As part of LiveHive’s onboarding process, we write sales email templates for our customers. Customers love this value-added service. It gets them up and running faster and gives their reps an instant productivity boost for their first SmartPath automated email sequence.

Subsequently, I write a lot of sales emails, and I’m always searching for new ways to write better emails. I look at research, read best practices, and also have learned a lot through my own experience and talking with the sales team here at LiveHive. Because customers often ask what works best and – in the spirit of summer sales wellness – we’re sharing a dozen of our top tips.

#1. Keep email copy short.

Two thirds of us check email on our phones. Keep that in mind as you write your email. Copy should be short and easy to read, broken out into paragraphs not just one big bunch of text. In general, three paragraphs are ideal. You want to catch your audience’s attention and give them something of value quickly.

#2. Keep subject lines short.

In general, we put too much copy in the subject line. Keep it short – research shows that shorter subject lines are opened more. When you write subject lines, think about what’s going to be most compelling for your prospects. Also, don’t ask a question in a subject line, particularly for initial touch points – as they’re shown to have lower open rates.

#3. Use A/B testing for your subject line.

With sales engagement analytics, such as LiveHive, you can test different subject lines for the same email template to compare open rates. This is an excellent way to get insight into the messaging that resonates most with your prospects and lets you see what subject lines are working best.

#4. Don’t overuse your company name.

Just as in a sales call, the focus should be on the customer and their pain points. While you need to communicate the value of your solution or service, it should be conveyed in a way that is customer centric. Starting every other sentence with your company name sounds like an advertisement – not a professional sales email.

#5. Include links and attachments to deliver value with content.

Always give prospects something of value. A sales email is an excellent opportunity to share company content. Include or attach videos, white papers, or customer stories that are relevant to your prospect’s situation. With LiveHive, you can also see if an attachment is downloaded, or a link is clicked, to gain more insight into a buyer’s interests and interest level. When I get an email that links to an interesting asset, I save it! You want your prospects to do the same.

#6. Address the pain points and show the benefit.

Support your email with research that shows why this issue is of importance to prospects right now and why they need to pay attention and act on it. Take the time to research and address their pain points. Be sure the benefit is clear, as well as the downside of doing nothing.

#7. Validate your story with data.

Use numbers and statistics from reputable third parties – or share results from your customers. Having data strengthens and validates your story.

#8. Include customers.

If you have high profile customers you can name drop in your email, do so. Case studies are sales assets of gold.

#9. Personalize with recipient’s name and company.

With data merge fields, there’s no excuse for not personalizing. Use the prospect’s first name in the email. Include the company name if appropriate. By doing so, your email stands out.

#10. Provide context

If you’re following up on marketing leads, provide context in your sales emails. You want to pick up the conversation where marketing left off, especially from webinar and tradeshow leads. Look at tradeshow notes and webinar interactions to understand their interest levels and where the conversation was headed. Pick up where the last person left off.

#11. End with a clear call to action (CTA).

Your email should always have a clear call to action, and it should be as specific as possible and require the least amount of effort from your prospect. Give them a day/time for a ’10 minute call’ to discuss the value you can provide for their business. If you have a calendar app, such as Calendly, use that to let prospects set up their own meeting.

#12. Use power words.

Power words evoke emotion. Power words aren’t long words that you think might make you look smart. In fact, they’re generally very simple. Here are five examples from the “Top 20 Power Words That Sell” in my order of preference: “you,” “easy,” “savings,” “get,” and, of course, “free.”

Have we forgotten anything? If you have tips for writing good sales emails, we’d love to hear them!

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