Delete Button

10 reasons why I deleted your sales email before finishing the first sentence

Marketers and inside sales professionals have access to powerful and affordable marketing and data automation technologies, but that doesn’t guarantee good email marketing. In fact, I would even say it is getting worse because it is just so easy, cheap, and tempting to send out massive amount of emails without due care. When you combine low quality lead database with email marketers who don’t care enough to do it right, you are literally better off not sending those marketing and sales emails at all. Why you ask? Because when prospects receive emails that are bad and off target, they do the following:

  • Unsubscribe
  • Mark it as spam
  • Immediately delete future emails from you

If I were indeed a good prospect for you, the fact that you did not put enough care into sending your first marketing or sales email to me would make me immediately disengaged. Personally, I don’t mind reading mass non-personalized email, as long as it is honest about what it is, contains information I’m interested in, and gets to the point.

Here are 10 examples of actual emails I have received in the last 90 days that I deleted before getting past the first sentence.

1.   Dear {first_name}, …

Seriously? In this age of marketing and data automation technology you cannot filter out lead records without usable first names?

2.   Dear Edward, …

The only people who call me Edward are my banks, my alma maters, the government, and mass marketers who have terrible lists. Come to think of it, even my alma maters’ emails now address me as Ed since that’s what I put down on my annual donation forms.

3.   Dear ***, …

Maybe Edward isn’t so bad.

4.   Dear King, …

Please, don’t be so formal.

5.   Dear Ed, As VP of Marketing at Axway …

I left Axway over 2 years ago to found Openprise. This email was delivered to my personal Gmail address. Not only it is simple to find out I no longer work at Axway, it is not very difficult to find out my current work email address. Time to update your database.

6.   Dear Ed, Is cyber security a top priority for Neohapsis? …

This is another email sent to my personal Gmail address. It got me past the first nine words, then it all fell apart. Three problems here:

  • I worked at Neohapsis over 3 jobs ago, so this is seriously outdated data.
  • Neohapsis was acquired by Cisco last year.
  • Neohapsis was a security consulting firm.

Not only your database should be up-to-date, you need to have industry segmentation context. Don’t try to sell ice to the Eskimos.

7.   Dear Ed, As CEO of Jasper …

No, that would be Jahangir Mohammed. This year my registration for DreamForce was screwed up, so the company name that showed up on my badge was Jasper, even thought my email was the correct Openprise email. A few companies that sent me follow up emails after the conference caught the inconsistency and corrected the mistake, but the majority didn’t bother to validate the accuracy of their scanned data.

8. Dear Ed, Acme is the leading endpoint security …

I believe you are looking for our IT folks. Know the recipient’s industry, job function, and job level if you want your message to be relevant.

9. Dear Ed, As a global enterprise …

Openprise aspires to be a global enterprise one day, but we are not quite there yet. Check your company size segmentation data.

10. Dear Ed, Do you want more revenue? …

The answer is obviously no, so I stopped reading.


Marketers can get so caught up with designing and running campaigns, they often don’t put enough efforts into building and improving the quality of their lead database. As a result, the campaigns can become ineffective, or even have negative impact, resulting in the loss of otherwise good leads. Inside sales and sale development reps can become so focused on how many touches they do each day and completely ignore the quality of the touches. Yes, it can be a number’s game, but a higher response rate on less total volume can work out better than low response rate on high volume. A little more effort researching your leads can be a good investment. Quality leads are hard to come by, so don’t waste them.

Data automation solutions like Openprise and data enrichment services like Bombora and can ensure your lead database is of the highest possible quality and stays that way. Isn’t it time for you to take a hard look at how good your lead database is?

Leave a comment