Are you guilty of reaching out to your prospects with tired, uninspiring sales emails?

You’re probably committing at least one of these three sales email mistakes.

Your prospects’ inboxes are full of messages that use the same generic “are you the right person to speak with?” approach. The problem with this type of email is that it’s highly impersonal and doesn’t do anything to engage your buyer in a meaningful conversation about their business.

The truth is, most people aren’t interested in connecting you to the right person -- a major reason these emails get deleted. Buyers crave personalized messages that are considerate of their needs and problems. If you can offer value to your prospects, they'll not only be eager to respond, but they’ll also be happy to pass you along to the decision maker if they aren’t the right person.

So if you’re still using tired and overused approaches to sales email, keep reading. Time to transform your sales messaging for good.

Sales Email Mistake #1: Vanity

Vanity is never attractive, especially to your prospects.

Self-focused messages that boast about your product and its “amazing” features don’t reach the heart of your prospects’ problems. Worse yet, they flat out ignore your prospects’ needs.

Let’s look at an example. The rep who wrote this email is trying way too hard to impress their prospects.

Hello Bob,

Wanted to introduce you to, our startup company. We intend to revolutionize the Software Quality Assurance (SQA) model.

We offer free Project Management, Software Test Script Automation, Software Management, Defect Tracking, Sprint Planning, DevOps, Continues Integration (CI) + other SQA tools.

Despite all the information crammed into the email above, it actually offers little value to prospects.

Bragging about your accomplishments before you’ve actually achieved anything is a huge turn off. No one cares about your product's flashy bells and whistles, they only care about how you can help them and their business.

Thoughtful sales emails evoke emotions and move prospects to action. Talking about yourself doesn’t move your prospects to action because it doesn’t address your prospects’ needs.

Instead of listing out features like "project management, software management, defect tracking, project tracking, etc., etc., etc.," think about how your product can solve your prospects’ problems. Does it save time or money? Simplify a complicated task? Improve productivity?

Sales email pro tip #1: Choose one benefit per email and explain how your product can make your prospects’ lives easier.

Sales Email Mistake #2: TL;DR (Too Long; Did Not Read)

Your prospects are busy people. They don’t have all afternoon to read through your bloated email message.

You only have a few seconds to attract your prospects and pull them in, so each sentence needs to count. One wrong word, and your prospects will give up and hit delete.

Here’s an example of a rambling email from a rep who just doesn’t get it.

“[Company Name] is a truly disruptive technology that turns traditional technology on its head and takes a Y-centric approach with a target-oriented, visual solution that truly empowers. [Company Name] aims to provide a work tool that becomes a way of life -- one that employees adopt and trust. [Company Name] is organizing customers’ workflows in ways that demonstrate an innate feel for what employees actually want and need.”

This is only one of eight paragraphs, all of which are in a single email. It contains catchy words like “empower” and “trust,” but provides no real evidence to explain how this product can empower the reader or why we should trust the writer.

Why should anyone believe claims that your product will “demonstrate an innate feel for what employees actually want and need” when you haven’t proven you understand what this means to the prospect?

Sales email pro tip #2: Keep your sales emails to three to five sentences. Avoid the temptation to cram every piece of information you have into one email. Cluttered messages confuse your prospects and don’t help them see your value.

Sales Email Mistake #3: Bad CTA (Call-to-Action)

The goal of your sales emails is to get your prospects to take action, right?

With this is mind, the worst thing that can happen to your campaign is for your prospects to read your email and ask themselves, “What’s in it for me?” Don’t assume that your prospects will automatically “get” why they should talk to you.

The following email leaves prospects hanging without a compelling reason to respond.

“Do you want to book an hour for me to show you what [Company Name] is doing and how I can help your team sell more and faster?”

This is not a compelling reason for prospects to respond. Requesting an hour of time is overwhelming to buyers, especially on the first message before you’ve proven your worth. If you want to get any kind of positive response from your prospects, you need to make it worth their time.

Be crystal clear about what action you want them to take and the value they will receive in exchange for their time.

Sales email pro tip #3: The best CTAs entice prospects with a simple request that incentivizes them to respond. Offering to share an actionable piece of advice or an idea that can help improve their business usually works well.

Salesfolk’s recent copywriting guide has more tips to help you craft highly effective sales emails that seduce your prospects.


Originally published Oct 29, 2015 8:30:00 AM, updated March 29 2017


Sales Email Mistakes