Why No One's Responding to Your Cold Email

Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin




We’ve seen hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of cold emails sent, from all kinds of companies -- tiny startups to $20 billion behemoths. Whether you’re writing “direct” (straight to a decision maker), “referral” email, or anything else, your new email mantra should be "simple to understand, easy to answer."

If you're not getting as many answers to your cold emails as you'd like, one of the following six problems could be to blame. Keep these in mind the next time you start drafting a message.

1) Your emails are too long.

Try ones that are 300 to 500 characters, or two to four sentences.

2) Your emails are confusing.

Don’t list more than one or two features, offers, benefits, or ways you can help. More will just confuse or bore your prospect.

3) Your message is riddled with jargon.

How simple can you make your language? Shoot for third grade reading comprehension.

4) Your questions are hard to answer.

If they don’t know you, people aren’t going to give you much mental energy. They won’t bother answering overly open-ended questions such as “What are your key challenges this year?” Why should they?

The easier you make questions to answer (example: “How many salespeople do you have?”), the more responses you’ll get. So when you’re getting to know someone, cold questions should be open, but not too open.

5) Your calls to action are vague.

Many salespeople end their emails with ”Let me know if I can help.” But what does that really mean?

Don’t beat around the bush. Be clear and direct about what you’re asking for. Instead of “I’d love your feedback,” ask “When’s a good day this week for a 15 minute call to discuss?”

6) Don't be afraid to follow up on your follow ups.

You might be telling yourself, “Oh, I already emailed them” or “I don’t want to bother them again.” Falling prey to this thinking could cost you sales. Don’t be afraid to send more messages -- more often than not your prospects will thank you for the reminder.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt from the upcoming book The Predictable Revenue Guide to Tripling Your Sales, and is published here with permission.

HubSpot CRM

Related Articles

Get Started with HubSpot's Sales Email Template Builder for Free


Powerful and easy-to-use sales software that drives productivity, enables customer connection, and supports growing sales orgs