The Anatomy of A Great Sales Email

Chances are, your sales prospects get a flood of cold emails every day. With so many demands on their attention, how do you make your pitch stand out from the rest? Let’s break down the anatomy of a great sales email and the 6 key components that drive new business!

#1 Subject Line

We’ve written a whole post on this one before, so we won’t belabor the point. The most important thing about the subject line is that it must make your recipient want to open your sales email. Your subject line could be humorous or straightforward, friendly or formal, snappy or lengthy. Remember that in the recipient’s inbox, the subject line may cut off after a certain number of characters. Front-load the important information!

#2 Personalized Greeting

 “Dear Customer” doesn’t cut it! Make sure you know how to get your mail program to input the recipient’s real first name: “Hi John!” or “Hey Ryan,” is far more effective. It makes your email feel more personal and less like an advertisement, so your prospect is more likely to continue reading.

#3 Problem

An effective way to draw your reader into your sales email is to address a problem or pain point that their company faces. You can do this with a question or a statement, but make it specific to the type of business you’re writing to:

How much time do [Company Name] employees spend on…

Has [Company Name] been burned by… 

[Industry] companies like [Company Name] often find it difficult to… 

#4 Solution

Now that you’ve identified a pain point that your audience has, your sales email needs to address how you can help the prospect to overcome that problem. If you have a solution that no one else in the business offers (a unique value proposition), explain what that is.

#5 Differentiator

If you’re like most businesses, there are plenty of other companies out there that offer similar services. So why should the prospect want to get the service from you instead of a competitor? Your sales email needs a differentiator – something that you do differently or better than the rest. 

Do you have a special offer, a freebie, or a money-back guarantee that other companies in your industry don’t? Maybe you can show your value through a one-sentence case study: “We did [x] in [y] time and achieved [z]% ROI!”

#6 Call To Action

Now that you’ve convinced your prospect of your value, you need to give them a next step – a call to action. This could be a link to an ordering form or to more information on your website: “Take a look at our pricing options here!” 

Often, it’s a follow-up meeting where you or a sales rep can close the deal. You don’t want your prospect to close the email and think, “I’ll come back to this later” (they won’t). To avoid that, include a timeframe such as “this week” to encourage your prospect to get back to you quickly: “Do you have a few minutes to meet with me this week?”


As long as you include a subject line, a personal greeting, and a call to action, the rest of these elements can be mixed and matched in your sales email. Maybe your first email to a prospect goes with the problem/solution format, but the next one uses several different means to differentiate you from the competition. You could even add one of the elements as a “PS”! 

Regardless of the structure, all parts of the email should build to the same conclusion: The prospect needs your service!

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