Writing a sales email that gets a response is the first step to building relationships with prospects. According to Adrian Salamuniovic, you need to focus on having a strong subject line, be in the right mindset to add value, and supply them with the right hook to take them to the next step.

You sit down at your desk to prepare for the day. You open your email. There are hundreds of spammy and salesy emails cluttering your inbox. Next, you check your social media and get blasted with ads. Finally, you get ready to dig into your work for the day, and you get a sales call interrupting your flow. Can you relate to this? Guess what…so can your prospects.

So, how do you stand out amongst the sea of salespeople vying for your prospect’s attention? Try thinking about your emails the same way PR pros think about their email pitches to journalists.

Every day, editors and journalists receive pitch emails from public relations pros. They receive so many press releases featuring “non-stories,” that they’ve become immune to bad emails and boring pitches. Your sales targets are likely pretty similar when it comes to the number of people and companies vying for their attention. Do your emails stand out?

On Episode 10 of INSIDE Inside Sales, Adrian Salamunovic, a PR rockstar and co-author of  FREE PR Book, shared his advice on how to write emails that get noticed. Keep reading to learn the three parts of a winning email and what he says to do after hitting send.

Three Elements of a Winning Email

Before we touch on emails, here’s a tip from Adrian that will make your emails work harder for you. Build your personal brand on social media and be active on the platform where your target audience spends time. LinkedIn is a great place for B2B sales professionals to build relationships and attract new prospects. Your personal brand helps to establish trust up front. The better your brand, the more potential for success your email outreach can have.  Maintaining your brand’s authenticity and visibility not only aids in finding email addresses but also sets the stage for more fruitful interactions and engagements.

Now let’s get down to the three elements of a killer email: structure, mindset, and hook.


Your first hurdle with sales emails is getting the recipients to open them. A strong subject line can make all the difference.

What you write in that short line often determines whether or not the recipient opens your email. Your subject line needs to stand out and make people want to read what you have to say.  A good way to pique a person’s interest is to lead with something valuable or flattering.

Adrian suggests asking a question in the email subject — he calls that question mark a “jack-in-the-box” that “pops” the email open almost every time. With a genuine question, you signal to the reader that you value his or her feedback. A question can be a powerful way to get someone’s attention.

Another option is to frame your subject line around something of value —  a report, an event, an invitation to a beta, etc. If you’re active on social media and your prospect is too, there are probably details you can find to gauge what he or she will find valuable or interesting.

Beyond subject lines, think about how to structure the body of your email. You can’t go for the “kill” right away. Pace yourself and let the individuals whom you’re emailing know that you respect them and their time.


A salesperson’s mindset plays a big part in the success of any of their chosen sales tactics. Empathy is something Adrian and I both agree that a salesperson needs to have. Many salespeople get into the “me, me, me” mindset because they are constantly thinking, “I wanna reach my quota, I wanna close this sale, I wanna hit my numbers.” Unfortunately, this type of mindset will deter you from building relationships.

Sales pros should always strive to bring value to others.  Constantly put yourself in the shoes of your target. Who are they? How old are they? What’s their day like? What are their pain points? If you can get inside their heads, you can better understand how to relate to them and anticipate their needs. It’s Minority Report for sales.

Another critical aspect of a successful sales mindset is authenticity. Yes, “authenticity” is becoming a bit of an annoying buzzword, but salespeople really do need to be authentic. Remind your salespeople that they can be genuine and still be professional.

Genuine, empathetic communication during the sales process helps salespeople build strong relationships and their personal brands. Selling is no longer just about transactions.


“Hook” is the word Adrian uses to refer to the “call to action” portion of a winning email. The most effective sales emails deliver value to the prospect. How are you offering value in yours?

Your hook could be a video, an exclusive webinar with a special guest, or even a demo. The hook is the thing that entices an action or a step forward in the sales journey.

How do you know if you’ve got the right hook? Check your response rates. If people aren’t responding, you may need to switch up your offer and try something different based on what you know about your prospect. The point of the hook is to get them to the next step.

After Hitting Send

Remember, your prospects are busy and get slammed with marketing and salesy communications all day. Don’t waste their time with nonsense. Apply these tips when crafting your emails. Writing a killer email is only step one. You need to put in the hard work of consistent and persistent follow up after that first email.

Adrian says you should “send as many no sale (non-sales related) emails as possible to build relationships.” If the marketing department publishes a new white paper or eBook that you think would provide value for a particular prospect, send it to that person. Even if you’re not engaging in a sales conversation with him or her at that time, you can still provide information that adds value. Staying in touch and helping them remember you will encourage them to reach out when they have a need you can satisfy.

Learn more about writing cold emails. Read this blog post from my colleague and our VP of Sales at VanillaSoft, Scott Amerson.

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