5 Deadly Email Prospecting Mistakes You're Probably Making Add obvious value. Personalize. And include a hook. Those steps will increase your likelihood of a response.

By Marc Wayshak

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Alexey Boldin | Shutterstock

Prospecting emails are incredibly effective when done well. Unfortunately, the majority of salespeople write emails that their prospects never even open. Yours might be one of them.

In fact, you might be thinking that your own emails are doing just fine -- but are they, really?

Related: The 5 Mistakes That Will Land Your Email in the Spam Folder

After all, your prospects are busy people. When they check email, they're also doing half a dozen other things at the same time. So, your emails had better check all the right boxes if they're going to see the light of day.

Below, I've identified the five most common email prospecting mistakes I see salespeople make. The bad news is that you're probably making at least one of these mistakes, yourself. The good news? You're about to learn how to avoid them.

Here's how to change your approach so you can dominate your sales competition:

1. Writing too much

Prospecting emails aren't the place to educate your prospects about your product or service. Prospects simply don't have the bandwidth to read a long email from someone they don't even know! Instead, your only goal should be to elicit a response -- and you can do that with just four-to-five sentences. Keep your emails short and to the point. Don't write too much.

2. Sounding like a salesperson

The most surefire way to have your email deleted right away is to sound like a stuffy salesperson. You may think you're sounding intelligent and impressive, but you only come off as stiff and formal. Instead, write as if you're simply talking to a friend. Take out any buzzwords, fancy language or "sirs" and "ma'ams." Simply be yourself, and you'll be much more likely to get a response. The less you sound like a salesperson, the more sales you'll close.

3. Failing to personalize

Don't try to save time by sending the same email to all your prospects. They'll see right through your boilerplate message and be far more likely to delete it. Instead, write very personalized emails, with details like the recipient's first name and company to show that you've done your homework and care about them -- individually -- as potential customers.

Related: 5 Secrets to Writing Sales Emails That Prospects Will Reply To

4. Neglecting to add obvious value

Stand out from the never-ending stream of emails in your prospects' inboxes by offering something of real value. What's actually useful in their world? Maybe it's a free ebook, online assessment or relevant article. These are all great items to include in your prospecting emails to help boost your value. And, of course, this extra effort by you will increase the likelihood of a response. Just be sure that whatever you share speaks to your prospect's deepest frustrations.

5. Forgetting to include a "hook"

This one is simple: Never end a prospecting email with a statement. Instead, end every email with a question that prompts a reply. A short question like, "Does this make sense in your world?" or "Where should I send this book?" will make it easy for your prospect to hit "reply" and type out a response. That's exactly what you're looking for.

Related: 3 Crushing Mistakes Most Salespeople Make

Have you been making one of these common email prospecting mistakes? If so, what are you going to do to correct the problem and start eliciting more responses? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. And while you're at it, check out this free ebook, 25 Tips to Crush Your Sales Goal.

Marc Wayshak

Sales Strategist and Author

Marc Wayshak is the author of Game Plan Selling . As a sales strategist, he has created a system aimed at revolutionizing the way companies approach selling.

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