Outreach Email Automation: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Created On
November 14, 2023
email outreach automation mistakes

Automation should make email outreach easy, bringing in great results with less effort. However, at the Smartlead community on Slack, we often hear implementing automation has deteriorated cold email performance. On inspection, it’s primarily silly automation mistakes—rectifiable but annoying. 

If you think email automation isn’t for you, chances are you’re making the common email outreach automation mistakes. 

Some businesses achieved up to 61% positive reply rate using Smartlead’s email automation features. If you fail to see desired results with outreach email automation, it’s probably because of the common mistakes. 

Let’s dive in. 

Most Common Email Outreach Automation Mistakes

Here are four of the most common email outreach automation mistakes. 

Mistake 1: Sending Frequent Follow-Ups

Automation has made sending follow-up emails easy. However, sending too many follow-ups can create a bad image and ruin any chances of conversion. 

Create a strategic timeline to follow up on cold emails effectively. After the initial email, send follow-up emails at healthy intervals only, as shown in below image: 

COld email follow ups intervals

After the seventh follow-up, send emails monthly with engaging content. Always stop sending emails when the recipient expresses disinterest in receiving your emails. 

Mistake 2: Send AI-Generated Cold Emails

While leveraging AI for email content creation is a time-saving approach, it fails to create an emotional connection with recipients. 

AI-generated emails lack personalization, leaving recipients feeling like mere names on a list. On top of that, AI content doesn’t align with your brand's tone and voice. Sending emails with AI content can appear robotic and disconnected from your brand identity.

The best method to tackle this is to edit the AI-generated emails. Personalize them according to the prospect’s needs. Remember, personalized communication is the key to engaging audiences effectively. 

Mistake 3: Lack of Behavior-Based Sub-Sequences

Email marketers often automate follow-ups but tend to overlook behavior-based sequences. These sequences enable tailored responses based on recipient actions. Without these sub-sequences, cold email marketers fail to make the most of email automation. 

The AI can use these triggers to identify specific behaviors, such as positive responses or expressed interest, and send replies from tailored, previously set sub-sequences. For example, a positive response can trigger a sub-sequence that will nurture leads further down the sales funnel. Similarly, if a lead expresses interest but isn't ready to purchase, another sub-sequence re-engages or provides additional information, boosting conversion chances. 

AI-based cold email tools like Smartlead let you create such behavior-based sub-sequences creation and management. This approach maximizes email campaign effectiveness and improves lead conversion results.

Mistake 4: Targeting Unsegment Lead List

While automation plays a crucial role in streamlining cold email marketing, relying on AI for every step can have negative effects on your campaign's performance. One of the most common automation mistakes is sending a single email to everyone on the lead list.

The decision on how to segment the list and the criteria used for segmentation should be decided by you.

Segmentation involves categorizing subscribers based on various criteria, including interests, behavior, and location. This human touch ensures that your emails resonate with your audience, ultimately leading to improved engagement rates.

Whether you choose to segment your subscribers based on browsing behavior, customer type, geographic location, sign-up date, or specific interests, the precision of your segmentation directly correlates with the likelihood of eliciting positive responses from your recipients.

Mistake 5: Single Channel Outreach

Email outreach means sending cold emails to potential customers trying to initiate a conversation with them. According to the stats, the average cold email open rate is 23.9%. It means if you send 100 cold emails, only 23 of them will likely be read by your target leads. 

This is where multi-channel outreach becomes crucial in cold email marketing. There are many tools like Smartlead in the market with which you can reach out to a cold prospect from multiple channels. For example, you’ve sent an email to a prospect. After two follow-ups, if you don’t get any response, you can send a connection request on LinkedIn or send a text on WhatsApp. 

In 2023, if you are using an AI-based email outreach tool but only doing single-channel outreach, you are definitely missing out a lot. 

Final Thoughts

Cold email marketing is challenging, especially for SaaS businesses. From creating an email list to pitching the product with sounding sales-y, it’s a tedious process.

To streamline your efforts and make your life a little easier, use AI-based cold email software with cool automation features. 

With features like behavior-based sub-sequences and multi-channel marketing, you can easily automate the entire process with little effort. 

Not to forget that many businesses are earning a fortune with email automation.

Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself.

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What is a common mistake in email marketing automation?

A common mistake in email marketing automation is relying too heavily on a one-size-fits-all approach. Failing to personalize content and neglecting behavior-based triggers can lead to disengagement. Effective automation requires thoughtful segmentation, personalized messaging, and utilizing triggers to create dynamic, responsive email campaigns, tailored to individual recipient actions and preferences.

How do you automate emails for outreach?

To automate outreach emails, use a cold email marketing platform with automation features such as Smartlead. Create a lead list in CSV format, upload it in the cold email tool, create email campaigns, and set email sequences based on user actions. Ensure your content remains relevant and engaging. Then, schedule the emails keeping in mind the recipient’s convenient hours. Next, regularly analyze performance metrics and adjust your automated sequences for optimal effectiveness.

How effective is email automation?

Email automation is highly effective for streamlining and scaling marketing efforts. It reduces manual tasks, ensures timely and personalized communication, and enables targeted follow-ups. Automation enhances efficiency, increases engagement, and contributes to better lead nurturing. However, its success depends on thoughtful strategy and relevant content, ensuring it aligns with recipient preferences for optimal results.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Author’s Details

Rajnish Das

Rajnish Das is an in-house writer at SmartWriter and SmartLead. She writes product-oriented, data-driven content for B2B SaaS audiences and educates them on marketing and sales topics. Her expertise includes outbound marketing techniques like cold emailing and LinkedIn outreach.


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Frequently asked questions

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What are active leads?

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Active leads are the contacts you upload in Smartlead, similar to contacts in HubSpot; if you upload 1000 leads to a campaign, they are considered 1000 active leads. If you upload similar leads to a new campaign, they are not considered a “new active lead” as they already exist in our system.

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Absolutely, one of our most popular guides can be found right here. It's been used by a large percentage of users to go from zero to cold emailing experts. Covering all topics from email infrastructure to copywriting and lead sourcing.

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