26 sales email tips to crush 2020 (+ 13 templates)

by Steli Efti
Sales Email Tips to Crush Your Sales Game This Year

Experts have long predicted that social selling will spell the end of sales emails. Yet, email is still 40 times more effective at getting new customers than social media. What’s worked in the past still works if you're doing it well—here are our best sales email tips.

Here are 26 top sales emailing tips to help you generate higher quality leads and close more deals this year. You’ll learn how to:

  • Get started with writing sales emails
  • Use sales email templates effectively
  • Increase your response rates
  • Follow up after sending the first email
  • Nurture leads with drip campaigns
cold-email-hacks

26 sales emails tips to crush 2020 (+ 13 templates)

1. Six simple steps to getting started with cold emails

sales email tips getting started cold emailing

Sales emails let you reach more leads in less time. Yet, getting started if you're at ground zero today can be intimidating. What should you write? How many sales emails should you send? How do you know if you’re getting good results?

It doesn’t have to be a guessing game. In this guide on our blog, we've pulled together many of our best sales email tips, and break down how to write sales emails that convert more prospects—into just six simple steps you can take action on right now.

2. How to write subject lines that increase email opens

sales email tips subject lines to increase opens

Like it or not, the subject line makes or breaks a sales email. [Tweet this!] Because if no one opens your email, it's like it never even existed. Yet, most people treat the subject line as an afterthought—rather than the most important part of your sales email campaign. If you want to write irresistible subject lines that demand to be opened, this is a must-read guide that explores all of our most effective sales email tips when it comes to subject line optimization.

Here's a little preview—for instance, did you know that misspellings, if done right, can actually increase open rates? Or that writing a sales email with only a subject line and no body text can increase response rates? Keep reading for nine more mind-blowing sales email tips!     

3. Three unusual ways to make your emails stand out

sales email tips make emails stand out

Are you afraid of sending out the same yawn-inducing sales emails as everyone else? Well, you should be. And with these sales email tips, there's no excuse for sending an email that doesn't immediately at least capture your reader's attention. Use these three easy yet proven techniques to write sales emails that stand out and get higher response rates.

What's great about these sales email tips, is that because the techniques are more nuanced, they aren’t as obvious—meaning that very few salespeople are actively using them. To give you a hint, your signature can be used as a selling tool. If your signature only includes your name, title, and contact info, you’re wasting valuable real estate in your sales emails.

4. Perfect your sales email outreach

sales email tips perfect your cold email outreach webinar

Hear from two brilliant salespeople in this webinar about their sales email tips for what truly makes a high-performing cold email. Learn how to be better at sales prospecting, locating the right email addresses (for the actual decision makers), increasing your sales email open rates, and more.

Panelists Sujan Patel, Co-Founder of Mailshake, and Evan Santa, Business Development Manager at Vidyard, share their best sales email tips on both crafting cold outreach campaigns and using the power of video to build relationships and close more deals. Watch the full webinar recording today.

How to write sales emails that convert

5. Five cold email templates that will generate warm leads for your sales team

sales email tips templates that generate warm leads

Effective sales emails are the result of methodical experimentation and meticulous tracking. But we've done all the hard work for you and rounded up five proven templates—packed full with our time-tested sales email tips at play in each template right here.

We know all about sales emails because we’ve had many years of practice. Before Close, we ran ElasticSales, an outsourced sales company that sold for 200+ venture-backed startups. We tested email campaigns in hundreds of different verticals and markets—these were the sales email that consistently worked in all situations.

6. Use UX to design high-converting sales emails, calls, and product demos

sales email tips UX design high converting emails

When you’re sending out sales emails, making calls, or hosting product demos, you don’t necessarily think about the prospect’s experience. Remember, always put them before yourself or else you'll get nowhere. Sales isn’t just about closing the deal, rather it's about making the experience worth their investment. Learning to always create value in an interaction with a prospect is one of our most frequently recurring sales email tips.

The first step is to understand the basic principles of UX design (hint: shift your thinking from you to them) and how they apply to your sales process. Then, follow our checklist to help you better optimize your sales email, call, and product demo experiences.

