How to Write a Sales Email That Works

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jan 03, 2018 @ 14:01 PM

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I receive so many unsolicited emails each day that it makes my head spin.  Most of them, like the cold calls I get, are simply horrible.  Delete.  Delete.  Delete.  Junk.  Block.  Unsubscribe.

This week I received the daily double - a cold call with an identical, corresponding email.  The email read like this:

Hi Dave, 

I hope this message finds you well.

We spoke in the past regarding the copier equipment in your office.  At the time you indicated that your existing contract will be ending just over a year from now.  Have you started to look into this yet?  Our company would love a shot to earn your business.

 

I'll go through this line by line and explain what's horrible, what's OK and how I would change it.

 

He began with "Hi Dave."  That's the best part of the email!  Seriously.  It was personalized, but not too much.  I would have cringed if it said Hi Dave Kurlan.  Or Hi Kurlan.  Or Hi DKurlan.  I also hate Good Day, Hello, Dear Dave, Sir, Dear Sir, Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Good Evening.  Greetings, Dear Reader, Dear Subscriber and Mr. Kurlan.

 

Then came, "I hope this message finds you well."  OMG!  That is completely inauthentic and way too typical.  You don't even say that to your friends!   Saying nothing at all is better that saying that.

 

He followed with, "We spoke in the past..."  Unfortunately for him, we didn't speak in the past so that makes him a liar.  Why say that?  And even if we had previously spoken, I wouldn't remember it so in my mind, that would still make him a liar.

 

Next came, "regarding copier equipment in your office."  That's right at the top of my list of exciting things to talk about.  Copier equipment.  Again?  Didn't we just do that for 3 years?  I have people for that.

 

"At the time, you indicated that your existing contract will be ending just over a year from now."  I don't know about you but I don't start looking at cars a year before my car lease ends so that certainly wouldn't be part of the plan for copiers.  It doesn't matter when my lease ends!!!  We could be two years out but if he could help me identify something that my current machines don't provide - that would help my business - I might make the switch today!  One year out might as well be 3 years out.  There isn't a good reason to talk about the timeline for a new lease because we don't yet have a reason to take any action.  He just skipped from reminding me that there is an alphabet all the way to the letter Q for qualifying in one sentence.

 

"Our company would love a shot at your business."  Isn't that a terrific incentive for me to meet with him?  Because he wants a shot at my business?  Geez!  

 

A better approach to the ingredients in this email that follow Hi Dave should be something more like what I wrote below.  I used CEO because he called and emailed me and that is my title.

 

A lot of CEO's tasked their last copier to staff and as a result of them paying more attention to lease terms instead of capabilities, companies can't leverage the capabilities of their machines to generate revenue, improve communications, and move away from paper.

 

It would be cool for me and powerful for you if we could help you with that.  Would you like to talk with me about how we have helped other CEO's?

 

If you must use email as a way to get prospects to raise their hands, wouldn't it make sense to consider your audience, understand what they would find offensive and useful, and take the time to compose a more effective email?

 

Image copyright iStock Photos

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales emails that work, email prospecting

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About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016 and this one for 2017. Read more about Dave.

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