5 Key Reasons Your Cold Emails Get Ignored and Proven Solutions

Created On:
October 5, 2023
Updated On:
March 13, 2024
reasons cold emails are ignored

Imagine you invited everybody for dinner. Prepared lots of dishes. Cooked the entire day. And when everybody finally sits down at the table, nobody takes a bite. 

Sounds horrible, huh?

This is a somewhat similar scenario for cold email marketers. Every day millions of cold emails are sent but most of them are ignored blatantly. 

Out of all the cold emails sent, only 8.5% emails manage to get a reply.

This is why, as an email marketer, you must be aware of the top reasons why your cold emails are being ignored. This small effort can help you stay ahead of making the major cold email mistakes that almost 90% of the industry makes at least once. 


Let’s get started. 

#1 Misleading Subject Line

The most common reason why a cold email gets ignored is—misleading subject lines. Remember, the recipient isn’t a child. You can’t lure them, especially if you're trying to generate B2B leads

B2B audience consists of SaaS founders, agency owners, marketing heads, sales reps, etc. They are decision makers and experienced individuals. Using misleading subject lines can be the biggest self-sabotage one can do in cold email marketing. 

So, what are misleading cold email subject lines?

Subject lines that make false promises about the email content are misleading. They promise the recipient something, raises the expectations, and disappoints them straight away once they open the email. 

Some of the burning examples are:

❌ This tip will make you millionaire
❌ Boost your sales 3x in 3 days
❌ Last Chance: Your 60% Off Coupon Ending Today!
❌ Urgent: Your Account Security Compromised!
❌ Sign Up Today for Free Annual Membership
❌ Congratulations! You've Won a Prize!

How to Ace Writing Subject Lines for Cold Emails?

Here are some of the common tips to writer better subject sentences for cold campaigns:

✅ Personalize the subject line addressing the recipient’s pain points: 

  • Struggling with high bounce rates? I can help

✅ Write catchy, intriguing subject lines that aren’t misleading:

  • Tired of sales reps who never give up?

✅ Provide industry info, stats—something that’s relevant and provides value:

  • Checkout {Top Company Name}’s Secret Sales Trick
  • This tool helped {competitor} achieve 60% reply rate
Want to learn more about cold email subject lines?
Read 80 Cold Email Subject Lines to Increase Your Response Rate

#2 Generic Opening Sentence

Every time I read an email saying “I hope this email finds you well”, I get a very strong urge to scream at the email sender. I am confident your recipient feels the same when reading generic opening sentences. 

Here’s some of the most generic email opening lines that can lead to instant deletion:

❌ I hope you’re doing well.
❌ I hope this email finds you well
❌ Let me introduce myself.
❌ Did you enjoy your weekend?
❌ I am Mr. X, a sales rep at {company}.
❌ Would you be interested in {service/product}?

If you want to earn revenue through cold emails, I recommend reading the above sentences once again and avoiding them at any cost.

The recipient doesn’t like small talk, neither do they want your introduction or to buy your product from the very first email.

Take it slow. B2B cold emails are all about starting the conversation. Everybody knows you’re emailing to sell something. But why would they buy from you? 

This is why it’s extremely crucial to provide value, and start off as an “advisor” or a helping hand in the very first email. Keeping these points in mind, here are some of the email opening sentences that you can use for your cold campaigns:

How do you feel about {solving pain point}?
I noticed your company recently {refer to a trigger event}.
What is your process for {pain point}? From my experience…
Is {solving pain point} a priority for your company?
Did you know {statistics}?
Congratulations on taking on the new challenge...

Want to learn more about cold email opening lines?
Read 99 Email Opening Lines for Every Purpose.

#3 No Follow-Ups

Have you been seeing almost no responses from your cold email campaigns? Are the crickets already chirping in your inbox? 

There's a mighty chance it’s because of not following up. 

FYI, almost 80% of sales take place after the 5th follow-up email. So, if you think you have perfect the subject line, opening line, email body, and still not getting a reply, it’s time to follow up

For following up, you don’t have to work extra after the campaign. Create an email sequence with 4 to 5 follow-ups emails while launching the campaign. 

