How To Craft Sales Emails That Convert
This episode is for B2B companies - and anyone out there sending out sales emails. Let me set the scene with the impression most people get when we say “sales emails” - THEY ARE AWFUL! And folks, most of the time, they are. Think about the number of times you received one of those canned sales emails - you get maybe a series of 5. They always try to connect with you but instead tell you why you align to their product. Most are the same. Most of the time they are on a terrible HTML template that has a bunch of different sized fonts. And the last one you get is the super cheesy break-up email “Should I stay or should I go” where they come up with this bulleted list as to why you have not answered them back - and one of them is a silly one like you’re stuck behind the refrigerator. These emails are so bad.
There is definitely a better approach to this system. If you are a salesperson listening, you are going to want to forward this episode to your marketing team as they are likely guiding the way in some capacity, and if you are a marketing lead, use this information to help your sales team.
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How To Craft Sales Emails That Convert
I hope everyone is doing well as we approach the end of January 2022. Does it shock anyone else how fast time goes by? This is dedicated to B2B companies or business-to-business and anyone out there that is sending sales emails. Let me set the scene with the impression most people get when I say sales emails, “They are awful.” Folks, most of the time, they are. Think about the number of times you've gotten one of those canned sales emails. You get maybe a series of five. They always try to connect with you but instead tell you why you align with their products. Most are the same. Most of the time, they're on a terrible HTML template that has a bunch of different-sized fonts.
The last one you get is the super cheesy breakup email, “Should I stay or should I go?” It's where they come up with the bulleted list as to why you haven't answered them back. One of them is a silly one like you're stuck behind the refrigerator. It's so bad. It doesn't help that these messages have also now overcrowded your LinkedIn direct messages. I am to the point I stopped checking my DMS altogether there. The truth of the situation is this is the same work that has been going on month over month for the last decade. It has a big unsubscribe rate, a low conversion rate to a meeting, and is frankly a total waste of time and energy for salespeople.
It is my job to always see both sides of the coin. Sales are hard. There is so much pressure no matter what organization you're in. You have active quotas to meet. This is your go-to, sending emails often to cold lists. You also have to manage your calls, message people on LinkedIn, and not to mention the conferences you have to attend in your account management. There's a lot riding on a salesperson's job. This has become one of those things that salespeople do. It has gotten bad, especially with COVID. It is harder to get people to respond but here is the thing.
There is a better way to approach this. If you are a salesperson reading, you're going to want to forward this episode to your marketing team as they are likely guiding the way in some capacity. If you are a marketing lead, use this information to help your sales team. I don't claim to be a sales expert but what I am an expert in is email. I have moved the needle with a ton of B2B companies, getting emails to convert to meetings. What works is very different than the norm though. That is for sure. Since you're dying to know the secrets, let's dive in.
Your strategy must align with the end goal.
Number one is your strategy must align to the end goal so no more closed-won-focused goals that are too far down the funnel. It's a huge mistake and it always happens, “The KPI of measurement for a sales email is closed-won business.” That's the wrong answer. Like an eCommerce email, the email can only drive to the page from the click. From there, the landing page and website have to do the work to get the person to purchase. Like a sales email, we need to hone in on the best micro-conversion we have, which is the booked meeting. Sales emails should book appointments. Get those calendars filled.
It is up to the follow-up calls, vetting, and all the stuff in between to close the deal. It is great to understand what email was responsible for generating sales but we cannot look at that metric only. Email can only be improved if we look at the micro-conversions that we can control. In this case, it is booked meetings. There are so many variables that are out of the control of the email itself once the meeting is booked to where it isn't even fair to place that onto the email's responsibility. That's number one. You got to do a company culture idea shift here.
Number two, the copy matters a lot. In eCommerce, you can virtually have a few lines of copies and some great big images and you're going to get people to click through. In sales emails, the copy matters. Firstly, please stop with the product pitches right out of the gates. People are numb to these beyond belief. Instead, try implementing a go-giver approach to your email copy. A great salesperson is going to want to add value to their recipients' jobs, lives, and days.
They want to sell but the approach should be giving pieces of value away for free. Salespeople should think of their email as a way to empathize. When you're making the recipient feel that you do understand their pains, offer them a few tips they can quickly implement by scheduling a meeting. Provide them tips and downloadable content that can certainly help them. With that in mind, here are two examples of a sales email. I've got one bad and one great. Try to find the difference.
Here's the bad, “Amy, we offer white label SEO and paid ads management, Google ads, Facebook ads, and LinkedIn ads, which will allow you to offload your excess projects, quickly scale up your operations, or offer new services. Our Google-certified team would ensure the program would profit for you. Schedule a small fifteen-minute discovery call at meeting invite to know more.” I can see some value in it for me. I get to offload my excess projects. The Google-certified team is going to make sure I have a profit but there's no empathy in this. They came right out of the gates telling me what they did and for me to schedule a meeting. To me, this is, “I've seen this before. Delete.”
