7 Example sales emails that get responses (Updated 2022)

Once upon a time, there was an email marketer who believed she’d cracked the code on how to write sales email copy that dazzled. Did she need an example sales email to work from? Of course not! She was a marketing maverick, after all. She wrote every perfect, artisanally-crafted sales email from scratch.

Skip the story and go straight to downloading “Sales email templates that actually get replies” now.

She obsessively tracked her click-through rates (CTRs), spent her nights dreaming of campaign automations and responsive design, and tested out a few carefully selected emojis in her subject lines. As of 2022, the jury is still out on the overall power of emojis (CRM Lab)—especially in the context of a sales email. That, however, is another story.

Then a sales rep told her he found the holy grail. He had acquired the best sales email templates in the world. And why were they the best? Because they had a high average response rate. At the end of the day, what matters to the sales reps is that they craft sales emails that get responses. And our maverick marketer felt crestfallen.

But isn’t this a happy sales email story? If you’re getting mixed emotions, read on.

How to write a sales email that pleases both marketers and sales reps

The truth is, as marketers we may think we own the email domain—even when it comes to writing the best sales emails. In reality, our sales reps often understand our prospects on a more nuanced level. But there’s more.

When it comes down to it, what constitutes a ‘perfect’ example sales email might differ if it’s coming from the marketing department or if it’s coming from sales. This is especially true if teams are working in silos and not collaborating effectively.

Each team might have slightly different priorities and key success indicators when it comes to how to write sales email copy and track its performance.

Email metrics that marketers track:

  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates
  • Unsubscribes
  • Which color of button converts better
  • A/B testing

And the list goes on.

Sales reps, on the other hand, care about:

  • Replies

So when it comes to sales emails, their metric for success or failure is pretty simple. Good sales emails are sales emails that get responses.

But even though getting replies is the end goal, an example sales email that simply pushes for the sale or response at all costs is not going to be effective.

That’s why sales and marketing need to supercharge their efforts by joining forces.

This blog is the result of that noble mission. Our team took our marketing hats off for a day and decided to do some research. We wanted to know: What are the best sales email tactics that actually get replies?

We turned to our sales reps, dug through their inbox trenches, and compiled a list of their top seven example sales emails that get responses.

7 types of sales emails that get responses

1. Example sales email: White flag

We’re starting at the end of your email cycle or campaign with this example sales email. The “white flag” email comes when you’re getting ready to throw in the towel and want to make an impact.

When to send:

  • When a prospect goes dark
  • After you’ve called and emailed a few times with no luck


What it is:

  • A short email signaling to your prospects that you're going to stop contacting them since you haven’t heard back
  • Asking if they’d prefer to be left alone, or if not, what do they want instead?
  • Being upfront and honest about what you want or need from them
  • Using tone is respectful, direct, and brief, like you’re leveling with the person


Why it works: The best sales emails make it clear that you respect your recipient’s time. If you’re willing to be honest and upfront, they will likely do the same to you. Of course, our reps often get replies where prospects just aren’t interested anymore. However, they also get a lot of replies where a prospect is just busy right now and wants a call in two weeks. Totally worth the email in both cases!

Tip: you can “bump” up a previous sales email in their inbox by replying to it with your white flag message. This way, you’re also reminding them of the value you’re offering.

How to write a sales email like the white flag

Remember: When prospects think it’s their last chance to speak with you, they’ll likely take action. If they thought you’d just send them emails forever, what would be the motivation?

Sales email example:

Subject line: [Name], this is my white flag re: [insert offer]

Hi [Name],

Checking in one last time. I hope you’ll forgive my persistence, as I’m confident in the value that [solution or offering] will add. I’d need a 10 minute call to give you the details

I know we’re both busy, and I want to respect your time. Since I’ve not heard back, should I assume that you've solved your biggest challenges?

I would hate to wave the white flag, but let me know if I should.


2. Example sales email: Personality email

How to write sales emails with personality? Ask a marketing copywriter! This is a great example of where the marketing department can help sales shine.

Some of the best sales emails are the fun ones that sound like they were written by a likable, professional human. Oddly, this is easier said than done. But it's a worthy mission.

Capturing the right amount of personality in an email will help it stand out from the dozens of robotic, cookie-cutter inbox fillers your prospects get on the daily.

