My Cold Emails Are Not Getting Responses! Help!

My Cold Emails Are Not Getting Responses! Help!
what my face looks like when my reply rate is too low
Yo, are your cold emails getting ghosted? That's a bummer, but don't worry! We've got your back and we're here to help you fix it.

If you're not getting any bites from your cold outreach, there's a chance you might be doing it wrong. Look, we're not saying this is rocket science, but if you take shortcuts, you might see some short-term gains, but that's not going to cut it in the long run.

In this article, we're going to go over some mistakes you could be making with your cold emails and show you how to fix them so you can start getting more deals. Trust us, you're not alone. About 90% of people who send cold emails struggle with this stuff and end up spamming their prospects or just giving up altogether.

We've analyzed hundreds of thousands of cold emails over the past two years and we know what works and what doesn't. So, buckle up and get ready for some common cold email mistakes and tips on how to fix them. Let's get those responses rolling in!

Problem 1 - Wrong target audience

Problem 1 - Wrong target audience It's like trying to sell snow to a polar bear - if you're targeting the wrong audience, your cold emails are going to fall flat. So, before you hit send, do your research! Identify your ideal customer profile and create a list of potential prospects that fit this profile. Use LinkedIn and other online resources to gather more information about your prospects and their companies. And don't forget to segment your list into smaller groups based on common characteristics or needs. This will help you tailor your messaging and increase the relevance of your emails.

Solution: Identify your buyer persona. Think of your buyer persona as your wingman - they're there to help you understand and segment your target audience, allowing you to tailor your marketing and sales efforts to better meet their needs and preferences. To define a buyer persona, start by gathering information about your current customers and conducting market research. This information can help you create a detailed profile of your ideal customer, including their characteristics, behaviors, and motivations. And remember, your buyer persona is not a one-time deal - it should be continuously refined and updated as you gather more data and insights about your target audience.

  1. Segmentation It's like putting your leads on a conveyor belt - by segmenting them into smaller groups based on common characteristics or needs, you can identify which buyer personas are most likely to generate the most profit for your business, and where you should focus your efforts. Classify your buyer personas into three tiers based on the value they bring to your business, and use this as a guide for where to prioritize personalization and lead generation efforts.
  2. Signals Buyers give off signals - it's like they're sending smoke signals to tell you when they're ready to buy! Don't just rely on your buyer persona characteristics, pay attention to these signals to determine the optimal time to reach out. We've compiled a list of 25 buyer signal tactics to help you stay relevant and identify when a prospect may be a good fit for your product or service.

So, there you have it - some fun and helpful metaphors to help you improve your cold emailing game. Remember, with a little research, segmentation, and signal-surfing, you'll be getting responses in no time!

Problem 2 - Spice up your opening lines!

Your message isn't targeted enough (too generic)

Cold emailing can feel like fishing in an icy pond, hoping to hook a big catch. But if your message is too generic, your prospects may not even nibble. That's where icebreakers come in - they're like a flaming hot Cheeto in a sea of stale crackers, grabbing your prospect's attention and making them eager to read on.

Crafting a killer icebreaker requires some effort, but it's worth it. You want to show your prospect that you've done your homework and understand their needs. Don't just copy-paste a generic opening - personalize it! Take the time to research their company, their industry, and their pain points. Then, use that information to create an icebreaker that shows you're genuinely interested in helping them.

Our article on intro lines covers some of the most effective icebreakers, but here are a few types of icebreakers to get your creative juices flowing:

  1. The compliment: Start your email with a genuine compliment about something the recipient or their company has achieved or created. For example, "I was impressed by your recent blog post on [topic] and wanted to reach out."
  2. The mutual connection: If you have a mutual connection with the prospect, use that to your advantage. Start your email by mentioning the connection and how you know them. For example, "I noticed that we have a mutual connection in [name], and they spoke highly of your work in [industry]."
  3. The shared interest: If you notice that the recipient has a shared interest or hobby based on their social media profiles or online presence, use that as an icebreaker. For example, "I saw that you're also a fan of [hobby/interest], and I couldn't resist reaching out to a fellow enthusiast."
  4. The industry insight: Demonstrate your knowledge of the recipient's industry by sharing an interesting fact or insight that's relevant to their work. For example, "I read a recent report that showed [statistic] about the [industry], and it got me thinking about how our product could help."
  5. The humor: If appropriate for your brand and the recipient's personality, using humor can be an effective way to break the ice. For example, "I know you're probably drowning in cold emails, but I promise this one won't make you want to hit 'delete' faster than a chain letter from your great-aunt Mildred."

Solution 1 - Make it personal and unique

Let's face it, no one likes to feel like they are just another name on a list of prospects. To avoid this, it's important to personalize your cold email and make it stand out. One way to do this is by using a unique and personal icebreaker that shows you have done your research and are genuinely interested in the recipient.

For example, imagine you are reaching out to a potential client who runs a blog about healthy living. Instead of a generic opening, you could try something like this:

"Hi [recipient's name], I stumbled across your blog and was really impressed with your article on the benefits of plant-based diets. As a vegetarian myself, I've been trying to convince my friends to make the switch too. I'd love to chat with you about your experiences and learn more about your approach to healthy living."

Using a personalized and unique approach like this not only shows that you have done your research and are genuinely interested in the recipient's work, but also helps you establish a connection and common ground that can lead to a fruitful conversation.

In the next section, we'll explore another important aspect of crafting effective cold emails - keeping it concise and to the point.

