Sending email represents one of the most successful methods of communication for sales and marketing teams alike. That fact became even more true after the coronavirus pandemic resulted in most people having to do business via digital means rather than face to face.
Email is 40 times more effective for getting a hold of prospects than social media. And whereas some people don’t log into LinkedIn or other social media platforms every day, the average professional checks their work email 15 times a day. Every 37 minutes.
Plus, people prefer email to other forms of communication. Eight out of ten prospects want to be contacted by salespeople via email rather than phone, social media, or any other channel.
So with the stakes that high, it’s essential to be strategic about your email outreach.
Unfortunately, for most salespeople, sending an email requires no more thought than writing a few lines and hitting the send button. And few companies provide training or guidance about how to be more successful in this area.
Spending a little extra time learning about effective best practices for email could tremendously improve your sales email success rate.
This list presents a number of tips that can immediately help you see better results from your sales messages.
1. If it looks like a duck...
Email service providers (ESPs), like Gmail, value their customer experience. Complaints about spam messages flooding inboxes increased in recent years, which has led to tighter restrictions.
Spam filters have been set up to scan email messages and determine the likelihood that they’re invaluable or malicious in intent.
So if your sales message looks and sounds like what’s commonly identified by users as spam, the chances go up that it’ll be blocked from the recipient’s inbox.
So, what missteps get you flagged as spam?
Here’s a quick list of some things you want to avoid in a sales email:
- Too many images, or images with large file sizes
- Overuse of exclamation marks
- File attachments of any kind
- Too many hyperlinks (including links in your email signature)
- Misspelled words
- Words in all caps letters
- Commonly used spam words, like “free” or “guarantee”
Overall, you’re better off just sticking to plain text for your sales email in many cases. The simpler the format, the better the performance likely will be.
2. Reputation matters.
The more often people mark your messages as spam, the worse your reputation as an email sender becomes. Email clients track and measure the number of times certain email addresses are flagged. They then use that information to try to prevent those red-flag senders from bothering others.
For salespeople, that means you’ll have a much harder time getting your email read at all.
Unfortunately, your individual actions aren’t the only ones impacting your email reputation.
The reputation of all emails across the same domain (@google.com, @revgenius.com, etc.) impacts the whole organization’s ability to send emails. In fact, the domain reputation carries more weight than your individual email sender reputation.
So, if your colleague or your marketing team gets tagged right and left as spam message senders, everyone’s messages will have a harder time getting past spam filters and into inboxes.
Just another reason communication across entire sales orgs, and between sales and marketing teams, plays a significant role in the success of all.
Several free tools exist that will tell you what your email sender reputation currently looks like and if you already have an issue. You can also work with your company’s IT department to make sure you’re on the right track and figure out how you can make improvements.
3. Good sales emails start with good sales data.
Reviewing your CRM data offers an opportunity to improve your sales message success rate.
Sending emails to incorrect addresses or inactive accounts brings down your email reputation. The same can be said about continuously messaging people who never open or respond to your emails.
And then there’s the issue of paid or purchased contacts.
These offer a great deal of convenience, especially when you’re first building out an email list. But they also pose a threat to your email outreach efforts.
Purchased contacts often are more likely to be unresponsive, invalid, or mark you as spam since you’re sending them an unsolicited communication with no existing relationship.
4. Learn general best practices to help improve your success rate.
The foundation of your sales email strategy should rest on the basics. Strong copywriting skills can help you better connect with and engage prospects once they do open an email.
And general best practices for emails serve as the basis behind any success.
- Personalizing emails to include the recipient’s name or other relevant information.
- Making the sales offer and messaging hyper-relevant to your target audience.
- Closing the email with a compelling call-to-action.
- Finding the right time to send emails to get the best possible open rate.
- Using your name and possibly also your company name in the “From:” tag (example: Chantelle at RevGenius).
- Testing emails before you distribute by sending a copy to yourself first to see how it looks on the other end.
You can also run your email through a spam tester to see if it’s likely to get flagged before it reaches anyone’s inbox. Free tools like Mail-Tester.com and the Cold Email Grader by Sales Hacker analyze your email and point out potential areas for improvement.
The number of emails sent and received in 2020 topped 306 billion, and that number is only rising.
If you want to reap the benefits of email as a salesperson, you’re going to need to make sure you’re educated on the best approach to take. Start with the tips above, and you’ll be well on your way.