If the most-hated form of communication is the cold call, the cold email is a close second.
Less than 24 percent of sales emails are even opened, let alone read and well received, according to a report by TOPO, a sales and marketing research firm.
But salespeople have to start somewhere, and email can be the right place—as long as you follow a few guidelines (hint: keep things short!). To get started on the right track, download these free templates, 10 Emails You Need to Close a Sale.
We also rounded up these five articles that explore the art of the sales email.
In August 2015, the research firm CB Insights announced that it had received more than $1 million in funding for its new software. Cue the sales pitches!
In the two weeks following the announcement, CEO and co-founder Anand Sanwal received 147 cold emails from a variety of salespeople seeking to work with CB Insights. In this post, he explains the three main reasons why he deemed 93.9 percent of them “terrible”: weak subject lines, poor timing, and a lack of “what’s in it for me?” messaging.
In this post, sales strategist and author Marc Wayshak says there’s only one purpose of a prospecting email. Surprise twist: It’s not to make a sale. A prospecting email, he says, should simply elicit a response—the first, small step toward the eventual sale.
If you’re trying to push a product or explain the history of your company in your first email, you probably won’t get the chance to send a second.
By now, you get it: Most sales emails don’t work. So what actually does?
This post outlines five rules for writing effective sales emails: Keep them short, focus on the customer, ask questions, seek to solve customers’ problems, and include a clear call-to-action.
When a New York Times writer says you’re more reliable than Google and that you “virtually never” say no, you get emails—thousands of them. After being besieged by strangers asking for help, author and management professor Adam Grant reflected on the reasons he responded to some emails more quickly than others. A few of his lessons: Show you’ve done your homework, highlight uncommon commonalities (like an interest in springboard diving, in Grant’s case), and express gratitude, not demands.
Figuring out what to send in a sales email is one challenge. The next: figuring out when to send it. InsightSquared, a sales performance analytics company, studied more than 10,000 emails to find out. Among their takeaways is that the early bird gets the worm: Emails sent before noon are almost twice as likely to be opened than those sent in the afternoon.