Making Bad Email Good
In the last two weeks I have received 513 unsolicited emails. 513 in 2 weeks. That’s almost 37 unsolicited emails a day. I know ’cause I just cleaned out my spam filter. Of those 513 unsolicited emails, I saw (as in observed the subject line) about 3 a day, or 42 total in that two weeks.
That means I saw just the subject line of less than 1% of the unsolicited emails I received in the past two weeks.
And of those that I saw the subject line, I opened one. I opened it just for this post. It is below.
(I received it through my website. I have X’d out any personal info from the sender, but changed nothing else.)
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Name: Stephanie XXXXXX
Message: Hi there, I hope you’re doing well.
I handle influencer relations for XXXXXXXXX. Great to meet you!
I stumbled across your account and thought your content would be perfect for us.
If you feel we’d make a good fit, I’d love to invite you to our referral program.
Use this link to visit, http://XXXXXXXXXXXX.com
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What is Good:
- She did reach out from my website
- She comes across as friendly, a bit perky, even.
- She compliments my content
What is Bad:
- She says she “stumbled’ across my “account”. What account? She emailed me via my website contact form.
- She has a generic email address, not one from the company she claims to represent.
- She tells me nothing about her business, or how my content is “a perfect fit”.
- She includes a link with no info about her business.
- Finally, the name in her email does not match the name after “Sincerely”. The name went from Stephanie to Judy.
Do not trust links that don’t match a business email URL. And if you are legitimate, you have an email address that matches your company’s URL (There are some exceptions).
It appears her (if it is a ‘her’) entire goal is to entice me to click her link. I won’t click it, ever. Too many malware programs floating around.
There will be no response to her because she doesn’t provide a reason to click. She demonstrated no knowledge of my business, she insulted my SEO efforts (even though she sent the email through my contact form), and she uses multiple names in the same email.
How to Get a Response to your Unsolicited Email
- In short, show me (or any recipient) you know about them and how you can help each other.
- If you can mention a mutual colleague, a referral, all the better.
- Show me you actually know about me.
- Show me you are familiar with my businesses, with the content on my site, or how we can work together.
- It is okay to include a link, just give me the reason to follow it.
- Proofread. Not just spelling, but make sure your grammar and punctuation are correct.
- Don’t use the words and phrases that put your email into the spam category.
- You want me to open your unsolicited email? Help me believe you’re legitimate with an email address that matches your business name.
And you’d better show all this in the Subject line.
Mass emailing is cheap per message, but when less than 1 percent are actually opened, and written as poorly as this example, what is the real cost in dollars, and reputation?
We are all inundated with unsolicited emails. I was both shocked and not surprised by the amount. But if you want to reach new customers by email, get to know them first, be relatable, be genuine, be engaging and be honest.
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