B2B sales email template
Some time ago, The Economist Group and Peppercomm released a report that surveyed about 500 business executive and 500 marketing experts to outline key differences in their content expectations and understanding of the content strategy. According to the report:
- **75% **of business executives would be more likely to respond to an email that suggests a business idea than to a message that simply promotes a product.
- **71% **of business owners don’t like to receive a direct sales pitch and would choose informative emails over sales ones.
- **67% **of business executives value unique content that provides a fresh perspective on their vertical or workflow.
- **85% **of business executives are more comfortable with well-structured text instead of video or audio content.
Indie hackers have a disadvantage when trying to contact bigger businesses about their products; you’re smaller-operations and work with less manpower. But, by arming yourself with our advice, you’ll be able to land that connection more powerfully and efficiently. And it all starts with learning how to write a killer sale email.
Since our work often involves redesigning marketing email templates into proper B2B ones, we can confirm that this information remains relevant nowadays.
Low visibility and Open Rate are common results of confusing B2C marketing strategy with B2B content development. Due to this, compiling a comprehensive tutorial for writing effective sales emails has been on our minds at Belkins for a while.
As you can see, those musings ultimately took shape in the form of this article. Feel free to bookmark it for your B2B development needs, and never hesitate to suggest new topics or send us questions in the comments section below!
With that out of the way, let’s get started!
What’s a B2B email?
Before you ask “How do I even write a sales email?”, you have to understand the difference between a B2B (business-to-business) sales email and a B2C (business-to- customer) promotion email.
This is the key to solid content development and tone-setting. Also, it’s is the only way to finally sort out the following long-time questions:
“Am I supposed to speak with my B2B prospects the same way as with my B2C prospects? Should I be formal and highly eloquent? Should my emails be sales-y or more conversational?”
When you compare those two types of emails side-by-side, the difference is easy to notice:
|B2C Emails||B2B Emails|
Now let’s talk more about each of these B2B features and see what makes them so important.
While B2C email marketing uses a personal and relatable tone to capture their readers’ attention, B2B emails aim to communicate the main value of the service or product to the customer as promptly as possible. Therefore, you should introduce your benefits in the clearest way possible. If your B2B services cover more than one vertical, it would also be a good idea to create several lists of benefits that are structured according to the needs of your prospects’ industry.
In regards to professionalism, there’s one thing that you should always keep in mind: professional DOESN’T mean inhuman. It doesn’t mean long, overtly eloquent, and highly formal messages that look like an average business template tutorial you can find on the Internet. It doesn’t mean brief and stiff emails that make your introduction to your product looks like a novel.
After all, you’re reaching out to living, breathing people. They would appreciate it if your emails recognized them as such. Therefore, in successful B2B communication, professional means respectful. When you reach out to your prospects, you respect their time. You make the most out of every word and sentence. Your tone is polite, your language sprinkled with professional wit to liven up the conversation.
There is a trick we use for estimating the quality of a sales email. A good B2B email is like a professional handshake: firm, genuine, and not lingering longer than it has to. Whether you want to learn how to write a follow-up email for sales or an introduction email, this analogy will be your life-saver.
At work, your B2B prospects’ attention revolves around data, results, and employee management. They have deadlines to meet, budget brackets to follow, and plans to build; they see storytelling, bright and stylish templates, and other common B2C marketing methods as a distraction, not motivation.
Choose facts over lyrics and introduce the value of your service and assets as promptly as possible.
While highly effective in B2C marketing, appealing to emotion needs some specific adjustments to work out in B2B content development. When it comes to doing business, your prospects don’t want to be amazed, surprised, or intimidated. They want to be understood and assured. This is an entirely different level of subtle empathy that is commonly shared between fellow professionals. It is important to create and nurture that connection, email by email, word by word.
Outlines Industry Pain Points
Emotional triggers are used in B2C email marketing to differentiate your product from a range of similar products, making the email memorable to its readers. However, in B2B emailing, everything is measured in experience and expertise. Your recipients don’t want to work with someone who can tell the most sentimental story. Their ideal provider knows the specifics of their vertical, can swiftly identify its most challenging areas, and is familiar with their target audience—plus, express it all in just a few sentences.
Uses professional terminology
Since your B2B emails are intended for professionals of the field, don’t be afraid to be more specific and use industrial jargon, instead of simpler synonyms. Choose informative technical descriptions over colorful flowery prose when describing your product.
Longer buyer cycle
In B2C marketing, it takes three steps to make a decision. A B2C client has to open an email, click the call-to-action button, and make a purchase.
