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Email is a necessary tool to attract, convert, and retain customers. According to McKinsey, email marketing is 40x more effective than social media. In addition, email generates an average $38 for every $1 you spend.

To make the most of your email’s capabilities, however, you need a clear email marketing strategy that also fits in with your greater marketing strategy.

What is an email marketing strategy?

An email marketing strategy explains the who, what, when, where, and why you’re going to market your product or service through email. It’s part of your company’s overall marketing strategy, designed to nurture your contacts and move them through the marketing funnel.

For example, let’s say you have a master list of email subscribers. You want to send a general newsletter to all subscribers, a drip campaign to those who signed up for the free trial of your product, and a nurturing campaign to a segment of customers who might churn.

To do that, you need to determine the type of email campaign you want to create (a newsletter or drip campaign, for example), what content you’ll be sending, why you’re sending it, and which segment of customers you’re sending it to. Each of these campaigns will need to be approached differently, so it’s important to decide why you’re doing each one.

While these steps might sound simple, Email Monks discovered that 50% of brands struggle to define an email strategy. Keep the big picture in mind when developing your own email marketing strategy and how it relates back to your goals as a marketing team and as a company.

Align email marketing with sales and support

Before diving into how to create an email marketing strategy, it’s important to highlight the necessary involvement of sales/support in the process. Attain buy-in for your email campaigns from sales and support as 1) their input ensures that the right customer personas are being targeted and 2) the email content meets customer needs.

  • Sales. Reps can share sales calls, emails, and social media conversations. Ask sales managers: “What information are potential customers asking for? What are their pain points, and what content could interest/convert them?”
  • Support. Similarly, support has a finger on the pulse of customer questions and concerns. What information are current customers asking for? What type of email content will assist with customer retention?

Plan to have monthly conversations to discuss what emails you have in the pipeline and how this content could affect sales/support. Strategize together to create a consistent customer email journey.

5-step email marketing strategy

The following five-step email marketing strategy begins at a high level (e.g., goals), so all team members have a clear understanding of why you’re emailing customers in the first place. Once the foundation is laid, it then turns more tactical (e.g., types of campaigns to send).

Start with the following steps to create and manage an effective email marketing strategy:

1. Establish email marketing goals

What do you hope to achieve with email marketing? To answer this question, look at where you’ve already been. What’s the current situation with your email marketing, and what do you want to improve? Also review the goals of your overall marketing strategy.

With this information, outline your general email marketing goals. Relate them back to your overall marketing strategy. One overall marketing goal might be to increase brand awareness. A general email marketing goal could then be “Increase the size of our email list.”

Break down these general goals into specific metric goals such as:

  • Improve response rate by 15% during 2019
  • Capture 25 new customers per segmented drip campaign by Q3
  • Increase size of email list by 30% during 2019
  • Send 5x more nurturing content to new subscribers by Q3

These goals will act as the guiding point for your other email marketing decisions and activities.

2. Choose the right email marketing tools

An email marketing strategy is only as effective as the tools you use — they’re what help you execute your strategy. A marketing automation platform is a necessary tool for email marketing as it takes your email list and provides actionable insights on the campaigns you send. It gives you the ability to create email templates, store lists, run tests, and track effectiveness.

You can select the right marketing automation platform for your company with these three steps:

  • Know your requirements. What capabilities does your marketing automation platform need? How will a marketing automation platform grow with your company? Also establish your budget for how much you can realistically spend.
  • Get feedback. Ask sales and support if they are already using a marketing automation platform for their own email activities. Also, check with peers in your industry or review conversations/reviews online.
  • Do your research. Review the different marketing automation software available such as Mailchimp and test through free trials. Make sure it aligns with your requirements (e.g., is there a limit to how many emails you can send?) and can integrate with your sales/support CRM, so no conversation falls through the cracks.

A marketing automation platform is the smartest way to approach email campaigns. You don’t have to worry about manually inserting contact info or analyzing results. Instead, the platform does the work for you, so you can focus on optimizing every campaign.

3. Build your email list

Source subscribers who will hopefully purchase your product/service in the end. First, review your buyer personas. Who exactly are you targeting? Finance managers of startups? Customer service reps of mid-size companies? Also determine where you are most likely to capture their attention (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, your website).

In addition, know what type of data you want to collect. Name? Demographics? Interests? How much information you can collect will depend on your audience, but having the right info will help you send targeted, more personalized content.

If you already have a large list of quality email subscribers, great! If not, here are a few ways to help bulk up your email subscriber list:

  • Include an opt-in form on your website’s landing page.
  • Promote gated content on your blog.
  • Add lead generation forms to middle-of-the-funnel videos.
  • Insert your email address on social media accounts.
  • Target your ideal customer with Facebook ads and email sign-up.

Do your research and ensure that your email list is made up primarily of people who want what you’re selling. The higher the quality of your subscribers, the higher the chance that they’ll open, read, and respond to your emails.

4. Create and send valuable content

The right copy for each email campaign will depend on your customer segments and their stage in the customer journey. For example, you wouldn’t send an introductory sales course to a manager who’s been working in sales for 15 years. To nail your email content, consider the following:

  • Establish a timeline for email campaign content. Determine what important dates you have coming up. For example, maybe you have a big product launch in March that will require announcement emails. An excellent strategy to organize your timeline within your email marketing content plan.
  • Work with sales and support. Get their input to develop email content ideas based on shared customer personas. Establish a shareable email marketing content plan using Google Spreadsheets or Airtable that includes due dates, deadlines, roll-out dates, points of contact (POCs), etc.
  • Create a mix of educational and promotional emails. Use your segmented lists and third-party integrations from your CRM to send personalized messages. Repurpose content from the blog. Create narratives (case studies) from your customers’ successes. Get creative and repurpose as much as possible!
  • Work from email copy best practices. Include a call-to-action (CTA) in each email, and make it easy for readers to click/convert. Experiment with your subject lines. For example, personalized subject lines (e.g., using the customer’s first name) increase open rates by 50%. Also, make the copy conversational rather than filling it with business jargon.
  • Keep your first template simple. Don’t go crazy with fancy designs — experiment with your marketing automation software’s predesigned templates and customize if needed. Also, ensure that every email design is aligned with your brand.

Your ultimate goal with email campaigns is to build a relationship with your customers. Creating thoughtful email messages will help accomplish this goal.

5. Analyze results and make changes

You have your emails sent out into the world — regularly review the data to determine what emails are receiving the most interaction from potential and current customers.

  • Track your email marketing KPIs. Review metrics such as email open rate, bounce rate, conversion rate, and unsubscribes to get a sense of what content resonates with different audiences. Ensure that you have your Google Analytics connected with your marketing automation platform and set up different goals for each campaign.
  • Use your CRM. Track customer conversations with sales and support through your CRM. Are certain emails being forwarded by customers to sales? What questions are they asking? Also look at other departmental channels, such as live chat and phone conversations. Are customers asking about a new product feature based on your emails?
  • Clean your list as needed. A common problem with poorly performing email campaigns is inaccurate data. Validate and update information, such as email addresses. Remove duplicates, and delete contacts who are wasting your resources. This kind of data cleansing enhances the value of your current data.
  • Discuss campaign results. While it’s important to know the actual numbers, it’s also essential to know the “why” behind results. You have to interpret your data. Get feedback from sales and support on ways to improve. If certain types of emails performed poorly for a specific audience, brainstorm on better content ideas or the best time of day to reach the customer.

