Email prospecting has become the essential replacement for telephone prospecting. It is an outreach method that is widely accepted and practiced. In fact, 32% of B2B prospects even say they “like” receiving emails (Hubspot, 2020).

However, setting up an email prospecting scenario is far from simple. By missing this entry point and by depriving yourself of the right tools, you will seriously fall behind your competition.

But what is a good sales email? How do you write it like a professional? When should you send your B2B emailing campaigns?

In this sales email guide we give you all our tips and tricks, examples, and templates to help you develop an unbeatable B2B emailing strategy.

What is a sales email?

By definition, a prospecting email is an email sent to a lead that fits in the context of selling a product or a service.

The email can be addressed to established lists or used within the framework of a manual or automated prospecting action. The objective, above all, is that your lead responds to you to start a conversation that leads to a conversion.

It is the foundation of any B2B prospecting campaign. Through these sales emails will be a large part of your lead generation strategy.

There are two approaches to B2B mailing: an old-school one and a more modern one.

The old-school approach to a sales email

When people first started using email, they sent campaigns in a generic, impersonal format to a large database. Volume was favored over quality. This is what cold mailing is all about, also called cold outreach.

This method worked perfectly in the 2000s, but is no longer the case today. The opening rate is low, as are the actual results. It is a method that your potential customers will qualify as intrusive, even pure spam. When only 24% or less of sales emails are opened, you have to wonder about the effectiveness of this method.

Today, growth marketing experts (and this is also our opinion at LaGrowthMachine) all agree on one point: it is necessary to enrich your audience before trying to convert it.

This is where the second approach comes in.

The modern definition of a prospecting email

To put it simply, B2B emailing must encompass the entire marketing process of researching and qualifying prospects.

This process corresponds to all the actions that will lead you to the implementation of a personalized scenario. The goal is to capture the attention of your potential clientele and establish a real commercial relationship.

It is broken down into many stages, from making contact to follow-up and closing.

Let’s study all its characteristics together.

La valeur d'un mail de prospection BtoB - ©Oberlo
Value for one prospecting email – ©Oberlo

What are the types of sales emails?

B2B emailing takes many forms. Each one is adapted to a specific moment of your prospecting plan.

If you don’t know what a prospecting plan is, it’s time to check out our blog and more specifically our guide on B2B sales prospecting.

For now, let’s detail their different characteristics:

  • The introductory email. This is crucial in your acquisition strategy as it’s the first email you will send to your lead. It must be brief, concise, and immediately catch the interest of your potential customer. You can, for example, offer to solve their problem or give them constructive criticism (be careful on this one though, no one likes to be attacked by a total stranger).
  • Nurturing emails. These consist of gradually developing your lead from a prospect to a customer. The lead should be engaged in a funnel of targeted content. Through a series of emails or newsletters, they are made aware of your company’s brand universe. This is where they become more and more receptive to your value proposition. With a well-constructed scenario, you will also have the opportunity to collect a lot of information about your lead (profession, hierarchical level, interests, etc.).
  • The loyalty email. Unlike an acquisition email, this one is addressed to an audience that has already been captured. It consists of sending the right message at the right time. It can celebrate a birthday (professional or personal), the sharing of information about a new product, an exclusive white paper, or even a collection of opinions on a product.
  • The follow-up email. Have you sent an introductory email without getting any feedback? Do you need to target a segment of prospects who have been inactive for too long? The reminder message is your ally of choice. It will help you re-contextualize your offer while encouraging them to take action. It can be coupled with a promotion, a loyalty offer, etc. and must always contain a call to action.
  • Promotional email. Do you have an offer for a training course? Do you want to promote a particular product for a special event such as Valentine’s Day or the beginning of the school year? Then this is your go-to choice. Be clear about the percentage off or the added value of an immediate purchase. If done right, it will help you increase your sales considerably.
  • Notification email. This type of email will be particularly effective after you have gathered enough data about your prospect. It can reward a birthday (with an exclusive promotion, for example) as well as incite them to re-visit your website from an abandoned cart. It is relatively intrusive but devilishly effective in earning customers.
  • The closing email. This is the one where you tremble before pressing the send button. This is when you tell your prospect your final objective. This is the end of your conversion funnel. It is obviously accompanied by a call-to-action to your platform and encourages the purchase. It should only be sent when the lead is really hot (which is why it’s a good idea to conduct a lead scoring strategy in parallel).