When to send:

  • Anytime but use your best judgment
  • If you receive a response from a prospect with a very formal tone, you might dial down on the personality to match


Why it works: Honestly, automation makes all our lives easier. But as much as people think they want to be sold to by robots (self-checkout machines), they don’t. They want to know there is a real person sitting on the other end of that sales email you sent. Even more than that, they want to feel like they can trust that person. That’s how you’ll win your ideal prospects. The best sales email tactic is relationship building, which is facilitated by being human in your emails.

How to write a sales email with personality

Adding personality and some lighthearted humor to your emails is a great way to open relationships with prospects and take those relationships a little deeper. It can very well increase your reply rate.

However, it’s important to note that it might be dependent on the recipient; some prospects may prefer less voice-y emails

Also, just a reminder to steer clear of any curse words, questionable jokes, and inappropriate slang.

Sales email example:

Subject line: [Name], do you have a bad reputation? ?

Hi [Name],

Our churn study shows a huge correlation between reputation management and client retention. And it turns out that, contrary to rock legend Joan Jett, there are many reasons you should care about a bad reputation.

In fact, reducing churn is a critical component of survival for your agency.

Do you have 10 minutes for a call to make sure reputation management solutions are included in the next bundle you sell (and maybe talk classic rock)?


3. Example sales email: The deal

Never underestimate the art of the deal! The best sales email might just be the one that creates a sense of urgency by leveraging your prospect’s fear of missing out (FOMO, as the cool kids say).

When to send:

  • Whenever there is a sales incentive going on


Why it works: Sometimes prospects just need a sense of urgency to get them moving on a deal—savings are a great way to put a fire under them. An email often works better than a phone call to get their attention because the details are up front.

If you’re even semi-interested in Vendasta, and I send you a sales email with the subject line “Subscription Deal: Save $500 in sign up fees!”, you’ll probably open it before answering my mysterious phone call about who knows what.

How to write a sales email with a deal

Here’s an anecdote instead of an example, as it will depend on what you have on offer. We changed some of our pricing structure a while ago, sparking our BDRs to send out an email letting their prospects know beforehand. This gave the prospect an opportunity to sign up before our pricing changed, and it gave our reps an easy way to generate some hot leads (94 to be exact!).

We saw huge success with that campaign⁠. Mainly because we were able to send it out to our full pipelines through our email marketing software (read: extremely efficient deployment option), but also because we sent out an email that held a lot of value. When you send emails, don't just send a "checking in" email. Don’t just relay questions or information you’ve already asked. Always be adding onto the previous conversation, sending more value, and creating urgency.

Jordana Knoblauch

Business Development Representative Team Lead, Vendasta

Sales email tips:

  • Get to the details of the deal quickly; put them front and center
  • Clearly communicate the consequences of not taking the deal (missing the window to sign up before prices increase, for example)
  • Provide a clear timeline to take action
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Make sure the next step is simple


4. Example sales email: A short, sweet intro

When in doubt, keep things brief. A best practice when it comes to how to write sales email copy? The shorter, the better.

All the BDRs that I spoke to were unanimous on this point: When reaching out to a prospect for the first time, the best sales email is one that spans only a few sentences.

When to send:

  • At the beginning of the sales email cycle


Why it works: The person you are reaching out to doesn’t know who you are and is most likely very busy. This intro email serves two purposes:

  1. Introduces the rep to the prospect and gives them an easy way to reach out on their terms
  2. Reminds them of who the company is and what they were interested in

How to write a sales email that’s short and sweet

Note that the messaging will change depending on the context (the piece of content the prospect downloaded, for example).

Sales email example:

Subject line: Need help scaling? I’m your resource!


I’m [name] and I work at [Vendasta] on [team]. Since you downloaded our ebook “Challenges agencies face,” it seemed important that we connect.

I’m your touch point at [Vendasta] if you want to scale your business. Respond to this email or book a meeting using my CalendarHero link—happy to chat more.

Talk soon,

5. Sales email example: The undesigned email

When to send:

  • Any time (arguably all the time!)


Why it works: Like we discussed in the personality section, sales emails that get responses are ones that look like they are coming directly from you. You might be surprised to learn that means throwing design out the window. Now we aren’t saying that you should get rid of sales email templates, but instead, make your templates look like a plain-text email.

How to write a sales email that feels undesigned

Sometimes, ‘plain Jane’ is best. In fact, your design attempts might be getting your sales emails stuck in spam filters (Nutshell). If you mess up some HTML code or add too many images, your sales emails might never reach your prospects to begin with.

