Possible Causes of a Failing Cold Outreach Strategy


Cold outreach has been a staple marketing strategy for many individuals, businesses, and brands. In fact, many companies use it as their main strategy to connect with leads. However, there is no denying that most cold outreach efforts—whether by email or call—bear no fruit. There are many reasons for this, including that many people see cold outreach as boring, impersonal, and lacking value.

Nevertheless, cold outreach is not dead, nor is it ineffective. If it’s not working for you, then you may be doing something wrong. That said, here are possible reasons your cold outreach efforts are not working:

1. Your leads are not valuable

Before reaching out to prospective clients, you have to know how to contact them, which is done through lead generation.

Lead generation is the first and most crucial step in the sales process. During this step, you have to find people that will actually have an interest in your business’ products and services and are most likely to acquire them. And for that, you have to know where to find your target audiences.

For example, if you run a site for an insurance company that sells homeowner’s insurance, your main prospects are the existing and aspiring homeowners. To find leads, you can try tapping into local homeowner’s forums online, real estate groups, or even buy leads from a lead generation company.

2. You are annoying

Most prospects won’t do business with you on the first try, and many do not respond at all. However, this does not always mean that that lead is already a dead end. On average, you should reach out to them at least six more times before moving on.

But if you perform those six outreach efforts in quick succession, you are more likely to get ignored. Why? Because no one wants someone calling them or emailing them constantly about something that they did not initiate in the first place.

For example, if you have reached out to a prospect and they tell you that they do not see the need for your product, reach out on the third day after the first touch. Some say that it is best to follow up after 48 hours, but this depends on the product or service that you are offering. Either way, you don’t want your prospect to forget about you, but you don’t want to annoy them either.

3. You are not sincere

girl checking papers

Prospects are more likely to respond if you seem sincere in your cold outreach efforts and provide value first. Demonstrate what you can do for them instead of asking them right away to give you something. And most importantly, ensure that you come off as genuine.

Here is a common example of a bad cold outreach email:

Hi, (name)!

I’m a big fan of (website/business/product, etc.). I am also working on something similar. Would you care to feature it on (platform)?

How does the lead know if you’re a big fan of their business? It’s not specific and does not show sincerity. Worse, you are asking them to do something without offering value in return.

Instead of a generic and insincere email, try something like this:

Hi, (name)!

I’ve watched your vlog on (topic/niche/product, etc.) and was thoroughly impressed with how you captured the material. I’ve been a subscriber of your channel for quite some time now and want to commend you on how far you’ve come.

I’m publishing an article on a similar (topic/niche/product, etc.), and I thought I’d share my first draft (link).


In this example, you don’t ask the prospect for something. Instead, you offer them value in the form of content that they can browse and possibly relate to. Compared to the first example, the lead will be more likely to respond because the email sounds sincere, sparks interest, and is not demanding, which is what you want to achieve for all of your cold emails.

4. You are not researching before cold calling

Contrary to what many may say, cold calling is not dead. And if it’s not giving you the ROI you want, perhaps you are not making your cold calls efficient and simply wasting other people’s time.

The best way to improve your cold calling strategy is to validate your leads before reaching out to them via phone call. You have about ten seconds to capture the person’s attention on the other line, so you want to come in hot. Do your research. Find out what that lead is doing. Check out their LinkedIn profiles. Then, once you have your info, you can curate a more effective pitch that will offer them value from the get-go.

Cold outreach is one of the most tedious marketing strategies, but it can bring in prospects like any other tactic can as long as you avoid these mistakes.

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