Now that you know most of the different prospecting emails to use, let’s get down to business.

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How to write a good prospecting email

To write a good sales email will require you to put some effort into writing. Here are some tips that can help you boost the open rate of your emails.

Pay attention to the subject line of your email

A lead will decide in a handful of seconds if your email is worthy of interest. That’s why you have to focus on your subject line. It is the first thing your potential customer will read.

Here are the rules to follow to catch their eye:

Choose a short format

The ideal length of an email subject line is around 50 characters. In addition to helping you be punchy, it will be readable on the vast majority of webmail (@Orange boxes limit the subject to 30 characters, for example).

Don’t say: “We explain in 8 steps how to become an ace sales prospector.
Say: “8 steps to becoming an expert in B2B prospecting”.

Place the most important words at the beginning of the email

It would be a shame if your prospect’s webmail truncated the most important information. As for your readers who receive dozens, even hundreds, of messages per day, they are used to skimming.

Don’t say “The LaGrowthMachine team delivers all the secrets of B2B prospecting in a comprehensive guide.”
Say “B2B Prospecting: The Complete Guide by LaGrowthMachine.

Avoid special characters and capital letters

This is important for readability, but also to avoid offending webmails.

Do not say: “$$$$ BECOME AN EXPERT IN PROSPECTING AND BOOST YOUR SALES ;) !!!!!!!”
Say: “Become an expert in prospecting and boost your sales”

Stand out with emojis, without forcing

You don’t run a blog, but nothing prevents you from using emoticons to stand out in your prospect’s mailbox. Be careful to choose the right emoji at the right time. Not all emoticons are recognized by webmails. Be sure to check this beforehand.

Don’t say, “Get your business off the ground in 3 steps.”
Say, “🚀 Get your business off the ground in 3 steps.”

Personalize your email subject line

This is an increasingly used method. This simple hack can increase your email open rate by up to 50%. You can, for example, add the first name, the last name, the name of the company, their job title, etc.

Don’t say “Here is the result of three months of research on the best email subject.”
Say: “Eddie, find out how to write perfect email subject lines”
.

Use a meaningful ice breaker

Like the subject line, the initial couple of sentences can make or break your interaction.

Without a strong and relevant ice breaker, your prospect will most likely not go any further.

Here are a few practical tips to optimize your email:

  • Place your keyword at the beginning
  • Put yourself in your target’s shoes: play on their needs, fears, or desires
  • Make it as simple as possible (unless you’re talking to an expert)
  • Be concise, no one has time to read long texts
  • Write your email like a copywriter
  • To be sure to capture the attention of your recipient until the end, you might use professional copywriting methods.

The AIDA method (Attention/Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) is one of the most effective copywriting methods.

  1. The attention phase. These are your introductory or nurturing types of emails.
  2. The interest phase. This is where you need to focus on the needs of your audience. By being concise, you identify their friction points. You can either reassure them by explaining that it’s a classic problem, or play on their fears by explaining why their business is doomed to fail without the right solution. It’s up to you to choose between angel and demon.
  3. The desire phase. Now you must show them why you are made for each other. Clearly, you know how to cure all their ills, thanks to a well-tried strategy. Demonstrate your efficiency with practical examples and statistics. More than just making yourself look good, it is above all a question of making them understand that you have targeted their problems and that you are able to remedy them.
  4. The action phase. This is when you encourage them to solve their problem by redirecting them to your site or blog, making an appointment, making a phone call, etc.
La méthode AIDA en copywriting
AIDA methods for copywriting – ©Coco Studio

Be human

Would you want to reply to someone who talks to you like a robot? Add a little warmth to your emails. Don’t hesitate to show communicative enthusiasm or empathy.

The more genuine your communications with your prospects are, the more likely they are to result in a conversion. Plus, it will make the day more enjoyable for everyone, of course.

Opt for text, rather than images

A picture is worth a thousand words… as long as it passes the webmails’ screening.

By adding JPGs, MP4s, PDFs, or any other acronym to your emails, you considerably increase their sending size. You could then be directly categorized as a spammer and ruin your hard-earned deliverability index.

