Bad prospecting email. Learn from these mistakes.

I get a lot of prospecting emails – and a few of them are pretty good.  Most of them are really bad.  The email above is a typical example of a bad prospecting email.

Here are a few of the most egregious mistakes:

  1. Spelling error in the subject line.  Nice first impression!
  2. Poor writing.  This email was probably written by the inside sales rep, who I assume is working somewhere offshore.  I suspect that English is not his native language, so I can’t fault him because his English is far better than my writing in any non-English language.
  3. Thanked me for doing something I didn’t do.  The letter thanked me for reading this insightful Gartner report (incorrectly referenced as “…our Gartner’s Newsletter”), but I never read (or saw) the report.
  4. I’m responsible for what? The email indicates that I am responsible for “implementing and support of MS Dynamics AX ERP” – I am now concerned that I have been shirking my responsibilities because I wouldn’t know a “MS Dynamics AX ERP” if it bumped into me in the hallway.
  5. Wimpy call to action.  The call to action is for me to indicate whether it is possible for him to schedule a meeting next week.  Really?  How about, “Please let me know which of these times would work for a call…”?
  6. What is in it for me? You haven’t said anything about why I should give you 30 minutes of my time.  You just said that you were interested in learning about my organization.  Really?  If you are interested in learning the banjo, would you call me to give you lessons?

How do you fix this?  Try these suggestions:

  1. Templates.  The product marketing team should be developing follow-up templates that are free of spelling and grammar mistakes and proven to work.
  2. Use your behavioral data. You should know that I didn’t read your report.  If I didn’t read it, maybe you should reference it again and recommend that I take another look.
  3. Get your prospect data right.  You are clearly targeting the wrong person if I don’t know anything about this software.
  4. Have a clear, compelling, and easy call to action.  Make sure I know what’s in it for me – and make sure it is easy to respond.  If the goal is to schedule a meeting, use one of the great calendar tools that show your current free time and allow for one-click scheduling.

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