How to write a prospecting email that gets results
You’ve come so far to be met by a blank screen. The cursor is blinking at you in a taunting, intimidating way, as if you should know what to write – it’s just a prospecting email, after all. You know what you want to say, but in this situation, it’s how you say it that really matters.
Have no fear – this blog post is here!
Did you know that the average person checks their email inbox 11 times per hour? This is a big window of opportunity for your business. We’ll go through the perfect prospecting email structure to help you secure that sale, and gain a loyal contact in the process.
People often think that being personable means you can’t be professional, but we’re here to tell that’s far from the truth. Striking a balance between the two can sometimes be tricky, but by following our structure and tips, you’ll be a master of the scales in no time.
What’s the subject?
As the first thing the recipient will read, the subject line holds a lot of weight – it’s how the recipient will decide whether or not to open the email. It’s also where a lot of tactics can be used: promoting discounts or rewards with a time limit which are intended to entice the recipient to open the email. But these companies fail to realise just how smart their customers are, and most people can see straight through them.
Instead, make the subject clear, concise and personal. Adding intrigue doesn’t do any harm, as long as it’s genuine and not a ploy. The subject line also sets up the tone of the email, so ensure that it’s in line with the body – if it’s easier, you can always write the subject line after you’ve written the email.
Take a look at these open rates:
[Sam – *|InformalCompanyIndustry|* search market share report – 15.49% open rate
Sam – Quick chat *|FIRSTNAME|* – 27.27% open rate
Holly – Is time saving a KPI? – 15.81% open rate
Holly – Quick chat *|FIRSTNAME|* – 24.79% open rate]
The open rate jumps to 27.27% when you use a personal and informal subject line. It’s also worth noting that the highest performing email subject lines are short and concise.
See more tips in our blog: How to write subject lines that will improve your open rate.
Greet them like a pro
As long as your greeting is polite, you can’t go far wrong. It’s worth mentioning that “Morning” and “Afternoon” may have more success than “Hello” (you don’t want to sound like a robot).
The opening line is your first chance to show the recipient that you’re human – like them.
A softener is a great way to do this, as it eases them into conversation. A comment on the weather is perfect, as it is the right balance between personal and professional, can be a great opener, just make sure it’s accurate to where the person you’re sending it to is.
Good prospecting emails add in some personalisation so it doesn’t feel like a copy and paste job. You want your recipient to feel like you took the time out to write to them 1:1. Outbase can help you to personalise your emails by using intergration to add their first name, location, company name and more. You can easily add these into your email template in our create a template section on the platform.
These all show that there is another human on the other side of the email.
Who are you?
Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes: if you just received an email (even if it had the perfect subject line and softener), you’d want to know who they are and why they contacted you. Introduce yourself in a concise way and explain why you’re emailing them, in no more than a couple of sentences – they don’t need your life story.
When describing why you’re emailing them, try to keep your language concise and jargon to a minimum. They don’t need to know statistics or generics, they need to know how you could help them.
A question or two may help here, as it prompts the recipient to think about their own product or services, and how they could be improved. A good tip is to talk about how to make their life easier, and in the process, hint that you could help.
If you’ve done research into their company, add in this information in a professional and polite manner:
- I’ve seen that you…, and I have some ideas to help you.
- I have some ideas to help you with…
But this is where another balancing act comes in: you want to tell them enough to interest them, but leave enough information out that they are intrigued and want to talk further. This will almost guarantee a phone call where you can talk further.
Some phrases that work well are:
- Is [aspect of service] a priority for you right now? If so…
- I have some ideas that may be of interest to you…
- Do you struggle with…?
Call to action
By far the most important aspect of your email: the call to action. It’s no use going all out on the perfect prospecting email if it won’t lead anywhere.
The biggest tip here is to be precise. Instead of saying “let’s keep in contact” or “let me know if we can help”, ask them for a call on a certain day and time. It sets up the expectation that you will be anticipating a call from them at that time, prompting them to reply.
However, remember that they are probably very busy, so emphasise that you understand this and can be flexible if necessary. It’s also polite to add in a time frame for the call, so they know what to expect and can continue to work their day around it.
A good way of phrasing it would be:
- Are you free for a quick call on [day, time]?
- Do you have 10 minutes to discuss this further? How about [day,time]…
- How does your calendar look on [day, time] for a quick chat?
These are easy to add into your email template or subject line, using Outbase. Like with the opener, you can add in personalisation quickly and easily using our Create Template section, e.g.
To sign off, simple is usually best. It’s also a great chance to regain balance, if you’ve become too chatty during the email.
A professional signature is a must – otherwise the email could look like a scam, despite all the personality you’ve put in. People look at a signature more than you might expect, as it shows them what your job role is and who the company is, if they want to do some research.
Keep it simple, on brand, and include your contact details, especially a phone number for the call to action.
You may want to include a link to your LinkedIn or Facebook profile, in case they want to connect with you, particularly as they are less formal than email, and so carry less pressure but too many links can also be a problem. We suggest 1-2 links in your email signature. Avoid images (with the exception of the logo) as they’re bulky and often don’t actually have a purpose.
Those are the basic building blocks of a perfect prospecting email. To make it handy for you, below is a template which includes all the most important bits.
|Example||Tips||What to Avoid|
|Subject||Ideas for [relevant topic]||Keep it relevant to the company.||Promoting discounts or services|
|Greeting||Morning [name],||Include their name to keep it personal.||‘Hello,’ or not using their name.|
|Softener/Opening Line||Hope you’re enjoying the weather, hopefully it doesn’t turn like last week.I saw your article on LinkedIn and found it fascinating because …||Flattery isn’t bad when it’s tasteful!||Generic comments or not doing research.|
|Introduction||My name is [name], I work for [company] doing [role]. I’m hoping we can talk on the phone later this week.||Keep it short and sweet, remember that they’re busy too.||Long sentences and statistics.|
|Body Copy||I’ve seen that you [X] and would love to talk further, as I think we may be able to help. [briefly explain how]||Add enough information to intrigue them for a phone call.||Being too vague, and using too much jargon.|
|Call to Action||Are you free for a quick call on [day, time]. It’ll be no longer than 15 minutes.||Be specific and include a day, time and length.||Not giving a definite time.|
|Sign Off||Best, [name][signature]||Be polite, and make sure your phone number is in the signature.||A bulky signature with pictures and unnecessary information.|
Creating the perfect email template is essential if you want loyal partnerships and a high sales rate. Outbase provides an automated tool for customisable email templates that can be tailored to your needs and lead gen. They can then be sent on a large scale so there’s no need to sacrifice quality over quantity – it helps optimise your time, improve sales, and prevents the blank-screen/blank-mind conundrum. Win-win.
Want someone to do the hard work for you? You can with Outbase. Our team of expert writers can write the perfect prospecting email template to engage your ideal customers.Find out more: Personalised B2B email templates tailored to your audience.
Ready to skyrocket your sales? Sign up today.
GDPR: what you need to know
It’s our birthday: what’s happened in sales and tech in the last year?