5 Common Sales Email Mistakes to Avoid

Are your emails not landing with your prospects? Then you might be making one of these five common sales email mistakes. In this video, I’m going to share five most commonly made mistakes by both beginners and advanced sales professionals. By the end of this video, you’re going to have a more clear understanding as to what these mistakes are and how to avoid them.

Stick until the end to get my number one sales email mistake that you absolutely should not make.

Mistake #1: Just following up

The first mistake is just following up. You’ve made this mistake before don’t tell me you haven’t. Every single person that has ever been in sales has been guilty of sending at least one of these emails before. Comment below if you are one of those people.

It often goes along the lines of, “Hey prospect, just following up to see where you’re at in assessing XYZ need.” No one appreciates this email and it gets a collective groan from both you as well as your prospect. For your prospect it sucks because you’re calling them out for not having responded to your prior email and for you, it sucks because it’s a purely logistical email and it actually provides no additional value in getting this prospect further along in your pipeline.,

You learn nothing new about your prospects. So as a result, you’re pretty much exactly where you left off in your last conversation if you even ever had a conversation. The easiest way to avoid making this mistake is to either center yourself around your past conversation or send a sales or marketing asset that will provide a new insight for your prospect to learn more about their potential problem. By doing so, you’re coming from a place where you’re trying to be productive with your prospect and helpful to them, as opposed to just another fly on the wall.

Mistake #2: All you, not them.

The second mistake is when you write an all you and not them, this is where if you were to look at your email, you would only see a sales pitch and nothing about your prospect. Let me show you a real-world example of this from our friend, Tim. Here, I get these sorts of spam emails every single day. So here you can see the email reads.

Hi Will, I’m sure you have very little extra time during the day. So short version, I’m writing to you about X, Y, Z, an end-to-end automated consumer research platform. Lately, we’ve gotten a lot of interest from startups and SMBs. So, we decided to start to reach out to companies like yours and offer our software at a steep discount to companies who typically don’t have the budget for this kind of consumer research. Our clients are typically fortune 500 brands, organizations and research agencies. Our software is used to find, engage with and understand consumer feedback about everything from new product launches, message testing, market intelligence, and more. If you’re interested to learn more, please let me know if there is a convenient time for you. Hope to talk soon, Tim.

Let’s go over what’s wrong about this email? The first thing is that there’s a whole lot of, “I” here. He goes over things like, “I’m sure”, “I’m writing to you” and “let me know”. Let’s go over three examples as to how Tim has made this mistake of only talking about himself and nothing about me.

The first one is he says things like, “I’m sure”, “I’m writing to you” and “let me know”. It’s all centered around Tim, the person and not me, the prospect. The second thing that he mentioned is something along the lines of, “I’ve gotten a lot of interest from startups and SMBs”. Honestly, I don’t care if you have. It’s irrelevant to me and it’s not going to benefit me in any way if other startups or SMBs are checking you out. The last mistake that Tim makes, as he says something along the lines of “our clients are typically fortune 500 brands”. Now I know what he’s trying to do here, which is he’s trying to set up social proof that he works with big companies. But if his clients were typically fortune 500 brands, then he shouldn’t be reaching out to me as a SMB.

This is an example where the social proof has fallen completely flat. There’s a few overarching issues with this email. The first one is that the email is so generic that it’s instantly garbage to me. The email is so centered on getting the pitch delivered that it doesn’t provide me any value to actually read this email and want to respond to Tim.

Oh, also let’s check out Tim’s second response. Will, just checking in on the above. Is this relevant to you? If so, would love to connect when you have the time to see how we can help, Tim. Yikes. That’s mistake number one, like we just went over with the, just following up email.

The easiest way to fix this mistake is to do a control+ find on every instance of the word I, and try to think about how you can position it to be about you. In other words, you, the prospect. By doing so you’re going to put your prospect’s needs first above your own. And as a result, they will be more compelled to respond to you. If that last email example was super helpful to you, then you’re going to love my next one. But before we get there, if you’re finding value out of this video, be sure to hit that like button below to let me know.

Moving right along to mistake number three, which is when you have typos or poor grammar in your sales email. If you want to know the fastest way to somebody’s junk box, it is by simply not taking the time to do a spellcheck or Grammarly check on your sales email.

Let me show you an example. This email reads, “Hello, Sir/Ma. Greetings to you. I’m Karen, a chartered accountant. I know we haven’t met, but feasibly your public profile speaks of your reliability and I’m convinced we can establish a mutual business interest. Though I understand the need to establish trust and a solid background in any partnership and I am supposed to take the risk to offer you an opportunity if you would be interested. For more information, please email me on: email. Yours sincerely, Karen.”

