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email marketing | Jul 7
Masooma Memon on August 11, 2021 (last modified on August 9, 2021) • 19 minute read
Looking at sales outreach email copy that works can inspire ideas.
You might even steal some example templates and tweak them to suit your business and audience.
So if you’re struggling to come up with your own sales prospecting email, and are in need of some ideas and specific examples, you have come to the right place. And the best of all is that we won’t only share sales outreach email examples that worked for our community of experts, but we’ll also dive into the specific tips that could help you get more responses to your sales prospecting emails.
Overall, here’s what you’ll learn today:
Let’s get started.
Email prospecting is the process of researching and reaching out to prospects that are an ideal fit for your product/service.
Doing so benefits you in two ways:
If you break email prospecting down, you’ll see why it’s so popular.
First, let’s look at email. It’s an effective channel for getting new customers. Here’s proof:
Second, let’s dive into the significance of prospecting to understand its popularity.
Essentially, all the research work done before outreach involved in email prospecting is critical. Not only does it help you send your message to the right people, but helps personalize the email for better response rates.
Think of it like this: when you go out to a restaurant or, really just shop for anything online, you always start with researching the new restaurant/store. You’ll read reviews, ask friends if they’ve ever eaten or shopped from the place. All this so that you can have a good experience and don’t waste your time (and money).
Sales email prospecting works the same way.
You research prospects so that your odds of doing business with the right people are high. You also save yourself from wasting your time (and the prospect’s time) by not sending generic emails that don’t get a response – although lots of people still do that.
Researching prospects also means you’re shaping their experience with you from the first impression by sending a personalized email.
In a nutshell, sales email prospecting is so popular because it works in getting new customers, period.
Now, for the sales prospecting email examples to give you an idea of what works:
Outfunnel’s Katheriin Liibert shares the following sales prospecting email example that has worked very well for them:
“’Hi [person first name],
As a HubSpot [organization. agency tier] you may find Outfunnel interesting. We’ve built a marketing automation tool that integrates with HubSpot ridiculously deeply, and it’s available in the HubSpot Marketplace.
Why a marketing tool that integrates with HubSpot? Free CRM from HubSpot + affordable email automation from Outfunnel = fantastic value.
We’ve heard great things from companies who can’t afford a Professional plan right away.
Please note that we’ve been building deep integrations with CRMs for a while already. Our Pipedrive and Copper CRM integrations are very popular and HubSpot was the logical next step.
Just hit reply if you’d like me to send more info about our product and partner program, or if you’d like a 15-minute demo. Would love to work with [organization. name].
Co-founder and CEO, Outfunnel”
Why does it work so well: Liibert attributes two reasons for the high performance of this email:
There’s also the fact that the email shares proof to earn their recipients’ trust by telling them that they have already built popular CRM integrations before. This tells their prospects they’re talking to experts who know their subject well.
According to Eden Cheng from PeopleFinderFree, an email that references an organization announcement gets them lots of positive responses.
Here’s what the copy reads:
“‘Because I work diligently with [the industry], I have observed that [organization] currently [action].
Congratulations! [Business worth] becomes a priority when such things happen.
I wished you might be inclined to discover how we helped [same organization] heading towards their new direction without any errors.
Call us right now, if you want to learn more!’”
Why does it work so well: “According to the research data, only 24% of prospects open sales emails due to the salesperson’s mistake of writing self-centered and longer emails,” observes Cheng. “So, this announcement template example will add premium business value.”
To top that, Cheng thinks that the “provocative CTA” and a strong reason to email contribute to the success of this email.
CocoSign’s Caroline Lee shares the following sales prospecting email that has worked for them:
From your LinkedIn profile, I noticed that you are a [designation- executives and business owners] at [company name]. I am reaching out to you because with the recent shift to remote working, a digital signature software solution has become a priority for your peers across industries.
An easy-to-use, legally binding e-signature software streamlines your workflow and makes paperwork more efficient. We recently shared our product with (competitors name) on the same grounds.
