A cold email is a message sent to a recipient without prior relationship or interaction with the sender. They can be valuable for businesses looking to expand their customer base and generate leads. Unlike other forms of marketing, cold emails allow businesses to reach out directly to potential customers who may not be aware of their product or service.
Cold emails can also be cost-effective and efficient, allowing businesses to reach many prospects with minimal investment. With the right messaging, a well-crafted cold email can pique a prospect’s interest and lead to a new business opportunity. However, crafting a well-written cold email can be challenging, as it requires attention to detail, persuasive language, and a clear understanding of the recipient’s needs and interests.
According to EarthWeb, approximately 347.3 billion emails are sent daily, which is well over 4 million emails per second in 2023 alone. So naturally, this makes sending unsolicited emails to people much more challenging. As a matter of fact, existing studies found that most marketers struggle to master and get a decent response rate on their cold email outreach. While some of these mistakes are inevitable, many others can be easily avoided if done right.
Avoiding email mistakes can make your cold emails look unique, resulting in more effective and successful outreach. So what are the mistakes that marketers are making? How can you correct these mistakes to boost your cold email success?
In this email, we will explore the definition of cold email campaigns, cold email statistics, the impact of cold email campaigns, and 20 common cold email mistakes to avoid in 2023.
A cold email campaign is a targeted email marketing strategy used to reach out to prospects with no prior relationship with a business or individual. A cold email campaign aims to generate new leads and business opportunities by introducing the recipient to the sender’s product or service.
Cold email campaigns typically involve sending a series of emails to a targeted list of prospects. The emails are designed to capture the recipient’s attention and interest and provide information about the sender’s product or service. The content of the emails can vary depending on the sender’s objectives but typically includes information about the product or service, customer testimonials, and a call-to-action.
The success of a cold email campaign depends on several factors, including the email list’s quality, the messaging’s effectiveness, and the emails’ timing. To be successful, cold email campaigns should be carefully planned and executed and may require testing and optimization to achieve optimal results.
Cold emails can help businesses increase sales and grow their customer base when done correctly. Here are some cold email statistics to keep track of in 2023.
Cold emailing is an essential marketing strategy for businesses looking to expand their customer base and increase sales, allowing them to reach a large, targeted audience at a minimal cost. It is essential for businesses for several reasons:
Cold emailing allows businesses to reach many potential customers who may not be aware of their product or service. This can help businesses expand their customer base and increase sales.
Cold emailing can be a cost-effective marketing strategy, as it requires minimal investment compared to other forms of advertising, such as paid advertising or direct mail.
Cold emailing allows businesses to target specific individuals or groups likely to be interested in their product or service. This can help improve the marketing campaign’s effectiveness and increase the chances of generating leads.
Cold emailing is a measurable marketing strategy, as businesses can track metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and response rates. This can help businesses determine the campaign’s effectiveness and make all necessary adjustments as needed.
Cold emailing can also be a tool for relationship-building, as it allows businesses to introduce themselves to potential customers and start a conversation that could lead to a long-term business relationship.
Common mistakes in outreach campaigns can have a significant impact on the success of the campaign. Planning and executing outreach campaigns carefully and avoiding common mistakes are important to achieve optimal results. Here are the ways common mistakes in cold email campaigns can affect your success.
Poorly crafted outreach messages can result in low response rates or even no response at all. This can lead to wasted effort and investment in the campaign.
Low-quality or irrelevant outreach messages can negatively impact the perception of the brand or individual. This can lead to a loss of credibility, ultimately harming the campaign’s success.
Common mistakes such as not personalizing outreach messages, sending emails at the wrong time, or targeting the wrong audience can result in missed opportunities to generate leads or build relationships.
Outreach campaigns require time and resources, and common mistakes can result in inefficient use. This can lead to a poor return on investment and a lack of progress towards campaign goals.
Failure to comply with laws like the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States and GDPR in Europe can result in legal issues and penalties.
Below are the 20 most common cold email mistakes to avoid to ensure high open and response rates from your target prospects. We have categorized them into four main sections as follows:
Here are our seven cold email subject line mistakes to avoid for better open rates and happier customers.
Cold emails are unsolicited emails sent to people you have no prior relationship with. One of the marketers’ biggest cold email mistakes is writing a generic subject line for this set of people. It is not a new fact that people generally react better to personalized marketing messages better than generic messages. Existing studies revealed that putting your prospects in the subject line increases the chances of your email being opened.
Subject line personalization allows for a more human, personal touch in an email and has contributed to a 26% increase in unique open rates. Unfortunately, only 35% of marketers leverage personalized subject lines’ power. A one-size-fits-all cold email strategy with off-the-shelf subject lines will relegate your emails to the junk bin or spam folder.