Let me show you an example of how different it can be when you write a great sales email, “Amy, as a fellow podcaster, I suspect that you are striving to be heard by more audiences. Is that correct? How would you like to be found by more of your ideal audience without having to do any more work? If you can spare a few minutes, I would like to set you up with a brief call with our Chief Podcast Strategist, Tom, who has already reviewed your show. He would like to share the top three opportunities that he found to increase awareness of your show. Perhaps you were too busy and are satisfied with the current reach of your show. However, if you're willing to spend a few minutes with Tom, you might be surprised how easily your show can reach more audiences. To book your strategy call, use this link.”
Do you see the difference? I appreciate a copy where questions are being asked, “How are you doing? How is it going?” They asked me, “I suspect you're striving to be heard by more audiences. Is that correct?” In my head, I'm going yes. You've got me actively connected to the copy. I'm not scanning here. I'm answering you back in my head. I'm engaged. The beauty of this is that Tom has already reviewed my show and he's going to give me three top opportunities. What do I have to lose here? It got me curious. The worst-case scenario is he gives me three tips to optimize. I leave that call smarter about my show.
Did I end up purchasing? You bet. This was the first touchpoint for credibility in our relationship. This is a great example of an email that you should start to try to emulate. You want active engagement. This is not something where you're having people scan your emails and delete them. This is the go-giver mentality. The worst case is Tom is going to risk giving me a couple of bits of advice. Even if I don't sign up, there's a pretty good chance that I'm going to share this company with other people. It's so powerful. This is what I want you to think about when you're writing sales copy.
What happens when we only get ourselves prepped for five emails? Well, leads typically flow through. They don't convert and then they go cold because we often lose sight of the progress.
Number three, I don't know what it is in B2B with sales but there are always five emails. It doesn't end with five emails. The longer, the better. Why do we constantly write five emails for sales outreach? A sales conversion data showed that it takes at least 8 but up to 15 touchpoints to get an appointment. What happens when we only get ourselves prepped for five emails? Leads typically flow through, don't convert, and then go cold because we often lose sight of the progress. We let the whole campaign end and then go, “The campaign is over.” In a couple of months, we will get this going again but the problem is the list goes cold.
What you should do is you want to create more of an ongoing nurture instead. First, start with five emails but make a plan to add about two each month. You implement the five and then the next month they might have already gotten through two. You're already adding two more to the end of that nurture. You're up to seven and so on. You can continue this going the entire year. I typically like the nurture to be anywhere from 12 months to 18 months. You have to start to number one, check in with the nurture to make sure the content is still relevant. Also, try using some evergreen content. These topics do not go bad.
They can use the great example email for years because, at the end of the day, people are still going to be struggling with wanting to be heard by more audiences. Think about these topics, figure out how you can build these ongoing nurtures, and let them go. The best part is you can start to look at the data of the emails that have deployed and use those to learn when you're creating additional emails while you go back and optimize those. I cannot tell you how many times folks ended up reaching out to book an appointment eighteen months later. Prepare and be patient. It takes time but you do yourself such an injustice by thinking that this five-email campaign is going to be the magic bullet. Prepare for this to be an ongoing effort.
Number four, please add a human touch when you can. I always chat with sales folks during email content strategy meetings by asking this question first, “What would your conversation look like if someone came up to you live at a trade show?” We often take some of those nuggets to craft our emails. The way that we talk to somebody in person somehow is completely different than how we craft these emails. If somebody comes up to a trade show, we are not going to start talking about, “I am a tech company and we do X, Y, and Z.”
It's, “Who are you? What's your title? What company are you with? Tell me what pains you.” They become consultants and they're prescribing a solution. We've got to get that to convey in our emails. This is about relationships so try creating some. I love it when salespeople use videos to send personalized messages. If you're going to write an email about five tips for HR directors to deal with the Great Resignation, why not show them a face and tell them the five tips? A video can go a long way so please try it.
Number five, if you take one thing away, try this one. Do not be afraid to try new things. Whatever you do, don't go search the internet for templates of what has hit most of our inboxes over and over again. Be you, try new things, and experiment by using gifting tools like Alyce or Sendoso. Explore putting in a direct mail piece, do a video, and send them a Reel that you created on Instagram. Be witty, try new things, and remember it is important to keep track of your emails to meetings o you can see if any of these are gems. You've got to be you at the end of the day. I feel like so many sales folks will take the copy from the marketing team and finesse it so it sounds like them but they're still not them.
We have to try to understand, “If this was a real conversation, how would this be different? How can I try to stand out?” That's where you can try to use new things. The next time you are crafting a sales email, take a moment to implement these tips. They're going to be game-changers and hopefully slowly restore everyone's faith in the sales email itself. If we can do this, we will tackle what needs to change on LinkedIn as well. Remember, you can send me your sales email copy for preview and I'll give you feedback as well any questions my way to Conversations@EmailGrowthSociety.com. Until next time, happy emailing everyone.