3 Copywriting Mistakes That Make Your Cold Emails Look Stupid

Do your prospects take your cold emails seriously?

Are your emails creating excitement and a desire to do business with you, or are your prospects forwarding your messages to all their friends in the office so they can laugh when they reread your cheesy, desperate pitch?

Today’s cold email prospecting requires crafting highly personalized messages that offer your prospects actual value. The standard opening lines “can I speak to the right person?” and “who’s in charge of X department” no longer have the same results as they did a decade ago.

Too many salespeople substitute bullet points and flashy graphics for a quality message.

But your prospects aren’t dumb.

They can’t be swayed by salesy gimmicks and outdated tactics. Your prospects crave simple messages that speak directly to their needs and goals. So, if your cold emails are the butt of everyone’s jokes, you’re probably making at least one of these copywriting mistakes:

Cold Email Copywriting Mistake #1: Writing For (and about) Yourself Instead of Your Prospects

“I hope your week is going well. I recently returned from the Affiliate Summit conference in 

Las Vegas where I was a featured speaker. What a great show! My presentation went really well, was standing room only, and I got a lot of great feedback, so I can’t complain. I went ahead and recorded a video webinar to walk you through the presentation slides, notes, and examples from my presentation.”

The above cold email is too self-focused. It tells me nothing about the product or how it can help solve my problems.  Rattling off a list of your achievements and successes doesn’t excite anyone but your mom (and maybe not even her). Cold emails should focus on your prospects, making them feel special and appreciated, not confused and irritated with you.

If your product and messaging are relevant and valuable to your prospects, they will sing your praises.

Cold Email Copywriting Pro Tip #1: Instead of bragging about yourself, craft messages that focus on specific benefits that will entice your prospects. You can transform each of your product’s features into benefits. (Remember, one benefit per cold email!)

Cold Email Copywriting Mistake #2: Being Vague and Impersonal

“I am taking a bit of a guess here, however based on your LinkedIn profile, you appear to be an appropriate person to connect with… or might at least point me in the right direction.”

This email gives no sense of who the sender is or what they’re after.

If you’re doing cold emailing correctly, it shouldn’t be a guessing game!

In 2015, you have all the tools you need online to do thorough research and know exactly who you’re reaching out to.

Highly impersonal emails like this one don’t engage your prospects in an authentic conversation. The lack of custom inserts and personalization makes this email feel extremely mass and spammy—the sender has taken no time or effort to add details that would indicate a thoughtful one-on-one request.

Cold Email Copywriting Pro Tip #2: Be thoughtful about your audience and take time to research at least 3 buyer personas before writing a single email. Look for keywords in LinkedIn profiles that indicate buyers’ priorities and what KPIs they care about. Check Twitter to see what kind of content they consume and share. Once you have these details, provide specific details that would only be relevant to that particular audience so they know you are thoughtful, considerate and intelligent.

Cold Email Copywriting Mistake #3: Overwhelming Your Prospects With Too Much Information

“I have been referred to write to you by a strategic customers/partners. I cover the Asia market basing out of Singapore. My strong business sales track records of over twenty eight years ensures that I can contribute very profitably to your business organisation. I am a trained engineer (Electrical) with an MBA (University of Strathclye) and a doctorate of philosophy (Ph.D. – University of South Australia) in market research degrees on the Infocom industry. I was working for infotech companies including Oracle, Intel and Honeywell, Texas Instruments before working as a freelance business consultant over the last several years.”

Don’t try to cram your entire resume (and perhaps an online dating profile?) into a single cold email! Your prospects don’t have time to skim through walls of text to find your pitch.

This example (only 1 of 4 paragraphs I received!) is so bloated and full of useless fluff that I can’t figure out what they’re selling or what the heck any of this has to do with me.

Rambling is the fastest way to confuse your prospects and lose their interest. Giving your prospects simple, concise messages that add value shows you take them and their business seriously.

Cold Email Copywriting Pro Tip #3: Cold emails are only meant to to be the first step in starting a conversation with your prospects–nothing more; keep them short and sweet. Your messages should be no longer than 2-5 sentences. Make sure to review your email one last time before you hit send, and cut out any words or sentences that don’t add value.

I hope that was helpful!


About the author: Heather Morgan

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Heather R Morgan is the CEO of Salesfolk, a copywriting consultancy that helps B2B sales organizations write cold emails that start warm conversations with C-level executives.

This article was first published by Heather Morgan