We’ve all been there—sifting through our inbox and stumbling upon those cringeworthy cold emails that make us think, “What were they even trying to achieve?” While it’s easy to hit delete and move on, there’s genuine value in dissecting these missteps. So, instead of rolling our eyes and forgetting about them, let’s take a moment to dive into some not-so-great cold email examples. By understanding where they went astray, we can better ensure our own emails and technique does not follow the same fate. But first, we need to remember why a cold email is so important. 


Think of a cold email as your virtual handshake—a first impression that sets the tone for future interactions. And just like any handshake, you’d want it to be firm and confident, right? A solid cold email does more than just pitch a product; it starts a conversation, builds a relationship, and lays the foundation for trust. Here’s the thing: while we all appreciate a well-crafted email that feels personal and genuine, it’s also all too easy to spot one that’s been hastily thrown together. In this highly competitive world we have too much to lose to not craft these emails better and have a world class email strategy and technique.

 If used correctly they can be a powerful pillar of growth, if used incorrectly they could turn a potential lead cold very quickly.  Let’s dissect. 

Information Overload

One of the most common traps many enthusiastic lead gen professionals fall into: the dreaded information overload. Picture this: you’re excited about your product, and you want to share every fabulous detail with your potential customer. We get it. But, in the world of cold emails, less is often more.

Imagine being on the receiving end of an email that feels like it’s spilling a novel’s worth of information. Daunting, right? And let’s be honest, in our fast-paced digital age, who has the time—or patience—to sift through a dense wall of text? 


in the example of a cold outbound email this cyber security company is so excited they can offer so many services to their customers that they list every single one of them in an email, hoping one would land. The only issue is for one to land they have to read it first, which is highly unlikely. 

The key? Precision and clarity. Think of your cold email as a teaser trailer for a blockbuster movie. You want to give just enough to intrigue and entice, leaving your recipient eager for more. Highlight the key points, showcase the main benefits, and create a pathway for further discovery—maybe that’s a click to your website, a scheduled call, or a downloadable guide.

By ensuring your message is concise and to the point, you not only respect your recipient’s time but also increase the chances of your email actually being read and acted upon. Remember, this is the first date, not the wedding. 

Missing the Value Proposition

Every time a potential lead opens a cold email, there’s this little voice in their head asking, “Why should I care about this?” And that’s where the value proposition swoops in to save the day.

Instead of bogging them down with every tiny detail, it’s way more effective to spotlight the big perks. Think of it as giving them the highlight reel of why your offer rocks. Your value proposition needs to speak to a deep pain point the reader experiences. 

In the example above the outbound sales email  goes straight into feature mode. Describing to the reader what the software does and the new features they have recently implemented. At no stage do they address a value proposition of what it means to have an improved view of your cold pipeline. The email falls flat, the reader will immediately think it’s another tool that does exactly what their current tool does. 

When you nail that value proposition, you give your email a shot of adrenaline. It becomes lively, relevant, and way more clickable. When developing your email strategy this is one of the techniques you need to be so sure on. Reviewing every email to ensure it ticks the value proposition box. 

A simple trick to keep it in mind, is always ask yourself, does this email communicate a solution to a problem? Or does it just list all the features of my company? 

Overly Generic

Picture this: You’re at a bustling networking event and someone walks up, taps you on the shoulder, and says, “Hello, Generic Human.” Kind of misses the mark, right? That’s precisely the feeling your email recipients get when they see “Dear Sir/Madam” or the ever-distant “To whom it may concern.” It’s not just old-school—it’s cold.

We all understand the importance of reaching a wide audience, but here’s a nugget of truth: people want to feel seen and acknowledged. It’s in our nature. By addressing someone with such a generic greeting, you’re unintentionally sending a message that says, “I didn’t bother to learn your name.” Ouch.

Take the above example, the email is short and to the point. However, the minute someone reads “sir/madam” you lose them. They turn off and think to themselves it’s just another email of someone trying to sell me something. No chance of forming any conversation or relationship, a potential warm lead lost in the first two words. 

So, what’s the remedy? Personalization. It might sound like a buzzword, but it’s the secret sauce of successful cold emails. Take a moment to use the recipient’s name or reference something specific about their business or interests. Believe me, that little touch makes all the difference. It tells them, “Hey, I see you, and this message was crafted with you in mind.” Add this as a critical point to your cold email outreach strategy and technique. 

No Clear Call To Action (CTA)

A compelling cold email without a clear Call-to-Action (CTA) can be likened to a narrative missing a conclusive ending. The importance of guiding your reader towards the next step is undeniable. An email’s CTA serves not merely as a conclusion, but as a pivotal transition point guiding recipients towards further engagement.

A CTA’s role isn’t just functional; it encapsulates the essence of the email’s purpose. Whether the desired action is initiating a call, exploring a demo, or perusing a case study, clarity is paramount. 

However, it’s equally essential to ensure the CTA holds value for the reader, and is not just a request for more of their valuable time.  Instead of generic prompts, consider phrasings like “Discover the potential for your business” or “Reserve a time for insightful discussion.” By changing the phrasing of the CTA it can position the engagement as a win-win opportunity for your potential lead. They only have something to gain by taking the next step.

The above is an example of a CTA going in the right direction. A conversation in which no matter the outcome the potential lead will derive value. The outbound sales email may not get a sale, but it will start a conversation and possibly a relationship. 

Wrong Tone 

Cold emails can be a tricky balancing act. Too formal, and you risk sounding robotic. Too casual, and you might come off as unprofessional. And the thing is, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for a corporate B2B company might not fly with a hip new startup.

How do we avoid this in our email cold strategy and technique? Know your audience. Dive into who they are, what they value, and how they communicate. If you’re pitching to a young tech company, maybe loosen the tie a bit. Chat with them like you’d chat with a colleague over coffee. On the flip side, if you’re reaching out to a law firm, you might want to polish your language and keep things a bit more buttoned-up.

But remember, no matter who you’re emailing, authenticity is key. Nobody likes those emails that feel like they’ve been churned out by a robot (or chatGPT). Keep it real, adjust your tone as needed, and always, always speak to your reader’s interests and needs. At the end of the day, it’s about making that genuine connection.


Getting the perfect cold email copy and strategy  is a bit like navigating a maze; one wrong turn can lead you down a not-so-great path, ultimately turning many potential leads into cold ones overnight. Luckily there is one strategy that can help cut through, being data-driven. At FueltoFly we have a strong belief in a track record of being data-driven. By combining this data with a mix of next-gen lead tools we are able to supercharge your top-of-the funnel outbound activity.