- Introduction to B2B Sales Emails
- Crafting the Perfect B2B Sales Email
- B2B Sales Email Templates
- Tips for Optimizing B2B Sales Emails
- Best Practices for B2B Email Marketing
- Accelerate your B2B sales success
Not every lead who comes to your sales team is going to be qualified or ready to buy right away. Yet, they still hold the potential for becoming a paying customer down the line. To nurture these leads until they’re ready to deliver future revenue, try making use of business-to-business (B2B) sales emails. This is a popular tactic that sends personalized emails, often through an automated workflow, to a sales lead with targeted messaging about the buyer’s problems and your product’s solutions to those problems. Generally, there are a few main components of a great B2B sales email, including:
- A catchy subject line that encourages them to open the email
- Personal touches, such as addressing the buyer’s unique internal issues or market challenges
- Value proposition messaging which informs the buyer on your product’s benefits
- A call-to-action (CTA) which tells the buyer what to do next
Subject Lines That Grab Attention
47% of recipients open an email based on the subject line alone, making it one of the most important aspects of any email campaign. Subject lines should incentivize action without coming across as demanding or spam. To do so, tell the reader what value you have for them in the message, which will encourage them to open it. Depending on the intent of the message, you can also try proposing a question in the subject line.
Nearly 16% of all B2B emails get caught by spam filters. It’s important to stay up to date on what email domain authorities consider when reviewing and marking emails as spam. Some subject line features such as use of emojis, writing your message only in upper case letters, or using a lot of punctuation marks in a row (eg. !!!!) can be spam signals.
Here are a few examples of high-converting subject lines to try in your next B2B sales email:
- 4 Things to Consider When Evaluating Accounting Software
- Finding it hard to hire in this economy?
- Are you the right person to review this program?
- Meeting invitation for next week
Personalization and Relevance
Understanding your audience and their needs will be your most useful asset in creating effective messaging. Part of what makes B2B selling harder in general is that it involves a lot of stakeholders and decisions are made very rationally rather than emotionally. But if you can pinpoint the problems that the buyers are facing everyday, you can slowly inch towards making your solution feel a bit more like solving a personal need. This can make them see the need for your offering and drive urgency to close the deal faster, too.
Some considerations to make your personalization efforts as relevant as possible:
- Identify and talk about potential challenges. Is the company hiring fast? Is their industry suffering a dip? Are investors or banks cracking down on businesses like them? Leverage these situations as stories in your pitch.
- Get deep into details. It’s not enough to talk about general industry conditions or anything else that’s high-level. You’ll need enough detail about the company or the recipient to prove that you did your research. This will show your sales lead how much you care about them.
Value Proposition and Call-to-Action
Your unique value propositions (UVP) are the benefits that your products have specific to the buyer. Depending on who you are selling to, these UVPs may change. For example, imagine you are selling an accounting software program with two different buyers:
- One buyer may buy the program because they don’t have enough internal resources to manually do accounting themselves. They’re looking for a value proposition around automation, time-saving, or hands-free accounting.
- The other buyer may purchase it because they need to carry extra detailed records for compliance reasons. They’re looking for a value proposition around data security, ease of use, or ability to input custom properties.
Additionally, to make the email digestible for the recipient, write your UVP in bullet points or short-form sentences. Use data and proof of your success (like case studies) where possible too!
Immediately after your value propositions, you should have a CTA. This is most often a short one to three word message with an external link to the next place the buyer should go. The CTA Is usually for booking a meeting with a member of the sales team if your lead is in the middle or bottom of the sales funnel. If your lead is in the top of the funnel, try directing them to another in-depth resource about how your product uniquely solves their problem(s) – like an educational online course with Thinkific!
