Once upon a time, there was an email marketer.

She obsessively tracked her CTRs, spent her nights dreaming of campaign automations and responsive design, and even tested out the cringe-worthy trend of emojis in subject lines.

Then a sales rep told her he had cracked the code. He had the best damn email template in the world. And her dreams were crushed.

As marketers, we may think we own the email domain. However, our sales reps are the ones that truly understand our prospects.

Marketers care about opens, clicks, unsubscribes, which color of button converts better—the list goes on, and on.

Sales reps care about replies. So when it comes to sales emails, they are the ones biting their nails over the success or failure of a template. They know what works.

So, our team took our judgey marketing hats off for a day and decided to do some research. We wanted to know: What are the best sales email templates that actually get replies?

We turned to our sales reps, dug through their inbox trenches, and compiled a list of their top ten tips to write an email that gets a response.

Skip the reading and start getting replies with these email templates!

 7 Sales Email Templates & Tips to Get Replies

1. The White Flag Email

When to send: When a prospect goes dark: you’ve called and emailed a few times with no luck! This is when you’ll want to send a short email asking if they’d rather you leave them alone for the time being. If not, what do they want?

Why it works: This is a great way to remind the prospect that you’re also busy. If you’re willing to be honest and respect their time, likely they will 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 2 weeks etc. Totally worth the email in both cases!

The Vendasta Template

This template below has been super popular in the office lately. The subject line makes it stand out in inboxes and the honesty of the contents hits all the right points. Definitely one of our most successful email templates for dark prospects.

Subject Line: White Flag


2. The Personality Email

When to send: Personality is usually nice to see in an email, and will definitely increase your reply rate (unless you’re sending dirty jokes or something, don’t do that!). The question is more of when it’s okay. When are the marketing jokes and Canadian slang annoying?

This is a tough one to answer, and completely depends on who your recipient is. Let them take the lead, if they sign off with “Sincerely” you might want to start your email with “Hello Robert” instead of the “Heya Rob” you really wanted to write.

Why it works: 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 email you sent, and even more than that they want to feel like they can trust that person.

Step 1 to trust is letting them know who you really are. So adding a little bit of personality to your emails is a great way to take your relationship with prospects a little deeper and let them know you aren’t a robot marketing created.

The Vendasta Template

Todd is definitely one of our most charismatic co-workers, and he never fails to notice a haircut or compliment you on your killer presentation. This translates to his sales role flawlessly, and he sends emails with a LOT of personality.


3. The Deal Email

When to send: This tip is tricky and isn’t often something reps can decide to do themselves. However, when there is a sales incentive going on, you should definitely be sending an email about it!

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 an email with the subject line “Subscription Deal: Save $500 in sign up fees!”, you’ll probably open it before answering my phone call about who knows what.

The Vendasta Template

We changed some of our pricing structure a while ago and that sparked 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 to a lot of people! When you send emails, don’t just send a “checking in” email, or relaying questions or information that you have ALREADY asked. Always be adding onto the previous conversation, sending them more value, and experimenting with what lights up that prospects eyes and gets them to sign on the dotted line.

Jordana Knoblauch

Business Development Representative Team Lead, Vendasta


4. The Short and Sweet Intro Email

When to send:I would say when in doubt, keep it short. I specifically asked our SDR team (the reps who focus on qualifying opportunities for our BDRs) about this tip and it was unanimous that, when reaching out to new prospects for the first time, one or two sentences is all you need.

Why it works: This 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

The Vendasta Template

The image below is one of our Facebook Ads. The email example below that is a simple two-liner that one of our SDRs sends to prospects who request more information through this Facebook Ad. This email gets a 25% response rate. Sometimes all you need is a lifeline for prospects to make the first step.


5. The Undesigned Email

When to send: ALL THE TIME (at least when you want to get a reply). We’ve adopted this more and more in our marketing emails lately, and it’s working. Replies to our nurture emails have increased tenfold! This gives us marketers a great opportunity to interact with our prospects and understand what they really want to get out of an email.

Why it works: Like we learned in the personality section, one of the best ways to get a reply to an email is to make it looks like it is coming directly from you. The easiest way to do that is to throw design out the window. Now we aren’t saying get rid of templates, but instead, make your templates look like a plain-text email.

The Vendasta Template

Our reps use templates in Gmail to send the bulk of their sales emails. A few of them have dipped their toes into the waters of design, but I haven’t gotten any positive feedback on that front.

I sent the exact same email [with design elements], with the same subject line and everything. And no response!

Jason Chabot

Sales Development Representative, Vendasta

Recommended Reading: Plain Text Vs HTML Emails: Design Showdown


6. The Funny-Guy Email

When to send: Our reps like to send a humorous email, like the “Ninja email” below when they haven’t been able to get in touch with a prospect for a while. (*Note: this works best when you’ve developed a relationship with the prospect already)

Why it works: It’s a great lighthearted way to say, “hey, I’m still here!”. Using humor shows your human side and takes the conversation away from the heavy sales stuff. Chances are the reason someone isn’t replying to you 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.

The Vendasta Template

This ninja template is one of our reps favs. I love seeing the responses they get to this email, check out the example below.

Subject line: Abducted by ninjas?


7. The Hyper-Personalized Email

When to send: 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!

For example:

Change “I’d like to set up a time to talk more about Vendasta’s white label platform.” to “Would you be available sometime to chat more about your goals for 2018? I’d love to learn more about how Vendasta’s platform could you reach them!”.

Why it works: Personalized material just works. Think about yourself when you’re writing an email. Would this catch my attention? Why should I care about this? If you can tell someone something about their business they don’t know, or mention something that’s been keeping them up at night, you bet they’ll take the 2 minutes to read your email.

The Vendasta Template

Shameless plug (sorry!), but Vendasta offers the ultimate email template. Our Snapshot Report email is about as personalized as it gets, offering unique insights into a business’ 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. You can’t ask for much better of a conversation than that! Check out the example below, and if you want to see what the report actually looks like head over here and make a sample one for one of your clients!


While some of their grammar and spacing may make you cringe, our sales reps have figured out how to get someone to reply to their email.

It has nothing to do with how pretty the email looks, what color the CTA button, is or how many characters are in their subject lines.

It has everything to do with content and understanding their relationship with a prospect.

In conclusion, you can get replies to your sales email templates by following these key tips:

  • Respect their time
  • Have some personality
  • Let them know about special deals
  • Keep your intros short & sweet
  • Don’t bother with design
  • Use humor to your advantage
  • Get as personal as possible (beyond just “Hey FirstName”)

So marketers, I suggest you carve out some time to spend with your sales reps and 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 campaign idea!

Like what you see? Visit the Vendasta blog to see the latest insights and tips in digital marketing and sales from the Vendasta team.