All you need to do is get a cold emailing tool like Smartlead, and schedule follow-ups in the mail sequence itself. 

#4 Sales-y Emails

Sales-y emails are the biggest customer repellent. Period. 

According to statistics, around 66% of B2B customers expect solutions over the pitch from sales reps. In other words, the recipient expects email content that will help them improve their businesses. 

The best way to get a response is writing a value-adding email body. Even if you aren’t solving their pain point right away, your cold email should give an idea that you can indeed help them solve their pain point and increase revenue.

This is why advice-based sales approaches such as spin selling work so well for B2B marketers.   

Advice-based doesn’t mean not selling a product. It just means avoiding sentences like “Buy this {product} to achieve 60% reply rates”. 

Here’s a cold email example that pitches a product without sounding sales-y.

Want such more cold email templates? Checkout 101+ Cold Email Templates to Nail Outreach.   

#5 Wrong Timing

Timing is crucial for cold email marketing. As most cold email marketers are either business owners or office-goers, the email sending time plays a very important role.

For instance, a Yesware survey says emails sent on Monday and Tuesday see higher response rates than other working days. The same survey also says that emails sent on Friday see the lowest performance. 

Even if a campaign has the best subject, opening lines, email body, it can still get no response if sent at the wrong time. 

It’s just not about days, it is also about the hour. An email sent between 1 to 3 pm will see a better reply rate than the one sent before or after this period. 

So, if your emails aren’t getting any responses, cross check the sent time and schedule accordingly. Keep in mind the recipient’s location and profession before scheduling the cold email.

With tools like Smartlead, you can schedule your bulk emails without any manual effort. 

Final Thoughts!

The bottom line is :be honest, be relevant, and respect your recipients. Create subject lines that speak to their pain points and offer real value in the email body. 

Always use interesting, catchy sentences as email opening lines. But never mislead the recipient. 

If you have done your best in the cold email campaign and still getting no responses, follow up diligently. Don’t be rude with subject lines like “Did you read my last email?”

Instead, provide value-adding content. For example, articles, videos, books that will help them boost their business. Follow up at least 5 times. But if the recipients ask to unsubscribe, let them

Last but the most important tip: keep the timing in mind. Always send emails during office hours, preferably between 1 to 3 pm. But this might change depending on your target audience. 

I hope you are now all aware of the top cold emails mistakes that reduce reply rates. If you have any confusion regarding the same, connect with a cold email expert now. 

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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

General Questions

What is Smartlead's cold email outreach software?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Smartlead's cold email outreach tool helps businesses scale their outreach efforts seamlessly. With unlimited mailboxes, fully automated email warmup functionality, a multi-channel infrastructure, and a user-friendly unibox, it empowers users to manage their entire revenue cycle in one place. Whether you're looking to streamline cold email campaigns with automated email warmups, personalization fields, automated mailbox rotation, easy integrations, and spintax, improve productivity, or enhance scalability with subsequences based on lead’s intentions, automated replies, and full white-label experience, our cold email tool implifies it in a single solution.

How does the "unlimited mailboxes" feature benefit me?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Our "unlimited mailboxes" feature allows you to expand your email communications without restrictions imposed by a mailbox limit. This means you won't be constrained by artificial caps on the number of mailboxes you can connect and use. This feature makes Smartlead the best cold email software and empowers you to reach a wider audience, engage with more potential customers, and manage diverse email campaigns effectively.

What do you mean by "unibox to handle your entire revenue cycle"?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

The "unibox" is one of the unique features of Smartlead cold email outreach tool, and it's a game-changer when it comes to managing your revenue cycle. The master inbox or the unibox consolidates all your outreach channels, responses, sales follow-ups, and conversions into one centralized, user-friendly mailbox.

With the "unibox," you gain the ability to:
1. Focus on closing deals: You can now say goodbye to the hassle of logging into multiple mailboxes to search for replies. The "unibox" streamlines your sales communication, allowing you to focus on what matters most—closing deals.

