Mark Twain once said, “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead.”
Getting your point across in as few words as possible takes time and effort. But it’ll pay off: According to an analysis of more than 40 million emails, the most effective were between 50 and 125 words.
Wondering how to write a sales email that gets your point across in fewer words? Here are the most common ways you may be wasting space.
How to Write More Concise Sales Emails
1) Being Too Wordy
Make your sentences as short as possible. If your prospect struggles to get your point, they’ll probably stop reading.
Keep an eye out for these wordy phrases:
- “First and foremost”: Replace with “first.”
- “At this point in time”: Replace with “currently.”
- “For the purpose of”: Replace with “to.”
- “In the near future”: Replace with “soon.”
- “Whether or not”: Replace with “whether.”
- “With the exception of”: Replace with “except.”
- “Make an effort”: Replace with “try.”
- “Consensus of opinion”: Replace with “consensus.”
- “In view of the fact that”: Replace with “because.”
2) Introducing Yourself
Never begin an email by stating your name, title, and company. Not only is this exactly the kind of run-of-the-mill opening an old-school salesperson would use -- which’ll immediately put your recipient on guard -- it’s also a waste of valuable space. Prospects can find this information in your email signature and the “From” field.
3) Repeating Your Subject Line
Your subject line should act as the prologue of your email. It sets the stage, piquing your prospect’s interest so they open and read your message. Recycling your subject line in the first sentence of your email isn’t just lazy -- it’s ineffective.
4) Inserting Full URLs
Providing helpful blog posts, web pages, or resources lets you add value and position yourself as a trusted consultant. But you’ll lose valuable real estate if you just copy and paste the entire URL -- not to mention that full links make your emails look messy.
It might sound obvious, but you should always use hyperlinks.
Check out this article on journaling apps: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/technology/personaltech/journaling-apps-that-inspire-organize-and-keep-out-snoops.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fpersonaltech
Check out this article on journaling apps.
5) Explaining Your Purpose
Telling your prospect why you’re emailing by writing, “I’m just emailing to … ” or “I just wanted to check in after … ”, is a waste of time. They already know you’re emailing them. Your point will be more effective if you simply get to it.
“I’m following up on our consultation. Have you thought about sourcing your supplies through a single OEM?”
“Have you thought about sourcing your supplies through a single OEM?”
6) Including Too Many Ideas
You might have a thought-provoking question, four eye-opening statistics, and three compelling benefits to share with your prospect. But stick to one or two per email.
The goal is to connect with your prospect, not sell them. If they’re confronted with a ton of information, they’ll be overwhelmed rather than intrigued.
As an added benefit, keeping a few factoids up your sleeve will come in handy if the buyer doesn’t respond to your first few emails. Giving each message a different focus keeps them from feeling repetitive.
7) Using the Passive Voice
Tighten up your sentences by changing them from passive to active voice. You can identify the passive voice by adding “by zombies” to the sentence’s verb. If the new sentence makes sense, it’s written in passive voice.
Take this sentence: “Improvements were suggested … by zombies.”
To rewrite a sentence in the active voice, determine who’s performing the main action, then use them as the sentence’s subject.
For example, the rewritten sentence might be, “Our team suggested improvements,” or “The client suggested improvements.”
Once you rewrite it in active voice, adding “by zombies” doesn’t work:
“The client suggested improvements … by zombies.”
Getting rid of the passive voice won’t just make your emails shorter: It’ll also make you sound more confident.
8) Including Generic Statements
If you want to grab your prospect’s attention, you can’t waste any time on unrelated statements or questions. Immediately diving into your main purpose might feel rude, but it actually shows thoughtfulness for the buyer’s busy workday.
Wondering what’s considered superfluous? Here are some common offenders:
- “I hope you’re having a nice [day, week, month].”
- “Hope you’re doing well.”
- “I trust you’re doing well.”
- “Happy [day of the week].”
- “How has your summer been?”
Notice the common theme? Each of these lines could apply to anyone. If your opening sentence isn’t personalized to the individual buyer, delete it.
Trimming down your emails makes them easier to read -- and therefore, easier to respond to. If you want your prospects to take action, write less.