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How to Write a Sales Email in 2018 (With Examples!)

How to Write a Sales Email in 2018 (With Examples!)

No one was born knowing how to write a sales email.

My sales email cold call templates were so dry, the Sahara looked like a water park in comparison.

I was blissfully unaware—and wasting a lot of time and potential leads!

Until one day…

…when I started to receive bland, no-salt-added sales pitch sales emails myself.

They hit the trash like the Flash—and they all read like they had been taken from the same, Stone Age email template for sales introductions. What a waste of time for everyone who was caught in this cycle of drudgery.

There had to be a better way. So I sought it out. And found it.

Now, I get complimented on the quality of my sales emails—even if the lead isn’t interested!

Want to write sales emails that actually get read and enjoyed—and turn more prospects into sales? Read on!

subject lines for sales emails

Know Your Offering

First things first: you must know what you’re actually selling.

Sounds simple, right? You’d be surprised!

Offerings can easily get muddled in the flow of an email—especially when you have more than one to choose from. Larger companies with multiple revenue streams are highly susceptible to this pitfall.

You don’t want your sales email to read like a game of Whac-A-Mole, offering this and that and this, and the kitchen sink too! That invites confusion, indecision, and lack of interest.

Instead, make it very easy for your lead to understand your offering. Trim it down to a single phrase or sentence that’s easy to understand, such as “Salesforce integration for Gmail and Outlook.

Then, as the reader skims your email, your crisp and clear description of your service will stand out like a shining star. It will literally wow the reader!

sales email

Simple, yet effective.


Clarify Your Value

Why is your service valuable to your prospects? If you don’t know, they won’t know either, losing you the sale.

Your service will make a subsection of their life better, and it’s your job to understand how and why.

It’s tempting to just list the product’s features—after all, they sounded very cool in the production meeting. But your lead doesn’t know why a one-inch larger screen will benefit them, until you point it out.

In the initial email cold call template, it doesn’t always make sense to list out all of the benefits either. Most people are too busy (and not in the right opportunity stage) to slog through a list of benefits.

Your mission is to condense the benefits into a single value proposition, or value prop. Bonus points if you can drop a hot statistic to back it up. For example, “simplify your sales process, and increase your chance of closing deals by up to 27%.”

That’ll perk up their ears, making them eager to learn more. Perfect.



Research Your Prospects

When you’re whittling away at your offering and value prop, you may wonder how to decide which angle to take?

If you know your prospects, the answer is apparent. CEOs tend to be visionary, big idea thinkers, while the VP of Sales is all about the bottom line.

The deeper you dive with your research, the better you’ll understand your contacts. If you’re facing a time crunch, pick two or three leads to research, and hone in on the similarities.

From there, you’ll be able to choose a suitable angle for your sales email templates, that actually addresses their daily concerns.

For example, salespeople need their processes to be efficient and effective, so a supporting detail could be “built-in email tracking and mail merge gives you your time back.”

Pick Your Warm-Up Hook

Even if your leads are ice cold, they don’t need to be! They’re just waiting for you to turn up the heat.

turn up the heat with sales email

How? With a spicy hook that ties the two of you together. Whether it’s a referral, a shared experience, or even an ice cold prospect, you can find a hook that shows you did your homework.

A referral is pretty obvious: share who connected you, and why. No sweat.

A shared experience is fairly clear too: attending the same conference, being mentioned in the same blog post, being featured on the same podcast. Even if you’ve never met, you can build on that inherent camaraderie.

But what about cold prospects? When building a cold email template for a sales introduction, pick something outstanding about them. Tell them how much you enjoyed their blog post, TED talk, or whitepaper—and mention a key insight.

Without a shimmering hook, your leads will have no reason to read on—so make it a juicy one!

Wait: do you really have to pick a hook for each lead?

If you want to make it personal, engaging, and outstanding, then yes. Absolutely.

Don’t worry—one extra step now will reap considerable rewards. Don’t skip it.

