How to write B2B sales email

In this page, we will elaborate on the ways to generate sales leads. To be more specific, we will talk about how business owners can find and generate leads on their own.

Before we start, we would like to note that this article is dedicated to B2B leads specifically, and all of the following recommendations are based on our B2B marketing expertise.

How to find B2B leads

How to write a good sales email?

Some time ago, The Economist Group and peppercomm released a report that surveyed about 500 business executive and 500 marketing experts with a goal outline key differences in their content expectations and understanding of the content strategy. According to the report:

75%
of business executives would be more likely to respond to an email that suggests a business idea than to a message that simply promotes a product
71%
of business owners don’t like to receive a direct sales pitch and would choose informative emails over salesy ones
61%
of business executives value unique content that provides a fresh perspective on their vertical or workflow
85%
of business executives are more comfortable with well-structured text instead of video or audio content
Since our work often involves redesigning

marketing email templates

into proper B2B ones, we can confirm that this information remains relevant nowadays.
Low visibility and Open Rate are common results of confusing B2C marketing strategy with

B2B content development

. Due to this, compiling a comprehensive tutorial for writing effective sales emails has been on our minds for a while.

As you seem, it ultimately took shape.

Feel free to bookmark for your B2B development needs: and never hesitate to suggest new topics or send us an ask!

What’s a B2B email?

Before you ask “How to write a good sales email?”, you have to be sure you understand the difference between a

B2B sales email

and a B2C promotion email.

This is the key to solid content development and tone-setting. Also, it’s is the only way to finally sort out the following long-time questions:

“Am I supposed to speak with my B2B customers the same way as with my B2C buyers? Should I be formal and highly eloquent? Should my emails be salesy or more neutral?”

When you compare those two types of emails side-by-side, the difference is easy to notice:

B2C Emails

B2B Emails

  • Entertaining
  • Casual
  • Personal
  • Relatable
  • Have emotional triggers
  • Use simple language
  • Shorter buying cycle
  • Benefit-driven
  • Professional
  • Objective
  • Understanding
  • Outline industry pain points
  • Use professional terminology
  • Longer buyer cycle

Now let’s talk more about each of these B2B features and see what makes them so important.

Benefit-driven

While B2C email marketing uses a personal and relatable tone to capture their readers’ attention, B2B emails aim to communicate the main value of the service or product to the customer as promptly as possible. Therefore, you should introduce your benefits in the clearest way possible.

If your B2B services cover more than one vertical, it would also be a good idea to create several lists of benefits that are based and structured according to the needs of your prospects’ industry.

Professional

Now, there is one thing that you should always keep in mind when crafting a B2B email.

Professional DOESN’T mean inhuman.

It doesn’t mean long, overtly eloquent and highly formal messages that look like an average business template tutorial you can find on the Internet.

It doesn’t mean very brief and stiff emails that make an instruction to a TV set look like a novel.

After all, you’re reaching out to living, breathing people and they would appreciate it if your emails recognized them as such. Therefore, in a successful B2B communication professional = respectful.

When you reach out to your prospects, you respect their time. You make the most out of every word and sentence. Your tone is polite, your language is sprinkled with professional wit to liven up the conversation.

Basically, a good B2B email is like a professional handshake: firm, genuine, and not lingering longer than it should.

Objective

At work, your B2B recipients’ attention revolves around data, results and employee management. They have deadlines to meet, budget brackets to keep in mind, and plans to build so bright and stylish templates, and other common B2C marketing methods are a distraction to them.

This is why you don’t leave your recipients hanging and waste their time with flashy, but meaningless sentences or memes.

God help you if you use memes in B2B emails.

Choose facts over sentiments and introduce the value of your service and assets as promptly as possible.

Understanding

While highly effective in B2C, appeal to emotion needs some specific adjustments to work out in B2B content development. When things come to business, your recipients don’t want to be amazed, surprised or intimidated.

They want to be understood and assured. This is an entirely different level of subtle empathy that is commonly shared between fellow professionals.

It is important to create and nurture that connection, one email at a time.

Industry pain points

Emotional triggers are used in B2C email marketing to differentiate a brand product from a range of similar products and make it memorable to its readers. However, in B2B, everything is measured in experience and expertise.

Your recipients don’t want to work with someone who can tell the most touching story. Their ideal B2B provider knows the specifics of their vertical, can swiftly identify its most challenging areas and is familiar with their target audience - and doesn’t need many sentences to convey their competence.

