How to Write an Effective Sales E-mail (A step-by-step guide)


15 minutes reading

Writing a sales email is one of the most complex content forms you will ever have to create. Emails, in general, are quite tricky, considering they constitute direct communication with your customer. So, they have to be both personal and general. But when it comes down to sales emails, your task is even more challenging.

In a sales email, every word counts. When writing these emails, you must understand that people don’t want to receive them. This is the tricky part. Thus, you need to be extra persuasive to even make the receiver open the electronic letter. Once there, the chances of getting a conversion are even slimmer. In fact, on average, only 17-28% (depending on your industry) of users will actually open your email. Even worse, only about 2-5% will follow your CTA.

These statistics shouldn’t discourage you. They only show how serious you must take writing emails if you want to include email marketing in your sales arsenal. Of course, we are here to help.

So, today, we will walk you through every step of creating an effective sales email that drives conversions.

What Is A Sales Email?

Before we get to writing, it’s essential to understand precisely what a sales email is. There are many types of emails: newsletters, announcements, confirmations, reminders, transactions, lead nurturing, reviews, educational, and others. Each one has a specific goal and, naturally, specific writing needs.

Representation of received emails

The sales email is no different. Its main goal is to promote a product in front of a tightly selected targeted audience most likely to finish a predetermined action. In other words, the sales email aims to provoke the receiver to click on the provided button. In this regard, sales emails are actually lead-generation tools, as they most often redirect to a sales page or a sales team. They rarely aim to close the sale right then and there.

As such, these types of emails insist on a much more precise language than you would use in any other type of email. For example, while a lead nurturing email can afford a more linear approach to its length, sales emails must be short, straightforward, and precisely to the point. They shouldn’t leave any doubt in the reader what they must do to get the mentioned benefits.

To be effective, a sales email must follow several general rules.

Some General Rules

These general rules are the frame of your email. If disregarded, no matter how brilliant your content writing skills are, your email will fail.

Know Your Audience

Firstly, just like any other marketing-related task, you must know your audience. The good thing about emails is that you can segment your emails based on some behavior. For example, you can differentiate users based on whether they’ve opened your previous emails. Or you can segment some of your email lists by their last action on your website. So, for instance, people who click on some of your products are different from those who only look through the categories. They are at a different stage in their customer journey. Naturally, they have different needs and motivations.

Segmenting your audience and conducting an in-depth analysis of what they need, what they want (yes, those two are often different), what motivates them, and most importantly, what stops them from becoming your customers will help you build your email message much stronger and better targeted.

Assume Some Knowledge

A sales email is not an educational tool. It’s not a brand awareness activity where you need to present yourself at length and explain what you are doing. If you managed to segment your email list properly, you should know which group is aware of what. In other words, in sales emails, always assume your audience is already well aware of your business, products, and practices. Moreover, they should be able to recognize you from your brand voice alone, but even if they don’t, the logo should speak loud and clear who you are.

Remember, sales emails are hot emails. They aim to push customers into purchasing. If they have to learn more about you after they receive your email, you either need to segment your email list properly or fix your pre-sale email strategy.

Use Strong Words

Ensuring you are transmitting the correct message is instrumental to your success when writing an email. While nonverbal communication is a bit absurd when you exclusively communicate verbally, you can still use some words to inspire emotional reactions from the reader. These are the so-called strong words.

A dictionary

Now, by strong words, we definitely don’t mean complicated words. Thus, you must consider the level of English-language knowledge of your recipient. For example, if you are targeting foreigners who haven’t shown particular knowledge of your language, you should stick to simple yet effective words. On the other hand, strong words will allow you to make a greater impact on their decision.

The main point behind using strong words is to create a clearer picture of what the reader can expect. For example, can you spot the difference between these two statements:

  1. The camera takes a great picture every time
  2. The camera takes a breathtaking picture every time.

The two offer the same information. Still, the second one has a much heavier emotional impact. It shows that the picture is not only great in quality, but every time you look at the picture, you will feel mesmerized.

There are literally hundreds of strong words, so if you are wondering whether your word is strong enough, make sure to use a synonym dictionary.

