25 Sales Email Tips to Crush Your Quota (+ Templates)
Oh, the endless pursuit of the perfect sales email. Every sales professional dreams of it, and with good reason.
Email ROI is an outstanding $36 for every $1 spent.
Plus, there are four billion daily email users and that number is expected to climb to 4.6 billion by 2025. Email marketing is not obsolete.
The perfect sales email—whether it's a prospecting email or end-of-the-funnel email—when done right, will close deals. Your subject and opening lines need to command attention. Your copy needs to add value that engages prospects. Your metrics need to show improvement—or you’ll need to reassess your approach.
We’ve compiled the top sales email tips to help you generate higher-quality leads and close more deals. 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
Are you ready?
25 Sales Email Tips to Crush Your Quota (+ Templates)
The perfect sales email doesn’t have to be a thing of legend. Sending personalized emails with strategic subject lines and exemplary email copy, and then crafting a great follow-up, might be your best chance at hooking the attention of new customers. Let's get to it.
And by the way, in our post about technical email setup for sales teams, we address the importance of personalization in cold emails and provide actionable tips.
1. Use Cold Emails to Reach More Leads In Less Time
Sales emails accelerate your outreach and lead generation. It’s a lot faster and (often) more efficient than calling each prospect individually. But if you’re just getting started, the learning curve can be intimidating.
What should you write? How many sales emails should you send? What should your email signature be? How do you know if you’re getting good results?
It doesn’t have to be a guessing game. To start:
- Write your subject line
- Write your email copy
- Get feedback from clients/investors/others and iterate
- Send 25-50 emails per day
Check out this guide where we've pulled together some of our best early-beginner tips, and break down how to write sales emails that convert more prospects.
If you are seeking to engage B2B prospects effectively, check out our article on 12 B2B Cold Email Templates to discover the secrets behind a compelling b2b cold email template.
2. Increase Open Rates With Killer Subject Lines
Like it or not, the subject line makes or breaks a sales email. 47% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line and nothing else. And if no one opens your email, it's like it never even existed. Still, most people treat the subject line as an afterthought—rather than the most important part of the sales email campaign.
If you want to write irresistible email subject lines that demand to be opened:
- Be honest (no clickbait)
- Use their name + a cliffhanger (e.g. Steli, you in?)
- Stay relevant to the email’s content
For more, here is a must-read guide that explores our most effective sales email subject lines and examples by industry and email type.
We trained ChatGPT on our most effective sales email subject lines and created an AI tool to help you create better email subject lines.
3. Keep Copy Short + Be Unique
Are you afraid of sending out the same yawn-inducing sales emails as everyone else? Well, you should be. Use these unusual yet proven techniques to write sales emails that stand out and get higher response rates:
- Keep it short. When you can’t, make it easy to read.
- Add a P.S. … P.S.S. Seriously, it works.
- Set yourself apart with your signature (YouTube link, anyone?)
What's great about these sales email tips is that they are more nuanced and less obvious—meaning that very few salespeople are actively using them.
4. Use UX to Design Prospect-Friendly Sales Emails
When you’re sending out sales emails, making calls, or hosting product demos, you aren’t necessarily thinking about the prospect’s experience. Big mistake. Remember: Always put your potential customer first. Sales isn’t just about closing the deal, it's about making the experience worth their investment.
Learn to create value in every interaction with a prospect, including the sales email:
- Be optimized for when, where, and how the prospect is reading
- Quickly answer “Do I need to read this email?”
- Create a clear path from “Who are you?” to “I know what I need to do.”
- Build trust and create excitement
Understand that the basic principles of UX design involve shifting your thinking from you to them, then apply that to your sales process. Next, read more to help you better optimize your sales email, call, and product demo experiences.
5. Understand and Agree On Best Practices for Your Team
Do you know what your sales reps are emailing prospects? Probably not. If your sales team’s emails vary wildly in quality and content, you’re losing deals.
You need consistency, templates, and established best practices. Make sure your reps know and follow this guidance. It will give structure to your CTAs, email signatures, body copy, and so on.
In this article, we’ve got best practices and even more sales email templates for every scenario, whether a prospect has gone cold or is ready to be closed. Plug these templates into our inside sales CRM, and you’ll be closing more deals, quickly.
6. Use Cold Email Templates to Generate Warmer Leads
Effective sales emails are the result of methodical experimentation and meticulous tracking. We've done all the hard work for you and rounded up 12 proven templates—packed full with time-tested sales email tips for each template—right here.
We’ve got cold email templates for:
- Authentic referrals
- Recent event outreach
- Concise sales pitch
- “Can I send you ideas?”
