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Learn all about managing, writing, and sending emails with this in-depth hub.
Sending the right sales or marketing email can be difficult. While you may think there are huge differences between a cold prospecting email and a sales email, there really isn’t on the surface level. Follow some best practices, make a few tweaks and you’re good to go. Here’s the ultimate guide to emails from Freshworks CRM that covers everything from email management to sending the right sales email.
Imagine this: your company receives a high volume of emails every day. Some may be relevant and some not. And it takes a toll on the amount of time you have to do actual work, sifting through multiple emails just to find the right one.
On the other hand, you’ll also have to send multiple emails to your prospects and customers. All this adds up to one thing — loss of productivity.
Checking your mail frequently during the day is one way to keep your inbox at manageable levels.
However, this multitasking method interrupts and distracts you from what you actually have to do: sell. As a result, your productivity levels go down and your entire flow of work is disturbed. This is crucial when it comes to high-value projects where you cannot afford to waste time.
Your internal stakeholders may not be happy with the delayed email responses. Make it clear to them that you check your emails only at certain times during the day and instead opt to use your company’s instant messaging software.
For all your external emails from leads or customers, classify them into buckets in their order of criticality and respond accordingly. You can still block some time on your calendar to respond to all of them, but it’s better if you respond to the critical ones as soon as they come in.
Reading your mail can take a big toll on your day-to-day activities. It seems simple, right? Reading your mail and carrying on with work? Unfortunately, one interesting email can be very distracting!
When reading emails, use the “2-minute-rule” by David Allen. If the email is short and easy to reply to, resolve it then and there even if it is not critical. You can get it out of the way. The idea behind this is that, if you decide to resolve it later, you’re wasting more time than it takes to do it immediately.
Schedule time on your calendar for the ones that take longer, and set a reminder at least ten minutes ahead to be prepared. Email clients allow you to highlight, flag and star messages that need to be responded to.
You’ll receive a lot of emails from internal and external stakeholders every day, and sometimes even non-relevant ones. Initially, it may be okay to read that one extra email, but with time, your inbox is likely to be overpopulated. One problem with this approach is the delay in finding slightly dated emails hidden under layers of clutter.
Also, too many emails in your inbox can end up causing you stress.
Although you can never have “zero” emails in your inbox, you can keep it clean and organized.
Set up filters in your email client and label every mail you receive. Classify them into categories such as “action items”, “waiting”, “reply-pending”, etc.
If this is too simplified, set up folders for categories of emails and tweak it in a way that all your incoming mails get captured in those folders. For instance, you could create a folder for every project that you're working on, or have a set folder for each of your clients or sales reps.
Folders help you search older emails faster. You can simply search in that folder, instead of going through your entire inbox.
Email management software helps you stay organized and allows you to respond to your team and customers in a timely manner.
Email management software can be used to send emails to multiple recipients for marketing and sales purposes. On the other hand, this software also allows you to manage, track, and record email correspondence, along with automating tasks and stay up to date with what tasks are being done by the team.
Some of the best email management software you can use are:
Emails for prospecting have a simple goal: attracting new leads. You need to follow a simplified strategy when you send them emails and not come across as pushy.
What is email prospecting?
As a salesperson, your job is to keep the sales pipeline flowing.
Of course, you’ll need the right tools to bring in the right customer for your business. These tools will have to help you engage with them faster and gather information in a way that helps you close more deals.
Here are some of the best email prospecting tools you can use:
There is a common misconception that sales sequences are similar to bulk emails, but in reality, they’re not. While sales sequences allow you to design multiple emails and send them to a prospect at a particular time, you can use bulk emails to send emails to a large group of recipients at once.
What are bulk emails?
Don’t send bulk emails from brand-new domains or IPs because it is more likely to get flagged as spam or junk.
Don’t mislead your recipients with false information. This is your gateway to a quick unsubscribe.
Ensure that your send list is current and accurate. Sending it to old lists is problematic because it can cause high bounce rates as you never can be sure if the email ID still exists.
Make sure each mail has the name of the particular recipient. This helps them understand that it really was addressed to them, contrary to generic emails.
