Why Your Cold Email Campaigns Could be Failing (...And How To Improve Them) 

by Ayhan K. Isaacs in February 12th, 2021

Cold email outreach is a great way to increasing your marketing and sales efforts. If done right, the results can be very effective than any of your other marketing channels.

Perfecting this strategy and developing it into a profitable channel can be a challenge.

Keep in mind you are a stranger to the recipient and you are competing with others for your prospects' time & inbox.

I suggest before starting a cold email campaign - you should always do your research and have a goal in mind. Research your prospect's business in great detail, try to identify any of their pain points, and deduce what possible solutions you could offer.

At Growth Rhino we send 1000s of cold emails per day across our clients. We get several clients asking us to audit their existing infrastructure & campaigns.

Here are some general tips we put together for you to consider when cold emailing.


Sound natural and be a human

The first thing you need to do is make sure your email copy does not read robotic or unnatural. Your prospect must feel like an actual human is trying to approach them and starting a conversation.

Don't use big and technical words to sound competent and professional. Give your email a proper structure and stay relevant. You need the reader to understand you and if it gets too confusing they probably won't stick around.

Get to the point and concentrate on the things you can do for them within the first few sentences.

Subject lines (still) matter

Despite what other people say. Subject lines still matter.

Should you be measuring it as a unit of success? No.

But it does give you an idea if your reader is even interested in the email. People may only glance at it for less than a second. So it is critical that you set them up with the right expectation and intent.

Think of it like thumbnails to YouTube videos...

The best-performing cold emails are usually able to tease the email's content within a few words. This can be done by asking a question or using some keyword. The main thing is to show some relevancy.

Want something safe?

Add the recipient's first name and company name to the subject line. This shows immediate relevance.

Subject: "FirstName" - "CompanyName" and Growth Rhino

SL TIP: don't add special characters and keep them short

Depending on which devices & email client they are rendering on - you want to keep room for the first few lines of your cold email to show up as a preview text.

Personalization is important

Using personalization tokens/variables is a guaranteed way to increase your email open rates, click, and response rates. It really depends on what action you are optimizing for.

You need to ensure that you stand out from hundreds of other services and sellers trying to contact the same person. Customizing your cold email according to each prospect instead of sending the same boring and irrelevant emails.

Research about their work and make your emails more relevant. Instead of talking about your company immediately, you need to develop trust and brand awareness.

Try to showcase some value within the first few sentences. If people feel they can trust you when you give genuine advice ( with no strings attached ) it establishes a potent principle of persuasion known as reciprocity.

Highlight pain and offer a solution

One of the most effective tricks in marketing is to highlight your customer's problems and let them know that you are well-aware of them. Convince them that you understand this pain and you truly believe your product or service is a possible solution.

Your prospects won't respond to your cold emails if you don't tell them why they need you.

It is important not to sell anything in a cold email. You are optimizing for a specific action. That action could be, a click or response. The best case scenario for B2B companies with large deal sizes is that you book a meeting.

Prove yourself

Don't forget that you are a stranger sending an email to start a conversation with an ideal prospect.

You have to leave a good first impression to showcase your value and earn their trust.

How do you build trust in a cold email?


Inject social proof into your sales copy and/or give them specific feedback on a very painful problem.

A lot of companies (shockingly) don't have their websites updated or optimized. Your prospects (if interested) will Google you or click the link in your signature. So including contact info is extremely helpful because it makes you accessible. However, we recommend you do not have a full paragraph as a signature.

Keep it simple.

Name, title, direct phone number, and website. The point is to hand them accessible information without overwhelming them.



This was the first post of our Cold Email Best Practices series. We are summarizing all of our learnings from the experiments and client cases. With the goal to present this content in a visual and text format over the coming months. Stay tuned for more first-hand industry knowledge!

If there are any comments, feedback, or you just want to say hi be sure to reach out.

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