Inside Sales Email Strategy: 5 Insider Tips
An Introduction to Inside Sales Email Strategy
Leaders are constantly looking for better ways to sell digitally. Phone calls. Video. Social selling. Automation. This list is endless.
In the fast-paced context of inside selling, email offers some sureness for sellers. Almost every single B2B prospect will rely on email in some way. That isn’t changing anytime soon, especially as hybrid and remote working ramps up across the globe.
In fact, THREE HUNDRED BILLION emails were sent around the world each day last year. This is a figure that, according to Statista, jumps by roughly 15 billion each year.
Right now (and likely long into the future), email is crucial to your inside sales operations. It’s a goldmine for sellers seeking to get their name in-front of decision-makers. It’s simple, often unobtrusive, and still leaves enough room for creativity and engagement… when done right.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at five inside sales email strategy learnings you can take to craft your next winning outreach campaign.
1. Keep it Concise
No matter how finely-crafted and well-researched your 700 word sales email is, your prospect isn’t going to read it thoroughly – if at all. A decision-maker’s inbox can move incredibly quickly. The majority of your prospects, especially in FT100 businesses and above, will skim-read their inbox. Even if the email is sent by a trusted sender.
The point is, you need to be able to prove the value of your products or service early, clearly, and in as few words as possible. Remember: you are not sending a marketing email, it’s a sales email. It’s important to make that distinction. At InsideOut, we’ve perceived cold email length between 125 – 250 words to be most effective.
This isn’t just a B2B sales industry insight either. When was the last time you, as a consumer, read the entirety of a B2C email? It just doesn’t happen, it’s expected human behaviour. Plus, when you consider the fact that 81% of emails are now read on a mobile device, the value in keeping it concise becomes even more apparent. Your prospects will thank you when you prove the value faster.
- Use Bullets to Break-Down your Point
- Stick to Important and Relevant Benefits
- Don’t Explain Everything in Huge Detail
- Leave the Technical Specifications Out
2. Personalize, but be Efficient
Everyone understands the importance of making it personal. Personalized emails will always perform better, no matter the industry or prospect. As humans, we crave interactions that feel authentic and real. When the recipient feels like there’s another human on the other end, they’re naturally more likely to open your email and engage.
This shouldn’t be rocket science knowledge to any seller. The challenge is doing it the right way. Far too often, sellers get personalization wrong by either not performing enough in-depth research and being ineffective, or rather, doing too much and being inefficient. You need to find a working balance. You can’t justify spending 20 minutes on one email for one person, just as you wouldn’t spend two minutes on an email sent to 100 people.
With the right ICP, lead generation and messaging strategy, you should be able to personalize en-masse, as your prospects will naturally share some traits. Think: pain points, sector, industry for example. As a rule of thumb, we advise making sure 80% of your emails fit your general ICP with the remaining 20% being personalized to the recipient. Typically the introduction or Call-to-Action (CTA).
3. Treat Emails as a Component, Not a Stand-Alone Strategy
There’s more to inside selling than just writing emails. Approach email outreach as a component of your strategy; not the be-all-and-end-all. There are other factors at play that will contribute to closed-won.
There’s no use writing the best sales email while having a really weak LinkedIn presence. If your prospect is interested (or even curious) with your offering or company, they have the right to do their own research. Make sure to update your other channels to be fully aligned with your strategy and messaging before you send an email.
Think about the positioning of your email in your overall omni-channel, sales cadence. Is it coming before a cold call? Why? Is it two days after a LinkedIn outreach? Why? For the best return, it’s worth basing these decisions on data, rather than instinct. Think of it like building a wall, brick-by-brick. The pattern for your emails should either leverage, or provide direction, for the rest of your outreach.
4. Track Everything
No matter what you do, no matter how much time you spend designing your strategy, no matter if you’re the greatest copywriter in the world: there’s no guarantee that your email is going to work.
Every salesperson using cold email outreach in their sales arsenal needs to be tracking engagement through sales enablement tools. There are a huge range of tracking tools available to determine email effectiveness – but you need to track in the right way. Just looking at open rates isn’t a foolproof way to determine success. Any good subject line will result in a high open rate. While that might make you look great to your manager, your metrics should really deduct the type of engagement and the level of engagement prospects are having with your content, to understand where you can increase incentive and empowerment.
If your specific goal is to get replies, and response rates are low but clicks and opens are high, what you’re sharing is likely hitting the spot, but there is an emotional provocation to take: the value isn’t quite enough. Those are behavioural indications you need to look for in your metrics, beyond just surface-level opens and clicks. Ask yourself: ‘What does this level of engagement mean for my prospect’s behaviour?’.
It may be that they engaged with one email because they found most value in the part of your offering you were pushing, or the approach suited their preferences and pain points. Email engagement data isn’t solely quantitative. There are qualitative insights that you can take, and action from every email sent. It just requires some analytical thinking.
5. Don't be Afraid to Experiment
There’s a huge amount of research and development work that goes into the modern sales email. That won’t always guarantee success. Email is hugely influenced by human behaviour, which has the tendency to throw in some anomalies.
Don’t discount your email strategy because it hasn’t worked. It just didn’t work for that prospect. If you’re seeing limited success, it may be a sign to reconsider, but you should generally be looking to fine-tune your content at every turn.
With broad, logical metric tracking, there are lessons to be learned with every email sent. Bring all of the intelligence, your own knowledge and research together to make your initial email stronger, based on your discoveries from the first attempt.
A strong email campaign is a continuous process. It’s continuous improvement. Marketing experts will conduct this analysis process all the time, editing content to gain the best results possible. The same applies for sales. Whether it’s your talk track, case study or assets, you need to maximize the areas of success, and improve areas of weakness for the best possible return.
Open. Respond. Buy. That’s often the end-goal for any good inside sales email cadence. Though, there’s a lot more to it than a tested subject line and fancy email signature.
If you’re looking to create a strong outbound email strategy for your team, put yourself in the shoes of your sellers and sales prospects. Understand how you can use historical data to drive performance forward. Look for moments to return to the drawing board. Conduct thorough testing before a team-wide rollout. That’s the only way to generate a consistent return of effort and reduce attrition from your sales reps.
At InsideOut, we can help. We partner with sales teams that understand they have the potential to achieve more with their outbound sales strategies Turning data and opinion into actionable insights, our sales process specialists can help you overcome the challenges that have been holding your teams back.
As a Forbes Under 30 entrepreneur/consultant, Sercan had the fortune of practicing innovative business models and behavioral operations management for productivity in business development with Google Exchange, Hult Prize IXL Center, MassChallenge, MIT Media Lab, and InsideOut PlayOps. Being a Turkish-American who was lucky enough to live in 4 countries and travel to 27 across Europe, North Africa, and the United States.