- + eight more
We know all about sales emails. Why? We’ve had 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 templates are the sales emails that consistently worked for us. We are the case study.
7. Experiment and Adjust Those Cold 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.
And here’s how to approach the experiment:
- Act with urgency. This is a priority!
- Challenge your winners. It can always get better.
- Customize your templates. Copy and paste is no bueno.
Decide what you want to learn, and how to define success. 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 more things you need to consider.
8. Use the 30/30/50 Rule for Cold Emailing
In sales, knowledge is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal. So, what are you doing to stand out from the competition? We’re sharing some important sales email benchmarks and related tips that you (as a sales rep) should know in order to understand where your sales efforts are working—and where they’re not.
The 30/30/50 rule applies to cold emails:
- Open rate: Minimum 30%, then
- Response rate: Minimum 30%, then
- Conversion rate: Minimum 50%
These benchmarks are just the starting point (read: minimum) for where you should be aiming with your sales email results. To keep track of all your metrics and everything in your funnel, you need a robust, user-friendly CRM. Try Close.
9. Acknowledge Pain Points = Improve Response Rates
So, you have strong open rates but your response rate is abysmal. First, determine whether you have a gimmick 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 reader's expectation is key to a more effective sales email.
But if your subject line isn’t gimmicky, you need to fix your email body. To start, acknowledge your prospect’s pain points. That’s a key element of value-based selling, and is as relevant here as in a sales presentation.
For more advice on cold email response rates, read on here.
10. Build Effective Sales Email CTAs
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). Because if your sales emails don’t get prospects to move past opening the email and reading it, what’s the point of sending it in the first place?
So, we’re sharing best practices and examples to crush the CTA game, and the most common mistakes salespeople make when writing CTAs, including:
- Not having a CTA
- Having too many different CTAs
- CTAs that ask for way, way too much
The call to action should be clear, specific and immediately actionable. You might ask them to:
- Call you back + offer a phone number
- Respond to your email + tell them to click reply so they know it’s not a do-not-reply address
- Check out a link + offer that link in underlined text of a different color
Check out this article, then continue on to…
11. Get 457% More Replies With the 1, 2, 3 Hack
Don’t make prospects do the heavy lifting. This sales email tip is simple in theory, yet many salespeople do the opposite. They send three-page emails with five different CTAs and wonder why prospects fail to respond.
Here’s the premise:
- Be relevant
- Get to the point fast
- Make it easy for prospects to respond
The more choices people have, the more overwhelmed they feel. Psychologists call this the paradox of choice. If you present prospects with a limited number of options, they’ll be more receptive to you.
Simplify life for your overwhelmed prospects by writing sales emails that make it quick and easy for them to respond.
12. Ask Your Customers for Feedback
When it comes to writing killer emails, maybe 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.
No one will teach you more about how to write stand-out cold emails than your customers and prospects. Don't just focus on the sale. How can your customers help to improve your sales process?
Before jumping into your pitch, ask this: “When you received the email from me, what made it stand out to you? Why did you decide to open it and respond?”
And then listen. Take notes. And learn.
13. Mind-Read to Boost Response Rates
In this post, I share an email I once received that really captured my attention. I get tons of unsolicited emails every 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" that made it stand out. Basically, turn your common objections (for example, “We’re happy with our current solution”) around, and make them work for you. Like:
We recently launched a new platform that [one-sentence pitch]. You probably already have a vendor you’re happy with, but here’s why I’ve decided to email you today.
You might not convince them to switch, but I bet they’ll keep reading.
14. Don’t Annoy People
Don't want your cold emails to suck (and annoy people)? Trying to dodge the “unsubscribe” click? You're not alone.
Personalization is what transforms your sales emails—so strive to make it about the recipient, not you. To set yourself up for success:
- Cut out generic, templated flattery
- Keep it short and sweet, no essay and no fluff
- Make it personal
All they need to know is what you can do for them right here, right now. Keep reading for more tips on how to avoid annoying your next recipient.
15. Use Social Proof Techniques to Build Relationships
Social proof is a powerful way to establish trust when connecting with new prospects via sales emails. Essentially, you prove your credibility by mentioning connections that you and your prospect share. There are three levels of social proof you need to demonstrate:
- Company credibility
- Product credibility
- Personal credibility
Without establishing these, the time spent on your beautifully-crafted copy is wasted. It’s not enough to simply tell a prospect to trust you, you have to show them with real, relevant social proof.
Take a deeper look at the types of social proof you could use—and how to use it—to improve response rates.
