I know people say it is not size, but what you do with it, but when it comes to sales emails, you need to have both, the right size, and how you use it.

Just so we are all on the same page, this post is not about mass marketing emails, or what some pretend is content marketing, but specific emails sent to potential prospects, people who you have not engaged with in the past, but would like to because you know you can deliver value to them.  Prospecting emails are a breed on their own, and need to be precise in intent and result.  To do that, you need to be thinking less not more.  So, the size we are talking about here is short, not long.  Short is much more powerful, and will deliver more. 

To understand let’s take a step back. 

It has been shown that it could take 8 – 10 touch points before a potential prospect may respond.  Again, just respond, not guarantee that the response is the one you are looking for, but as many will tell you any response is better than being ignored.  Those touch points have a singular purpose, no matter what anyone tells you, the only prize is direct contact leading to engagement, everything else is second best, not what you aspire to be.  Every action in sales has to have a purpose, and the purpose of e-mail is to create that direct contact.  Marketing’s emails may be there to inform, emails once the prospect is engaged, can have other purposes, but during the course of prospecting what you want from an e-mail is a response leading to direct interaction.  Generating 10 useful touch points takes effort, and must involve different modes of communication, since our prospects have different communication preferences, and we need to cover the spectrum.

In this sequence, the only goal for that email is to lead to a time when you can speak directly to the prospect, either by phone, web, or live; a simple call to action.  But most prospecting emails have way too much information, that either never ever gets read.  Just think of your own experience, when was the last time you read past the mid-way mark of the second paragraph?  A while back I got a prospecting e-mail that may have been written by Tolstoy, it clocked in at about 1,000 words, for context this post is about 700 words.  I called the sender, and said “Dude, if it’s all the same to you, I’ll wait for the movie”.

Another reason you don’t want your key point at the end of a long note is the environment emails are read in.  Most likely, it will be read on a mobile phone, here is a good rule of thumb, “you have two flicks of the thumb (couldn’t resist), the first one to scroll down a bit, the second is the delete.”  If that happens before your point, you’re beat.

Sample Sales Email

Try this:

Subject line:  Key, if the person does not know who you are, they will next look at the subject line to see if they should open or ignore.  You can go with what Contact Monkey has found to be the most effective subject line, or try this: Make your call to action your subject line, just add a question mark at the end.  This will leave them wondering if they do indeed have a call scheduled, thus getting them to click the mail open.

Example: Call Friday at 9:30 AM?

Body of e-mail:  The body of the e-mail should be two or three compelling sentences highlighting what you want to discuss, not your product, but their objectives, and how you have delivered against those in the past, perhaps a link to relevant case study, or real insight. 

The finish: “I am writing specifically to set a call to share how we have helped ACME Corp achieve the above. 

Are you available for a call Friday at 9:30 AM?”

Nice tight package, with the subject line and the call to action as bookends to a simple call to action.