Here are some great tools you can use for bulk emailing:
The process of sending emails to your prospects or customers is, by itself, simple. It’s what comes after that which is nerve-wracking. You’ll have to just wait, wait, and wait. And this happens all the time.
It was normal probably ten years ago to wonder what happened to an email. Did the recipient even receive it? Did it bounce? Did it get flagged as spam? Did they click on any links attached to the email? We now have sophisticated software that lets us know when somebody opens emails, clicks on links, or worst-case scenario– it bounced.
Email tracking gives salespeople the ability to build and retain relationships with prospects and customers.
What is email tracking?
Email tracking involves recording events in the journey of an email and using the data to make informed business decisions. Email tracking tools give you all the information you need to know about the emails you send such as open rates, bounce rates, click rates, and more.
Email tracking tools allow you to understand if what you’re doing is working well or not. And it gives you full context into what the prospect or customer intends to do.
You get real-time insights into the prospect’s engagement with your email whether they opened and read your email, or if they have unsubscribed. You don’t have to wait for a week or two anymore for a response. With email tracking tools, you’ll know immediately.
Gives you insights to help you make a proper business decision and fine-tune your email practices if they are not working well.
Here are software and tools you can use to track your emails:
The outcomes of cold emails are generally uncertain, right? Randomly reaching out to prospects is frightening, especially for salespeople. You never know what will happen. Sometimes it’ll work and sometimes it won’t.
However, when you do it the right way, cold emails work like a charm for salespeople.
What is cold emailing?
A cold email is sent by a salesperson to people deemed unaware of a company and the product or service on offer.
A cold email is like bowling in an alley. You’re likely to hit a few pins and sometimes, you may even get a full strike. However, by fine-tuning your bowling skill, you increase your chances of getting a strike.
Don’t write emails that are robotic: Generic cold emails are more likely to be reported and deleted because it’s not personal. Craft crisp and short emails that the recipient is more likely to open and at least skim through.
Adopt a friendly tone: You don’t know this person, so your best bet of getting a response is to be friendly. Otherwise, why do they have to respond to you? They don’t have a clue about your product or company, right?
Customize, personalize, and repeat: Personalized emails that talk about, say, their accomplishments, or how you went about doing something inspired by the prospect’s company are more likely to get you a response.
Understand the purpose of your email: What do you intend to do? Sell? No. You are creating a need when there is no need at all and that is difficult and takes time. So, hang in there and stick to what you want to talk about: the person’s pain points and create a need for your product or service.
Don’t mention your product: You have no reason to mention your product until they agree to a meeting via phone or in-person. Mentioning your product will cause them to distance themselves from your product or service, and you may end up not selling at all.
You can ideally use the tools for bulk emails and sales sequences for sending cold emails:
Imagine you’re short on time and you need to send an email out immediately to a prospect or customer. Sure, you can write it from scratch and send it, but what if you have a preset available at your disposal? It makes your life easier. You can send out the email with a couple of personalization tweaks and you’re done.
What is an email template?
An email template is a preformatted and/or prewritten email that you can modify with customized content, edit and send quickly.
Why are email templates important? Using templates allows you to create, edit quickly, and send out emails. You don’t have to be confused about where to start anymore.
Using email templates helps you save lots of time spent creating, editing, and sending out emails
Sales emails are a classic way to effortlessly promote your product. All of us, including prospects, are likely to debate for a moment whether we should open a mail or not. It’s natural. What’s in it for them to open a mail you send them? It depends.
But you want them to open your emails every time you send one. It can give you a huge boost in your paycheck and acquire new business for your company.
Your prospects may also wonder whether they should respond to your emails. And again, you want them to respond as many times as possible as it can – you guessed it – make a huge difference in your paycheck.
Sales emails have two goals:, to be opened and responded to, and you want to get both as frequently as possible. It requires you to write and send a highly effective email to allow your recipients to do that.
Decision-makers in companies are highly likely to receive many sales emails every day and the sad truth is that they open only a small number of these emails, read fewer than that and even fewer is what they’ll respond to either by writing back or clicking on a CTA you’ve attached.