Be Careful Of The Words’ Impact.

When choosing the correct words for your email, make sure they communicate precisely what you intended in your message. Words have specific meanings and implementations. For example, take these three statements:

  1. Our product gives you the opportunity to increase your conversion rate
  2. Our product allows you to increase your conversion rate
  3. Our product gives you the chance to increase your conversion rates

These three statements mean the same thing at first glance. However, the word “chance” in the third example implies that having this product is not enough. You need to rely on a chance. So, the product does not guarantee the promised outcome. It only improves the odds.

“Allows” implies that the product alone will increase the conversion rates without your initial help. However, you can only increase your conversion rates with the product.

“Opportunity,” however, means that you have to work for the outcome, and the product is only the tool to ensure the outcome is within reach.

This is just one example, but generally, be aware of the semantics behind each word. What does it imply?

Avoid Negative Words (except when false negative)

Negative words, naturally, build up negative emotions. So, try to use as little as possible in your email. Most importantly, never start your email with a negative word. For example, many emails begin with “Don’t you hate when…”. This instantly sets the mood of the reader to refuse any proposal.

The only acceptable negative words at the start of your sentence are false adverse claims. For example, “You haven’t forgotten that you need new shoes, have you?”

Still, using false negatives is risky and only works with specific products and audiences. So, in general, avoid negative words as much as possible.

Keep Sentences Short

A sales email is not the place to show off your power over the English language. The only reason for this email is to transmit a loud and clear message that you have an offer. So, make sure to use short sentences, each one with a specific task. There shouldn’t be any fillers. All sentences must tell precisely what you want your users to hear, nothing more, nothing less. Furthermore, subordinate sentences are fine, but make sure to implement them only where two simple sentences won’t do the trick or have the same impact.

Finally, never write a sentence with more than 20 words. It becomes way too complicated for someone to follow. If anyone has to go back and reread a sentence to get what you meant, it means your email needs improvement.

Keep The Entire Email Short.

Speaking of being short, the entire email should be brief and to the point. People are not interested in reading lengthy explanations of why they should be interested. Most of them will simply ignore the email if they have to waste more than a minute to read it. Actually, your goal should be 30 seconds. This means you should aim to write everything you have to say in just 100 words. In fact, emails with 50-125 words have the highest response rate. Just above 50%. Still, some sales emails can go up to 200 words (depending on the product and the audience), but beyond that, consider your email ignored.

Writing an email

Try to keep your entire email within 6-8 sentences. This way, the reader can easily scan your message in about 30 seconds and won’t have the time to lose interest.

Still, make sure your email is not too short as well. Splurging your offer right off the bat is just as bad as going into a rant about why the user needs your product.

Focus On The Receivers Needs

Often, people tend to fall into the trap of the “I.” For example, you can check your inbox and see how many sales emails start with “I wanted to…”, “I was wondering,” or “I wish to inform you…”. However, the receiver of the email, your potential client, doesn’t care what you want, wish, or need. Why would they? They are interested in their own needs. And when it comes to a sales email, you should definitely focus on their needs. So, avoid starting your sentences with “I,” “me,” “we,” or anything that implies this email is a reflection of your needs, not theirs.

Be Creative

Finally, creativity is your friend. Being original will help you get the recipient’s attention. Sure, if you are not entirely certain you can write a good email, you can use one of the thousand templates scattered across the internet. This is a great start. But to be able to capture your audience’s attention, you should aim to be unique, creative, intelligent, and witty. Only then will you manage to witness the full power of the sales email.

Writing Effective Sales Emails (A Step-By-Step Guide)

It’s time to sit down and write the sales email. This task can be intimidating at first, so we are here to help. We’ve created a step-by-step guide for writing the perfect email that will always lead to the desired response.

Let’s start from the top

The Subject Line

The subject line should always be straightforward and let the recipient know precisely what your email is all about. Clickbait subject lines will initially increase your opening rate but will drastically harm your credibility and conversions. So, your task is to hype the recipient while at the same time telling nothing but the truth.

The subject line is where utilizing strong words has the most significant effect. Personalizing the subject line is an excellent idea if you have the recipient’s name. If not, make sure your subject line doesn’t say, “[NAME], we have an outstanding offer just for you.”

