How to Write Introductory Emails That Get A Response

introductory email

Email is the primary way buyers prefer to interact with salespeople, according to SalesFuel’s Voice of the Buyer survey. Despite this preference, it can be hard to get a response to sales emails, especially if it’s a cold email. SalesFuel's latest research reveals that 25% of sellers say getting calls and emails returned is harder compared to last year. 

But it is possible to write an introductory email that inspires a response. It just takes a little know how. 

Easy steps for crafting introductory emails

Writing effective introductory emails isn’t impossible; doing so just requires some thought. HubSpot’s Aja Frost shared tips for carefully crafting this type of email that recipients will open (and respond to).

As SalesFuel has discussed before, Frost first emphasizes the importance of a quality subject line. With the seemingly endless number of emails sent, an eye-​catching subject line can help yours stand out. And if the recipient doesn’t recognize the sender? That subject line must be even more intriguing.

A subject line needs to get the reader engaged. It needs to challenge them and tell them that there is something they need to know in the body of the email,” explains Sales Hacker’s Sujan Patel. “It can promise answers, intrigue them, or inspire them, but it has to create either an emotional connection of some kind.”

Your subject line helps you introduce yourself, so take some time when writing it. Check out this past SaleFuel post that introduces subject lines that are perfect to use when writing a cold email. These suggestions can kick off your introductory email in the best way possible—with an engaging and inviting subject line.

Make that first sentence about them

Another tip to help you introduce yourself over email is to use the first line to talk about the recipient. Typically, sellers start introductory emails by talking about themselves, often stating their name and what they are requesting. According to Frost, this is a mistake. Instead, she recommends using the first line to highlight something about the recipient. Mention a recent post they made on LinkedIn, an announcement from their company, or a piece of industry news. This makes your email immediately relevant, and it shows that you have an interest in the recipient and have done your homework.

Inc.’s Joe Hirsch agrees, pointing out that the recipient is going to be wondering, what’s in it for me? “It's critical that you address that question explicitly before you make an ask,” he writes. “What about this person or opportunity has drawn your interest in the first place? Make that clear from the very start, or you'll be quickly dismissed.”

Explain why you’re reaching out (and add value)

So far in your introductory email, you’ve inspired the recipient to open your email, and you’ve engaged them immediately with your first line. Now it’s time to bring it all together and get to the point.

Think of how you can tie in your first line with your explanation. For example, if you opened the email mentioning a recent article they shared on social media, explain how it reminded you of a past client you assisted or revealed a challenge you may be qualified to help overcome. “The key is making your explanation as relevant to your recipient as possible,” she writes. “You want them to feel special — not like one person on a list of 100 that you're emailing.”

Additionally, Frost urges sellers to make sure they provide value along with their explanation. It could be as simple as passing along an article from your company’s blog or sharing a case study highlighting a solution you provided in the past. Whatever it is, make sure that it is something to which the recipient can relate and inspires them to want to hear more.

Close out with a call to action

Frost goes on to share how to close your introductory email, including why a call to action is vital. And for advice on writing a call to action that gets the recipient to hit “reply,” check out these helpful tips.

Your introductory emails don’t have to get lost amid a cluttered inbox. By being thoughtful from the very beginning, you can write an effective email that will get read and solicit a response.

Photo by Christina Morillo

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision-​makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.