Why You Should Have an Email Wall of Shame…and Fame

January 6, 2021

As an SDR, I sent out a lot of prospecting emails.

Most of them were pretty good (at least I hope they were) — I worked hard at targeting the right person with the right message at the right time.

I like to imagine that I was (and still am) pretty adept at recognizing a good prospect, finding relevant pain points, and hitting them with a compelling call to action. I would even get messages back saying they loved my email or were impressed with the amount of research I put in. It’s emails like that that let me know I’m doing a good job.

On the flip side, I know a bad email when I see it. In my current role as the Director of Marketing, day in and day out I get prospecting emails that make me recoil in my chair. I see huge paragraphs of text, grammatical errors, inconsistent fonts — you name it, I’ve seen it.

The one thing that really throws me off though, is the content of the emails I receive. It’s pretty often off-target, dumps information that I don’t care about, and then proceeds to ask for a large amount of my time without showing any tangible value. Emails like that show me what not to do, and how to keep doing a good job by avoiding their mistakes.

It’s not a new concept, but because of the email feedback I’ve received and given it’s prompted me to start a “Wall of Fame” and “Wall of Shame” here at the demandDrive office. Not only is it fun to chuckle at some of the bad emails that get sent to the team here, but it’s also a learning experience for the newer reps to see what to avoid.

Bad emails are easy to pick out for the more senior reps, but when it comes to a brand new SDR putting together their first email templates it’s a whole different story (I flashback to some of of my own first emails and shudder a little). Put them in front of your Wall of Shame and they’ll know the top things to avoid: length, product dumping, not clearly stating value propositions, etc.

Plus, the really bad ones are good for a laugh or two.

Good emails are easy to pick out no matter who’s reading them, but the techniques that make them good are habits that newer reps need to learn. Showcasing some of the better emails with compelling calls to action, concise and relevant messaging, and strong value propositions will help ingrain those behaviors into their own emails.

It’s also nice to see that in the midst of rejection after rejection, there is some good left in the world.

And don’t worry – if you’re concerned about the environment and printing out a ton of emails just isn’t your thing, you can take a digital approach to the concept (as we’ve done since we transitioned to a hybrid workforce).

We keep ours in a Google Drive folder, but you could also use Dropbox, Basecamp, etc. to store these emails and their responses in an organized way. It will still be accessible by the whole company (even easier to access for some people), and newer reps will appreciate having examples to read as they ramp up within the role.

Does your company have a prospecting Wall of Shame or Fame? Sound off in the comments — maybe throw in a picture!

aj alonzo

AJ Alonzo is the Head of Marketing at demandDrive. A former SDR turned marketing leader, he's made it his goal to develop resources for sales reps who are looking to level up and for managers who are looking for guidance. Outside of work you can find him trying to shoot under par at his local disc golf course, sipping on a bourbon on the rocks, or continuing his quest to be the very best like no one ever was.
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