Over the past year or so, I've gotten a series of emails from a local ATT B2B sales rep. They've all been variations of the email below, which is (other than being mercifully short) truly a heinous example of what NOT to do in a  cold email:

Why This Cold Email Stinks

  1. The subject line is too long. Worse, it contains two demands: 1) that I respond to the email and 2) that I participate in a discussion. It's very weird sales psychology to think that it's appropriate to make demand on prospects from the first moment you communicate with them. 
  2. This common segue cliche is an exaggeration that borders on being a bald-face lie. Since "Brad" does not know me, he can't possibly be interested in my health, except insofar as it serves his agenda of trying to sell me something. It immediately flags him as a phony (at worst) and unimaginative (at best).
  3. Why would I care about Brad's title or responsibilities at this point? In addition, the "solutions executive" is one of those phony "let's pretend we're not salespeople" titles. 
  4. Using the term "responsibility" here is implying that Brad will "take responsibility" for some part of my business. But, again, this is phony because I  knows that he's the sales rep assigned to my region, not an "solutions executive" with "responsibility" for helping me.
  5. Terms like "best and most complete" are unsubstantiated claims. "Best" according to whom? "Most complete" by what standards? Am I supposed to believe Brad just because he says something is true? I might, if we had a long history of doing business together and I had learned to trust him. But we haven't and I don't.
  6. If Brad had bothered to do any research, he'd know that Geoffrey James LLC is simply, well, me. Because his entire email is obviously intended for a larger organization, it's clear that he simply got my business name from a purchased list, probably from the NH state business license registry.
  7. WTF? Brad asks for a favor ("I would appreciate") as if I'm somehow beholden to him. Why would I care about his emotions? Why would I seek his "appreciation?" At this point, he's still just some dude who's SPAMming me.
  8. Now Brad asks for a HUGE block of my time. He apparently expects me to dedicate 30 minutes (for which I charge a client $500) so that he can give me his SALES PITCH. Absolutely crazy, considering his email up to this point has contained no reason  to continue reading it, let alone commit time to learning more.
  9. What's with the capitalization here? Not to mention the Ampersand ("&")? Weird.
  10. Sigh. Another unsupported claim ("ATT is a leader") made even funnier by the idea that ATT is good at "business communication" when this particular email is totally lame at communicating with a business.
  11. OMG, here it is: the good ol' "feel free to" phraseology. Not only does it sound like it's straight out of a 1930s brochure, the entire idea--that I need his permission to help him do his job--is ludicrous. 
  12. The request to forward the email constitutes an additional "call-to-action" which confuses his REAL call-to-action, which is for me to contact him. Both calls-to-action are verbose and poorly communicated. He should have ended the email with a YES/NO question call-to-action (thereby initiating a conversation) because that's the most likely way to get a reply to a cold email.
  13. Oy. Brad apparently thinks that he's made such a strong case in this horrible little email that he's counting on me to contact him. As Yoda might say: "when hell freezes over that happen will." 
  14. "Sincerely" -- ROFLMAO
Published on: Mar 20, 2018
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