At first mention, cold outreach tends to have a bad reputation. 

It's no wonder, as no one likes unsolicited emails, LinkedIn messages, or calls. 

However, real cold outreach is not useless or annoying. On the contrary, it helps your and your clients' businesses grow and builds strong, lucrative, and long-lasting relationships. 

It starts with thoroughly researching the ICP and Buyer Persona, defining a precise outreach strategy, writing sales messages and follow-ups in advance, predicting objections and preparing for objection handling, and much more.  

That's why, in this blog, we will dive into a detailed explanation of:

What is cold outreach? 

Cold Outreach is a form of outbound marketing. It implies contacting prospects with whom you had no prior relationship and introducing them to your product/service. It can be conducted via LinkedIn, email (cold emailing), phone (cold calling), or by combining these channels (multichannel outreach). 

Companies with a business-to-business work model mainly use cold outreach. For optimal results, each cold outreach campaign should be based on a well-thought-out outreach strategy. This strategy should aligns with the company's needs, goals, and possibilities. 

Cold outreach VS warm outreach 

Cold outreach, as mentioned above, implies reaching out to prospects with whom you had no prior relationship and who most likely have little or no awareness of your product/service. 

On the other hand, warm outreach implies contacting prospects who know about your product/service and have expressed interest in it. The communication channels can be the same as cold outreach strategies - via LinkedIn, email, call, or combining several communication channels. However, the approach is, of course, different. 

Cold outreach strategies in marketing, sales, and recruiting 

Cold outreach is a form of outbound marketing and sales. It is a traditional form of marketing in which a company initiates contact with a potential customer. 

Since cold outreach is mainly implemented by companies with a B2B work model, these potential clients are other companies that could benefit from their products/services the most. 

The most common forms of outbound marketing are:

This chapter will discuss the role of cold emailing, cold calling, and cold messaging on LinkedIn as a cold outreach strategy in sales, marketing, and recruiting. 

Cold outreach strategy in marketing 

Network with industry peers 

Networking with industry peers positively impacts the exposure of your business. Furthermore, it brings meaningful connections, and provides additional insights into different marketing trends and practices. 

What once was reserved for in-person business events only today is happening on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social media platform aimed at building B2B relationships that gathers over 810 million professionals worldwide. In other words, it allows you to find and network with all your industry peers from all over the world in one place. 

Connect with thought leaders and influencers

Word of mouth is the best marketing tool, especially from industry experts. 

LinkedIn is also an excellent place to connect with thought-leaders and influencers. This way you can talk about your product/service reach your target audience through their content or mention. 

Also, you can get in touch with their followers through the Sales Navigator filter Connections Of. Or, use a LinkedIn automation tool, such as Skylead, to scrape LinkedIn members who reacted to specific posts and reach out to them.

Invite top speakers to participate at your event 

Whether a startup or an established business, having high-profile speakers at your event (webinars, in-person conferences, seminars, etc.) puts your company in the spotlight. It is an excellent way to gather people from your industry and potential customers in one place. 

Additionally, top-level speakers usually have a broad audience and many followers on social media. As a result, they could attract professionals from an industry branch you didn't consider initially. This gives you a significant insight into the direction your business can take.

Create cold outreach campaigns to get in touch with platforms or other brands that could go hand-in-hand with yours.(obviously, skip your competitors!). In return, be open to hosting their content or exchanging backlinks. 

Having your content published or backlinked on other places rather than just on your gives your brand significant exposure, whether a startup or an established business. Furthermore, it places you and your team members as field experts. 

Send out press releases 

A new software release, reaching a business milestone, announcing a new product/service, or anything worth mentioning should be publicly announced. Use cold outreach to get in touch with online magazines relevant to your industry and get extra publicity. 

Cold outreach strategy in sales 

Simply put, sales represents the group of activities that lead to exchanging goods or services for money or other assets. 

Not long ago, the entire sales process, from lead generation to the pitch, was reserved for face-to-face contact. Then, unsolicited calls to prospects without prior contact, known as cold calling, became a crucial part of sales teams' cold outreach strategies. This way, teams managed to reach geographically more distant clients. 

Today, with the internet becoming available to almost everyone, sales reps are using more and more social media networks to understand their customers and to reach out to them. However, the social selling process is far more complicated than that.

There are over 63 million decision-makers on LinkedIn. You can now offer your product/service to the entire world, but so can everyone else. That's how social selling was born. It is a sales and marketing strategy that prioritizes relationship building with potential clients and makes the act of selling its consequence rather than a goal. Social selling has many processes, but it usually starts with cold outreach. 

Cold outreach strategy in recruiting 

Due to the global talent shortage, recruiters must develop an employer branding strategy to present their company in the labor market and a cold outreach strategy to approach ideal candidates and attract them to work for their company. 

Furthermore, LinkedIn developed a series of platforms designed to help recruiters find the most qualified candidates for their companies - LinkedIn Recruiter.

What is cold email outreach? 

