Over the years, most salespeople will develop an inner new business self that warns them, “Don’t send this email.” Then again, some don’t.

I know that not everyone does but I enjoy getting sales emails. Really. They are sometimes quite good, which is educational, and sometimes cringeworthy, which is also educational. Either way, I hold onto the best and worst.

I got one recently and, in the spirit of new business improvement, want to share it with you and break down some issues.

In terms of new business development and your prospecting emails, always put yourself in the prospect’s place.

Before you hit send ask yourself:

If I received this email, would I immediately delete it?

Any time you write a prospecting email, keep this thought foremost in your mind.

So, here’s the email:

Subject Line: More Leads

Good morning,

May I ask?

Is increasing your businesses visibility and generating more leads important to your business?

Would you like to quickly explore, via email, if a larger conversation makes sense?

Please let me know what you decide.

Thanks for considering,

Overall, I like the length, but this is an awkward email.  It’s also a bit confusing and thus ineffective.

Based on how generic the copy is it’s obvious this person hasn’t done their homework. In writing it to apply to so many types of prospects, it simply doesn’t stand out as relevant. On top of being ineffective, the email is forgettable.

They needed that inner self to lay down the hammer: don’t send this email.

Now to break it down:

Subject Line= More Leads

 -No issue with the subject line. For the right prospect, it’s short, to the point and of interest.

Good morning,

-While there’s nothing inherently wrong here, I personally don’t like to use time-specific greetings because you never know when someone will open your email.

May I ask?

-Completely unnecessary filler.  It’s also where the awkwardness starts.  I get the intent, you’re asking permission, but it’s an email, just get to it.

Is increasing your business’s visibility and generating more leads important to your business?

-The answer (again, for the right prospect) is of course “yes.” And because it’s yes, I find this overly sales-ey and slightly insulting. Instead of asking this question, make it a declarative statement instead:

We help B2B companies increase their businesses visibility and generate more leads.

(By the way, I only know they help B2B companies because of the email protocol, otherwise, would have had no idea.  Which I’ll get to in a moment.)

Would you like to quickly explore, via email, if a larger conversation makes sense?

-I’m not sure what this means. How would we “explore via email?”  Again, cut to the chase.  Just ask for the initial conversation.

Please let me know what you decide.

-This is just awful. Why would I do that?  I want to email you back and say “I’ve decided “no.”  Thanks for shopping.

Just leave this out completely.

Thanks for considering,

-Perfectly acceptable.

Here’s the other overall problem-I have no idea who you work for, who you help or what you do.

Therefore, I have zero interest.

I was asked a question about the importance of leads, so I can guess what it is this company does, but I shouldn’t have to guess.

Remember-always put yourself in the prospect’s place.