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’’.

Image of a meme when no one responds to your email

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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Email Marketing has maintained popularity over the years. 

It is an efficient way to get new leads, nurture relationships and raise awareness about your business.

With the right strategies, you can gain new customers, as well as develop trust with current clients.

That is, it can become a trusted way to boost sales and grow your pipeline in no time or simply sustain good results long term.

Some businesses have not yet developed tactics for productive Email Marketing. That’s why it is resulting in modest effects or no effects at all. 

Disappointed by sparse returns, some have given up on the idea. Most likely they miseed out on perks provided by a good Cold Emailing strategy. 

But were they right? 

I doubt it meme

Why is Email Marketing important?

It’s true that in order to grow your business through Email Marketing you need to know a few tips and tricks. However, keep in mind that learning them will be very rewarding.

Did you know that, according to several studies, campaigns that were implemented through email generated significantly more profit compared to ones run through Social Media Networks?

Fact check: A whopping 99% of consumers check their emails every single day. Therefore, the cold mailing is one of the most reliable ways for businesses to develop relationships and boost sales.

Investing a single dollar in Email Marketing brings a return on investment of 40 USD.

Check how much better it rates compared to other forms of Digital Marketing in the chart below.

Email ROI graph

Knowing just how profitable Email Marketing is, makes learning the right methods definitely worthwhile. Additionally, with the right tool, you are guided through the experience with the utmost care provided by our Customer Support Team and cutting-edge technology.

With Skylead, you can send up to 100 emails per day. However, we always recommend starting off with a lower number, so that your emails don’t finish in a Spam folder.

Contacting leads through email is for sure the most sustainable way to reach more people over time. 

So, how do you start Email Marketing or improve existing strategies?

We’ve prepared 10 tips and tricks to help you boost your sales via email and help you achieve the best results.

1. Understanding your audience

When starting out with Email Marketing, it’s crucial for you to understand your target audience.

Wait a minute GIF

Who are they? 

What do they like? 

How can they benefit from your services or products? 

After you answer these questions, it will be much easier for you to figure out the perfect way to reach out to them. You will be able to find the tone your audience will enjoy, one that will truly captivate their attention.

But, wait, that seems like a lot of work!

Don’t worry. With Skylead’s state-of-the-art tool, the process of targeting is eased to the extent that building your perfect customer pool will take less than 5 minutes. 

With Sales Navigator filters, you can do the prospecting on LinkedIn, and find leads according to their location, employment, connection degree (1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree), position, used keywords, groups, and much more. In other words, you can narrow down your ideal audience to decision-makers who will benefit from your services big time. 

And this is the part of LinkedIn Lead Generation done right. 

Filter your search on LinkedIn

Also, have in mind that writing a copy that will be relevant to your target market is now pretty simplified. It will for sure result in a higher response rate compared to generalized Email Strategies.

2. Expanding your mailing list

Many people make the mistake of thinking that putting a form on their website and hoping that visitors sign up will be enough to expand their Mailing list.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way. 

In order to really build an extensive network of potential clients, you’ll either need some time and creativity to get more leads, or you can rely on our innovative Email Discovery feature. It will help you access the email addresses of the most important people related to your industry in just a few clicks. 

Skylead’s Email Discovery feature brings the possibility of collecting personal email addresses, incorporated in a lead’s profile, or even a business email.

Business or personal email option

The alternative is creating lead magnets that will help you receive email addresses. Give something for free in exchange for contact details. It can be a free ebook, a case study, or a product sample – really anything potential customers might find valuable enough to hand out their email address. 

Ture, this can take quite some time and resources. But, if you’ve already managed to acquire a rich source of contacts, make sure you make the best use of it.

3. Nurture relationships 

In order to reap the most benefits of your EM strategy, it will be necessary to build a relationship with people and companies from your contact list. 

You can achieve this by sending out regular emails and follow-ups. These need to keep the interest of respective clients, which is crucial for boosting your sales efforts. 

It’s not easy to manually send emails to each contact on your list. We understand that you’re already busy building your business and don’t have enough time to allocate to that part.

