9 Cold Emailing Mistakes That Will Kill Your Conversion Rate

If you’ve never attempted cold emailing before, convinced that it doesn’t work, you’re missing out on a lot of good opportunities to convert leads into customers. Cold emailing has been and still is one of the most effective ways to land clients — that is, if it’s done right.

But it’s got a bad rep, right? Well, not really. Most of the bad reviews you’ve heard about the method are due to the poorly written emails with the wrong strategy (or no strategy) behind them. These emails often come across as borderline (if not actual) spam — and, unless it’s the edible pre-cooked canned meat type, nobody really likes spam.

Friends, industry experts swear by the effectiveness of cold emailing when it comes to landing clients.

If you’re sending cold emails with zero success, then you might have to consider reviewing your cold emailing process.

Cold Emailing vs. Spam

Just to clarify, cold emailing is not spam. They’re two different species. Spam is when someone sends emails to random people without doing any research. It’s non-targeted advertising, which is absolutely a waste of time and effort.

Cold emailing, on the other hand, requires prospecting — which is the first step in the whole sales process. It’s where you identify and make a list of people who might be interested in the product or service that you offer. In other words, these people are potential customers.

Between sending a thousand spam emails and a hundred cold emails, which do you think has more chances of conversions? The answer is obvious! Even email services, by default, filter out spam emails, which makes them even less likely to reach anyone. Cold emailing beats spam by a large margin.

9 Cold Emailing Mistakes That Are Killing You’re Conversion Rate

Your strategy when sending cold emails matter. In fact, the reason why some are acing it and others aren’t is because of this important aspect.

We’ve compiled the most common cold emailing mistakes that prevent people from landing clients. If any of these things are a part of your process, then you may want to make some changes.

1. You Send the Same Email to Everyone

Using a template will make cold emailing so much easier. However, when you’re sending cold emails, templates followed to the dot might not work to your advantage. In fact, it could prevent you from gaining new clients.


Because most templates make your email sound too generic, especially if you address it to the ever popular “To Whom It May Concern.” Your recipient can tell. They can feel your lack of sincerity and genuine interest to help them through the structure of your email content, and that can affect their response.

So, how do you do it right?

To clarify, you don’t have to compose unique content for each recipient that you send an email to. it’s totally okay to have a template. Just make sure that you’re not copying and pasting the same content every single time. Make a few revisions — like addressing it to the correct recipient’s name, or other modifications in the body of your content.

Your effort during the prospecting process is required to improve your cold email content and increase your conversion rate.

2. You Don’t End With a Call-to-Action

Are you including a call-to-action (CTA) in your emails?

Some people do this: They pitch their services and end their message with a “Looking forward to hearing from you.”

This is a weak CTA to use. In fact, it’s not a CTA at all.

A CTA is supposed to encourage your potential client to take action. “Looking forward to hearing from you” does not prompt them to do anything.

If you want more success in your cold emailing endeavors, opt for other more effective alternatives. Here are a few techniques that may help.

Propose a Scheduled Call

If you’re aiming to set a meeting with your prospect, providing a date and time for the proposed call at the end of your email could increase your chances of getting a response.

Instead of saying “Are you available for a chat?” or “When are you available for a chat?”try “Are you available for a quick chat on Wednesday at 10:00 am PST, this week?” or “Are you available for a quick chat on May 22 at 10:00 am PST?”

This strategy makes it easier for your potential customer to decide on a response. In this case, they could readily accept the invitation or set another date. Of course, there will still be people who will remain unmoved by your effort, but don’t be disheartened. It’s all part of the process. What we’re aiming for here is to increase the response rate.

Ask Relevant Questions

Another good way to end your email is by asking relevant questions that are either open-ended or answerable by a “yes” or a “no.” This can help you start a conversation.

Ask Permission to Share Resources (or Other Email-Gated Freebies)

If you have resources that show how your service can help businesses — like a video or a short eBook — ask if you can share it with them at the end of your email.

This move is another excellent conversation starter.

3. You Don’t Tell Them What They Get Out of It

When you’re promoting any product or service to potential customers, you always, always, always have to state what’s in it for them. Your credentials, achievements, and service technicalities can be explained detail by detail at a later time.

The most important thing you should express during the cold email stage is the benefits that your service could bring to their company.

For instance, instead of writing about your technical skills, you can tell them about the improvements you will be able to help them accomplish.

When composing your email, keep this in mind: It’s not about you. It’s about them.