Take these email campaign results and analyzations to determine how you can improve next time. Also, revisit your goals and objectives and find out if you’re meeting them (e.g., did your response rate improve by 15%?). If not, it might be time to go back to the drawing board with your strategy.

Email marketing strategy template

Create your own email marketing strategy with the following template. Make sure that it’s easily accessible by sales and support, so all teams can reference the plan and make suggestions at any time.

Download template here.

Conclusion

Planning an email marketing strategy is important to track the effectiveness of email long-term. Without a strategy to guide your email marketing, you’ll end up with a list of subscribers and content that you just hope sticks.

To create a successful email marketing strategy, sales, support, and marketing should work closely together and determine exactly what they hope to achieve and the steps to reach those results. Also, use a CRM to track email responses and determine the level of engagement with your emails.

The post How to build an email marketing strategy (+ template). appeared first on Zendesk Sell Blog.

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In a world where there are more emails crammed into an inbox than there are Marvel fanatics stuffed into an Avengers premiere, grabbing your prospects’ attention through sales emails has never been more difficult.

According to Mailchimp, the average open rate across all industries is only 20.81%. That means almost 80% of most brands’ subscribers don’t even spare a passing glance at a newsletter they willingly signed up for — let alone a cold sales email.

All hope is not lost, though. Just like cold calls, sales emails still work. You just need to put in the time and effort required to research your prospects, understand their needs, and offer the right kind of help.

Check out our guide on sales emails to learn how to craft compelling sales emails and follow-up emails. Also, take a look at the best time to send sales emails, the most revealing and insightful sales email metrics that can help refine your sales email campaigns, and some sales email examples that you can draw inspiration from.

How to write a sales email

From your sales email’s subject line all the way down to its CTA, each of its elements needs to be able to grab your prospects’ attention, engage them, and compel them to take your desired action. Otherwise, you might as well not have written the email in the first place. To learn how to craft a sales email that will get opened, read, and clicked, check out the following resources:

Sales email examples

If you need help getting the creative juices flowing for your next sales email campaign, check out the following sales email examples that produced some impressive results for five different brands. Also, take a look at 22 different templates that you can use during each stage of the sales pipeline:

How to follow up

Writing follow-up emails requires the same amount of focus and effort as writing sales emails. Even if your prospect seems excited to talk next steps with you, following up with a one-size-fits-all email will severe the genuine connection you just forged. To learn how to write a follow-up email that your prospects will respond to, check out the following resources:

When to send sales emails

The best ways to determine the optimal time to send your sales emails are analyzing historical data or testing different send times. But if you don’t have the time or resources to do either, Mailchimp examined their Send Time Optimization Product’s data in 2018 to figure out the best time and day to send an email, on average.

According to their data, the best time to send an email is 10 a.m.

However, they didn’t find an optimal day to send emails. Almost every weekday receives the same level of engagement.

To learn more about Mailchimp’s findings, check out their blog post, Insights from Mailchimp’s Send Time Optimization System.

Sales email metrics

Measuring your sales emails’ performance is crucial for determining their effectiveness and refining your future sales emails. But measuring their performance against one or two metrics doesn’t paint the full picture. Here are seven metrics that can:

  • Open Rate: A high open rate reveals that your subject line was compelling and your brand is recognizable. If your email’s open rate is sky high but its reply or click rate is low, then you need to overhaul your email copy.
    • Formula: [Unique opens/(Total Sends – Number of Bounces)]
  • Click-to-open rate (CTOR): Click-to-open rate is the percentage of unique recipients who click through to your website after they open your email. It’s a better indicator of engagement and resonance than click-through rate because it only accounts for the people who actually opened and read your email.
    • Formula: [Unique clicks/(Total Sends – Number of Bounces)]
  • Reply Rate: Reply rate is one of the most revealing metrics for determining whether your email’s copy resonates with your prospects or not. Prospects don’t open most of their emails, so if you can persuade them to respond to you, your email most likely piques their interest.
    • Formula: [Unique Replies/(Total Sends – Number of Bounces)]
  • Objections: If your email has a high reply rate, but a lot of the responses state that prospects don’t have the budget for your product or service or they’re not interested, then you’ve most likely caught their attention but haven’t resonated with them. Although this situation isn’t ideal, you can still turn some objections into conversions by forging a genuine relationship with prospects, helping them meet their needs without asking for anything in return, and being persistent.
    • Formula: [Unique Objections/(Total Sends – Number of Bounces)]
  • Positive Reply Rate: A prospect who seems eager to connect with you or wants to move on to next steps right away is the best determinant of resonance. If one of your emails receives a high positive reply rate, then try to emulate its key elements in all of your other sales emails.
    • Formula: [Unique Positive Replies/(Total Sends – Number of Bounces)]
  • Qualifications: Receiving a ton of replies from prospects can feel great, but if they’re not qualified for your product or service, then what’s the point of continuing the conversation? Make sure you’re measuring lead quality to determine whether you’re reaching out to the right caliber of prospects.
    • Formula: [Unique Qualified Prospects Who Replied to Your Email/(Total Sends – Number of Bounces)]
  • Unsubscribes: Unsubscribes reveal that your sales email isn’t relevant or that you’ve sent too many emails to certain prospects. If one of your emails receives a high unsubscribe rate, then tear it out of your playbook.
    • Formula: [Unique Unsubscribes/(Total Sends – Number of Bounces)]

To learn more about sales email metrics, check out the following resources:

Sales emails: Difficult but doable

Sending sales emails can seem like a crapshoot. Sometimes, your emails will produce huge results. Other times, all they’ll do is collect dust in your prospects’ inboxes. However, if you can follow the principles and frameworks featured in this guide and use data to constantly tinker on your sales emails’ copy, you’ll see more consistent results.

The post Guide to sales emails, based on examples that worked appeared first on Zendesk Sell Blog.

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Consider this opening line of a prospecting email: “XYZ Company is a digital marketing company dedicated to providing solutions for startups.” Now compare it to this example: “I was excited to read about [Prospect Company]‘s product launch.” The second opening line contains elements of an effective prospecting email:

  • Hints at prior research of the company
  • Sounds friendly/upbeat/human
  • Starts with “I” but focus is on the recipient’s product launch news

Having trouble with your own prospecting emails? Check out the quiz and following tips to determine where you need to improve and increase that response rate.

How good are your prospecting emails?

Prospecting emails are one-to-one messages that are usually (but not always) sent to a recipient without prior contact. These emails are designed to engage the recipient in a conversation that, hopefully, will lead to a sale in the future. Are you sending effective emails to your prospects? Take this quiz to find out.

If you’re an Email Prospecting Expert, keep it up! If your result was either Email Prospecting Amateur or Email Prospecting Newbie, don’t be discouraged. Your emails just need a bit of reconstructing to successfully capture your prospect’s attention.

What is email prospecting?

Despite the fact that we’re living in the age of texting and other messaging apps, 8 in 10 prospects prefer communicating with reps over email. Take advantage of this preference through prospecting emails.

Email prospecting is one way to find people (or prospects) who would make great customers; it involves the identification, research, and qualification of prospects for cold emails. It ensures that you’re emailing people who fit your product/service. Email prospecting also gives you valuable info that you can use to personalize current and future messages.

