Email is a widely used prospecting tool but it is seldom used correctly or as effectively as it could be. Most sales people and small business owners make a variety of mistakes that prevent them from increasing their sales when using email to grow their business. Here are the top six mistakes they make that cost them money.

Mistake 1—Poor subject line
Never, ever reference your company name in a prospecting email. That’s the fastest way to make sure it doesn’t get read. Also, don’t mention something lame like your new website. Do I REALLY care about your new website? Does anyone other than your marketing team and the person who approved the budget care about it? I highly doubt it. A prospecting email must start with a great subject line that catches your contact person’s attention. Executives receive hundreds of emails every day and if your email has a dull or boring self-serving subject line, it’s going to get deleted without being opened or read.

Mistake 2—Asking me for feedback
Once again, I’m too busy to give you feedback on YOUR stuff. This is not a compelling way to capture and keep my attention. Because your email is a sales letter (which I have nothing against) I know that your request is simply an attempt to get me to click through your link. If you want your email to take action make sure that you address a specific problem my company is facing. Then, I might be compelled to follow through on your request.

Mistake3 —Generic approach
The statement, “It describes our services and success with companies just like...” tells me nothing about your product or service. While you or your marketing department might think that that is a creative and intriguing approach, it isn’t. If you really want to get my attention tell me what success have you achieved with other companies like mine. Show me that you have solution to one of my problems. Answer those issues and I will be more likely to click through.

Mistake 4—Using the wrong company name
If you are going to use a computer-generated list, make sure that your information-gathering system actually captures the right information. Otherwise, people will know that your email was mass-produced from a list or computer-generated list. Enough said.

Mistake 5—Ask me to sign up for a webinar (or other ‘pitch’)
Most senders do nothing to establish any type of value so why would I waste my time signing up for a webinar? Especially a webinar that I know is going to be sales pitch and may or may not be of value to me. Decision makers are far too busy to sit through a thinly veiled marketing pitch. Give people something of value and you will get a better response.

Mistake 6—Poor use of the P.S.
It is widely known that a P.S. at the end of a sales letter or email gets read. However, the P.S. statement in most emails focus entirely on the company and do nothing to make people want to click on one of the links in the email. Use a testimonial from a satisfied client or a result you achieved with a particular company instead.

Email is a great way to connect with potential prospects and companies—when it’s used as part of an overall campaign and when it is used properly. Avoid these blunders and improve your odds of successfully connecting with your prospect and increasing your sales.

© MMXI Kelley Robertson, All rights reserved.

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Author's Bio: 

Kelley helps people master their sales conversations so they can win more business and increase their sales. He does this by conducting sales training workshops and delivering keynote speeches at conferences, sales meetings and other events. Book Kelley for your next event: 905-633-7750