Is streamlining the tasks a priority for your right now? If yes, what’s the best way to get 10 minutes of your time?
Why does it work so well: “This worked for us because we targeted customers not just with the benefits but added a psychological element that they are missing out on something big,” Lee notes.
Put another way, their team uses the fear of missing out (FOMO) element subtly in their email to push readers to connect with them.
“Also, the last sentence gave them an authoritative position, again a psychological element that worked in our favor,” adds Lee.
Jake Peterson from Atiba Software, LLC. shares how an email with a video of their CEO helped them get a higher CTR (around 10%) than their average even though the email open rate was lower than their usual.
Sharing the context of this email, Peterson writes, “In February, we had our annual ‘big snowstorm where Nashville shuts down.’ Because of the storm, many businesses lost power or IT capabilities.
We were able to send out an email blast offering assistance during this time with a video of our CEO sledding with his kids.”
Why does it work so well: Two reasons helped this email do well. One, it has a video, which isn’t very common in other sales prospecting email examples. Not to forget, videos have a high watch rate with 78% watching them every week.
Two, it works because the email shared isn’t a generic one. Instead, it shares a personalized video featuring a human – the company’s very own CEO.
As Peterson comments, “not only did we get positive responses about seeing our CEO and his excellent sledding skills, but we were also able to generate a few leads for emergency IT services.”
At Explainerd, the team leverages case studies to tell their email recipients what’s working for others to engage them. Natasha Rei shares the email template that’s been working for them:
“Hey [first name],
Did you know that social media posts can be a good mining source for acquiring customers?
Engaging content can help you achieve [business value] for your company.
How, if at all, would you like to improve your strategy? I’ve found that [solution] has been successful for others. Here are a few examples of what other companies I’ve worked within the past have done that might be helpful to you:
Have you tried any of these strategies in the past? I have some more ideas for how we can help.
Why does it work so well: “This email works well because we begin with an intriguing question that nudges the recipient’s curiosity,” explains Rei.
“The statement, however, is already popular. But, not everyone can live up to the ‘social media strategy’ that actually help them improve their business. Since we provide a service to support companies achieve ROI through compelling content, we always try to put a strategy statement alongside some successful examples to present to the client.”
Here’s another email example. Emily Perez of Kitchen Infinity shares it:
Since we work so closely in the restaurant industry, we noticed that your company recently set up a few branches across New York City. Congrats!
Usually, when that happens, Kitchen design becomes a priority. That’s why I thought you might be interested in finding out how we helped [similar company] get going quickly in the operations of their restaurant – without running into any issues.
If you’d like to know more about what we offer, let’s set up a quick meeting which could be in person, call, or chat. How does the 17th of July look on your calendar?
Why does it work so well: Perez discusses a handful of reasons why this email template works for them:
“Number one it was a unique mail, particularly made for them. Prospects tend to completely disregard generic messages.
Secondly, we went straight to the point. Instead of yapping on and on about our capabilities, we simply proposed to help them solve a problem.
Furthermore, we removed the need to try and prove ourselves, and also got the client’s attention by pointing out that we were good enough to be trusted by their competitors.
Lastly, we concluded with a call to action, encouraging the client to make a move.”
Addys Guerra from Alliance Technology Group Solar shares a sales prospecting email that ‘shows’ readers rather than just ‘talks’ to them. It says:
“Good afternoon [First Name],
My name is Ricardo and I’m your solar energy expert. Following up on your interest in solar energy, I wanted to explain a bit about the benefits you’ll get once you qualify.
Solar offers you the opportunity to rent solar power and stop paying your electric bill, we only need your energy bill to be able to carry out a study and thus make an appointment for you to start saving.
I attached several examples of bills according to the energy provider you have so that you can send them our way. Once this is sent, we can provide you with the exact savings we can make happen thanks to our solar program.
Why does it work so well: “This email worked very well because we receive on average about a 40% response rate where the client sends us their energy bill attached,” Guerra comments.
