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How to Format your Sales Emails to Get a Higher Open Rate

Allison Casey Digital Marketing Director, Partner
#Digital Marketing, #Inbound Marketing
Published on April 22, 2016

We offer some tips for making sure your sales emails provide value to your prospects and encourage them to connect with you.

My typical routine in the morning at work is to scan my inbox, unabashedly deleting messages from email addresses that I don’t know. I think we’re all familiar with getting these unsolicited emails. In fact, I decided to track how many sales emails I received in one week – the answer? 347. And I’m sure that is low for most director-level marketing execs.

When I agreed to write a blog for the HubSpot Sales Certification launch, I purposely picked an email related topic, because marketing and sales share the same goal when it comes to email, which is to get more people to open the email, read the message, and respond in some fashion.

So how can you get a higher open rate on your sales emails? The simple answer is to get noticed in your prospects’ inbox. Lots of testing of different messaging and design ideas can be a huge help in impacting your open rate, but here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

It’s All About Timing

In general, which day of the week and what time of day you send your email can have a big impact on the probability of your prospect opening the email. According to Experian, emails sent on Tuesday have the highest open rate compared to other weekdays. Additionally, a GetResponse study found that the best times to email prospects are 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM.

This is all well and good, but an even better timing consideration is to send an email when you are at the top of someone’s mind–meaning that they are visiting your website and looking at your content. Being relevant is a key part of getting noticed in an inbox. A marketing tool, like HubSpot Sales, that builds in notifications when prospects are visiting your website makes that process simple.  

Take the Time To Personalize So Your Prospects Take the Time To Read Your Message

Stop sending broadcast emails. If you think you are saving time by trying to reach more people through sending the same email with just the name and company name personalized, you are wrong. You are just wasting time.

I’m old enough to remember the days when mail merge was the best thing in the email world. Today, a non-personalized email, or just putting in a name says one thing: I don’t care enough about truly helping you to take the time to craft a message just for you.

Efficiency doesn’t always equal effectiveness.  Spending the time to see what your prospects care about by seeing what they do on your website can help you narrow in on the problem they might be researching or the products they might feel will help them. 

Make Sure Your Email Looks Good No Matter What Device Your Prospects Use

Have you looked at your email metrics lately to know what device people are using to view your emails? Did you know that 40% of emails are opened on mobile first – where the average mobile screen can only fit 4-7 words max? [Source: ContactMonkey]. Make sure that your emails are responsively designed and can be viewed easily on both mobile and desktop devices.

Think of Your Subject Line As a Handshake

Have you ever met someone, and when you go in for a handshake, it’s limp, or sweaty, or just makes you want to pull your hand away? When that happens, is it hard to get past your initial negative feeling and listen to the person? Much like a handshake, your email subject line is your first impression, and sometimes it’s your only shot at getting your prospect to open the email.

In fact, 47% of email recipients open emails based on subject line alone. This means you need to make your subject lines count. HubSpot has some great examples of subject lines that are compelling.

Keep It Short, Simple, and Relevant

If you are able to get your prospect to open your email, the next step is make sure they read it. Keep your messages brief and relevant. The goal of sales emails isn’t to close the deal, but to continue or start a real conversation - on the phone. So when crafting your message, keep that in mind: you are looking for a response (an email back, a phone call, a website visit, etc.). Make sure that what you want that response to be is clear.  

It might seem a bit odd that a marketing person is writing an email about successful sales emails. After all, I’m not a salesperson. However, marketing and sales share a common communication tool–email–and a common goal–authentically reaching people to educate, provide value, and start a conversation. These commonalities are also why I decided to get HubSpot Sales certified. Completing this certification provides marketers with a great resource to learn even more insights into how to craft relevant and personalized emails that can help you reach your sales goals. 

If you want to know more about HubSpot, email marketing, or the inbound methodology, please contact us, and we’ll help you integrate inbound marketing into your digital strategy. If you have any tips of your own, please feel free to leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Download our free HubSpot email template!