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Marketing and salespeople: two critical teams interlinked on the crusade to persuade prospects to purchase. All too often in a company, these two roles seem to be at odds with each other, due to a misunderstanding of responsibilities, unclear or overlapping goals, or a simple misalignment of strategies to gain more customers.

3 Email Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From Your Salespeople

1. Focus on Creating Repeat Customers

2. Learn Consistency and Patience

3. Lead With Value and Strive to Solve Problems

Pinterest graphic 3 email marketing lessons you can learn from your salespeople from Selz the ecommerce platform for growing businesses

Regardless, folks in both roles can actually learn a lot from each other by examining the other’s practices, tools, and strategies. In particular, some of the tactics and tools salespeople deploy would pay dividends at the top of the funnel where marketers are attempting to draw in the highest number of quality leads. Since the traditional sales funnel starts with marketing, here are 3 email marketing lessons you can learn from your sales team.

Selz and email lists go together for strong ecommerce conversions

1. Focus on Creating Repeat Customers

Marketing’s area of operation is traditionally top funnel, while sales is typically bottom funnel. The marketing team sets the stage at the top of the funnel by providing leads to salespeople through content like newsletters, blogs, videos, infographics, and of course, email marketing. These efforts draw people from all corners of the internet, providing much-needed insight and traffic that salespeople can then filter into prospects.

Marketers can easily fall into the trap of thinking every lead is a good lead, and focus exclusively on the sheer volume of traffic and leads over quality. Salespeople, on the other hand, highlight quality over quantity. They know that the more time they spend on low-quality leads that don’t convert, the less time they have to convert the high-quality ones.

As such, salespeople focus on turning those high-quality leads into repeat buyers by providing service that goes above and beyond, following up often, and delivering on all promises.

Marketers can easily emulate this by establishing and maintaining buyers’ trust from the top of the funnel to the bottom, post-sale and beyond. A few ways to do this are:

  • Using realistic language that doesn’t overhype your email with embellished claims like “ABC will change your life.” Customers these days are well-informed, so it’s better to be simple and straightforward.
  • Delivering on promises made early in emails or in the subject line. Nothing destroys trust faster than unkept promises, so if you make a claim, you’ve got to back it up.
  • Being transparent with terms and conditions, so there are no surprises with contests, giveaways, discounts, etc.

Following these simple strategies will build trust, improve open rates, and help create repeat customers.

This is a picture of the owner of a growing business working at a desk for the article 3 email marketing lessons that your marketing team can learn from your salespeople

2. Learn Consistency and Patience

Ask any salesperson, and they’ll tell you that not all deals will close – not by a long shot. Sometimes it can take weeks, months, or even years to close a prospect, and it can require a ton of follow-ups and nurturing to keep them on the line.

Nurturing sales leads is an art form that takes real finesse, but marketers can easily learn the basics for their email marketing campaigns.

It starts with being patient and not spamming your audience at every opportunity. Instead, nurture them by striving to be helpful and providing value at every exchange. Serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk drives this point home in his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World. He believes that you shouldn’t always be pushing your agenda or selling something to your audience. It breeds distrust and comes off as pushy and unhelpful.

Instead, you’ve got to find a way to provide them value to keep them interested, and then strategically place that right hook to sell your product or get them into your funnel.

Here’s what that might look like in action:

Jab One: Share a blog post rich in valuable content

Jab Two: Send a curated list of holiday gift ideas

Jab Three: Send a free ebook or whitepaper on a relevant topic or pain point

Right Hook: Hit them with a short email pitch about your product or service with a link to convert or opt-in

Vaynerchuk elaborates further on this strategy in his blog. “The big lesson of a right hook is that you want it to feel natural and you want consumers to say ‘of course!’ when they see it,” he says. “If that is their reaction, you’ve taken all the right steps to get there. If you’ve provided value, given them great content, done everything you can to make the journey as smooth as possible, I can promise you will have that much better of a chance of making the sale and getting that customer.”

This is a picture of four people talking and using their smartphones to illustrate an article on Selz for email marketing and salespeople

3. Lead With Value and Strive to Solve Problems

The best salespeople focus not on closing deals, but on listening to their customer’s problems and tailoring their pitch according to their customer’s needs. Crafting a winning email marketing strategy is no different. If you focus on building rapport and showcasing solutions, then the customer will naturally gravitate toward the sale.

Loads of marketing emails these days sling too much hype, overpromise, underdeliver, and are too polished looking. Naturally, we’ve all trained ourselves to see through the fluff, so those emails end up archived, trashed, or marked as spam.

To push past the noise, emulate the type of emails that salespeople send. They deploy emails that look as personal as if they were sent from a friend or family member. Start with email subject lines that are short, personal, specific, and useful. Try out questions or short statements for your subject lines and split test which ones work the best. Once your killer subject line gets them to open the email, you’ve got to keep them interested with an equally-stellar opening line.

The biggest mistake lackluster salespeople make here is focusing on themselves instead of the recipient. Instead, make a clear statement prospects can relate to, or ask a question you already know the answer to and keep the intrigue going throughout the body copy.

Line by line, your email should build up interest with social proof, case studies, or thought-provoking questions until you culminate with the perfect call-to-action. The best email closers include a call-to-action that clearly spells out what the next step is – or at the very least, end on a question that piques interest or keeps the conversation going.

To automate this process, try deploying a tool like Mailshake, which helps you craft the perfect email templates for your campaigns and takes it a step further by automating the follow-up sequence. You can spend less time focusing on the mechanics of sending out emails, while still continuing to tweak to get better results each time. These email marketing services can also help.

Keeping a united front between sales and marketing is as simple as sharing resources and learning as much as possible from your colleagues. For marketers wanting to emulate the strength of sales emails, focus on creating repeat buyers by being transparent and genuine at every turn. Be in it for the long haul by practicing patience and consistently providing value so you can earn the right to ask for the sale. Finally, eliminate fluff and focus on the customer and solving their problems. Only then will they lower their guard and explore your solutions.

What other lessons can be learned from the sales team? Share your thoughts in the comments below:

About the author

Sujan Patel

Sujan Patel is a partner at Ramp Ventures, makers of Mailshake, Pick, VoilaNorbert, and Right Inbox. He has over 14 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies.


  1. Tara Storozynsky

    Glad you feel the same, Andres! Thanks for checking out FounderU and commenting.

  2. Andres

    I agree, realistic language is so important! It’s authentic, it’s honest, and people respect that.

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