Don’t Let Your Sales Email Kill the Deal Are your emails effective?

Quality communication with your prospects and customers is key to crushing your sales goals. Your sales email is one of the most effective ways to get that dialogue going. But that’s only if you can get your potential customers to read it in the first place. Salesforce reports that 33% of sales email recipients open—or ignore—email based on subject line alone.

Getting them to click is only half the battle. What you really want is a response, which is much harder to elicit. In his article “How to Write a Killer Sales Email,” Geoffrey James, author of Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know, reports that “most sales emails have a response rate of around 1 percent.”

So why do some sales emails work better than others?

The data clearly show that it’s not just what you say. It’s how you say it. Here are some ways your sales email may be killing the deal.

  • Your opener is about you, not them. The subject line and the first 20 words of a sales email should be meaningful to the recipient and include a clear benefit to them for buying your product, says James. How will what you’re offering them improve their business or save them money? Don’t make them wade through information about your company. Lead with what you can do for them. James includes this example: “You can reduce no-shows up to 50% by keeping attendees informed and involved with our mobile app.”
  • You’re stuffing your e-mail with business jargon. Write like you talk and skip business terminology that might alienate your prospect or complicate your message. Your sales email should be easy to understand and quick to scan. Use active voice rather than passive voice and eliminate unnecessary words.
  • Your call to action is buried. After you’ve done all the work of getting your prospect’s attention, the last thing you want is for your call to action to be muddled or confusing. They won’t have time to figure out what you want them to do. Tell them. Is it to accept a meeting invite? Reply to your email? Set up a meeting with you? Whatever it is, be specific, e.g. “Let me know if you’d like me to send you a PDF about x,y,z” or “Be sure to click ‘accept’ on the meeting invite to opt into this phone call and learn more.”
  • You didn’t include a signature. Implisit analyzed over 250 thousand sales emails from more than 300 companies and found that including a signature, and specifically one with a headshot, boosts email response rates, says Gilad Raichshtain, the company’s founder and CEO. Personalizing emails this way is an easy lift with a big payoff.

So go ahead, start writing!


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Dan Sincavage

Dan Sincavage

Dan is a Co-Founder of Tenfold and currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer. Dan oversees the Tenfold sales organization, manages strategic partner relationships and works with key enterprise accounts to ensure their success with the Tenfold platform.

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