Follow these steps to start your own email-prospecting process:

  • Find email addresses. Marketing is likely sending contacts your way — align with your marketing department on what constitutes a quality lead (it’s helpful to review your buyer personas). Fewer emails sent to qualified recipients are better than blasts of generic emails. In addition to marketing’s efforts, find contacts through places like LinkedIn.
  • Research your prospects. Learn more about each contact through social media, blog posts, press releases, and websites. This research provides another way to qualify the recipient. Thirty-one percent of sellers believe that sending one-to-one emails manually after doing research and customizing the message is extremely effective.
  • Consider the timing. Timing matters when cold emailing contacts. Different studies have shown that Tuesday is the best day of the week to send an email. Also, refer to your research to find an excuse to reach out. If your contact’s company just announced a new product, use the launch as an opening for your email.
  • Use your CRM. Not only does your CRM allow you to keep prospecting emails organized, but it also lets you track their progress. Integrate your email account with your CRM so all conversations are logged and recorded by account.

The main goal of prospecting emails? Get recipients to respond so you can start building a relationship.

Anatomy of a successful prospecting email

While it’s not difficult to compose a prospecting email, it’s just as easy to get it wrong. Although similar to a regular sales email, there are certain parts of prospecting emails that require a bit more TLC. You first need the right framework before composing your email.

Sales Hacker refers to this four-step framework as SP3O — Situation, Problem, 3rd-Party Success, and Offer. You’ll have to rely heavily on your contact research for this.

  1. Situation. First, identify the contact’s buying situation. For example, are competitors of a digital marketing company creating amazing product videos?
  2. Problem. Next, what problem does this situation cause? Maybe the digital marketing company doesn’t have the budget for product videos.
  3. 3rd-Party Success. Outline how you’ve helped other companies overcome the same problem (e.g., your software helped startups create product videos at half the cost).
  4. Offer. Finally, provide the contact with an offer that will help solve their problem — affordable video software to stay abreast of competitors.

Got it? Great. Below are elements that apply to any business email but are especially important for cold outreach when you’re first trying to capture the recipient’s attention:

  • Subject line. Don’t overlook the power of the subject line. Include the word “you,” use no more than 50 characters (Marketo found that using 41 characters is most effective), and customize based on the prospect. Even including the recipient’s name in the subject line can increase your open rate by 22.2%.
  • Opening line. Remember the opening line in the intro? Provide a personalized opening that proves you’ve researched the company and understand their problems. And don’t talk about yourself (e.g., “My name is . . .”) — jump straight into the purpose of your email.
  • Body. Personalized emails are more effective than a one-size-fits-all message (and can double your response rate). Offer something of value that addresses the recipient’s pain point. That said, not every prospect is created equal. Assign prospects different scores (i.e., their value) to determine how much time to spend on their email.
  • CTA. A call-to-action can be simple (e.g., “Click my calendar to set up a quick chat”), but you need to provide the recipient with clear direction on what to do next.
  • Signature. Give the reader one more thing to remember you by, including what you do and who you are. Also include a link your professional social profile.

Also, keep your messages short and sweet (your prospect should be able to read your email in 30 seconds or less). You’ll need to tweak the SP3O framework based on the context of your prospecting email, but the underlying idea and elements stay the same — the email is about the contact, not about how wonderful your product/service is.

Prospecting email templates

If your prospecting emails aren’t performing as well as you would like, customize and adapt the following templates for the use cases suggested to become an Email Prospecting Expert.

Use Case: You’ve received an email address for a potential customer through marketing, gated content, etc. Take that email address, research the contact’s company, and compose an email that speaks to the prospect’s problems. Your first request could be a 15-minute meeting.

Subject Line: Available for a chat?

Hi [Contact First Name],

Love what you guys are doing at [Prospect’s Business]! With all of the startups you work with, do you need assistance with [Pain Point]? Better Bookkeeping Software has helped companies just like yours [Example Company] organize and track customer payment info, even on the go.

Would you be available for a 15-minute chat this week?

Thank you for your time,
[Your Email Signature]

Use Case: If you notice a prospect asking questions online, such as on Quora or LinkedIn, make contact and outline what you know and how you can help. Offer a free trial of your product/service.

Subject Line: Free Trial of Bookkeeping Software

Hi [Contact First Name],

I noticed your question on [Social Media Platform] about the most easy-to-use bookkeeping software and thought I would reach out. [Your Company Name] recently helped [Case Study Company] with [Solution to Pain Point].

Better Bookkeeping Software offers a free trial that can give insight into your current payment operations. Please let me know if you would like to give it a try!

Best regards,
[Your Email Signature]

Use Case: Use this template when you haven’t received a response to your previous prospecting emails. Rather than just “Checking in,” offer resources or answers to common problems; provide value in every email you send.

Subject Line: X blog posts about [Pain Point]

Hi [Contact First Name],

I wanted to share these blog posts that I believe would be really helpful for [insert prospect pain point such as digital invoices].

Resource 1
Resource 2
Resource 3
Resource 4

If you have a minute to check out these posts, I think the info gives great direction on [topics listed in the blog posts]. Let me know what you think.

Best regards,
[Your Email Signature]

Remember that these three templates are meant to act as guidelines — they can’t take the place of your learning valuable information about each prospect and weaving that info into your prospecting emails.

Conclusion

But don’t stop here! Recipients might not respond to your first email — sometimes it takes as many as four follow-ups for a prospect to hit that reply button. Send a series of follow-up email templates!

When the prospect does respond, carefully compose valuable messages as you go through each stage of the sales pipeline. While email is just one part of sales prospecting, it’s an effective method (if done correctly) for driving both sales and customer relationships.

The post How effective are your prospecting emails? Take this quiz to find out. appeared first on Zendesk Sell Blog.

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Measuring salesman productivity has always been an important activity for sales managers. Now that businesses are more data-driven, it is even more crucial for every sales team to have effective productivity tracking practices.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be hard to implement measures that show where your reps are wasting time, and where they should put more energy to get the most out of every minute they spend selling.

Let’s dive into five ways for measuring salesman productivity that are backed by sales experts — individuals with years of sales experience including sales authors, strategists, CEOs, coaches, and founders.

Measure the number and quality of customer interactions

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Sell’s new dashboard is officially live; and just in time to take a look back over the last two quarters and set the stage for a high-performing second half of 2019.

Nearly two years ago, the Sell product team sat down to map out the ideal dashboard experience for sales leaders. Since then there have been countless betas, user sessions and product iterations going into today’s release. The new sales dashboard is designed with customization and flexibility at the center of the experience and is available in Sell now on all plans.

Meet the new performance dashboard

What’s possible with the new performance dashboard in Sell?

  • *New customizable interface:  An entirely new dashboard, built for customization, ensures users have the flexibility to show the most pertinent performance metrics with the option to remove any distractions.
  • *Clear actions to take: smart lists, tasks, and upcoming appointments shown right from the dashboard make it easy to execute the most important action items and identify prospects that you need to follow up with or respond to.
  • *Easier performance tracking: surface more data using new visual performance graphs with powerful filtering options to help better spot trends.
  • *Built for what’s next: the new foundation is better built for ongoing development, allowing new capabilities to be implemented as future sales needs change and evolve.
Introducing Widgets

You’ll customize the new dashboard and make it your own using a variety of widgets that capture different elements of performance. We introduce you to the 9 available widgets and how they capture performance in the chart below.

