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:
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.