To say that ChatGPT has thrown the internet into a frenzy would be an understatement. Since December 2022, interest in the search term “AI tools” has skyrocketed by 292% in the U.S. alone. Now Google, HubSpot, and Microsoft are racing to develop their own versions of AI chat tools to compete with ChatGPT.
Here's the burning question: Does AI have a place in sales, and how does it affect our current sales processes?
Like any new tech, you need to dive in and research. We'll review use cases of AI emails, their pros and cons, and the tools you should consider when adding this tech to your arsenal.
Table of Contents
- How Teams Use AI for Sales Emails
- Pros and Cons of Using AI for Sales Emails
- 6 AI Tools for Sales Emails
How Teams Use AI for Sales Emails
ChatGPT is the fastest-growing consumer app in history, so it's no surprise the buzz around AI has encouraged sales teams to try it out. Here are three examples of how teams use AI to generate sales emails.
1. Generate Cold Outreach Messaging
Personalization boosts reply rates by up to 142%, and emails that sprinkle in personal touches are more likely to be opened, replied to, and shared.
"Identify who your target prospect is and ask ChatGPT what's most important to them. Example: What are [job title's] top three priorities?” Mendes says. “Then, elaborate on this and ask how you can link your company’s solution to one of those pain points.”
Mendes suggests prompting ChatGPT as follows: “I want to email [job title] and introduce [company]. My company specializes in [description]. Write a short email to [job title] introducing how [company] can solve [pain point].”
Then, continue with follow-up commands. You can ask ChatGPT to include a statistic from a certain blog link, Mendes suggests.
Another helpful prompt from Mendes: “Here’s the bio of [job title]. Here’s a description of what their company does: [add description]. Rewrite this email based on this.”
Quality input results in quality output. Give ChatGPT the right information for maximum impact.
2. Research Buyer Personas
AI gathers customer data on a massive scale. Use it to research buyer personas and identify pain points and responsibilities that provide deeper insights into target audiences.
"I like to research with ChatGPT to see if my assumptions are true or interesting or if I'm missing anything,” Sietsema says. “So I'll ask it to be a leader that I'm targeting and describe a little bit about them. When I get a long answer like this about what their top three priorities are for this year — and this is all really good — but I need it summarized.”
Image courtesy of Andy Sietsema.
“So, I'll ask it to summarize it to a certain word count, and from there, I'll describe it further,” he explains. “For example, if you don't solve these, what are the consequences? This way, I get to those deeper questions sooner. And then I can build a cold email off the top of that."
Supplement your efforts with AI, like Andy has done, to save time while getting the insights you need to target the right prospects.
3. Perform Sentiment Analysis
How customers react, interact, and respond to marketing emails can provide valuable insights. AI helps you interpret these interactions quickly and accurately, allowing you to make the necessary adjustments for better marketing.
Sentiment analysis measures customers' emotional responses, so you know what resonates and what doesn't. And, of course, getting this right for marketing will move prospects along in your sales pipeline.
"We provide our case studies to the AI, enabling it to perform sentiment analysis. This analysis helps us adapt our messaging and pinpoint the most fitting quote from each case study to match the segment we're reaching out to,” Hajric says. “AI also comes in handy when choosing the most persuasive social proof, like mentioning the right companies for the segment we email."
It's crucial to note that AI supplements a sales team's expertise — you can't replace the team's personal interaction with prospects. You need to validate AI's insights and use them to focus on what your prospects care about.
Combining both humans and AI can produce better results than either approach alone.
Pros and Cons of Using AI for Sales Emails
AI is an excellent tool for sales teams, but it has limitations. Here are some pros and cons to consider before investing in AI email tools.
Benefits of Using an AI for Emails
AI emails can facilitate sales teams in multiple areas, including the following.
Responding to emails, drafting copy, and researching what language to use — these tasks take lots of time. Writing emails alone eats into salespeople's time, with most reps spending 21% of their time writing emails.
In a study by Dooly, 74% of respondents also said much of their workday is spent on activities that don’t contribute to selling, and 48% of respondents even said responding to internal inquiries via email, Slack, or other similar tools takes away time from selling.
