Women in Sales Blog

Dissected Mass Email I Received So You as Sales Rep Won't Do These Things in Emails You Send to Your Prospects

Posted by Sep 24, 2014 1:00:00 PM Ali Powell

This is an example of a horrible email with no attention to detail, research or any relevancy to the person who they are writing to and attempting to sell to. 



There are a lot of things wrong with this email so I am going to dissect it with you. Let me know if you see anything else that I missed. This is what sales reps did years ago. This person has not changed with the way people buy and should sell today.  Today's great sales rep actually cares and wants to help people. This person is just doing a job to do a job. They don't care or at least don't show that they care about who they are sending this email to.

Which in this case they sent this email to me. 

Let's dissect the email to find the things that sales reps should never do when they are prospecting. 


1. The subject line.

  • The subject line of this email is "Marketo Users." Okay,  I will give this sales rep some credit here. At least he knows that I work at HubSpot (maybe) and that I might care about people using Marketo or a competitor of mine. It is okay, I give the subject line a 3. It is super salesy. I don't like that. Be normal and nice and human. Don't sell to me right away in an email. 

  • If this guy really took time to do research on me, my potential needs from that research I think he could have come up with a more intriguing and engaging subject line. 

2. The overall premise of sending me an email where you are trying to sell lists is stupid. 

  • I work at HubSpot. I tell people everyday to stop buying lists. Why would this person think that I want to buy a list from them?

  • It is clear that this person doesn't know what my company does. I don't want to buy a list. I get leads through inbound efforts. I would never buy a list like this in the first place so off the bat I am a really poor choice of a prospect for this person to spend time on. He should not be spending his time on me. I am a bad prospect off the bat. 

  • Suggestion- maybe he could have addressed the fact that I might be a bad prospect for him based on the fact that I sell inbound marketing software which means we ourselves here don't like list buying. That might have got me thinking. If he gave me an example of why buying a list like this might make sense maybe I would think about it for one minute. Probably not though because once again he is not picking a good prospect to spend time on in the first place. be_a_better_sales_rep

Lesson here is that you need to pick your prospects. Don't spend time on people/companies that would have no interest in what you do. For example, when IT companies email me and ask me about IT stuff here at HubSpot I literally have no idea why they are reaching out to me. Reach out to the right people. If you want to make your job a little bit easier think about who would actually buy your product and go after those people in the first place. Don't make your job harder than it already is. Right? 

3. I can tell this email is not sent as a personal email at all.

  • I know this because of the format and because at the end of the email it says "to opt out response remove".... So I know this is automated or has been sent out to a mass list of people. 

  • I am not against mass emails to people who have opted in or people who might have an interest in what the company who is sending the email does. But in this case it is clear that there is no customization, no thought, no personalization at all in this email. Not even my first name....nothing. I know that he doesn't care about me. He is just emailing people to email people. Doesn't matter if I am a bad fit or not. 

Lesson here is that you need to care about who you are approaching. If you do the same old stuff that every other sales rep does, you will not get an answer. If you want an answer from your outreach and efforts then put thought into your work and do your homework. Reach out with something of value and something you think that person might care about. In general just try your best on everything you do. It is more important than you might think. If you show you tried at every stage of your job it will come out in your numbers. You will do better as a sales rep. 

Even if you were doing a mass email or I was opted in to receive this email (which I am not) the sales rep should put effort into customizing this for the person receiving it. I might actually want to read it even if it was automated. Automated and mass emails can be good and can be relevant to the person receiving it. You just need to use your brain and think a bit about what you are trying to do with that email send. What would the other person on the end of that email think. Ask yourself that  a few times before you press send. Always re-read the email and think about what you would think if you were the person on the other end of that email that you were trying to get a conversation with. 

4. Who is this email even from? 

  • There was no reference of a company from which this guy is sending me this email from. I am confused who this person is in the first place. 

  • He used a gmail address which is strange because it doesn't help me figure out where he works. 

  • I have no way to do research on the company he works at to even see if regardless of this email that this company might be interesting to me. 

do_research_before_you_reach_out_in_the_sales_processOverall I am a really bad fit for this email. If you take anything away from this story please take these things away. 

1. Do your research. 

2. Never reach out to someone without explaining why you are reaching out and who you are. How are you relevant to them at all? 

3. Don't be generic. Don't say the same thing to everyone. Do your homework, do your research and show that you care about helping this person. 

4. Don't reach out to people who would never buy your product or service if the first place. 

5. Customize and personalize your outreach. It doesn't matter if you are leaving a vmail, a tweet to someone, an email...you must customize your outreach. 

Today's great sales rep would never send an email like this. 

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Topics: sales prospecting, smart prospecting, smart sales, today's sales rep, sales prospecting success stories, email marketing in sales, things not to do when prospecting

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