WidgetWhat it tracksWhat it showsHow it helps
RevenueHow much revenue is closing?*how much has each rep closed this month? this quarter? this year?
*how much revenue do we close by source?
*how much revenue have we closed in the new business pipeline vs expansions?
ForecastHow much revenue is in my pipeline and what’s actually predicted to close?*does our team have enough pipeline to hit our goal?
*do reps have enough revenue in their pipeline to hit quota?
*will we hit forecast if we remove the top 5 deals from the pipeline?
New DealsNumber of deals & amount of revenue that entered the pipeline in chosen timeframe*what entered our pipeline today?
*how many new deals came into our pipeline this week?
*how many new deals did we get each month this quarter?
*how many new deals were assigned to each rep this year?
Pipeline CoverageIs there enough pipeline to hit sales goals?*do we have enough deals in the pipeline to hit our team goals?
*based on past win rates, do I have enough revenue to hit my goals?
Revenue Goal AttainmentHow close am I to hitting my revenue goals?*exactly how much revenue have I closed this year?
*do I hit my revenue goals month after month? By how much?
Top DealsWhat are the top deals and last activity with each?*what’s the last activity with my top deals?
*could any of my top deals be at risk?
*how can I help resolve risks with the top deals in our team’s pipeline?
My Smart ListsWhat’s the latest activity with my favorite Smart Lists?*who has contacted me and needs a response?
*what new leads have I not reached out to?
*who do I need to follow up with?
*have any clients reached out to my support team for help?
TasksWhat tasks do I need to complete?*what tasks do I need to complete?
*what tasks are overdue?
*what needs to be prioritized?
Upcoming AppointmentsWhat are my upcoming meetings?*who do I have scheduled calls with today? This week?
*which rep calls can I join this week to help close more deals?
*how busy is my week ahead?

The dashboard pulls a dense variety of insight into a central place so that sales folks have somewhere to start their day and refocus between calls or activities. Some elements of the dashboard visually show performance (i.e. goal attainment), while other elements expose specific actions to take (i.e. leads who need a response).

Regardless, whether you mostly sell or you oversee a team of reps the performance dashboard heavily enhances visibility to help sales teams be more strategic and make better decisions.

A few guiding lights

Personalize the dashboard so it’s relevant to what you care about and remove anything that creates distraction. For example, if I’m an account executive I’m likely focused on my top deals, upcoming appointments, overdue tasks, or prospects who need a response so I’ll create my dashboard to show me just that. A few other considerations to help guide you:

  • * What’s important to see daily? weekly? monthly?
  • * What’s important to see near the end of the month? How about start of the quarter?

Check out our help guide: Performance Dashboard Overview. Share your favorite insights from the new dashboard in the comments below!

The post Introducing the new performance dashboard appeared first on Zendesk Sell Blog.

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You just received a hot lead email address from marketing. It’s time for you to send a compelling sales email. But how do you effectively start a conversation that will eventually help you close the deal? After all, the average recipient deletes 48 percent of the daily emails they receive. Your emails need to stand out and encourage the recipient to interact.

Create a sales email that captures the reader’s attention and has a good chance of leading to a sale with the following examples and tips.

5 engaging sales email examples for you to replicate

Before jumping into examples, let’s take a look at what constitutes a well-written sales email. The best sales email is focused on the customer’s time and needs:

  • Write engaging subject lines.Thirty-five percent of email recipients open an email based solely on the subject line. Compose subject lines that ask questions, present data-based insights, or speak to a pain point.
  • Make opening lines non-generic. Your email subject line may have gotten you past the front door, but now your opening line needs to encourage the recipient to keep reading. Open with lines such as “I loved your blog post…” or “I was excited to hear about…” Skip the generic “Hi, my name is…”
  • Keep the body of the email short and sweet. Boomerang found that “emails between 50 and 125 words had the best response rates at just above 50%.” Cut the excess language and get to your point. Also, write your emails on a third-grade reading level.
  • Avoid talking about yourself. An email recipient wants to know what you can do for them, not about how wonderful you and your company are. Research your contact on their website and social media to learn everything you can about their needs.
  • Include a clear call-to-action and next steps. Don’t make the reader guess what they should do next. Do you want to present a demo? Discuss your offering over a quick call? Provide direction for the reader to keep the conversation going.

Keeping these best practices in mind, let’s analyze five sales email examples and why they work.

1. An experiment with 1,000 cold emails reveals short subject lines win

The average office worker receives hundreds of emails a day. The sales email subject line is your opportunity to stand out and prove that your email is worth opening. Shane Snow, author and co-founder of The Hatch Institute and Contently, and Jon Youshaei, Instagram’s Product Market Manager performed an experiment to determine what type of subject line and sales email would get a response from busy executives.

First, they gathered email addresses of 1,000 of the busiest businesspeople in America, including 500 C- and VP-level executives from the Fortune 500, and 500 C-level execs from the Inc 500. Then, they wrote ten versions of a simple email asking for the executives’ opinions on cold emails. Below is one of the most successful versions:

Subject Line: Quick Question

The two subject lines they tested were “Quick Question” (51% open rate) and “15 Second Question for Research on Annoying Emails”(48% open rate). Although the open rate was somewhat similar, 66.7% of total replies were in response to the subject line “Quick Question.”

Why it’s effective: The subject line is short and direct (two elements of a good subject line). Granted, only 12 out of 700 responded, so it’s difficult to tell how much impact this one particular subject line had, but both Snow and Youshaei agreed that personalization is key to sales emails. Even adding a name to the subject line can drastically improve the response rate.

2. A personalized intro from Moz doubled their reply rate

Along with the subject line, the most common sales email element that sales reps get wrong is the opening line. For example, using an opening line such as “My name is Brad” sounds like it’s from a boring template and can affect your reply rate. Marketing and marketing analytics software company Moz needed a higher reply rate for their guest blogger outreach. Out of 20-50 emails per week, the team was only receiving 2-4 positive replies.

Here is the company’s initial script:

The above example’s introductory line is not very personal and is also a bland way to introduce the sender and company. Moz tried a more creative variation of the same message.

Thanks to the new email template, Moz’s reply rate increased from 8% to 16%. The engaging header with the sender’s picture and blurb replaces the original introduction.

Why it’s effective: The opening line is personal and makes use of the words “you” and “your” (more effective than “I” and “we”). It also gets straight to the point: “I am emailing you because I would love the opportunity to create a piece of content for your blog.” The line invites the reader to go further if they want to learn more about the content opportunity.

3. LeadFuze’s cold email formula grew revenue

Especially in today’s media-saturated world, our attention spans are very short. We’re also busy and don’t have time to read lengthy emails that take too long to get to the point. According to LeadFuze’s Founder Justin McGill, a great approach to emails is the “QVC Formula:” Ask a question, present your value proposition, and then include a clear call-to-action such as “Interested in a demo?”

The body of LeadFuze’s sales email includes all of these variables. It attracts the reader’s attention without drowning them in text.

LeadFuze’s cold email approach is working: In just one year, the company used cold email to grow company revenue to $30K per month.

Why it’s effective: The body of the email is less than 70 words. It asks a quick question, presents what pain point LeadFuze solves, and then asks for a meeting — personal, short, and effective. Two other great elements of this email? The subject line asks a simple, compelling question: “Need some more leads?” It also includes a P.S. at the end “If you aren’t the right person to speak about this, let me know. Also, if you’d rather I not follow up with you – you can let me know that too!” This line alleviates pressure on the reader.

4. Jake Jorgovan’s personalized sales emails generated $12K

A good rule of thumb for making any sale? It’s not about you — it’s about the customer. Creative strategist Jake Jorgovan took this lesson to heart and created personalized cold emails to send to leads (rather than sending batches of generic emails). His approach worked. The following email example generated $4,250 for Jorgovan.

Why it’s effective: Notice how the second paragraph of the email shows that Jorgovan is already familiar with the recipient’s needs. Before sending his emails, Jorgovan researched his target market and made sure the material he was sending was relevant to the recipient. Review your target persona before sending your cold sales emails. This will help you create personalized emails that speak to the reader’s pain point.

