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The Do’s and Don’ts to Writing Sales Emails that are Read


Sales and Marketing
You have one second to hook me. What do you say? Luckily for you, you have more than one second to prepare a hook for your email. Emails are now the dominant force in business communication with Radicati Group, Inc’s Email Statistics Report stating that there are over 4.9 billion email accounts worldwide and over 100 billion emails sent and received per day. So the question is, how do you get yours read? And the answer is this. There are many rights and wrongs when it comes to sending a business email whether it be a marketing email or a sales pitch so we’ve condensed it down to the most vital rules to stick to when trying to engage your recipient.

Writing Sales Emails Subject Lines

The subject line can make or break an email because it’s inevitably the first thing the recipient will see. To break down the best ways to write an effective subject line, we’ve put together this table of do’s and don’ts to look over when writing sales emails:



Address them by name Call them by the wrong name or misspell their name
Create excitement through urgency – think ‘Now!’ or ‘Must See!’ Say the catch of your whole email in the subject line – ‘We are giving you a free trial of our Email Intelligence product so you have 100% accurate data and email communication in your Salesforce’
Get creative with it and be imaginative Be bland
Understand your target audience and what they are likely to click on – e.g ‘We have the secret to impressing your CMO…’ for a Marketer or ‘How to Stop Wasting Time!’ for Sales Reps Use words that no one will understand – it’s immediately off-putting
Keep them short Write a lengthy subject line – aim for less than 10 words
Show off your personality – add humour/storytelling/colloquialisms Use more than one punctuation mark. For example – none of this ‘!!!’ or ‘???’
Generate mystery or interest such as ‘Quick favour to ask…’ or ‘Put your feet up, I’ve found you the answer!’ Be too pushy


So you’ve got past the first challenge of getting the recipient to open your email. Now you need to engage them with your opening. This is where you can be really smart. If you’re using a CRM database, go onto the recipient’s details and see specific information about them that you can use to your advantage. Take location. For example, lets say Sarah is a Salesforce user from London. You could start your email with this:   Sarah, I know that the weather has been awful in London and it’s been no fun travelling to work so I wanted to cheer you up with…   It’s addressed Sarah with her name, added personality and shown that you’ve done your research. If you want a more formal approach, opt for something more like this:   Good Morning Sarah, Because you’re one of our most valued customers, I wanted to share some of the San Diego sunshine with you. Here is an offer for X   Again, it’s addressed Sarah with her name, assured her that she’s valued and hooked her with an offer. Test out some of your opening lines and see which ones get the highest engagement levels. Alternatively, if you’d like to practise beforehand, you can always try them out on your colleagues and see what reaction you get!

Email Length

The length of your email is just as important as the length of your subject line – both can be extremely off-putting for the busy recipient. So let’s take a look at an example of an email that will disengage your recipient:

  issue-Email-lenght There are 3 key issues with this email:
  1. The subject line doesn’t entice the recipient; it’s immediately exposed the ‘big secret’ and repeats itself on the opening line.
  2. There’s too much information all in one place and most of it is irrelevant. Don’t try to say everything – find a focus.
  3. It will take the recipient far too long to work out what the email is actually trying to achieve. Is the purpose of the email to tell them about the new product launch or the free trials/demo? Whichever it is, it doesn’t include a link to the appropriate page which means the majority of recipients would just breeze past it.
Taking all of those pointers into consideration, it should look a little more like this:   email-length There are 3 key things that work about this email:
  • There’s lots of white space meaning the recipient will think it will take less time to digest the information
  • The recipient can identify what the purpose of the email is i.e. the product launch
  • There’s a clear call to action (sign up to a Dreamforce meeting) and a link that takes the recipient directly to the sign up page so you’re far more likely to get people going to that page and converting them.

Email Content

When writing sales emails, it’s important to note that whilst it’s effective to be creative with the wording, be careful not to verge on being ‘spammy’. We all know what a typical ‘spam’ email looks like when it pops up in our mailbox and makes us rush to the ‘trash’ button. These are some key things to avoid doing:
  • Alternating between lower case and UPPER CASE letters AS though IT’S going TO achieve some sort of EXCITEMENT. It doesn’t do this and comes across as that ham-like substance from a tin.
  • Just like in a subject line, too many punctuation marks cause distraction and deter your recipient, the same goes for your email content. There’s never a need for multiple questions marks; one will suffice.
  • Changing your font size or font colour throughout your email to draw attention to the main hook may be tempting but 9 times out of 10 it can look like a robot has sent it. Stick to one consistent font colour and size throughout and use bold or italics to emphasis a particular point of interest.
If you need to send a sales break up email, the rules remain the same but be careful not to add too much excitement.

Email Tracking

One of the most important things to know before sending an email is when the recipient is most likely to open it. There’s no point sending an email at 9am GMT time when your recipient is in San Diego. However, there’s far more knowledge to be had than location. If you’re using Salesforce, utilise email tracking features in Salesforce integrations like Ebsta that can alert you to when a recipient has opened your email. How is this helpful? You’ll know when the best time is to send the next email and the one after that and so on. Over a period of time, you will be able to determine if a recipient regularly opens emails in the morning between the times of 10-11am or mid-afternoon etc. If you’ve gone to all the effort of writing a great email, you should identify the key time to catch your recipient in their mailbox.

Mass Emails

As we all know, a lot of emails are sent on mass meaning it’s hard to personalise each and everyone of them. However, as a recipient of many emails ourselves, we know how nice it is to receive an email that we know has been one of thousands but still manages to address us by name. How do you go about doing this? Writing sales emails doesn’t have to be a chore. Use Pardot to send automated emails that use the recipient’s name. You can build an effective template and set up automation rules to ensure you get to see who has responded to your emails. It may be a small touch but it’s appreciated. Plus, it’s far more likely that a recipient will continue reading if they’re addressed by first name. mass-emails-tips All the other do’s and don’ts still apply such as engaging email content – just ensure the content is appropriate for the wider target audience as opposed to an individual.

Sending Your Email

Whichever department you’re in, writing sales emails that entice people to read them is tough. Recipients are busy, their inboxes fill up quickly and you have a very small amount of time to hook them before they’re onto the next. Whether you have the job title or not, everyone is marketing the company in one way or another; every sales email that goes out is marketing yourself and the organisation you work for. And what marketing does, is allow for some creativity and personality where appropriate even if you’re doing a sales pitch so try to implement the above do’s and don’ts and see the increase of email openings.
Ready to integrate your emails with Salesforce? Try our Salesforce Email Integration for free today!

Katrina Holmes

Hey, I'm the Content Manager at Ebsta responsible for creating and maintaining our web content, blogs and our hip 'n' happening social media presence.

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