Sales Messaging Checklist

checklistIt is super hard to write a compelling sales email, so we made this checklist (get the printable version here!) to hopefully make it a little easier. The checklist is admittedly aspirational, but that is a good thing — better messaging means better results. So keep pushing yourself to get better.

Much love,

The RevBoss Team

Table Stakes

Check ALL of these for every message in your flow.

__ As Short As Humanly Possible. In most cases, your email shouldn’t require more than one flick down on a phone — any longer and no one will read it.

__ Easy to Understand. No jargon, no buzzwords, no complexity. Your content needs to clearly state who you are and why the recipient should care.

__ Easy Call-To-Action. The call-to-action needs to be simple and obvious. In most cases, you’re asking for an indication of interest — a reply, an answer to a question, an appointment, etc. Don’t try to close the deal in your email, just get the prospect moving forward.

__ Relevant. Your message must match your audience — ideally your content aligns with the prospect’s industry, job function, seniority, etc. Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes — does your email make sense?

__ Merged. If you can’t merge at least first name and company name into the body of your email, then what are you doing?

__ Authentic. Read your email aloud to yourself. It should sound like you talking. Fix it if it doesn’t.

Special Sauce

Check at least one of these for every message in your flow.

__ Personalization. Small chunks of personalized content — Congrats on the award, The blog post was great, Glad that your home team won, etc. — lift your reply rate by more than 50%. Check out our sales personalization whitepaper for ideas and processes.

__ Social Proof. Behavioral psychologist Robert Cialdini describes social proof as “the tendency to see an action as more appropriate when others are doing it.” We work with great customers like _____. We work with ______, which is just like you. This 3rd party confirms that we’re legit. You get the idea.

__ Math. Quickly make the ROI case to the prospect. This one can be a little tricky because you don’t want to come on too strong.

__ Value. Your sales email should add/create value for the recipient. You can do this with a link to a whitepaper, a link to a helpful news article, an offer to make an intro, etc (stick with one per email, though — don’t value-vomit by sending one of each). You can also do this with a great joke.

__ Weirdness. The subject line for the best performing email in our current flow is “This dog food is delicious…” Don’t be afraid to stand out — let your freak flag fly.

Just No

Never check these.

__ Spelling / Grammar Errors. Don’t be sloppy. Proofread before sending.

__ Merge Goofs. Again, don’t be sloppy. Test your merge fields and test your links.

Gray Areas

These methods are popular, though we tend to avoid them. Use your best judgement.

__ False / Misleading Content. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t lie in your emails. But you should also be careful to not be too slick. We get a lot of “I was thinking of you…” emails on Saturday mornings and “Sent from my iPad” emails. Some recipients might actually believe that these emails are legit, but we think that this approach is a credibility killer.

__ Cliche. I’m worried that you’re being chased by a lion has been done to death. As has the reply to the previous email. As has the aggressive break-up email. As has the I know you’re busy but I’m going to keep pounding your inbox endless assault. Do these things still work? In many cases yes, but we still think you should avoid cliche and instead focus on the secret sauce.

We thought this might be a helpful desk resource, so we also made it into a one-pager that you/your team can print off and use whenever you write messaging — you can access that here, or you can see the Google Docs version here.