Another tactic that Jorgovan used was include a relevant case study. The case study backed up the claims he was making about his company. His advice? Make sure your case study is relevant to the prospects you are e-mailing. Jorgovan closed over $12K worth of deals based solely on this cold email approach.

5. Crazy Eye Marketing’s calls to action increased reply rate

A pushy sales email (e.g., Buy my product!) is a great way to end up in the Trash folder. Crazy Eye Marketing experimented with the opposite — a non-pushy CTA. The company ran a cold e-mail campaign for a small mobile app company. Working with 4,897 email addresses, the company composed five different email series.

The most effective series? A three email sequence with clear CTAs. The first email in the series asked for only fifteen minutes of the reader’s time.

Email #1:

Here are the final results of the email campaign. Email #1 received a reply rate of 8%. The two additional follow-up emails received a similar reply rate:

Why it’s effective: The reader knows exactly what to do at the end of the email (say yes or no to a fifteen-minute meeting). And who doesn’t have time for fifteen minutes?

Another great lesson from this case study is to keep trying even if you don’t receive a response back the first try. Forty-four percent of sales reps give up after the first follow up even though 80% of sales require at least four follow-ups — reach out to your contact more than once!

Use these sales email examples to create your own

With these sales email examples as your guide, take that email address from marketing and send a compelling email to the hot lead. Also, use your CRM to track the lead’s response and try integrations like Mailchimp to test subject lines, content, and CTAs. You then set yourself up for success for the next lead email.

Sales emails don’t have to be difficult — keep the customer at the forefront of every conversation and prove that you value the recipient’s time and business.

The post 5 sales email examples proven to engage customers appeared first on Zendesk Sell Blog.

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Even with the adoption of tools for internal communication, like Slack, external business communication is still done mostly via email — including following up with prospects. A sales follow-up email is a delicate dance with the recipient. While you don’t want to fill up a prospect’s inbox with annoying messages, you do want to effectively get their attention.

The right message at the right time can make the sale. Check out the following sales follow-up email examples, and use cases for each one.

1. A trigger event occurred.

A trigger event is anything that suggests someone is considering your product/service. Maybe you notice that a prospect has signed up for your product’s free trial or your company newsletter. Or maybe you see that the prospect has opened another email you sent.

Whatever the case, quickly reach out with a sales follow up email to introduce yourself and offer something of value to the recipient.

Subject Line: “Looking for more information?”

Hi [Contact Name],

I noticed that you signed up for our free trial. I have some resources that are great for getting started with [Your Company Name]:

Resource 1
Resource 2
Resource 3

Also, please let me know if you have any questions or can’t find a certain feature. I’d be happy to help.

Best,

Tyler Smith
Account Executive – Chicago
XYZ Company

Subject Line: “[Prospect Name] <> [Your Company Name]”

Hi [Contact Name],

I hope all is well. I wanted to take a moment to talk about a big problem facing the logistics sector and how I can help you with [Pain Point].

Would you like me to set aside some time to go over any questions you may have? Would Monday or Tuesday work for you?

—-
Tyler Smith
Account Executive – Chicago
XYZ Company

Tip: Following up right after a trigger event provides the perfect opportunity to naturally start a conversation with a prospect. And instead of just contributing to the clutter in your prospect’s inbox, offer information or freebies that can help them improve their business.

2. The intro has been made.

Almost 50% of reps never follow up with prospects. Whether you met the prospect at a networking event or they reached out, send a message as quickly as possible and further gauge their interest in your product/service.

If you’re sending a sales follow up email to someone you met at an event, do it one to two days afterward, while you can still recall what you may have learned about him or her and their level of interest. And here is a good rule of thumb for any follow-up email: Don’t overwhelm the reader with too much text. Be direct and summarize your main points.

Subject Line: “As promised, more info about [Your Company Name]”

Hi [Contact Name],

I enjoyed talking with you at [Event Name] and appreciate your interest in [Company Name].

As promised, I am sending information about [something specific you discussed at the event]. From my experience at [Your Company Name], I know that [Pain Point] is difficult for startups like yours. [Your Company Name] has worked with X number of companies to overcome these issues. I believe we could help [Prospect Company Name] do the same.

Would you be interested in a call to discuss your company’s needs in-depth? If so, would [Date, Time] work for you?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best,
Tyler Smith
Account Executive – Chicago
XYZ Company

Subject Line: “Thanks for your interest!”

Hi [Contact Name],

Thank you for reaching out. I would love to share more details about our product and how it matches [Prospect Company Name] needs. Is [Contact Number] the best way to reach you?

Best,
Tyler Smith
Account Executive – Chicago
XYZ Company

Tip: Make it easy for prospects to respond to your requests for meetings. For example, include a link to your calendar or a scheduling tool like Calendly.

3. You’ve led a call or demo.

During your call or demo, give a reason to follow-up with the prospect and continue the conversation. For example, if the prospect asks about a certain product feature, answer the question, but let them know that you’ll provide more info via email. Provide more value than just a generic email saying “Checking in” or “Touching base.”

Subject Line: “Here is more info on [Specific Feature]”

Hi [Contact Name],

I enjoyed our conversation earlier. I am excited about the possibility of working with [Prospect Company Name] and assisting with [Pain Point].

As promised, attached is additional information about [Specific Feature]. Please let me know if you have any questions. Also, feel free to give me a call at [Your Number].

Best,

Tyler Smith
Account Executive – Chicago
XYZ Company

Hopefully, your meeting went well with the prospect. Take that positive tone and carry it over into your follow-up email (send right after your interaction). In it, outline next steps, and provide a clear CTA. What do you want the recipient to do? Make sure it’s clear.

Subject Line: “I enjoyed speaking with today!”

Hi [Contact Name],

Thanks so much for the call earlier today! I learned a lot about [Prospect Company Name], and I think there’s potential for doing something together.

If you’re interested, I can schedule a demo on [Date, Time]. Please let me know if you would like to move forward.

Best,

Tyler Smith
Account Executive – Chicago
XYZ Company

Even if your call or meeting went well, you might not hear back from a prospect immediately. Try picking up the phone instead. If you are sent to voicemail, send another follow-up email immediately.

Subject Line: “Sorry I missed you”

Hi [Contact Name],

I just tried calling you to [Give a reason for your call].

I’ll try back again on [Date, Time], but feel free to give me a call back on [Your Number] before then.

Thanks for your time!

Tyler Smith
Account Executive – Chicago
XYZ Company

Tip: Take notes during your interactions with the prospect. You can use these notes to personalize your follow-up emails and mention the details you discussed.

4. You sent the quote.

Following up with a prospect after sending a quote can be intimidating. It’s the moment of truth after all — will they or won’t they commit to your product or service? Be direct but not pushy. If you gave a verbal proposal, send a follow-up within 24 hours. If you sent it via email, wait a couple of days.

Subject Line: “Any questions?”

Hi [Contact Name],

I wanted to follow up and check in on the quote I sent on [Day], which covered the features we can offer [Prospect Company Name] to help you improve [Pain Point].

Can I answer any other questions?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Tyler Smith
Account Executive – Chicago
XYZ Company

Subject Line: “Proposal recap”

Hi [Contact Name],

I’m following up to see if you received my quote outlining the features and price of our product/service? As a reminder, our software package would include:

Feature
Feature
Feature
Price

Do you have any questions?

I look forward to hearing from you!

—-
Tyler Smith
Account Executive – Chicago
XYZ Company

Tip: Remind the prospect of the tangible benefits they’ll receive if they purchase your product/service.