There are four essential elements to any sales mail: the subject line, the introduction, the content, and a closing call-to-action (CTA). It may sound simple, but each of these elements have to be constructed carefully with a goal to capture the attention of as many customers as possible. When you send a chain of emails, your concern should be to maintain the prospect’s interest as they receive more emails.
The style you use may not always work, so you’ll have to experiment every now and then.
If your prospect hasn’t heard of your business before, then you need to give them a solid reason to respond to you. Enter sales introduction emails. Mention their goals and show them that you’ve done your research about their company and you’re sure to get that initial response in no time.
Here's a free template (that you can use)
I went through your website and I feel you are trying to [achieve a certain goal]. I am not going to make assumptions about them, but I will tell you this: (your product) can surely help you boost your growth and play a crucial role in the success of your business.
If you are not aware of (company name), we make products that help businesses in the (prospect domain name) space in the following ways:
<present two to three crucial goals>
I’d be happy to have a quick call with you in the next few days with you to discuss (a sales or business plan) for your company.
See how the email covers aspects that are very important:
Acknowledge that you have done research about their company and make a plausible assumption
Subtly introduce your company, what it does, and how your product can help the prospect’s company
Politely ask them for a quick chat, but also set the agenda for that conversation so that they are aware of it
Leave them with your name, designation and phone number
Keep it simple. Make your subject short, crisp, and have a recall value. Your goal is to interest your reader and keep them interested in more. Don’t keep pushing your products, because they’ll get back to you with a simple “OK. So what?”
Here are some examples of great subject lines:
Have you considered….?
Are you meeting your targets?
Feedback for your blog
Some great tips you can follow to optimize your KPIs
Avoid including potentially in-your-face spammy words like:
Last day for sale
Reminder to purchase
When you’re writing your email’s opening line, avoid stating the obvious like, “Hi, my name is George…”
Get to the point, right from the beginning by talking about something impactful.
I came across your profile on LinkedIn…
We have a mutual connection, who mentioned…..
Your post on (mention post) was incredible and I wanted to reach out to you with some doubts….
Give your salespeople a clear pathway to take action. End with a question or statement such as:
Do you have some time to discuss…?
Let me know how we can take this forward
Are you available for a quick chat?
Again, keep it simple. Don’t distract your prospects and don’t go with cliches. Stick to the standard in most organizations, which is:
Short and professional
Mention your official number
Include a link to your LinkedIn profile so that your prospects know you’re for real, plus they can connect with you
You would’ve seen many emails from different sources in your inbox, beginning with the phrase “Checking in…”, “Wanted to check in with you…”, or “Just wanted to check in to see…”. These emails usually enter your inbox when you have not opened, or responded to a previous email.
If it’s not obvious yet, these are follow-up emails and these expressions are a typical characteristic of them.
What are follow-up emails?
A follow-up email is an email or sequence of emails sent or automatically triggered depending on the action of the recipient and these can be:
If the recipient does not open or respond to a particular email
To close a deal
Set up a meeting
Urging a subscriber to choose a paid plan when their free trial ends
Leave feedback after a demo or a meeting
The repetitive phrases mentioned before are highly ineffective because they sound ‘needy’, generic and as a result, don’t always catch the attention of the recipient nor provide any value.
The truth is, you aren’t ‘checking-in’ are you? You’re looking at an end-goal, which is to generate some business, or at the very least, some intent like making them accept a demo request. To do this, you need to ensure that your follow-up email catches their attention and provides them with value.
Here are some key steps involved in writing the perfect follow-up email.
Identify the purpose
What is the reason you are sending this follow-up email? That’s what you need to ask yourself even before you start writing one.
Here are some common purposes for sending a follow-up email.
It is not uncommon to forget to ask the prospect something crucial or be in need of some additional information.
Some things you can ask them are information about their business, their pain points, status updates, etc. Clearly state what you need and you’ll provide them with a clear direction on how they can respond to you.
