Nine Tips for Better Business Emails

Looking at your latest open rates and wondering what you’re doing wrong? Sure, email can be a sobering task as you try to stand out from the clutter in many people’s inboxes. But, there are strategies that help salespeople and marketers ensure that their emails are not only opened by recipients but also engage with those people. Here are nine tips to follow.

Humanize the “From.” The address from which you send sales emails influences open rates. Recipients are more inclined to open an email from a sender whose real name is in the address and the “from” display field. “From: Jane Doe. Email address:” is a good example.  

Know the Goal. Understand exactly what you want to achieve through each email. Such knowledge is essential to crafting an on-point message.

Perform Research. Before you start typing, learn about the intended recipient. Check out their social media pages, especially LinkedIn, as well as their company’s website. Get an idea for their brand and develop a preliminary understanding of the recipient’s potential needs, pain points and goals.

Key-In on the Carrot. Use the information you’ve gathered through research to craft a personalized message that is tailored to the recipient. Inject a little personality. Critically, this message should include a carrot – a compelling reason why taking the action you want the recipient to take will benefit them.

Perhaps you are emailing a marketing director at a technology company. Include language such as, “I have helped other technology companies build their brand and connect more meaningfully with their customers. For example, a campaign I put together for XYZ helped build buzz around the launch of their latest app; feedback on social media channels was outstanding. I would love the chance to help you get similar results at (mention company name).” Note that a specific instance of success is mentioned; this helps the recipient visualize success in their situation.  

Have a Specific Call to Action. Don’t leave people guessing. Tell them, politely, the action you would like them to take. “Can we connect for a chat about how I might be able to help you? Please let me know a time that will work for you. I would be happy to send you more information in advance. Don’t hesitate to let me know how I can help.”

Reel Them in With Your Subject Line. Similar to a good newspaper headline, the subject line should stimulate curiosity and compel a recipient to want to read your email. As with the message body, the subject line should be created with the particular recipient in mind – should be something that speaks to their situation, needs and goals. Sending an email to an HR executive at a manufacturing company? Try “Increase Workplace Safety.”

Be Brief and Readable. Many prospects will hit “delete” if they find a lengthy message in your email. So, keep things short. Avoid abbreviations, emojis and emoticons, which can make you look puerile. Also, write in a clear personable tone and avoid 10-cent words and promo industry jargon. Know, though, that peppering in a little language specific to the buyer’s industry can make you more relatable and suggest you have good knowledge of their field.

Be Linkable. Your email signature should contain links to your website and LinkedIn profile. The links make it easier for interested prospects to learn about you. Naturally, your website and LinkedIn page should be current and include testimonials, endorsements and examples of ROI you’ve helped generate for clients.

Combine Email and Direct Mail. Use email in conjunction with other prospecting tactics. For instance, send highly coveted prospects a unique direct mail package. Then, follow up through email to ensure they received it, including in the message a short, tactful suggestion of the benefit they’d get from working with you, a benefit that should be suggested by the contents of the lumpy mailer.