Cold email outreach is an outbound prospecting technique that uses email to approach prospects to establish professional relationships and sell your product. Therefore, a cold email is any unsolicited email sent to someone who knows nothing or very little about your product with the goal of selling it. 

B2B Cold email response rates 

A generally accepted average cold email open rate is 21.33%, while an average response rate is 1% to 5%

As you may see, the difference between an open rate and a reply rate is significant. The email open rate depends on your email subject line and your reply rate of how good you are at writing sales messages and follow-up emails after no response.

One of the many benefits of using Skylead, a LinkedIn automation tool and cold email software, is the possibility to find and verify your prospects' email addresses. The verification process is critical, as it ensures higher deliverability (chances of your cold email landing directly in your prospect's inbox instead of spam) and safeguards your domain from restrictions. 

Furthermore, every day Skylead team strives to educate our users and beyond on sales and anything sales-related, how to put our tips, tricks, and templates for better open and reply rates, and finally, conversion rates into good use through our tool. You can find sales email templates and LinkedIn templates in our resources or subscribe to our newsletter for the latest industry and software updates and ready-to-use sales templates. 

Image of CTA banner 1 for Skylead salesbook - ready-to-use outreach template that can be applied to our LinkedIn automation and cold email software

Cold outreach on LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is a social media platform that, besides connecting professionals from around the world, gives you significant insights into your prospects' needs, desires, and pain points through their LinkedIn profiles. 

Unlike other social media focusing on people's private lives or B2C communication, LinkedIn is majorly oriented towards the B2B business model. 

It offers detailed insights into your ideal customers, such as your prospect's name, company name, contact information (email, website, phone number), professional communities they like, and content with which they engage. 

Despite LinkedIn being majorly mentioned as a platform for salespeople, sales teams, and marketers, it's important to highlight that it's pretty valuable for recruiters and people looking for new job opportunities. 

When fishing for the best talent to join your company, the process is the same as social selling. On the other hand, potential employees rely on LinkedIn before applying to a position that might interest them. They can draw conclusions from the company's employer branding campaigns, growth insights, etc., just like sales reps and marketers do for their potential clients. 

What is multichannel cold outreach?

Multichannel cold outreach implies combining channels of communication, usually LinkedIn outreach, email outreach, and cold calling to get prospects to engage in the process of social selling. It can also be performed through your multichannel contact center.

Multichannel outreach is the most effective approach for starting a conversation with your ideal prospects because you are creating more than one touchpoint with your prospects and, at the same time identifying their preferred channel of communication for further conversations. 

Benefits of cold outreach

Image of Free Trial CTA banner with Skylead's smart sequence that demonstrates multichannel outreach using LinkedIn automation and email steps with if/else conditions

Cold outreach: Best practices

Understand your prospects' needs 

LinkedIn is a gold mine of qualified prospects and information on those prospects. So, check out:

You can learn all of this by visiting their LinkedIn profile. 


Once you've understood your prospects' affinities, needs, and goals, it's time to put this information into practice. Personalizing your outreach goes far beyond calling your prospects by their names. Some successful sales reps import CSV files (with email lists or LinkedIn URLs) into automation tools. They also personalize entire paragraphs to each prospect for the best results.  

For example, let’s say you have an email list of your ideal prospects. Create a column where you write a personalized intro for each of them where the rest of the sales message copy stays the same for every prospect.

CSV file, example, Skylead CSV-file cold outreach campaign

Once you upload this .csv file to Skylead, the column “intro” will automatically turn into a variable {{intro}}. Use it like this. 

Skylead, example of personalization, cold email outreach, variables

Each prospect will receive a combination of the personalized intro as in the csv file with the rest of the message. 

Address the pain points 

Your best pitch lies in proving that your product/service solves your prospects' pain points most quickly and directly. Make that clear in your sales messages, from the intro to CTA. 

Connect on a human level

However, addressing the pain points doesn't mean selling repeatedly. Keep in mind that your prospects are humans and that you should always try to connect on a human level. Sales reps who genuinely show that they care and want to help their potential customers improve their businesses have higher conversion rates. 

Build relationships before selling 

As part of social selling, cold outreach is all about building relationships with prospects. People are more likely to buy products from people they trust and with whom they feel comfortable opening up. 

Don't quit - follow up 

Don't give up after the first try. Decision-makers to whom you're trying to get are busy. They receive numerous LinkedIn connection requests and cold emails and, believe it or not, often forget to reply. So sending a follow-up email is always a good choice. 

Qualify your prospects  

Qualifying a prospect means determining whether or not someone interested in your product/service is a good fit for it. Therefore, a qualified prospect is a potential client whose pain points your product/service solves in the most direct way. By qualifying your prospects, you will have higher customer lifetime value while lowering churn rates. 

A/B test your cold outreach

One cold outreach template won't fit all prospects. That's why it's smart to A/B test message templates of all kinds. A/B test is a randomized experimentation process where two or more versions are sent to different target users simultaneously to determine which one makes results and influences the desirable business action. It's the only way to know what really works for your target prospects. 