Think of it from the perspective of the recipient. Does it look like an email that might be coming from a friend, colleague, or trusted professional… or does it seem like a marketing campaign?

Keeping branding minimal and have a clear CTA. Why complicate the rest?

6. Example sales email: Funny guy

When to send:

  • Works best when you’ve already developed a relationship with the prospect


Why it works: Do the best sales emails have a sense of humor? It depends on the context. Our reps like to send a humorous email when they haven’t been able to get in touch with a prospect for a while. It’s a great lighthearted way to say, “hey, I’m still here!”. Sometimes, the sales emails that get responses are the ones that are more memorable.

Chances are the reason someone isn’t replying to your best sales email ever is because:

  1. They aren’t interested and want you to go away…
  2. They are super busy and haven’t had a chance to dig into your solution further.
  3. They just forgot!


A lighthearted and humorous approach is a great way to get someone to stop, smile, and think about who you are and why you’re messaging them about ninjas. I bet no matter which of the above camps your prospect is in, your reply rate will beat out a serious salesy email.

How to write sales emails that sound funny (in a good way!)

This “ninja template” is one of our reps favs and we definitely see why.

Sales email example:

Subject line: Abducted by ninjas?

Hi [name],

I’ve tried to contact you a number of times to no avail. I’m just hoping you haven’t been abducted by ninjas or something! Maybe I should contact Jack Bauer…

On a serious note, I’m wondering how things are going with you and [company name]. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you want a refresher on [product or service].

Hiiii-yah! ??

7. Example sales email: Hyper-personalized

Emails should always be written about the prospect and not about yourself. It’s really simple to change a sentence from being about you to being about them, and the results are completely worth it.

Want an example of how to write a sales email that is more prospect-focused? It can come down to something as simple as wording.

Change “I’d like to set up a time to talk more about Vendasta’s white label platform” to “Would you be available to chat more about your goals for 2023? I’d love to learn more about how Vendasta’s platform could help you reach them!” That’s how the best sales emails refocus on adding value to the prospect.

When to send:

  • After doing your hours and hours of research…
  • Or, after using Vendasta’s Snapshot Report!


Why it works: Personalized material just works, period. Would something generic capture your prospect’s attention over something custom-tailored? I don’t think so.

If you can tell a prospect something about their business they don’t know, or demonstrate that you’ve done your homework by zeroing in on a unique pain point, you bet they’ll take the two minutes to read your email.

How to write sales emails that are hyper-personalized

Shameless plug (sorry!), but Vendasta offers the ultimate solution for sales emails that get responses. Our sales intelligence tool Snapshot Report generates an email that is about as personalized as it gets. You can offer unique insights into a business’s online presence in a digestible email.

The most exciting thing about this email is that ~9% of prospects who click through to the report become billable. Snapshot Report is one of your biggest allies when it comes to creating the best sales emails.

Plus, it’s not just a lifesaver for emails. Snapshot Report also supports outbound sales calls by saving time while facilitating high-quality conversations.

A final note on the best sales email tactics

In conclusion, marketers can think more like sales reps by understanding that the definition of successful sales emails are sales emails that get responses. The goal is to get prospects to take action and respond. The emails themselves don’t need to be poetic, have special buttons, use colors, or include HTML design flourishes. The best sales emails are often more simple than you think.

By the same token, sales reps would do well to understand that content marketers are their greatest assets. Example sales email copy that performs well often sounds human, is funny, or conveys information impactfully in a short amount of time. It may seem easy, but it’s not.

Collaborate with us marketers and lock in how to write sales email copy that sounds human to create some of the best sales email templates your team has ever seen!

To summarize, sales emails that get responses often employ the following tips:

  • Respect their time
  • Have some personality
  • Let them know about special deals
  • Keep your intros short and sweet
  • Don't bother with design
  • Use humor to your advantage
  • Get as custom-tailored as possible
  • Be data-driven

So, marketers, I suggest you carve out some time to spend with your sales reps to get on the same page about the best sales emails. See what kinds of emails they are sending on their own! I bet it will surprise you how creative they are.

Who knows, it might even spark your next email marketing campaign idea.

Note: Our original post by Taylor Galipeau was updated in 2022 by Domenica Martinello

About the Author

With a Bachelor's in Finance and background in Sales, Taylor is a Director of Revenue Planning and Analysis at Vendasta. When she's not sorting through data, she can be found carrying out MasterChef-inspired experiments in the kitchen and dreaming of world travel.

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