14 Tips for Sending a Sales Email that Converts in 2020

Sales Email - Nimble

It’s no secret that email marketing is one of the most effective methods of advertising your business online. Through the years, it has only grown in popularity while so many other marketing methods have already fallen out of favor.

Studies show that nearly 300 billion emails per day were sent throughout 2019. That equates to almost 40 emails per day for every human being on Earth. This data cements the fact that email is one of the leading — if not the leading — means of communication on our planet.

The latest research also shows that you’ll, on average, get a $42 return on investment for every dollar that you put into email marketing. Wide reach, a great ROI, and relatively low cost — what’s not to like?

At Better Proposals, we’ve been competing in the populated space of proposal software for years. We’ve experimented a lot and finally, outlined a set of best practices for writing sales emails. Today, we are happy to share them with you. Without further adieu, let’s get into these conversion-rate-boosting tips right now!

#1 Keep It Short

Our first tip is actually one of the easiest ones to execute. If you really want to improve your conversion rate when sending out sales emails then you should learn to keep it short. People don’t have time to read a novel, especially when they have other unread messages waiting.

That doesn’t mean you have to cut down on the amount of information, just be more concise and trim away any superfluous content. As Jake Lizarraga once said: “comprehensiveness and brevity don’t have to be contradictory to one another.”

#2 Stay Simple

In a similar vein, you shouldn’t be filling your emails with jargon and words pulled straight from a thesaurus. There’s no use in sounding smart if you alienate the majority of your recipients and make the ultimate point more difficult to grasp.

Instead of saying that your service can help them “obtain superior results” you could just say that you’ll “generate more sales.” There’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple, and it will often make your sales emails easier to understand.

#3 Formatting

Formatting is a criminally underused tool that can make or break a sales email. While most people know that a huge block of text is painful to look at, many don’t pay attention to the more nuanced aspects of formatting.

Bolding key information, using bullet points, and separating paragraphs by topic can help get your point across to the recipient. Pleasantly formatted emails are also less of a headache to read and will thus yield greater conversion rates.

#4 Timing

Timing is everything. A study from HubSpot found that the best time to send sales emails is at 11 AM on a weekday. These times are EST so be sure to adjust accordingly depending on your time zone as well as the time zone of your recipients.

If you want to schedule emails ahead of time then you can use Boomerang. This extension ensures that you’ll never miss the peak hours due to forgetting or oversleeping. Plans range from free to $49.99/month depending on the features you need.

#5 Our Name Is Our Virtue

Pardon the Jason Mraz reference but that lyric holds true in the world of email marketing. Portraying humanity throughout the sales process is one of the best ways to get responses. Don’t cram gimmicks into your emails or write in a robotic tone, take a more casual approach.

We’re not saying you have to force slang into your sequences, but writing in a conversational voice and using contractions can go a long way. A few pop culture references can help too (depending on your target audience.)

#6 Personalization

With spam becoming more common with every passing year, people are becoming increasingly reluctant to open emails from people they don’t know. Inserting the name of the person in the subject line can make the email feel more human.

It will also give off the vibe that it was written for them specifically. This tip still applies even if you’re reaching out to a company rather than an individual. Just insert the company name in the subject line instead.

writing sales emails that convert

#7 Don’t Overuse The Template

Don’t get us wrong, templates are a huge time saver when it comes to sending out sales emails. That being said, they can be detrimental to your results if you stick too close to them. You should always edit the template until it looks like it was written from scratch.

People get bombarded with sales emails on a constant basis, so if yours sounds exactly the same because of the template, it likely won’t garner a response. There’s nothing inherently bad about using a proposal template as a guide as long as you modify it to fit your unique tone.

#8 Single-Purpose

It’s very tempting to shove multiple CTAs into your sales emails. After all, when you get the chance to speak to a prospect, you may feel like it’s your window of opportunity to send everything their way.

However, you should pick a single purpose for each email so that the recipient can actually focus on the information rather than going into analysis paralysis. Sharing your blog post, offering a free trial, or inviting someone to your webinar are all viable options, but not all at once.

#9 Pain Points

One of the easiest ways to get a recipient to care about your sales email is by opening with a pain point that they might be facing. Open with a brief overview of the problem, then give them advice on how to overcome it.

Don’t give them the full solution though or they’ll have no reason to engage with you further. Giving some tips that partially solve their problem is a good start, then in your CTA, tell them how you can help further.

#10 Value First, Request Later

Before you ask the recipient to do something, you should first provide something of value. Whether this is a tip or a resource, giving them the value before making a request is essential so that they don’t feel like you’re only in it for personal gain.

Once you’ve gotten them in the indebted mindset, you can ask them to fill out a survey or sign up for your mailing list. They’ll be more likely to bend to your will since they feel like they owe you for the value that you provided at the start of the email.

#11 What Product?

It may seem very counterintuitive, but many email marketers agree that you shouldn’t mention your product or service in the first sales email. If the first thing you do is try to sell them on your offer then you likely won’t hear back at all.

Build trust, get them interested, and the sale will come eventually. If you must mention your offer then don’t sell it. A good rule of thumb is to seem less interested in your offer than the recipient of the email is.

#12 Start With An Intro

Sales emails and business mixers share a lot of similarities. First of all, you don’t know the people at a mixer. Secondly, you’re trying to attract new customers. Lastly, you should always introduce yourself before delving deeper into your business.

People don’t particularly enjoy talking to business entities, they’d rather talk to flesh-and-blood human beings. Starting the email out by stating your name, position, and company name is a simple way to build an engaging foundation.

#13 Pacing

Having a quick pace in sales emails is crucial to your conversion rate. No one wants to read an email that drags along. Right after your introduction, explain why you’re emailing them rather than beating around the bush with small talk.

By laying out your intent near the start of the email, the user will be more likely to commit to reading it all the way through. Telling the recipient what the topic of the email is from the getgo also reduces the odds that they’ll succumb to an external distraction.

#14 Back Statements Up

The advertising landscape is a rocky one, covered with empty claims and false promises. To stand out, you need to back every statement up with hard data. If talking about pharmaceutical findings, cite your source. The same goes for marketing statistics, you need to link the study.

This applies beyond third-party studies. Even claims centered around your own business should have evidence behind them. Embedding case studies will build credibility and even get the prospect on your site which is always good.


Email marketing is already an effective means of advertising your business, but when you bring the tips laid out here into play, you’ll be surprised at just how much fruit your labors will bear — in a short amount of time at that!

If you found the information in this article useful then be sure to share it with your colleagues who are also trying to reap the benefits of email marketing. They’ll be glad you sent the valuable tips their way and, as we covered in section 10, that’ll make them more likely to return the favor.