8 Key Elements to Killer Sales and Marketing Emails that Win

8-key-elements-to-a-winning-email

Email is critical to sales and marketing. We all know it, so if we want to win with email, we must create emails that not only get opened but also deliver on the objective of the email

All sales and marketing emails have an objective. We wouldn’t send them if they didn’t. In most cases, the objective is to get the recipient to take action.  We’re asking the recipient to download a document, to read an article or to give us 15 minutes of their time.

Every sales and marketing email worth anything has the objective of getting the recipient to act.

Unfortunately, the sales emails we send out aren’t very good at getting to the objective.

To improve your ability to meet your goals and create emails your customers and prospects will open and respond to, they must rank high on the following eight traits.

Subject Line

The subject line of your emails must be compelling and intriguing.  It must capture the attention of the reader immediately.  There is no room here for messing up or cutting corners. The subject line has to get your readers attention or everything else in the email is lost. Make sure the subject line is about 9-14 words or 40-50 characters and is intriguing. Make your subject line feel like a riddle, that when clicked, the riddle will be answered.

Intrigue

This is the most important part of the email. It must be intriguing. The reader must want to keep reading or engage because the email breaks their expected thought patterns about email. If your email(s) looks, feels, or appears to be just like everyone else’s they won’t break through.  Be sure to craft emails that intrigue the recipient and gets them wondering, that surprises them and gets them wanting more. (to learn more about the science of creating intrigue and writing intriguing emails, check out this free ebook here.)

The Offer

Every sales and marketing email must have an offer, no matter how small or inconspicuous. We’re trying to get the reader to take action, and the offer is what we’re giving them to take action.  Therefore the offer must be of value. It must be worth something. Take a look at your emails today. When you ask for 15 minutes of your prospects time, what are you offering for that time? Is it worth it? If you’re talking to an executive who makes 500k a year, that fifteen minutes is worth 50 dollars to them. Is what you’re asking worth 50 dollars?  To put it another way. Would then pay you 50 dollars for what your offering?  The answer is usually no.

When looking at your offer make sure it’s a good solid offer that meets the needs of your prospect or buyer. Even more important, ensure that you have an offer.

The Ask

What are you asking the reader to do?  Is it reasonable? Is it easy to execute? Is the ask clear and concise?  Can the recipient do it now, with little hassle or effort? Are you making it easy for the reader to execute your ask or have you created hurdles or unnecessary process?

The key with the ask is to make sure you have one; it’s reasonable, and it’s easy to execute. Be clear what it is you’re asking the reader to do and why. The ask should be why you wrote the email in the first place, don’t mess this part up.

OverAll Value

The overall value of the email can be summed up in a simple equation. The value of your offer minus the ask (offer – ask = Value 0r O-A=V)  The greater the difference between what your email is offering and what you’re asking for, the greater probability the reader takes action and executes the action.

This equation represents the most valuable part of the email.  Unfortunately, most emails fall flat here. Little effort is focused on the overall value of the email, and therefore too many are ignored, resulting in low conversion rates. This is usually because the offer is less valuable to the prospect or buyer than the ask. When this happens the equation is upside down.

If you want your prospects and customers to take action, make sure the overall value of your email is high. It’s a simple equation: O-A=V

Length

Too long and you’ll lose the reader. Too short, your message is lost or not well articulated. The key is to create an email that is the perfect length. According to Boomerang data, emails that are between 50 and 120 words get opened the most. With that said, I don’t think there is a hard and steady rule to word length. What’s most important is that the email is the right length based on the complexity of the ask and the offer.

The best way to make sure your email isn’t too long is to have someone else read it. The key, the reader doesn’t get bored or want to “stop” reading.  Don’t make your emails too long. Get to the point quickly.

Relevance

How relevant is the email to the recipient. Make sure you’re sending the right email to the right person. Make sure the message and format are appropriate for the recipient. Don’t be sending an email to the CIO or head of IT that lacks data, and technical specifications. Don’t send an email to the CFO or CEO that doesn’t address business issues and money.  It’s important to make sure your email is targeted to the recipient and relevant to their needs and responsibilities.

Readability

How easy is your email to read? Is it grammatically correct? Is the sentence structure clean? Does it flow well? What it is the tone? At the end of the day, emails are communication. Therefore, it’s critical to make sure you’re communicating in a way that connects with the reader.  Make sure the email is written in a way that the tone is light, humorous, or engaging. It needs to connect with the reader. Don’t let run on sentences or poor grammar undermine a great email.

Make your emails conversational and engaging; people want to feel there is a person on the other side of the screen.

 

Being successful with emails is hard, it takes work, but it’s not impossible. Like most things, emails have a success formula and by adhering to the above you drastically increase your chances of creating emails that your prospects and buyers respond to.

Imagine, emails that our prospects and buyers engage with that has a nice ring to it.

If you’re interested in how good your emails are, feel free to download our free email scorecard.  Rate your emails across these eight elements and see how strong your emails are.

email_response_probability_scorecard_160

Download here.

Keenan

  • Barry Hall

    Great informative post Jim, many thanks for sharing it with us. – Barry.

  • Although technological advancement soared at great heights, and companies are using different platforms and techniques to reach out to prospects, email still remains one of the effective tools in warming up with clients. But with all the hundreds of emails prospects receive each day, only some get noticed. Salesforce reported that 64% of emails get opened because of the subject line. So yes, just like what you said, the subject line has to be compelling and intriguing. There are certain email mistakes that we can avoid to avoid getting emails in the trash.

    Very interesting work, Jim! Very helpful to inside sales reps tasked to email outreach. 🙂

  • Adam Peterson

    Great article. Email is incredibly important to sales and marketing, and it’s only getting better.

    I would [albeit unsolicitedly] add to this article a section on Trackability. All sales and marketing people should be sending emails that are capable of tracking opens and attachment views. Knowing when / if an email is engaged with can affect a salesperson’s follow up priorities and timing.