How to build and use Email Templates as a Sales Engineer

At the top end of the pipeline, SDRs & Sales people use email templates to increase their reach to a larger audience, and effectively craft appealing messages with individuality and insight to a lot of stakeholders.

When done well, it helps pick up engagement. However I'm sure we've all been on the receiving end of badly used or thought out templates.

So why would a Sales Engineer who interacts with a smaller number of prospects, who should already be better qualified and understood, seek to use email templates?

I would say one of the best areas is for effective follow up and regular communication to customers, it pays to have some messages that you feel are ready to go. Straight after a meeting, where you showed an effective demo, it would be great to send them anything you promised to send, set up a follow-up session, and foster continued customer engagement.

How do you do this?

I'd suggest creating a list of regular situations you do this kind of thing. For me the list looks a bit like:

  • Demo preparation
  • Demo follow-up
  • Proof of Value (POV) communications
  • Product information (datasheets, etc)
  • Status update

Each of these would need some tailoring, but I think you can also put a rough template together to make it easier for you to craft when you need it, and make you faster and more effective. It also might help you avoid forgetting things you need to include, like a request for them to do something, or a meeting booking link, or a link to their POV instance.

Sometimes you might embed these messages into platforms that might message customers automatically, to tell them they can access a system or information. Your product might even need these templates to do its job!

To build a nice template, I'd start by looking for examples of where you've done this kind of message recently.

Give the message a Subject (e.g. Preparation for our Demonstration).

Dear Janet, 

Start with a greeting (like a normal message) and hopefully some nice context to you catching up or what the last interaction was like. This part should not be generic - you need to match this to the person & occasion. 

Thank you for your interest and feedback in our talk last week. I enjoyed your question about the data model.

Get your ask in, and give a strong reason why they should respond, (and this should be some kind of pay-off for them)

For our demo this week, I'd like to understand how you currently structure data. Any specific details about your current environment could help us make the most of this session.

Offer any additional information you  think is relevant for them

In case you're interested I'm attaching our latest datasheet and architecture model. This might help you with context on the solution and next week's demo.  

Any additional things you'd like them to do could be good here

Feel free to share this with your team, and let me know any other things they'd like to see!

And make your message brief and to the point.  

Save this as a template, and remove names or details that you don't want to share.  I like using ALLCAPS to show things that I want to customize each time.  If you use a tool like Outreach, you might even use parameters and have some of these automatically populated. For most presales use, you have a small number of people to write to, so a simple template and reuse is probably sufficient.

The value of high quality templates and messages is that you should get better responses, and the right information out to your customers quickly. If you are getting that and it takes you less effort than I'd say this is a good use of your time.