5 steps to write an appealing first email to a potential client

First emails in both B2B and B2C email lead generation efforts are imperative.

Are you looking to optimize the templates of first emails to send to your potential customers?

Then you need to know as many best practices as possible, in making the right impression.

The importance of first emails in both B2B and B2C email lead generation effort cannot be overstated.

Take welcome emails, for example. These are the first emails that online businesses send to leads and customers. For instance, they are sent to new newsletter subscribers and people who have just completed a purchase online.

Their superior performance compared to regular emails, is well-known. Take a look at these stats, as described by Business 2 Community: Welcome emails get four times more opens, they get five times more clicks, they are 86 per cent more effective than regular newsletters because their average open rate is a whopping 50 per cent and on average, welcome emails generate up to 320 per cent more revenue per email than other promotional emails.

That says it pretty well, doesn’t it? Your task with writing an email, however, is a bit more complicated.

You need to use your writing skills to grab the reader’s attention and convince them to reply.

If you need to improve your writing skills, keep reading.

The subject line

The subject line is the first thing that your potential customer will see when they receive your email, so you need to efficiently grab their attention and convince them to open the email.

It’s a known fact that 47 per cent of people open an email based on the subject line.

With so many people considering subject lines as vital, it makes perfect sense to learn the mistakes that people commit while writing it.

So, here are the most common subject line writing mistakes to avoid, according to Jim Simmons, a business writer from Supreme Dissertations:

Writing misleading content. Don’t trick people by promising them something you can’t give, e.g. “An Opportunity to Earn 1,000 Quality Leads in a Day.”

Writing too much. Keep the subject line below 40 characters, as writing more means running the risk of an email provider displaying only a part of it (the recommended number of characters goes down to 30 for mobile screens)

Writing a vague message. For example, asking your potential customer vague questions like “do you have a minute?” can create chances that they will never open your message. They receive a lot of emails every day, so don’t make them guess what you want from them

No ALL CAPS. People don’t appreciate it when they feel like they’re being screamed at.

So what is a good subject line?

Here are some ideas that could grab the attention of your potential customers:

X tips for [problem]

We have [problem, fact] in common

So nice to meet you, [the customer’s name]

Permission to close your file?

Begin the Email by Quickly Introducing Yourself

This is one of the most common content writing tips given to business owners and sales specialists. The chances are that the person you’re sending the message to doesn’t know you, so a quick introduction is necessary.

Besides, doing this also lets them know that the email comes from a real person and that it’s not spam.

“Provide them with your name and position, but don’t bother with a lot of details,” says Dana Cummings, an editor from Best Essay Education.

“Remember, the receiver of that email is the center of the universe right now, so you need to shift productively shift the focus to them as quickly as possible.”

Let them know about the benefits

As mentioned above, the recipient is the center of the universe now, so talking about their problems and potential solutions to them is tremendously vital.

A good way to go about it is to let them know about why they should read your email to the end.

It’s a great idea when the sender lets the recipient know about the main benefit of the letter right away. This is a useful technique in this case because the purpose of the letter is to educate the recipient.

If your job is to consult customers about their needs, then you should know how to show your potential clients or partners how working with you is the most productive way to go about meeting these needs.

Mention how you found them

In many industries, people feel more comfortable connecting with someone if it comes from a mutual connection. In many cases, they are also more likely to connect with others from the same industry.

Therefore, if possible, try to mention how you were able to find the recipient. For example, if it was someone who was recommended to you or if you saw them on LinkedIn.

In some cases, you can also try following the recipient on social media. If they post something related to your product or service – for example, they manage an automotive industry production business and announce moving to a new facility.

Let’s suppose that you’re a B2B consultant that can help them with supporting continuous improvement with real-time tracking, so feel free to mention their news and how you can assist them.

This is consistent with customer education and prioritizing their needs in the email copy; besides, this also signals that you’re following the news from the recipient, therefore, can help them better than others.

Always end with a personal note

First and foremost, thank them for the time they took to read your message to the end. Ask them for permission to follow-up if you don’t hear from them for some time.

But the most important thing is to end with a CTA to contact you, e.g. “please feel free to contact me if you find my proposal interesting.” Like CTAs in commerce that is designed to increase conversions, a textual CTA like this can increase the chance of a person replying to your email.

Don’t forget to repeat your name and position, and make sure to insert an email signature with social media contact options. The latter will help the reader to get in touch with you quickly.

The Bottom Line

The first email is tremendously important, so you need to make it as good as you can.

Remember making the letter reader-focused is the best way to go here, as you need to demonstrate how you can help them with addressing their pain points.

If English isn’t your first language consider using a productivity tool such as to edit and professionalize your English and business writing.

Hopefully, these tips will help you to achieve this goal and attract a lot of replies from customers with your engaging, easy-to-read, and well-written emails.

Adapted from an article written by Dorian Martin, first published on, August 19, 2019