With typically high spam rates and low success rates, cold emails are getting a bad rep. Fact is, cold email is still a powerful device to generate qualified leads – providing you don’t sabotage your clients by making common mistakes. Unfortunately, the concept of cold emails is often misunderstood!

That’s where a course correction is needed. Cold emails have always been a top of the funnel marketing technique for business acquisition. Since you can send thousands of emails in a matter of minutes, the potential scale could be enormous.

However, this approach often leads to dilution in quality – and that’s where marketers and salespeople make blunders. They don’t put enough thought or effort into the process of cold emailing, leading to poor ROI. Precisely what we’re going to address today.

In a value-driven webinar, Ryan O’Hara, VP of Marketing & Growth at LeadIQ, shares his best tactics to improve cold email response rates. Together with Jack Kosakowski, Global head of social sales at Creation Agency, the webinar is packed with practical hacks that you could implement right away. With a few tweaks, you could turn 40% of your cold emails into meetings. Now that you’re excited, let’s dive in:

First, let’s grade your cold emails!

If you’re eyeing a double-digit response rate, your cold emails have to stand out. They can’t be like the hoards of email that your prospect already gets on a daily basis. That’s why you should grade the emails before you hit the ‘send’ button. Grading is based on several different parameters, including:

  1. The subject of the email
  2. The email copy
  3. The personality and tone
  4. Length and spacing
  5. The end signature
  6. Lastly, answer the question – Would you respond if you were the prospect?

Since the first step to effectively improve any process is to know what you’re doing wrong. It’s a good habit to grade your emails before you send them. It works like a filter which helps you use only the top-notch emails for your campaign. With that in mind, here are a few cold email blunders that you need to avoid –

Being selfish – The first big mistake that most professionals make is to create a greedy email strategy, talking only about their product/service. There is no level of personalization, and the email has nothing which screams that it has been personalized for your prospect. For them, it’s the 15th email on the same topic today.

Avoid templates  – Using set templates for cold emailing is an abysmal idea. It shows minimal personal touch, and your prospects would never feel important enough. An email should never look like something that has been blasted to a 200-300 people list. When the messaging is this generic, it seems terrible, and your prospects can quickly figure it out.

Don’t ask for their time or money – The first goal for cold email is to be a conversation starter. To begin with, try and engage your prospects through your content and never directly ask for the most valuable thing they have when you’ve never actually earned it!

Pay close attention to the content – Never try to close a sale before any real conversation has happened. When trying to create a cold email copy, use these three steps to craft purposeful content for your prospects

  1. Personalize every email
  2. Always conclude with an open-ended question
  3. Use their reply to start a conversation

Know what you want from them – Figure out your motives and outcome before you even start writing the first word in an email. Buyers are not stupid. Don’t beat and cheat them. Be direct but understand what your outcome is. By the end of the email, be clear about how you want to move forward.

Don’t use the word “follow up” in a follow-up email – “Follow up” is a tiring sales would which is often overused. Also, get rid of the common terms like “let me know,” “let us know,” and “regards.” Keep out all the fluff.

Get to the point – Keep the follow-up emails short. Maybe three sentences. Make it quick and get to the end. Trim the fat and write like you have an internal would count. Just like Twitter, you need to know how to write compact messages keeping in mind the character count. Simplicity wins all the time.

Never sacrifice the flow – If you’re reading an email and you stumble over a word or two, you don’t have a good flow. Work on it right away!

Only one offer – You need to decide whether you’re trying to sign them up or trying to make them watch a demo. Have only one offer in the end. When you have two options, the conversion drops every time.

Figure out your value differentiator – Since everybody sounds like everybody else, figure out your value differentiator. Something you need to understand or hammer your marketing team for. What is that you do that nobody else does that might capture your prospect’s attention?

Be yourself – Have fun and be yourself. Your personality should shine through in your messages. Don’t wear a crappy mask. Say what you feel and express with passion.

Concluding thoughts…

The real purpose of cold emailing is lead generation, and nothing else. Almost everyone in the industry might go blindly with the ‘template approach,’ which makes it even harder to improve response rates. See it as an opportunity to be different. Hopefully, you’d improve a lot by using some of these hacks for your next campaign. You can bite the noise, without wasting any time!

…and we can make it even easier to apply these principles in your next email. Sign up now and, you’ll have access to the full webinar recording – a value-packed session filled with real-life examples of emails that work (and the ones that don’t). You can access everything with a single click.


Jack is known for leading the charge in sales innovation. He has a proven track record of working with top organizations to help them integrate social into their traditional sales process.

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