2. Centralized lead management: All your leads are managed from one central location, simplifying lead tracking and response management. This ensures you take advantage of every opportunity and efficiently engage with your prospects.

3. Maintain context: The "unibox" provides a 360-degree view of all your customer messages, allowing you to maintain context and deliver more personalized and effective responses.

How does Smartlead ensure my emails don't land in the spam folder?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Smartlead, the best cold email marketing tool, ensures your emails reach the intended recipients' primary inbox rather than the spam folder. 

Here's how it works:
1. Our "unlimited warmups" feature is designed to build and maintain a healthy sending reputation for your cold email outreach. Instead of sending a large volume of emails all at once, which can trigger spam filters, we gradually ramp up your sending volume. This gradual approach, combined with positive email interactions, helps boost your email deliverability rates.

2. We deploy high-deliverability IP servers specific to each campaign. 

3. The ‘Warmup’ feature replicates humanized email sending patterns, spintax, and smart replies.
4. By establishing a positive sender reputation and gradually increasing the number of sent emails, Smartlead minimizes the risk of your emails being flagged as spam. This way, you can be confident that your messages will consistently land in the primary inbox, increasing the likelihood of engagement and successful communication with your recipients.

Can I integrate Smartlead with other tools I'm using?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Certainly, Smartlead is designed for seamless integration with a wide range of tools and platforms. Smartlead offers integration with HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, Clay, Listkit, and more. You can leverage webhooks and APIs to integrate the tools you use. Try Now!

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

What type of businesses sees the most success with Smartlead?

No, there are no limitations on the number of channels you can utilize with Smartlead. Our multi-channel infrastructure is designed to be limitless, allowing you to reach potential customers through multiple avenues without constraints.

This flexibility empowers you to diversify your cold email outreach efforts, connect with your audience through various communication channels, and increase your chances of conversion. Whether email, social media, SMS, or other communication methods, Smartlead's multi-channel capabilities ensure you can choose the channels that best align with your outreach strategy and business goals. This way, you can engage with your prospects effectively and maximize the impact of your email outreach.

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Do you provide me with lead sources?

Smartlead distinguishes itself from other cold email outreach software by focusing on limitless scalability and seamless integration. While many similar tools restrict your outreach capabilities, Smartlead offers a different approach.

Here's what makes us uniquely the best cold email software:

1. Unlimited Mailboxes: In contrast to platforms that limit mailbox usage, Smartlead provides unlimited mailboxes. This means you can expand your outreach without any arbitrary constraints.

2. Unique IP Servers: Smartlead offers unique IP servers for every campaign it sends out. 

3. Sender Reputation Protection: Smartlead protects your sender reputation by auto-moving emails from spam folders to the primary inbox. This tool uses unique identifiers to cloak all warmup emails from being recognized by automation parsers. 

4. Automated Warmup: Smartlead’s warmup functionality enhances your sender reputation and improves email deliverability by maintaining humanized email sending patterns and ramping up the sending volume. 

5. Multi-Channel Emphasis: Smartlead places a strong emphasis on multi-channel outreach. You can reach your prospects where they are with the LinkedIn outreach feature.   With Smartlead’s cold email automation software, you're always one step ahead in your outreach efforts, enjoying the freedom to scale your initiatives and seamlessly integrate with other tools—all while maintaining a focus on maximizing the impact of your outreach.

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

How secure is my data with Smartlead?

Ensuring the security of your data is Smartlead's utmost priority. We implement robust encryption methods and stringent security measures to guarantee the continuous protection of your information. Your data's safety is paramount to us, and we are always dedicated to upholding the highest standards of security.

How can I get started with Smartlead?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Getting started with Smartlead is straightforward! Just head over to our sign-up page and follow our easy step-by-step guide. If you ever have any questions or need assistance, our round-the-clock support team is ready to help, standing by to provide you with any assistance you may require. Sign Up Now!

How can I reach the Smartlead team?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

We're here to assist you! You can easily get in touch with our dedicated support team on chat. We strive to provide a response within 24 hours to address any inquiries or concerns you may have.

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