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How to Write Sales Emails People Want to Read

Posted in:  Buyer Engagement, Sales and Marketing Management

A recent McKinsey & Co. survey highlights a significant trend: today’s buyers have clear digital purchasing experience expectations, with a strong preference for personalisation and immediacy.

Despite this, many sales emails find their resting place in the trash, unopened and unread. But why? They lack that special something to pique the reader’s interest. This guide is here to change that. We’ll explore how to craft good sales emails that get opened and inspire action, all while introducing four metrics to measure sales email success.

Sales vs. Marketing Emails

Sales emails are a sales rep’s digital handshake. They blend introduction, persuasion, and conversion elements into a personalised and compelling message. In contrast, marketing emails aim for a wider audience and usually tie into a specific campaign.

Sales and marketing emails share a common goal – to engage buyers in a meaningful way that ultimately leads to conversions. Their success comes down to crafting a message that resonates with the customer’s journey, ensuring the message is received and welcomed.

The common pitfalls for many emails, whether sales or marketing, include poor timing, unclear messaging, or a spammy feel. Fortunately, sales teams can now easily address these issues with AI and automation.

What are the Different Types of Sales Emails?

Email remains a fast and adaptable way to communicate. It’s ideal for reaching newly discovered prospects, assessing their interest, keeping in touch, or arranging meetings.

Remarkably, 82% of buyers are open to accepting meetings from sellers who proactively reach out to them, underscoring the potential of effective sales emails to open doors, build connections, and close deals. Let’s take a look at some popular email types.

Sales Prospecting Emails

Prospecting emails are salespeople’s way of finding interested leads and getting them curious. The goal is to lay the groundwork for a relationship.

Cold Outreach Emails

Cold emails target prospects unfamiliar with your brand, making this first impression very important. To cut through the noise, your email must be intriguing from the subject line onwards, or it won’t work.

Promotional Emails

Promotional email campaigns highlight a special offer. They usually aim to create new or repeat customers, speed up the sales cycle, or encourage recipients to take immediate action. Do you have irresistible savings, limited-time offers, or other exclusive opportunities? Send a promo email.

Sales Pitch Emails

Sales pitch emails detail what you offer, why it is excellent, and the value it brings to the new customers. Use this email to connect the dots between the prospect’s company needs and how you can help improve their situation.

Steps to Crafting the Best Sales Email

Surprisingly, 80% of buyers prefer email communications, but standing out in a cluttered inbox is not easy. Speaking to your audience, showing value, using the right subject line, and personalizing can make all the difference.

Let’s look at how you can make your sales email stand out.

1. Know Your Audience

When constructing your email, remember that success hinges on personalisation. Bulk emails can damage your reputation. That said, research and segment your leads. The more you know, the more personal and powerful your emails become.

Use Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Audience Personalisation

AI sales tools analyse customer data, from trends to preferences, with speed. They can help you draft initial and follow-up emails that sound just like you. Adnan Zijadic of Gartner notes that generative AI enriches target audience understanding, transforming sales tech from a tool to a teammate. This approach helps tailor emails to each recipient’s unique interests and needs, enhancing open rates.

2. Understand The Value You Bring to The Market

Competition is fierce in B2B sales. It’s essential to know what makes your product or service stand out. A clear value proposition, aimed at the right person, draws attention by highlighting the unique benefits they can expect.

3. Include the Right Email Components

With conversion in mind, crafting an email means paying close attention to its components. Every part should flow to guide the reader toward the preferred action.

Write Compelling Sales Email Subject Lines

The email subject line is your first impression. It should create urgency and curiosity and promise value, convincing the recipient to read on. AI can help create compelling subject lines that will naturally impact open rates.

Here are a few examples that combine urgency, intrigue, and relevance to get the job done:

  • Are you making these common mistakes?
  • Unlock your exclusive offer before it expires!
  • Last chance: save 30% on your subscription renewal

Personalise Opening Statements

Start the conversation by speaking directly to the prospect’s needs in the email intro. To create an immediate connection, reference the prospect’s names, roles, industries, pain points, and recent activities. This level of customisation is expected, with 71% of consumers anticipating personalised company interactions. Moreover, the stakes are high, as three-quarters of consumers are willing to switch brands if the personalized experience falls short.

Here are a few opening lines tailored to resonate:

  • Your recent article on [Topic] shed light on some crucial points, and it aligns with the solutions we’ve been developing here.
  • I noticed [Company Name] recently celebrated its 10th anniversary—congratulations on hitting such a significant milestone!
  • Following the news of [Prospect’s Company]’s recent acquisition of [Other Company], it’s clear that [Company] is poised for significant growth and transformation.

If you have a referral or mutual connection, be sure to mention it. This provides credibility and helps lower the prospect’s guard.

Get to the Value Quickly

You know the value your product or service offers. The challenge? Delivering the value message quickly and effectively in the body of your email. Here are different strategies to help you refine and present value.

Personalise With BASHO

BASHO emails are highly personalised emails you send decision-makers. These emails potentially get a 65% response rate since you’re directly engaging with people who decide if your product fits their needs. Focus on tailoring the message to the recipient’s specific situation or achievements, demonstrating your diligence, and grabbing their attention.

Create momentum with Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action (AIDA)

The AIDA model represents the stages a potential customer goes through before purchasing. Begin by capturing the recipient’s attention. Next, pique their interest with benefits. Then, create a desire for your product or service. Finally, prompt action with a compelling and clear call to action (CTA).

