A Retrospective on Why I Don’t Like Cold Emails

First, let’s define what a cold email is. A cold email is an unsolicited note sent to a stranger that introduces yourself and asks for something. It’s the digital equivalent of accosting someone on the street, except you don’t have to leave your house. 

The main thing about this type of email is that it’s uninvited it goes against every single rule of social interaction and social media (and if you think about it, every rule of interaction ever). In this article, I’ll explain why sending these types of emails isn’t just ineffective, but also detrimental to your reputation.

Why I Stopped Using Google (for Cold Email) – YouTube
Cold emails should be approached with caution due to drawbacks.
Personalization and relevance are crucial for successful outreach.
Building rapport and providing value can overcome negative perceptions.
Balancing persistence with respecting recipient preferences is key.
Learning from past experiences helps refine email marketing strategies.

1. Because They Are Intrusive

It’s easy to see the inherent intrusiveness of a cold email. Think about it from the perspective of the recipient. Somebody on the other end of a computer just popped up in your inbox, using your name and maybe some of your info but you don’t know this person, why they’re writing to you, what they want from you, or how long this is going to take. How do you respond?

The key thing to remember is that most cold emails aren’t intrusive; they just feel that way because there’s no context for them. Without knowing who the sender is or why their message should matter to us, we tend to ignore them out of reflex. The issue isn’t with the intrusion it’s with our lack of investment in what comes next. 

As long as you can get people invested in what comes next (more on that later!), there’s nothing wrong with sending an email out of nowhere: sometimes that’s exactly what people need.

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2. Cold Emails Aren’t Timely

When you get a cold email, it often doesn’t feel like the right time for you to be hearing what’s being offered. You may wonder why you should care about what the person is offering at that moment. You haven’t built any trust with them yet, and have no idea if this will be a waste of your time or not. Without enough information to make an informed decision, you’re more likely to think “What’s in it for me?” than “How can I help this person?”

3. They Aren’t Personal Enough

I’m not alone, either. In a recent survey of recruiters, email was ranked as the worst method for jobseekers to reach out. Why? Because too often, cold emails are too generic and canned. There’s no personal connection or information about the sender kicking things off.

Even if you’re only contacting someone to let them know you’ve applied for an open position, you must take the time to make your message stand out from other applicants who didn’t bother to do their research and from the ones who just sent in a generic cover letter with their application and left it at that.

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4. Some Messages Don’t Even Make Sense

I also don’t mind cold emails when they’re actually relevant and not just a generic, “Hey, I found you on LinkedIn!” email. There’s a reason why people check their email at weird times of the night. It’s because they’re waiting for important messages from certain people who know what they want and how to ask for it.

The best way to write an effective cold email is to be specific about the help you need, give context as to why you need it, and show that you’ve done your research on the person you’re reaching out to. If you only have a template with fill-in-the-blank sections, no one will respond to it because everyone gets those types of emails all day long.

5. I’m Not Sure What I Am Being Asked

I know, this sounds like a repeat of the same frustration. But it’s different. In this case, the person has been specific about their goals and why they want to work with me (or why they think I can help them). 

But as for how exactly I can help them or if they would like something from me? I don’t know. Do they want me to respond right away or read through their message and get back to them later? Do they want me to take action now on their behalf, or simply let them know that we’re connected? Am I supposed to be doing something at all?. 

These are questions that should be answered in your communications with people you don’t already have relationships with. Otherwise, you risk frustrating your recipients because you haven’t made it clear what you need from them.

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6. They Don’t Give Me A Chance To Win Back My Time & Invest It Better

As much as I love helping people, it can become hard to continue giving advice when you’re not being compensated or getting any real results from your conversations. That’s why I’ve chosen to only work with people who are serious about making changes and willing to pay for the service I know that they will take action and hopefully get outcomes that make our conversation worth their while.

