10+1 DON'Ts of cold emails (and How to Fix Them)

Mistakes in cold emails

1. Starting the email with “Dear”

Many people remember learning to start their emails with “Dear” in school. It’s not a terrible greeting, but it might be a bit too formal for the occasion.When reaching out to prospects, you want your email to sound personal, as if you wrote it with the recipient in mind. And it is spammy for some reason. 
SolutionTo fix this mistake, you can find the prospect’s full name on LinkedIn, or use Hunter or Snovio. Start your email with a simple “Hi {Name}” to keep the tone casual.


2. “Click this link”

When sending an email, your goal is to get the recipient interested in visiting your website and purchasing your product. It might feel intuitive to add a link to your website and a call to action among the first few sentences.
Fight that urge! Before you get to the link, you need to get the client interested. Most people won’t click the link if they don’t even know about your product.

Personalized emails

Solution
Try employing a more personalized approach. Describe how your product might benefit them, and add a link to your website and a call to action to the end of the email.


3. Not checking the custom fields when using automation

Automation tools like Woodpecker or Mailshake are very useful, but can also be quite tricky. You might end up with a blank {name} field, which is quite embarrassing and unprofessional. 
SolutionCheck the custom fields before you send out any email to avoid making a silly mistake.


4. Talking about yourself (I... Me... Us... Our...)

It might be tempting to go into detail and describe all the features and benefits you offer, along with your mission and vision. Don’t be fooled, the client doesn’t care! If they want to know more about you, they will just visit your website or reach out to you.
Solution

Illustration

Strive to keep your emails more customer oriented. Describe a problem they might be having and offer a solution. Focus on a particular service they could benefit from. In doing so, you’re displaying how your product can be applied in real life.


5. Writing everything in first person

The overuse of third person can sound hostile and aggressive. At the same time, emphasizing “I” and “Our” can come off as unprofessional.
Solution
Remember that the email is not as much about you and your services as it is about how the prospect can benefit from your services. Instead of explaining how great your product is, relate it to the client and show how great it is for the client.


6. Starting to sell before building trust

If your goal is to sell, might as well establish that right away, right? Wrong!
The client you’re reaching out to probably gets tons of emails every single day. If they actually decide to open one, seeing a cold sales pitch will scare them off. The reality is, nobody likes being sold to!

Solution

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Use the first 3-4 sentences to build trust and connect with your client. In the best case scenario, you can wait for them to express interest before you start to pitch your product. If you can manage to make your product seem desirable without sounding too “salesy,” you have a higher chance of getting a response.


7. Writing a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong email

Contrary to what we were taught in school, there is no minimum word count you need to reach. In fact, it’s best to keep it brief. Your prospect’s attention span is getting shorter with every word they read.
Seeing a big bulk of text can also be discouraging and feel like homework. A few sentences, on the other hand, can be skimmed through in a matter of minutes.

Solution
You don’t need to give an in depth lecture about your brand. Only leave the most essential information in. If they’re interested, they’ll reach out to you.


8. Using bullet points excessively

Bullet points can come in handy when you’re trying to simplify your thoughts and break them into easily-digestible bits of information. There is no rule against using bullet points in your emails; it varies from case to case.
When talking about cold emails, it is better to avoid bullet points altogether. It makes whatever you’re trying to convey sound too much like a sales pitch.

Solution
Write in full sentences instead! Full sentences and short paragraphs appear more personal. You can write a beautiful story using full sentences, while bullet points just look like boring, copied-and-pasted, cold hard facts.


9. Apologizing for stealing their time

If you act apologetic for reaching out to someone, they will respond with the same energy.

Solution

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Instead of worrying about stealing your recipient’s time, you can make sure your email is worth their time. Provide valuable information, and keep it short and sweet. Even the busiest manager can find 5 minutes to read your email if it enriches their life.


10. Manipulating your prospects

“Would you like to schedule a call for Monday or Wednesday?” is a classic example of manipulation via email. You’re giving the illusion of a choice.
Always give your prospects a choice! The truth is, some people might not benefit from your product. And that’s completely fine! There are plenty who will.

Solution
Add your contact information to your signature, and include a link to your website or a call to action in the concluding paragraph.


11. Writing HTML newsletters

HTML newsletters often look tacky and too “salesy.” Also, it is a terrible business to make them go to Inbox. Opt for plain text instead!
SolutionPlain text emails appear more personal and less “in your face.” They also generally have a higher deliverability rate.

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