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Sales Emails Gone Wrong

5 min read
Oct. 26, 2015

In today’s competitive sales landscape, SDRs must be more strategic with the content of their emails. Decisionmakers’ inboxes are flooded on a daily basis and only those that stand out will get a reply. Lots of factors come into play here, like sending emails at specific times of the day or writing a catchy subject line. These strategies might get a prospect to open your email, but getting a response to your call for action — that all depends on the content.

Let’s stop this vicious cycle with more targeted messages today. Below are some classic mistakes that can send your messages straight to the trash:

1. The Mass Blast Disaster Email

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There’s a lot going on here. Decisionmakers are constantly on the go –in and out of meetings or on the road. Your messages should be easily readable from a smartphone. Here at Salesloft, we recommend no more than 3-5 short paragraphs/lines of content. If you add too much information, you run the risk of overwhelming your prospects.

There’s also a lack of customization and professionalism here. This email wasn’t addressed to the recipient, and includes unsubscribe instructions. It also has two greetings both ending with an exclamation mark. You want your prospects to be excited by your content (not by your use of punctuation).

Sending mass email blasts can be effective for marketing. But in sales, if you want to get the attention of your prospect, you must personalize your content. If you don’t take the time to craft a custom message, why would they for you?

Side note: One thing they did successfully include here was a clear call to action. Without this, you could leave your prospect questioning the whole reason you emailed them in the first place.

2. The “Sorry, Not Sorry” Email

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I recently received a reply to one of my emails that stated, “Not at this time. Love your subject line though, I’m going to use it. Also, I appreciate the apology email tactic… I use it as well.” At first, I didn’t understand — I never apologized to him in any of my emails. And then dawned on me, he was apologizing for not responding to my various touch points. Through personalization, I was able to establish enough rapport that he felt he owed me a response.

This can’t be achieved by apologizing for making contact. If you assume you are intruding, then your prospects will assume the same. If you do your research and spend enough time customizing your emails, your prospects will appreciate what you send (even if they’re not interested).

Nevertheless, this email was on point in several ways. The length was realistic, it had a clear call to action, and it included social proof, which is essential to warming up your prospects. If they took it one step further and included companies in the same space, that would have been even more valuable.

3. The Dreaded “Just Checking-in” Email

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The reality of your prospect filtering through their inbox to find a previous email they already disregarded is slim to none. Not only do you not  want your emails to be repetitive, but you really don’t want your prospects to have to do extra work to understand your message.

While this email was the appropriate length, it was empty. We don’t know who they are or what they do, and vice versa. A great way to avoid this is to provide something valuable to your prospects, which once again works towards building rapport.

Pro-tip: When you don’t know what to say, don’t just send fluff. Find a piece of relevant content to share and explain why. An empty email is a waste of your time and theirs.

Let’s try this again… If we avoided all the errors made above, a perfect sales email would look like this:

“Hi Anthony,

I really enjoyed your latest Sales Tips video. I totally agree with your thoughts on constructively breaking down calls/demo recordings during 1:1 meetings.

While on your site, I also noticed that you’re currently hiring for several new SDR positions. As you continue to build out your team, do you have a scalable process in place to ensure your Reps keep track of their valuable leads?

To keep it simple, Salesloft is a strategic platform that combines phone, email, and social touches to ensure consistent execution of your sales cadence or outreach. I would love an opportunity to chat with you to learn more about your current process.

When are you free for 30-minutes on Monday or Tuesday for a call?



Always remember to keep your emails short and concise. Be confident with your prospects — they will respect you more for it. And finally, take an extra minute to personalize your message. While customization can be time consuming, there are ways to expedite this process through dynamic tags and semi-automation. Check out Salesloft Sales Email for a quick and easy way to remain personal but efficient with your sales emails today.