Request a free demo Log in search-icon

Email Writing: Top Tips For Selling More | Blog | sales-i

  • Home
  • Content and Events

The most successful salespeople know the power that a good email can have.  
 
In this increasingly digital age, as more and more of our interactions go online, being able to write a persuasive and effective email is a highly useful skill to have, and one that can often be neglected in the world of sales. 


 The art of email is not dead, and is as powerful as it ever was, and it’s only going to get better. 
 
The best way to engage people with your email writing is to write as though you're having a conversation. It may sound easy, but there’s a certain skill in achieving this, but once you’ve mastered the art of being polite, conversational and professional, you’ll be onto a winner. 

So, how can you write with a true, conversational tone while remaining professional?  
Here are 6 tips for writing sales emails.

1. Write how you speak

In your day-to-day life, you start sentences with ‘And’ and ‘But’ all the time, and you say words like ‘don’t’ instead of 'Do not', and there's no reason why you can't do that in an email (minus the slang and expletives, and with good spelling and punctuation). 

Essentially, if you would say it out loud in a meeting with a client, feel free to write it.

One additional thing to bear in mind is your regional accent. Whilst your local charm may be a winning combination for you on a call, in email it may just be difficult to read. Chances are if spell check is confused then your prospect will be too.

Write the way you talk, as if you're just talking to a human on the other end of the email.

But always, for the sake of Shakespeare, spell-check your grammar and punctuation.

Most people don’t care about a mistake or two, but there are some people out there who won’t take you seriously if you spell something wrong. Is it worth the risk?

2. It’s all about ‘You’

You should make your message personal wherever you can by using words like ‘You’ and ‘Your’.

Doing this really makes someone feel like you’re talking directly to them and not to a group of people.

If you just talk about yourself, saying things like “I work with ABC & Co.” and “I solve such and such a problem”, you make it sound like you’re telling a group of people about yourself.

Shy away from this wherever possible. Always try to put a spin on your sentences which puts the other person at the center of things.

“You may have heard of ABC and Co., who I currently work with.”

“You probably face XYZ challenge every day, something I’ve worked with on numerous occasions and would love to help you solve.”

The bottom line is that if someone loves to talk about themselves, you probably hate listening to them. So, don’t make your cold call email a snooze. Instead, inject their name and interests into your email writing. Someone saying your name and talking about you, that’s pretty hard to ignore.

 

3. Sack the synonyms

I’ve seen a lot of messages in which people use words and phrases that we just don’t use in the real world.

They’re used to be impressive and make the writer look intelligent, a tactic which seriously backfires because it makes you look like you’ve just right-clicked in Word and found the most complex sounding word under the synonyms.

In the wise words of Albert Einstein, “If you can’t explain something simply enough, you don’t understand it well enough.”

If you’re using any words at all that you wouldn’t normally use, you’ll alienate your audience.

Seriously: any words you or they wouldn’t say out loud – should be removed from your typing vocabulary altogether. Forget using words like ‘Thus’, ‘Therefore’ and ‘Hence’. If you don’t use them in real life, don’t type them.

If there’s a simpler word or phrase that can be used, use it.

 

4. Calm down…

Avoid the use of exclamation marks altogether; they can easily make you look like you’re excited about something that isn’t worth being excited about, and you don’t want people to think of you as the annoying puppy of your industry.

“Hi [name]! I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions about [Company name]?! Looking forward to hearing from you! Oliver!!!!”

I have genuinely seen emails that use as many exclamation marks as the example above, and it can be a little embarrassing.
As a general rule of thumb, just avoid exclamation marks altogether. They’ve been overused in marketing for a long time now and rarely have a time or place.

If you want to let someone know you’re excited about working with them and their company, just tell them!!!!!! There’s no need to infer it with annoying punctuation!!!!!!!

Oh, and don’t shout. WRITING IN ALL CAPITALS MEANS SHOUTING IN ONLINE CONVERSATIONS AND EMAILS. OK?!!!!

 

5. Don’t be afraid to ask

This is a really simple tip but also one of the most effective.

When someone asks you a question, do you immediately think about your answer to it?

Yes, of course you do. Admit it, you just did then didn’t you?

And when someone is thinking about the answer to a question, they feel like they have something to say.

And when someone is thinking about the answer to a question, they feel like they have something to say.

So, adding the question you need to ask in at the very end of the email or InMail you’re writing seriously increases the chances of getting a response.

But be careful not to write your message with a list of questions. That makes it feel like you’re writing to more than one person, which immediately lessens the conversational feel and chances of a reply.

Rather than listing off questions and leaving them up in the air, stick to one key question and maybe even give a hint as to how you think they should answer.

“I was just wondering if you struggle with ABC? I’m trying to establish whether it’s a case of [X] for your company, or if it’s more that you [Y].”

Doing this makes it easy for them to reply. But if you list 3 or 4 questions back-to-back people are far less likely to reply.

 

6. Never, ever, ever pitch

Of course, salespeople like to pitch, it’s part of the game.

Without the pitch, there will never be a sale.

So why not just jump straight to the pitch?

Cut right to the chase and forget all the boring dialog before – surely that’s a great, time-saving idea, isn’t it?

Sadly, it’s not, but a lot of salespeople tend to do it anyway.

In fact, rather than saving you time, it will cost you a lot of leads, and that’s never good.

Remember, few prospects are ready to be pitched to straight away.

Take the example below:

“I was just wondering if you struggle with XYZ? The reason is that I know [company name] do and it’s a pretty common challenge in the industry.”

Avoid pitching in your writing; save that for one-to-one calls and meetings.

After writing this do not continue to justify your question with a mini pitch.

“The reason I ask is that we are the market leader in solving this problem. We currently work with companies like [name], [name] and [name] every single day and, by doing ABC and XYZ, help them to succeed in the industry.”

By all means, introduce yourself at the start, but don’t show all your cards.

When you write to sell, avoid any sales pitch in your writing as much as you can. You immediately make it about you and your company.

To make it a conversation rather than a lecture, you need to keep it about them and theirs.

BONUS POINT: 

As a salesperson, one of your key strengths is that you’re good at talking, have great people skills and know how to gauge someone’s reactions. So why waste a pitch in your writing when you can use your emails and InMails to build up a relationship and then pitch over the phone or in person?

 

Now you have your email writing up-to-scratch why not continue with us and learn ’18 Steps to a Productive Sales Meeting’

Do you still need a helping hand to get you started? Check out a few tips on how to talk about them not you plus some great email templates here.

Subscribe now.

Over 7,000 sales leaders and reps get our insights, tips, and news delivered every month 📧

Contact us

Close