Cold Email · · 8 min read

How to Write a Sales Email That Converts

Learn how to write a sales email that excites, engages, and resonates with your readers. This guide will take you from conception to conversion.

how to write a sales email

Learning how to write a sales email should be mandatory for any client-facing representative. Sales emails are critical to the well-being of a business. You’re not just reaching out to prospects when you send an email. You’re forging connections and guiding them toward conversion.

The sales email is at a pivotal point standing between marketing communication and direct contact. They have the opportunity to resonate with a prospect thanks to engaging and relevant content. The main issue, however, is that inboxes are crammed full. Promotions, introductions, pitches, and fliers each appear in inboxes day after day after day. You need your email to stand out and cut through the noise.

In this article, we’ll share a guide that helps you craft the best possible sales email. You’ll learn the core elements of a winning sales email and how you can make them your own. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll feel ready to start a new sales email campaign that wins clients for your business.

  • Making the right first impression.
  • Crafting content that shares your message in a relevant way.
  • Encouraging the reader to take action.

Understanding Your Audience

Getting to know who you’re writing to is the first step in writing a great sales email. Knowing your audience is more than just demographics. It is helpful to have information such as their age, their location, and other simple demographics. That doesn’t give you the whole picture. It certainly doesn’t tell you about the person themselves. To understand that, you need to tap into their desires, needs, and challenges. 

target audience

Identify Your Target

Think about who your ideal customer is. That could involve you creating a buyer persona. You can complete this process by asking yourself questions and documenting the answers. Are you looking to work with millennial parents, business professionals, or outdoor enthusiasts? 

Once you’ve identified key characteristics, it becomes far easier to craft content that is tailored to them. You’re able to communicate directly with them about topics that are naturally interesting to them.

Research Pain Points

What is the problem that they’re facing? Once you understand the prospect’s pain points and challenges, you can begin to position your products or services as the solution. Finding out pain points is as simple as asking. You could do this through conversations, but a better method is to employ surveys, research online forums, or ask for customer feedback.

When you clearly understand pain points, it makes your emails a welcome solution. That’s better than another spam email clogging up their inbox.

Know Their Preferences and Behaviors

It’s definitely polite to understand your prospect's preferred communication methods. It also makes your sales emails far more effective. Some audiences prefer to read stories. Others like to understand the data. Look at your previous email campaigns and social media interactions. See what garnered the most engagement and use it as the basis of your campaign.

Emails that are relevant to current trends within your target audience’s space are going to be better received than dated ones. It’s an attitude that displays your desire to deliver value rather than just sell products and services.

Crafting a Compelling Subject Line

When you start writing your email, it starts with the subject line. Many people quickly gloss over the subject line, wrongly assuming that it just gets ignored. The subject line is your first impression. 

This is your first opportunity to stand out from the crowd. It’s also the signpost toward your main message. Write a bad one, and you’ll find your emails get ignored or deleted immediately. Good ones, however, can draw and entice recipients into your content.

Clarity and Relevance

The subject line you create needs to clearly and accurately share what the content of the email is about. At the same time, it has to be aligned with the recipient’s needs and interests. Simple, value-driven language is your best option.

Brief is Best

Always bear in mind the mobile user when writing subject lines. Smaller screens are far more likely to truncate longer subject lines. That will render all your hard work meaningless. Aim for no more than 50 characters. It’s a physical limitation that forces you to hone your language and focus your message.


Personalized subject lines tend to receive a better response than generic ones. If you can include personal details such as their name, then open rates will likely increase. People appreciate personalization. It feels like a familiar friend is contacting them rather than another corporate or salesperson.

Personalization at scale is a hefty task that few businesses are able to accomplish manually. Thankfully, there are tools that you can use to automate the personalization process. Using simply merge tags and a database of information reduces the task to seconds rather than hours.

Spark Curiosity

You want to nudge your recipient’s sense of curiosity. Sparking intrigue and making them want to find out more are surefire ways to increase open rates. You could ask questions, offer a surprising note, or tease about what the content of the email is. There’s definitely a balance here. Don’t go too far down this route, or you’ll be seen as clickbait and rightfully ignored.

Test and Optimize

It might feel like you’re taking a shot in the dark with your tactics here, but you don’t have to. Instead of relying on guesswork, it’s far better to rely on data. Spend time testing variables and running A/B tests to see which subject lines work better than others. 

The Opening Line

Your subject line has convinced the recipient to open your email, and now is the time to hook them with the opening line. This is where you should try to make an immediate connection and set the tone of the email.

email openers

Direct and Engaging

Always begin with a statement or question that resonates with the reader. It should be connected directly with either their challenges or their goals. You need to demonstrate that you clearly understand their situation.

