Sales Email Mistakes to Avoid

Melissa Till

Feb 22 2018

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Sales emails are amongst the most successful marketing strategies of all time. Using emails to generate new sales is highly cost-effective and has been statistically proven to outperform content marketing and SEO.

Compared to cold-calling, cold emailing is perceived as less intrusive and grants the potential customer more freedom. They might be too busy to pick calls, but with an email, they can choose to read and reply at their convenience.

However, this high success rate has proven to be a double-edged sword. The high popularity of the method implies that the average target customer receives numerous emails every day. With so much information constantly streaming into their inbox, there is always the possibility that your audience might treat some emails as spam – without even opening to check the content.

This means that the only way to succeed in cold emailing and sales email campaigns is to make sure that yours stand out, grabs the reader’s attention, and effectively translates into sales action. This might sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ll break down the process of drafting an excellent sales email that will result in higher sales for your business.

Target Audience

The first important consideration to determine who is the target audience for your sales emails. This is what will help you determine what to include in the email and even how to structure it. Sales emails targeted at prospects and leads differ from the ones you write for customers who are about to churn or renew. Draft your email appropriately to reflect the objective and suit the targeted recipient.

Tips for Creating a Captivating Sales Email

Subject Line

The subject line of your sales email should be short yet enticing. The objective here is to pique your reader’s interest and get them hooked so that they open the email and read on.

Opening Line

It might be tempting to start with a greeting and introduction. Fight the temptation and use a more interesting opening line. Start with something personal that will make the reader curious as to what you know about them. You could use a mutual connection, a congratulatory remark, or any other positive comment that will appeal to them.


Ask a personal question that shows you would like to improve some aspect of your prospect’s life. When they feel that you have their best interest at heart and have something of value to offer, that connection keeps them going.

Closing Copy

This should typically be a question that prompts a response from your prospect. It should be open-ended, allowing them the freedom to set an appointment, share their concerns or ask questions about the content you shared.


This might seem like a small part of the email, but it has a big impact. Avoid signatures that distract the reader from reading the content. Avoid corny statements or quotes. The simpler it is, the better. Use subtle colors and font and include your phone number.  You might also include a link to your professional profile on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Other important tips to remember when drafting your email include:

  • Keep it Brief

Write a straightforward email that goes directly to the point. Long emails are often ignored or even deleted as they are considered an unnecessary nuisance. Make sure it is also neat and clean and does not appear cluttered even on a smartphone screen.

  • Include a Call-to-Action

When drafting a sales email, you need to ask yourself the intention of your communication. The expected outcome of the email should inform your call-to-action. For instance, the objective could be to secure a meeting with the prospect, propose a date, time, and duration of the meeting.

  • Use Deadlines

A deadline is a helpful tool to ensure your email elicits a response. People tend to work better when there is a sense of urgency. Use this to your advantage, and you might be surprised at the effect. But be careful not to make it sound like an ultimatum. It should sound friendly but share a time limit.

  • Personalize Your Email

One point that is often overlooked is how far a little bit of research can go. Sure, most sales emails seem personalized, but actually tend to use general statements that appeal to a majority of people. However, if you take your time to really get to know a prospect’s behavior, you might learn lots more about them and use a real personal touch.

Find out what you can from their recent activities on social media or from their company’s news page. Be careful not to spook them out with too many personal details.

Mistakes to Avoid in Your Sales Emails

  • Do not share the same information that is accessible on your website. Make every argument unique, and add stats from current customers to show the value of your proposal.
  • Make sure your grammar is impeccable because errors portray a negative image.
  • Do not over-format your email. A cold email has to represent you accurately and take the place of a real conversation. Use bold type and italics appropriately. Note that overusing them will make the email seem unprofessional and jarred.
  • Do not use vague language. Clarity is of the utmost importance in a sales email. Do not make your prospect work to understand your objective. Be specific so that they do not require clarification of your intention.

Following Up with Customers

The success of your follow up email will depend on the right timing. You need to initiate a follow-up when there has been no response from your original email or after a trigger event like a new product launch or a meeting with a prospect. Avoid spam words like “just checking in” because these have been overused and have little effect. Make sure you have a clear objective for the communication in the first place as well as to generate an effective call-to-action.

Use Available Resources

Instead of creating a business email from scratch, you could use a suitable template from a reputable platform. There are a number of well-known brands that offer good sales email templates. These include Aweber, ConstantContact, Benchmark, Campaigner, GetResponse, and PinPointe.

These programs usually offer customization options that allow you to personalize the email for every intended prospect and avoid the impression of spam.


As mentioned in the introduction, the success or failure of a sales email depends on the approach you take. Take the above pointers into consideration when organizing your next email campaign, and you will be sure to experience a marked difference in the response from your target recipients!



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