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4 Reasons To Stop Sending Worthless Cold Emails

Written By @RajenSanghvi

· Email Outreach,Lead Generation,Personalization

Definition of spam:

irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of recipients.​

Stop spamming your prospects with worthless emails. Go beyond just the literal definition included in CASL and CAN-SPAM laws; re-read the above definition, and ask yourself how appropriate and relevant your messages are to the individuals receiving them. If the email isn't providing value, it's worthless. So don't send it! I often find myself advising startup founders and sales reps to ignore all the noise that exists on the internet (with respect to canned email templates). Instead, they should spend their time, personalizing their prospecting emails in order to drive conversions. Since this advice usually isn't enough, I thought I'd list out my top 4 reasons to stop sending worthless cold emails below.

#4 - No Bias & Lacking Awareness >>> Negative Bias with Awareness

As a startup, it's difficult to get leads to convert when your prospects have no idea of who your company is or the value of your product. You have little to no brand, meaning no air cover to help the sales reps out in the field chasing deals. But you know what's worse than your prospects having no awareness and no bias? The opposite: when your prospects have heard of you and have formed a negative bias towards you. That's what happens when you send templated emails that lack value. You end up burning through leads. Why make it harder on yourself?

#3 - Email Effectiveness vs Email Efficiency

Image Source: You Wish! by Ario_ via Attribution Engine. Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA.

Just because something is kind of working, doesn't mean it's working effectively. This is further exacerbated with founders and sales managers that focus solely on activity metrics. You may have an SDR putting in 15 hour days sending 10,000 emails per month, but how effective are your conversions? I'm not referring to the pure response rate, which often includes out-of-office and unsubscribe responses; I'm talking about real conversions. How many opportunities are you generating per month? Take the time to do the math and before you choose to "scale up" by making another hire, think about how you can get the same result by being more effective in your outreach.

#2 - "Guaranteed" Email Templates = "Guaranteed" Stock Tips

Image Source: Mad Money by Tulane Public Relations via Attribution Engine. Licensed under CC BY.

This one gets me upset. The explosion in the number of blog posts that provide "Prospecting Templates Guaranteed to Work" is astonishing. They may have worked for someone at some point in time, but now that the information is public knowledge, everyone is using them (including your competitors), As a result, there's also good chance that they don't really work anymore. Just like "guaranteed stock tips", the individuals that end up getting hurt are the ones that often have the most to lose and/or least experience (i.e. founders, inexperienced sales professionals, etc). Please don't use these "guaranteed templates" as a crutch. Use them for inspiration, view them as a starting point, or my personal favourite, take them and differentiate yourself completely. To learn more, check out this great slide deck on How Not To Send Really Crappy Cold Emails by Engagio.

#1 - Your Personal Reputation. This Will Stay With You Forever.

Image Source: Social Network by Binary Mind via Attribution Engine. Licensed under CC BY-SA.

Indulge me: head over to Google and search: "John Gabriango". (If you're too lazy to do so, you can just click here). Unfortunately, the internet will always have him documented (and likely ranked pretty high in Google), as the salesperson who emailed the CTO of Amazon, asking if he was still "...considering going to the cloud?". Dear salesperson: please learn from this and realize that your personal reputation matters. Your commission cheque will help you pay your bills this year, but your reputation will earn you a living.

In the last month, I've seen an increase in the number of email templates that have been shared on LinkedIn. These are entire email templates that have been screenshotted (in some case, with the sales reps name), and shared publicly. I see this as being the modern day sales equivalent of being stoned to death. The internet is not forgiving and just as social advocacy can help you close deals, it can also backfire. Please think twice before hitting send.

*Bonus: Some inspiration on how to do it right.

Check out this article from 2011, based on a cold email that Tristan Walker wrote to the founders of Foursquare back in 2009. This is before the world of email cadence and outreach platforms. It's not a typical sales prospecting email, but a fantastic example of how personalization and persistence can help you get your foot in the door.

Thanks for reading. If you found this useful or have any other reasons that I should add to this list, let me know! You can leave me a comment below or email me at Thanks.

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