Business advice and education, Startup Advice

What not to do when cold emailing potential clients

Dominic Powell /

Getting a response from your email prospecting can be hard work, so it’s worth spending some time to make your pitch to stand out above the rest.

However, there are a number of common traps and pitfalls business owners and marketers can fall into, according to sales strategist and Sales Strategy Academy founder Marc Wayshak.

Read more: Cold emailing? Here are the best sign-offs to make sure you get a response

Writing for Entrepreneur, Wayshak highlighted five tips for avoiding the “deadly” mistakes he sees salespeople and businesses make when trying to land more clients via email.

1. Keep it short and sweet

Wayshak claims cold emails are not the place to educate potential clients on the history of your product or business, and advises to keep emails short and to the point.

“Prospects simply don’t have the bandwidth to read a long email from someone they don’t even know! Instead, your only goal should be to elicit a response — and you can do that with just four-to-five sentences,” he says.

2. Don’t sound like a salesperson, be yourself

“The most surefire way to have your email deleted right away is to sound like a stuffy salesperson,” says Wayshak.

“Instead, write as if you’re simply talking to a friend. Take out any buzzwords, fancy language or “sirs” and “ma’ams.” Simply be yourself, and you’ll be much more likely to get a response.”

3. Personalise your emails

While sending out one email to multiple potential clients can be a win for time-saving, Wayshak says many clients will see straight through your ploy.

“Don’t try to save time by sending the same email to all your prospects,” he says.

“Write very personalised emails, with details like the recipient’s first name and company to show that you’ve done your homework and care about them — individually — as potential customers.”

4. Add some value

What are you offering that can be useful to this potential client? Is it an exclusive deal, or an informative article? Wayshak says these things could be what stops your email from getting swept up with the masses.

“Stand out from the never-ending stream of emails in your prospects’ inboxes by offering something of real value. What’s actually useful in their world?,” Wayshak says.

5. Don’t forget the hook

It doesn’t matter if you think you’ve got a prospect line and the sinker, Wayshak says forgetting the hook can leave your email floundering like a fish out of water. He advises to never end an email with a statement, and instead leave the reader with a short question.

“End every email with a question that prompts a reply,” he says.

“A short question like, “Does this make sense in your world?” or “Where should I send this book?” will make it easy for your prospect to hit “reply” and type out a response. That’s exactly what you’re looking for.”

This article was originally published on SmartCompany.

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Dominic Powell

Dominic is the former features and profiles editor at SmartCompany.

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