That said, cold emails don’t allow me through this screening process. Every time I spend an hour on a response, I’m losing the opportunity to invest my time in something better, like growing my business or practicing coding. There are always plenty of other activities I could be doing instead of spending so much time on cold emails.

7. It’s A “One Way” Email (If I Respond, No One Will Answer)

Here’s another reason I don’t like cold emails they’re “one way.” I only receive information; there is no expectation that I will respond, ask a question, or provide feedback. In other words, it’s a one-way email. 

When someone sends you an email in response to something you sent them, it shows that they value your opinion and want to start up a conversation or at least be respectful of the time you spent crafting your note. But when someone sends me an unsolicited message, it makes me feel like they are just trying to get something from me without giving anything in return. To me, this feels rude and inconsiderate.

The only kind of cold email that works for me is marketing content: updates about new products or services; special sales announcements; exciting news about what the company is doing. As long as these messages come rarely and don’t require any effort on my part (I just have to read them), they are fine with me!

8. There’s No Reputation Behind The Emails That Come In

Do you know how you’re always hearing that trust is one of the most important things to have in a relationship? Well, it’s true. People don’t give their business to strangers. If you want somebody to click the link in your email or follow up with you, they need to trust you first. And they won’t just trust you because of what’s written in your signature line or because of who referred them.

Building trust takes time and patience, which is why cold emailing isn’t a good strategy for getting new leads and clients. Sure, maybe one out of 200 people will reply to your email but do you want to send 200 emails just for one person? I don’t think so! Wouldn’t it be better if there was a way for all those people to find *you* instead? That way, there doesn’t need to be any convincing or coercing (or even hoping), because people want what you have.

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9. Many Emails Don’t Have Any Context Around Who Is Writing Them

The reason this is important is that it can make it easier to build a relationship with the person you’re writing to. For example, if you share your LinkedIn profile, they can see where you are in your career. If they see your website or Twitter profile, they might learn more about what you care about and what you do professionally.

Adding this context doesn’t take much time and can be extremely helpful when pitching journalists on stories, trying to get referrals from other people or asking someone for advice (as opposed to asking for something more tangible like a job).

10. I Have To Be Reminded Of Your Tone And Voice Each Time I Reply

The first time we meet, you’re just a name in a subject line. If you told me a joke, I don’t remember it because it wasn’t funny. If you surprised me with something insightful, I don’t remember it because this was an email and not an in-person conversation. 

Most of the emails that come from people I haven’t talked to before getting some variant of this reply: “Hey [Name], thanks so much for reaching out! To give you the best response possible, would you mind sharing with me how we met? Thanks! -Connor.”

10. Many people share their email addresses on multiple platforms

Many people share their email addresses on multiple platforms and it’s hard to tell which ones are authentic. This can be risky if my response could be shared publicly. Your next option is to look for email addresses on public-facing profiles, such as LinkedIn or a company website.

However, you risk reaching an unmonitored inbox because individuals and companies often post multiple email addresses at different places on the internet. A single person might have their address, a work address, and several other accounts that they use for various purposes. It can be hard to tell which ones are real, especially if the person’s profile doesn’t include any other identifying details such as their name or job title.

I’ve also noticed that people often share their work emails publicly even though these are meant only for internal communication within the company. This could result in me responding with information that later gets shared online, so I avoid replying to these types of emails when I can’t verify where they come from (assuming it’s not already too late).

11. Someone Else Is Doing The Cold Emailing For You

I’m sure you’re not doing this, but I’ve had it happen to me before and on more than one occasion. Someone has a connection to someone else that they want me to meet with them because I’m an expert in a particular field. If you are the connecter in this scenario, please don’t write the email for them! 

It makes the whole thing seem disingenuous on both ends. And if you’re the other person, don’t get your friend to do it for you either. Why should I take time out of my day for someone who doesn’t have time to write their damn email? (And as a side note: if you’re going to ask for a favor, make sure it’s not too big of one. Asking me for five or ten minutes is fine; asking for hours is not.)