Professional slang

Since your B2B emails are intended for a certain title, don’t be afraid to be more specific. Use industrial jargon instead of simpler synonyms. Describe your product with informative technical words, and avoid colorful, yet generic expressions.

Apply case studies and stats to drive your point home. Your recipients want to be confident in their choices, and the best way to secure that confidence, is to prove your professionalism with facts and numbers.

Longer buyer cycle

In B2C, it takes three steps to make a decision. A B2C client has to open an email, click the CTA button, go to the site and make a purchase.

However,

B2B decision-making

involves more titles, stakeholders and workflows.

Therefore, instead of three steps, there is a set of strategic campaigns that are designed to drip content into your recipients’ inbox for weeks before the deal can proceed to the closing stage. It is critical to maintain a strict schedule of follow-ups, keep reminding your B2B customers about your offers and carefully nurture everyone who respond positively until they are ripe for a deal.

How to write a sales email template?

Now, when you know what defines a

good B2B email

, it’s time to find out how to write one.
  • How did you find this company?
  • What motivated you to choose this company?
  • What kind of assistance did you need?

Sales emails that leave no room for doubt and open a door for opportunity are built from several essential elements:

  1. Subject line

  2. Pitch delivery

  3. Closing lines

  4. Signature

Since each of these elements plays a part in gauging and generating interest, knowing how to write a persuasive email means knowing every element as the back of your hand.

In a good B2B email, your brand philosophy begins from the subject line and ends with the signature.

1.

Subject line

B2B subject line sets things into motion if you manage to make it reflect your professionalism and credibility. To always remain on the good side of your recipients (and spam control systems), it’s enough to follow simple dos and don'ts of subject line building.

For instance, a subject line can be either overdone or underdone.

Overdone subject lines

Have Each Word Capitalized To Attract Attention

Needless to say, your eyes start hurting from merely looking at such subject lines. Imagine how your prospects, who probably receive hundreds of heavily capitalized emails each day, should feel.

In addition to being overwhelming, capitalized subject lines also give off a highly impersonal vibe that makes recipients think that this email wasn’t meant for them personally.

Logically, their next conclusion is:

Field-tested Belkins example:
  • Introducing [YourCompanyName]
  • Suggestions for [Vertical]
  • Regarding [value prop]
  • [ProspectCompany] and Your Company - Synergy

Don’t know how to stop with the punchlines

Punchlines are like salt: they can either make your offer very delicious or ruin it. Moderation is the key. When your recipients rely on objectivity, facts and professional tone, smart wordplay or catchphrases probably wouldn’t be welcome. Yes, even if they are really, really, really clever.

Your B2B prospects will appreciate communicating with a real, genuine person, not a foot-in-the-door salesman

Field-tested Belkins example:
  • [ProspectName], quick request
  • [ProspectCompany] [pain point]
  • New service from [YourCompanyName]
Use!!! Exclamation!!! Points!!!

While we recommended against any punctuation marks at all (unless you’re asking a question in your subject line), exclamation points are a firm and certain NO.

First of all, exclamation marks are classified as spam triggers, so to the majority of email service providers, all emails with exclamation points belong in a spam folders.

Second, even if such an email manages to bypass spam filters, the exclamation marks create a sense of urgency that is not welcome in B2B outreach.

Underdone subject lines:

Ignore grammar

In some way, typos and poor spelling attract attention. However, it’s not the kind of attention that you hope for. Moreover, they will completely ruin your further campaigns. After all, it makes little to no sense to trust a provider, who is unable to proofread their content, with your business.

Ask the wrong questions

In general, asking a question in your subject line is a fine ice-breaker as long as you do it right. Don’t ask random or eccentric questions just to provoke your prospects into opening emails and then throw a sales pitch at them. Be relevant and keep your subject line consistent with the purpose of your email and offer.

Field-tested Belkins example:
  • [ProspectName], what do you think?
  • You or [ColleagueName]? (if asking for referral)
  • [CompanyName] plans for 2020?