For example, in this case, we tested 3 different copies of Invite to connect on LinkedIn to see which one would have the highest acceptance rate and/or reply rate. 

Here’s how you see the results of A/B testing in Skylead. You also have instant insight into the messages you were testing. 

Skylead, AB testing, example of AB testing results

Automate your cold outreach

It's 2024, and we're far past manual outreach. LinkedIn automation tools progressed and are now an indispensable part of any sales, marketing, and recruiting process. Skylead, for example, optimizes your time by finding the fastest way to your prospects, makes sure your cold emails land directly in your prospect's inbox, which affects your deliverability, gives you real-time reports and campaign status, and supports all sorts of integrations with CRMs (i.e., Hubspot, Salesflare, Zoho) newsletter tools, databases, etc. through Zapier and API. 

What is a good cold email 

A good cold email must show that the sender has thoroughly researched the recipient (prospect) and their company to understand their needs, desires, and pain points. Furthermore, it also includes a concrete and straight-to-the-point explanation of how your product/service can help improve a specific aspect of their business. 

The characteristics of a "good cold email" are the same for recruiters and candidates writing to hiring managers to search for job opportunities. 

For example, if you're a recruiter reaching out to the ideal candidate, you should show that you've researched that person and why you consider them the right fit for the position. The "spray and pray" approach doesn't work, not it makes your company look good. 

The same goes another way around. If you're a candidate searching for an opportunity, make sure you've done thorough research on a specific company's product/service. Even if you're an expert in your field, the hiring manager is less likely to consider you if they notice you don't particularly care about the company itself and that you just go and apply for random jobs. 

Image of CTA banner 2 for Skylead salesbook - ready-to-use outreach template that can be applied to our LinkedIn automation and cold email software

Cold outreach email template 

Now, let's look at some proven cold email formulas (and cold email templates) that increase your reply rates and generate results. 

The most basic structure of cold emails, whether a first email or a follow-up, consists of an email subject line, email body copy, call-to-action (CTA), and email signature. 

As mentioned above, the email open rate majorly depends on your email subject line. Your response rates depend on how well you researched your recipients, hence, how relevant your offer is to their company. Also, if you included links or hyperlinked words, ensure the anchor words are attractive enough (but not misleading) to improve your click-through rate. 

Here are some cold email formulas/templates.

The BAB (Before - After - Bridge) formula

Before - a paragraph on your prospect's pain point. 

After - what your prospect's business looks like with a solution you're offering. 

Bridge - how your prospect can get there. 

Cold outreach email template with the BAB (Before - After - Bridge) Formula

The PAS (Problem - Agitate - Solve) formula

The PAS formula is also known as "a pessimistic version of BAB". However, it works equally well in different situations. You have to evaluate which principle works better for you and your prospects, or you can always AB test them. 

Problem - open your cold email with the problem your prospect's facing. 

Agitate - emphasize the problem until it "hurts".

Solve - offer a solution to your prospect's problem.

Cold outreach email template with the PAS (Problem - Agitate - Solve) Formula

The SSS (Star - Story - Success) formula 

Star - introduce the main character, that should be either your prospect or someone with whom your prospect can identify.

Story - tell a story about your character in which they face the same problem your prospect does.

Success - share how your character got out of the problem and offer the same solution to your prospect.

Cold outreach email template with the SSS (Star - Story - Success) Formula

The ACCA (Awareness - Comprehension - Conviction - Action) formula 

Awareness - show your prospect that you know what their pain point is.

Comprehension - explain how this pain point affects them, and tell them you have a solution.

Conviction - create a desire for the solution.

Action - call-to-action (CTA).  

Cold outreach email template with the ACCA (Awareness - Comprehension - Conviction - Action) Formula

The AIDA (Attention - Interest - Desire - Action) formula 

Attention — Grab the prospect's attention.

Interest — Make it personal to engage their interest.

Desire — Build desire for what you're offering.

Action — Ask for a response.

Email template with the AIDA (Attention - Interest - Desire - Action) Formula

Also, remember to check out our ready-to-use follow-up email after no response templates, as well as the most common email mistakes and the most effective email calls-to-action (CTAs) for higher response and conversion rates. 

Best cold email outreach subject line 

Whether a first or a follow-up email, your email subject line is crucial for your open rates. 

Subject lines should be compelling but not misleading. If you used tricks to get your email opened, and the subject line doesn't reflect the email body, don't expect your prospect to reply. People generally get angry when misled and are less likely to open your follow-up emails, too.  

Here are email subject line guidelines, best practices, and over 107 subject line examples that you can use immediately or draw inspiration from. 

LinkedIn outreach templates 

In simple words, LinkedIn outreach implies using the platform to connect and nurture professional relationships with the goal of selling your product/service to those members that would benefit from it the most.

For this purpose, LinkedIn offers different types of messaging, such as connection requests for better acceptance rates, regular messages for members of your network, LinkedIn InMails for busy decision-makers, and 3rd-degree connections. 