Example 1: Generic subject line (Wrong)
Can I help you gain a 50% increase in sales revenue?
Example 2: Personalized subject line (Right)
Cynthia, can I help you gain a 50% increase in sales revenue?
Sending cold emails with long subject lines is a common mistake many people make. When the subject line is too long, the recipient may lose interest and not even bother to open the email. Brain Dean, the founder of Backlinko, says the subject lines that do not exceed 16 characters have significantly higher open rates based on two factors:
As a result, it’s essential to keep your subject line concise and to the point. A good subject line should be no more than 50 characters. This will ensure that your email is noticed and read. Remember, the subject line is your first impression of the recipient, so make it count!
Example 1: Long subject line (wrong)
We are live! Get first-hand tips, hacks, and discounts to help you streamline your sales process and boost sales.
Example 2: Personalized subject line
We are live! Get first-class access to sales hacks
Deceptive subject lines in cold emails are common mistakes many make when sending unsolicited emails. This tactic involves using a subject line that is misleading or untrue to entice the recipient to open the email. While this may result in a higher open rate, it can damage your reputation and lead to negative consequences.
One of the most common forms of deceptive subject lines is clickbait. Clickbait subject lines promise something that is not delivered in the email. For example, a cold email with the subject line “You won’t believe what we have to offer!” may entice the recipient to open the email, but when they do, the content may not be what they expected. This can lead to a sense of disappointment and mistrust towards the sender.
Another form of deceptive subject lines is making false claims or promises. For example, an email with the subject line “Guaranteed to triple your revenue in one week” may sound too good to be true, and it probably is. However, making false claims can lead to a loss of credibility and may cause the recipient to disregard any future emails from the sender.
Disguising the sender’s identity is another common tactic in deceptive subject lines. For example, an email with the subject line “Important message from your bank” may appear from the recipient’s bank, but it is a cold email from a salesperson. This deception can cause the recipient to feel misled and damage the sender’s reputation.
Using deceptive subject lines in cold emails is not an effective or ethical way to increase open rates. It’s important, to be honest and transparent in your subject lines and to provide value to the recipient in your email content.
Using spammy words in the subject line of a cold email is a common mistake many people make. Spammy words are words that are commonly used in spam emails to try and trick the recipient into opening the email. Unfortunately, while using these words may increase the open rate of your email, it can also lead to your email being marked as spam and damaging your reputation.
Some examples of spammy words that should be avoided in subject lines include “guaranteed,” “limited time offer,” “amazing,” “free,” “act now,” “discount,” and “urgent.” These words may seem harmless, but they are often associated with spam emails and can be triggering for spam filters.
Using spammy words can also make your email appear unprofessional and decrease the chances of the recipient taking your email seriously. It’s important to focus on providing value in your subject line and email content instead of trying to trick the recipient into opening the email.
Forgetting preheader text is a common mistake many marketers make when sending cold emails. Preheader text is the short preview text that appears next to or below the subject line in the recipient’s inbox. It provides additional information about the email and can be used to entice the recipient to open the email.
When preheader text is not used or is left blank, it can lead to missed opportunities to engage with the recipient and increase open rates. Without preheader text, the recipient may not have enough information to decide whether or not to open the email. In other scenarios, some email clients may automatically populate the preheader text with the first few lines of the email content. This can lead to the preheader text being cut off mid-sentence, which can be confusing and unprofessional.
To avoid this mistake, include preheader text in your cold emails and keep it concise and informative, providing additional context about the email content. It should also complement the subject line and entice the recipient to open the email.
Not leveraging urgency in the subject line of a cold email is a common mistake that can result in a lower open rate. Urgency can create a sense of importance and encourage the recipient to open the email immediately. Without urgency, the recipient may not feel compelled to open the email immediately or forget to do so later.
Examples of subjects that don’t leverage urgency include the following:
However, it’s important to use urgency appropriately and not create a false sense of urgency. The urgency should be genuine and relevant to the recipient’s needs or interests. Using urgency too frequently or excessively can make the recipient feel manipulated or annoyed.
Shouting in the subject line of a cold email is a common mistake that can have negative consequences. Using all caps or excessive punctuation marks can make the email appear aggressive, unprofessional, and spammy. It can also turn off the recipient and decrease the chances of the email being opened.
Some examples of shouting in the subject line include the following:
Instead of using shouting or excessive punctuation, it’s essential to focus on crafting a clear and concise subject line that accurately reflects the content of the email. In addition, the subject line should be attention-grabbing without being obnoxious or overwhelming to the recipient.
Here are our ten curated cold email message (body) mistakes to avoid for better open rates and happier customers.
Not addressing the recipient by their name in a cold email is a common mistake that can make the email seem impersonal and generic. It can also reduce the chances of the email being opened and read, as it does not show any effort on the sender’s part to personalize the message.