16. A/B Test Your Emails
So, you want to A/B test your sales emails. It’s a super important step—and relates to our earlier tip about experimenting with templates. But maybe you haven’t sent out enough emails, or A/B testing software just isn’t in your budget. Don’t worry, there’s a free alternative—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 make up for the lack of quantitative data.
Here’s how to segment your email list, and ask relevant questions when A/B testing your emails.
P.S. A solid CRM will help you effectively test your sales emails, too.
17. Crush the Follow-Up Plan, Win More Deals
Sending that first email is the easy part. 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 be a priority and get results, you need a follow-up plan that will get definitive outcomes. Answer 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—both time-of-day, and email frequency. With Close’s Sequences capability (and robust reporting), you can streamline the follow-up for your reps. Get your 14-day free trial here.
18. Call Prospects Who Open Your 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, they have no idea who you are and get irritated that you interrupted their day. Where's the disconnect?
Salespeople assume that 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. And even if they did read it, they might’ve forgotten about it by the next day.
Yes, you should still call prospects who open your sales emails, but you need a better approach. Bottom line: Call with the right expectations—none.
Before hopping on your next follow-up phone call, make sure your expectations are zilch and that you’re prepared for the most common responses. You should still engage—just be aware and prepared.
19. Inject Humor Into Your Follow-Up Email
Being professional and being funny aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, humor is an effective way to connect with prospects and add a personal touch to an impersonal medium like email—and it can really help you stand out from the crowd.
Putting a smile on a prospect’s face might mean the difference between being noticed or ignored, remembered or forgotten, replied to or deleted. Wouldn’t you like to open Gmail and LOL once in a while? So, dig out your box of knock-knock jokes, witty comments, and the best of SNL. For more inspo, we’ve got you.
20. The Breakup Email: Before You Stop Following Up, Send This
According to the loss aversion principle, people prefer avoiding a loss to receiving an equivalent gain. In other words, people may like winning, but they absolutely hate losing. One way to adopt this principle is by sending unengaged prospects a breakup email.
The two main points to the breakup email are:
- I wanted to share a valuable solution with you.
- However, you don’t seem interested, so this is the last email I’ll send you.
Suddenly, prospects have something to lose, and will probably reach out. However, don’t use an accusatory or disappointed tone—this isn’t a high school break up. This is business.
Here’s how to do it the right way.
21. 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, make sure you activate, engage, and communicate with trial users via an automated drip campaign that's designed to convert them into paying customers. To get started, these are the four principles you need to create a successful drip campaign:
- Frequency: Send 4–6 automated emails during the trial
- Style: Be personal
- Triggers and timing: Send emails in response to user activity
- CTAs: Don’t email without them
22. Consider Short VS. Long Sales Emails
Short versus long is the wrong question. Instead, consider this: The best email length is whatever length gets you the 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.
But in one of our drip campaigns, the email that is most successful at getting sign-ups-to-trial of our CRM… is our longest email.
Confused? Here’s a framework to determine how long the emails in your drip marketing campaign should be, along with a few corresponding tips for optimization. In short, you want to consider your audience’s mindset—and what you want to achieve.
23. Leverage Explainer Videos in Your Sales Emails
A picture’s worth a thousand words—and a video? Maybe even more.
Explainer videos are short (30 to 60-seconds long), informative videos that introduce a problem and offer a solution to that problem. The main purpose of these videos is to break down complex explanations about your offer through story-telling, making it much more digestible for the prospect.
By including one in your sales email, you are likely improving overall engagement (up to 65% increase in click-through rate). Remember, you want your company’s name to stand out—adding a quick video might be the answer.
24. Bonus: Improve Your Sales Email Outreach Game
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 crafting cold outreach campaigns and using the power of video to build relationships and close more deals. Watch the full webinar recording today.
25. Bonus: Steli's Cold Email Teardown Session
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 share guidance for improving subject lines, hitting the ideal email body length, formatting, strong CTAs, social proofing, understanding open rates, and more.
The Future of Sales Emails + You
Sales emails are here to stay, but they aren’t exactly straight-forward. People often loathe receiving cold emails that aren't relevant to their needs (and like to vent their frustration about it). But the truth is: Sales emails work.
Email is one of the few communication channels that everyone has access to, independent of any platform, social media, or app. This makes it a vital medium to maximize sales outreach.
That said, competition is only growing. Every sales email you send is competing for your prospects’ attention against hundreds of other emails, and the myriad distractions of the online world.
So, what do you do? Experiment, adapt, overcome. In short, do better than the rest. And these sales email tips will help you get there.
Now, dive into a 14-day free trial of Close to put these tips into action. With our CRM, you can create and save sales email templates, organize customer data, gain insight into your email response rates, improve your follow-up, and nurture leads with drip campaigns using automated email sequences.