“We need this bill in order to begin the process of qualifying them for solar energy and verifying how much they can save every month by switching to solar.”
Note that asking readers to share their energy bill is asking them to take a small step – nothing big. And, by sharing how much they can save with solar energy, the team is ‘showing’ what they can do for them, not just talking about it.
“As an online proofing company that targets marketers, designers, creative agencies, and consumer brands, we are always looking for ways to stand out and make our prospecting emails more creative,” elaborates Ziflow’s Katherine Oberthaler.
So what’s worked for them? “We’ve had success personalizing our cold emails to each company,” Oberthaler highlights.
Such an email worked well for the company, giving them a 22% open rate and a 50% click-through rate, which Oberthaler says is well above their average email engagement for prospecting emails.
“Here is an example of the email text:
I’ve been reaching out the last couple of weeks to see if an online proofing solution might help your company deliver more creative content, in less time.
At this point, I thought I’d cut to the chase and let you try it in Ziflow.
I created a proof of some of your company creative in Ziflow – you can access it here:
Using Ziflow is as easy as using Keynote, Powerpoint or Google Docs. I’d love to give you a quick 10-minute crash course if you’re interested. I already got us started with the first comment.
I’ve shared this proof with a few of your colleagues as well, you can all use Ziflow in real-time to markup and comment on the design to facilitate better feedback.
If you think a larger call is appropriate, let me know, I’d be happy to walk everyone through Ziflow.
Let me know if you’d like to connect!
Customer Success Manager
Why does it work so well: In this email, the team sent a “custom example of what a piece of creative from their own brand (in this case, a web page) would look like a proof in our software – they can interact with the proof and see how they could mark up their own marketing asset in our software.”
Put another way, they offered solid proof of what their company could do for them. Again, this is a case of showing, not telling, to earn your recipient’s trust.
So now that you’ve read through sales prospecting email examples, let’s jump to some tactics that can help you create winning sales emails:
First things first, make sure you’re targeting the right person.
Steve Pritchard from Anglo Liners outlines you’ll get nothing by targeting the wrong people. It’s why mass emails often find little success.
“If your services solve a particular problem or issue, you should look for people who are encountering the same issue, and target them with your email campaigns,” Pritchard advises. “This is more likely to be successful than just targeting a specified demographic.”
Personalized sales prospecting emails helps you write emails that are unique to the recipient. This tells them your email isn’t just another templated email blasted to several hundreds of people at a time.
Despite the effectiveness of personalized emails, demandDrive’s AJ Alonzo says people hesitate because: “it’s time-consuming, and sales is a numbers game. The more personal you get the longer it takes, and that means fewer accounts touched.”
It’s why savvy salespeople know that sending fewer but more personalized emails works better than mass emailing a generic message. In fact, we asked our respondents about it and learned that only 17.9% send more than 16 bulk emails per month.
The majority, 32.1% send 4-8 emails with 28.6% sending less than 4 emails per month. The remaining 21.4% send between 9-16 bulk emails per month.
Put simply, investing a little time can be a game-changer since you can always show prospects you’ve done your homework.
“It’s all well and good if you know someone loves Great Dane Puppies (and you absolutely include it in the email), but knowing whether your solution aligns with a current priority is much more impactful,” Alonzo adds.
“Open up with something personal to keep them engaged, and then hit them with a really strong and tailored value proposition.”
Some ways to get the personal info: look at your prospect’s LinkedIn or Twitter profile to understand what they’re passionate about – it could be something as simple as pineapple pizza.
Another idea is to look up their company bio. This will help you learn not just personal details about them, but also give you an understanding of the priorities of the company.
It’s crucial you don’t forget about the role that subject lines play in improving not just open rates but also response rates.
But what makes an intriguing subject line that gets a response? Jackie Tihanyi from Fisher Unitech recommends a single strategy: asking questions.
“The most effective strategy we’ve used is to ask a question within the subject line. We ask questions that are straightforward and easy to reply to. The goal is to make the prospect see the benefit in responding.”