All right. Now that we’ve made our way through that email. Let’s go over some of the mistakes that they’ve made here. The first one is that if they’re actually an accountant, they are really not positioning themselves well, because they’re already making little mistakes, like having awkward double spaces and missing punctuation. This is just something that a typical accountant wouldn’t make mistakes on because part of their job responsibilities is attention to detail.

The second mistake is in the case where you can’t exactly pinpoint what salutation to use with me, then it would have been much safer to use something that was either gender neutral or just something more general, like a “Hello”, as opposed to using both sir as well as ma’am.

Mistake #3: Typos or wrong grammar

The third mistake is I honestly think it’s kind of funny that they talk about having to take a risk to work with me when honestly it would obviously be a risk for me to be working with them. If this person wanted to fix some of these sales email mistakes, the easiest way to do so would have been installing something like Grammarly, which would have helped pick up some of the mistakes that came up in their sales draft.

I personally use Grammarly premium, which includes not only the identification of typos and things like that, but also more critical errors to your writing that might be impacting its ability to be concise and effective. I’ll leave a link in the video description below that you can use to sign up for a free account. Doing so will also help the channel.

Mistake #4: Being way too generic.

The fourth big mistake that people often make is simply being way too generic. In case you haven’t noticed from those two examples that I just showed you, they never really gave me a compelling reason to respond. The reason why is because they just focused on making super abstract statements about the value proposition that their product or service was offering.

There are two things that I want you to keep in mind when you think about this mistake. The first one is if you’re able to replace the company name of the person that you’re prospecting with any other company, and it still makes sense, then you could probably be way more specific. And the second thing to remember is that if you can replace the person and it still makes sense as well, then it also is probably way too abstract.

Two easy ways to recognize whether or not your email is way too generic is to check whether or not the company that you’ve put into place in your email template can actually just be replaced by another company’s name and the email still makes sense. If so, then you haven’t been specific enough. Also, if you can just replace the name of the person with another person and the email still makes sense, then you probably also haven’t personalized enough to the particular person you’re prospecting.

To fix this, you can add some mail merge variables into your email template. This would allow you a space for you to input one to two personalized or customized sentences that specifically relate to the person and the company that you are trying to prospect. Even though this takes a lot more time, you’re going to notice a significant increase in your conversion rates in terms of people responding to you and being willing to take a discovery meeting with you.

Mistake #5: Not leading with value.

Mistake number five is not leading with enough value. The easiest way to separate yourself from every other sales email that your prospect gets is by grounding yourself fully in giving value upfront.

What I mean by this is let’s say that you sell local SEO services. Well, rather than just send a generic bulk message to every single small business in your area, your time might be better spent if you were to write a more targeted campaign to 10 small businesses that are on page two of Google and specifically offer two to three nuggets of value in ways that they could improve their SEO if they were to engage in SEO service.

By doing so, you would give them a more compelling reason to connect with you, to learn more about how they could potentially get their business more exposure on page one of Google.

The key takeaway I want you to remember here is you always want to be thinking about how you can be giving value to the other person. After all, you’re requesting time with them in most cases for a discovery call and so you need to give them a reason to show up for that meeting. There are a ton of easy and free ways to do this. It could be as simple as sharing a cool article you read that morning in your industry, or it could be sharing some sort of industry insider case study that was just released, or it could just be as simple as recording a one minute personalized video that you sent just for that prospect.

The difference between amateurs and professionals in sales is that the pros always help their prospects feel like a million bucks. If you always put your prospect’s needs above your own, then you always will come from a place of value. And as a result, you will generate more business and have more fruitful business relationship.

Big takeaways

There are two things I want you to remember from this article:

  1. The first one is try to focus on replacing as many of the instances of “I” with “you” in your sales copy. When you focus on the needs of your customer, ultimately your needs will then get met, but ultimately your quota does not matter. What does matter though, is whether or not your prospect’s needs are getting met. Helping them reach their goals will help you reach your goals.
  2. The second big takeaway is to always be leading with value. This is such an easy statement to say, but it honestly takes years to master. It’s the reason why we are always prone to sending that” just following up email” that we went over in the very beginning of this video. Ultimately you have to always be putting the needs of your prospect above your own.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share it with anybody that you think my benefit from learning these five mistakes that people often make in their sales emails.