7. Eight CRM-ready email templates for every step in the sales process

sales email tips CRM ready email templates

Do you know what your sales reps are emailing prospects? Probably not. If your sales team’s emails wildly vary in quality and content, you’re losing deals. Heed this sales email tip to get on the same page and start building a scalable sales process with these eight CRM-ready email templates.

There’s a sales email for every scenario, whether a prospect has gone cold or is ready to be closed. Plug these templates into our inside sales CRM and close more deals today.

8. How to experiment your way to more effective sales email templates

sales email tips experiment more effective email templates

Even the best sales email templates become ineffective over time. You could wait until that day arrives, then scramble to find new ones. Or, you could get ahead of the curve by adopting a more methodical process that leads to continuous improvement within your sales email landscape.

The first step with this sales email tip is to decide what you want to learn and what you need to improve. Here, you’re primarily looking at two things: open rate and response rate. While the list of things you can test is long, always test just one variable at a time in order to generate the most accurate results. Here are a few things you need to consider.

9. Steli's cold email teardown session from Enterprise Rising

sales email tips cold email teardown enterprise rising

In this virtual presentation I did at Enterprise Rising, a conference for enterprise tech startups in the Midwest, I dissect (with real life examples) several cold emails and offer my best sales email tips to improve each of them.

I talk through several sales emails tips and share guidance for improving subject lines, hitting the ideal email body copy length, formatting, strong CTAs, social proofing, understanding open rates, and more.

Watch the full presentation to gain actionable sales email insights today.

How to increase your sales email response rates

10. The 30/50 rule for cold emailing and calling

sales email tips 3050 rule cold emailing and calling

When you’re in sales, you know that knowledge is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal. So, what are you doing to ensure you stand out among the competition? We’re sharing some important benchmarks and related sales email tips that you (as a sales rep) should know in order to gain insight into where your sales efforts are and aren’t working today. It’s the 30/30/50 rule for sales emailing and the 30/50/50 rule for cold calling.

These benchmarks are just the starting point (and minimum) for where you should be aiming as far as results with your sales emails. Keep in mind, though, that you know what numbers your business needs to hit in order to find success. And remember, you should never stop seeking to improve past these figures. Let’s dive deeper into each of these benchmarks.

11. How to improve your response rates

sales email tips improve response rates with subject line

So you have strong sales email open rates but your response rate is abysmal. The first step is to determine whether you have a gimmicky subject line. If there’s a gap between what your subject line promises and what your email body delivers, readers will quickly jump ship—aligning these two messages and matching the readers expectation is a key sales email tip, but that's not all...

What if your subject line isn’t gimmicky? In that case, you need to fix your email body using this 2-step approach: acknowledge the prospect’s current situation and rise above the noise. Let’s jump right to it.

12. The five most common mistakes you're making in your sales email CTAs

sales email tips common mistakes with CTA

Now that you’ve gotten your prospect to open your sales email with a strong subject line, how do you get them to respond? A killer CTA (Call To Action). If your sales emails don’t get prospects to take action past opening the email and reading it, then what’s the point of sending the email in the first place?

So, in this sales email tip, we’re sharing five common mistakes salespeople make when writing CTAs in their cold emails.

#1: Not having a CTA.

13. Get 457% more replies with the 1, 2, 3 hack

Don’t make prospects do the heavy lifting. [Tweet this!] This sales email tip is simple in theory, yet many salespeople continue to do the opposite. They send 3-page emails with five different calls to action and wonder why prospects fail to respond. Psychologists call this the paradox of choice.

The more choices people have, the more overwhelmed they feel. The upside is that if you present prospects with a limited number of options, they’ll be more receptive towards you.

Simplify life for your overwhelmed prospects by writing sales emails that make it quick and easy for them to respond to you.

14. Want to write better sales emails? Then ask your customers for help

sales email tips ask cutomers for help

When it comes to writing killer emails, you've tried every sales email tip in the book. From testing new cold email templates to refining your subject lines, nothing seems to be improving your email response rate. But, there's a key resource right at your fingertips: your customers.

Yes, your customers (and prospects) are a goldmine of information when it comes to making your sales emails stand out. Don't just focus on the sale, but rather how your customers can help you improve your sales process. All you need to do is ask this one simple question.

