What Most Businesses Miss While Creating Sales Emails

Illustration by Eda Ozturk via Dribbble

Have you ever received a sales email?

A flurry of thoughts run through your mind in a matter of seconds: to open or not to open. Even worse, your first thought might be to trash it. Lots of people, even when they open the email, might not respond.

For businesses, everything rises and falls on sales. Once your sales go down, your business is on the way down as well. That’s why sales emails should be thoughtfully crafted to give consumers a reason to respond and ultimately make a purchase.

Sales Email Common Mistakes to Avoid

Unfortunately, most businesses do not give enough thought to their sales email strategy. Here are some common mistakes people make which you should avoid.

#1. Sending Emails In Bulk Without Testing

Bulk emails, otherwise known as mass emails, are like a double-edged sword. From one perspective, it has several benefits. You can reach a large number of prospects and subscribers in one fell swoop.

On the other hand, it can do more harm than good. Bulk emails increase your chances of being flagged as spam. What’s more, it may be harder to achieve high levels of personalization with bulk emails. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. The secret is to test your bulk emails before hitting the send button. Testing allows you to see what works and what needs tweaking.

Some of the things you should test include the subject line, call to action, testimonials, personalization, the layout of messages, and images. For instance, what would work better as a call to action? Buy Now or See Pricing and Plans? That insight can help you create emails that convert. How about your subject line? Would a subject line like Product A on Sale or Discount on Product A work best? The answer is in your test results.

Sales Email A/B Testing
Illustration by Avantika via Dribbble

You can use software like Campaign Monitor or Active Campaign to set up and run your test. Neil Patel has an exhaustive guide on how to do A/B testing on your emails right.

#2. Not Targeting The Decision-Maker

On most websites, you’ll find the generic info@company.com as their contact email. But if you want quick and actionable responses, look for the decision-maker.

For instance, if you want to get a feature on a blog, the content manager is your best bet. If you are looking to sell SaaS software, the marketing person or IT manager might be your best bet. Finding the right person ensures that you don’t have to go through a long and winding process before your sale is approved.

In building your email list, only add contacts who are the decision-makers. You can find their emails on their company website. Simply go to the Staff section, and pick the employee’s email from their profile. If the email address isn’t listed there, use LinkedIn to find it. Simply search their name and send a request to connect.

Alternatively, use an Voila Norbert email ID finder. With your target’s name and website domain name, you should be able to find their address with ease.

#3. Weak Subject Line

It’s hard to recover from when you give someone the wrong first impression of your brand. With emails, your subject line is your first impression. Subject lines are a marketer’s secret to standing out in a crowded email. No wonder nearly 50% of marketers test different email subject lines to ensure high performance.

Most respondents receive several emails each day. Your sales emails have only a split-second to convince respondents, and the surest way is by having a strong headline. Here are some keys to creating a strong subject line:

 icon-angle-right Keep it short and sweet

As a general rule of thumb, your email subject line should not be more than 5. Subject lines that are too long are shortened, especially on mobile devices. With nearly 50% of the emails opened on mobile phones, use subject lines with less than 50 characters. Things like the name of the sender can be removed from the subject line since that would appear with an email anyway.

 icon-angle-right Use Verbs

Action verbs grab and keep the attention of email recipients. Avoid writing in the passive voice. In other words, as much as possible, avoid words like “was” and verbs ending in “-ed.”

 icon-angle-right Use Power Words

A few years ago, Campaign Monitor conducted a fascinating study. They collected a sample of 3,941,735,015 recipients from 360,872 campaigns and 11,207 lists in a bid to find the power words for email subject lines. Here are the 15 power words they found:

  • First name
  • Invitation
  • Introducing
  • We
  • A
  • Your / You / You!
  • Year, e.g., 2014
  • Update
  • New
  • Month name, e.g., June
  • Special / Specials
  • News
  • Sale / Sale!
  • Events
  • Offer / Offers

Use these words to get the attention of your subscribers.

 icon-angle-right The Right Timing

Another effective way to get your subscribers to open and respond to your email is to send it at the right time. Imagine a subject line that reads “Good Morning…” when it’s 6 pm: this kind of email won’t be taken seriously.

Sending emails with a subject line that touches on the subscriber’s pain points is likely to have a higher open and click-through rate. For instance, a food publication eater or a restaurant sending out emails at 6 pm with a subject line like “Ready to Dine? Here are Five Restaurants You Can Go to Right Now!’ is likely to have a higher open rate.

