This is a picture of a real email message I received this afternoon from a firm wanting to sell services to one of my marketing clients:

Turquoise Email

Turquoise Email Message (click for original size)

The woman who sent it had sounded very nice, competent, and on top of her work when I spoke with her on the phone.

But, then I got her follow-up email.

The color scheme is unreadable. (Click on the photo to see the original message.  I left some unidentifiable paragraphs in it unblurred.)

She sent it with the false “high priority message” flag which only spammers seem to use. She acknowledges that the web site that she had told me to go to for more information was for a different business.  There were spelling and capitalization errors in the text.

I am now afraid to recommend her services — which sounded perfectly reasonable on the phone — to my client.  I am concerned about the professionalism of the email sender’s company. Part of their job would be to represent my client  to prospective new customers.  What impression would these prospects get of my client’s firm?

  • Do I really have to tell people not to use pastel colors in their email? At best it’s cute. At worst, it’s difficult to read and cutesy.
  • Do you really not know to not mark emails “high priority”?  Especially when they are really just a sales call follow-up?
  • Do people really send business emails out without spell checking? Wrong-word typos are forgivable (maybe because I do them so frequently myself!), but most mail programs will automatically check your emails for non-words, if you let them. So let them!
  • Does anyone looking for business really not have a website featuring that work?  And, if you don’t have a web site that features your business, don’t send people to the web site for another business you work on.  Really.  I mean, where are you focusing your energy?

This real-life example of a deal-killing piece of email.  You’re not sending anything like this out, are you?