Editor’s note: Keep track of your entire email prospecting campaign with this HubSpot Email Campaign Dashboard Template. It shows you all essential metrics on one screen including the number of emails sent, emails opened, emails clicked, and much more.
Long emails are only ever good if they’re newsletters that people have opted in for.
Sales prospecting emails that are long are more like a match made in hell. The reason? Email recipients don’t know you and a long email only takes up their time.
Want proof? James Pollard of The Advisor Coach has consistently tested long and short emails. And, he’s repeatedly learned that short sales emails are way more effective than long ones.
“When people get an email from someone they don’t know, they aren’t going to invest much time in it,” observes Pollard. “They’re going to scan it.” Or, if they’re pressed for time and nothing about the subject line and opening lines interests them, they’re likely going to ignore your email.
This is why Pollard suggests keeping your sales prospecting emails to five sentences or less.
The Blogsmith’s Maddy Osman is of the same view. “The best way to be effective with email marketing is to get to the point as soon as possible. Spend a little time telling the customer about you and your company but don’t waste time making it clear why you’re emailing them and why your solution is relevant to them.”
The take-home message? Keep it short and direct. Get straight to the point so the recipient knows your objective at the very start of your email.
“Leverage social media to build a relationship with your prospect first,” advises Tamara Wilson from Mappleseed.
This can be incredibly effective. Why? Because recipients will already be familiar with your name.
In fact, drive more positive results by interacting with prospects on social for some time before emailing them. This helps you build your trust with them, which increases the likelihood of getting a response.
In short, “you’re more likely to get a welcoming reply if you’re connected and engaging (when relevant) with their posts on social media,” in Wilson’s words.
Including a sense of urgency in your emails is essential for encouraging folks to respond. In several instances, people think of getting back to you later, but they often forget. Instilling a sense of urgency, however, prevents that from happening.
At 9Sail, Bryan Pattman shares, “the most effective tip that we have been deploying is creating a sense of urgency to fix a problem that the prospective client has in the first sentence of the email.”
Pattman also shares that another good way that they have increased their response rates is to offer two different solutions for the problem.
One of these could be an expensive and affordable solution and another one could be a simple and comprehensive option. “We have seen an increase in responses by using this tactic and it leads to more follow-up emails and face-to-face meetings,” Pattman adds.
Odds are the recipient forgot to reply to your email, as I shared above, or they didn’t see your email. This calls for follow-up emails.
However, keep in mind: leave time between your follow-ups – you don’t want to annoy prospects simply by emailing them every other day.
Shannon Howard from Overit shares their experience with sending follow-up emails: “In my experience, it’s best to send the first email on a day they’re probably going to see it (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) and follow up on Monday at noon. Not sure what’s so magical about Mondays, honestly, but works like a charm!”
Editor’s note: Use this free email audience fatigue dashboard template to visualize your entire audience’s fatigue to marketing emails. It works with HubSpot Smart Lists that are built with Seventh Sense’s fatigue engine workflow to provide a comprehensive overview.
It’s also essential you pay attention to the call to action you leave your recipient with. Growth Hackers’ Jonathan Aufray recommends closing your email “with a question the recipient will strongly want to answer” if you want a reply to your prospecting emails.
But Aufray thinks the following sales prospecting emails CTA questions are meh when it comes to encouraging responses:
Instead, Aufray recommends including one of the benefits of your product or service in the question.
For example, if your product helps employees be more productive, Aufray recommends you try a question like “Do you want your team to be more productive?” or “Making your employees be more productive sounds interesting, right?”
With these sales prospecting email examples and tactics, we’re sure you can increase your sales email open and response rates easily. Not only that, we’re sure you can get more people to work with you.
Simply keep in mind: taking the time to research prospects upfront can go a long way in doing email prospecting right.
So what are you waiting for? Research, personalize, and optimize your emails – from subject lines to CTAs – to win more customers.
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