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6 Mistakes You Can Make In Sales Prospecting Emails

Sales prospecting email, generating leads, email inbox.

Nora Mork

Guest blog articles by Nora Mork.

Updated 12 February 20



When done right, sales prospecting emails are a very effective tool for any sales person trying to attract potential customers and increase conversions. However, not all sales prospecting emails are created equal and many of them give a bad first impression, remain unopened or unanswered.


The important part is getting the prospect to reply to your email. In doing so, your chances of scoring a meeting or a deal with them is a lot more promising. 


To get your desired reply, you need to avoid several big mistakes that could break your chances of generating leads. Here are those mistakes:


1. Tricking people - Ditch the click-bait

Your prospect is most likely receiving many emails, including from other sales people so it’s a hard job to try and stand out amongst the other noise. This being said don’t make the deadly mistake of trying to trick them into opening your email with a sneaky subject line.


This technique has been going since the dawn of time so people aren’t so easily fooled by a false discount expiration, an offer that doesn’t exist, or a subject line that sounds like its urgent or came from a friend.


It is not necessary, implies naivety and it can kill your chances. Just be honest and test your subject lines until you get it right. Of course, study some of the best practices in this area but learn what applies to you best.


Don’t mislead people because it will backfire and a bad reputation will destroy your chances of closing a deal.


2. Focusing on Yourself

No matter how much you try to avoid being traditionally ‘salesy’, you can make a mistake of using too many “I”s. Your prospect’s main interest isn’t in how this is benefitting you, they want to know how it will benefit them. So, make sure that your emails are talking about what they will get out of it, how the product or service can help them and so on. This way, you establish a personal connection with the person.


“When you focus on the benefits for them, you speak to them as you would in person and then it makes more sense for them. It will get you a meeting,” says Jane Helsing, a business writer at Paper fellows and Big Assignments.


3. Sending too many and too little 

It takes 6 to 8 contacts to generate a viable sales lead, but let’s be clear, this doesn’t mean 6-8 emails without a response. It means 8 touch points in which your prospect has engaged with your business, this could be through the website, email, call, advertisement, etc.


Sending too many emails is as destructive to your chances of getting a reply as is being too laid back and only sending one. Spamming your recipients inbox with email after email, will become annoying and you could be heading straight to the junk mail!


Instead, send a maximum of 3 emails with no response always being polite and professional and if you still haven’t had a reply sign off leaving the door open by including your contact details. 


4. Giving too much of a good thing

People have a difficult time making a decision when faced with many options. Making a decision becomes too overwhelming because of the multiple outcomes and potential risks from making the wrong choice.


Offering too many options to your prospect will cause confusion and inaction. Decide on one, highly targeted and specific to them and then propose that. This will have more value to them and they will be satisfied that they can get something that they need.


5. Not checking yours email for poor grammar and spellling mistakɘs

The quality of your email reflects the quality of your work. Having an email flooded with bad grammar and spelling mistakes destroys your brand image and chances of getting a meeting with the prospect. 


I know writing isn’t everyone's forte, so we’ve picked out our favourite tools and blogs that can help you fix those mistakes:

  • -   When do I use affect or effect and what’s the difference between i.e. and e.g.!? Via writing has useful blogs about common grammar mistakes and word misuses to help compose your writing.
  • -   Grammarly is an online grammar tool that helps you to eliminate all of the grammar mistakes that you make in your emails, documents, essays, and more.  
  • -   Don’t know where to start? HubSpot has written 7 Effective Sales Prospecting Email Templates which are  great resources to guide your email format.
  • -   AcdemAdvisor is a helpful blog explaining grammatical and colloquial language as well as useful writing tips to replicate into your own written work.


6. Reaching out to the wrong people

Before you send anything, you need to research your prospects and make sure that they are the right people to receive and make decisions on your emails. Sending an email to the wrong person won’t get you a reply and will seem unprofessional. Make sure you research your contacts properly so you know you’re not wasting your time waiting for an answer from the wrong person. 


You can always try to send an email to the CEO of the company but they are very busy people and the likelihood is that your email will sit in their inbox unread. Think about your prospect options carefully - who are all of the gatekeepers in the decision making process? It might be that there is a better, or easier, route for contact than attempting to go directly to the top boss.


Nora Mork is a marketing journalist at UK Writings and Essay Roo services. She shares her experience by speaking at niche public events, and writing posts for blogs, such as Boom Essays service blog.





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