Write an Engaging Subject Line

Subject lines for any sales email is like the icing on the cake—they’re the part everyone sees, regardless if they actually take a slice.

So it’s essential to make them count. (And A/B test the best ones!)

Make it personal. Add their name and/or company name, and people will naturally be drawn to your email. Curiosity will get the better of them.

Ask an open-ended question. Usually starting with “how” or “why,” these questions aren’t easily answered with a simple yes or no. Even better if you can form a question that you can’t think of a snarky response to.

Use a Subject Line Checker tool if you’re afraid of falling flat—but remember they’re not infallible. A subject line that was once innovative quickly ages as the tide goes out on the trend.

Hint at their reward for opening the email. At least alluding to the purpose of the email builds trust, as the reader doesn’t feel deceived by more generic subject lines that appear like normal emails. Being honest about your intent is more rewarding than clickbait subject lines that disappoint.

Avoid trying to cram every technique into one subject line. You only have about 70 characters to work with before you lose reader interest. Pick a style, test it, and refine it to your audience’s tastes.

Paragraph 1 – Warm Hook

Now’s the exciting part: putting it all together!

Lead in with your warm hook. How you connected on LinkedIn, how their recent discussion panel really spoke to you, or how you’ve been a loyal fan of their company for a long time.

Make it juicy, yet genuine, to capture your lead’s attention.

Avoid leading with “I,” as this paragraph is all about them! Dazzle them with enthusiasm about their work, and they’ll be eager to learn more.

Paragraph 2 – Value Offering

Here’s where you pull out the 1-2 punch! Make it a no-brainer to connect, with your clear offer and value prop, which are polished to address their issues.

Briefly touch on who you are, which should make it obvious as to why you’re the right person to be talking with.

Throw in a standout statistic or two that will command attention. Anytime you can quantify results, go for it!

Rein in the rambling. You’re not reading the telephone book here—you’re briefly catching their eye, and inviting them to learn more. That’s it.

Keep the focus on the benefits. Features are for technical specifications in user manuals, not email cold call templates!

Paragraph 3 – Ask for the Call

The squeaky wheel gets the grease—but you want sales, right?


You want to continue the conversation.

Guide the prospect off of email with a firm yet fun call-to-action. Ask for exactly what you want, whether it’s lattes at 2 pm Friday, or scheduling a phone call for next week.

Don’t apologize for the ask. You’re actually doing the reader a favor, by guiding them to the next step.

Make your enthusiasm clear, that you can’t wait to speak with them. If your lead can feel your energy, they’ll be more likely to reciprocate. (Like contagious laughter—or yawns.)

Sign Off with a Winning Signature

You probably don’t think much about your signature.

Once you set it all up, it does the heavy lifting for you, right?

Not necessarily. Sometimes, it can be too heavy, weighted down with links to your website, social media profiles, company logo, or even a headshot!

If you have the leeway, give your email signature a haircut. The sleek new look will minimize the chances of your email landing in the spam folder.

P.S. Adding a P.S. is a great finishing flourish, especially when you found a great tidbit about the prospect that isn’t quite right for the hook. Only one postscript maximum, though!

Tips and Tricks

Fall in love with white space throughout your email. You don’t want to write a book, and your contacts don’t want to read one.

Simplicity is important above all. It should be crystal clear why you’re writing, and why you hope they’re reading.

The email is about them, not you. Reduce your use of “I” whenever possible.

Prepare to follow up. Most people require multiple points of contact before making a commitment. Don’t hinge all of your hopes on a single email.

Evaluate your process once you’ve sent out a minimum of 100-200 emails. Tweak as you go.

Make it fun. Experiment with playful or unusual words. Break out the dusty old thesaurus and brighten your prospect’s day. They’ll appreciate it.

Schedule your sales emails to go out at the best time of day for your industry with Gmail Delay Send. Avoid Mondays, so your email doesn’t get inadvertently lost in the weekend email clean-up.