Avoiding these mistakes will already improve your subject line crafting. To make truly killer subject lines, don’t forget to follow these simple tips:

  • Keep it short

    . People check their emails via mobile phones all the time, and if your subject lines don’t fit into the screen, it will turn into a frustrating reading experience for your prospects.
  • Do your research

    . Featuring a piece on information that demonstrates your knowledge about the prospects’ accomplishments and activity (mentioning an event they attended, their public presentation, the award they won, etc) can significantly increase your open rate.
  • Be balanced

    . Always remember that your emails are not blog posts or forum threads. You use them to reach out to a particular person and get them to respond. Your tone should be the right combination of tact and intrigue in order to get your sales prospects interested and not annoyed.
All these email subject line techniques have been field-tested at Belkins, allowing us to secure an over 50% Open Rate.
2.

Opening lines

Your opening lines are a major part of building credibility and trust. The impression they make will dictate the tone for the rest of your email. The quality of your introduction will define how many prospects would want to respond to your introduction email.

At this point, don’t forget to refer to your target customer profile. It will give you a much-needed idea of how to greet your recipients properly and choose the most appropriate tone.

Opening should match the subject line

If you scored your subject line, make sure that the rest keeps up. Your opening line should continue cementing the reasons for your outreach and naturally transit into your sales offer.

Your opening should be brief

The ideal length of a strong opening line is 1-2 sentences. Anything more will end up in readers missing your point entirely. Therefore, the segue into your sales pitch will be a lot bumpier.

Your opening should feel credible

You must establish yourself as a professional with an experience in your prospects’ vertical from the first line. That doesn’t require attaching your certificates or diplomas, just some honesty, confidence and just a little bit of creativity. ;)

Be credible

Mention similar companies you have worked with

We work with organization like [Company name].
I’m with [Company name]

Shape context

Explain how you found your prospects’ company and why you decided to reach out to them

You have been referred to us by [credible person]
We have found your company in [event/presentation/social/media] and decided to…

Ask for directions

Let your recipient take initiative byproviding you with directions or guiding you through their company network

You have been referred to us by [credible person]
We have found your company in [event/presentation/social/media] and decided to…

Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the perfect email opening. As your range of B2B customers expands, so do their needs and the variety of communication styles.

Define the style that your current prospects favor the most and build your strategy from it!
3.

Sales pitch

It takes more than one tutorial to explain how to write a sales pitch email - also there is no way we can show an ultimate example. The art of crafting a superior sales pitch should and will be covered by multiple guides and articles at our blog because there is no way one tutorial can disclose such a complicated and multilayered subject.

For instance, the way you build your sales email vastly depends on its goal. Is it supposed to push your prospects towards scheduling a call? Is it designed to introduce your company? Is it supposed to secure a sale?

Since, we will be speaking about each of these goals further, let’s outline the foundational elements of a sales pitch.

Give details

. Keep building context from your opening lines. At this point, your recipient wants to learn more about you, discover what sets your company apart from the others and be confident that you are the real thing. Handpick the most relevant information about your services and products and/or refer the names of your clients in the vertical.

Outline pain points and benefits

. Use one sentence to describe the issue that your prospects are familiar with. Then, enlist your ways to solve it. Make it a bullet-point list for easier readability and don’t go overboard with descriptions and adjectives. Your task here is not to be forceful, but to speak with knowledge and expertise.

I decided to reach out to you because [one sentence describing benefits] that we developed for your vertical delivered such productive results as:

  • Benefit 1
  • Benefit 2
  • Benefit 3

This is why I’d like to see if there is a fit and schedule a 10-minute call with you. If you’re interested, please let me know if you’re available this week.

Show that you care

. Your prospects will be more prone to starting a B2B relationship if they see that you’re ready to go the extra mile for them. You can demonstrate that by researching their brand and pain points and using your knowledge to write an exclusive sales email that highlights their paint points and applauds their accomplishments.

Of course, there is more to learning how to write a sales pitch email. In fact, one can never say that they nailed all the types of sales pitch emails. The key is to never stop improving and seeking new knowledge.

4.

Closing line

At this point, you resume the purpose of your email and encourage your prospects to take action. Therefore, your B2B closing lines will contain a call-to-action in 98% of cases.

If you see your emails get opened and receive a response, your CTA works right. If your emails get viewed, but things aren’t moving forward...well, let’s see what could go wrong.

Lack of clarity

There is a reason why YouTube content creators constantly remind their viewers to like and subscribe. No matter how clear and simple your sales prospecting email template is, it still needs a closing statement suggesting the next step of the communication.

Whether it is scheduling a call, offering a free trial or a referral request, never hesitate to tell your prospects what you want.

