4 of the Worst Sales Emails Ever

At Firefish, we get loads of spam emails every single day and all we do is click the spam button. Well, for the most part. But for the last month or so, my colleagues have forwarded over some of the worst recruitment email spam they've received, and I wanted to share some really bad examples with you. So, after weeks of putting up with being the office spam filter, here are 4 of the very worst sales emails ever. It's our gift to you, a guide detailing exactly how not to write recruitment prospecting emails.

1. The One to the Wrong Person

4 of the very worst sales emails ever.png'Hi Andy,

Hope you are well. I would like to offer our recruitment services to Firefish Software? Do you have any open vacancies that you might need help with? It would be great to have an initial conversation to discuss how we could potentially serve your recruitment needs. We charge 9.5% from annual salary for permanent placements.

Please take a look at our short introduction below...'

Firstly, I have nothing to do with any form of recruitment at Firefish. Secondly, why would you put your fees in the first ever correspondence with me? Thirdly, you've given me no reason to forward this on to a relevant colleague. 

2. The One That Demands My Time

This email is from a sales executive offering a free social media audit. The first email they sent over was innocent enough. They wanted to inform me they had pulled a list of influencers for me to contact. But, when I didn't reply, they sent over this:

'Hi Andy,

I hope I'm not becoming a thorn in your side - just want to show you the results I pulled and influencers you can connect with. All I'm hoping for is a few minutes to get this in front of you.

Do you have any availability early next week?'

So, we didn't respond to the first email, yet we appear to have been entered into a nurturing list... super. 

3. The One with No Value


I am working with a renowned Indian based IT company that is engaged in providing a long chain of mobile application development services. We have developed a number of effective mobile apps for several major industries. With over 8 years of experience, we have maintained a broad customer base globally. Here is what we offer you to help with the right solution regarding your mobile app needs --- 

Waiting for your valuable response.'

This sales executive is still waiting. This email has zero value, the content of the email shows that they know nothing about what Firefish Software does, and there isn't even proof that this company is legitimate - it's not even named!

4. The One That Makes Zero Sense

A personal favourite, this one contains so many unusual word choices that it can't help but stand out. Although, for all the wrong reasons. I'm still not sure what the purpose of this email is. Here it is, in virtually its entirety...

'I will do my best to keep this compilation short and to the point for I can only imagine the demands on your time in your myriad pursuits. I'm an executive recruiter gent here at --- and we're in the midst of a quest to find an Global SVP Brand Creative for our growing team. Given this, I thought to reach out to you if you might know of someone who might have furrowed brow of intrigue relative to this key imagination-laden seat-of-import. I could type/phone more if need be as in my stead to leave a revered source fallow would cause me to lose a strong measure of REM sleep.

Take care and happy holiday season to you down/out there.'

What...? If you managed to read all of that, well done. Some of my favourite phrases are 'furrowed brow of intrigue' and 'lose a strong measure of REM sleep'. This email contains some truly creative writing. Clearly the rules are made to be broken. But in terms of a recruitment email, this one is unlikely to convert to say the least. 

After reading all of these spam emails (and there were a lot!), I noticed some key takeaways when it comes to email writing for recruiters. Avoid using bad recruitment email templates, and write relevant targeted emails that are designed with the recipient in mind. This means no generic emails fishing blindly for jobs. Prospects will always be turned off by emails that are clearly copy and paste efforts, untargeted and irrelevant to their own recruitment needs.

If you'd like further help with recruitment email marketing, then download our eBook below. Get to grips with subject lines that convert, build effective email campaigns that get results, and get to the bottom of click rates, bounce rates, and open rates.

Whitepaper on building effective recruitment email campaigns.

Andy Mckendry

Andy Mckendry is a copywriter with an MA in Professional Writing. In the early mornings he is known to gravitate towards the nearest coffee pot.

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