Solution 2 - personalize it to the company or a job post

Here's another example of how we contacted a prospect by referencing a recent update from their company. The prospect had written about their business growing from a small team to unicorn status in a few years. Since our company is on a similar path, we used this company news as an icebreaker:

"I saw your recent update about the impressive growth of your company. Congratulations! Our company is also experiencing rapid growth, and we're always looking for ways to continue expanding. I'd love to chat further about any tips or strategies you've found helpful in your journey."

Using this approach can be a good alternative when you don't have access to personal information about your prospect. It also allows you to mention similarities between your companies and establish a foundation for later discussions about growth and development. Additionally, it shows that you are well informed about your prospect's business and that your solution may be a good fit."

As a provider of email automation software, we noticed that one of our prospects had posted about hiring SDRs, which indicated that their team was growing and potentially facing challenges that our tool could help with. Therefore, we used the job post as an icebreaker:

"I saw your recent job posting for SDRs and wanted to reach out. Your team has consistently impressed me with the innovative strategies and results you've achieved. I believe our email automation software could be a valuable resource for your expanding team as you continue to grow and succeed."

This approach works because it shows that you are paying attention to the prospect's work and are genuinely interested in their success. It also establishes a personal connection through a compliment. As a bonus tip, if you are going to personalize your intro line, be sure that the topic is relevant to your pitch. Otherwise, you may catch their attention for the wrong reasons, and they may not find your email relevant and ignore it.

Solution 3 - personalize it to the industry / problem

This one is by far my favorite. If you can narrow in on a real pain point the prospect has, we have seen no material difference between this approach and an individually personalized email.

To personalize a cold email to an industry or specific pain point, start by identifying your target audience and gathering information about their needs and challenges. This can help you tailor your messaging to be more relevant and appealing to your prospects. Here are a few steps you can follow:

  1. Research your target audience: Use online resources, such as LinkedIn and industry publications, to gather information about your target audience's demographics, interests, and pain points. This can help you understand their needs and challenges and tailor your messaging to be more relevant.
  2. Identify common pain points: Look for common problems or challenges faced by your target audience that your product or service can solve. This can help you focus your messaging on the benefits that your solution can provide.
  3. Customize your email: Use the information you've gathered to create personalized subject lines and messaging that speaks to your target audience's specific needs and pain points. This can help increase the relevance of your email and improve the chances of engagement.
  4. Test and optimize: Regularly review and analyze the performance of your emails to identify any areas for improvement and optimize your approach as needed. This can help ensure that your cold emails are effectively targeting your audience and addressing their specific needs and challenges.

Nobody cares about your product

Your pitch should be entirely focused on your prospect, not on your product. Instead of talking about your product, try asking discovery questions that confirm the prospect has a problem that needs solving. This is because the goal of the pitch is not to sell, but rather to build a relationship. Once you have established a relationship and confirmed the prospect's interest, it will be much easier to move on to the selling phase.

Here's an example of a prospect-focused pitch that you can use in your outreach:

"I saw your recent success in the industry and wanted to reach out. I'm always interested in learning more about the challenges and struggles that top performers face. Can we schedule a quick call to discuss how you've overcome some of the hurdles you've encountered and how we might be able to help with any current challenges you're facing?"

This approach works because it sparks the prospect's interest by mentioning their achievements and demonstrates that the email is unique and tailored to their specific needs. It also focuses on the prospect's struggles, which can capture their attention and show that you are interested in helping them, rather than just selling to them.

As a bonus tip, consider using custom images, videos, and landing pages to further personalize your pitch. With the right tools, it can be quick and easy to create an ultra-personalized pitch that will encourage your prospects to respond. Remember, the key is to make your prospects feel like you are there to help them, not just to sell to them.

Stop asking for a meeting

Of course you want a meeting. But my goodness, do you know how many people are asking other people for their time. It's a really difficult proposition to get a meeting booked from a first cold email. Not to mention how many people no-show these days even after booking a meeting. You're better off playing the long game and aiming for a reply first. That reply should be very high intent. Offer instead to shoot them a loom video answering their questions.

Asking for a meeting on the first cold email can be a bad idea because it can come across as pushy or presumptuous. It's important to establish a relationship and build trust with your prospects before requesting a meeting. Additionally, asking for a meeting on the first email can make it appear as though you are more interested in selling to the prospect than understanding their needs and helping them solve a problem. This can decrease the chances of the prospect responding to your email and may lead to a lower reply rate.

Instead of asking for a meeting outright, it can be more effective to focus on building a relationship with your prospects by providing value and demonstrating your expertise. This can involve offering useful information, sharing relevant resources, or offering to help solve a problem that the prospect is facing. By taking the time to understand the prospect's needs and demonstrating your value, you can increase the chances of building a relationship and securing a meeting down the line.


Remember: It's not about you, it's about your prospects. By following these steps, you can increase response rates, book more meetings, and build meaningful relationships with your target audience:

  1. Only contact leads who are currently experiencing a problem that your product or service can solve.
  2. Customize your intro line to establish trust and encourage prospects to read the rest of your message.
  3. Avoid talking about yourself in your pitch and focus on asking discovery questions to confirm that the prospect has a problem that needs solving.
  4. Don't ask for a meeting in your call to action (CTA); aim for a response instead.
  5. The more relationships you build, the more potential customers you have, which can ultimately lead to higher sales numbers.

By focusing on the needs of your prospects and building relationships with them, you can increase your chances of success in cold outreach.