AI helps save time by automating manual, mundane tasks such as researching customer data and drafting standard email templates. Like Sietsema says, "I could go read a bunch of job descriptions, or I can have a bit more in-depth conversation with this persona, so to speak."
Writing Better Copy
Not everyone is a wordsmith, and thinking of power words, determining tone, and writing catchy subject lines can overwhelm your team.
Copywriters, marketers, and even sales professionals train AI models to optimize content for messaging platforms. This can help sales teams create impactful emails that follow tried and tested frameworks, such as the Problem-Agitate-Solution (PAS) and Attention-Interest-Decision-Action (AIDA) models.
Salespeople who aren't experts in copywriting can write effective emails with the help of AI.
AI can pick up signals to personalize emails based on customer data. It can sort through potential leads, identify the right contacts, and automatically recommend follow-ups at scale.
By automating these tasks, AI frees up time for reps to build stronger relationships with existing customers and leads. AI can also create custom content tailored to the customer's interests, position, or other factors automatically.
While only one-third of sales organizations currently use AI, 8 in 10 leaders and sales ops professionals say it has improved reps' time use at least moderately.
In fact, high performers are 1.9 times more likely to use AI than underperformers. When better personalization, improved understanding of customer needs, and productive use of sales reps’ time are combined, AI can be a powerful tool for driving organizational efficiency.
Disadvantages of Using an AI for Emails
AI comes with its own set of risks and limitations. Here are a few things to watch out for with AI emailing.
Lack of Human Touch
“Human interaction and emotional intelligence relationship-building skills are all essential components of successful sales. You can't replicate the human touch,” says Cynthia Handal, head of global sales at Simera.
Powerful as AI is, it still relies on human input. You need a human to build a genuine relationship beyond what AI can offer. AI can’t anticipate nuanced customer needs and decide on complex sales situations.
"While AI can undoubtedly play a valuable role in the sales process, it cannot fully replace the essential skills and expertise that Sales Development Reps, Business Development Reps, and VP of Sales bring,” Handal says.
Requires Rich Datasets
AI models can't pick up customer signals without a large dataset to draw from. If the data is incomplete or insufficient, AI may be unable to provide useful insights for improving sales processes and personalizing outreach.
This also increases room for error if customer data is incorrect or outdated. You must constantly update AI models for accuracy and relevancy, which can add to your team’s workload.
AI tools require customer data access, leading to privacy and security concerns. Companies need to ensure that customer data is kept secure and confidential to protect customers’ privacy.
For example, GDPR requires companies to adhere to specific privacy standards and get customers’ explicit consent before using their data. Businesses must be aware of the risks of AI and take appropriate measures to ensure regulatory compliance.
6 AI Tools for Sales Emails
There are plenty of AI-powered tools to supplement your sales approach. We recommend the following six to assist with sales emails.
- Pricing: Free, with premium HubSpot features available
- Best for: Companies looking for a full-service AI platform for sales emails.
ChatSpot is HubSpot's answer to automated customer messaging. It's a conversational CRM bot that can identify relevant prospects from your CRM data. Then, with the content assistant, you can draft and send automated emails that mirror your brand's unique voice.
Other features include:
- Email data capture to log and segment leads, reducing manual data entry.
- Automated follow-up emails to increase lead engagement.
- Automated prospecting to save time and make more meaningful customer connections.
What we like: ChatSpot's CRM integration places it in a unique position to provide an AI-driven sales experience. You don't need to switch between multiple platforms to access customer data. These features make ChatSpot an ideal choice for optimizing sales outreach and engagement.
- Pricing: Starter plans cost $24 per month. Boss Mode starts at $49 per month. Business plan pricing is available upon request.
- Best for: Teams that need help starting with AI and want to create personalized emails.
One of the first generative AI platforms to gain traction, Jasper helps teams create content, including sales emails, blogs, and landing pages. With its Chrome extension, the tool allows sales teams to personalize emails, generate subject lines, and respond to messages.
