Email is an incredible channel for starting conversations with cold prospects.

In this guide, we’ll explain what sales emails are, the reasons to send them for your business, and a step-by-step process for writing sales emails that convert.

  1. What is a Sales Email?

  2. 3 Powerful Benefits of Sending Sales Emails

  3. 5 Steps to Writing Sales Emails That Get Replies

  4. Sending Personalized Sales Emails in QuickMail

Let’s jump in.

What is a Sales Email?

A sales email is an email you send to a cold prospect with the intent of starting a conversation around your product or service.

Email is a powerful channel for sales because it’s personalized, affordable, and a medium that every business uses on a daily basis.

Let’s take a look at why you need to 

3 Powerful Benefits of Sending Sales Emails

1. Get a 20% Reply Rate from Cold Prospects

Generating engagement with a cold audience is difficult across any marketing or sales channel.

With cold sales emails, you can consistently see over 20% reply rate if you follow best practices. 

Yes – that's a 20%+ reply rate from a cold list of prospects. You won’t need to spend weeks running targeted ads, using smart retargeting and lead magnets, or hoping that a decision-maker lands on one of your LinkedIn posts.

It’s why performance-driven lead generation agencies like Avadel rely on sales emails for their client campaigns. David Valentine, Avadel’s CEO told us this about the effectiveness of emails:

Email is still the MOST effective way to generate leads in 2023. Our 81 clients book 88% of all of their meetings through cold email.

David Valentine

If you want to book meetings with decision-makers, there’s no other channel that can compare to email for sales.

2. No Gatekeepers Between You and Your Prospect

Another incredible benefit to sending emails for sales over other channels is that you get direct access to a decision-maker’s inbox.

There are no gatekeepers between you and their attention.

If you compare this to a channel like cold calling where you usually end up at their executive assistant or paid ads where you’re unlikely to catch that specific person’s attention, it’s hard to compete.

This means you can control your messaging and positioning from the start, rather than hoping another employee at the company you’re targeting will relay your message to the key decision-maker in the best way.

3. Low Cost and High ROI

Another good reason to test sales email as an acquisition channel in your business is that it requires a very low investment to get started.

All you need is:

Compared to other sales channels, it’s extremely low cost.

Rachel Heley, current COO at QuickMail and former CPO at Avadel concurs: "We all know that content marketing is pay-to-play - the higher your ad spend, the better your returns. With cold email, you can get killer results on a shoestring budget. If you’re looking for low-risk and big wins - cold email should be central in your B2B strategy."

Even if your sales emails don’t generate the results you expected, you won’t have burned tens of thousands of dollars in the process of finding out.

If your emails get replies, you’ve found a high ROI channel that you can use to acquire new clients for your business and scale up as needed.

5 Steps to Writing Sales Emails That Get Replies

1. Building a List of Perfect Sales Prospects

The first step in any successful sales email campaign is building a highly targeted prospect list.

The more relevant your prospects are to your product/service, the higher the chances of them responding.

To find relevant prospects quickly, use B2B data providers like ZoomInfo, UpLead, or BuiltWith. These allow you to search through databases containing millions of B2B contacts and choose your filtering criteria based on demographic, firmographic, or technographic factors.

Source: BuiltWith

Within minutes, you’ll have a list of relevant contacts to target with your sales emails to.

2. Writing a Custom Opening Line for Every Recipient

You’ll get more replies if your email is personalized and the best way to help your sales email stand out in a decision-maker’s busy inbox is by using a custom opening line for every recipient.

This will take 1-3 minutes per prospect, but is worth it.

Your opening line will be something completely unique to the recipient, such as:

  • Mentioning a highlight from a podcast they appeared on

  • Highlighting recent company news they announced

  • Sharing that you have a common interest or know a mutual friend

You’ll add your opening line sentence to a column in your prospect list, like in the image below:

When you send your sales emails using QuickMail, you can add your opening lines to every template with a custom attribute.

From the moment a prospect opens your emails, they’ll know you’ve done your research into them.

3. Integrating Social Proof to Build Trust

It’s vital that you leverage social proof in your sales emails. It’ll help you build trust with prospects from the first email, before you’ve had a chance to get to know them on a call.

The best social proof tends to be simple, results-driven, and relevant to your overall value proposition.

Take this sales email from RepurposeHouse:

By mentioning several client names, it instantly builds credibility.

You can test different variations of those. For example, if you’re sending sales emails to pitch your CRM, your social proof could be a sentence like:

  • “We recently helped [client name] close 45% more warm leads by being more organized.”

  • “Our CRM helped [client name] boost sales productivity by 154% through improved organization and native integrations with other key sales tools.”

  • “Our product is used by sales teams at [client name #1], [client name #2], and [client name #3].”

It doesn’t have to be complicated. The key is that you’re showing your potential client that you’re a real business with real clients and results.

4. Creating a Results-Driven Value Proposition

Your prospects don’t want to hear about your product/service features. They want to hear about how it can directly benefit their business.

When crafting a value proposition, always make it results-driven. This is the best way to catch your recipient’s attention in a short space of time.

Here’s a sales email from AppSumo that does this well:

Rather than explaining all of the features of AppSumo’s platform, their value proposition is simply to get showcased to “850,000+ potential new customers”.

If the recipient is interested and replies saying they’d like to learn more, the sales rep can share more detailed information then.

This strategy works well as it’s focused on generating responses, rather than sharing all the information about your company at once.

5. Use a Call-to-Action to Generate Replies

Finally, you need to encourage your prospect to take action.

To do this, use an open-ended question that gives your recipient flexibility in how they respond.

It’s also a best practice to use a relatively low-commitment call-to-action (CTA) at first, because when someone doesn’t know you, they’ll be hesitant to jump straight on a 30-minute demo call or similar.

Examples of CTAs you can use include:

  • “Does this sound interesting?”

  • “Is solving [pain point] on your radar for this quarter?”

  • “Are you the best person to discuss this with at {{}}?”

The easier it is to respond, the higher your reply rate will be.

You can experiment with different CTAs at different stages of your email campaign. For example, your first email CTA will be different from your third follow-up email.

The key is to continually test different options to find out what type of CTA resonates most with your prospect and makes it easy for them to respond.

Sending Personalized Sales Emails in QuickMail

To send sales emails at scale, you’ll need a sales email platform like QuickMail.

Once you import your sales prospects, you can build out personalized sales email campaigns with automated follow-up emails for when someone doesn’t reply.

On top of that, you’ll get access to powerful email deliverability tools to keep your emails landing in the primary inbox, as well as collaboration tools like a shared team inbox to stay on top of your campaign responses.

You can use QuickMail to send 3,000 emails to 1,000 prospects per month for free. If you need more volume, you can upgrade to unlock extra automation tools, higher sending and storage limits, as well as extra custom integrations to accelerate your sales workflow.

When you’re ready to send your first sales email campaign, try QuickMail for free.