Avoid weak, apologetic writing. Keep it positive, confident, and energetic. Delete these top offenders:

sales strategy

Example 1 – Basic Sales Email

Ready, set, learn how to write a sales email:

Example: Gusto’s Pizza

sales tips

Your basic sales email will have a winning subject line, warm hook, offering & value, a strong call-to-action, and a streamlined signature.


  1. The subject line includes their company name, and incentivizes the email open. Who wouldn’t want to know about expanding their empire?
  2. Paragraph 1 contains a warm hook about their grand opening, then follows up with details about how you are connected to them.
  3. The second paragraph explains who you are (social media manager), what service you’re offering (Facebook ads), and what value that creates (increased local Facebook presence).
  4. The final paragraph asks for the call, directly at 2 pm tomorrow. Even if that time doesn’t work for them, the natural response is to counter with a better time.
  5. The signature is short and sweet, without extra embellishments. A quick sign-off can be quite effective.

Example 2 – Ice Cold Email

Can’t find a warm hook? You need to start sending cold emails but make sure you’re not making these mistakes when sending cold sales emails. Here’s your sales email cold call template:

Example: Wella

sales pitch examples

Your email cold call template can heat up quickly, with enthusiasm and energy.


  1. The subject line mentions both the company and who you are. When the lead is completely cold, clarity is essential.
  2. Paragraph 1 warms up the lead, by showing why you love the company and think it’d be a good match. Enthusiasm and honest praise appeal to a lot of audiences.
  3. Paragraph 2 details who you are (copywriter), the offer (brand messaging), the value prop (convert fans into loyal customers), and also throws in a strong supporting statistic to make the value clear.
  4. Paragraph 3 asks more gently, but still implies that the answer is “yes, when?”
  5. The sign-off swings back to the positive attitude in the first paragraph, giving the email balance and well-roundedness.

Example 3 – Sales Letter of Introduction

If you’d like to warm up your leads a bit more, try this email template for a sales introduction:

Example: Trader Joe’s

sales skills

Email templates for sales introductions can be a delightful read.



Even a basic connection request can have a fun subject line. It conveys the main idea, without being dry or stuffy.

  1. Paragraph 1 combines the enthusiastic praise with letting them know who you are right away.
  2. Paragraph 2 gives a more general overview of what you offer and the value it holds. Since this is an introduction and not a direct sales email, you can paint with a broader brush.
  3. Paragraph 3 still directly asks for the call, but also adds a potential topic of conversation. It’s much easier to break the ice with a clear agenda for the call.
  4. The signature is simple and direct, no need for extra details clogging up the flow of the sales email.

Customize, then Templatize

But wait!

How can you possibly treat each sales email with custom love and attention?

The secret is…you can’t.

But there is a way to make each email feel special.

Refine one sales email template, crank up the customization, then break it on down to turn it into a stunning template you can reuse again and again.

Mail merge streamlines this process even more—if you’re conscious of your phrasing, you can even add your warm hooks as a custom field (without awkward grammar issues; if you’re uncertain, add your warm hooks manually).

Develop a custom sales email template for each industry, and each target position within the industry, as you learn what gets more responses.

Crack open a cold one—you’ve done it!

Tracking & Follow-Up

Once you’ve put in all of this hard work, phase 1 of your master plan is complete. As any good salesperson knows, the magic lies in phase 2—the follow-up game.

Keep tabs on your email opens with email tracking, so you can pick the best time to respond. Every salesperson has their own tried and true methods—the key is to be consistent.

If you’re not getting opens, circle back and figure out the issue. Either your contact email is invalid, your subject lines need adjusting, or the lead isn’t ready to gaze upon your awesomeness quite yet.


Learning how to write a sales email doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating.

It doesn’t even have to be long or detailed.

It does have to be concise, targeted, and direct. No problem!

You can simplify your email cold call templates, making your processes run more smoothly.

Leads will be eager to learn more—because they can tell you’ve done your homework, and that you care about their needs.

And who wouldn’t want that?