How to Write a Sales Email That Works

Writing a sales emailChances are, you receive dozens of “sales emails” in your inbox each day. You ignore most of them for a myriad of reasons: too long, too spammy, I-don’t-know-this-guy, boring, not relevant to me, hyped-up drivel, and so forth.

That should give you an idea of what you’re up against when you need to craft a email to a prospect, client or customer.

So how do you write one that works? (Gets opened, gets read, gets acted upon.)

As someone who does this for a living, I wish the process were mysterious and complex — like brain surgery. The truth is, writing a persuasive email that gets the job done is remarkably simple.

It’s all in the prep.

Simply start by asking yourself these three “prep questions”:

  1. What do I want to say?
  2. Why is this important to the prospect?
  3. What “next step” do I want the prospect to take?

Say, for example, your company offers a bookkeeping service for veterinary clinics. You’ve got some hot leads you want to follow-up on. So you decide to send each an email to, hopefully, get them to set up an initial phone meeting with you.

Here’s how you would use the prep questions above to write that email…

What do you want to say? Your answer might be: 1) Thank you for downloading the report. 2) Our bookkeeping service is exclusively for veterinarian clinics. 3) The number one benefit of our service is faster cash flow due to better insurance billing bookkeeping and management.

So now that you’ve figured out what to say, can’t you just say it and be done with it? Many sales emails do, and that’s why they fail. Merely stating your message isn’t enough to gain the attention and interest of the prospect. That’s why the second prep question is so crucial…

Why is this important to the prospect? Your answer might be: 1) According to Vet Practice Journal, poor insurance billing bookkeeping is one of the top five reasons clinics struggle with cash flow. 2) Our service solves that problem.

That second question is harder to answer because it often takes some thinking and strategizing on your part. You have to put yourself in the prospect’s shoes.

The final prep question is, “What next step do you want the prospect to take?” Your answer might be: 1) A quick 15-minute discovery phone call to learn about our bookkeeping service. 2) Which of the following dates and times work for you?

Once you have those three prep questions answered, congratulations. You now know what to say, why it matters to the prospect, and what you want your prospect to do. Those are the key ingredients of a winning sales email.

Of course, now you need to actually write the thing. But because you’ve answered the prep questions, the email practically writes itself. (Well, almost!)

7 Comments

  1. Great guidance for a novice like me!!

    Reply
    • Thanks Roger! I’m glad you found the article helpful.

      Reply
  2. Thank you Steve, for your usual high quality but easily understandable insights and comments. I will definitely use your comments when writing my emails.

    Reply
    • Thanks Connie! Let me know of the technique works for you.

      Reply
  3. Great 3 questions to use as a guide.

    Reply
  4. Steve, you’re good at getting down to basics, and that’s just what most of us need when we overwhelm ourselves by convoluted over-thinking of a task! Extra thanks for this post, it inspired me to craft a reaction on my own blog — namely, that I might swap the first two steps.

    Reply

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