make-money-keyboardOn average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of the 10 will read the rest. As a sales rep crafting prospect emails daily, this stat should raise a little red flag.

Every time we write an email, our copywriting skills are tested. Our subject lines are headlines and our body is our value pitch. So whether or not copywriting has been a part of our academic or professional experience, you'll need to master the basics of writing sales emails to sell effectively -- and I say this as someone who studied financial planning once upon a time. 

The American Writers and Artists, an organization passionate about fueling writing careers, has helped me and my team at WideAngle (previously Rivalry) by introducing the "4 'U's." Today, I'd like to share them here in hopes they'll help you increase your sales email response rate too.

1) Be useful to the reader.  

A generic email doesn't cut it anymore. Understanding your prospect’s needs before writing the email will help you cater your message to their specific problems. Do research before clicking send -- it will separate you from other sales reps still sending generic blasts.

How do you translate this information into emails prospects will respond to? This SlideShare will show you how.

2) Provide them with a sense of urgency.

Creating urgency in email is no different than the sense of urgency you create on the phone, except the medium. More precision with your words is required and will save back and forth.

3) Explain how the main benefit is unique.  

Creative sales reps begin by focusing on competitive advantages they have directly in the value proposition component of the email. If you have an amazing feature, weave it in. If your customer community is a unique selling point, share it.     

4) Do all of the above in an ultra-specific way.  

Any evidence to prove you not penning a generic email is crucial. Look at the latest news on their company and reference it. Are they getting ready for a user conference? Bring it up. Did they just sign on a big client? Congratulate them. This touch goes a long way in writing anything.    

Put it all together, and what do you get?

Below is a short, valuable email with all 4 'U's applied:   


I've seen this work, but would love to hear how this approach does for other buyer contexts. Feel free to share what's worked for you in the comments!

HubSpot CRM

Originally published Dec 17, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017

Topics:

Sales Emails