Addressing the recipient by their name shows that the sender has researched and is trying to connect with them personally. It also helps to establish a rapport and can make the recipient feel valued. If the recipient’s name is unknown, it’s essential to research and try to find it before sending the email. This can be done by checking the recipient’s social media profiles, website, or LinkedIn.
If the recipient’s name cannot be found, it’s still important to address the email personally and engagingly. A generic greeting such as “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern” should be avoided, as it can make the email seem spam or unsolicited.
Using the wrong recipient name in a cold email is a common mistake that can make the email seem unprofessional and careless. It can also reduce the chances of the email being opened and read, as the recipient may assume it was sent to them by mistake or feel disrespected if their name is misspelled or incorrect.
Sending emails to a prospect with the wrong recipient name can instantly suggest that the email has been sent to the wrong person. Therefore, it’s important to double-check the recipient’s name and spelling before sending the email to avoid this mistake. If the name is unknown, it’s better to use a generic greeting than to guess or assume the recipient’s name.
Taking the time to address the email to the correct recipient with the correct spelling shows attention to detail and respect for the recipient.
Not personalizing a cold email is a common mistake that can make the email seem generic and impersonal. Without personalization, the recipient may not feel valued or may assume that the email was sent to a large group of people rather than specifically to them.
It’s important to include personal details in the email, such as the recipient’s name, job title, or company, to make it relevant and engaging. Personalizing the email shows that the sender has researched and is trying to connect with the recipient personally. This can increase the chances of the email being opened, read, and responded to.
Lack of formatting in a cold email is a common mistake that can make the email seem unprofessional and difficult to read. In addition, without proper formatting, the email may appear cluttered and overwhelming, making it less likely that the recipient will take the time to read it. Therefore, it’s essential to use formatting such as line breaks, bullet points, and bold or italicized text to make the email easy to read and navigate.
Proper formatting will make the email more organized and professional, making the recipient more likely to engage with the content and respond to the email.
Focusing on product features instead of benefits is a common mistake in cold emails. While it’s important to highlight the features of a product or service, it’s equally important to emphasize how those features will benefit the recipient. By highlighting benefits, the email becomes more persuasive and compelling, showing the recipient how the product or service can help solve their problems or fulfill their needs.
For example, instead of simply listing the features of a product, the email should explain how those features can benefit the recipient. For example, instead of saying, “Our product has a 24-hour battery life”, the email could say, “With our product’s 24-hour battery life, you can work on the go without worrying about running out of power”. By emphasizing the benefits, the email becomes more focused on the recipient’s needs and can increase the chances of a response.
By highlighting the benefits of a product or service, the email becomes more focused on the recipient’s needs and can increase the chances of a response.
Being overly affectionate in a cold email is a common mistake that can make the email seem unprofessional and inappropriate. Likewise, using terms like “honey,” “sweetie,” or “dear” can come across as insincere or disrespectful, especially if the sender has no existing relationship with the recipient.
It’s essential to use appropriate and professional language when addressing the recipient, such as “Mr.” or “Ms.” followed by their last name. The email maintains formality and respect by using professional language, making it more likely that the recipient will respond positively.
Avoiding overly affectionate language in cold emails is essential to maintaining a professional image and ensuring the recipient takes the email seriously.
Long body copy in a cold email is a common mistake that can overwhelm the email and decrease the chances of it being read. However, people receive numerous emails daily, so keeping the body copy concise and to the point is essential.
Long paragraphs, excessive details, and irrelevant information can cause the recipient to lose interest and move on to the next email. Instead, the email should focus on the main message and include only essential information relevant to the recipient.
Using bullet points, subheadings, and short paragraphs can help break up the text and make it easier to read. Keeping the body copy concise makes the email more likely to be read and responded to.
Not including a call-to-action (CTA) in a cold email is a common mistake resulting in a low response rate. In addition, without a clear CTA, the recipient may not know what action to take after reading the email.
A CTA should be included at the end of the email and communicate what the sender wants the recipient to do, such as clicking a link, scheduling a call, or replying to the email. Including a clear CTA makes the email more actionable and increases the chances of a response.
It’s important to make the CTA easy to find and understand and to ensure that it aligns with the email’s main message.
While it’s essential to include a call-to-action (CTA) in a cold email, overloading it with too many CTAs can be a mistake. When there are too many CTAs, the recipient can become overwhelmed and unsure which action to take. This can lead to a lower response rate or no response at all.
Instead, the email should focus on one primary CTA that is clear and actionable. Ensuring the CTA is relevant to the email’s main message and aligned with the recipient’s needs is essential. Additionally, the language used in the CTA should be direct and easy to understand.
