Are You Using Cold Email Gimmicks that Annoy Prospects?

A lot of people doing email sales think they have a great system for generating leads when instead they’re just annoying those prospects. Some gimmicky approaches, in the hopes of grabbing attention, might actually be pushing prospects away. 

The best way to be sure you aren’t doing that is to break down what gimmicky email outreach looks like with some of the most common and egregious examples of these practices. Forget email best practices — just avoiding these worst practices will help you stay ahead of many competitors!

1. Fake-forwarding

The gimmick of fake-forwarding is a deceptive technique aimed at capturing the recipient’s attention by creating a faux narrative. The sender drafts an email with a subject line that begins with “FWD:” giving an illusion that the message has been forwarded to them, possibly by someone they know or a mutual contact. This tactic exploits the recipient’s natural curiosity and the perceived endorsement from a known entity to entice them into opening the email.

However, the intrigue generated by fake-forwarding can quickly turn into distrust once the recipient realizes the misleading tactic employed. In an era where authenticity is highly valued, starting a professional relationship with a potential lie isn’t advisable. It can lead to an immediate loss of trust, which is often tough, if not impossible, to rebuild. It also portrays a lack of confidence in the value of the content being shared, as the sender resorts to deceptive practices to gain the recipient’s attention.

2. The Fabricated Referral

In this gimmick, a faux persona is conjured up to act as a mutual contact who has supposedly referred the sender to the recipient. A typical line could be, “Carrie referred me to you, and your business seems fantastic.” Although this may seem like a clever way to pique interest, it’s fairly easy to automate such messages using a merge field to insert the company’s name. 

This disingenuous tactic is not a solid foundation for a budding relationship with a potential client. You might get a good email response rate from this, but at the end of the day, that’s a vanity statistic. It’s always better to find a real common connection or to be straightforward about your intentions.

3. The Sham Accolade

Another common gimmick is to fabricate an award or acknowledgment for the industry the prospect operates in, under the guise of honoring them or their business. This can create a temporary sense of achievement, but it’s a facade. 

Many internet publishers and blogs exploit such tactics to make money off fake awards for niches, hoping businesses will pay for placement in their content. This may give you good email open rates, but when the truth surfaces, and it often does, the ensuing disappointment can lead to a tarnished reputation and lost trust.

Ensure You’re Cold Emailing Without Gimmicks

Cold email marketing requires a balance between being noticeable and maintaining authenticity. While it’s tempting to resort to gimmicks to cut through the inbox clutter, these tactics can do more harm than good. 

Being straightforward, showing genuine interest in the prospect’s needs, and offering clear value are the cornerstones of successful cold emailing. Avoid the shortcuts and invest time in crafting honest, compelling messages. Your prospects will appreciate the sincerity and are more likely to engage in meaningful conversations that could lead to fruitful collaborations in the long run.

Interested in working with a sales team that can significantly improve your bottom line without resorting to gimmicks? Reach out to Salaria to talk about the role we can play in your sales strategy.

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