#4. Unclear Call To Action

One of the worst sins in creating sales emails is to have an unclear call to action. In such cases, the subscriber will be at a loss about what to click on what to do after reading your email.

In some cases, there are so many links and buttons to click that the subscriber closes the email. That’s why your emails should have a clear call to action. In fact, the entire content of your email should be designed around your CTA. Here are a couple of excellent CTA examples:

Bumble and Bumble’s sales email has a clear CTA. At the top, you’d notice that they are trying to get the subscriber to buy the package of 5 treats. There are other buttons available, but it’s more than clear that they want the subscriber to buy the package.

Bumble and Bumble’s sales email
Bumble and Bumble’s sales email

Let’s look at another example from Buzzsumo. They sent an email to their readers, announcing their partnership with Reddit. Instead of a “Buy Now” button, they use a “Subscribe Now” button to take away the reader’s attention from the cost and pricing. What’s more, they entice readers to subscribe by offering a free trial.

Buzzsumo Sales Email
Buzzsumo Sales Email

Sometimes you can leverage your email marketing strategy to push your social media channels. In such cases, your CTA could be for users to visit your social media platforms, follow and get a discount.

To streamline the entire process, use a title generator to help you create compelling titles that would resonate with your readers.

#5. Writing Too Much Body Content

Most people don’t have time to read sales emails. They skim, pick out the main points, and move on. Writing too much body content will make the reader even lazy to read your email. Once you develop a reputation for long and winding email, the reader might not ever open your emails again.

So, get straight to the point; don’t keep the reader guessing and wondering what the email is about. Keep the pleasantries short and brief. The body of your email should only cover the salient points of your message. Keep your paragraphs short and sweet. Ideally, each paragraph should be 3-4 sentences or less. That way, your email is skim-ready and delightful to read.

#6. Grammatical Mistakes

A few years ago, Kylie Wiens, co-founder and CEO of iFixit, wrote an article titled “I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar.” In the article, he explained that people who make simple grammar mistakes are not likely to be meticulous, cautious, and diligent.

Similarly, when you send emails full of grammar mistakes, your emails won’t be taken seriously. Grammatical errors are a big turn-off for business leaders and professionals. Sadly, many people make these mistakes in their emails. Here are some of the common grammar mistakes people make in emails:

  • Misspelled Words: From absence to success, several English words are often misspelled. A spellchecker may not be able to catch some of these incorrectly spelled words. To avoid such mistakes, always proofread your emails before sending them. You can get someone else to look at them as well. Sometimes, it’s best to rest for a while and come back later with a fresh set of eyes to look at it.
  • Poor Punctuation: You’d be surprised at how many emails have horrible punctuations. For instance, many people, because of social media, now use shorthands and ignore punctuations. But for a professional sales copy, poor punctuation is almost unforgivable.
  • Vague Words: To sound like experts, some people use big vocabulary in their emails. Unfortunately, this strategy always backfires. People don’t have time to look for the meaning of words in a dictionary. Sometimes the words are not even difficult to understand, but the context they are used is vague.
  • Wrong Capitalization: Simple things like not capitalizing the first word of a sentence or capitalizing proper nouns can be a put-off for some. Make sure that capitalization is done right throughout your email. Even headings and subheadings should also follow capitalization rules.
  • Misspelled Names: If you want your email recipient to like you, make sure you spell their names correctly. Some names have unusual spellings and unique features like accents. If you have doubts, copy and paste their names from their websites or LinkedIn profile. That way, there’s no chance of making a mistake.

Use grammar tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway Editor to simplify your writing and eliminate all grammatical errors.

#7. Incorrect Messaging

Sending the right message to the wrong person or the wrong message to the right person has dire impacts on your future sales. Readers would think that you are not meticulous and they would ignore subsequent emails.

Go every length to ensure that your emails have the right message. Your email’s subject line, body, and CTA should convey the same message. For instance, it would not be the best to have a subject line like Special Discount Offer only to make no mention of the discount in your email’s body.

Furthermore, take into account your recipient’s interest, culture, and pet peeves. What works well for one demographic may be totally off-putting to another. Craft your emails with generational gaps in mind. What excites the millennial generation and Gen Zers may not even tick Gen Xers.

Bottom line

Sales emails are a great way to reach a broad audience, create awareness, and sell your product. Your sales emails should help lead generation and conversions. But there are so many things people lose sight of when sending emails. In this article, we’ve shared some of the mistakes people make with sales emails and how you can avoid them.

Review your email templates and see if there are any such mistakes. If there are, fine-tune your email to make it perfect for your audience.

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