Used incorrectly, sales email templates can make you appear lazy, sloppy, and inconsiderate to your buyers. And that's not a good way to start a relationship.
This is why it's critical to strike the delicate balance between standardization and customization. Crafting personalized sales emails based on your own templates and making sure to carefully customize before hitting "send," you can quickly reach more people while remaining authentic.
When to Use Sales Email Templates
The best time to use a template for your sales emails is when you know that the same basic type of message will be sent over and over again. Have you ever caught yourself typing out the exact same sentences or phrases in a brand new message? Capitalize on the opportunity to create and save a customizable template, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time.
Sales email templates can be used in multiple scenarios. For example, you might create a template around a similar series of prospecting emails that booked you a considerable amount of meetings, or a simple follow-up email that you've noticed gets prospects gone quiet talking again.
Here are a few recurring scenarios in which I've found sales email templates extremely valuable:
After you’ve met someone for the first time, for instance, at an industry event.
When you're moving a conversation to email from Twitter or another social network.
Ahead of a meeting. Remind the prospect of your meeting, request any necessary additional information, confirm attendees, and check in on any pre-meeting homework.
After a meeting. Thank your attendees for coming and include next steps.
Prospecting. My personal best prospecting email template has a 70% open rate and a 33% meeting booking rate.
Regular outreach to customers. How many customers have you talked to recently? Probably not enough. Effective sales reps are constantly talking to customers and building relationships for referrals down the road.
Breaking up with a prospect. If they’re going silent and aren't likely to close, don't hesitate to send a templated breakup email.
When to Avoid Using Sales Email Templates
But just as using a template can be a huge time saver, the strategy can also backfire if used incorrectly. If you’re ever on the fence as to whether you should use a sales email template or not, it’s best to err on the side of caution and just type it out.
Here are some times when a sales email template isn't appropriate, no matter how customized it may be:
If you’re only sending this email once. It goes without saying, but the primary point of using a template is to save you retyping the same sentences over and over again. If you’re only sending this email once, don’t bother with a template.
When you’re in a rush. I hate to admit it, but I’ve sent out templates with placeholder text or someone else’s company in the subject line. The only response this will get you is an angry “unsubscribe me.”
Reaching out to multiple members of the same team. If one contact shares your email with their team and someone else received an identical message, your potential deal will implode quickly.
When your message hasn’t been successful in the past. Sales tools make it easy to track sales email success. If you’re unsatisfied with a particular email's open or response rate, templating it will only make you fail faster and harder.
If you haven’t triple checked the spelling. It might be basic, but you don’t want you’re buyers thinking you don’t even know the difference between "your" and "you’re." (Note: typo included to prove a point).
6 Sales Email Template Best Practices
Just as there are optimal (and suboptimal) times to turn to a template, there are best practices when using them.
Here are the six best practices I swear by in regards to my sales email templates:
Be original. There are some templates at the bottom of this post. If you use them, make them your own -- only using my words and phrases for inspiration. If a prospective buyer receives the same cookie cutter email from two reps, neither will get a response.
Test before sending. Make sure that your template doesn’t cause formatting issues. Preview your email before sending so you can make sure it arrives in your prospect's inbox looking the exact way you want it to.
Triple check everything. What’s worse than a typo in an email? A typo in 10 of them.
Have multiple templates. Don’t be afraid to create slightly different versions of the same template depending on your audience. Remember -- the more customization you can insert into your templates to cater to your varying ideal customer personas, the better.
Always be measuring. There is no shortage of tools to help you measure your success. Measure the success of your email templates, and use the results to inform strategic changes.
Check your signature. Using a template can sometimes result in a duplicate signature. Again, test your email before sending, and verify that your signature is correctly formatted.
4 Sales Email Template Examples
Here are a few templates I've used that are applicable to common stages in the sales process.
But before we get to the examples, it's worth repeating: Use these only as inspiration. Make sure to make them yours, and remain authentic when using them.
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I hope these sales email template examples and best practices provide you with the inspiration you need to create and nurture more relationships in less time. Be sure to make them yours, remain authentic, and never stop testing.
Leave any questions or comments below, or ask me directly on Twitter. I’ll even review a template for you if you ask nicely.
Originally published Feb 12, 2016 7:30:00 AM, updated August 31 2017