From this point of view, LinkedIn outreach is different from cold email outreach for classifying members based on your connection level, whereas you can send a cold email to pretty much anyone whose email address you have. However, LinkedIn as a platform offers other benefits, such as networking opportunities, significant insights into your prospect's professional achievements, pain points, and professional aspirations, etc. 

You will find over 30 ready-to-use LinkedIn outreach templates in our resources LinkedIn connection message templates, sales messages for starting sales conversations, and LinkedIn InMails examples

LinkedIn outreach automation 

Skylead is a LinkedIn automation tool and cold email outreach software that, thanks to its smart algorithms that make decisions based on your prospect's behavior, automates time-consuming sales processes and gets to your prospects in the fastest and most direct way possible. 

By automating your LinkedIn outreach, you are optimizing your time and saving resources while still getting the most out of your LinkedIn prospecting process. In addition, it is perfectly safe and supports integrations through API and Zapier with CRMs, newsletter tools, database software, calendar booking tools, etc. 

Skylead allows you to automate only LinkedIn outreach, make only cold email campaigns, or combine everything into multichannel outreach for the best results. It also has its email finder that, at the same time, verifies each prospect's email address to increase deliverability and prevent harming your email domain. 

Skylead’s Smart Sequences work on the “if/else” principle meaning that they act based on your lead’s behavior. The picture below shows what multichannel outreach looks like but you can always opt to make a Smart Sequence that focuses on one channel only (LinkedIn or email). 

Skylead, smart sequence, example of multichannel cold outreach

Also, it has a proven boost mode feature that helps you bypass LinkedIn limits and connect with more prospects in less time. 

Image of CTA banner 1 for watching Skylead - LinkedIn automation and cold email software demo

Frequently asked questions 

Is cold outreach effective? 

If done right, cold outreach is a powerful prospecting tactic used by many salespeople for its high ROI, the possibility to reach potential clients from all over the world, and the ability to build long-lasting business relationships. 

Why is cold outreach important? 

Cold outreach can help you gain broader brand awareness and reach potential customers from all over the world. Furthermore, it's cost-effective and can be used for sales, marketing, recruiting, and job searches. 

How do you conduct a cold outreach? 

You will not get into trouble if you use your prospects' business email addresses for cold email campaigns. 

Can you cold email B2B? 

Yes, B2B companies' sales teams use cold email outreach and LinkedIn outreach more often to accomplish their sales goals. 

What is cold outreach in marketing? 

Cold outreach in marketing is a form of outbound marketing that implies contacting prospects who could turn into your potential clients but don't know about your brand and have no previous experience with it. It could be done through email marketing, LinkedIn outreach, and cold calling. 

What is cold lead generation? 

Cold leads (referred to as "top of the funnel" leads) are those who are most likely not familiar with your product/service and haven't expressed interest in it. Cold lead generation is the process of gaining cold leads' attention, usually through LinkedIn (LinkedIn lead generation), cold emailing, and cold calling.

What is the difference between cold calling and prospecting? 

Prospecting is the process of identifying and building relationships with potential customers who probably don't know about your product and haven't shown interest in it so far. Cold calling is one of the prospecting techniques which includes reaching out to potential customers via phone. 

Is it better to cold call or email first? 

It majorly depends on your sales outreach strategy. However, some outreach experts find cold emailing less invasive and advise starting by reaching out to your ideal customers in written form (cold emailing and/or LinkedIn outreach). 

How long should a cold outreach email be? 

Generally, shorter cold sales emails of around 50-200 words have higher response rates. However, the most important aspect of cold emails is that they are personalized and highly relevant to the recipients. Also, their subject lines must be catchy while reflecting the emails' topic.

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Blank email interface. Insertion point flickers on your document. You can feel it staring back, almost judging you for not knowing what to write anymore for your cold email outreach. You tried everything - it’s not working, and you don’t understand what you are doing wrong.

Once again, without any inspiration, you scribble what your company does, offer a product, and mass blast it. 

You wait. A couple of days later, history repeats itself. There is no response.

You think to yourself ’’This is too hard’’, or worse ’’This is not working for me’’.

Formula calculation that describes bounce rate

As Darth Vader, you start breathing heavily. Take off the mask and get wind of the list of cold email mistakes you're probably making, what impact they have on your email metrics, and how to fix them to improve email campaign performance.

Do not worry. These mistakes happen to everybody.

The most important cold email outreach metrics

Before we dive deep into these email mistakes, let’s recap the metrics you need to track that will tell you a lot about your overall campaign performance.

Understanding and tracking the email metrics is crucial when deciding if your outreach campaign was victorious. It’s like putting a billboard up in the city and not knowing how many people saw it or bought your product afterward. Thanks to technology, now you can.

To be more precise, to measure email performance, you need to knowhow many emails were bounced, opened, responded to, and how many people converted via cold email outreach. Once you have that mastered, you can start creating engaging cold email campaigns.

#1 Cold email metric: Bounce rate

Bounce Rate in email outreach is the total percentage of email messages that have not been delivered successfully. This can happen if for example an email address is invalid or there is a technical issue with the email provider.

