Writing Sales Emails That Work

Collin Stewart, CEO
30 Nov 2017

In the world of sales development, as is the case with most jobs, there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Getting meetings, reaching quotas, generating pipeline and, ultimately, realizing new revenue for your organization (whatever that company may be) is a challenging process and worthy of a nuanced and varied prospecting methods.

With that said, SDRs, in particular those working in the SaaS and startup realms, typically depend on one method of reaching out to prospects more than any other: the email.

For many, it’s the foundation of prospecting – the place where you can succinctly and persuasively share your company’s value proposition. And everyone is glued to their computer all day while at work, right? Even those prospectors that work the phones regularly often do so in order to leave voicemails reminding their prospects of the emails they’ve been sending.

But despite its status as a core piece of sales development, writing effective emails is hard. Anyone can hit send – how do you actually get people to read your emails? How do you effectively describe how you can help the reader? And, how do you get them to respond?

Enter veteran copywriter turned email conversion engineer, Laura Lopuch. In one campaign prospecting to SaaS companies and startups offering her writing services, Lopuch got a 56% open rate, 9% positive response rate, and closed a $20,000 deal, all from sending only 328 emails (including follow ups).

Not too bad, right?

“I grew my business 1400% in roughly four months, using cold emails alone. That was my entire marketing strategy,” says Lopuch, on a recent edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast.

“So, how do I tap into that killer growth? That growth you’ve heard of, but never seen. Like Sasquatch – it’s out there.”

Laura’s 6 Steps to Writing Cold Emails That Convert

1) Who am I emailing?

This is your critical research stage, where you determine who you are going to reach out to.

According to Lopuch, you should:

  • Figure out who you’re emailing (companies with 10 people or less, email CEO)
  • Find job title
  • Find name
  • Ask yourself: What are their business goals? What kind of wins has their company had that I can tie into what I help with?
  • Ask yourself: How do I dovetail their biz goals or company wins into my service or offer?
  • The connection between their business goals and my service = your intro

“This is your window into their mind. Being relevant to your reader is vital. And, remember, everyone loves a compliment. Your first line could be a compliment on a recent win. For example, congrats on your recent talk at a conference. But, be sure to be specific in your compliments, it gives you credence and that you know exactly what you’re talking about,” adds Lopuch.

“Think about how many emails you delete because you don’t care about them. You don’t want your email to be one of them.”

From one of Laura’s templates:

Subject: TechCrunch story / experienced customer story writer available

Hi Roger,

Hope your week is going well. I read about Gigster’s launch in a recent article on TechCrunch – you guys are doing some cool work!

I was checking out Gigster’s website and noticed you don’t have any customer success stories.

2) Why should they care about me? (The meat of your email)

According to Lopuch, it’s critical that you explain what you do in terms of your prospect’s business goals. And, this should be done very early on in your email. For example, Lopuch “helps SaaS companies convert more trail users to paying customers through emails.”

This is short, to the point and clear. Unfortunately, all too often people use general terms to describe themselves. Lopuch, could, for instance, call herself a freelancer but that wouldn’t reflect the goals of those she prospects to. The focus should always be squarely on them.

“No one very finds something that is relevant to them boring,” says Lopuch.

3) So what? Why should they care about what you’re offering? (The meat, part 2)

Once you describe your offering in a clear, concise statement (and link that statement to your prospect’s business goals) it’s time to more fully describe your offering, again in the context of what your prospects goals would be.

For example, your prospect may want to look good to their boss, win more customers, grow their business or decrease expenses. Whatever it is they want, speak to them in that way and describe how it is you can help them.

4) Prove it to them, and,
5) Describe how you can solve their problem (the proof portions of your email)

So, you’ve connected your offering to their goal. But, how does your prospect know you can actually do what you say you can do? Well, they don’t…yet. You need to give them some data on why your solution helps them with their business goal.

Give data on (this doesn’t have to be long):

  • How your solution gets them their business goal
  • Case studies from your past clients
  • Link to a result that you’ve gotten from a past client
  • Provide research on how your offering typically helps companies

“Tell them how you can solve their problem. Give them a small taste,” says Lopuch.

“And this is a big point: don’t use any marketing jargon. All human speak. Refrain from that marketing jargon you’ve learned. How would you explain this to your mom? Keep it simple.”

Another example from one of Laura’s templates:

With your new launch and need to build trust and growth, I imagine you have lots of great stories to tell that showcase the impressive results you’ve helped your clients achieve. For example, the testimonials by Charles Dickens and Jane Eyre would be perfect ones to flesh out into 2-page case studies.

As you may know, research has shown that a 2-page case study is one of the most effective content marketing methods to generate leads. You can use case studies at strategic parts of your marketing to convert leads – like new client packets, on your website to earn email addresses, or attached to follow up email after a new client meeting.

Recently I helped a travel products company boost awareness – and blow their funding goal out of the water – with a case study. You can check it out here.

6) The call to action

So…you’ve found the people you want to email. You’ve learned their businesses, and written unique, relevant and compelling emails. But, you’re not writing these people just to write them. You need to move this relationship along. You want the meeting and you want to close the deal.

You need a good call to action.

Your call to action should be:

  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Easy to take
  • Feel like the natural next step to bring them what they want

“This is the small first step in a long journey towards you working with them,” says Lopuch.

“You don’t expect to get married on your first date. And you shouldn’t expect them to sign a big contract with you right away. Or, order a ton of your product. That isn’t it. You just need them to take one little step towards working together.”

So, ask, when your prospects are available to hop on a quick 15 minute call to talk about how you can achieve whatever business goal is in question.

Too often salespeople don’t push for a meeting. They say things like “are you free over the next little while?” or, “if you’re interested let’s set up a call according to your schedule.”

That’s too soft. Lopuch says you have to be clear you want to have a call, and that a call is in your prospect’s best interest too.

“Assume they’re going to say yes,” says Lopuch.

“I know it’s presumptuous, but it works. Say “when” not “could we” or “are you?”

For more on Lopuch’s email writing practices, check out her edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast.



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