9 Deadly Cold Email Mistakes & How To Avoid Them


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Would you like to boost your open rates, reply rates, and sales with cold email?

In this blog, I’m going to teach you exactly why 99% of cold emails are total trash.

Over the last year, I’ve sent over 30,000 cold emails.

Some of them did really well, some of them failed hard.

In this article I’m going to teach you:

  • What I learned when sending cold emails
  • The biggest mistakes I see most people make when it comes to cold email
  • How to avoid these mistakes

You’ll discover actionable ways to improve your results with cold email and drive more sales with outreach.

1: The Paprika Effect

If there’s 1 thing I’ve learned from cold email, it’s the Paprika Effect.

Let’s say you’re baking a pie – you’ve got:

  • The pastry.
  • The perfect ingredients.
  • The oven is set at the perfect temperature.
  • You’ve cooked it for the perfect time.
  • And you’ve followed this recipe to perfection…

Apart from 1 tiny thing:

You dropped a tablespoon of paprika into the pie.

And that just ruins it!

Even though you stuck to the recipe and did 99.9% of everything right, that 1 little teaspoon of paprika has ruined the pie.

Well, it’s exactly the same with cold email.

Here’s why…

2: Attention To Detail

You can perfect all the elements of a great cold email.

But if you mess up one tiny element, it can ruin the whole campaign.

So for example, let’s say you:

  • Chose the wrong subject line.
  • Included a spelling mistake in the first line
  • Send the campaign from the wrong email address e.g. from an email address that has a very poor sending reputation

Any of these mistakes could destroy your results with cold email.

So when it comes to outreach, you can’t really afford to do it carelessly.

But if you learn that now, it will save you a lot of time, money, and energy in the future.

Especially if you’re hiring a team spending hours copywriting and doing lots of prospecting.

All of these activities will be wasted if you get one ingredient of the full recipe wrong.

3: Boring Content

Don’t write boring content:

Your emails must be interesting.

If not, all the recipient will do is delete it or hit the spam button.

How can you improve your email copywriting?

You want to create an emotional reaction from the cold email that engages the reader.

Let’s be honest, the topic you’re writing about probably isn’t that interesting.

But even if it’s quite a boring topic, that doesn’t mean you can’t spice it up with a joke or a pun.

Whatever you do, ensure your email copy isn’t boring to read and that it stands out from every single other email in that inbox.

4: Too Much Content

With outreach emails, keep the message short and concise.

For example:

When you send an email to someone, you have about 3 seconds to grab their attention.

So if they scan through your email and see loads of text, it’s game over.


Because it’s too much effort.

You have to respect your recipient’s time.

So keep your copywriting short, simple, straight to the point, and as concise as possible.

This will make a huge difference when people look at your emails.

5: Email Templates

Don’t steal email templates:

Yes it’s easy to grab an email template with a quick Google Search.

But the problem with email templates is that they’ve been spammed by many other cold emailers.

So you need to be a bit more original:

That’s why I recommend taking a bit of extra time to create your own original template.

Sure, you can use other templates for inspiration.

But the trick is to personalize it and add your own unique touch so that no one else can copy it.

And the more unique you are, the more you’re going to stand out.

6: Self-Focused

Most cold emails are so self-promotional, that they don’t highlight the benefits to the person reading it.

So when someone reads your email, they’re left wondering:

“What’s in it for me?”

Or even worse:

“Why should I help this person when they don’t even care about my needs?”

If you’re sending a cold email, you need to give value and focus on the other person.

For example, if you’re sending a cold email about guest blogging, then focus on:

  • Why is that beneficial for the person reading it?
  • How can you help them?
  • How can you serve them?

Think about how can you make your email win-win, and value-driven too.

7: Grammatical Mistakes

In 2020 we have so many proofreading tools to help us.

When it comes to cold email, we literally have no excuses not to get this right.

If you’re sending an email to hundreds or even thousands of people, proof read the copy several times over.

Take those extra minutes to proofread your emails and make sure there’s no grammatical or spelling errors.

8: Formatting

Something super basic that most people overlook is formatting.

When you format a new email, keep it plain text format because that will improve your email deliverability.

HTML elements/images are often blocked by spam filters.

Which means that the time you spent creating images for cold email is wasted, and no one’s going to see them anyway.

It’s basic, and it may seem simple, but most people overlook this aspect of cold email.

9: Too Many Links

Keep links to a minimum.

If you spam your email copywriting with loads of links, it’s going to get blocked.

With cold email, I usually keep this to a maximum of 3 links or less.

It’s kind of annoying if you keep bombing loads of links into your email:

Because when someone reads it, they’re going to think…

“Why are you sending me so many links?”


So that’s it from me, and the reasons why 99% of cold outreach emails don’t work.

Next time you’re writing your email campaign, think about that apple pie:

Don’t chuck any paprika in it!

And you’ll see much better results.

Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie

Hey, I'm Julian Goldie! I'm an SEO link builder and founder of Goldie Agency. My mission is to help website owners like you grow your business with SEO!


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