However, B2B decision making involves more titles, stakeholders, and workflows. Therefore, instead of three steps, you need a set of strategic campaigns that are designed to drip content into your recipients’ inbox for weeks before the deal can proceed to the next step. It is critical to maintain a strict schedule of follow-ups; keep reminding your B2B customers about your offers and carefully nurture everyone who responds positively until they reach the deal-closing stage.
How do I write a sales pitch?
Apply case studies and stats to drive your point home. Your recipients want to be confident in their choices, and the best way to secure that confidence is to prove your professionalism with facts and numbers. Additionally, stick to your template, which we’ll go over next.
How do I write a sales email template?
Now, when you know how to define a good B2B email, it’s time to find out how to write a good sales email template.
How do I write a persuasive email?
How do you inject all of the above-mentioned qualities into your short and efficient email? How do you write a sales email without resorting to the cookie-cutter approach? How do you deliver your startup’s philosophy? Sales emails that leave no room for doubt and open a door for opportunity are built from five essential elements:
- Subject line
- Opening line
- Sales pitch
- Closing line
Since each of these elements play a part in gauging and generating interest, knowing how to write a persuasive email means knowing every element like the back of your hand. In a successful B2B email, your startup philosophy begins from the subject line and ends with the signature.
1. The Subject Line
A B2B subject line kick-starts your engine if you manage to make it strongly reflect your professionalism and credibility. To always remain on the good side of your prospects (and the spam control systems), it’s enough to follow simple do’s and don'ts of subject line building. For instance, a subject line can be either overdone or underdone. An overdone subject line might have all its words capitalized, or even all its letter capitalized.
Needless to say, merely looking at subjects lines like that hurts people’s eyes. Imagine how your prospects, who probably receive hundreds of heavily capitalized emails each day, would feel reading that subject line. In addition to being overwhelming, capitalized subject lines also give off a highly-impersonal vibe that makes recipients think that this email wasn’t meant for them personally. Logically, their next conclusion is: “These guys probably don’t have the right solution for me.” and “They probably don’t care.” Both of which are poison for your project.
💡 Subject Lines: Field-tested Belkins Examples
- Introducing [YourCompanyName]
- Suggestions for [Vertical]
- Regarding [value prop]
- [ProspectCompany] and Your Company – Synergy
Wordplay in Subject Lines is like salt: delicious in moderation, but absolutely destructive in excess. Especially when you’re writing an email that relies on objectivity, facts, and professional tone rather than catchphrases or flowery language.
How do I write a follow-up email’s Subject Line?
Your B2B prospects will appreciate communicating with a real, genuine person, not a foot-in-the-door salesman. Reflect that in your follow-up email’s Subject Line.
💡 Follow-Up Email Subject Lines: Field-tested Belkins Examples
- [ProspectName], quick request
- [ProspectCompany] [pain point]
- New service from [YourCompanyName]
While it’s recommended you go light on using punctuation marks (unless you’re asking a question), exclamation points in particular are a firm and certain NO. First of all, many email service providers consider it to be a spam trigger, so all emails with a high concentration of exclamation points will likely be auto-moved to a spam folder. Second, even if such an email manages to bypass spam filters, the exclamation points create a sense of urgency that is not welcome in B2B outreach.
Overdone subject lines are pretty easy to understand; most indie hackers know exactly what looks unprofessional and what looks acceptable. However, underdone subject lines are a little trickier. Here are some ways to spot if your subject line is too lukewarm or giving off the wrong vibes:
Underdone: They Ignore Grammar
Typos and poor spelling will attract attention, and not the kind you hope for. Even worse, it will completely ruin your further campaigns. There is little point to entrusting your business and convenience to a provider who can’t be bothered to proofread their own content.
Underdone: They Ask the Wrong Questions
In general, asking a question in your subject line is a fine ice-breaker, as long as you do it right. Don’t ask random or eccentric questions just to provoke your prospects into opening emails so you can throw a sales pitch at them. Be relevant, and keep your subject line consistent with the purpose of your email and offer.
💡 Asking the Right Questions: Field-tested Belkins Examples
- [ProspectName], what do you think?
- You or [ColleagueName]? (if asking for referral)
- [CompanyName] plans for 2020?
Subject Line Wrap-Up
Avoiding simple mistakes like these will undoubtedly improve your subject line crafting. To make truly killer subject lines for effective sales emails, don’t forget to follow these equally-simple tips:
- Keep it short. People check their emails via mobile phones all the time, and if your subject lines don’t fit into the screen, it won’t convey what you need it to convey—and do a major disservice to your efforts, too.
- Do your research. Featuring a piece of information that demonstrates your knowledge about the prospects’ accomplishments and activity (e.g. mentioning an event they attended, their public presentation, the award they won, etc.) can significantly increase your open rate.
- Be balanced. Always remember that your emails are not blog posts or forum threads. You use them to reach out to a particular person and get them to respond. Your tone should be the right combination of informational and genuine in order to get your sales prospects interested and not annoyed.
