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How to Write Cold Emails that Convert into Sales

It’s no secret that failure is the catalyst for success. Let’s look at 6 email fails that are hurting your conversion rate and show you how to avoid them.

You’re Being Ignored Because of These 6 Embarrassing Email Fails

Make your communication worthwhile for yourself, and for your recipients, by learning from every email fail on this list.

I wrote these tips with cold sales emails in mind, although I am sure that these could apply to just about any email one might write.

Related: 8 Creepy Ways Sales People Effectively Research Their Competition

Cold email conversions


The first email fail that many professionals make is to not use the name of their prospect during communication, or to not use it enough.

“Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

– Dale Carnegie

Sincerity is everything. Your email recipients will be more likely to trust your message and engage with it when their name is used. Try putting it in the subject line and once or twice within your email, either at the beginning, the end, or both.


Long emails result in longer response times, or no response at all.

Writing shorter emails will demonstrate that you’re considerate of your recipients time (and your own), which is more productive for all involved. Get rid of unnecessary descriptive words, and use numbers or bulleted lists for a more concise, minimalistic style of writing.


Emails sent to multiple recipients within a company have higher open rates, and emails which mention other company stakeholders, competition, or provide social proof get higher response rates.

Traditionally we take cues from our peers, so failing to provide an element of peer pressure to your email could get it filed away in the trash bin, or worse, the spam folder.

How to write emails that convert


Try to make your email natural and be yourself. If you are able to make someone smile, they relax. A little humour in your tone can help break the ice and make you more likeable.

Straight up honesty, or addressing an elephant in the room is often unexpected and disarming.

Most importantly, create a healthy understanding of who they’re talking to. Don’t be afraid.


Be sure to provide a reason for your call to action, and be clear and concise with your expected response.

“Because” is a powerful word, and when you use it to provide a reason for a request, your chances of compliance rise dramatically.

Even if the reason to follow it isn’t very good, science has proven that it still works because it taps into our automatic behaviours, or “mindlessness”, as a shortcut to a desired result. (It’s also great when speaking with children).

Science has also proven that if you’re vague or you leave something up in the air, you’ve almost completely lost your shot at getting a reply.

Don’t ask “what does your schedule look like next week”, instead ask “are you available to discuss at 10am, Monday June 9? If not, let me know what time is best”.

cold email sales tips


Save the call of duty for the boy scouts. There’s little point in writing generic, self-interested follow up emails that provide little value when there are so many other reasons with which you could follow up; master the “un-follow up”.

  • Instead of checking in arbitrarily, it’s possible to figure out when your recipient is reviewing your materials and follow up at that time. Software like MixMax (for Gmail) and Signals can provide you with the same sort of intel your email campaign manager can; such as when your email is read, their location, and what device it was read on. This makes it easier to follow up with additional information that’s relevant to what they were reading in a reasonable timeframe, while it’s still fresh in their memory.
  • Set up Google alerts for your prospects business, their competition, and industry keywords. The moment Google detects relevant content you will be notified, and you can tailor your follow up with a greater focus around their interests. Not yours.
  • Get niche content about your prospects industry to demonstrate you truly understand their needs, wants, and desires; join a market-centric forum or Linked In group and learn what’s important right from the words of your prospect, their competition, and those who service them.

You, there –what do you think?

I’m sure we’ve left a lot of meat on the bone –anything to add?

Drop a comment and show your mojo.

Related: Read our review of FlexJobs –a great source for copywriting work!

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