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10 Things I Hate About Your Sales Email

3 min read
Updated Aug. 9, 2021
Published Dec. 21, 2015

Anthony Zhang knows a good sales email when he sees one. But as the Director of Sales at Salesloft, he’s seen the good, the bad, and the ugly — and he’s passionate about teaching our team the importance of a good, sincere sales email.

We’ve preached “personalization at scale” in an effort to create the perfect sales email template. But in Anthony’s recent training presentation, he took that notion a step further:

Why not sincerity at scale?

Sincerity is simply a deeper definition of the personalization every rep is looking for in a sales email. But there are a few common mistakes that can make a sales email insincere, and Anthony shared a few of his cringe-worthy pet peeves. Here are the 10 things Anthony hates about an insincere sales email:

1. It’s too wordy.

Try to land somewhere between 300-500 characters, or 2-4 sentences. This will avoid the unfortunate TL;DR responses.

2. It’s confusing.

Not everyone you’re emailing knows the products and features that you use every single day. Remove technical jargon and avoid “value overload.”

3. It’s too much effort.

Prospects see Level 3 questions in an email and go running in the other direction. Use simple, open-ended questions to break the ice and get your foot in the door.


4. It has vague CTAs.

Your prospect should have a clear call-to-action by the end of your sales email. Be clear and direct with your intention so they know what to do next.

5. It’s forgettable.

A vague one-off sales email is forgettable. But if you’re persistent and sincere with your follow-ups, your email is more likely to be stay top of mind.

6. It’s all about you.

Don’t be Toby Keith… talk more about the prospect. Try practicing the 10/80/10 rule in your pitch-to-discovery ratio as you write.

7. It’s too fancy.

Good day, Mr. and/or Ms. Blah Blah Blah CEO… You don’t talk like that on a call, so don’t talk like that in your emails. Avoid extremely “professional” looking emails and aim for originality and sincerity.

8. It’s robotic.

We understand that automation has its place in mass marketing, but heaven help us if we receive another automated sales email. Avoid “sent via” or “Unsubscribe” digital footprints that kill credibility.


9. The subject line is boring.

Quit it with the basic sales email subject lines. Test subject lines that are exciting, credible, and intriguing — something that YOU would open, yourself.

10. There’s no social proof.

We’re all on social media. Why not add credibility and “voice of the customer” to your emails? You’ll just drive home the point that there’s a human being behind your sales email.

Remember these 10 things, and you’ll save yourself from writing a forgettable, boring sales email. And there’s no shame in needing a little help — Salesloft Sales Email is the perfect tool for injecting sincerity at scale. Improve your process through semi-automation and customizable personalization to craft the most sincere sales email.