12. Most Cold Emails Don’t Make Sense

Most cold emails don’t make sense because they may not reflect my needs as an individual. For example, when a student emails me to ask for advice, they often ask questions that are answered in the blog posts they were supposed to read first.

Most cold emails don’t make sense because they may not reflect my needs as an individual. For example, when a student emails me to ask for advice, they often ask questions that are answered in the blog posts they were supposed to read first.

If you’re trying to get someone’s attention or sell them on something, remember that it’s all about how you can help them. What do they need? How can your product or service make their life easier or better? Your cold email should always be about how you can create value for the person reading it. 

Don’t forget that: it’s ok if you haven’t found some mysterious “secret” on how to start a business that no one else knows about yet your secret is simply making people’s lives better in your way.

13. Some People Only Respond To Certain Types Of Emails

Some people only respond to certain types of emails, like those that contain specific keywords or come from a VIP. So if your message doesn’t reflect that, it will probably end up in their spam folder without ever being read!

You’re on the right track. Now, let’s make sure your email reflects your VIP status and the right keywords. Any email that’s not written in this way will probably end up in their spam folder without being read!

Overcoming the hesitation of cold emails can be a game-changer in your professional journey. Read about the transformative impact of an email that changed perspectives in our article, The Email That Made Me Get Over My Fear of Cold Emails.

Final Thoughts 

Now that you’ve read my argument for why cold emails are bad, there’s nothing left to do but take action and help stop the practice of guerilla marketing. The main takeaway from this article is that cold emails are annoying and intrusive. 

If you want to get someone’s attention, don’t send them an email! Instead, try calling them on the phone or sending a message through social media. This may seem like a lot of work, but it’s completely worth it because you will never have to deal with receiving another cold email ever again. 

Further Reading

For more insights on improving your cold email strategies and increasing your response rates, consider these additional resources:

12 Reasons Why I Don’t Reply to Your Cold Emails Short Description: Discover common pitfalls that lead to cold email non-responses and learn how to avoid them.

Here Is Exactly Why No One Is Replying to Your Cold Emails Short Description: Explore actionable tips to make your cold emails more engaging and likely to elicit responses.

B2B Cold Email Mistakes You Need to Avoid Short Description: Uncover key mistakes made in B2B cold email outreach and get guidance on improving your approach.

People Also Ask 

Why Do People Send Cold Emails?

People send cold emails because they’re trying to quickly and efficiently reach out to a large group of potential customers, or because they’re looking for a job and want to get their resume into the hands of companies that might be hiring.

Are Cold Emails Effective?

In general, the effectiveness of cold emails depends on the industry and context. However, a 2019 report showed that “roughly one in 2,000 cold calls results in an appointment.”

How Do You Write A Cold Email?

To write a successful cold email, make sure you have something valuable to offer your recipient so that your message is not viewed as spam. It’s also important to make sure your subject line will grab the recipient’s attention, so consider A/B testing two different versions if you can. For tips on writing specific types of emails like when you’re asking for money or looking for work continue reading.

What Is The Best Way To Start A Blog?

The best way to start your blog is by choosing what topic or topics you want to cover. Then pick one of those topics for your first post. Write about something interesting that happened recently in your life or an idea that has been bothering you lately – anything goes as long as it’s not boring.

If no ideas spring immediately from nowhere (and they never will), then maybe think about what makes this subject so important for people – how does it relate to our society/culture at large? Or what makes this particular problem unique compared with other problems that might exist out there but aren’t being addressed yet by writers on sites such as these?

What Are Cold Emails?

In a marketing or business context, cold emailing is the process of contacting someone without prior communication. In other words, you’re reaching out to people with whom you have no relationship.

Why Do People Send Cold Emails?

There are many reasons why people send cold emails; they want to sell something or maybe they want to get a job or internship. People also often use them during networking events to stay in touch after an initial meeting.

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