2. The Opening Line
Your opening lines are a major part of building credibility and trust with your prospect. The impression your opening line makes will dictate the tone for the rest of your email. The quality of your opening will define how many prospects would want to respond to your introduction email.
When attempting to craft your opening line, don’t forget to refer to your target customer profile. It will give you much-needed information on how to greet your recipient properly and choose the appropriate tone for your sales introduction email.
A few other tips to crafting winning opening lines are:
Your Opening Should Match the Subject Line
If you aced your subject line, make sure that the rest keeps up with it. Your opening line should continue cementing the reasons for your outreach and naturally transition into your sales offer.
Your Opening Should Be Brief
The ideal length of a strong opening line is one or two sentences. Anything more will end up distracting your prospects and entirely missing the point you wanted to make, thus making the segue into your sales pitch a lot bumpier. Even worse, a long and wordy opening line could cause prospects to deem your email unworthy of their valuable time.
Your Opening Should Feel Credible
You must establish yourself as a professional with experience in your prospects’ vertical from the first line. This doesn’t require attaching your certificates or diplomas; just lead with honesty, confidence, and cool professionalism. 😎
Feel free to use these Belkins-approved templates for your B2B needs and keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the perfect email opening. As your range of B2B customers expands, so does their needs and communication styles. Define the style that your current prospects favor the most and build your strategy around it.
3. The Sales Pitch
It takes more than one tutorial to explain how to write a sales pitch email—and there’s no way we can show an “ultimate example”. The art of crafting a powerful sales pitch should, and will, be covered by multiple guides and articles on IndieHackers Learn because there is no way one tutorial can teach a perfect solution to such a complicated and multi-faceted subject.
For instance, the way you build your sales email vastly depends on its goal. Is it supposed to push your prospects towards scheduling a call? Is it designed to introduce your company? Is it supposed to secure a sale?
Since we will be speaking about each of these goals further, let’s outline the foundational elements of a sales pitch. Your sales pitch should:
Keep building context from your opening lines. At this point, your recipient wants to learn more about you, discover what sets your startup apart from the others, and be confident that you are the real deal. Handpick the most relevant information about your services and products, and refer the names of your clients in the vertical if you have any.
Outline Pain Points and Benefits
Use one sentence to describe the issue that your prospects are familiar with. Then, list your ways to solve it. Make it a bullet-point list for easier readability and don’t go overboard with descriptions and adjectives. Your task here is not to be forceful, but to speak with knowledge and expertise.
Shows That You Care
Your prospects will be more prone to starting a relationship if they see that you walked the extra mile for them. This includes researching their company and their pain points to write an exclusive sales email that highlights their struggles and applauds their accomplishments.
Of course, there is more to learning how to write a sales pitch email than just these key parts. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible to say that you’ve nailed all the types of sales pitch emails. The key is to never stop improving and seeking new knowledge. Using these beginning tips, start simple with something like this:
“I decided to reach out to you because [describe your benefits]. We developed [your product] for companies with your vertical, and have identified pain points like [the pain points found after research] during our research. In the past, we have delivered productive results to companies like yours like [previous customers]. Our product aims to solve these pain points through benefits like:
- Benefit 1
- Benefit 2
- Benefit 3
This is why I’d like to see if [your startup] is a good fit for your company. I would like to schedule a 10-minute call with you; if you’re interested, please let me know if you’re available this week.”
4. The Closing Line
Since this is the part where you encourage your prospects to take action, your B2B closing lines will contain a call-to-action in 99.9% of cases.
If you see your emails get opened and receive a response, you know your CTA works right. If your emails get viewed, but things aren’t moving forward… well, let’s see what went wrong. Here are some things to avoid when crafting your closing line and CTA:
It Lacks Clarity
There’s a reason why YouTube content creators constantly remind you to Like and Subscribe: it clearly gets their goal and message across. No matter how straightforward and simple your sales prospecting email is, you will still need a closing statement that would suggest the next step of the communication. Whether it’s scheduling a call, suggesting a free trial, or a referral request, never hesitate to directly express what you want from your prospects. Clarity is vital for growing any business relationship.
It Pressures Too Hard
You may be asking too much from your prospects for the first email. Don’t leave them with an impression that there is no time for them to think about your offer or ask them to make an investment right there, right now. Even if your service is relevant to them, that doesn’t mean you get to be pushy. A CTA asking for sensitive material, or for the prospect to invest serious resources straight out the gate, is often too much.
It Has Too Many CTAs
The golden rule is to have one CTA per email. Anything above that limit will confuse your recipients and send them mixed signals. In the end, the original purpose of your email will be lost if you muddy the waters with multiple CTAs. This is particularly relevant for cold outreach because nothing ruins first impression than the sender who cannot decide on one point.