How to calculate email bounce rate

Formula calculation that describes bounce rate


Let’s say that during your email campaign you sent 1000 email messages. Out of those, 98 weren’t successfully delivered. The calculation would go like this:

Bounce Rate = 98 / 1000 x 100 = 9.8%

#2 Cold email metric: Open rate

Email open rate is the percentage used as an indicator of email campaign health. The higher it is, the better. 

This metric doesn’t tell you a lot about the email convertibility as a whole. However, it can indicate why it wasn’t opened, whether or not your subject line, or preview text (first several words of your email body) are appealing or can imply broken email deliverability

How to calculate email open rate

Formula calculation that describes email open rate


Taking the numbers from the previous example, say, you have 1000 sent out, 98 out of those bounced and 565 were opened. The calculation will go like this:

Open rate = 565 / ( 1000 - 98 ) x 100 = 62.63%

#3 Cold email metric: Response rate

It’s nice to have a high Open rate, but it is even better to have a high Response rate, as well. As per its name, this metric indicates the number of individual emails in the cold campaign that leads responded to. This metric shows the quality of your email’s content. Ultimately, a good response rate means that you’ve managed to get the lead’s attention.

How to calculate email response rate

Formula calculation that describes email response rate


Continuing the example thread. Now you have 902 unique emails that have been delivered. Out of those, only 133 leads responded. The calculation goes like this:

Response rate = 133 / 902 x 100 = 14.75%

#4 Cold email metric: Email conversion rate

Conversion is an activity when a lead completes a desired goal, such as signing up for Demo or starting the Subscription. That said, conversion rate for email outreach is the percentage of prospects who took the desired action from your email campaign. 

To find out more about conversions, their types, and other KPIs, check out 5 Must-Know KPI Metrics to Grow Your B2B Business [Bonus Metrics Included].

Needless to say, the conversion rate is the ultimate metric to figure out if an email campaign was successful.

How to calculate email conversion rate

Formula calculation that describes email Conversion rate


Out of 902 successfully delivered emails, you have 36 conversions in total. Calculation is the following:

Conversion Rate = 36 / 902 x 100 = 3.99%

Now let’s see what email mistakes you are making that negatively impact these metrics and how to correct them.

Cold email outreach mistakes to say goodbye to

Successful email outreach is a lot tougher than ever these days. With so many emails cramping up the leads inboxes, it is hard to remember and know what best works for your targeted prospects, let alone see the mistakes that slither in without you even noticing. ‍

That’s why we created this ultimate guide to the most common email mistakes, how they affect the metrics, and how to fix them. First, let's break the email mistakes down into the following four categories to make it easier. There are Email Mistakes:

  1. Affecting Deliverability 
  2. Regarding Content
  3. Related To Attitude Towards the Prospect
  4. Affecting Sales Process

I Email mistakes affecting deliverability 

1. Acquiring poor quality leads

Let’s address the elephant in the room: many came across a situation where you are weighing options whether you should go for a cheaper alternative or not when buying prospects’ data. Unfortunately, the cheaper option almost always leads to devastating results in the end.

Starting, the leads’ contact information you get from unverified vendors might be completely untargeted for your outreach. You can get every mistake right on this list, but if your ICP is not targeted, the entire email outreach will fail. 

Or, maybe the prospect’s name is incorrect, and you might address them wrongly which will definitely affect the response rate and you will lose this lead. Forever. 

But there is a worse case scenario above all: if emails are invalid or non-existent, they can crumble your email outreach efforts because it increases the bounce rate and risks getting your domain blacklisted

Think of it as the butterfly effect: the bigger the bounce rate is, the more it damages your domain health and increases the danger of getting your emails in the spam folder or domain blacklisted. It also decreases your open rate, response rate, and conversion rate in the long run.

What to do?

Buy the data from well-established and verified data vendors or gather the right information as first-party data yourself. 

Another solution is to find a reliable partner for data research or introduce your sales team with a sales engagement tool for outreach that has email discovery and verification features. 

2. Adding a big number of links or sending the broken ones

Everyone wishes to tell the prospect as many things as possible about our product or service. We want to show them the blogs, ask for a meeting, attach a whitepaper file and add alternative comparison pages for them to see. While this confuses the prospect regarding CTA (which we will mention below), it also overcrowds the email itself, making email providers raise their robot heads as bloodhounds. Too many links or files in your email will trigger a warning to the email provider and increase the possibility for your emails to twirl down to the Spam folder

Furthermore, if you send a broken link to prospects, they will think of you as an unprofessional or worse spammer, and it will decrease the response and conversion rates, as they will lose interest in you.

What to do?

Try to keep the number of links to a minimum as you can (preferably without any links), and of course, check the links before sending

Additional tip: If in your signatures you have linked icons, check every one of them. As those links count as well, and sometimes they get broken, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

3. Sending too many messages per day

We all wish to send as many emails as possible for a short period. But this is a big mistake, especially if your email address is new. Sending too many emails per day can result in your messages ending up in the Spam folder. This can be one of the causes of your open rate dropping. 