5. Only crickets have responded to your last email.

If you hear only crickets after sending a follow-up email, don’t be discouraged. Waiting for replies takes patience. Maybe they missed your past emails or are on the fence about your offer. Send your prospect a reminder.

Subject Line: “Still interested?”

Hi [Contact Name],

I haven’t heard from you since I reached out on [Date, Time]. I wanted to reach out again and check your interest in our product and improving [Pain Point].

Let me know if you have any concerns. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions.

Best,

—-
Tyler Smith
Account Executive – Chicago
XYZ Company

If worse comes to worst and you haven’t received a response to your third follow-up, try the following message to create a sense of urgency.

Subject Line: “Close your file?”

Hi [Contact Name],

Unfortunately, my company is cleaning our sales pipeline. Since I haven’t heard from you, I assume that you are no longer interested or don’t have a need for [Your Company Name].

If that is the case, is it OK to close your file? If you are still interested, what would be the next step?

I appreciate your help.

—-
Tyler Smith
Account Executive – Chicago
XYZ Company

Tip: Your sales email subject line matters. As with the examples above, craft your subject line to grab the reader’s attention, especially if they haven’t been responding to your other emails. Shorter subject lines (no more than 50 characters) are typically more effective.

Be strategic with your sales follow-up emails

A great way to keep track of each sales follow-up email is through your CRM. For example, Sell’s CRM allows you to send your emails directly through the platform and categorize responses. It also helps you avoid sending embarrassing duplicate emails. You can use follow-up templates on the platform or insert your own so you don’t have to start from scratch every time.

In addition, use CRM integrations like Mailchimp to analyze the best time to send each email. The best send time will depend on your audience (we recommend customer segmentation to source this info), but a Mailchimp study found that the optimal send time peaked at 10 a.m. in the recipients’ time zones. Experiment with sending your sales follow-up emails in the mornings.

Combine the tips with the examples above to follow up with prospects like a sales pro!

The post 11 sales follow up emails that work (+ follow up email template) appeared first on Zendesk Sell Blog.

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An email subject line packs a powerful punch (or at least it should). With the amount of emails the average worker receives a day (121 daily emails on average!), you need to grab the readers of your sales emails quickly. Instead of viewing the limited characters of a subject line as a challenge, view it as an opportunity.

Here are sales email subject lines lessons from twelve companies to help you do just that.

Make the message personal

Accenture found that “75% of customers are more likely to spend their hard-earned money with brands that recognize them by name and remember information about them.” Use this desire to your advantage with sales email subject lines.

Include the contact’s name

According to The Washington Post, a “person’s name is the greatest connection to their own identity and individuality.” Using a contact’s name in an email subject line has the same effect as it would in a personal conversation — it establishes a personal connection between the contact and company.

Alexa’s email subject line

Another personalization tactic is to use the contact’s first and last names. Mailchimp found that, although including both first and last names in a subject is less common, it has the largest positive impact on open rates.

Use the word “you”

Too often, our inboxes are slammed full of formal email subject lines, which ultimately sound salesy. Cut through the formal clutter and sound friendly instead. One tactic is to address the recipient using the second person — “you.”

Wistia‘s email subject line

Subject lines like “Are you ready?” “Have you tried XYZ?” are simple, but effective. This tactic makes you sound less formal and more conversational.

Customize your subject line

A report by Silverpop found that 50% of recipients unsubscribe to email lists because the content they receive is not relevant to them and they don’t have any interest in learning about it. Along with using the prospect’s name, take advantage of email segmentation through segmented lists and CRM third-party integrations (e.g., Mailchimp) to create customized email subject lines that individually speak to every prospect’s needs.

Chameleon’s email subject line

Start by organizing your email list by customer demographics, pain points, etc. Then, divide the customers in each segment according to their purchase stage. For example, if a small financial company is in the pre-purchase stage, create a subject line about “X best blog posts for finance startups.”

Use few words

Wordiness has been the death of many a subject line — people have short attention spans, and long subject lines beg to be skimmed over. Shorter, concise subject lines are not only easier to read, but they also have a higher open rate because they grab the reader’s attention in the inbox.

Write 41-character subject lines

Short subject lines are also easier to read on a mobile device. According to Convince & Convert, 35% of business professionals check email on smartphones and tablets. The number of characters shown depends on the device, but most people view emails on iPhones and Gmail, which show between 41 to 70 characters.

According to Marketo, 41 characters (or 7 words) is the best length for an email subject line, but you can also use fewer. With the average subject line being about 51 characters, your shorter subject lines will have a better chance of standing out.

Compare these two subject lines:

  • Get ready for our amazing product upgrade this summer to XYZ 4.0: Sign up today!
  • Are you ready for XYZ 4.0?

Which subject line are your eyes more drawn to? Most likely the second one, because you can see the whole message right off the bat.

PandaDoc‘s email subject line

Another tip? Think about using sentence-case rather than title-case. “Congrats on your Series B funding!” is much easier to read (and less spammy looking) than “Congrats On Your Series B Funding!”

Pique the reader’s curiosity

By nature, humans are curious. Convey that you have something the reader doesn’t and give them a reason to want to open your email. A few ways to capture your reader’s attention is to ask a question, share number-based facts, and speak to a reader’s pain point.

Ask a question

You don’t have to give away everything about the email in the subject line. Instead, ask a question that hints at the nature of the content. A question makes the reader want to know the answer and fill their knowledge gap. Questions also sound like an actual human conversation and not computer-generated messages.

FollowUp‘s email subject line

Simple questions such as “Want to build a startup faster?” are thought-provoking and intriguing without giving away too much.

Share data-based insights

Yesware found that subject lines with hard numbers have higher open and reply rates. Build the prospect’s trust in your company by backing up your claims with data. Talk with marketing about using your company’s original data to develop data-based content.

For example, if your company offers e-Signatures, find out how many of your clients use it to sign documents instead of signing paper documents that must be printed and mailed or scanned and emailed. A possible subject line could be “Decrease time to sign by XX%.”

CoSchedule’s email subject line

If you don’t have a bunch of original data to work with, be creative with numbers. For example, “The 3 step guide to social selling,” or “6 ways to improve content marketing” can also be effective.

Convey a pain point

Prospects don’t care about your company’s accomplishments as much as they want to know what you can do for them. How can your product/service solve their problem? Prove in the subject line that you’ve done your research on the prospect and recognize what their business struggles with.

Appcues’ email subject line

Other possible subject lines include “X blogs for [Pain Point]” or “How to improve [Pain Point].” This type of subject line makes you seem more customer-centric than product-centric, which helps set the right tone for a future customer relationship.

Share valuable information

If the reader feels like there’s a gap in their knowledge base, they’re more likely to click your email. First, use tools like a CRM to understand your audience. What questions are current customers asking customer support? What are their main pain points? Then, use this information to craft helpful emails/subject lines.

Be direct

You don’t have to be crazy creative with subject lines. If you’re offering something of value, let the content speak for itself. Share the exact benefit the reader will gain from opening your email in the subject line.

Chargify’s email subject line

“Introducing the 2019 Social Selling Report” or “[Your Company] Video Content Marketing Guide” are subject lines that get straight to the point and convey exactly what the reader will receive.

Continue the value

Have you ever bought something online that promised to be amazing, but when you received the item in the mail, it didn’t even match the description? Disappointing to say the least. An email works the exact same way. Make sure that the body of your email delivers what the subject line promised to the reader.

