5 Sales Email Mistakes Guaranteed to Make Prospects Click Delete
How many sales emails do you get each day? For most business people, the first activity of the day is sifting through their email inbox, deciding which messages to respond to and which ones to send straight to the trash. Your goal as a sales rep should always be to give your buyer a reason to hold off on clicking delete, so make sure you don’t make one of these common mistakes:
1) Subtly insult your prospect
There’s nothing quite like getting on your prospects’ bad side by telling them they suck. Of course, you’d never come out and say that blatantly, but that’s the message they’re getting when you tell them that they’re failing to accomplish their jobs.
“Your website/product/profile/brand/etc. is awesome, except that it totally sucks in all of these ways. Clearly you don’t know what you’re doing, and you’ll be out of business within a year…Unless you use our service!”
If a prospect legitimately does have an issue that you can solve, cite specific examples of how you can help. Frame the email as a way to enhance what the prospect is already achieving, not a complete shift away from their “broken and ineffective” strategies.
2) Be a fake friend
“Hi #Name, long time no see!”
“Great talking with you, #Name!”
Do you really expect someone you’ve never spoken with before to see this subject line or email intro, and then continue reading? No. Pretending to know a prospect only serves one purpose: to let the prospect know that the email belongs in the trash.
Go for the middle ground by using the prospect’s first name and doing some basic research. Find their social media accounts, see if they’ve written any articles… A few minutes of research can make all the difference.
3) Go “all style, no substance”
I’ve seen some catchy emails in my day. They make me chuckle, and if they’re particularly good, I’ll forward them over to the sales team so they can learn something from the email’s messaging. But as catchy as your email is, if it doesn’t tell me who you are and what you can do for me, I’m not going to waste the effort trying to find out.
This applies just as much for follow-up emails, especially if your first few attempts haven’t resulted in a response. Don’t expect your prospects to have read your previous emails, let alone identify your name from the sea of prospecting emails they’ve received in the past. It doesn’t have to be much, but a brief explanatory sentence of your services with a link to your website can go a long way.
4) Use the fake “re:” subject line
I know this may be hard to believe, but your prospects are well aware that they have never responded to your email. Your “Re: Are we still on for our call?” subject line isn’t fooling anyone. If you’re going for the slimy salesman stereotype who is trying to con buyers into spending money, this is a great tactic, but you’re not going to win many deals.
5) Give empty threats
This one isn’t a huge deal because you’ve likely already lost the prospect by this point, but if you send a break-up email where you say you’ll be ending contact if you don’t receive a response, and then continue to contact them, you have a problem.
At this point, the issue isn’t that you’re alienating a buyer—your buyer has probably already set up your email address to go straight to the spam folder at this point. No, the issue is that you’re wasting time on a lead that will never close.
Do yourself a favor: make that break-up email threat a reality. You can do better.
Prospecting emails can be very effective when done properly. A little bit more effort upfront can make a huge difference in the number of responses you get. In short, here’s what you can do to take your prospecting emails from “straight to the trash” to “maybe I should give this person a call”:
- Identify individual buyer needs (not a generic “you suck at this,” but rather an “I noticed X and Y could use improvement, and this is how you can achieve this beneficial outcome.”)
- In each email, explain who you are and what your company does
- Do some basic buyer research before reaching out
- Be genuine (no more fake “re:” subject lines or pretending to know your buyer)
Give it a try. Your prospective buyers will thank you, and so will your sales pipeline.