True Crimes: Lying Sales Emails

A cold sales emailer has struck again – and their crime is truly terrible to read. Unlike the last sales criminal, this time the sales rep isn’t just incompetent – they’re a cunning thief looking to exploit unwary and unknowing prospects. If you’re not careful, this type of cold sales email can trick you into thinking it’s the real deal. But eventually, you’ll realize it’s nothing but a con.

What you’re about to see is an actual sales email that we’ve received in our own inbox, with names and pertinent details redacted. Prepare yourself – these sales crimes are real, and so are the disingenuous sales reps who hit send. We only hope that by analyzing the worst of the worst sales emails, you will never make these terrible sales mistakes yourself.

Some sales reps have no idea how to write a sales email. These are their stories.

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The Liar’s Pitch

This manipulative email doesn’t have the usual typos and inane value propositions that are common in other ineffective cold emails. Instead, this email tries to trick prospects into clicking on a link instead of making an honest pitch. While this may be an effective method for improving your click rate, it’s a terrible way to get real, long-term business. This email has it all wrong.

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At first glance, the email seems innocuous – it’s just a confirmation of a webinar you signed up for, right? But when you really think about it, you can’t seem to remember signing up for a webinar next week. In fact, you’ve never even heard of this company, and you don’t have anything in your calendar for next week. You realize that this email is a complete fake, designed to manipulate you. You didn’t sign up for this webinar at all, and the sales rep is just hoping you’ll fall for his trick. Instead of wanting to learn more about the webinar, you immediately hit delete.

A Self-Defeating Crime

This email isn’t just an annoying trick, it’s also ineffective. Even if this tactic confuses a few people and gets the sales rep more registrants and leads  – those leads are unlikely to convert into happy customers. Many prospects won’t be fooled by this email, and the ones that click will be unlikely to buy once they realize they’ve been duped from the start. In fact, many people will end up with a negative impression of the company and the sales rep – which is damaging to your sales reputation long-term. While this rep may be able to artificially inflate the number of leads generated by this webinar, it’s unlikely to translate into any real sales revenue for the company. Quite simply, this tactic doesn’t work.

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How to Improve the Pitch

Lying to a prospect is one of the biggest mistakes a sales rep can make. Instead of pretending the prospect has already signed up for your webinar, just be honest and try to entice them to register directly. If your webinar is so unappealing that you have to trick people into signing up, maybe you should re-think the webinar completely. Like all of your sales-related content, the webinar should cover a subject that specifically appeals to your ideal customer profile.  If it’s interesting content, getting prospects to sign up shouldn’t be like pulling teeth. Instead of lying, the rep could have said, “We have an upcoming webinar focused on how to improve your sales conversion rates with a subject matter expert. I thought you might be interested in learning more.” If you don’t get enough registrants, try coming up with a better topic, more appealing copy, a bigger name speaker, or sending invites to a new list. But you should never resort to a lie just to get sales leads.


Hopefully, you will never fall victim to a dishonest sales email in the future. Keep an eye out for the next edition of True Crimes: Cold Sales Emails for more lessons in perfecting your pitch.

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