10 ways to write better outbound sales emails and messages

Now may be a good time for you to double down on outbound sales and email messages. Aim to win as many new prospects into the pipeline as possible. Achieving this means writing and sending emails and messages that get opened.

With more people working from home (WFH), people have more time to respond to outbound emails; therefore it’s worth putting more effort into creating them.

What you need is the right message and copy that gets results. In this article, we look at 10 ways you can do that with outbound sales emails and messages.

10 ways to write better sales emails

#1: Use active verbs

State of being verbs, such as am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been, weaken cold sales emails.

Instead of “We’ve been” and “have been”, and other similar ones, switch it to “We’ve done [something awesome] for two years, with amazing results.”

Sentences like that encourage action. You want and need your audience to take action. Active verbs are active, so make good use of them.

#2: Keep them short

Sales messages and emails should be short and to the point.

If it takes you 500 words to describe your product or service, you don’t understand it well enough.

Often, salespeople need professionals to write the copy and messaging them helps them sell products and services. This way, you’re armed with the material you need to sell

Not every salesperson can write persuasive copy. Salespeople can sell, and that means using words the right way, but this doesn’t always mean in emails and messages. Short and compelling messages sell. Short messages get the point across, generate the results sales leaders want, and help sales reps hit targets.

Either work with a marketing team, or aim to work with an external provider of marketing or sales enablement services. Get your thoughts distilled into short, effective and compelling sales emails and outbound social media messages.

#3: Edit relentlessly

For salespeople doing emails themselves, spend time editing.

Make sure you don’t overfill emails with too many words, case studies or other details.

Keep editing until you’ve got something that works. Even if you have one core email, and then edit to test which gets the best response rate. Once you’ve got enough data from potential customers opening them, then you can use that one going forward.

#4: Keep asking, “If I got this, would I want to find out more?”

One of the best ways to test whether an email is going to be useful, is asking yourself: What would I do if I got one like this? If it comes across as a generic sales outbound email, then it won’t be useful. If you, a colleague, a friend or family member would delete it, then it needs more work.

Emails need to encourage recipients to:

  • Click to open and read;
  • Want to find out more;
  • Want to book a call/demo;
  • And even if they don’t straight away, then they should want to stay informed for a future date.

#5: Personalize subject lines

Another way to grab the audience’s attention, is putting a name (either the person you are trying to reach directly), or the company prospect name in the email subject line.

#6: Use simple language

Keep things simple.

Don’t use complex language. Don’t use too many acronyms or jargon. Even when talking to industry insiders, try to write how most people talk. Equally, try and avoid too many business buzzwords.

Buzzwords, jargon and acronyms might sound smart. They might make it seem like you’re in the know, an expert; but in reality, that sort of language puts people off.

Use simple, everyday language. Aim to connect with your audience. Remember, these emails and messages are designed to ensure a salesperson can have an actual conversation or demo, and in that they’ll be aiming to make a sale. That involves using everyday human language to describe even the most complex of products and services. So keep it simple in emails.

#7: Mix up sentence lengths

Too many long sentences lose the attention of readers. So you need shorter sentences, to break things up. Keep your readers attention.

Break it up. Long and then short. Or a few short, and then a longer one. Build a rhythm, and then hit your audience — potential customers — with more information, that requires them to follow along, and pay more attention.

#8: Switch things around

When writing, switch ideas and concepts around. In an episode of The West Wing, it was described as “floating opposites”; a powerful copywriting technique.

However, it’s actually known as Chiasmus, a rhetorical device where two or more clauses are reversed in the same sentence. This way, you can quickly grab the reader’s attention, with something that makes them think.

An example of this from U.S. President John F Kennedy is “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Statements like that are powerful, and capture people’s attention.

#9: Structure information using a smart and effective hierarchy

When you’re trying to get information across, put it in a smart and effective hierarchy.

Put the most important piece of information first.

Then the next.

Then the one after. Don’t leave the most important to last.

Key selling points, such as the ROI customers can expect, or examples of success stories, need to go front-and-center. Hence the value of using a clear hierarchy.

#10: Bring in the power of You

Your prospect doesn’t care about your company, your product or service.

Fundamentally, prospects want and need to know what you can do for them. They care about themselves, their challenges, and how you can overcome them. Make sure to use this to your advantage when writing copy and sales messages.

And finally, here is a quick recap of everything you can do to improve open and conversion rates with outbound emails:

#1: Use active verbs

#2: Keep them short

#3: Edit relentlessly

#4: Keep asking, “If I got this, would I want to find out more?”

#5: Personalize subject lines

#6: Use simple language

#7: Mix up sentence lengths

#8: Switch things around

#9: Structure information using a smart and effective hierarchy

#10: Bring in the power of You