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Ryan McGuire

These four tips for sales emails should be avoided at all costs.

There’s no shortage of advice these days when it comes to doing sales, and more and more of those tips are about the best ways to contact prospective customers via email.

But as with any other industry, not all advice is useful, and some of it’s downright harmful. In fact, there are a number of widely accepted myths about sales emails that are actually untrue and, if followed, can ruin a perfectly good sales strategy.

These bits of advice can come from anywhere: friends, colleagues, even a boss who’s ill-informed. But whatever the source, it’s wise to avoid buying into the myths, so you can build lasting relationships with potential and current customers—the ultimate goal of any salesperson.

Here are four pieces of sales advice you definitely want to avoid when planning your next sales email campaign.

1. The more emails sent, the better.

When it comes to sales, the more emails you send or cold calls you make, the more successful you’ll be as a salesperson, right? Wrong. If you have an ineffective approach, doing it at scale will just piss off your prospective customers and win you a bad reputation. Sending 1,000 emails to a wide list instead of 500 to a carefully researched one will not guarantee you more responses. Even if it does, those responses won’t be of very high quality.

Instead, create an effective strategy before you scale it. This means before you ever draft, you should consider your audience, research their concerns and craft a message that will appeal to them. A/B test different subject lines and benefits to find what works best for your audience. From there, you can send a small batch, collect results, and scale up over time.

2. Only send one-off emails.

But even if blasting people with crappy emails is ineffective, you shouldn’t just send a one-off email and leave it at that. The rookie mistake here is to assume a one-off message is automatically more thoughtful and personalized, which isn’t true. You can send a one-off email that’s just as bad as a mass one.

To avoid this, use traditional cold email practices, but don’t be afraid to use templates as well. You can still send a targeted, thoughtful email that feels one-on-one, but is much more scalable and expedient when used as a template that can be modified for future audiences.

3. Follow up frequently.

This tip is actually true. With cold email, you should send around eight emails to fully increase your chances of getting a response. However, this doesn’t mean you should hammer the recipient over the head with redundant emails that offer them no benefit. Who wants to respond to that?

Instead, every email in your sequence should contain a benefit that truly adds value. Vary your message’s length, tone and style to avoid sounding boring or obnoxious. Be thoughtful in your approach by focusing on the audience and their situation. What can you do for them? You’re much more likely to get a response if you can show your reader it’s not a one-sided conversation.

4. Personalization means using custom tags.

Personalizing your emails can go a long way towards gaining customers, but not all personalization is the same. Simply adding custom inserts such as !First or !Company, or mentioning you read something on the reader’s LinkedIn won’t necessarily make your emails effective. In fact, it can come off as obvious and disingenuous.

Personalization is less about using names and unique callouts and more about relevant benefits and a compelling message. You want your emails to truly resonate with your audience. Ask yourself, What are their hopes, fears, and dreams? What is it they truly care about, and how can I make this a deeper, more meaningful conversation? This will help personalize your emails in a way that will get you the kinds of results that lead to more meaningful conversations and lasting sales relationships.

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Ryan McGuire

These four tips for sales emails should be avoided at all costs.

There’s no shortage of advice these days when it comes to doing sales, and more and more of those tips are about the best ways to contact prospective customers via email.

But as with any other industry, not all advice is useful, and some of it’s downright harmful. In fact, there are a number of widely accepted myths about sales emails that are actually untrue and, if followed, can ruin a perfectly good sales strategy.

These bits of advice can come from anywhere: friends, colleagues, even a boss who’s ill-informed. But whatever the source, it’s wise to avoid buying into the myths, so you can build lasting relationships with potential and current customers—the ultimate goal of any salesperson.

Here are four pieces of sales advice you definitely want to avoid when planning your next sales email campaign.

1. The more emails sent, the better.

When it comes to sales, the more emails you send or cold calls you make, the more successful you’ll be as a salesperson, right? Wrong. If you have an ineffective approach, doing it at scale will just piss off your prospective customers and win you a bad reputation. Sending 1,000 emails to a wide list instead of 500 to a carefully researched one will not guarantee you more responses. Even if it does, those responses won’t be of very high quality.

Instead, create an effective strategy before you scale it. This means before you ever draft, you should consider your audience, research their concerns and craft a message that will appeal to them. A/B test different subject lines and benefits to find what works best for your audience. From there, you can send a small batch, collect results, and scale up over time.

2. Only send one-off emails.

But even if blasting people with crappy emails is ineffective, you shouldn’t just send a one-off email and leave it at that. The rookie mistake here is to assume a one-off message is automatically more thoughtful and personalized, which isn’t true. You can send a one-off email that’s just as bad as a mass one.

To avoid this, use traditional cold email practices, but don’t be afraid to use templates as well. You can still send a targeted, thoughtful email that feels one-on-one, but is much more scalable and expedient when used as a template that can be modified for future audiences.

3. Follow up frequently.

This tip is actually true. With cold email, you should send around eight emails to fully increase your chances of getting a response. However, this doesn’t mean you should hammer the recipient over the head with redundant emails that offer them no benefit. Who wants to respond to that?

Instead, every email in your sequence should contain a benefit that truly adds value. Vary your message’s length, tone and style to avoid sounding boring or obnoxious. Be thoughtful in your approach by focusing on the audience and their situation. What can you do for them? You’re much more likely to get a response if you can show your reader it’s not a one-sided conversation.

4. Personalization means using custom tags.

Personalizing your emails can go a long way towards gaining customers, but not all personalization is the same. Simply adding custom inserts such as !First or !Company, or mentioning you read something on the reader’s LinkedIn won’t necessarily make your emails effective. In fact, it can come off as obvious and disingenuous.

Personalization is less about using names and unique callouts and more about relevant benefits and a compelling message. You want your emails to truly resonate with your audience. Ask yourself, What are their hopes, fears, and dreams? What is it they truly care about, and how can I make this a deeper, more meaningful conversation? This will help personalize your emails in a way that will get you the kinds of results that lead to more meaningful conversations and lasting sales relationships.

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