Cold Email Template
Cold email outreach is anything that a sales person sends to someone who has not yet expressed interest in the company’s products or services. There are plenty of B2B contact databases out there that can help with sourcing information for cold outreach. However, it’s important to also remember any local regulations about contacting potential leads who have not expressed consent. For example, the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation identifies specific rules for when teams can distribute marketing content to a lead, when the contact needs to be unsubscribed, and the frequency of outreach before it’s considered spam.
When crafting your cold email, keep these tips in mind:
- Introduce yourself, so the lead knows what role you’ll play in the buying process
- Add a short value proposition to explain what the offering is (make sure it’s positioned based on your research!)
- Keep the email succinct, so they’re more likely to read through it all
- Make the CTA something that is easy for them to provide a quick answer to rather than one that requires an open-ended, long answer
Template for an effective cold email:
My name is [NAME]. I came across [LEAD COMPANY] profile on [CHANNEL], and I noticed that your [BUSINESS UNIT] has achieved [SUCCESSFUL EVENT/GOAL]. Congratulations, that’s a great accomplishment!
I work with [YOUR COMPANY], who specializes in [OFFERING] so that your team can [SOLVE PROBLEM]. A similar company to yours saved [STATISTIC] with our tool!
[CTA TO LEARN MORE OR BOOK A MEETING]
Looking forward to hearing back,
[YOUR EMAIL SIGNATURE]
Follow-Up Email Template
Follow-up emails are often needed after your initial outreach to remind the lead about next steps. LinkedIn offers some advice to sales representatives, suggesting to use a 3x3x3 approach. This method recommends following up with each lead three times, with three different messages, on three different channels. Also, wait at least three days between each outreach. This helps you ensure the message is delivered and shows that you are prioritizing the conversation. As a best practice, follow-up emails should be incredibly short so that you don’t overwhelm the lead with too much information at once.
In a follow-up email, include these elements:
- Reminder of who you are or how you’re connected
- Quick one-liner that shows you’ve been paying attention
- Question or statement to follow-up from your last conversation
- CTA on what to do next
Template for an engaging follow-up email:
Hey [LEAD NAME]!
Thanks for the great call on [DATE]. I enjoyed learning about [MEETING TOPIC]. Following our conversation, I am providing the [INFORMATION] attached.
Can you let me know when you’ve had a chance to review the information with your [OTHER STAKEHOLDER]?
Thanks and enjoy the rest of your day,
[YOUR EMAIL SIGNATURE]
Referral Request Email Template
Leveraging existing relationships for new business is affordable, scalable, and being adopted by more companies! Channel partnership programs are booming for this same reason. Referrals are such a valuable lead generation channel that sales leaders estimate that nearly 25% of their new revenue will come from partnerships!
Asking for referrals requires a much different approach than any request to a lead directly as partners or current customers will want to know what they’ll receive in return. It also takes a certain level of relationship-building before another company is willing to send leads your way. That being said, referral request emails definitely aren’t something that should be sent to any company who you don’t already have a pre-established relationship with.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure your request email goes to the person who is actually responsible for distributing referrals. If you send it to the wrong person, your email might not get read or actioned.
Don’t forget to include these elements in any email where you’re requesting referrals:
- Reminder about the relationship that you have with the organization
- Note of appreciation or story about shared success in the past
- Mention the benefits that come with referring leads
- Define the process for the referral (eg. is the lead going to reach out directly or be handed over through an email from the partner company?)
- Offer to provide any documentation that can support with the referral
Template for requesting referrals:
Hi [CONTACT NAME],
How are things at [COMPANY]? It looks like your team has [NOTE SUCCESS/GROWTH], which is awesome!
In one of our last meetings, you had mentioned you might know of a few other companies that are in need of [YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE]. Is this still the case?
We’re running a promotion right now for referral customers to earn [PROMOTION], so I thought it might be a great time to see if you’re open to connecting me with those contacts.
[CTA TO LEARN MORE OR BOOK A MEETING]
Feel free to let me know of any questions in the meantime.
