1. You’re too boring. This is number one because I honestly feel that it is the most common mistake. When you finish your email just read the darn thing. If you find it boring, then you have a problem. Reading anything you write and describing it as boring means the person reading the email would be ready to fall asleep. It might take a lot of work but try to take the boring email and completely redefine it. Make it compelling, interesting, funny, etc… When you master this, the email will manage to embody several of these. It is usually better to just shoot for one.

2. Burying the message: In journalism, the most important or most interesting aspect of an article is referred to as your “lead.” When you write an article and put that “lead” at the end or somewhere other than the top, it is referred to as “burying your lead.” Do not “bury your lead.” Put it as close to the top of the article as you humanly can. By doing this, the reader will continue reading and continue to follow you as you progress through your work.

3. Personalization failure. If you have received an email saying “Dear _______ ” then you know exactly what this feels like. Each and every email you make for an important client should be directly tailored toward them. Showing your interest in them invites them to do the same.

4. All the solicitation emails. Perhaps the most frustrating thing in the world is to constantly receive emails telling you to buy the same product or purchase a product that has no special deal attached to it. Never do this to your clients. Send them interesting emails, emails that tell them about current deals, or emails telling them about things to come in the future. Sending them solicitation emails will annoy them and make them feel that you are only after their money.

5. Stating the obvious: You are wasting your time when you send out an email that includes basic knowledge that everyone on your list or in your niche already knows. It is fine if it is going somewhere or pointing them to some elaborate point, but reading boring information they already know is likely to frustrate them and encourage them to delete the message.

6. Not being precise: Connecting several points in an email and putting them together to spark interest and promote excitement from the reader is fine, but when it comes to selling the opposite is true. Do not try to push two separate products in the same email. Each product deserves its space and description so pushing them together can be more trouble than it’s worth. More importantly, it creates an unneeded battle in the reader’s head as to which product they need more or which product they deserve at this point in time.

7. The wrong time vs. the right time: It is always a good idea to explore the responses you receive at different times. For example, you might send an email every Thursday at 9:00 a.m. and receive very little feedback, while your email at 9:00 p.m the same day gets tons of feedback. The amount of feedback depends on your audience, and you will only find the perfect time when you gradually shift from hour to hour.

8. Inspire some action. A huge problem for any business comes when they fail to encourage an action based response from their audience. For example, saying “click here” to “learn more” is like telling someone to act for an unknown reason. Saying “click here to fix the problem” is better than using the words “learn more.” The goal is to make sure they know what they are getting when they click.

Joshua Shoemaker


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