15. How to boost your response rates with this simple "mind-reading technique"

sales email tips boost response rate with mind reading technique

In the post about this sales email tip, I shared an email I received in March 2018 that really captured my attention. I get a ton of unsolicited emails every single day, and most of the time I immediately hit delete.

But this sales email was very different—because they deployed a simple "mind-reading technique" in their email that immediately made them stand out from the crowd. Check it out and read my analysis right here.

16. Get a reply to your outreach without annoying people

sales email tips get reply to email outreach

Don't want your cold emails to suck (and annoy people)? You're not alone in that.

Personalization is what transforms your sales emails—so strive to make it about the recipient, not you. To set yourself up for success with your email outreach, employ these sales email tips by following six important rules to ensure your emails don't end up in the trash bin.

One of the most important rules is to move the attention from yourself to your customer or prospect. All they need to know is what you can do for them, right here and right now. Keep reading for the five more sales email tips you'll want to implement into your outreach process.

17. Improve your cold email response rates with these social proof techniques

sales email tips social proof techniques

Social proof is a powerful way to establish trust when connecting with new prospects via sales emails. Essentially, you prove your credibility by sharing connections both you and your prospect share. There are three levels of social proof you need to show prospects:

  1. Company credibility
  2. Product credibility
  3. Personal credibility

Without establishing these in your sales email, the time spent on your beautifully crafted copy is wasted. This sales email tip begs the point that it’s not enough to simply tell a prospect to trust you, you have to show them with real social proof.

Let’s take a further look at the types of social proof you should use, choosing the right customers, and more in this group of sales email tips.

18. How to A/B test your emails (without a statistically significant sample size)

sales email tips AB test emails

You want to A/B test your sales emails. But either you haven’t sent out enough emails, or A/B testing software isn’t in your budget. Don’t worry, there’s a free alternative in this sales email tip—call the people you emailed.

While numbers are great, they can’t always tell you how or why certain aspects of a sales email did or didn’t resonate with readers. That’s why you need to pick up the phone. What you’ll gain in qualitative insights will more than make up for the lack of quantitative data. Here’s how to segment your email list and the exact questions you should ask recipients when A/B testing your emails.

Win more deals with the right sales email follow-ups

19. The winning sales email follow-up game plan

sales email tips email follow up game plan

Sending the first email is the easiest step. Anyone can do it. But even if you send an incredible email with a killer value proposition, many prospects will be too busy or distracted to reply. If you want to become a priority and get results, you need a follow-up plan that's designed to get definitive outcomes either way.

This series of sales email tips will answer your questions such as:

  • “How often should you follow up?”’
  • “Which type of follow-up emails should you send?”
  • “When should you stop following up?”

What you write isn’t always as important as when you write. You can read about our entire sales email follow up process right here.

20. How to call prospects who open your email

sales email tips call prospects who open email

The prospect opened your email. In fact, due to email tracking software, you even know the exact time and date they opened it. But when you call them, they have no idea who you are and get irritated that you interrupted their day. What's the problem?

Salespeople assume prospects who opened their email have read it and care about their product or service. Unfortunately, many people open an email only to delete it. Even if someone did read your sales email, they might’ve forgotten about it by the next day.

Yes, you should call prospects who open your sales emails, but you need a better approach. Let’s look at the two most common responses from prospects and how you can engage, rather than annoy them in this guide and corresponding sales email tips.

21. Inject humor into your follow up emails :P

sales email tips put funny in your follow up

Being professional doesn’t mean your sense of humor has to go in a corner and die. In fact, humor is an effective way to connect with prospects and add a personal touch to an impersonal medium like email—making this one of my personal favorite sales email tips that can really help you stand out from the crowd.

Putting a smile on a prospect’s face can be the difference between being ignored or noticed, forgotten or remembered, and deleted or replied to. Check out these four examples of funny follow-ups and get inspired.

22. The breakup email: Before you stop following up, send this

sales email tips breakup email

According to the loss aversion principle, people prefer avoiding a loss to receiving an equivalent gain. In other words, people may like winning, but absolutely hate losing. One way to use this principle is by sending unengaged prospects a breakup email.

