3 Copywriting Mistakes that Kill Your Cold Emails

Email Copywriting Mistakes

Your prospects delete most of the cold emails sitting in their inboxes, and they’re probably deleting yours, too. Don’t confuse your prospects by sending unclear messages. Focus on benefit-driven emails that target their specific pain points.

Even if you have a solid product, your cold email campaigns often won’t work unless you craft persuasive email copy that evokes your prospects’ emotions and moves them to take action. 

Below are three common mistakes that turn off your prospects and tips on how to avoid making these mistakes in your next email.

Mistake #1: Your Cold Emails are About You, Not Your Prospects
Self-focused requests, like the following, don’t show your prospects that you’re concerned about their pain points.

“I just got off a great call with a prospect and they couldn’t believe how amazing [Company Name] is.

Do you want to book an hour for me to show you what [Company Name] is doing and how I can help your sales team sell more and faster?”

You only have three seconds to grab your prospects’ attention. The more space you waste talking about yourself, the less opportunity you have to convey the relevance of your product to their problems. 

Can it help them save time/money? Increase productivity? Simplify a complex task? 

 Make sure your cold email message is crystal clear about how your product can solve their problems.

Copywriting Pro Tip #1: Great sales copy conveys empathy. Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. 
Cold emails like the one below stand out because they focus on the prospects’ needs and NOT the seller’s ego. Prove to your prospects that you’re a real human being offering something of value.

“I’d like to share a quick idea with you that has helped [Client Name] gamify their sales team and exceed their revenue goals.”

Showing a genuine interest in your prospects and engaging them in a real conversation about their business helps lowers their defenses and makes it easier for your prospects to say yes to your request.

Mistake #2: Relying Heavily on External Links and Bold Font for Attention
Your prospects aren’t fooled by gimmicks or cheesy tactics. Bold fonts and external links to client reviews don’t make crappy copy more appealing or believable. 

Cluttering your emails with too much junk, like the example below, distracts your prospects. Directing them to a video link or a white paper risks boring them. Their lost attention is never regained.

“The purpose of my call, was to show you this working for an existing client, and see what value this can have for you, the next step after that is testing this on your website, with no obligation and no cost so you can see actionable results from your own site, a list of businesses who have visited to learn more, but haven’t made that all important enquiry.

 70% of businesses will purchase from the first business they speak to, therefore statistically speaking this will give you a greater chance of winning that business. All the information we provide is in real time! 

Be sure to check out some fantastic testimonials at Client reviews and  Expert views

The problem with links are that they are only effective if your Call to Action to click the link is enticing and if the link’s content is valuable and ties back to your email’s Call to Action.  

The other problem with links is that you may risk giving too much away with your content. Your prospects’ incentives to respond to your email and start a conversation with you may be lower because you’ve already given them the content.

Copywriting Pro Tip #2: The most effective cold emails have a clean, straightforward message. 
The message below centers on an enticing benefit, reducing the time wasted on simple tasks. Compelling benefits are always more persuasive than flashy graphics and slick videos explaining the features of your product.

“How much time are you spending each week on {!Company}’s Salesforce reporting? 

I have a time saving hack that could dramatically reduce the time you’re spending each week on {!Company}’s Salesforce reports used by companies like [Client Name]  and [Client Name].

Do you have time for a short call this week?”

Mistake #3: Where’s Your Call to Action?
Calls to Action are the last impression your prospects have of you. Weak or missing call to actions don’t move your prospects to act. Your prospects aren’t going to respond to a cold email like the one below because it hasn’t given them a reason to.

“Could you point me to the person over your inside sales team?”

Without a clear CTA, your cold emails are a waste.

Copywriting Pro Tip #3: Before you hit send, ask yourself, “why would they respond?”
You need to show your prospects what’s in it for them. 

Emails like the example below incentivize your prospects to respond because they offer them something in return for their time.

“In exchange for a short call I’ll give you a few tips for improving {!Company}’s employee retention that we’ve learned from [Client Name] and [Client Name].”

Don’t leave your prospects hanging at the end of your cold email.

Once you’ve crafted a benefit-driven message that speaks directly to your prospects’ needs, don’t forget to proofread. 

Making silly spelling and grammar mistakes torpedo your cold email campaigns. 

Make sure you understand the difference between to or too and their or they’re. Mistakes like these turn off your prospects and cause them to lose trust in your abilities.


Would you like to know more copywriting secrets for writing cold emails that compel your prospects to respond every time?

The team at Salesfolk have written a new guide to help you transform your bland cold emails into unforgettable messages your prospects can’t ignore. Download  “Copywriting Secrets for Crafting Seductive Cold Emails” and start writing compelling emails! 

This is a guest post by Heather R. Morgan. She is the CEO of Salesfolk, a sales consultancy that specializes in helping B2B sales organizations start warm conversations with cold emails.  



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