Illustrate transformation with Before-After-Bridge (BAB)

BAB is an email storytelling model that works for prospects who haven’t heard of your product or service. Its goal is for them to see themselves in a situation and recognise that this problem directly affects them. When writing the email, describe the current situation (Before) and the improved scenario after using your product (After), and explain how your product bridges the gap between these two states (Bridge). It shows how their life will improve by emphasising your solution’s benefits.

Address pain points with Problem-Agitation-Solution (PAS)

With the PAS email formula, you lead with the problem your prospects or customers are experiencing. Agitate this problem by emphasising its impacts. Is it causing them frustration, rejection, loss of opportunity, or any other negative outcomes? Then, conclude by presenting your product as the solution to the problem.

Highlight distinctions with Features-Advantages-Benefits (FAB)

FAB emails are most effective when you want to clearly communicate your product’s value in a compelling manner and motivate your prospects to take action. These emails detail what your product/service does (Features), why it’s better than alternatives (Advantages), and how it makes a difference in the recipient’s world (Benefits).

Ensure clarity with Clear, Concise, Compelling, and Credible (Four C’s) Emails

Before hitting the send button, ensure your email meets the four C’s. Your message must be easy to understand (Clear), straight to the point (Concise), engaging enough to keep the reader’s interest (Compelling), and reliable enough to build trust (Credible).

Add a Clear CTA

What is it that you want the potential customers to do? Your CTA is your closer, making it easy and tempting for readers to act. Here are some examples that guide readers to the next step:

  • Schedule your free consultation today!
  • Download our industry insights report!

Include Your Email Signature

Remember to sign off your emails with contact information. Your signature should include your name, phone number, and other contact methods preferred by your audience—whether that’s email, messaging platforms, or professional social media platforms like LinkedIn.

4. The Power of Social Proof

Boost your credibility with testimonials and success stories, showing leads they’re in good company. Be sure to choose case studies in the same industry and company size.

5. Send the Email at the Right Time

Timing is everything. Utilise email monitoring tools to identify the best times to send your emails for maximum impact. Tools that track popular open times work well. Or, understand your target customer and when and how they work.

When Should You Send a Sales Email?

Timing is as important as what you say in the email. When used correctly, sales emails are versatile tools that engage, nurture, and convert leads. The right timing helps avoid annoyance or irrelevance by contacting prospects too early or too late – it’s akin to mind reading.

Sending an email at the opportune moment is evidence of your attentiveness and commitment to adding real value. This timing can transform an ordinary outreach into a meaningful conversation.

Use sales emails in the following ways:

Introduce Yourself or the Brand

This first email is your opportunity to make a strong impression. It’s best sent after a prospect has shown interest or directly after interacting with your brand, such as visiting your website or downloading content. This email sets the tone for future communication.

Schedule a Sales Meeting

When a prospect shows interest or interacts with your content, it’s time to suggest a sales meeting or quick call. Your email can serve as a bridge to this meeting, stating how it could benefit them. Send this email when engagement is high, like after a positive interaction or response to your initial outreach.

Offer a Special Deal

Leverage the appeal of special deals or time-limited offers to nudge undecided prospects. Tailor these offers to their interests or past interactions with your brand to demonstrate understanding and value. The timing should coincide with known decision-making periods, such as the end of a financial quarter or after a prospect has engaged with your content.


Follow-ups are key in keeping the sales conversation alive, especially after a direct meeting or presentation. Aim to send these within 24 to 48 hours to keep the momentum going. Your follow-up should recap the discussion points, tackle any outstanding queries, and indicate the next steps.

Related Resource: What Good Client Engagement Looks Like

Sales Email Success Metrics

Understanding the value of your sales emails helps refine your sales strategy and improve outcomes. Buyer engagement metrics highlight email performance and conversion rates. But why is measuring this important, and what measurements are key?

1. Email Open Rate

The open rate of your email gauges its initial impact, reflecting how well your subject lines and brand reputation resonate. A robust open rate signals that your messaging is hitting the mark with your recipients.

Open rate: Open rate = (Opened emails / Total emails sent – excluding bounces) x 100

2. Response Rates

After reading your email, the response rate measures how many recipients are motivated to converse. It directly indicates interest, showing that your message resonates enough to prompt a response.

Response rate = (Number of replies / Total emails delivered) x 100

3. Click-Through Rate on Offers (CTOR)

The CTOR measures the number of recipients who clicked on a link within your email. This helps you understand how compelling your CTAs are and whether your email encourages recipients to take the next step.

CTOR = (Number of clicks / Number of emails opened) x 100

4. Unsubscribe Rate

The unsubscribe rate can provide insights into your audience’s inclinations. A spike in unsubscribes can indicate content that doesn’t align with prospect expectations or interests, signalling an improvement opportunity.

Unsubscribe rate = (Number of unsubscribes / Total emails delivered) x 100

A/B testing

Consider doing A/B testing for your emails to measure their effectiveness further. It facilitates data-driven decisions on email components like subject lines, content, and CTAs. By comparing open rates, unsubscribes, and other metrics of two email versions sent to similar audience segments, you can identify which elements resonate and fall flat.

Create Attention-Grabbing Emails With Highspot

Creating the perfect sales email requires more than just content; it demands a sales process supported by AI automation, strong sales enablement, and a CRM solution.

With Highspot, you can access comprehensive sales email templates and persuasive email examples, empowering your sales team to conduct targeted email outreach. Whether it’s about lead generation this week, setting up phone calls for next week, or price negotiations, the quality of your email copy is critical. Integrating Highspot into your strategy ensures that every email stands out, driving engagement and conversion.

Schedule a Highspot demo today!