That’s why we in Skylead developed a tool that can help you save up to 7 hours a day. Skylead is there to send multiple emails, customize automated messages, and schedule your follow-ups. Furthermore, it is providing a well-organized dashboard and inbox, ensuring you never miss a single message.

4. Segment your mailing list

Not every offer will be equally interesting to your entire list. That’s why segmenting the list is a very important step. It can help you keep your efforts engaging by only sending relevant information. 

The sublime labeling option in Skylead’s inbox allows you to best segment your recipient list using easy-to-use sticky notes, helping you provide a tailored experience for your subscribers. 

Skylead Smart inbox, chat page

Segmenting your lead list will help you speak directly to your consumer. You will be able to provide them with engaging content that will keep you out of the spam box.

5. Mix up your campaigns by using different outreach channels

You’re used to having Skylead on your side with LinkedIn steps such as Connection Invites, Messages, View & Follow Options, and LinkedIn InMails, but we don’t want you to stop there.

No, we want you to use the full potential of our Sales Engagement tool! It is here for your business to shine. 

Email, as a powerful form of Direct Marketing, is now integrated into our platform, allowing you to set up a campaign with LinkedIn located steps but now also send your messages via email.

And the best thing is – you can mix emails with every other step there is.

6. Test, test, test

Skylead helps you run multiple campaigns where you can comfortably run A/B tests to figure out the most efficient approach for you.

Try it by pitching two campaigns A and B, to slightly different target groups, with slightly different messages and see how they will react. Track the outcome and find what works best for your business.

Also, there are target groups that are naturally more OPEN for InMails. Make sure to not forget that feature.

By combining all the features and options Skylead offers you, you’ll be more than able to run a good test.

7. Ask for feedback

The best way to keep prospects from your Mailing list engaged is to ask them what they’d want. 

Sounds too simple? 

Well, people love to be included and appreciate the effort to accommodate their needs. Therefore, asking them about things they’d like to see in your newsletter or suggestions regarding your product/service will not only provide you with helpful information, it will also make your contacts feel appreciated. 

That way, your contacts will be interested and invested, making it more likely that they’ll reply or hopefully make a sale. As soon as they see you care about their opinion, they’ll be twice as likely to engage with you.

8. Warm up your cold emailing

What better way to keep your audience engaged than to find a way to speak directly to them? 

Just because you automated sending, it doesn’t mean you should write them as if you’re speaking to a large group, disregarding their personalities and needs. 

Skylead is bringing you a great way of designing your messages so they seem as if every single email was aimed directly at that particular person. 

Wondering how to do that? We got you covered! 

Use tags in a message and include details such as first and last name, occupation, years of experience, education, and other relevant data to add warmth to your cold emailing. 

Skylead interface

Use behavioral data to craft emails that resonate with your contacts and potential clients. 

9. Create a highly enjoyable customer experience

It’s worth repeating that impersonal ads, promotions, and sales pitches in emails make a lousy customer experience. 

How can you do better, you ask? 

Put yourself in the shoes of the receiver. Would you be annoyed or entertained by the content?

Our technology will instantly pause the automation if someone replies. This will give you space to decide whether it’s okay to continue the sequence. If so, you can get a lead back to the campaign.

Get back to the campaign

That’s how we nurture sequences based on leads’ actions and prevent them from sending unwanted emails if they state they are not interested.

10. Add an extra something

Show your subscribers you care about them by including an extra token of affection. 

Try Skylead’s awesome Image Personalization feature that will add some color to plain text, making them even more appealing to potential customers.

Choose between our funny, or even corpo visuals if you like, and include details such as the recipient’s name, occupation, workplace and more, to make a cool addition to brightening their day. 

You can choose from a variety of templates we’ve prepared for you or simply import some of your images, to really stand out from the crowd and multiply your response rate. 

One way to grab the attention of your audience is to also congratulate them on holidays for New Year by including your logo and recipient’s name to a cool, personalized card – what better way to nurture your relationship with clients than send them a cool e-card and wish them good luck. 

Personalized message

Read more about our new Email Automation & Image Personalization features here.

And, of course, if any questions arise you can always count on us to chat it through.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more blogs.

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