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.
How (Not) to Send a Cold Email for Sales
If you have a targeted lead list and your response rate is less than 10% with personalized emails, your emails could use some work. Once upon a time, 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%.
After about a month of working together, I created a single sales 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.
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.
Too soft: They weren't assertive enough. They took a soft tone with their emails, starting with something like, "You don't know me, but..." If a prospect doesn't know you, then they know they're probably being sold to.
Too robotic: There was no human element to their emails. They were cold, rigid, and did nothing but harp on generic marketing points. A prospect is going to take that as a surefire sign that all they were looking to do was sell something.
Too many special characters: They typed like this!!! That's a good way to look spammy and turn prospects off!!!
Too many grammatical errors: They didnt proofread enough and a message with Too Many grammar, or spelling mistakess; is a good way to look, sloppy and unprofessional.
We've gone through the bad, and now it's time for the good. Here's the new and improved template they deployed:
A New Cold Email Template
10x [prospect's company's] traction in 10 minutes
Hello [Prospect Name],
I have an idea that I can explain in 10 minutes that can get [company] its next 100 best customers.
I recently used this idea to help our client [SaaS company/competitor] almost triple their monthly run rate.
[First name], let's schedule a quick 10-minute call so I can share the idea with you. When works best for you?
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:
1. 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 sales-y) subject that intrigues recipients.
Make your subject line compelling and informative to pique the recipient's interest in the body of the email — and research the prospect so the subject line is personalized for them.
2. Enticing offer
Give your prospects a reason to respond, and a simple call-to-action. Who wouldn't want to "almost triple their monthly run rate?" Mentioning your past success with another client they've heard of makes this offer seem more realistic and attainable. Include relevant numbers and statistics to make your offer even more exciting.
3. 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.
In the example above, the salesperson's "idea" makes the email less aggressive and aligns with where the recipient is at the beginning of their buyer's journey. Before you hit the send button, do a final read-through of the email to make sure it has a natural and conversational tone.
4. 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.
You can attach client case studies to provide your prospect with a detailed preview of your work. With a compelling example, the prospect will be more inclined to work with you.
Cold Sales Email Templates for B2B
Here are two cold email templates that you can use to create emails your prospects will want to open.
1. B2B email template for finding the decision maker in the company
Hi [Prospect Name],
I am writing in hopes of finding the appropriate person who handles [DEPARTMENT I.E. MEDIA]? I also wrote to [PERSON X, PERSON Y, AND PERSON Z] in that pursuit. If it makes sense to talk, let me know how your calendar looks.
VoodooVox helps increase the revenues of Fortune 500 companies by marketing to Spanish-speakers. Each month we reach 25 million Spanish speakers with an audio message they must hear. We insert 30-second audio and SMS advertisements into phone calls made on calling cards. The benefit to users is they make their call free. The benefit for our clients is they can increase store revenue by providing text message coupons. Typical redemption is 3%. You can measure results online and with store sales. Advertisements can target specific ethnic groups and geographies. Some clients include Burger King, P&G and Chili's.
If you are the appropriate person to speak with, what does your calendar look like? If not, who do you recommend I talk to?
This template is used by Bryan Kreuzberger, founder of Breakthrough Email, as a first touch email. He clearly states the purpose of the email and includes information about previous clients to demonstrate his credibility. The email is wrapped up with a call-to-action that outlines the next steps.
2. B2B email template to build rapport
Congrats on the new role. Re: call follow-up.
Just left a quick message at the office for you. I chuckled a little bit when I got an automated email this morning from your predecessor, [NAME OF PREDECESSOR] who we worked with briefly, and before him, [OTHER FORMER COWORKER NAME], who we worked with as well ...
First and foremost, congrats on coming into this new role! I'm sure you've got a lot going on - so this conversation might be timely or not. If you're stressed, this is my go-to :)
My role here is working with businesses (in the area) on how they can effectively and efficiently drive more traffic to their website, increase conversions, and nurture leads into customers.
How has your first month kicked off so far?
- [Your Name]
Caroline Ostrander, a HubSpot Freemium Service Manager, and former Business Development Representative, used this template after researching the prospect and finding a rapport building opportunity. Not only was she able to relate to the prospect regarding the new job, but she also mentioned his co-worker's names and referenced her other attempts to help their company.
3. B2B email template to establish value
Helping your team accomplish X
Hi [Prospect Name],
I saw you recently downloaded a whitepaper about X. I've worked with similar companies in [Y field/industry] and I thought I'd reach out.
[Prospect's Company] looks like a great fit for [Your Company] and I'd love to understand what your goals are for this year.
We often help companies like yours grow with:
If you'd like to learn how [Your Company] can help you reach [X goals], feel free to book time on my calendar here: [Meeting Link]
What do you have to offer the prospect? This B2B email template allows you to engage with them and suggest some time to connect.
4. B2B email template to introduce yourself
Resource for [industry/strategy] questions
Hi [Prospect Name],
I'd like to introduce myself as your resource here at [Your Company Name]. I work with businesses in the [software, healthcare, nonprofit, education, etc.] industry, and noticed you visited our website in the past.
This inspired me to spend a few minutes on [Prospect's Company] website to learn more about how you're approaching [X strategy for customer service, sales, marketing, etc.]. I noticed some areas of opportunity and decided to reach out to you directly.
[Your Company] is working with similar companies in your industry, such as [X Company Name], to help them accomplish [Y goals], and giving them the [Z tools/solutions] to succeed.
Do you have 15 minutes to discuss [Prospect's Company] this week?
If so, you can book time directly onto my calendar here: [Meetings Link]
Looking forward to meeting,
Use this B2B email template to introduce yourself and your company to the prospect. Plus, it includes social proof with a customer example.
Crafting the perfect cold sales email can be tricky, but these tips and templates are a great place to start. Above all else, remember to keep it simple. Looking for more sales email templates? Check out these effective sales email templates next.