In an alternate reality, you could simply wish for business growth and it would happen—in this reality, you need a marketing plan and a sales prospecting email.

And not just any type of email.

Research shows that the average open rate for a cold email is about 1%. However, data from ConstantContact and MailChimp shows open rates of 14% to 23% when emails are targeted.

Not sure what to do? We’re right here with you in this reality, and we have you covered. In fact, we’ve helped more than 4,000 businesses leverage their email campaigns with automation, tracking, and so much more. 

Read on for an in-depth discussion on prospecting emails—what they are, why they’re necessary, and most importantly, how to write one that drives new business to your door or your website. 

The following tips and techniques can almost guarantee you a better response rate to your sales prospecting email campaigns.

What are prospecting emails?

The prospecting email—also known as a cold email—is the first step toward a new business relationship. Every new relationship starts with a conversation, whether it’s verbal or nonverbal. 

Cold emails are a form of lead generation. It’s you reaching out to a perfect stranger, not knowing how they will react. Imagine approaching someone on the street and extending your right hand, hoping they’ll reciprocate with theirs—and you shake hands. But there’s also a good chance they will ignore you completely.

There’s a variety of channels in use to attract new contacts, but as new statistics from Oberlo show, email marketing is a powerful tool that all brands should have in their box. 

If you’re a salesperson, it’s a common practice to do your sales prospecting at trade shows, conferences, or other similar venues. While there, you spend time looking for opportunities to meet and greet new people, all with the aim of building rapport. But there’s a smarter option.  

Okay, now you know what a prospecting email is, but what’s the big deal?

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Why are sales prospecting emails important?

As a salesperson, you understand that the first step in the sales cycle is prospecting. You need to fill your pipeline with leads, and a prospecting email is one of the best ways to do that.

The benefits of a cold email done right include a better-targeted list of prospects, better ROI on your campaigns, and the ability to better connect with leads when you personalize your emails.

More efficient targeting

A prospecting email isn’t just another form of customer outreach, it’s a better one.

Targeting your emails provides you with a number of benefits, especially when you create clearly defined target groups. Targets can be grouped based on any of the following:

  • Company size
  • Location
  • Needs
  • Pain points
  • Wants
  •  . . .  and more

Better ROI

Part of the beauty of doing business in a digital world is the increase in opportunities when it comes to initiating contact. Realistically, how many people can you meet face-to-face while attending a conference? Now compare that number to the number of people you can email in the space of an hour—including the time it takes you to compose your message.

Here are just of few of the costs you may have to factor into other forms of prospecting.

  • Traveling to and attending trade shows and/or conferences.
  • Paid ads. On search engines, social media, commercials, billboards, and so on.

Granted, there are advantages to an in-person meeting where you have an instant conversation. But instant conversations aren’t the goal of a prospecting email. At this point, you’re just trying to turn a cold lead into a warm lead.

Better qualified leads

A great prospecting email can lead to better qualified leads which puts you in a better position to close sales.

The ability to qualify leads at this point in your sales funnel is extremely efficient. It simply a waste of time to try to develop new partnerships with the bad lead.

How to perfect your sales prospecting emails?

I’ve mentioned some of the dos and don’ts of the perfect prospecting email, but let’s dig a bit deeper and look at best practices.

Let’s start with the email itself, then talk about the process.

Include a strong subject line

The 3-second rule of marketing is that you have to capture the attention of the user within 3 seconds. This is where a strong subject line comes in. In fact, these are probably the most important words in your entire email. Your subject line will determine whether or not someone opens and reads your email.

Consider the following when crafting your subject line.

  • Personalize your subject line around things like geography, recent events, or pain points.
  • Ask a question.
  • Point out any connections you may have.
  • Create a sense of urgency or FOMO (fear of missing out)
  • Pinpoint a value proposition

Create a strong message body

It may seem counterintuitive, but your prospecting email shouldn’t convey a what you can do for me message. Instead, show them what you can do for them. If possible, explain how it could help with a pain point. Make sure they understand the benefit you, or your product or service can bring them.

Personalization should come into play here. And if you have targeted groups, this becomes much easier. What you’re offering the reader will ultimately depend on the needs, wants, pain points of your target group.

Include a CTA

You’ve crafted an email that points out to the reader the benefits you have offered them. However, there something you want from them as well. So be sure to craft a well-defined CTA.

Here are some suggestions for a strong CTA.

  • Ask for permission to share something beneficial you may have mentioned in the body of your email.
  • Ask for confirmation on something.
  • Suggest a specific time to talk.

You may have better luck with the first two but any responses a step toward a successful campaign.

Now for the process.

Research & qualify your prospects

Just like you likely wouldn’t consider approaching random people on the street with the hope of turning them into a warm lead, you don’t want to send cold emails to random addresses either.

You can look to social media, company websites and blogs to source quality prospects. However, it’s good practice to know your country’s antispam laws just to be safe.

Rank your prospects with lead scoring

People are unique and so are your prospects. Since your goal is to turn a lead into a buyer the practice of scoring your leads is beneficial. Scoring is done by using a point structure to rank your prospects based on how likely they are to buy. The higher the score a prospect has the more time and focus they deserve.

Of course, you’ll need to do some groundwork in order to define your scoring process. Here are a few things to consider:

  • What characteristics do your best leads commonly have?
  • When you examine past sales, do many of them come from a specific vertical or geographical area?
  • Don’t forget the basics such as industry, role, company size, and any current pain points.

Setting up a lead score ranking system isn’t easy. But you will be rewarded for the time and effort you put into it.

Send your emails at the best time

Back in 2019, and GetResponse conducted research on 4 billion emails sent over a five-month period. These were emails sent by online marketers, entrepreneurs, large brands, and small businesses.

Here are some highlights:

  • 18% of all email campaigns were done on the weekend—both Saturday and Sunday
  • 17% were sent on Tuesdays
  • Despite the fact that clicks and open rates were higher on Mondays and Tuesdays it was Saturday’s and Sunday’s that saw the best click to open ratios

In another large study done in 2019, CampaignMonitor examined 30 billion emails. They are take away was similar to the results found by GetResponse—emails sent on Tuesdays had the highest open rate. Unfortunately, on the flip side, Tuesday was also the day that had the highest number of unsubscribes.

But what about time of day? Does it matter?

It does. And there are several studies to back that up as well. For example, research done by Sendinblue shows that 10 am and between 3 pm and 4 am are optimal times to send email, as this is when many check their inboxes. However, they did determine that the best click through rates were in the evening, through to 6 pm and sometimes 7 pm.

Follow up

If you’re not following up your missing opportunities. Don’t send a single prospecting email and stop there. Nurture your leads by using an email sequence since follow-up emails typically get a better response than the initial email.

Effective sales prospecting email templates

We’ve talked a lot about the theories and principles behind effective prospecting emails, but how about some examples.

Here is a selection of prospecting email templates.

Convey the clear value provided

Focus on what you can do for your reader. What do you have that adds value?

Connect them with a referral

This is an excellent way to personalize your email.

Reference a company announcement or achievement

Personalize your prospecting email by referencing any announcements or current news about recent achievements.

It’s not as hard as it may sound!

We’ve covered a lot of information, haven’t we? And crafting the perfect prospecting email may be the easiest part.

But time is money, so when it comes to scaling your outreach, consider simplifying the process. Skipping parts of the process will cost you money instead of saving it, so don’t even head down that road.

Instead, look to a tool like LaGrowthMachine. It will automate the process of managing and tracking your leads and much more.

Are you ready to grow your business with the perfect prospecting email? I think you are! And success is in your sights with LaGrowthMachine.