Don’t forget to add a CTA

Whether it’s a clickable link or a button to a resource (blog post, landing page, etc.), try to incite action through your prospecting actions — whether for marketing or sales purposes!

Now you know everything you need to write a sales email the right way. However, all this effort is useless if you send them at the wrong time.

When should you send your sales emails?

Let’s be clear, there is no magic rule when it comes to dates and times for email prospecting. That’s why it is essential to know who you are addressing. Where do your leads come from? Did you inherit a list via a CRM or any other marketing action?

This is even more true if you want to approach contacts abroad. A New York entrepreneur will probably not have the same rhythm as a French freelancer.

This rule is also applicable according to the profession. A company boss rarely checks his emails, unlike an assistant manager. Hence the importance of segmenting your list beforehand!

However, a few trends can be observed regarding the optimal days to contact people on:

  • During the week, the best opening rates are observed on Tuesday or Thursday.
  • The worst opening rates during the week are recorded on Monday or Friday.
  • We avoid prospecting emails on weekends, especially with B2B sales. In very specific cases, it can work (such as for LinkedIn prospecting). The more the border between personal and professional life is getting thinner, the more the situation may change.
Les meilleurs jours pour la prospection BtoB
Best days to send sales emails @SingleGrain

As for hours, just trust your logic:

  • Emails are more easily opened during break times. Think about your journey in the subway, your cigarette breaks, the mid-afternoon fatigue, the return journey… then try to define the behavior of your persona.
  • In B2B, the opening rate from 8 am to 10 am can even go up to 39%.
  • Mobile users are more and more likely to consume their emails at all hours. This can be early in the morning before getting up, or late at night before going to bed. Almost a third of clicks (32%) are recorded between 10 pm and 12 am.

Now you know how to write an email and when to send it. If you need a little push to get started, no doubt the examples and templates presented below will help you.

Examples of sales emails

Before getting down to business, here are a few concrete examples that will help you get started.

The intro email with expert advice

As we saw together above, this is your first contact with the prospect. You can go straight to the point, by offering your recipient a solution that fits his needs. Or you can approach them more subtly, like here:

sales email example #1

The concise relaunch

No news, good news? Not necessarily. Remind Arthur who you are by being a little more direct.

This time, propose a video meeting that will be short but full of practical information. The idea is your call will convince him that you are the ideal interlocutor.

Sales email example #2

The conversion email

You have succeeded in convincing Arthur to grant you an appointment for a demo of your tool and have presented it. Everything went well, now you have to play your last card:

sales email example #3

Don’t forget to customize them to increase their efficiency.

Template for prospecting emails

To get you started, here is a customizable template for a B2B introduction email. You can copy and paste this template directly into your email editor, and adapt it as needed!

Subject: {First name}, our tips to improve your {lead marketing}

Hello {First name},

I saw that you are positioned in the same sector as {customers}.
By using our {value added business} solution, we’ve helped them boost their results by X!

It’s super easy to use, as you’ll see.
I invite you to make an appointment here {URL Calendly} or to propose your slots so we can discuss it?

15 minutes should be enough for me to convince you,

See you soon,

{Your signature with integrated CTA}

Then, it’s up to you to design your email scenario by alternating between the types of content and the prospecting channels.

If you are still unsure of the best way to quickly optimize your results, LaGrowthMachine is here to help you and propose email templates that have proven their worth!

Automated email campaigns with LaGrowthMachine

As we said above, it’s all about your ability to determine a mailing scenario. Then, thanks to LaGrowthMachine, you can automate your prospecting in the blink of an eye.

After having automatically segmented and enriched your contacts on our platform, it’s time to design your emails. Ask our experts for help with the writing or get your hands dirty!

With our solution, you can choose to send messages on different web channels (Emails, obviously, but also Twitter and LinkedIn).

First, import lead lists from your CRM or LinkedIn. Then, take care of your strategy by planning follow-up emails, appointment setting, white paper sending, or any other content that seems relevant.

You can also (and we strongly encourage you to do so) A/B test to see what is the most effective prospecting scenario. Finally, all you have to do is analyze and iterate your campaign.

Even if emailing remains one of the favorite tools of salespeople and marketers, we will always support the importance of the multi-channel approach which has been widely proven. In addition to saving 40% of your daily routine, which you will devote to other tasks, your response rate will be multiplied by 3.5X, vs a traditional outreach strategy.