Thursday 7 March 2019 10:39 am

Startup entrepreneurs, watch out for these classic spam emails from rubbish sales people

So, I have finally decided to do it. After more than a decade of working for other people in a number of roles, I’ve actually taken the leap and launched my own business.

It’s been barely three months and things are going great – we have clients already on board and more soon, hopefully. Really, the only disappointment has been the amount of rubbish that people are trying to flog me on LinkedIn.

Apparently, changing your LinkedIn title to founder or director is the digital equivalent of painting a target on your forehead and donning an “I’m with stupid” t-shirt with the arrow pointing up.

The number of baloney messages that I have received is mind-blowing. Yes, I’ve started a new business, but I wasn’t born yesterday, and no, I don’t want your nonsense.

In response, and because it’s cathartic, here are the five worst spam emails from companies hoping to prey on new businesses.

Hello, is it [insert name here] you’re looking for?

I literally do not understand this particular offender. You’ve gone to all the trouble of finding my business via search, then finding me individually, then getting my contact details, and yet you still can’t add my name to your email. “Hi there, we work with a lot of businesses like yours…”

My parents didn’t christen me “there”, which should be obvious from the fact that this is not my LinkedIn profile name and, by the way, my email address shows my actual name. Must try harder.

You must have missed me

We’ve all had them. The annoying chase that follows the first annoying email. It reads something like this:

Subject: Buried email

Message: Hi there, I am sending a quick nudge as I was worried my previous email got buried…

Interesting – clearly what some people call “buried” I call “skimmed, realised was rubbish, and deleted”. Oh well, each to their own.

The Chasey Celeste

This is a unique category. So far I have only experienced this once, but it deserves a place on the list nonetheless.

Having previously attempted to chase me a few times to sell me app development, or legal services, or denture realignment, this company’s team (that I will decline to name) decided that they wanted to chase again.

But this time, they couldn’t even be bothered to type the body of the email, which in its entirety read:

Dear Dominic


Just like the missing ship Mary Celeste, you’re sure that there’s supposed to be someone or something here, but there just isn’t. No thank you, and unsubscribe, please.

Call me maybe… Fancy a call… how about a call?

No. Just no. I haven’t replied to your first or second email for a reason. Why would a call be a good idea?

Reach out

I feel a bit awkward putting this on the list, as I have been guilty of it myself before. Luckily, I have seen the error of my ways. Dear everyone using “reach out” in your sales email, are you a member of The Four Tops, who sang the 1967 chart-topper “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)”? Yes? Then it’s acceptable to use that phrase in the workplace. No? Then stop it immediately.

Look, I totally understand that people have a job to do, and selling is what makes the world go around. I’ve been there myself.

All I am saying here is that maybe you should spend 30 seconds researching your lead before boshing out a poorly-crafted sales email. You’ll avoid annoying people, and you’ll almost certainly get much better results.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.