Airtable‘s email subject line

Above all, don’t trick your readers with subject line clickbait. If your subject line says that you’ll be sharing “10 tricks on how to improve employee retention,” ensure that the content meets the expectations that the subject line sets up.

Experiment with the language

Word choice matters. For example, the subject line “Crush your social selling techniques” is more likely to be opened over “How to social sell.” Weave together words in a way that’s both intriguing and direct. And avoid words like “free” in your subject lines — it has been shown to lower email open rates.

Create a sense of urgency

Urgent subject lines have been shown to increase open rates by 22%.Mailchimp also found that including words like “urgent” and “important” result in higher open rates. For example, “Last chance to sign up” suggests that the reader will miss out if they don’t click on your message.

YNAB’s email subject line

Like YNAB, imply time sensitivity to your messages to increase the open rate.

Thank the recipient

Everyone appreciates being appreciated, so it’s not surprising that saying thank you increases email open rates (e.g., “I wanted to say thank you…” or “Thank you for —”). By showing gratitude, you forge a closer bond with the recipient.

Zendesk Sell’s email subject line

Combine with the contact’s name to make the subject line even more personal: “[Contact Name], thank you!”

Give alliterations a try

If used correctly, alliterations (the repetition of consonant sounds, e.g., The Subscription of the Season) can help make your subject line memorable. Even just a couple of words that work well together can eliminate the monotony of an email. “Want to master memorable marketing?” or “Get your startup financially fit” are a couple of examples.

CB Insights‘ email subject line

Granted, you have to be careful with this tactic (it’s easy to overdo). Experiment with different word pairings and find what sounds best for your brand.

Improve your sales email subject lines

Chadwick Martin Bailey found that the subject line is what drives people to open an email 64% of the time. When crafting your subject lines, place yourself in the reader’s shoes. What message would make you want to open the email?

Use a CRM to compile and automatically send your sales emails. Also, experiment with A/B testing with your sales email subject lines. Do some subject lines get a higher click rate than others? If certain subject lines aren’t working, refer to this article again and try something new the next time.

No matter your target audience, be customer-focused with every sales email starting with the subject line.

The post We signed up for 12 products: Here’s what we learned about sales email subject lines appeared first on Zendesk Sell Blog.

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Email is a daily activity for most sales reps. But did you know that only 9 percent of sales emails are even opened? Your potential customers are receiving a flood of generic emails every day.

Your emails need to stand out among the crowd. From prospecting to closing, we’ve created a sales email template for every sales pipeline stage — all templates include engaging subject lines, an interesting body, and personalization to help you attract and retain more customers.

Note: We used a fictional company name for each email — Better Bookkeeping Software — but you can adapt to your own company name and messaging.

1. Get a prospect’s attention

Prospecting emails are your first shot at making a good impression on a potential customer. Send emails that interest the reader at first glance starting with the subject line. Write it as a question or include the subject’s first name — make it personal and inviting.

Cold email template

Subject Line: Available for a chat?

Hi [Contact First Name],

Love what you guys are doing at [Prospect’s Business]! With all of the startups you work with, do you need assistance with [Pain Point]? With tools like Better Bookkeeping Software, you can easily organize and track customer payment info, even on the go.

Would you be available for a 15-minute chat this week?

Thank you for your time,
[Your Name]
Better Bookkeeping Software, Sales Representative
[Number]

When to use it: Use this sales email template when you’ve received an email address through gated content, marketing, etc. Indicate that you’ve done your homework and have an idea of what the company’s needs are — bonus if you include a link at the end that proves your worth such as an impressive video or press release (e.g., “Better Bookkeeping improves XX Company’s efficiency with revolutionary software”).

Introductory email template

Subject Line: Free Trial of Bookkeeping Software

Hi [Contact First Name],

I noticed your question on [Social Media Platform] about the best bookkeeping software and thought I would reach out. Investing in the right bookkeeping software is important for startups like yours and requires [list out something like requirement criteria].

Better Bookkeeping Software offers a free trial that gives insight into your current payment operations. Please let me know if you would like to give it a try!

Best regards,
[Your Name]

When to use it: The prospect is asking questions online that pertain to your product/service such as on Quora and LinkedIn groups. Or maybe you found the prospect on a site like AngelList. Either way, this template is great if your company offers a free trial of your product/service. It gives the prospect the opportunity to try your offering, no strings attached. No free trial? Ask the prospect if you can set up a demo time instead.

Warm email template

Subject Line: Nice meeting you, [Prospect Name]

Hi [Contact First Name],

It was great chatting with you on [Day]! Based on our conversation on/at [information on where you met such as an event or social media platform], I wanted to reach out and share a bit more information about Better Bookkeeping Software’s offerings and how it can help your company with [XYZ].

Our platform is an excellent tool for startups like yours because of features like these:

Feature 1
Feature 2
Feature 3

Would you be available for a 15-minute call this week to discuss how Better Bookkeeping can help [Prospect Company Name]?

Thank you,
[Your Name]

When to use it: A warm email should be sent when you’ve already had an interaction with the prospect at an event or on social media. Send as quickly as possible, so your interaction is still fresh on their minds. If you received their contact info via a referral or mutual connection, adjust the first sentence as needed and the subject line to read something like “[Referral] suggested I contact you.”

Prospect follow-up email template

Subject Line: X blog posts about [Pain Point]

Hi [Contact First Name],

I wanted to share these blog posts that I believe would be really helpful for [insert prospect pain point such as digital invoices].

Resource 1
Resource 2
Resource 3
Resource 4

If you have a minute to check these posts out, I think the info gives great direction on [topics listed in the blog posts]. Let me know what you think.

Best regards,
[Your Name]

When to use it: Use this template when you haven’t received a response to your previous emails. Provide related resources or answers to common industry questions so that you’re perceived as helpful while building rapport with the prospect.

2. Prove that your product/service is the best

Now that the potential customer is interested in your product/service and they’ve been properly qualified, it’s time to offer proof that your product/service is right for them. Send emails that establish your company’s credibility.

Social proof email template

Subject Line: Want to save X% in efficiency costs?

Hello [Prospect Name],

Thanks for taking the time to chat. We’re really excited at the prospect of working with you. As promised, here are some examples of work we’ve done for other customers:

Example 1
Example 2
Example 3

As you can see from other customers’ success, I believe that Better Bookkeeping can help your company succeed with [Pain Point].

Let me know what questions you have. I’ll follow up by [Insert Date].

Best,
[Your Name]

When to use it: Show the product’s/service’s effectiveness (e.g., videos, testimonials, case studies, blog links) and how it has worked for others. Work with marketing on these materials and weave interesting narratives. If you don’t have case studies, source raw data from departments like product success. For example, is the time-to-payment increased with your bookkeeping software?

These types of emails are especially important to convince decision makers — the ones who will be signing on the dotted line to complete the sale. Be sure to include a compelling CTA at the end of the email to push the prospect to the next step.

3. Explain why your product/service is worth the price

Ah, time to discuss terms and prices. From past interactions, the prospect should already have an idea of what your product/service is going to cost. Now it’s time to cover specific offerings based on their needs. Maybe you can offer a special discount or bonus. These conversations should also happen over the phone or in person, but it’s good to have your offer in writing.

Proposal email template 1

Subject Line: Better Bookkeeping Features + Proposal

Hi [Contact Name],

As promised, here is the info on pricing/packaging to meet [Prospect Company Name]‘s needs. Your software package would include:

Feature
Feature
Feature
Price

Let me know what you think. Next steps would be:

Getting started on the paperwork
Speaking with [Prospect Manager]
Onboarding [Company Name]

I’ll plan to follow up in a few days.