Be Relevant

Refer back to your target audience and tailor the opening line to be relevant to them. You could address their commonalities, such as pain points, challenges, and goals. You could also mention recent, relevant events. Sometimes, a shared experience can open the door to a more connected relationship. You’re trying to write a conversation starter, not a pitch.

Build Credibility and Trust

If this is part of a cold outreach campaign, then this might be the first time the recipient is hearing from you. You need to establish trust as quickly as possible. This could be through sharing a mutual connection or that you’re following up after a previous interaction. Where possible, add a personal touch.

Bring Your Value Proposition Upfront

Communicating the value of the email within the first few lines is a winning strategy. You’re telling the recipient that if they keep reading, they’ll receive x, y, or z. That could be an exclusive offer, some valuable insight or information, or a solution to their problem. Whatever it might be, tell them straight away.

Sharing Your Message in the Body

This is the heart of your email. It’s where the bulk of your content sits and is your opportunity to share everything you need to. You can explain offers, share benefits, and begin to handle objections. There are many ways to fill out the body of your email, but there are best practices, too.

Structure for Clarity

Sometimes, you have so much to share it can come across as a rambling mess by the time you’re done. Aim for a clear, logical structure with your content. Start by using an introduction to your offer and then share further insight into it. Short paragraphs and structured formatting will dramatically improve the readability of your message.

Focus on Benefits, Not Features

Your product or service might have hundreds of features, but a long list of these isn’t engaging. Instead, think about how those features might benefit the recipient. Share those instead. Real-world benefits resonate far better as people can relate them to their situations.

Address Objections

With a good understanding of your audience, you should be able to predict and address objections before the recipient has a chance to voice them. Taking a position of empathy shows that you’ve taken the time to consider their concerns. You’re able to both build trust and remove any barriers to action at the same time.

Personalize Where Possible

The body of the email is the place where you can maximize your personalization opportunities. Here, you can discuss personal points about the individual recipients and weave them into their challenges and goals. This type of content is far more effective than generic catch-all wording.

Be Focused

It’s tempting to try and cram as much information as possible into the body of the email. Try to avoid this. You don’t want to overwhelm the reader and risk them stopping reading part way through. Pick certain key points and focus on those rather than attempting to cover everything in one email.

Telling the Recipient What to Do With CTAs

Your call-to-action or CTA is a crucial part of your sales email. This is where you ask the reader to complete another action. These are usually placed after the body of the email in the final few lines. If a reader has read this far through your email, chances are they’re engaged enough to follow a CTA. The CTA is your route to conversions.

cta email

Keep It Simple

Don’t overcomplicate your CTAs. Use simple, action-oriented language that makes the request clear. “Book a demo,” “Arrange a meeting,” “Read this article.” Each of these clearly demonstrates what you’d like them to do directly.

Build Urgency

If people can leave a task until later, many of them will. Many businesses find success by creating a sense of urgency. Place time limits on offers or suggest that there are limited opportunities. This tactic often boosts conversions but should be used tactfully.

Make It Stand Out

Your CTA shouldn’t appear the same as the rest of your email. It might get lost in the larger sections of text. Instead, consider using formatting such as bolding or a different color. The most effective will be designed to look like buttons that people naturally want to click on.

Make One Request

Using multiple CTAs in an attempt to capture more recipients is a counterproductive move. It can actually dilute your requests and reduce conversion rates. Make one clear request of the readers and leave it at that for maximum chance at success.

Closing and Signature

There are two parts to the end of your email. Some of the best email sign-offs continue to convert readers after the main body is over. It’s more than just a formality. The close is then finished with a professional email signature.

Closing The Email

Close your email as you opened it. You should convey value and leave a lasting impression. Where possible, try to encourage a response as a way of prompting engagement. A polite and positive close can help recipients to remember you fondly.

Your Signature

The signature at the end of your email is a great opportunity to share personal information about you, the sender. Share standard details such as your name, company name, and contact details. Also, consider including social links and your website. Professionally crafted signatures increase credibility and open avenues of communication.

Key Takeaways

There’s a checklist when you’re learning how to write a sales email that converts. First, you need to understand your audience. Then, you have to craft content that compels. Finally, you ask the reader to take action. Every part of the email has its own part to play. Success is in finding the sum of those parts.

  • First impressions matter. Your subject line and opening are where you grab and hold their attention.
  • Always try to deliver value. Often, this means focusing on the benefits rather than the features.
  • Finish by asking the reader to complete an action. This is the next step toward conversion.

Managing your entire sales email campaign can be a laborious task. Instantly helps you manage content and assists with sending campaigns. Why not give it a try and get started for free today?

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