Why Your Cold Email Isn’t Working

Your cold email (first-touch message) is most likely too much, too fast. Remember, your goal is NOT to book a meeting when making first contact with a prospect. Using InMail? Standard email? Connecting on LinkedIn first?

Your cold email (first-touch message) is most likely too much, too fast.

Remember, your goal is NOT to book a meeting when making first contact with a prospect. Using InMail? Standard email? Connecting on LinkedIn first?

Be warned: Asking for what you want, right away, will fail.

Instead, attract the potential buyer to asking you for the meeting, demo or face-to-face.

Get invited to discuss a challenge, fear or goal your prospect has.

This cold email strategy works best. But it takes provocation.

If you aren’t provocative, you aren’t getting response. Remember, your decision-maker is filtering emails on-the-go. He/she is mobile.

Be brief, blunt and provocative.

Here’s how to frame what may be plaguing your email prospecting technique:

  1. This is a first date. The meeting will come. Trust in it. Don’t rush.
    attract the meeting/demo to you. This way you …
  2. Let customers qualify themselves — so you don’t have to! This is the point of email prospecting. Scale-ability.
  3. You are irrelevant. All discussion about you is forbidden in email No. 1.

Dating, Filtering and Self-Qualification
Think about the last time you were on a date. Flash back. Smart daters have a secret weapon: Process.

Let’s say you decide: “I want another encounter with this person.” You’re attracted to them. The best, most effective strategy is to help the other person ask for it.

Because their request confirms attraction to you.

Effective daters know dating is a process, systematic. The output of the system is simple: quality leads. The process filters the candidates from the lousy leads. Effective email prospecting is the same.

Make Email Filter Leads for You
Think about the two elements of a good first date:

  1. It’s a match. You are attracted to the other person.
  2. Getting asked out again.


In business, the goal is identical. There are two ways to get an appointment set using email/LinkedIn InMail.

  1. Attract it to you (via a short but meaningful conversation).
  2. Ask for it directly.

Which do you prefer?

You should prefer No. 1. Because when someone asks YOU out — or for that demo — they’re showing active interest. They’re qualifying themselves.

They’re attracted to what you’ve said … so far.

Make ‘Em Wait (To Spark Curiosity)
What does this mean for you? Getting replies and appointments is not about what you say.

Success is driven by how and when you communicate. This is what I’ve learned. This is the best cold email strategy practiced by my customers and myself.

Attracting the prospect to you requires saying just enough to get the conversation started — a short chat about what’s meaningful to the other person. Then, allowing the other person to do most of the talking beyond the first, cold email.

This elicits questions in the mind of the prospective customer or partner. Questions they will be prone to ask you — and you will answer briefly so that you can get back to focusing on them and spark more questions.

Avoid This Cold Email Trap
You want to be forthright, honest and direct. But you also want to make prospects hungry for more details about your solution, product, service, better way.

The trick is helping the other person build some anxiety … an honest desire to know the details. This helps them want another encounter with you.

Of course, this can backfire. This technique is effective at creating attraction, but dangerous. Not interesting enough to the prospect? Your attraction tactics will be seen as a gimmick.

Do This Right Now
Stop doing what everyone else is doing. Seriously. Make email work for you — rather than the other way around!

Most sellers are sending connection requests as their first step. Don’t. Instead, help the prospect want your connection. Help them expect it.

To get the other person talking, you’ve got to provoke an “interesting enough” thought. A reason to hit reply and talk about themselves.

Provoking that reaction is best done using a system. An effective, repeatable process. Success often boils down to your ability to give prospects an irresistible reason to talk.

I hope to see you online soon! Good luck and let me know what you think? What has your experience been? Different from mine? Disagree with me? Let’s hear about it!

Author: Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc., where he built the sales team. Today, he is the authority on effective prospecting communications techniques as founder of Communications Edge Inc. (formerly Molander & Associates Inc.) He's been in sales for over 2 decades. He is author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You.Jeff is a sales communications coach and creator of the Spark Selling technique—a means to spark more conversations with customers "from cold," speeding them toward qualification.

One thought on “Why Your Cold Email Isn’t Working”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *