I don’t want you falling into the trap of bad prospecting emails. You know what I’m talking about, you’ve received plenty of them. 

This is the final installment in this Email Prospecting blog series. Did you miss one? Find the links here:

Part I. 10-Step Checklist for Prospecting Emails 

Part II. Email Phrases You SHOULD Use

Part III. Ground Rules for Prospecting with Email

There are plenty of gaffes that can alienate a prospect. I want to help you avoid them at all costs

1. “I or me.” 

“I” and “Me” cannot be the focus of the email. It’s about the prospect. 

I love getting prospecting emails so I can play a little game.  I’ll go through and count the number of times the person says “I” or “me”. It can be a lot.

Leave the personal pronouns for family emails, and just go ahead and send them to your website if they must know more about you. 

You have to make sure that the email is about them.

2. “Just checking in…”

Excuse me, but “just checking in” is what I normally do at a hotel. 

If somebody sends me an email that says they’re just checking in, I want to call them back up and say, “You know what, I’m sorry, but your room is not ready. Check back in about three years, would you?” 

Just checking in is dumb. What that says is you don’t have anything of additional value to share. 

3. “In case you missed my earlier email…” 

There are plenty of other versions of this phrase. If you’re writing this, you are being lazy and you’re confirming to the prospect that you send bad emails. In fact, they probably saw the first email, thought it was bad, and chose not to respond. 

You can do better than that. 

Bring new value with each prospecting email you send out.

4. “I’m sure you didn’t get time to read this.” 

People are not sitting around waiting to read your bad emails, I get that, but now you’re calling it out to them? 

If you can’t bring more value, don’t send the email. Don’t recycle or resend the same message. 


5. “Give me a heads up when you’re ready to talk.”

Excuse me, why are you wasting my time? Bring me more value to create a sense of urgency as to why I should call you. 

I have a lot of people who will send me those notes. And you know what, I’m never going to reach out to them. Why should I? 

Your message should motivate the customer to engage with you.

6. “This will be the last email I send you.” 

The proverbial breakup email. Some might profess they get a very high response from an email like this. I hear this all the time. 

Here’s the argument, however. You may get a high response rate, but do they convert? 

My whole goal with a prospecting email is to set you up to become a customer, not to have a conversation with me that doesn’t go anywhere. 

I have people who will consult me, “Hey Mark, we sent that email out, the open rate was amazing, and we’ve gotten an amazing response.” I say, “Great. Terrific. What percentage has gone on to convert?” 

And I always wind up with, “We don’t know.” 

It just doesn’t happen. You see, it may create a high engagement rate, but it doesn’t create a conversion rate, which is what you really want.


7. “How’s your day going?”

 In an email, this question is worse than it is on a phone call. 

Why do you care about how my day is going? You really don’t. Be honest, you don’t. 

Don’t waste time. This is not the first time your prospect has ever received an email. They’re not going to want to respond to a, “How are you?”

8. “How’s business?” 

Again, why should I tell you? Why should I share with you? 

Don’t waste people’s time on things that they know you don’t care about. 

9. “I’m not sure you’re the right person I should be emailing.” 

I’ve had plenty of people say, “This really works, it helps me breakthrough.” 

This is a desperate email. It simply doesn’t fly. 

Instead, do your homework and you’ll create engagement. 

10. Trying to be funny or cute. 

You may think you’re funny or cute, but the person receiving it doesn’t. This is neither the time, nor the era, to sit there and think, “I’m going to try to crack a joke on this.” 

It just does not work and could make a terrible impression. Remember, it only takes one negative interaction to tank your reputation with a prospect. 

That could take a long time to rebuild!


I hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of the Do’s and Don’ts of Email Prospecting. We recently went in-depth on this subject in my Email Prospecting Masterclass. Enrollment is now closed for that course, but members of The Sales Hunter University can access it at any time! 

In fact, choose Level 3 – All Access and get all past and future Masterclasses, in addition to live coaching, office hours with me, and an invitation to an exclusive online community. 

My next Masterclass going LIVE in July teaches about your Ideal Customer Profile. 

Many of our members also look forward to the Weekly Sales Kickoff emails they receive with great tips, information, and motivation.

Check out The Sales Hunter University, and see which Level is for you.


How are you doing with your annual plan?

The 2nd half is here, and I want you to make your number. Correction, I want you to blow your annual number away!

This is the reason I’ve teamed up with Meridith Elliott Powell, my co-host on the Sales Logic podcast, to help you.  We get asked to coach people every week, so we’re making it easy for you to join us. 

Don’t wait, jump in now! Join the Mastermind here. 

Copyright 2021, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog.  Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.


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