Today we’re talking email fails in our 30th episode of 3 Takeaways.

These are real sales emails I’ve gotten recently that I hope will serve as road signs to help guide you in your new business program.

We all get the generic, cute, and ineffective emails from salespeople, but this first example was just irritating.

It was like that Seinfeld episode where several characters speak about themselves in the third person. Specifically George.

That was me: LEE IS GETTING UPSET!!!

Here’s your first takeaway: Don’t be condescending in your sales emails.

That should be self-evident, right?

Well here’s the first line from the email: Lee, I’m in back to back meetings all day, but I wanted to take the time to send over a quick intro.

May seem harmless, but what irked me to no end was the sense of self-importance this guy has. Or is trying to project at least.

It’s very impressive that you’re in meetings all day, and you’re willing to take the time and talk to me (insert sarcasm)?

The sales tactic here is apparently, “I’m really very important and busy, but I’m willing to give you some of my precious time,”

Don’t use tactics like this in your prospecting.  It’s condescending.

This next example didn’t fire me up, I just don’t think it works.

Take a look at the last line of this sales email: Can you set aside 15 minutes from your busy schedule for an intro call next week?

First, why point out the obvious?  You are correct, my schedule is busy, everyone’s is busy.

Enter your second takeaway: Don’t ruin a good email by ending in a position of weakness.

This person is essentially doing the opposite of the previous email: rather than coming across as a pompous ass, this salesperson is ending the email in a position of weakness.

Almost like, maybe if this prospect feels a little sorry for me they’ll take the bait.

You don’t want them to feel sorry, you want them to see the value in a conversation. Be assertive.

And it was actually a really good sales email up to that point, but then at the very end, I got a whiff of Dobby the Elf desperation. And maybe desperation is too strong a word, but just by dropping that word, busy, your ending is so much better.

It would read: Can you set aside 15 minutes from your schedule for an intro call next week?

And lastly, a final example from the sad, sad emails file, and your third takeaway-don’t highlight your important points, especially not in multiple colors.

(You’ll have to watch the video to see the example-go on, it’s worth it.)

This is just a hot mess. I’m getting a Skittles, Taste The Rainbow feeling with this email.

You really shouldn’t highlight anything ever in a sales email. Don’t do it.

I’ve touched on this topic previously, and in pointing out all of the above, I’m definitely not trying to put myself out there as the master of emails, far from it, but it’s always good to take a step back and look at what you’re sending and how it might be coming across.

Thanks for watching- more useful agency new business content at the URL below and see you next time.

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Lee McKnight Jr
VP of Sales at RSW/US
I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at lee@rswus.com. What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.