[YOUR EMAIL SIGNATURE]
Meeting Request Email Template
Securing face-to-face meetings with prospects is the best way to showcase your offering’s benefits. In a meeting, you’re able to read the body language of the lead to see if they’re responding well. It also allows them to ask you any questions on the spot. In your research, you can also identify any potential objections they’ll have about purchasing your product (eg. timelines, budget, internal buy-in) and present solutions in your pitch.
In the sales process, you’ll send a ton of meeting request emails. They’re relevant for any stage of the sales funnel. As well, sometimes you might need to request a meeting with a specific stakeholder in the company, especially if you’re trying to get buy-in or budget approval.
If you’re sending a meeting request to a lead who is further down the sales funnel, you’ll need to include these elements in your email:
- Remind them about your relationship or previous conversation (ie. the reason why the meeting is necessary)
- Ask if any other stakeholders need to be part of the call
- Recommend a few meeting times
Template for scheduling meetings:
Hello [LEAD NAME],
My name is [YOUR NAME], and I’m looking to speak to someone on your team about [MEETING TOPIC].
Are you the right person for this conversation?
I have availability on [DATES], or you can book a time that’s convenient for you on my [MEETING LINK].
Looking forward to connecting!
[YOUR EMAIL SIGNATURE]
- Conduct A/B testing all the time! Everytime you send an email, curate different variations to see which performs better. This will give you data to back up future design and copy decisions. A/B testing can be done on overall positioning (back to the example from selling accounting software above) or on specific elements such as changing the CTA.
- Maintain a consistent brand voice. Connect with your marketing team about the brand voice that should be used in B2B sales emails. Using a consistent tonality in all of your messaging helps create a smooth customer experience (CX) for the lead, which builds trust and likelihood of purchase.
- Ensure mobile-friendliness. Over 40% of emails are opened on mobile devices. Your subject line should be short enough to appear on mobile email previews. As well, all of your visuals and landing pages from CTA links should be functional and tested on mobile. Better yet, you can also test to ensure proper formatting on tablet-sized screens, too.
- Build and maintain an email list. Over time, you’ll connect with a ton of contacts. Some of those will turn out to be unqualified leads, but many of those will be potential revenue opportunities in the future! To nurture leads, you’ll want to maintain a list of all contacts. Not only does this help you know who you’ve already reached out to in the past, but it will also give you an estimate of how big your audience is and help you track if any contacts have chosen to unsubscribe. It’s difficult to track this manually. Instead, use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool like Hubspot or ActiveCampaign to maintain an updated list of contacts, including where they’re from, when they subscribed, and how many emails they’ve received over time.
- Segment your audience for better targeting. Earlier we talked about the importance of providing personalized and relevant information in each sales outreach. Segmenting your audience allows you to do this at scale! An easy way to get started is by separating cold leads, hot leads, and current customers. Cold leads should get top of funnel content, hot leads should get bottom of funnel content, and current customers should get product updates or renewal promotions. You can take it a step further by segmenting by customer company size, geographic, internal driver for purchase, or role in the buying party, for example.
- Measure and analyze email campaign performance. As contacts convert into customers, you’ll want to track which emails were most effective. While A/B testing can help you optimize one variation over another, you’ll also want to see into the long-term growth of your email marketing. Some metrics to look at include the open rate, click rate, and overall number of subscribers. Better yet, measure the number of subscribers who fit your company’s ideal customer profile (ICP)!
B2B sales emails are an important part of any lead generation strategy. Being able to execute on them well can help you find more qualified opportunities, close deals faster, and build stronger relationships with your prospects. It’s okay to send sales emails manually or through an automated workflow, but in either case you want to be mindful of the frequency, positioning, and length of your message.
Email domain authorities and prospects are both highly aware of spam signals, so you’ll need to be cautious to ensure your email is thoughtfully researched and written without any demanding or spam-like messaging. If you’re just getting started with B2B sales email outreach, try one of the templates above and then A/B test variations over time to find a format and messaging that works well for your business.
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