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5 Cold Email Mistakes That Are Killing Your Replies (And Their Solutions)

In this article, I'll share with you 5 cold email mistakes and their solutions

By Murtaza PoonawalaPublished 2 months ago 6 min read
5 Cold Email Mistakes That Are Killing Your Replies (And Their Solutions)
Photo by Stephen Phillips - Hostreviews.co.uk on Unsplash

“Cold Emails is dead” I bet you have already heard this multiple times.

The truth is that alot of old email strategies are dead. To get more replies we need to update our cold email strategies.

There are a lot of common mistakes you make while sending cold emails that would probably be killing your replies.

In this article, I’ll share 5 such mistakes and their solution, so that you can get more responses and close more deals

Email Marketing Mistake And Their Solutions

Mistake 1 - No personalization in emails

While sending cold emails, especially to B2B companies you cannot send the same emails to 1000 prospects, I bet your response rate would not be more the 1%.

And personalization needs to be beyond the prospect’s First Name and Company Name. Your prospect should feel that the emailer is written specifically to him/ her.

Usually while sending bulk B2B emails, sales or marketing reps would get a paid database of 1000 prospects, and just shoot the same emailers to all of them.

If you’re also following the same practice, you’re focusing on QUANTITY and not QUALITY. This will lead to two things – Your prospects will probably ignore or delete your email and your email service provider will blacklist your emails


To personalize an email, you need to get 2 things right – 1) Reaching to right person, 2) On right time

Here are some steps you can follow to personalize your emailers

Step 1 – Creating a Database

While creating the database, you want to make sure you are only reaching out to prospects who are looking or might need your product or service.

For Example – Lets say you’re a recruitment company specializing in hiring sales and marketing professionals.

To make a targeted list of companies that might need your service, you can go to LinkedIn JOBS section and search for companies those who are actively hiring sales and marketing folks

Just make use of the filters provided to get a list of companies.

After that find the HR, Talent Acquisition and Recruitment heads of those companies and use a tool like Apollo.io to get the email ids of those people.

Now you can send out personalized emails to those folks.

Let’s see how to draft the email to make it look personalized in Step 2

Step 2 – Personalizing Email Body

Here is a simple framework I learned from Will Allred to personalize emails :

Hi Firstname

Research/Trigger Statement. An Insight/Question based on your research

Problem Statement that tie back to the research

What you can do to solve that problem


CTA to ask interest

Let's again take the example of a recruitment company, here is how the email would look in the framework.

Hi firstname,

Saw you’re growing your sales and marketing team. I believe filling those positions would be a priority currently for you.

Lately, we’ve seen IT companies face challenges in hiring sales talents in India.

We’ve helped IT companies like Rahi Systems, Goldstone Technologies and Progress etc in hiring the right sales talents faster.

Thus reducing their hiring time by about 40%

Is this something you’d like to learn more about?

Mistake 2 - Making your cold emailers look like its automated

Here is the key - your prospect should not feel that this email is automated and it’s sent to 100 others as well.

Using too many merge tags like first name, job title, company name etc makes your email seem like it's automated.

The more you can make your prospects believe that this email is written specifically to them, the higher will be the chance that they will respond.

Because let’s be honest

No one likes automated emails, as soon as we see it’s an automated email we will ignore it!


Tip 1 – Write Conversational emails

Like you would have written to someone you know or like

Think of how you write the email to your colleague or your friend.

Your email doesn’t need to be perfect. Don’t focus much on full stops, grammar, capital letters etc.

Tip 2 - Don’t use HTML emails!

Going back to tip 1, you want to make your email seem like you have personally written it for the prospect.

And, HTML screams that they are automated.

Use simple text-based emailers in your cold drip campaigns

You should only use HTML emailers for sending out newsletters or informational emailers to your subscriber lists and your existing clients.

Tip 3 – Personalization

I have already covered this in the 1st point

The more your emails are personalized the less automated it seems

Mistake 3 – Making your email more about yourself

Let’s be honest

None of your prospects are interested in knowing how great your product/service is.

They want to know how your product/service can make their life better. Solve their challenges.


If you follow the framework I shared in the 1st point, you’ll notice that how less it talks about our solution and more about what our solution can do for our prospect.

Focus on the results your solution can create for your customers and the problems it can solve.

Don’t talk about your solution’s features or benefits.

Mistake 4 – Getting too creative with your subject lines

I’m sure you would have seen subject lines like these:

  1. Increase your reply rate by 50%
  2. Your Company <> Prospect’s Company
  3. Solution to Automate Your LinkedIn Outreach
  4. (FirstName), Can We Connect?

What’s the issue with these subject lines you’d think?

The problem is these subject lines are already overused

Your prospects have already seen these kinds of subject lines in their inbox, and before even opening the email they know it’s a cold email.


The easiest way to craft a subject line is to keep it extremely simple.

By simple I mean make it boring and obvious

Just using 2 to 3 words that will describe your email.

And don’t use any verbs or action words like – increase, automate, gain,

For example

  1. If you’re selling sales recruitment service your subject line would be – “Sales Hiring”
  2. If you’re selling a sales CRM your subject line will be – “Sales CRM”
  3. If you’re providing SEO services and reaching out to companies whose SEO isn’t great you can use – “SEO Issue”

Mistake 5 – Making Your Email Hard to Read on Mobile

Almost 60% of emails are opened on mobile.

There is a high chance your prospects would be opening your email on a mobile phone, and your email needs to be easy to read on mobile

Usually, we make the mistake of writing alot of content in an email without any spaces. And if that same email is seen on a mobile it would appear a big chunk of text that your prospect isn’t even going to read.


Remember every line on a desktop is X3 times as on a mobile screen. So if you’ve written 2 lines on desktop, on mobile it would be 6 lines. (that’s a lot of content).

Going back to point 1, if you follow the given framework then you’ll make sure that your email isn’t just a huge chunk of text. It would actually be readable on a mobile screen.

And the more people will read your email, the more responses you can expect.

Hope this article would help you avoid these mistakes next time you're cold emailing your prospects

Happy Emailing!

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About the Creator

Murtaza Poonawala

I have around 5+ years of experience in B2B marketing and demand generation. Currently, I work as an assistant manager of demand generation at Sales & Profit.

I love exploring the science and psychology of marketing.

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