Too much pressure

Your first email may be asking too much from your prospects. Don’t make them think that they have no time or choice by asking them to make an investment right here, right now.

Even if your service is relevant to their needs, you can’t be pushy. If your CTA asks the prospects to invest serious resources into an offer without considering all pros and cons first, it asks for too much. Therefore, your prospects will ignore you and move on to other emails.

Too many CTAs

Only one CTA per email — that’s the golden rule. Anything above that limit will confuse your recipients and send them mixed signals. In the end, the original purpose of your email will be lost. This is particularly relevant for cold outreach because nothing ruins first impressions than the sender who fails to deliver a point.

Lack of detail

Sometimes it is important to be extra peculiar about your CTA and explain what exactly you expect your recipients to do. If you leave connecting the dots to your clients, your chances at starting a B2B relationship plummet almost instantly.

If you can relate to any of these issues, worry not. Here’s how you can improve your closing statement and make your call-to-action clear, friction-free and compelling.

Always provide an easy way

Don’t leave your prospects thinking that you expect a lengthy response. The more friction-free your email communication is, the more positive image you will create for your brand.

This is particularly relevant for those who wonder how to write a follow up email without being a nuisance. For instance, we keep our follow-up emails as non-complicated as possible...by unleashing a T-Rex on people.

Hello [Name], I sent you some emails regarding our services a while ago, but still haven’t got a response. So I couldn’t help, but assume the following:

  • You’re interested and you want to schedule a call
  • You’re not interested
  • You’re being chased by a T-Rex and cannot respond right now

Whatever your answer is, please let me know. I’m getting worried!

Turns out, people love dinosaurs! Or, at least, they appreciate a good old Jurassic Park cameo. Anyways, we owe our pal T-Rex a steak for each lead he converted.

Feel free to try it too! If your brand and specialization allow some mischief, why hold back? As long as it flows well with your tone, you’re good to go.

Personalize everything

Everybody likes being treated as an individual, and not a part of a mass. That includes your prospects. Each CTA and offer must sound unique and tailor-made. Do your best to indicate that your sales offer benefits your prospects first.

Our sales executive [Name] has an experience in [Vertical], so he will walk you through each step of building your Ideal Customer Profile for your 30-day trial, and ensure that your test leads will be as accurate and data-enriched as possible. You will be able to process your leads the moment we send them to you. If it sounds good, just let me know when is the best time to call you and I’ll schedule an appointment.

Provide options

This is basically the follow-up to the “Make things easier” rule. Sometimes it’s better to let your prospect choose from existing options rather than let them make suggestions.

For instance, if you want to schedule a demo call with your prospect, it’s better to offer them several time slots to pick from than have your prospects look for the right time and day on their own because the latter can be a major motivation killer. By providing them with options, you relieve them of extra work - and subtly push them towards responding positively.

Does next Monday at 11am or Thursday at 10am work for you?

5.

Signature

While seemingly minor, your email signature can be a powerful selling boost. Just because it serves as a placeholder for a basic info, like name, phone, title and corporate site link, there is no reason to think that your signature doesn’t have room for more interesting stuff.

Show how you work

. Don’t wait until your prospects request a case study. Attach a link to a relevant case in the signature to showcase your workflow, your tools and problem-solving. This is a great way to generate high trust, secure guaranteed replies and hike up your selling chances.

Tell about yourself

. A press release or an article about your company published by credible source illustrates your competence and the possibilities you provide. All you need to do is to add a short link to your signature.

Provide entertainment

. If you have a YouTube channel with unique, informative or educational content, feel free to attach the link to the channel. Information hunger is a thing and your prospects will appreciate some food for thought.

Show expertise

. If your company provides webinars, attach a link to the most recent one to inject more value into your offer and let your prospects see how much they can benefit from working with your knowledgeable team.

The End?

. So, by now you are equipped with some useful tips that will help you have some really productive fun with your B2B emails.

Does it mean the lesson is over?

When it comes to B2B, there is no such thing as too much insight.

We have much more to tell about content development and all the tricks you can use to add more depth to your sales. In addition, we will certainly be talking about everything that happens after you click “Send!”.

Per your request, we may even elaborate on such subjects as “What advantage does a business letter have over an email?” because we’re happy to explore any part of B2B correspondence and business culture if you come along.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned!

Good luck!

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