What to do?

Slowly warm up your email address by sending a low number of emails, and then gradually increase the volume over some time. The warm-up of a new email address or domain can last from 30 to 90 days

Email address or domain warm-up

II Email mistakes regarding content

4. Being too casual or too formal

Balance is everything. Sales representatives sometimes go overboard trying to get their prospects to laugh, which only ends up being too cringey. We do not say GIFs or jokes are bad, we even use them in outreach, and thread them to the context of the message. So know what thy boundaries are. 

Then on the other side of the scale, we have an overly formal approach. The truth is that everyone wishes to be respected, so a formal approach is good, but if you go overboard, you will sound like a robot.

What to do?

Find the balance between the two scales. You can even send personalized GIFs or Images to show creativity and genuine interest, but keep it tasteful.

When it comes to an overly formal approach, you can loosen up a bit. 

Cold email mistake example of being overly formal

5. Subject lines mistakes

Coming up with the subject line cannot be an easy feat. It has to be attractive, short, explain everything but still leave the prospect interested in clicking on it. As challenging as it is, there are still some mistakes people make when it comes to these:  

What to do? 

These mistakes influence every important email metric starting open rate, so make sure to avoid them. Think about how you would attract the leads’ attention and bind the subject line as a whole with the email body. Even better, try to make the subject line as a prequel to your Preview text of the email and make it a united lead magnet.

Image of CTA banner 2 for watching Skylead - LinkedIn automation and cold email software demo

6. Message copy not relevant to the market

As mentioned for the subject line, you need to keep a close eye on your email content's relevance to the market, as well. Writing an email not relevant to the industry can result in a lower response rate and conversion rate.

What to do?

Go full private detecting on this one. Research the industry, find the pain points. Go even further - find prospects' companies and information about them. Show them you understand the industry problems and what solution you offer instead.

7. Self-centered messages to prospects

Writing messages that are more focused on you instead of your prospects’ companies can come across as being too aggressive or assertive, resulting in lower response rates.

What to do?

Instead, be aggressive in knowing your lead: Showcase the research you did on them, ask for the call to know more about their pain points and see how your product or service can aid them further. 

People resonate with what’s in it for them. Talk about them, gain their interest through email. 


Cold email mistake example of self-centered message VS prospect-oriented

8. Adding too much CTAs or not at all

As mentioned above, if you wish to show the prospect the blog posts, ask for a meeting, add alternative comparison pages for them to see, and top it off with a YouTube video - Stop. 

All these are a type of call to action, and piling them in one email will only confuse the prospects regarding CTA. 

On the other hand, if you do not use CTA at all, you will lose the purpose of your cold outreach, so the prospects won’t have action in their mind to fulfill. 

What to do?

The goals of outreach campaigns are different for every purpose. Define one short CTA, and stay away from the unclear ones.
For more information on CTA in sales emails, check out our Detailed Guide On Crafting The Powerful Call To Action.

9. Not enough value

Often, our value proposition is not deep enough, doesn’t hit the bullseye, and is too generic. This directly affects the response rate, and you will lose the prospect as you weren’t compelling enough. 

What to do?

Once again, put on your detective glasses and go into deep search of a particular prospect’s main pain points. You need to know and understand them. 

If you can explain their situation better than they can, they will automatically assume you have the solution and gain interest.


Cold email mistake example providing value

10. Unnecessary text length

If your cold email message is too long and has numerous paragraphs, take a step back. 

Let's say you are reaching out to CEOs or other higher-up positions. They usually have a lot on their plate, so you probably know the one virtue they lack is time. Please make sure to not waste it

What to do?

If you can draw the line through any piece of your text without losing the value, remove it

Let's say you have sentences such as: 

You won't lose the value if you cut them off. So instead, tell them something short, sweet, and essential about their business in particular, straight to the point:

III Email mistakes related to attitude towards the prospect

11. Questioning the prospects integrity and authority

Now we have a mistake example, which is little farther down the cold email outreach sequence. Let’s say you have a correspondence with the lead from medium or large company who you are not sure if they are a decision maker or not.

Asking a straightforward question ’’Are you the right person?’’ or responding ’’I guess you are just not the right person to reach out to’’ after they do not reply is a big no-no

Simply do not ask a straightforward question if someone is a decision-maker. If not a decision-maker, they would feel invalidated.

Or maybe they indeed are, but your outreach was just not that compelling enough to respond to, or they might think ’’If I'm not, would you treat me with the same respect?’’ Either way, this is how you will decrease your conversion rate

What to do?

If you really wish to know if someone is the right person to reach out to, then you can say something like this: 

When you bought this {{Product}} in the past, who was involved in the process?

12. Being authoritative over or submissive under the prospect 

There are three ego states in the body: child, adult, and parent ego state. If you command someone to do something, you talk to someone from the parent's ego state, and they will automatically go to their child's ego state. 