Focusing on one primary CTA makes the email more persuasive and increases the chances of a response.
Sending a cold email without context is a common mistake that can leave the recipient confused and less likely to respond.
It’s essential to provide context in the email, such as mentioning how the sender found the recipient or why the sender thinks the recipient may be interested in the offer. Providing context helps the recipient understand the purpose of the email and increases the chances of a response.
One common mistake in cold email is leaving the default “Sent from my iPhone” signature. While it may seem minor, it can give the impression that the sender is careless or unprofessional. This default signature can also be perceived as an excuse for typos or errors in the email, which can lower the recipient’s confidence in the sender’s abilities.
To avoid this mistake, take a moment to customize your email signature to include your name, company, and contact information. This will make your emails appear more polished and help establish a professional image.
Using large images that take a long time to load is another common cold email mistake you want to avoid. While images can be a powerful tool to grab the reader’s attention, they can also slow down the email’s loading time, which can be frustrating for the recipient.
This is particularly problematic for recipients checking their email on mobile devices with slow internet connections. To avoid this mistake, it’s best to use small, optimized images or skip images altogether and focus on crafting a strong subject line and engaging email content that resonates with the reader.
Another common mistake in cold email outreach is not including an email signature. An email signature is essential as it provides vital information about who you are, what you do, and how to contact you.
Without an email signature, your email may be unprofessional or even spammy. A proper email signature should include your name, title, company, and contact information, such as phone number, email address, and social media links. It also helps build credibility and trust with the recipient, making it easier for them to respond to your email and potentially engage with your business.
Sending too many cold emails per day per domain can be a costly mistake in email outreach. When you send many emails to the same domain within a short period, it can trigger spam filters and result in your emails being flagged as spam. This can damage your sender’s reputation and lower your email deliverability, leading to fewer responses and conversions.
To avoid this mistake, limiting the number of cold emails you send to a particular domain each day is important. A good rule of thumb is to keep it to no more than 20-30 emails per day per domain. This will help ensure that your emails get delivered and increase your chances of a positive response.
Not including an unsubscribe button in a cold email is another costly mistake you need to avoid. This is because failing to give the recipient the option to opt out of receiving further emails can harm your reputation as a sender and cause your emails to be marked as spam.
An unsubscribe button not only helps you stay compliant with anti-spam laws but also shows that you respect the recipient’s privacy and their right to choose whether or not they want to continue receiving your emails. Always include an unsubscribe button in your cold emails to avoid this mistake. Make it easy for the recipient to find and click on, and ensure that you promptly remove them from your mailing list once they have opted out.
Here are some effective strategies to reduce cold email mistakes and boost cold email success:
Before sending any cold outreach, take the time to research your target audience. This includes understanding their needs, pain points, and challenges, as well as their communication preferences. This will help you craft a message that resonates with them and increases the likelihood of a response.
Choose a reliable email service provider that offers features such as spam filters, email tracking, and analytics. This will help you monitor the success of your email campaigns and avoid potential mistakes, such as sending too many emails in a short period.
Personalize your cold emails by addressing the recipient by name and mentioning specific details about their business or industry. This shows that you have researched and are genuinely interested in their needs.
Your subject line is the recipient’s first impression, so make it compelling and relevant. A strong subject line can increase open rates and encourage the recipient to read your email.
Keep your message concise and focused on the recipient’s needs. Avoid using jargon or buzzwords, and make sure your message is easy to read and understand.
Include a clear call to action in your cold email. This could be a request for a meeting, a phone call, or even just a reply to your email. Make it easy for the recipient to take the next step.
Before sending out a large batch of cold emails, test your emails to ensure they are working correctly. Check for spelling and grammar errors, broken links, and formatting issues. This will help you avoid embarrassing mistakes that could harm your reputation.
Don’t be afraid to follow up on your cold emails. A well-timed and polite follow-up should be an active part of your cold emailing strategy to help you increase response rates and show the recipient that you are committed to helping them.
Timing is key when it comes to cold emails. Try to send your emails during business hours and avoid sending them on weekends or holidays when the recipient is less likely to read or respond to your email.
Always include an unsubscribe button in your emails to allow the recipient to opt out of future emails. This helps you stay compliant with anti-spam laws and ensures that your emails are only sent to interested parties.
Cold email mistakes can be costly, damaging your sender’s reputation, lowering your email deliverability, and reducing your response rates. To avoid these mistakes, you must develop a cold email outreach campaign that clearly states that it includes email personalization, clear call-to-action, email testing, and a reliable email service provider.
By implementing these strategies and staying compliant with anti-spam laws, you can increase the effectiveness of your cold emails and improve your overall success rate. Cold emailing can effectively generate leads and grow your business, but it requires a thoughtful and strategic approach to achieve the desired results.
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