Alternatively, you can use Jasper Chat or its Chrome extension to respond to incoming messages. Other features include:
- Boss Mode to write long-form content like reports, stories, and blog posts.
- Surfer SEO integration to write SEO-friendly copy.
- Jasper ART to create graphics such as illustrations and thumbnails.
- 29+ language options.
What we like: Jasper's multiple pricing plans and 60+ templates make it an excellent option for sales teams starting with AI. It also has an active Facebook group that provides support and helps users get the most out of its features.
- Pricing: Basic plans are free. Plus plans start at $20 per month.
- Best for: Teams with an in-depth grasp of AI and who don't need templates or guidance.
You can't have a conversation about AI without mentioning ChatGPT. ChatGPT is a large language model trained by OpenAI based on the GPT architecture that generates human-like responses to text-based inputs.
Its natural-language understanding (NLU) capabilities automatically recognize keywords and generate contextually relevant response templates. For example, it can suggest different word choices or sentence structures that may be more effective in driving engagement or conversions.
What we like: You can train it on customer data to suggest language that references a previous product and suggests different topics or angles to approach when writing about a particular product or service.
Since ChatGPT is completely free to the public, it's sometimes at capacity and takes a while to load. It's also best suited to sales teams who know exactly what they're looking for and don't need templates or direction.
Pricing: Basic plans are free. Individual pro plans cost $29 per month. Team plans cost $49 a month per user.
Best for: Teams that need guidance and structure to write effective sales emails.
Lavender is an AI sales email coach that assists you in real time. Also powered by OpenAI's GPT-3, Lavender suggests personalized intros and shows prospect news, data, and insights.
You can fix anything that hurts your chances of getting a response and use email templates to send personalized emails.
Key features include:
- Integration with Gmail, Outlook, Outreach, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Salesloft, and other platforms to improve emails anywhere.
- Real-time feedback and recommendations.
- AI writer to create personalized emails.
- Built-in email tracking and analytics.
What we like: Lavender is an excellent option for individuals and teams needing guidance to write effective emails without compromising customization. Sales teams can create content faster, personalize conversations more effectively, and save time responding to messages.
- Pricing: Flowrite costs €15 per month.
- Best for: Sales teams interested in scaling up their email writing process.
Flowrite is an AI-powered email writer that helps you write better emails faster. You type instructions for the message you want to send, and Flowrite will do the rest — writing a personalized email that sounds just like you.
All you have to do is review it before sending. Flowrite also has an AI template gallery where you can browse templates for different situations and types of emails.
Other features include:
- Integration with email and messaging tools such as Mailchimp, Gmail, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
- Tone control for personalizing emails.
- Fast output to quickly generate emails.
What we like: Flowrite allows sales teams to accelerate their sales cycles by writing emails faster while still personalizing each one. Its integration with other email and messaging tools makes it easy to send personalized messages without copy-pasting or manually typing them in.
- Pricing: Free plans are available. Custom plans cost $120 per month.
- Best for: Teams looking for a hyper-personalized approach.
Lyne is a sales personalization AI tool that allows you to create personalized emails at scale. It takes the most time-consuming task — researching accounts and contacts — and automates it so you can tailor emails to customers and prospects.
Instead of using just a prospect's personal LinkedIn account as the source of information, Lyne extracts relevant details from company blog posts, articles, and other sources to draft an in-depth profile of each contact.
Key features include:
- Integrations with Hunter, Woodpecker, Wavo, and other cold email tools.
- AI-powered cold email icebreakers to initiate conversations.
- Lightning-fast research on prospects with AI.
- Lead scraping on Chrome extensions to find emails.
What we like: Lyne is perfect for sales teams looking for hyper-personalized emails that consider their prospects' interests. Its integration with other cold email tools makes it easier to streamline the sales process, ensuring that customers always receive relevant messages.
Complement your sales team with the power of AI emails.
With sales teams rushing to meet targets, find leads, and follow up with customers, AI-powered emails can help them speed up their process and deliver quality results. Anything that helps them save time and effort will help them focus on what matters — closing more deals.