Now, you can play around with your subject line and A/B test several options. Depending on your audience, highlighting benefits or pain points or creating a sense of urgency can significantly increase your success. On the other hand, urgency can deter people from reacting if they see the email at an inconvenient time.

Be creative. Make sure you mention the offer in a way that will speak to the receiver. For example, “[Name], it’s time to get paid for your creative ideas.”

Finally, ensure your subject line has fewer than 50 symbols, including spaces. This way, it will appear on every screen, making its impact complete.

The Preview

The preview line of your email must complement your subject line and elaborate on your pitch. Of course, the preview line should focus mainly on the benefits or some numbers. For example, if we consider the subject line “[Name], It’s time to get paid for your creative ideas,” a good preview will be “64% more clients in the first month with [service name]”. The preview line must create some sort of expectation. In other words, it should highlight the main talking points in your email.

mass sending emails

Once again, try to keep it short and simple. This will be a recurring motive in this article. Try to contain your preview line within 40-50 characters, as you’d want the recipient to be able to read it without ever opening the email.

A good hook in the preview line can significantly increase your chances of conversion. So, take your time when considering how to write it. Most importantly, don’t just copy your introductory line.

The Greeting

It’s time to start writing the email. Naturally, the beginning is always the most challenging part. So, start simple. Start with a straightforward, friendly Hi. If you’re wondering whether to go with Hello, Hi, or Hey, well, it depends on your brand voice. Hello is usually the least used, implying distance and coldness in your relationship. It’s as if you’re writing to your ex. Hey, on the other hand, is way too familiar. It can work if that’s how you communicate with your clients across all channels. Most content writers will go with the middle ground – Hi. It’s not too cold, and it’s not too familiar.

Adding the first name of the recipient will take you a long way. Usually, this helps the reader relax and puts their initial defensive demeanor at rest. Knowing their first name means you probably already know each other, and they already gave you this information. So, the chances of having them read your email are higher.

One crucial mistake is to address the recipient by their first and second name. This is way too formal. Usually such addresses are used by officials and administration, rather than someone offering you something.

Finally, never use the “To whomever it may concern.” The answer is no one. No one will read a random email that’s not directed at them.

So, your main goal with the greeting is to make the recipient comfortable enough to read your pitch and predispose them to have a positive demeanor while reading your message.

The Opening Line

The opening line is, without a doubt, the most essential line in your entire email. It can make or break your whole pitch. Your opening line should be highly impactful, strong, and filled with buzzwords that will capture the reader’s attention. For example, ” It’s high time to turn your ambitions into reality.”

Always lead with what the reader wants, not with what you want. Naturally, using I as the first word in your emails will always be off-putting. ” I think,” “I want,” “I saw,” “I’d love”. That’s great, but why would the reader be interested in what you want, see, think, or love? They have their own problems, and every second that you’re not talking about them is a second they lose interest in what you have to say.

Of course, illustrating the user’s pain points or problems in the first sentence insists on giving them the solution in the very next one. Naturally, this will be a great transition to your pitch, but it will also establish what you are offering from the very start.

So, continue your email with “Now you have the unique opportunity to increase your clients by 64% within the next month.”

The Pitch

So, now that the reader knows what the email is all about and what they should expect. It’s time to pitch your product or service. Here, you can use I or we, as this is the part where you aim to create a connection. This is the part where you explain what you will offer and why it’s worth their time. In other words, this will be your unique sales proposition. For example,

“We at [Brand] extend our hand to give you the privilege of testing our renowned [Product Name]. This highly effective marketing tool will ensure your creative ideas will reach up to 64% more prospects within a month. With this special offer just for you, we’d like to invite you to give [Product name] and your creative ideas a try for one month completely free.”

As you can see, we’re using strong words to spark an emotional reaction. The entire pitch screams privilege and special treatment. Some marketers will put the FOMO line in this part of the email. Still, we’d suggest keeping the pitch reserved for your product without any stipulations involved. This way, the emotional reaction to receiving a great opportunity won’t be overshadowed by the prospect of missing out. In other words, you want your readers to feel excited, not scared.

striking a deal

Try to keep your pitch within 3-5 sentences. Don’t overexplain or oversell. You don’t want to seem desperate. You want to let your readers believe you are actually making a nice gesture for them, not trying to bat them into buying something they don’t need.