It Lacks Detail
It’s important to be extra particular about your CTA and explain exactly what you expect your recipients to do in a couple of short sentences. If you leave your clients to fill in the gaps or look for links by themselves, your chances at starting a B2B relationship begin to plummet.
If you can relate to any of these issues, don’t worry. You found this article, which means you can improve! Make your closing statement and call-to-action clear, friction-free, and compelling.
💡 Tips For a Great Closing Line 💡
✔ Always leave an easy way to respond. Don’t leave your prospects thinking that they have to respond to you in more than three sentences. The more friction-free your email communication is, the more positively your prospects will think of your startup. This is particularly relevant for those who wonder how to write a follow-up email without being a nuisance. For instance, we keep our follow-up emails as non-complicated as possible: we simply unleash a T-Rex on people.
Let us explain!
I sent you some emails regarding our free trial a while ago, but still haven’t got a response. I couldn’t help but assume the following:
You’re interested and you want to schedule a call.
You’re not interested.
You’re being chased by a T-Rex and cannot respond right now.
Whatever your answer is, please let me know. I’m getting worried that it’s the T-Rex!”
Turns out, people love dinosaurs! Or, at least, they appreciate a good old Jurassic Park cameo. Anyways, we owe our pal T-Rex a big one for each lead he converted.
Feel free to try it too! If your brand and specialization allow some mischief, why hold back? As long as it flows well with your tone, you’re good to go.
✔ Personalize everything. Everybody likes being treated as an individual, and not a part of a mass blast. That includes your prospects. Each CTA and offer must sound unique and tailor-made. Do your best to indicate that your sales offer is made not to benefit you, but to assist your prospects with their tasks. For example:
“Our sales executive [Name] has experience in [vertical], so he will walk you through each step of building your Ideal Customer Profile for your 30-day trial, and ensure that your test leads will be as accurate and data-enriched as possible. You will be able to process your leads the moment we send them to you. If it sounds good, just let me know when’s the best time to call you and I’ll schedule an appointment.”
✔ Provide options. This is basically the follow-up to the “always leave an easy way” tip. Sometimes it’s better to let your prospect choose from existing options rather than let them make suggestions. For instance, if you want to schedule a demo call with your prospect, it’s better to offer them several time slots to pick from than have your prospects look for the right time and day; the latter can be a major motivation killer. Meanwhile, by providing them with choice, you relieve them of extra work—and subtly push them towards responding positively. For example:
“Does next Monday at 11 am or Thursday at 10 am work for you?”
Clarity and simplicity fuel the conversation. Keep your requests comprehensive, realistic and you’ll be on your way to guaranteed replies and scoring an appointment.
5. The Signature
While seemingly minor, your email signature can be a powerful selling boost. Just because it serves as a placeholder for basic info, like name, phone, title, and corporate site link, it doesn’t mean there is no room for more…interesting stuff.
So, what can you use your email signature for?
Showing Your Work
Don’t wait until your prospects request a case study. Attach a link to a relevant case in the signature to showcase your workflow, your tools and problem-solving. This is a great way to generate high trust, secure guaranteed replies and hike up your selling chances.
Telling Your Story
You have one or two sentences in your opening lines to talk about yourself. However, linking a reviews or testimonies published by a credible source will speak volumes about your competence and the possibilities you provide.
If you have a YouTube channel with unique, informative, or educational content, feel free to attach the link to the channel. “Information hunger” is a real thing and your prospects will appreciate a fresh insight.
Showing Your Expertise
If you’ve given a webinar, how-to, or discussion, attach a link to the most recent one to inject more value into your offer and let your prospects see how much they can benefit from working with you. Link your blog here, if you have one. (And if you don’t, get on that!)
Hopefully, you’re now equipped with some useful tips and skills that will help you grow your Open Rate and have some really productive fun with your B2B emails. Does this mean the lesson is over? Well, not exactly.
When it comes to B2B, there is no such thing as too much insight. In this article, we barely scratched the surface by defining the principles behind a B2B sales email. We have much more to tell you about content development and all the hacks you can use to add more depth to your startup’s reach. In addition, we hope to talk about everything that happens once you click “Send” (a terrifying and anxiety-inducing button, surely).
If it’s requested enough, we may even elaborate on such subjects as “What advantage does a business letter have over an email?” because we’re happy to explore any part of B2B correspondence and business culture. It’s a passion of ours and we love educating indie hackers on its ins and outs. You can find more of our content right here on IndieHackers Learn or on our website at Belkins.io.
Thank you for reading. Stay tuned and good luck on your own startup adventures in B2B emailing! straps."