5 templates for sales emails and InMails that really work

Outreach inspiration for different situations and stages of the buyer journey

January 31, 2019

5 templates for sales emails and InMails that really work

January is a time for big predictions – and so here’s the one sales reps out there may not have heard before. You’ll send a lot of prospecting emails and InMails in 2019 – and you’ll spend a fair bit of time racking your brains for the combination of words and phrases to improve your response rate.

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t the most original prediction that you’ve heard this month, but it’s certainly one of the most pertinent. The art and science of selling has evolved in many ways: leveraging networks for warm introductions, prospecting intelligently on social media, leading with content, building personal brands prior to reaching out. However, there are aspects of our craft that haven’t changed, and which we wouldn’t necessarily expect to. Knowing the right combination of words to earn attention, entice someone to read, and provide a compelling reason to respond is one of them. Sales people have been testing different approaches from the days when they first put ink pen to paper. It’s the same persuasive challenge today as it was then.

The key to prospecting efficiently and effectively through email and InMail is not starting with a blank subject line and screen each time. Prospecting emails and InMails need to feel distinct and individually relevant – but experience shows they are most effective when they follow one of five broad outlines. Our own sales teams at LinkedIn swear by these: five core templates to suit different prospects, different situations, and different stages of the buyer journey:

1. The Common Ground Approach
If you’re researched a prospect online prior to reaching out, then this is the template for taking advantage of that work. It’s built around a mutual interest, hobby or acquaintance, and a current reason for reaching out. Crucially, it doesn’t attempt to translate this common ground towards a deal immediately. The focus is more on building rapport. It’s important to get the balance right with this style of outreach – you want to come across as informed, not creepy.

Lost for words? Here’s your starting template for inspiration:

Subject line:

[Prospect Name], Jessie recommended I reach out

Message:

Hi [Prospect Name],

Our mutual connection, [connection name], and I were talking recently about [hot topic]. She said you were an expert on this issue.

I’m writing an article about [hot topic] because it’s relevant, timely, yet confusing to many of my customers. Can I include your perspective, [Prospect Name]?

Regards, [Your Name]

2. The Problem-Solver Approach
What do B2B buyers really want from sales people? Applied insight and information that’s relevant to their specific business. If your prospecting has uncovered evidence of a current business need, then this is the template to help leverage that in your outreach. A key question to consider is whether to mention your solution – or save that for later. It comes down to your individual judgment – but a thought leadership asset like a relevant guide or white paper can be a very effective way of introducing your expertise without hitting them over the head with it.

Lost for words? Here’s a starting template for inspiration:

Subject line:

[Prospect Name], How to put an end to [problem]

Message:

Hi [Prospect Name],

Your LinkedIn post discussing how your company is struggling to overcome [problem] made me think of others I know experiencing the same frustration. What seems to work is when companies tackle these three core issues:

• Lack of integrated systems

• Manual processes

• Unawareness about the latest options

[Prospect Name], let me know if you’d like me to send an eBook my company put together that spells out how to effectively address these issues.

Regards, [Your Name]
 

3. The Case Study Approach
Human beings love a good story – and smart sales reps know it. According to the 2017 B2B Buyers Survey from Demand Gen Report, 67% of those making purchase decisions rely on peer recommendations and 41% rely on case studies. That means a prospecting email that can persuasively introduce a customer story is a hugely valuable asset.

Lost for words? Here’s a starting template for inspiration:

Subject line:

[Prospect Name], Here’s how to drive X% higher revenues

Message:

Hi [Prospect Name],

Your latest company blog post showcases your strategic initiative to do [initiative name]. Congratulations on spearheading such an important endeavour!

As you prepare to move forward, you’ll be interested to learn how others in your position pulled off the same project successfully. In fact, I know of [prospect’s role] in three companies very similar to yours that generated an average of 17% higher revenues by using [your solution] to power their new processes.

[Prospect Name], let me know if you’d like me to forward the case studies detailing how they achieved such impressive results.

Regards, [Your Name]
 

4. The Giver Approach
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who passes on a free offer, if it’s something of actual value to them. Use that to your advantage when sending an email to prospective buyers. Whether you’re offering an ebook, a free trial, or a free evaluation, make the offer the focal point of your email. The more exclusive or insightful it is, the more likely it is that your prospect will see it as valuable.

Lost for words? Here’s a starting template for inspiration:

Subject line:

[Prospect Name], find out how your website stacks up

Message:

Hi [Prospect Name],

Your content-rich website is visually stunning, but I ran a free performance test that shows it might not be loading quickly enough for your site visitors.

Would you like to see the results and how your site compares to the competition?

Regards, [Your Name]
 

5. The No-Nonsense Approach
According to Boomerang analysis of 40 million sales emails, the sweet spot for length is 50-125 words. That means it often pays to be straightforward. Consider using bullet points to quickly point out how your solution benefits your prospective client.

Lost for words? Here’s a starting template for inspiration:

Subject line:

[Prospect Name 1], [Prospect Name 2], and [Prospect Name 3], thoughts on [product]?

Message:

Hi [Prospect Name 1], [Prospect Name 2] and [Prospect Name 3]

Now that you have trial-ed [product] for three months, I want to confirm you are experiencing the impact we discussed:

• Less manual data entry

• Faster financial closings

• More accurate monthly reports

What are next steps to get you signed up for an enterprise license, so your entire finance team can take advantage of [product]?

Regards, [Your Name]

Topics