Over the years, I've reviewed and rewritten hundreds of sales and marketing emails. I've also received thousands of them and, since it's my radar, I immediately notice what they're doing wrong. 

Anyway, I started out writing a post about how much I dislike the phrase "We're excited to announce..." but decided instead to provide an omnibus of sales-y words and phrases that are best avoided. (I've done this before but I've greatly expanded the list.)

Some of the items below are simply bad writing, others are out-of-date, and still others are strategic mistakes of the "oops, I accidentally told the truth" variety. With each item, I've included a brief reason why you should avoid it.

  1. "Are you the decision-maker?" Why: slightly insulting.
  2. "But wait, there's more!" Why: Hackneyed. OK, if being ironic, tho.
  3. "Buy now and save." Why: Way corny.
  4. "Can I send you some information?" Why: Nobody wants more information.
  5. "Can I tell you about...?" Why: See #4.
  6. "Could you direct me to the right point of contact?" Why: You're being a pest.
  7. "...offer you a discount." Why: "discount" implies cheap (in the bad sense.)
  8. "Limited-Time Offer" Why: Obviously manipulative.
  9. "Do you have budget for this?" Why: Too crude in "me want make sale" way.
  10. "Does that make sense?" Why: Too obviously fishing for a "yes" to build momentum.
  11. "Feel free to call me at..." Why: People know salespeople will take their calls.
  12. "For more information..." Why: Again, nobody wants more information."
  13. "Frankly,..." Why: So, you were lying up until now?
  14. "Have you heard about us?" Why: If you have to ask, they haven't.
  15. "Highest quality..." Why: Unprovable and everybody says it so, meh.
  16. "How are things going?" Why: Fake friendliness is a big turnoff.
  17. "How are you doing today?" Why: See #16.
  18. "I don't want to waste your time." Why: Then why are you wasting it?
  19. "Industry-Leading" Why: See #15.
  20. "I haven't heard back from you." Why: Sounds like you're blaming them.
  21. "I hope you're doing well." Why: See #16.
  22. "I thought you might be the right person to connect with." Why: They're not.
  23. "I wanted to..." Why: Who care what you, a stranger, wants?
  24. "I'd like to..." Why: See #23
  25. "I'd love to..." Why: See #24.
  26. "I'm reaching out to..." Why: Too biz-blabby.
  27. "World-class" Why: Unprovable and basically meaningless.
  28. "I've sold..." Why: Reminds people you're in sales. Bad move.
  29. "I've been selling..." Why: See #28
  30. "If I don't hear back from you..." Why: Sounds like a threat." 
  31. "If you have any questions..." Why: Wrongly assumes they're interested.
  32. "Is this a good time to connect?" Why: It's not.
  33. "Just checking in..." Why: Smacks of gotta-make-the-sale desperation.
  34. "Just touching base to..." Why: See #33.
  35. "Money-back guarantee." Why: Cheesy and dated.
  36. "New and improved!" Why: See #35.
  37. "Obviously,..." Why: You just insulted the reader. 
  38. "Satisfaction guaranteed." Why: See #33.
  39. "Sorry to bother you." Why: Then why are you bothering them?
  40. "Thank you for your time." Why: If you need to say it, you wasted their time.
  41. "To be honest..." Why: Implies that you haven't been honest.
  42. "Trust me." Why: Only liars feel the need to say this. (E.g. Trump)
  43. "We are excited to announce..." Why: Nobody cares if YOU are excited.
  44. "We can save you money." Why: Too obvious.
  45. "What do I have to do to get your business?" Why: Sounds too scripted. Also corny.
  46. "What if I said you could..." Why: See #45.
  47. "Why pay more?" Why: Hackneyed.
Published on: Aug 14, 2018
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