Two of the main points in our sales email tip with properly leveraging the breakup email are:

  • I wanted to share a potentially valuable solution with you.
  • However, you don’t seem interested so this is the last email I’ll send you.

Suddenly, prospects who may have been too busy to reply are flooding your inbox. That said, there’s an art to the breakup sales email. Here’s how to do it the right way and the one mistake you must absolutely avoid.

Nurture leads with drip sales email campaigns

23. Convert more trial users with drip campaigns

sales email tips convert trial users with drip campaigns

It takes time and resources to convert a lead into a trial user; so don’t drop the ball in the last quarter by neglecting them.

Instead, heed the advice of this sales email tip to make sure you activate, engage, and communicate with trial users via an automated drip campaign that's designed to convert them into becoming paying customers. To get started, these are the four principles you need to create a successful drip campaign.

24. Short vs long emails: What works best for drip marketing campaigns?

sales email tips short vs long emails

Short versus long sales emails is the wrong question. Instead, the best length is whatever length will achieve your desired results.

For instance, we normally recommend you write short sales emails when reaching out to prospects. Why? Because your objective is to move the conversation from email to the phone as quickly as possible. Yet, in one of our drip campaigns, the longest email is the most successful in getting readers to sign up for a free trial of our sales CRM.

Confused? Here’s a framework for determining how long the emails in your drip marketing campaign should be, along with a few corresponding sales email tips to help optimize your existing drip emails.

25. Behind the scenes of our drip email course

sales email tips behind the scenes email drip course

A few years ago, we created our free Startup Sales Success Course. Driven by the mission, “Never again should a great company fail because of a lack of sales”, we wanted to empower startups to succeed at sales.

Since then, over 23,000 people have signed up in order to learn how to sell SaaS or startup products. As a bonus, our sales email tips course has proven to be a powerful lead nurturing tool.

In this behind-the-scenes guide, you’ll discover: our objectives, our reasoning for structuring the course the way we did, and our results (including sales email open rates and reader responses).

26. Steal these high-converting drip campaigns from 2 killer startups

sales email tips steal drip campaigns from startups

Hubspot and TrunkClub are killing it in the B2B and B2C space, respectively. Hubspot had a successful IPO and TrunkClub was acquired by Nordstrom for $350 million.

One of their secrets? Great sales emails. There are many examples we could use but these two case studies focus on how Hubspot and TrunkClub use sales email to move prospects who signed up for a free trial or account—forward in the sales process.

Not only will we show you the exact emails these two startups are using, but we’ll break down why they work with our own sales email tips, so you can adapt their techniques for your own drip campaigns.

Now that you've reviewed these 26 sales emailing tips, dive into a free 14-day trial of Close to put them into action. You can create and save sales email templates for you or your sales team, gain insights into your email response rates to see what's working, improve your follow-up and nurture leads with drip campaigns using automated email sequences, and more—all within Close.

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The future of sales emails 🔮

Sales emails are here to stay. Even though people often loathe receiving cold emails that aren't relevant to their needs (and like to vent their frustration about it), there's a solid business case to be made: sales emails work.

Joanna Wiebe from Copyhackers for example, admits that she's been a skeptic when it comes to cold emails for a long time. But she also noticed that a lot of the freelance copywriters in her audience are successfully getting clients and growing their business with cold emails. Here's an in-depth post by Laura Lopuch where she breaks down her process for crafting sales emails that get her more clients.

Email is one of the few communication channels everyone has access to, independent of any platform or app.

That said, the competition is only going to grow more fierce. Every sales email you send is competing for prospects’ attention against hundreds of other emails, funny cat videos, and Facebook memes on a daily basis. Never stop experimenting on your sales emails.

For even more of our best sales email tips (and much more), get free access our complete sales library today.

GET FREE ACCESS TO THE SALES LIBRARY NOW

Bonus reading:

39 shocking sales stats that will change the way you sell
Shocked that sales emails are 40 times more effective than social media? Here are 38 more facts that'll blow you away.

Follow up like a champ: How to win every deal with the amazing power of the follow-up!
Learn how to close more deals and make more sales by following up more and better. Boost up your follow up strategy and hustle.

24 B2B cold calling tips for sales success
Want more sales tips? Here's how fast-growing companies cold call to drive revenues.