSpot sales reps:
Here are some more discoveries HubSpot made about email subject lines from a study conducted in 2014 using 6.4 million emails:
Additionally, remember to avoid “spammy” words in your subject lines at all costs. Here are some examples:
Take a subset of your prospect list, ensuring it hits a minimum of 50-100 emails to achieve statistical significance. Then split the list into two subgroups. Now send these subgroups an email with the same content, but with different subject lines.
After collecting results, you should choose the subject line that yields a higher open rate to send to the rest of our list.
Hint: You should aim to achieve a minimum open rate of 30% to 50%.
When it comes to your email's opening line, avoid beginning with, “Hi my name is …”
Instead, start with something more impactful by talking to your reader. Here are some examples HubSpot's sales team has seen success with:
Your email's body copy should convey value by connecting your business to your prospect. Avoid generic value propositions such as, “We help web marketing firms increase their lead generation by 400% and effortlessly prove ROI to their clients.”
Ask questions that align the research you've conducted with your prospect’s goals. Here are some examples:
A strong close to your email gives recipients a clear path to action. Try ending with one of the following questions to prompt a definitive response:
A sales email signature should not be a distraction — nor should it be a source of cliché inspiration. Instead, stick to these email signature guidelines:
Below we’ve included four sales email templates that have proven to be successful for HubSpot sales reps and other industry leaders for your review.
Hi [First Name]
I’ve worked with your peers in [industry or position] for X years now. One of the key challenges they struggle with is [challenge].
Over the past year we’ve helped Y companies to achieve [business goal], resulting in Z [revenue added, money saved, productivity increased].
If this issue resonates with you too, let’s schedule a quick call. I have some ideas that may help.
I work in [targeted industry] and I noticed that you recently [company action] at [company name].
From my experience, [business issue] usually becomes a priority when that happens. I thought you might be interested in learning how we helped [similar firm] succeed in their new direction without any hiccups.
If you’d like to chat, let’s set up a call. Are you free [days and times]? Let me know.
P.S. If you’re not the right person to speak with, who do you recommend I talk to?
Your approach to [challenge]
Hi [First Name],
The article you shared on LinkedIn yesterday addresses a challenge that I’ve heard two other sales directors mention this week. I would love to hear your unique perspective on the issue.
We help sales execs improve their reps' success with tools that use a similar approach. Do you have 5 minutes to speak on Wednesday or Thursday afternoon this week?
Thought you might find this helpful
I saw your recent announcement this week about [news]. It got me thinking… I found this article on [topic] that I think you could use as you and your team move forward.
Hope you find it helpful. Let me know if you’d like to chat more about it offline.
Best of luck,
A HubSpot Study
HubSpot conducted a study over the course of 10-months — based on over 20 million emails — to determine the ideal time to send an email.
The volume of email opens each day of the week was used to determine which day correlates with the highest number of email opens.
Tuesday was found to be the best day of the week to send an email with 20% more opens than average. Monday and Wednesday tied for second with 18% higher email opens, followed by Thursday at 15% and Friday at 8%.
Time of day was also considered — 11 AM EST was shown to provide the highest chance of receiving a response to a sales email. Taking Saturday and Sunday out of the picture, the highest email opens on the weekday fall between 10 AM and 12 PM, with the peak of opens occurring at 11 AM.
Phew, the hardest part is over ... right?
Not really — that's because 80% of sales require five follow-ups prior to a customer saying "yes!".
So, what can you do if you know your recipients are opening your emails but aren't responding? And how to you earn their trust?
We’ve outlined a 3-step strategy explaining what to do after you send your initial sales email to effectively follow up and engage with your prospects. These steps include:
If you see a prospect engaging with your emails on multiple occasions, opening them many times, or clicking on links and attachments, you can use that as a measure of interest. The more interested a prospect, the higher probability you have of engaging with them.
You can track and measure email engagement with HubSpot Sales Software which also allows you to easily personalize email templates and reports, create an automatically-logged call queue, learn how prospects engage with content through document sending/ tracking, and follow up with highly targeted and timed emails with the help of email automation.
Once you determine a contact is engaging with your emails, you can reach out. Here's an example of something you could say to get the ball rolling:
[Salesperson]: "Hey Josh, this is Tim over at X Company ... am I catching you at an alright time?"
[Prospect]: "Wow, Tim, I was actually just reviewing the email you sent over earlier. Great timing."
[Salesperson]: “Excellent, I will be brief. I noticed you were checking out some of the information around the link I sent on improving your sales team performance. Wanted to circle back and see if there was anything you had questions on, or if there was further information I could point you towards that would be helpful …”
Take control of your sales process with HubSpot CRM, a flexible, intuitive solution for managing your prospects and sales pipeline.
Rather than following up with prospects randomly, you can use trigger events to create relevant and personalized follow ups recipients are more likely to respond to.
Examples of trigger events include product launches, vacations, birthdays, exceeding Q4 earning expectations, or getting a Yorkshire Terrier puppy. You can use various tools, such as Google Alerts or LinkedIn, to keep track of trigger events.
You can have Google Alerts send you notifications whenever a specific prospect, company, product, or industry buzz word is mentioned on the web.
Use LinkedIn's "Mentioned in the News" feature or find a group relevant to your prospect — or their company or industry — and use relevant resources, material, or information to follow up.
Sometimes you'll catch a prospect at a bad time. Maybe they’re going on sabbatical for a month or simply focused on other priorities. But this doesn’t mean "game over" for you. In fact, it’s a unique opportunity to demonstrate your value.
Here are five examples of how you can prove your value to prospects:
That’s what your prospects will be doing now that we’ve covered the essentials to crafting a strong sales email.
Remember the steps to writing sales emails to allow for the greatest chance of an increase in your response rate. Use the email templates and examples we reviewed, and follow up with your recipients to begin boosting your number of conversions today.