What’s the difference between the sales email no one opens and responds to and the one that generates dozens of new customers? Is it the subject line, the length, the way the copy is written, or the ideas contained in the content? The answer is a combination of all of the above.
If you have a targeted lead list and your response rate is less than 10% with personalized emails, your emails could use some work. Earlier this year a B2B company came to me for help with their emails. They offered an incredible service for the SaaS space, but weren’t very successful with their sales emails. Their response rates were below 2%.
In about a month of working together I created a single email template that got them more than 16 new customers. But before I reveal the template, let's dig into what was wrong with their previous approach.
Why their emails were bad:
- Too long. No one wants to read a mini ebook in an email.
- Too many ideas. Although the company had an amazing product, they were highlighting too many value props in their emails, which confused readers.
- Too "me me me." Their emails talked way too much about why they were awesome, and listed their company’s features instead of putting it in terms of value for the customer.
- Too hipster. They wanted to seem young and modern, but overly fancy marketing automation templates made their emails seem impersonal and spammy, even with customization. No one thinks they’re getting a personal email if it’s too pretty.
We've gone through the bad, and now it's time for the good. Here's the new template they deployed:
The results of this email spoke for themselves:
- 57% open rate
- 21% response rate
- Outcome: 16 new customers
So why did this sales email template work when the previous ones failed? Here are a few reasons:
- Exciting subject line. The subject line is your gatekeeper, so 50% of email work should be spent crafting and testing different subject lines. You want to create an exciting but credible (not spammy or salesy) subject that intrigues recipients.
- Enticing offer. Give your prospects a reason to respond, and a simple call-to-action. Mentioning your past success with another client they’ve heard of makes this offer seem more realistic and obtainable.
- Personal feel. This sales email has the same basic format and tone of an email you’d send to your mom or best friend. When you’re too formal, you sound stiff and like a salesperson rather than a person-person.
- Social proof. One of your biggest barriers to selling is risk. No one wants to be the first customer and work with a company without credibility or experience. Mentioning one of your customers and the results you delivered to them makes you less of a risk.
Above all else, remember to keep it simple.
Editor's note: This is an excerpt from the book The Predictable Revenue Guide to Tripling Your Sales, and is published here with permission. This post was originally published in March 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.