5 Tips to Improve Sales Email Deliverability


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B2B business executives get a ton of bad cold email solicitations every morning in the inbox and the volume is increasing.

A typical work-day begins with scanning our email inbox list for topics of interest. When we find an email of interest we scan it for relevance and may go back and read it if it passes the relevance test. Talking to many friends, I have found that executives delete over 70% of the emails on the first pass- many of them without even opening them. We are inundated with email.


Simple answer: Lack of Relevance.

I get several hundred emails a day, usually including at least one guest blog offer or SEO offer and up to 50 solicitations to download a new eBook, read a post, or enter to win crap I don’t want or need.

You and I don’t read 90% the email solicitations, because we recognize them to be SPAM and they get deleted within a couple of seconds…but how do we know it’s SPAM without reading it?

When we see emails that start with “Reach-outs” and “base-touches” and “I found your name in LinkedIn search”,  or “Hello” or “Hi _____, sic”, these emails are dealt with instinctively through their familiar pattern and immediately deleted or unsubscribed-from.

Bad email is rife… and we recognize the patterns.

Bad LinkedIn solicitation is rife as well and the lessons here apply equally to LinkedIn.

Some of these “Best Practices Emails” Really Suck

Yesterday I received an email from a trusted source offering a set of “15 email best- practices” examples.

I downloaded the eBook, but unfortunately some of what I downloaded was so bad it was funny and it prompted me to write this article about the worst practices in email. 

Email 1: The “Touching Base” “Rech-out” Syndrome.

Some company X’s folks have been looking at our Internet marketing resources and I wanted to reach out to you.

I am touching base because I’ve done a preliminary assessment of your website and would like to offer you some feedback specifically related to the Company X website.

What’s wrong with Email #1 A triple whammy, “folks”, “reaching out” and “touching base”

Email 2: The “Came Across Your Website” Syndrome

I hope all is well and please pardon the cold reach out. I came across your website, and it looked like you may be using the site to bring in new leads so I wanted to reach out to see if this was a priority.

Whats wrong with email 2. A “reaching out” double, an insincere well wish and an admission of being unsolicited. Further compounded by a spammy, “I came across your Website”

Email 3: The “Multi-channel Annoyance” Syndrome

Per my previous voicemail, I am reaching out to touch base with you about your conversation with the XYZ team at the recent ABC conference

Whats wrong with email 3. “Per my previous voicemail” means I’m not going to stop bugging you until you reply and the now familiar “reach out”, and “base touch”.

Email 4: The “2-Second Researcher” Syndrome

I took a quick look at your blog today. You have some really great posts! I like your post on ”[Insert Blog Article]”

What’s wrong with Email #4 It’s not bad, but anyone who can read can send this email. Why don’t you express an opinion about what I wrote in the blog in your email, this tells me you can think as well as read.

Translate Table for your Emails in the Buyers Mind.

Email Phrase

Which Means

“I’m reaching-out”

I’m incapable of an original opening

“I wanted to touch-base”

I have no imagination and this is spam

“I came across your Website”

This is a spam email



“I took a look at your blog”

I’m glad you can read

“Hope you are having an awesome day”

this is spam – stand by for the spammy guest blog offer

“Hope you are well”

Do I know you, do you really?

“Your name came up in a LinkedIn Search”

This is SPAM – stand by for an offer you don’t need

“Our folks”

I’m just simple country folk from Kansas

“Hello There !! I am looking few consultants for one of my direct client.”

A compelling offer?

“Hi, I’m Joe Bloggs, with XYZ company. We make a ground-breaking CRM widget that ….


Telling people you are “reaching out” was a top 2013 BBC corporate guff award candidate along with reaching down and reaching around. Reaching around has a very negative slang connotation.

In a BBC article ‘Solutionising’ business jargon  Jamie Jauncey explains that business communication needs to be more human.

“Business has lost its way with language. “It’s lost its personality – that’s the big problem – therefore it doesn’t make a good connection with its audiences.

“It’s long-winded, it’s alienating, it’s impersonal. It uses a lot of abstractions and it’s just difficult language to work with and it isn’t very effective in terms of good communication.”

5 Tips to Improve your Sales Email Deliverability

1. Remove jargon, cliche and corporate guff from your email opening sentences to avoid the pattern recognition “auto-delete”

2. Keep emails short, to the point, two or three sentences (max.), that way the can be read on mobiles. Besides any more than 2 sentences is not to the point.

3. Remember your goal in sending the email is to get the person to click a link… “what’s in it for me” is about them, not your stuff.

4. Segment your emails to send relevant messages to the right audience

5. When you are sending email to strangers, deliverability is about who you are (credibility), and the subject line that hooks the buyers interest.

We got interested in the email problem because a lot of our early customers are using WittyParrot to avoid these problems. Find out how by downloading our new eBook.



Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mark Gibson
Mark Gibson has been at the forefront of developing sales and marketing tools that create clarity in messaging value for 30 years. As a consultant he is now engaged in helping sales, marketing and enablement teams to get clear about value creation. Clarity attracts inbound leads, clarity converts visitors into leads and leads into customers, clarity builds mindshare, clarity engages customers, clarity differentiates value, clarity helps onboard new hires clarity helps raise funds, clarity + execution win markets.


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