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Are These Common Email Mistakes Stopping You From Making Sales?

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Posted on May 01, 2017

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Email is the lifeblood of modern communication. Almost everyone who has Internet access has an email address, and emails can form a crucial component of the sales process in just about every industry imaginable.

However, there are a number of common mistakes that sales reps make when it comes to using email. These mistakes can be holding you back from making as many sales as you should be.

Avoid these five common mistakes and watch the results of your sales emails take flight: 

1. Writing excessively long and complex emails. Attention spans are at an all-time low. Peoples' inboxes are inundated with messages all day every day, especially the inboxes of sorts of decision-makers you are likely trying to reach. To cut through the noise you need to make your emails short, sharp, and to-the-point. Use simple words and sentences, avoid long paragraphs, and try to keep your emails short enough that they require minimal scrolling. Once you start the conversation with a short and simple email, you can always expand in future messages or over the phone. 

2. Not having a strong call to action. All sales emails - regardless of their stage in the sales cycle - should have a strong call to action. CTAs should explicitly spell out what action(s) you want the recipient to take. Don't fall into the trap of writing vague CTAs. Instead, be direct and confident about what your desired outcome is. 

3. Relying too heavily on automated sending platforms. Do you or your marketing team frequently send sales emails through automation applications like Marketo? If so, this could potentially be resulting in reduced open rates, clicks, and replies. Although these automated emails can often do a good job of appearing to be manually written and sent, there are a number of identifying features that your recipient's email provider can call upon to potentially filter your message and affect its performance. Your recipient may have deliberately configured rules in in their inbox to filter these automated messages. 

John San Pietro of SalesFolk recently provided me with a great explanation of this problem, and a good solution: "Due to the appearance of an [automated] marketing email (sent from Marketo tag, weird reply email tag, dirty IP) [these emails] have obvious indicators that people look for and choose to ignore - to ensure maximum deliverability and opens, use a sales prospecting tool, not a marketing one.  If you send emails through a sales prospecting platform, the email gets sent through the Gmail (or whatever) server it's attached to, instead of Marketo's mail servers." Thanks John!

Email automation platforms can be a fantastic tool, but it always pays to check that the solution you are using isn't having a negative impact on the deliverability and performance of your emails. 

4. Not checking your spelling and grammar. This is a basic one that doesn't need too much explanation. If you're not confident when it comes to correct spelling and grammar, then make sure you run your messages through a spell-checker first. A few minutes here can save you a lot of embarrassment after you hit the send button. 

Another thing to consider if sending bulk email is using a spam prevention tool like Mail Monitor, to ensure that your emails aren't being junked. 

5. Focusing on yourself and not the prospect/customer. One of the biggest mistakes sales reps make with email is a self-centered focus. This is where you write emails that focus excessively on what you have to offer, and not what's in it for your prospect or customer. Do your emails contain more uses of "I" than of "you"? If so, then you need to look at reworking your messages so they are focused as much as possible on the needs of the prospect. Try to rewrite sentences so that they focus on the "you" and not the "I". 


Avoid making these five common mistakes in your sales emails, and you'll be on your way to seeing better results from your efforts. The right approach to email can have a hugely beneficial impact on your sales efforts. 

Numerik is currently looking for participants for our Early Access program. If you're a B2B sales rep with targets you need to hit, then we want to hear from you. You'll be among the first to access to Numerik, with personalized training and advice to help you make more sales and hit your targets. Send a message to today to find out how to participate! 

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