Best,
[Your Name]

When to use it: Send after the potential customer has expressed serious interest in your product/service and you’ve casually discussed terms. Ask the potential customer if you can clarify anything or if they have any questions. Emphasize the benefits of your product/service and the value the prospect would receive for the price.

4. Seal the deal with persuasive language

You’ve presented all of the information and answered the prospects’ questions. They are close to either purchasing your product/service or going with a competitor. Give them an email offer they can’t refuse.

Closing email template 1

Subject Line: Ready to improve [Pain Point]?

Hi [Prospect Name],

I’m excited that you’re considering Better Bookkeeping Software for [Prospect Company Name]‘s bookkeeping needs! As mentioned, I believe that our software will improve your company’s payment efficiency. For the price of X, [Prospect Company] will receive [List of Benefits].

If there is any more information I can provide or questions I can answer, please let me know. Next steps would be signing the contract and then working with our customer success team to get your clients’ payment information integrated with our software.

[Your Name]

When to use it: Your email message should focus on the benefits that your product/service will bring this specific customer and what it will cost them. It should be short, personal, and summarize information you’ve already shared. Your CTA is also important here — let the prospect know exactly what needs to happen next. The ball is then in their court.

Closing email template 2

Subject Line: [Prospect Name], following up

Hi [Prospect Name],

I haven’t heard from you, so I wanted to follow up. Is [Company Name] still in need of bookkeeping software? Let me know if there are any concerns you have or questions I can answer.

Thank you,
[Your Name]

When to use it: Use this sales email template if you haven’t received a response to your previous email. The prospect is either getting cold feet or just forgot to follow up. Don’t be pesky, but try to stay on their radar.

5. Continue the relationship via email

Even if you won the deal, don’t stop sending emails. Customer engagement emails are crucial to customer retention and upsell opportunities. Work closely with marketing to align your email messages.

Welcome email template

Subject Line: Welcome to Better Bookkeeping Software!

Hi [Customer Name],

Excited that your company is now using Better Bookkeeping! I’ve CC’d [Customer Success Name] on this email to help you with onboarding, but I’m still here to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Here are a few resources to help you get oriented with our software:

Resource 1
Resource 2
Resource 3

Contact me anytime via email. We look forward to helping [Company Name] with [main function of your product/service].

Best,
[Your Name]

When to use it: Send after the deal has been closed. Let the customer know you’re excited that they’ve purchased the product/service. Also, offer your support and convey to the customer that you’re not just handing them off to the customer success department — you’re still there to nurture the relationship.

Resource email template

Subject Line: X blog posts to assist with [Customer Problem]

Hello [Customer Name],

Hope that you’re doing well! My team member Ryan was sharing that you’ve been having difficulty with [Pain Point]. In addition to the software help he provided, I wanted to share a few blog posts related to this topic that would be helpful for [Customer Company Name].

Resource 1
Resource 2
Resource 3

Let me know if I can answer any questions about these resources or our product in general.

Best,
[Your Name]

When to use it: Show the customer that you’re invested in their success and send these types of emails periodically. Offer content such as blog posts that help customers use your product/service to its full potential (ask marketing for material if needed). Follow customers’ interactions with customer service through your CRM if you need ideas on what to send.

These emails also don’t have to be about using your product/service. Include information that helps with the customer’s industry needs (e.g., templates or checklists). Prove that you care about their needs.

Re-connect email template 1

Subject Line: New feature to solve XYZ

Hi [Contact Name],

It’s been awhile since we last chatted…how is everything going at [Prospect Company Name]? Based on our last conversation about [Topic], I think [Your Company Name Feature] could really boost [Prospect Company Name]‘s bookkeeping abilities.

I’d love to provide you with more details. Would you be available for a quick chat or demo this week?

Best regards,
[Your Name]
Re-connect email template 2

Subject Line: Can I help with [Pain Point]?

Hi [Contact Name],

I want to reach out and ask how everything is going at [Prospect Company Name]? How is your current bookkeeping solution working out for you?

We’ve recently added some new features to our software that I believe would be really helpful for [Prospect Pain Point]. If you would be interested in a quick chat or demo this week, please let me know or if there are any other ways we can help [Prospect Company Name].

Best,
[Your Name]

When to use it: You lost the deal — maybe the prospect decided they didn’t need your service after all or their budget was too low. Or maybe they went with a competitor. Don’t be discouraged. Keep track of the prospect by following them on social media and through press releases. Send another email at a later date (e.g., if they went with a competitor, check back when their subscription is almost up). The prospect already knows who you are — keep your relationship on a good note.

Customize each sales email template

To make your sales email process as easy as possible, use a CRM to automatically send and track email responses through an integration such as Mailchimp. Then, use marketing automation integrations to perform A/B testing and see which subject lines have the highest open rate or response rate. You can also use these same integrations to determine the best times for sending emails to your prospects.

To avoid being a Generic Jane or Jerry with sales emails, customize each template above before sending. No matter what sales stage you or your sales team are in, ensure that your emails to potential and current customers are personal and valuable. Stay away from industry jargon. Emails should be as customer-centric as possible and prove that you care about the customer relationship.

The post 12 sales email templates for every stage of the sales pipeline appeared first on Zendesk Sell Blog.

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No one can perfectly predict the future. But luckily for sales teams, there are ways to estimate relatively accurate sales revenue. Enter sales forecasting.

Granted, sales forecasting can be intimidating, especially if you’re a new business just growing your sales department. However, it’s an essential process for your company.

An effective sales forecasting process allows you to track sales data, manage your sales pipeline, and improve your forecasting model over time. It helps you understand how many deals you need/expect to close, the status of each deal, and pinpoints any factors that might affect your company’s future growth. Most importantly, sales forecasting helps you predict future revenue and shows your managers what to expect for the coming quarter/year.

That’s why we’ve created this introductory sales forecast template — to help you easily get started with the sales forecasting process.

Download the Sales Forecast Template.

How to use the sales forecast template

This template includes two columns: Actual sales results by month and Projected sales results by month. Place the number of all monthly deals in the “Actual” column (sales forecasting works off of past information). Based on this information, insert your projections for each month of the upcoming year. You can also update the graph so you have a visual of your sales projections.

Let’s say that you sold 1400 of your company’s service subscriptions in October 2018. October is a good month for your business as you participate at a major conference filled with potential customers. You estimate that you’ll grow 40-50% year-on-year (or roughly 2000 subscriptions). The number of deals (or subscriptions in this case) predict future revenue. You can use different sales forecasting techniques to make these projections.

Also, customize the template as needed to match your company’s needs. If your sales department works on the quarterly system, change from monthly to quarterly.

Use your projections to work backward and determine how many deals you need to close over the next period to reach the desired revenue. Answer questions like: How many leads do I already have in the pipeline? What is the value of each potential deal? How many more deals do I need to close? Where are my leads coming from?

If you discover at the end of each month (or quarter) that actual results didn’t align with your forecast, don’t be discouraged. Maybe your pipeline needs cleaning. Or maybe your sales reps need more coaching. Use it as an opportunity to improve your sales forecasting process.

Conclusion

This sales forecast template works for businesses with small sales operations; it’s not designed to provide the insights that larger companies need to grow.

A CRM is a better choice as your company scales. For example, with a CRM like Sell, sales reps can easily insert important sales data. Data is automatically organized and placed into a visual format such as these sales forecasting reports:

Sign up for a free trial of Sell today.

The post Download Sell’s free sales forecast template appeared first on Zendesk Sell Blog.

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