An example would be ’’Let me know the time that works for you’’.

How would you feel if you got this sales email?

Would you want to rebel against that sentence? Your prospect would want to rebel too. 

Another example would be if you start your email with just a prospect's name, it will trigger a child's ego state, and they will think they are in serious trouble. You would want to increase the chance of somebody responding, so when cold outreaching, your goal should be to trigger ONLY their adult ego state

What to do?

So what to avoid in communication exactly?

  1. Commanding to prospects to do something (Child ego state trigger)
  2. Putting accountability on them for not responding (Child ego state trigger)
  3. Invalidate their objections (Child ego state trigger)
  4. Sentences like: 

Overall avoid triggering their Parent or Child ego state. Instead, trigger an adult ego state. 

For example, instead of saying:

Would you have the time…

You can offer an up-front contract. For example, write the exact time and date of the meeting and ask for consent. Additionally, provide an agenda for your call. 

13. Judging or making the prospects feel bad

Even though you think you will never do this to your prospects, this type of mistake is one of the most common ones

The first example is being harsh regarding the leads' choice to use similar products. Even though you are not saying anything bad about the leads themselves, you are indirectly insulting the decision they made. This easily translates to insulting them.

What to do?

Instead of judging the prospect for using a competitor and bragging why your product is better, say something like this:

Oh, you are using an XY competitor? That’s great! So you are familiar with the type of product itself. What differs our product from them is…

Also, do not allow your words to make your prospects feel bad. Put the onus on you, not on your prospect. 


Cold email mistakes example making prospect feel bad

IV Email mistakes affecting sales process

14. Not setting up follow up messages sequences

Not having your follow-up game is the next in line of common lead generation mistakes (both for lead generation on LinkedIn and off). If the prospect doesn’t reply, do not give up. 

Follow-up emails always get a better response rate than the first email. In this study, there is an illustration of difference as follow-ups got 18% response rate higher than the first email, 13% to the fourth, and 27% to the sixth email *.

What to do?

Set up follow-up emailing sequences for the prospects who did not respond. Even if they do not respond to these follow-ups, insert them for other purpose sequences. Never give up, and never give in. 

15. Not tracking email campaigns’ performance

As we mentioned in the beginning, tracking is everything when it comes to your sales effort, especially if we talk about cold outreach.

If you do not know what you are tracking, how would you know if the channel is effective?

What to do?

So be sure to set and track the following: 

On the other hand you can use a LinkedIn automation and cold email software such as Skylead to track it for you. Analyze the chosen tool thoroughly and start tracking your performance. 

Sales engagement tool tracking

Honorable mentions

We cannot finish this blog, without mentioning a couple of short email mistakes which are essential to correct.

16. Poor Grammar - you have so many grammar checkers and tools available on the internet nowadays to remove sloppiness in communication.

17. Using initials - signing your email message using your initials such as J.K. can come across as unprofessional. Use your full name and surname in your signature. 

18. Not personalizing the email - Nowadays, in the cold outreach, you need to step up your personalization game, especially if you did the prospecting on LinkedIn first. To learn all about outreach personalization check out Cold Outreach: Increase The Level of Personalization [+Templates]


Cold email outreach is still a powerful tool for lead generation and conversion if done right. Take time to study all of the mistakes mentioned above, let them be your guide, and double-check. 

Here are all the email outreach mistakes to serve you as a checklist: 

1. Acquiring Poor Quality Leads

2. Adding A Big Number Of Links Or Sending The Broken Ones

3. Sending Too Many Messages Per Day

4. Being Too Casual Or Too Formal

5. Subject Lines Mistakes

6. Message Copy Not Relevant To The Market

7. Self-Centered Messages To Prospects

8. Adding Too Much CTAs Or Not At All

9. Not Enough Value

10. Unnecessary Text Length

11. Questioning The Prospects Integrity and Authority

12. Being Authoritative Over Or Submissive Under The Prospect 

13. Judging Or Making The Prospects Feel Bad

14. Not Setting Up Follow Up Messages Sequences

15. Not tracking email campaigns’ performance

16. Poor Grammar

17. Using initials 

18. Not personalizing the email 

Now get too cold email writing - You’ve got this. Godspeed!

Wish to use email and LinkedIn in your outreach and successfully track their performance? See Skylead in action - Start your 7-day Free Trial.

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You already have your marketing agency and a few prosperous clients. Lately, you’ve been thinking of expanding your service list and offering more. What is it that would fit your clients’ needs best and still be in line with your industry? It’s outreach. Here’s why. 

If you already offer social media management, content writing, copywriting, SEO, web development, or similar, it is high time to start thinking one step ahead of your competitors. By adding outreach, you will undoubtedly keep up with the times and give your customers a valuable reason to stick around longer. 

Not only. 

There are a series of reasons why incorporating outreach into your Lead Generation Agency would be the right call. Here are a few. 

Customer loyalty

By adding the service of identifying and nurturing potential customers for your client’s products or services, you will be covering probably the most important segment of their prospecting. If they confide in the way you do their outreach, the chances of them staying loyal to your Lead Generation Agency increase, as you are controlling an additional sales channel of their business.

