Another bad prospecting email...

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Ashley, Ashley, Ashley…what are we going to do with you?

First of all, one of my least favorite subject lines is “Appropriate Contact?”  If I look through my inbound email pitches, this is – by far – the most frequent subject line.  It’s just lazy and uncreative.  And I don’t have time to respond to your request to help you do your job, I’m extremely busy and important – I need to spend my valuable time writing blog posts about your failed email pitches.

Unfortunately, the bad subject line is the least of the problems with this particular volley from Ashley.  The biggest issue is that I have no idea what Ashley is talking about.  I don’t know what she sells.  I don’t remember ever getting an email from her – we have an aggressive SPAM filter that weeds out many of these pitches.  But even if I did know what she was talking about, does she expect me to make the pitch to the right person inside my company?  Does she think I am best equipped to deliver her value proposition?

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Ashley’s pitch.

How should she have done it?  Here’s my recommendation to all the Ashleys out there:

  1. Come up with an original subject line.  Make it professional, but please don’t overuse the same subject lines that screams form letter to me.
  2. Tell me why I should forward it.  Maybe there is a value proposition to my company that I should know about.  Even if I’m not the right person, I care about the health of my company and if you can improve things for us, there is a chance I will look at the message.
  3. Write a “forward-able email pitch”. I shouldn’t have to craft your message – your marketing team should develop a tight pitch that can be sent in this case.
  4. Confirm your audience.  If I’m the wrong person, you should let me know exactly the person who should consider your pitch so I have a prayer of sending it to the right person.

None of this guarantees that I will send your message to the right person, but your current approach guarantees that I won’t.

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