Most salespeople have sent and received their fair share of unwelcomed emails. They wake up, check their inbox, and glaze over rows upon rows of standard subject lines. Maybe they’ll remember a time when they took on the blast approach, simply because they didn’t know any better.
Fortunately, most people learn from their mistakes. Reading up on best practices, chatter in the market or low/no open rates are usually an indicator to switch up your tactics.
Unfortunately, some people never learn — or maybe we’ve just caught them at an unfortunate moment.
Here are 6 of the worst sales email we’ve ever seen and what social selling can do to help.
Trying To Sell Energy Solutions To A Sales Trainer
Though the sender starts out on the right foot by providing context to the outreach, upon further reading, anyone can tell this is part of a simple (and hopeless) blast approach. The sender fails to make a connection between the AI webinar the recipient co-hosted, and how the proposed solutions benefit him. He jumps right into who the company is and their product offering. The worst part? This email was sent by the President and CEO of the company!
If the President and CEO (or his marketing team) had even done a smidgen of research into the recipient, they would have found he has nothing to do with overseeing industrial energy processes. Social selling 101: research your buyer! For its absolute lack of relevancy, this email receives a failing grade.
Zero Personalization Or Research
Where to start with this horribly non-personalized and non-researched sender? First, they didn’t even include the name of the sender, our CEO, whose name is everywhere on Google. Second, language like, “Hope you are having a great day,” is overly-generic (especially, again, to the CEO of a company), and there are typos, particularly in the third last line. Thirdly, and perhaps worst of all, the sender has failed to do their research, as Sales for Life is ranked #3 organically in the world for Social Selling.
Lack of personalization, research and overly generic phrases qualifies this email for a training course on "Sales Emails: What Not To Do."
Pizza Is Great For 22-Year Olds, Not CEOs
About the only thing this email does right is include the sender’s name. And although lead management is somewhat relevant to our line of business, the sender fails to provide why we would need such a solution and/or how it would benefit our company.
Value-driven impact statements and a little research could have saved this email from this list. Additionally, had the sender applied social selling best practices and researched the psychographics of the sender, they would have realized, in the words of our CEO, "pizza is great for 22-year olds. Not CEOs."
Though a little hard to see, the recipients name is in a different color and font, which is always a little off-putting. The email also provides zero context, value, or relevance (do we see a trend here?) to the sender. In fact, to any professional not in the app development space, it’s pure gibberish!
The sender could leverage social selling to help find the right buyers (not us!), and educate those buyers in a little less jargon-y way.
This email has all the symptoms of a classic ice-cold email: no personalization to the sender, no context, and no relevancy on how their specific services could help the recipient. Though a tool to target prospects with a 95% success rate sounds enticing, she’s going to need a little more than that to capture the time of one of our account executives.
Does she have specific insights on how we’re failing to contact buyers, for example? Has she worked with any of our competitors? The sender fails to provide value and insight, allowing her message to fall flat. And while headshots in email signatures sometimes have a place, this particular one, a selfie, doesn't really speak to the business community she serves.
ARE YOU REALLY A SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERT?
This social media expert could use some social research expertise to know when our VP of Marketing actually started working for Sales for Life. It's also pretty clear this email is part of a mass outreach strategy, as there is no explanation on how these social media management services will help Sales for Life. Rather than starting with a pitch, the sender could have lead outcomes they can help achieve.
“I Can’t Help But Compliment Your Cute Smile…”
Okay, we’re all for compliments here at Sales for Life, but this is just borderline creepy/weird. This is LinkedIn Sales Navigator, not Match.com!
While this email technicially isn't outreach, it's still a useful reminder that business acumen in all sales interactions is crucial.
This post is the second round of our worst sales series.
If you’re actually interested in actually crafting messaging that leads to opportunities, check out this post on how to send LinkedIn InMails that actually lead to sales opportunities, or this post on writing emails that resonate with your buyer.