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The role of sales emails in the sales process

Warning! Reading ahead about the role of sales emails will change your perception and make you better at driving more sales via email. 

Every business wants growth. And how does one grow? By narrowing down your customers and selling them your product. Sounds easy? In reality, it is not. Selling is an amalgamation of art and science. You need to know what your customers need to succeed. 

But how can one sell? Traditionally when we think of sales, an image of a pushy salesperson comes to our head. And everybody avoids that salesman, whether it is someone who knocks on our doors or calls our phone. There are also those infamous emails that we receive. You know those emails that our brain automatically registers as scams or useless. The ones we delete ASAP. If nobody wants those emails, so why do companies keep sending them to us?  

80% of people check their inbox at least once. Shockingly enough, checking the inbox multiple times makes us a part of that 11% who frequent their inboxes. 

If the consumers spend time checking the emails, it becomes clear why companies send those sleazy emails. They are trying to monetize on a consumer’s habits.  

Using emails to drive more sales 

Role of sales emails

Would you rather talk to a friend or a salesperson over the phone? We assume it is the former. A friend listens to us, understands us, and is not trying to sell us anything (except maybe those who just started a business).  

However, great salespeople do not look like salespeople at all. Even though most of us are somehow irritated by those pushy salespeople, we all have experienced walking into a store and meeting a person who helped us make a better choice. That, too, was a salesperson. But instead of pushing us, they helped us. That is the difference between a salesperson and a great salesperson.  

And this is the difference you make as the said salesperson. 

A good salesperson understands clients and their needs. Instead of forcing the clients into buying their product, they guide them to make a decision that helps them. 

We can apply the analogy to our inboxes. We love receiving some emails. Emails that help us become a better person are most welcome.  

Unlike rumors and myths floating online, email marketing is not dead. 

A study reported the return on investment can be up to 40x exceeding many channels. Subscribing to newsletters from our favorite brands and creators is almost like receiving a letter from a friend. 

Emails that give us what we need at that moment bring us into purchasing the product/ service. That is the role of sales emails. Therefore, when you want to use emails to drive sales, it is vital to understand your customer and their needs. 

Catering to their needs in a way that makes you a likable and trustworthy salesperson is the way to increase conversions. Moreover, emails allow you to receive feedback. 

Another thing to keep in mind when using emails to increase sales is to maximize the touchpoints with your customer. IRC Sales Solutions states that businesses make only 2% of sales are when the point of contact is one. It means if you ignore to follow up, you lose 98% sales leads. That is a massive waste of your resources and efforts. 

Instead of sending similar emails over and over again, choose to tailor a drip campaign. A drip campaign is a campaign that sends an email depending on the action of the user. The drip campaign can include cart abandonment, incomplete checkout, response to a lead magnet, etc. 

Case study of a sales email campaign with an amazing ROI 

Sometimes to sell your points better, it is better to illustrate a case study. 

sales email case study

Let’s take a look at David Huffman’s sweet boost in open rates by 15-20% that he achieved with content-packed emails. 

David is a content webmaster for Deaconess Health System in Evansville, Indiana. He used a smart technique to boost his open rates- he ran a 6-week email marketing test to see what happens next. 

As salespeople, you may see emails as a way of connecting with prospects and sell your products/ services. However, a consumer highly values their inbox because that’s where the communication happens on things they are most passionate about. 

David and his team ran an A/B test split of a headline. Their goal was to re-engage cold leads and show them what they are missing with the help of brand-new content that put a high value on the right information that every consumer deserves to know. David wanted these cold leads to enrolling in their program. 

The metrics for the test was divided into two parts: 

  • Primary: the number of people who enrolled into the program 
  • Secondary: click-through rates, average open rates and unsubscribers 

So how did they go through with it? 

They sent one useful email to subscribers every week for six weeks. But, with a twist. They alternatingly sent non-gated emails (no form) and gated emails with a heavy call-to-action. And this is what it resulted in: 

  • The conversion rate on gated content increased by 5%, and 40 leads reconverted. 
  • The test generated 7 enrollments equaling around $100k ROI 
  • They saw ZERO unsubscribers 
  • The click-through rate on their emails increased by 3.5% 
  • Their open rates were consistent. Within the six-week span, the open rate was between 15-20%, which was highly consistent for the education sector. 

Seeing this case study that David later published, we can figure out the role of sales, its power and how they can be leveraged with the right strategies. 

How to know if you are using sales emails effectively or not? 

How to ensure a campaign’s effectiveness is a question we all ask ourselves. You need to understand the role of sales emails and send the right type of sales emails in order to get a good conversion ratio. You must keep an eye on the following metrics to ensure efficacy.  

1. Open Rate 

It is the number of people who open the email divided by the total number of people who received it. It helps you gauge the effectiveness of your subject lines and whether your list is not dead. 

2. Clickthrough Rate 

CTR is the percentage of your customers who click on at least one link out of the rest of the people who opened your email. Measuring the CTR is vital because it lets you gauge the interest of your leads in the products. 

3. Bounce Rate 

Bounce rates affect your campaigns severely. It is the incorrect or invalid emails in your list. If the bounce rate is substantial, then your email list is dead and will affect your future campaigns.  

4. Unsubscribe Rate 

Unsubscribe rate is the rate of people who are unsubscribing from your email to all the people who opened your emails. If too many people are unsubscribing, then it is a cause for concern. You should re-evaluate what is causing this. 

5. Conversion Rate 

As the name suggests, it is the number of people who bought the product when they read the email. It helps you gauge the customers who bought from you and allows you to upsell and nurture them. 


The role of sales emails is massive in the sales processes for any business. If you wish to convert more prospects, avoid sleazy or scammy emails instead of optimizing consumer behavior. Once you keep your customer first and focus on helping them first. 

In the next part, we shall be talking about the components of sales emails and how you can write the best sales emails for your business. 

Parijat Lamba

Being an avid reader, Parijat developed a keen interest in writing at a very young age. She's passionate about topics like Spirituality, History, Psychology, and Philosophy. She's now a Product Specialist at Salesmate and strives to write her own novel someday.

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