Furthermore, incorporating outreach in your marketing business will give your clients a well-rounded experience of generating leads on LinkedIn or via other methods. 

Outreach as a new marketing segment 

Adding outreach to your service list can also be a great way to attract new customers. Initially, newbies might only be interested in you identifying and nurturing their potential clients. However, if satisfied with your way of doing business, they might extend their request to other services that your Lead Generation Agency offers. 

Additional revenue growth 

By introducing a new marketing segment, you are raising your revenue stream.

Simply, adding an extra service means company growth. It also implies greater economic security, as your Lead Generation Agency doesn’t depend only on one or a few services. 

Stand out in the lead generation industry

By incorporating outreach into your Lead Generation Agency, you might be making one step ahead of your competitors. 

In case they thought of it first, draw attention to yourself by offering an impeccable, high-quality service. Better service attracts and retains better clients. 

Also, think about your and your competitors’ Value Proposition. What is it that makes your outreach service stand out in comparison to your competition’s?

Outreach is easy to incorporate 

You are probably already doing outreach to get more clients for your Lead Generation Agency. Therefore, you are familiar with the entire process of attracting new prospects and nurturing the old ones. All you need to do is expand your expertise to your clients. The more you develop this service for yourself, the better it will become for your customers as well. By growing your Lead Generation Agency, you will be growing an entire service within. Also, the better you become at doing outreach, you will most likely attract more clients for your Marketing Agency as well. 

Minimal cost

The only things that you need for outreach are a laptop and internet connection.

Create your client’s ICP (Ideal customer profile) and a cold outreach template with several follow-ups, and you can already start.

However, if you want to make this process far easier, you will need an Automation Tool, Scraping Tool, and an Email Finder. 

Luckily for you, there is a Sales Engagement Software that has all of these incorporated for as low as $100 per month. Long story short, it will save you both time and money.

Namely, Skylead combines LinkedIn Messages, LinkedIn InMails, and Emails scrapes publicly available emails of your 1st-degree connections, has an “Email Discovery & Verification” feature for discovering and verifying your leads’ business emails, as well as “Image and GIF hyper-personalization” tool in case you want to do a bit of an unconventional outreach. 

Therefore, Skylead contains an Automation Tool, Scraping Tool, an Email Finder, and more. 

All i do is win Meme

If you would like to know more about Skylead, feel free to schedule a demo call with our team specialist.

White-labeling a solution 

Think about white-labeling the Sales Engagement Tool that you are using. 

A white-label product is a product or service produced by one company that other companies rebrand to make it appear as if they had made it.

By white-labeling the Sales Engagement Tool of your choice, you will:

Yes meme

That being said, know that you can white-label Skylead. To know more about this option, schedule a demo call with our team specialist. 

How to start implementing your outreach?

Start with offering your service to the most loyal customers first 

The advantage of offering your new service to the already existing and most loyal customers first is that you are very familiar with their business. That is, by handling other marketing segments for their companies, you have already gained a major insight into their business goals, targets, and preferences. This allows you to do prospecting on LinkedIn and outreach leads with major precision and manage their outreach with more efficiency.

Furthermore, your already-established business relationship and cooperation will most likely reinforce. Upgrading your customers’ service package increases the possibility of enhancing their loyalty to your marketing agency. Additionally, you will be giving them a well-rounded Lead Generation experience.  This approach, often adopted by top advertising agencies in the US, ensures that your clients receive a comprehensive service.

Attract your new customers by offering outreach first 

In case you don’t want to introduce a new service before “testing it out”, try attracting new customers by using outreach as a bait. This way you don’t risk losing loyal customers in case something doesn’t go as planned. Additionally, you have space to learn, grow, and perfect your service before you offer it to your long-time clients. 


In conclusion, incorporating outreach into your Lead Generation Agency has more upsides than downsides for sure. 

By deciding to go for it you will:

Additionally, you have the option of making your life easier by going for a Sales Engagement Tool that has all the necessary features for a top-notch outreach.

Why Skylead?

For as low as $100 per month, with Skylead you can have an Automation Tool, Scraping Tool, and an Email Finder, all in one software. 

Furthermore, thanks to the implementation of Smart sequences, Skylead allows you to create the highest number of personalizable touchpoints with your prospects. 

Five times more in comparison to other tools, to be precise. 

It gives you the chance to combine LinkedIn Messages, InMails, and Emails with other LinkedIn features such as View, Follow, and Invite to Connect. Additionally, it has an Email Discovery & Verification feature. Therefore, no need for a separate Email Finder or Scraping software. 

Actually, white-label it and make it your secret weapon!

To know more about the advantage of Skylead over other Sales Engagement Tools and to get to know its features, schedule a demo call with a specialist from our team.

If already our customer, feel free to reach us out on the Support Chat or schedule a success call with our Customer Support and Success Manager. Improve your service by knowing Skylead better. 

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