4. You Don’t Send a Follow-Up Email

You’ll get ignored a lot. That’s a fact when you’re sending cold emails. If your first attempt doesn’t get a response, don’t take it personally. More often than not, first emails get brushed aside. When this happens, wait for a couple of days and then follow up. There’s a higher chance of getting a reply on the second or third try.

Just a reminder, your follow-up email should be different from your first email. You don’t want your prospect to think that you’re just resending stuff.

5. Your Email is Too Long

Here’s a quick question: Do you like reading long emails? Most people would answer no, and you’re probably one of them.

When you’re writing a cold email, make it brief, clear, and to the point. More information can be provided later on. At the start, try to make it as easy to understand and as quick as possible so they can read through your whole email instead of staring at the long text, finding it too exhausting to read, and skipping (or deleting) the email as a result.

6. Your Subject Line Isn’t Good

Did you know that 35% of recipients open an email because of the subject line?

It matters a lot — and this isn’t just limited to using catchy phrases and clickbait.

First and foremost, some of us receive over 100 emails a day. Sometimes, the quantity gets to a point where we can’t possibly finish reading everything every single day.

Now, if your recipient doesn’t know you, and your email subject line isn’t good enough to catch their attention, then there’s a huge possibility that they’re going to skip yours and move to the next. Sadly, there isn’t really a formula for making subject lines that guarantee clicks. Thus, you will have to test out different styles until you find one that suits you best. But, you have to be wary of a few words.

You see, email services, specifically Gmail, automatically sort emails. It will either store new email in the inbox — where it can go into the Primary, Social, or Promotions tab — or it could go to spam. Cold emails with higher chances of success are those that are stored inside the inbox’s Primary tab.

Here are a few tips.

Keep It Short

20 to 50 characters are ideal for your subject lines. If you use more than that, your email might not see the light of day and spend its few remaining moments waiting for the spam folder to activate its automatic delete feature.

As much as possible, keep it short and clear.

Avoid Using Multiple Punctuation Marks

One surefire way to trigger people’s spam alert is to use “!!!!!!” or “?????” in your subject lines.

Keep Your Finger Away From the Caps Lock Key When Typing

Don’t use all uppercase letters on your subject line. It’s aggressive to your recipient and it triggers the spam police.

Avoid Spammy Words

You’re sending a cold email, not spam, so don’t use words that are often associated with spam emails. For example, the words “bargain,” “affordable,” “best price,” “success,” and “solution” might send you to spam. These words could prevent you from reaching your prospect.

7. You’re Not Using an Email Signature in Your Cold Emailing

Let your recipient know who they’re receiving the email from. And we don’t mean just your name. You want your prospects to feel that you’re offering legit services, and including a signature line at the bottom part of your content makes the email look more professional.

Keep your signature simple. You only need to add the basic things: your name, position, company name, and contact information.

8. You Don’t Experiment

There are many ways to do cold emailing. If one method isn’t working for you, try another. Don’t be afraid to experiment. That’s about the only thing you can do to figure out the magic formula.

When testing different variables, always keep track of your metrics. Take note of the differences you’ve made on each template and the quantity and the quality of the responses you get. Gathering concrete data can help you build a reliable cold emailing strategy for reaching out to clients and getting responses from them. Below are a few tips to help you with your testing process.

Challenge Your Methods Consistently

First, you have to always be open to new possibilities. Be constantly on the lookout for improvements you can make on your current system.

The long-term effectiveness of your current strategy isn’t guaranteed in today’s rapidly progressing society. Here’s what usually happens.

A business starts to test out new ways to do things only after they see a quick decline on their once stellar results. The testing process sometimes takes a lot of trial and errors It won’t just take days. It takes weeks — months, even!

Doing it at the last minute will put your business in a tough position. Don’t start your research for improvement after your current technique loses its mojo. Challenge your methods consistently. Make it a part of your business process. Stay updated and competitive.

Note: Be sure to track your metrics as you do this! You have to be able to measure something to determine if it works or not.

Review Your Numbers

Once you’ve started testing, take note of these metrics:

  • Open rate or the number of times recipients open your email.
  • Response rate — how many responses you get.
  • How long it takes for the recipient to respond.
  • How many times you were able to successfully schedule meetings with the recipient.

You can see which techniques work best through the results you get.

man reviewing charts

9. You Don’t Check for Spelling or Grammar Mistakes

We know this is a basic one, but the fact is many people still don’t check their emails for spelling and grammar mistakes before hitting send.

This error will not make you look good in the eyes of your potential client, and it certainly won’t help improve your conversion rates.

So, before you click send, double (and triple) check your content — from the subject line to your signature.

What cold email strategies provide the best results for you? Let us know in the comments.

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