5 Tips For More Effective, Unique Sales Emails Jeanna Barrett Email marketing can be a handy sales tool for a business looking to grow revenue, but the average consumer receives up to hundreds of emails a day which makes the likelihood of your business emails standing out that much less. Your business’ sales email is only as effective as the strategy you use to develop these emails. There is an art to creating an email that your customers will want to open, read and engage with. If your email strategy is lacking, your recipients will disengage, and sales opportunities can dwindle. These four tips below will help you get a head start at converting customers faster through email. 1. Consider HTML vs. Text Emails There can be a number of different reasons why companies might have greater success with an HTML email versus a text email or visa versa. However, when selling via email marketing, your ultimate end goal is to get prospects to open your email and click-through to your website. Studies show that you may want to skip the fancy header images or photos within an email and just keep it simple with plain text email formats. According to a blog from Square2 Marketing, on average: Adding images (GIFs) to emails reduce open rates by 37% Using an HTML template in your emails reduces open rates by 25% Increasing the amount of HTML in your emails reduces open rates by 23% And, click-through rates in an HTML format are also lower, especially in a heavy-HTML format Most email clients such as Outlook block images automatically. Instead of embedding images in your sales emails, consider using strong copy and headlines to help influence the recipient to take action. If you feel like shirking the statistics and prefer to use an HTML format, that’s okay. It’s your business, your rules. I just recommend trying a simple HTML template, and making sure you use alt text for all of your images. Alt text allows the email reader to understand what the image is supposed to be in case images come through to their inbox blocked or missing. 2. Be Clear and Straight to the Point Email copy is key. Cleverness and humor are not always well-received and may not be the right approach when you’re trying to sell. Your email content should be clear and succinct. Your content should be well thought out, relevant and interesting. And, it should provide value to the recipient. Why do they want your product or service? What can it do for them? What are you hoping the customer will do after they open and read your email? Consider linking out to further research or a really great piece of content on your website. Close your email with an actionable request. 3. Vary the Content of Your Emails If your email marketing strategy is to touch prospective customers more than once, switch up the approach of your emails. Otherwise, it just gets boring to receive the same type of email, and if the recipient deleted it once, they’d delete it again. There are three parts to every sales email that you can change up — the opening, the benefit, and the closing (CTA). Get creative! A few ideas: Switch up subject lines. Keep it short, but enticing. Get personalized including the recipient’s name. Or, another example, “Question about (a goal the end-user would have if they needed this product).” Remember to avoid spammy words as much as possible (sale, free, special offer, etc.). A/B test your subject lines to see what works best. SubjectLine.com is a great tool to test the effectiveness of your email subjects. Test out adding a “P.S.” message. A P.S. message is sometimes the first (and maybe only) part of the email your audience will read. A couple of ideas could be to share good news about the company, acknowledge a personal connection, or if you’ve met, something you remember about your prospective customer. As stated in the above point, keeping it short is a must, but make it easier to read using different formats such as bulleted lists or bolded, catchy headlines. No matter what style of email you send, remember that over 60 percent of recipients read emails on their mobile device. Make sure your email is optimized for smaller screens, so it’s an easy read for the recipient when opening it on their phone. This will give them more incentive to click-through and take action. 4. Spice up Your Email Signature View your email sign off as a blank canvas. Considering adding some media to your signature such a photo or a video. Or use an image of your actual signature and a picture of yourself. This approach will give the email more of a personal touch and make it feel like the email is coming directly from you, instead of a wide email blast. Include links to your LinkedIn or Twitter account. While a robust email signature is a nice touch, I do caution not to add too much to your signature. Only value-add information (maybe leave your favorite quote off this one!). Below is a great example of a clean and personal signature, and WiseStamp is a great tool to use. 5. Test Your Emails I shouldn’t have to mention this, but I know I’ve received a few emails here and there that have spelling or grammar errors, broken links or just simply do not make sense, and I hit the delete button immediately. Send your emails to yourself and to colleagues, friends, family — anyone that will give you feedback and double check your content. Have them open it, and scan it (you do the same). Is the main objective clear? Does the CTA make sense? In almost every instance you’ll have something to change when you proofread your materials. Writing effective sales emails can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. And to stand out amongst the masses can be even more challenging. Implementing the four above techniques will help hone in on your email sales strategy and get responses faster. Author Bio Jeanna is the Founder & Chief Strategist of First Page, an award-winning online marketer and an expat entrepreneur. Through content, social media and SEO, Jeanna uses the power of words and data to drive growth in brand awareness, organic traffic, leads, revenue and customer loyalty. She has a combined 12 years of inbound marketing experience at venture-backed startups, digital agencies and Fortune 500 companies, with an expertise focus on small business and technology. She’s been named ‘Top 40 Under 40’ of brand marketers and ‘Best in the West’ for financial technology marketing. In 2016, Jeanna left the U.S. to lay roots and build her business in Belize.