Sales: Crafting an Effective Outbound Sales Prospecting Email

I was recently listening to a podcast which slightly touched upon the topic of prospecting and I thought to share what I typically talk about with my sales teams. Here is the thing – in today’s modern work environment everyone is really busy and sales prospecting is harder than ever.  For example, the famous author Jill Konrath is well known for her writing about how prospects are too busy and frazzled. There is just a very high “noise-to-signal ratio” when prospects get sales emails.  That makes a sales professional’s job more difficult – it’s just rally hard to get anyone’s attention.

So if you want to stand out and separate yourself from the pack in your prospect’s swollen inbox, here is an example of a prospecting email approach that my sales teams use.


The 3 Elements of an Effective Prospecting Email


1. Rapport Reference – a specific reference to the Prospect that builds rapport
  • This first part must be a trigger to instantly grab the prospect’s attention
  • This should be personalized
  • It is a reference point they must identify and one which connects you to them
  • It may be something you read or learned about them on their website
    • Here is an example from Kyle Porter at SalesLoft
      • This demonstrates that Kyle took the time to learn about the contact
      • Also note the “p.s.” which adds another personalization to the Rapport reference
  • It also may be a “similarity” you have in common to build a rapport
    • maybe a person who referred you to them or a friend you both have
    • maybe a school you both went to or something you have in common
2. Reason for your email – what is the relevant business reason
  • It should be specific to the Prospect (you should know your prospect before reaching them)
  • Should show why this is important for the Prospect
  • Should be interesting to hold their attention because it is a priority for them
  • Should “creates value” for them
    • Note: ultimately every interaction must prove, add or create value
3. Action / Ask
  • What action you are asking and hoping for them to take with you
  • Should be like any typical email CTA (Call to Action) – must be short & sweet
  • Should be specific
    • Ex: “Would you be willing to do a brief 10-minute call on Tuesday at 2:30pm?”
  • Should be a simple and easy – something easy for them to agree to
    • Asking for a “brief 5-10 minute introductory call” is easier for them than a coffee meeting or a 1 hour demo


What else? What are some other thoughts on how to craft effective prospecting emails?