Scheduling a meeting
There may be instances where you need to get on a call with your prospect or get them over to your office to pick their brain, pitch your product, or get some feedback. So, in this type of email, provide some crisp points on what you will be discussing with them in the meeting and how this discussion will provide value to the recipient.
You can even go one step further and add a link to a free meeting scheduling software so that they can block some time on your calendar.
Sometimes, your prospects can go AWOL or you may get notified on a personal milestone for them or their company. This serves as a perfect time for you to enquire about these things directly from them.
For example, if their business has recently grown and they are in a comfortable position to afford your product or service, send them a quick catch-up follow-up email. Again, it’s important to state what you’re hoping to catch up with them regarding, and avoid generic and lazy sounding messages as much as you can.
Thank you follow-up
Personally thanking them for something can go a long way. You may not get an immediate response with these emails, but it leaves your recipients feeling positive about you and your company.
This is something that they’ll remember down the line, especially when they need to refer you to a colleague or someone important in the industry.
Here are some examples of situations where you might want to send a “thank you” follow-up email:
Provide you with a referral
Write a review for you on a software review website or give you time to complete a case study
When they help you close deals
As you can see, once you've determined the objective of your follow-up email, you can begin writing your note with a clear purpose. This way you can incorporate your CTA in a way that's obvious and easy for your recipients to understand and act on. This includes responding with the information you've requested, scheduling a meeting time with you, catching up on what's happened in their life — whether it's businesses or personal — since you last spoke, or simply reading and acknowledging your thank you note.
By identifying and stating your objective in your follow-up email, you'll be able to provide your recipients with a professional message and CTA that gives them some type of immediate value (depending on your specific objective) and a way to act on it.
Everybody receives tons of emails every day, and with this high volume, it is important to make your email stand out in front.
Include a personal connection or identifier that’ll help your prospect remember you the next time.
Emphasizing and providing context around your initial communication, email, conversation, or interaction will jog their memory and make it easier for them to understand your email and respond. Be sure to start your email with this context so that your recipient knows who you are and what you're following up about — the last thing you want to do is confuse the person (or people) you're looking to impress and do business with.
Here are some examples of strong email openers for you to consider using in your follow-up to provide your recipient with the context they need.
Effective email opening lines
We met last week at the [Name of Event or Location].
I was inspired after you spoke at the [Name of Event].
Our friend, [Mutual Friend's Name] suggested that I reach out.
Last time we spoke about... [Topic].
I'm reaching out in regards to the email I sent a few weeks ago about [Topic].
Now, let's take a look at a follow-up email template with an email opener that's sure to provide your recipient with the context they need.
Next, state the purpose of the follow-up email. The trick is, if you’re straightforward with what you want to achieve from the email right from the get-go, it’ll prevent you from sounding pushy, spammy, or generic.
For example, instead of sounding vague like, “Hey, I’d like to have a quick chat about what you do”, you should go with something like “Hey, I’d like to have a quick chat with you regarding how you consistently reach your quota because I have been struggling with my targets.”
With a line like this, you would be specific and not make your prospects feel as though they were wasting their time reading the email. They will also understand why you ask for their attention.
Let's take a look at a few ways to clearly state the purpose of your email in your follow-up message.
Some ways to state your purpose
I want to invite you to join me at [Name of Event], I think you'll find it helpful for what you do at [Company Name].
As we discussed, here is the developer [insert link] I think who could help you with your new website.
It would be great to hear more about [topic] as I'm working on something similar at [Company Name].
It’s a good practice to come up with the subject line of your follow-up email after you write its body. Why? Because you already know what your email is about and you just have to shorten it into a strong subject line. Otherwise, you’d just be spending too much time on the subject line of your email and lose focus on its content.
Here are some other ways to write a strong subject line that will help you improve your email open rates.
Use concrete numbers and times
Create a sense of urgency by using “tomorrow.”
Try omitting the subject line.
The last one is more uncommon and may not work for all kinds of businesses and scenarios. Try this — A/B test your emails with a subject line, and without, to understand what works for your target audience, prospects, customers, and buyer personas!
So, your follow-up email has been written. Your opening line is perfect, your purpose is stated clearly and you’ve decided on a strong subject line (or not). Now, you need to determine when you’re going to send it.
