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4 Common Cold Outreach Mistakes You Seriously Need to Avoid

February 9, 2023

Cold emailing is the most effective way to generate leads and increase sales. After all, 80% of people say they prefer businesses to cold contact them by email anyway.



Now, most marketers already know the multiplying power of email marketing. But the opposite is also true: doing cold email outreach incorrectly can be a huge waste of time and resources.



To put you on the correct path (and avoid most mistakes), here are 4 of the most common pitfalls marketers make with their outreach strategies that ruin campaigns before they even take off. By keeping these in mind, you’ll avoid cutting yourself short on email campaign returns.



Mistake #1: Having Unclear Subject Lines


Alarmingly, 69% of all email recipients report emails as spam before opening them. This action means they evaluate the value of an email based on subject lines alone. So, to ensure that your email stands out and doesn’t get marked as useless, write the clearest and most compelling subject lines.



For example, avoid using generic titles like “Check this out” or “You’re not alone.” Those get deleted within milliseconds of the recipient reading the subject title. Instead, be more specific with your value proposition. Here are a few examples that you can use as inspiration:


  • “3 Steps to Increase Customer Loyalty”
  • “[Ebook] ⚡️ Speeding up the Development of Business Plans ⚡️”
  • “5 Biggest Mistakes Email Marketers Commit”


Moreover, keep your subject lines under 50 characters, so they don’t get cut off even on mobile phones. 



By being direct and clear in your subject line and following through with the email body, you can deliver on your promise and gain a good reputation with your readers. You’ll increase your pool of interested readers, nurture your leads, and turn your emails into hard-working marketing content.



Mistake #2: Sending Poorly Written Copy


Content is key to cold email success.



People are busy, and they get hundreds of cold emails every day. So, if your content is subpar, you’re just wasting both your time and your recipient’s time—not to mention losing the chance of getting a lead.



Here’s a brief guideline to follow to write good email copy:


  • Include a personalized introduction.
  • Be mindful of content length.
  • Keep your message professional and not salesy.
  • Have a single CTA with clear instructions.


If you’re unsure where to start writing copy for an outreach campaign, try some A/B testing or enlist the help of an experienced copywriter who specializes in digital marketing campaigns.



Let’s check out a poorly written cold email to learn what not to do. An example of a poorly written copy is a cold email that says something like:



Hey, Loren!



I happened to read your story in Forbes—really nice work in the technology industry.


I’m reaching out because my specialty is helping businesses like yours capture customer success stories to increase brand awareness and drive sales.


Should we schedule a short call to discuss how customer case studies can help your sales efforts?





Anthony Borda


What’s wrong with the above email? The hook, pitch, and CTA are all off. Here’s how this email missed the mark:



Boring Hook


The hook makes up the first one to three sentences in an email. Your hook should grab your reader’s attention and make them want to finish reading your message. In the above example, the hook half-heartedly aims to get attention in a “hopefully you’ll care about this” sort of tone.



Instead, try a compliment:



Congratulations on your recent feature in Forbes! I love how Techno is helping marketers improve their outreach strategies with digital innovation.



Irrelevant Pitch


The pitch is the sale. However, the above pitch is irrelevant because it doesn’t mention how the service could benefit the recipient.



You want your pitch to sound like you care about your readers and give them something valuable. Otherwise, they’ll delete your email or, worse, mark it as spam.



Weak CTA


Lastly, the call-to-action (CTA) is unclear. The sender didn’t clarify how short a “short call” is, whether the call will be via phone or video, or what the discussion will be about.



Your CTA must be clear and easy to understand so your recipient knows exactly what you want them to do next. Giving them a weak CTA leads to confused readers, who may move on without responding. 



Ensure your CTA is as straightforward as possible and provides value to the reader. 



Mistake #3: Focusing on Yourself Instead of Your Readers


Cold emails too often focus on what businesses want instead of what recipients might need. 



A cold email needs to be a two-way street. It should offer something valuable in exchange for the recipient’s attention. Refrain from blabbing on and on about yourself. If every sentence begins with I, you know your direction needs tweaking. 



Instead, write your email body by answering the question in your reader’s mind: What’s in it for me?



Your cold email should highlight the following:


  • What you can do for them.
  • How they’ll benefit from it.
  • Why they should consider working with you.


The key to cold email success is understanding the needs of your readers and showing them that you are the right person to meet those needs. If you succeed here, your responses will prove it.



Mistake #4: Not Following Up Enough 


Most marketers give up when the recipients don’t respond after one or two emails.



That’s not right.



It’s true that you’re unlikely to get a response after sending one cold email. But that only means you should send follow-up emails to give them a little more push—statistics even show that following up with a potential customer multiple times doubles their response rate



Follow-up emails show you’re serious about building a relationship with that prospect. Plus, the response gives them another chance to consider your initial proposal. You can tailor your message to each prospect until they respond (or ask you not to) so you get the most out of each lead.



Just remember to give ample time between your emails. For example, opt to send follow-up emails on the third, seventh, and fourteenth days so the recipient doesn’t get annoyed or overwhelmed. And since most people won’t remember what a business pitched to them, always remind recipients of who you are and what you said in the last email.



Avoid These Mistakes & Enjoy Success


These four common mistakes can keep your campaigns from achieving success. The good news is that you’re aware of them now, so you can proactively plan and increase your chances for excellent cold outreach outcomes before you even send one email. 



After all, cold email outreach is invaluable for marketers looking for new leads and customers. By doing the marketing strategy right, you’ll be well on your way to generating leads that are ripe for nurturing.



Of course, this might be too much information to take in before your next campaign. Not to worry, our experts can do the heavy lifting for you.



ScaleUpSales is a team of cold email professionals who can help fuel your sales process with lead generation, content marketing, and sales consultation to boost your profits.



Launch a perfect cold email campaign with cold email experts. Contact us today!