I don’t believe in shaming, but I do believe in educating.
Sometimes they look similar.
Every once in a while, I get an email from someone that is just terrible. Having spent a fair amount of my career writing and involved in sales, I cringe at some of what comes across my desk.
Sometimes, I’m compelled to respond because I really do believe it teaching people to improve.
The original email was as follows:
Hey Team LIFX,
I noticed your awesome campaign on Kickstarter. As we work with many crowdfunding campaigns, we know how important it is to get your product strategy, marketing, and product development right. Moreover, I know that you finished the delivery of your product and you now need to move forward. Why not with us?
I would love to schedule a quick call to explore how we can help. Email me at email@example.com.
The Digesting Period
But Jon, what’s wrong with that email, it seems pretty straight forward.
If you are in this camp, you’re not alone. In fact, I would venture a guess that from my experience, most of the salespeople I’ve worked with would all consider this to be an acceptable and passable email for their SDRs to send out. They measure things in emails sent out, response rate, calls booked, etc.
One day, they’ll realize that there is only one metric that matters, conversion to paid customer.
Here’s why this is not a good email.
Comments are added in Italics
Hey Team LIFX,
Use “Hi” unless you are familiar with the person. Odds are you’re dealing with an adult and “Hey” can come off weird.
I noticed your awesome campaign on Kickstarter.
Our campaign ended in 2012 you’re sending this in 2016, there are far more relevant pieces of information to glean about our company that have taken place in the last 6 months. Focus on what’s next. Product cycles happen twice a year at least and most companies are already road mapped more than 18 months out at a minimum.
As we work with many crowdfunding campaigns, we know how important it is to get your product strategy, marketing, and product development right.
We’ve moved to the “we” rather than the “I” it seems. I’m OK with this.
The amount of passive voice in this kills me.
Try, “We work with companies that have successfully crowdfunded their initial products to ensure their product strategy, marketing, and ongoing product development are ready for continued growth.”
Give me something that I can sink my teeth into.
Moreover, I know that you finished the delivery of your product and you now need to move forward.
Get rid of “Moreover” it’s a waste. You’re back to “I” instead of “we” but this line shows me that you did zero research. If you Google LIFX I’ve done if for youhttps://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#safe=off&q=LIFX+color+1000
You’ll see that we are in BestBuy, Lowe’s, Amazon, and Walmart. You’ll even see on the first page a recent press release showing that we have released even more products from our first round of Kickstarter products. I’m pretty sure we’ve been moving forward at a good rate, just check out our homepage to see the companies we work with. Also, look at Crunchbase and you’ll find that we raised $12 million in series A funding.
Why not with us?
This is easy, you can’t write, which means you can’t market. You can’t conduct research which means using you for product strategy and development are out and your company is pretty lazy in general. Crowdfunding is a broad group of everything so it shows no domain expertise. Your website has nothing listed under our space
link redacted. I could go on, but you get the point.
I would love to schedule a quick call to explore how we can help. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t ask for a phone call to explore, if there was anything valuable in the email as you presented it, I would be asking to set up a call. No joke, people like me rely on media and partnerships. Seriously, we do and we listen to interesting propositions. This though was one of the worst most half-assed emails I’ve had passed to me, why would I respond?
By the way, the email to email@example.com bounced.
Business and learning go hand in hand, but the amount times people skimp out on the basis is staggering and leads to missed opportunities for revenue that are often the difference between success and failure.
This isn’t the rep’s fault. If you’re in sales and you read this post and you were in the group that didn’t see anything wrong with the email, it’s your fault.
I doubt this rep was ever given any coaching on how to send out email, propose a value proposition, how to do research, etc.
This is a reflection on you, whoever is running the show, for not proofing, working through the basics and not supervising. Every email matters. Every action and moment spent at work should matter, it’s not about a response, it’s about conversion.
Bonus, how I would have written the email and why
Hi LIFX Team,
I saw your release of the Color 1000 in October and am very interested in your next product launch.
References a recent event, asks for a future event, so no immediate commitment. People plan things out months in advance.
My company, Acme, Inc., works exclusively with IoT companies(up to this point is visible on mobile email) to help them launch new products and ensure execution of marketing campaigns that align with your product strategy and ongoing product development.
Shows domain space expertise, explains what they do and how they operate. Complements current strategies, doesn’t try to sell all the services.
We’ve had great success with Company, Company, and Company.
Examples of who they have worked with which gives me the ability to look up recent product launches. Also lets me call people for references.
If you’re interested, I’d love to get LIFX’s demographic profile and work up a strategy to assist you with your next launch.
An ask with an offer that doesn’t take me that long to respond to.