Depending upon the type of follow-up email you’re sending, you need to send it at a particular time to ensure that your message is relevant to your recipients and also that it has a high chance of being opened.
Here are some time-frames for various kinds of follow-up emails:
Within 24 Hours
Send them a "thank you" email after a meeting, sale, conference, or other special occasions like a case study collaboration that warrant immediate gratitude in the form of a follow-up.
Within 48 Hours
If your reason for following up was fairly urgent like a sign up , then follow up within 48 hours.
Within 1-2 Weeks
Follow up on a meeting request, after no response regarding a job offer or to confirm receipt of a previously sent email you needed their valuable feedback on.
Once in 3 Months
Catch up with someone you’ve connected with in the past and see if anything has changed for them in their business environment or see if there’s been a new development in their business or personal life (this depends on your relationship with them).
Your email campaigns should have rich and engaging content. But its effectiveness is measured on its timing and their sending patterns to subscribers. You have to strike the right balance between these two attributes.
Your subscribers will definitely opt out of email lists if you send them emails often. This is why you need an optimal email cadence to ensure it doesn’t.
What is email cadence?
Understand what you want to achieve
Do you want more open rates or click rates? Do you want to reduce the number of subscribers? Or do you purely want to retain them to influence sign-ups? Narrow down on what you exactly want to do and stick to it.
Try to categorize your customer’s mindset
If you have different email lists, understand what stage of the funnel they are on. If they are a blog subscriber, chances are their intent is lower than say somebody who has subscribed to product updates.
Personalize emails from time to time
You don’t have to go all-out on your personalization, but this is important. If it’s your prospect’s birthday or a special occasion, for example, go ahead and customize that email.
Don’t hold back too much or push too much
Strike a balance between mentioning your product and mentioning how much you want them to buy your product. Don’t push or hold back. Adopt a strategy that is right in the middle that gets them just enticed enough to care about your product or service.
Set the right frequency
Analyze the trends of your previous cadences. Are your subscribers opening or clicking emails more when you send them on a bi-weekly basis? Stick to that. If not, experiment with another cadence of say four weeks once.
Your subscribers have to be in control of what they want to see and what they don’t. Allow them to unsubscribe from your emails. Don’t get disheartened if they do. You’re just one great email away from winning them back.
What if you could keep your prospects and customers interested without working too much? Is it possible?
According to McKinsey, the average order value of a purchase from email is 3x higher than a purchase from social media. So, what if you can get the right balance of multiple emails when you can sit back, relax, and focus on your selling strategy?
What is an email sequence?
An email sequence is a flurry of emails that get automatically sent to a specific set of people in an email list.
Email sequences are automated and will automatically get sent to the right people at the right time according to what you set it to. When you have these “sequenced” emails, you can focus more on your selling strategy, than worrying about what you’re going to type.
When your email sequence is trigger-based, they are sent based on actions such as:
Your prospect’s browsing behavior
If your prospect subscribes to your list
Abandoning their checkout cart (for ecommerce websites)
Reading specific content
Purchasing your product or service
On the other hand, time-dependent email sequences work at preset time intervals such as:
Right after email opt-in (checkbox)
A specific time-period after a purchase for feedback (21 or 30 days)
After a year of subscribing (anniversary)
With email sequences, you only have to set them up once and they’ll work effortlessly.
Since email sequences are automated, there’s no room for bottlenecks and can take people from not knowing anything about your product to becoming an ardent follower or an enthusiastic supporter of your brand.
Email sequence best practices
Here are some tips you can follow to optimize your email sequences and engage more prospects. Bucket them into different categories such as:
Nurture email sequence: A nurture sequence introduces the prospect to your company.
Engagement: Get some information about your prospect and use a sequence of emails to build a relationship with them.
Conversion email: Use this sequence when you need something from your prospects such as a call, meeting, or a demo.
Follow-up email: You can use this sequence to follow-up with your prospects when they don’t respond after a few outreach attempts.
Here are some of the best tools you can use to set up email sequences:
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