Cold Emailing Mistakes You May Be Committing

BY Jessica Helinski
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Cold emailing can be a tricky tactic to pull off, as recipients with loaded inboxes may simply dismiss and delete whatever you send. You’ve got to be able to capture their attention, encourage them to open, and then, inspire them to take action and respond. 

But, it can be done. In an article for Sales Intel, Ariana Shannon writes, “…cold emails have the potential to win over social media, because unlike social it can deliver a customized message that helps improve customer loyalty and thus gives you better sales opportunities.” She also cites a survey from Optinmonster that found 58% of professionals check their emails before doing anything else online, even checking out social media (first done by 14%). 

If used properly, Shannon explains that cold emailing can be a very effective lead generation tool that requires little effort. But how? She goes on to discuss five mistakes that reps may be making when sending out these emails. 

Cold emailing: Common mistakes reps make

You send the same email out to everyone. How many times have you gotten a generic email that was obviously sent with little to no thought about the recipient? This kind of cold emailing, while easy to send out, can come across as spammy. “When you send a template-​based email, you are not only wasting your time, but you also lost out on the opportunity that you had to create a personalized touch with your prospect,” Shannon writes. If you don’t customize each email to the recipient, your communications don’t come off as genuine or sincere; they’re likely to think you are just after new business and don’t truly care. Show them right away that they are more than just another generic prospect by addressing them by name and adding other personal touches, like mentions of their company and their industry. The more you can add that customizes the email, the more likely your message will resonate. 

There’s no call to action. The purpose of cold emailing is to generate leads. If you don’t include some call to action within the email, chances are that the prospect will do nothing and the potential for a new lead is wasted. A common email sign off such as, “Looking forward to hearing back from you,” is pleasant, but it is not a call to action. “A CTA is designed to encourage your potential client to take action." It simply doesn’t ask for anything from the reader. Instead, Shannon suggests these alternatives: 

  • Ask to schedule a call and/​or demo
  • Ask an open-​ended question that is relevant to their business or industry
  • Offer a freebie, like a trial
  • Offer an ROI calculator

The above calls to action are just a few ways that you can encourage engagement from the recipient when cold emailing. As HubSpot’s Irina Nica explains, “Ask for the right things in the right way, and your relationships with prospects will grow stronger over time.” Don’t lose the opportunity to encourage a response by not asking. 

Avoid these (and the other three) mistakes Shannon highlights to make your cold emailing strategy a success. As she points out, “Your cold emailing strategy matters. In fact, any mistake in your strategy could decide a positive or negative impact in your outreach.”