The CTA should be simple, straightforward, and imperative. Naturally, your wording should reflect all of that. Once again, it’s a good idea to use strong words for your CTA. Now, you can go with something direct, like “Start selling your creative ideas with a simple discovery call”, however, this is plain and lacks any buzz.

Alternatively, “Boost your creative idea’s outreach” is something that will instantly grab the reader’s attention. Then you can give the details on how they can do that. For example, if there is a free demo, you can explain this in the following sentence. Still, make sure to tell your readers exactly what the next step is. If you want them to click a button, ask them to click that button. If you want them to call you – write it in your email. Don’t let them guess how to contact you. Make it as effortless as possible.

Add A FOMO Line

Finish your message with an unobtrusive FOMO line. “Stop wondering what if. Give your creative ideas a chance to blossom with this special limited-time offer.” Now, you can also add the timeframe of the offer. Still, with some audiences, it’s best to let them guess the timeframe so they can ask you about it if they are interested. Of course, you must give them a generous window to think about the purchase, but if they express interest, you already have a small win with this email. This will indicate they are interested in your product, but something is stopping them. It’s your job to find out what the problem is and to give a solution.


Finally, the signature must be personal and from someone who is actually a decision-maker. For example, signing it only “Meg” doesn’t give any information about your role or whether you can provide additional information or even negotiate the terms. On the other hand, if you sign with Meg Reynolds, CEO of {company name}, one would wonder why the CEO is dealing with marketing campaigns.

So, the best solution is to sign it with a higher-level management position, such as Marketing Director, Senior Sales Representative, or something along that line.

Your signature is one of the most important elements of the email. It gives the text above credibility and ensures the customer will get what you promised.

How is our email looking

So, combining all of our examples, you will get an effective email that reads:

Subject: [Name], it’s time to get paid for your creative ideas

Preview: 64% more clients in the first month with [service name]


Hi [FName],

It’s high time to turn your ambitions into reality. You have the unique opportunity to increase your client base by 64% within the next month.

We at [Brand] extend our hand to give you the privilege of testing our renowned [Product Name]. This highly effective marketing tool will ensure your creative ideas will reach up to 64% more prospects within a month. With this special offer just for you, we invite you to give [Product name] and your creative ideas a try for one month completely free.

Boost your creative ideas’ outreach. Use the link or button below to book a free demo on how our product will increase your visibility.

Stop wondering what if. Give your creative ideas a chance to blossom with this special limited-time offer.

Kind Regards,

Dillon, Executive manager of product distribution

When should I send the email?

Sending your email at the right time can help you achieve your goals, but it’s definitely not a substitute for a well-written email.

Statistics have shown that the best days to send emails are the first three days of the week. Still, marketers endorse Tuesday 2% more, so if you want to follow the statistics, Tuesday is your day.

representation of sending emails

As per hour – the higher CTR can be seen in emails sent at 5 p.m.

Of course, these statistics are just a starting point. You need to do your own research and find out when your audience is most active. For example, if you are pitching for a work-related product, working hours will give you a better response. On the other hand, if you are looking for personal products, the off-hours will definitely show better CTR.

So, it all depends on your audience and product.

From What Email Should You Send It?

The best results will come from branded emails. This means you need to create an email with your website. This will give your email the credibility it needs to ensure the reader won’t doubt your email is a scam. They can always check the website and find out more about it. It’s a great idea to place a brand logo and a link to your social media and website after your signature.

Needless to say, your website must be ready to handle the influx of visitors without any hitches. Otherwise, you may lose your credibility and many potential clients.

This is where we come in. HostArmada offers lightning-fast and reliable website hosting with top-notch security features. Each of our plans allows you to create as many email accounts as you need, giving you the opportunity to test which email address will bring you the best results when sending sales emails.

So, check out our plans. Whether you have a massive operation or a small family business, we can be your biggest partner in growing it.