The Dangers of Cold Emailing (And Why We Don’t Do It)

Find out why we don't use cold emailing to pursue new business, what the dangers are if you do and how it can affect your reputation.
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    dangers of cold emailing why we dont do it

    Although cold emailing is touted by some as an effective way to reach new customers, the practice can actually be quite dangerous.  Not only that but cold emailing can also damage your reputation and leave you vulnerable to legal action.

    Here are some reasons why here at BlakSheep Creative, we don’t employ cold emailing as a method of contact for new business.

    1. You Could Be Spamming

    When you send out a cold email, there’s always the chance that your message will be considered spam.  And we all know what people do with spam – they delete it without reading it.  So not only have you wasted your time writing the email, but you’ve also wasted time that you could have spent on finding new leads that are actually interested in what you have to say.

    2. You Might Be Breaking the Law

    There are laws in place that protect people from unwanted email messages.  If you’re not careful, your cold email could violate these laws and land you in hot water.  Not only would you have to deal with the legal ramifications, but you’d also likely lose any chance of doing business with the person you contacted.

    3. You Could Destroy Your Reputation

    Your reputation is everything when you’re in business.  If you start sending out cold emails, you could quickly develop a reputation as a spammer.  Once that happens, recovering and getting people to take you seriously will be challenging.

    4. You Might Waste a Lot of Time

    Even if you manage to avoid all of the above pitfalls, there’s still a good chance that your cold email will be ignored.  People are bombarded with emails daily, and it’s tough to stand out from the crowd.  If you’re going to take the time to write a cold email, you might as well spend that time on something more productive.

    Why?  Let’s dig in a little deeper.

    It’s Ineffective

    The first way that cold emailing will waste your time is that it simply doesn’t work. In most cases, people will either delete your email without reading it, or they’ll mark it as spam. Either way, you’re not getting your message across to the people who actually matter – your potential customers.

    man aggravated with receiving spammy cold emails
    man aggravated with receiving spammy cold emails

    It’s Annoying

    Even if your cold email isn’t considered spam, there’s a good chance it will still be annoying to the person who receives it. Remember, people are bombarded with emails daily, and most are trying to sell something. If you add to the noise, you’d better ensure that your email is worth reading. 

    Instead, your time could be better spent developing relationships with potential customers through other channels, such as social media or networking events. These are far more effective methods of building rapport and getting your name out there.

    It’s Counterproductive

    One of the main goals of any business is to build a good reputation. After all, your reputation is what will make people want to do business with you.

    However, if you start sending out cold emails, you could quickly develop a reputation as a spammer. Once that happens, recovering and getting people to take you seriously will be tough. In fact, you might even find yourself on some blocklists, which will make it even harder to reach your target audience.

    For example:

    We get pitched offers for guest blog posts every day — dozens at a time. We’ve even gotten a few hundred in a single day. Most of them are irrelevant to our site, and many are just plain old spam.

    As a result, we’ve developed a pretty strict policy when it comes to guest blog pitches. We don’t even read them. If you want to guest blog on our site, you must go through the proper channels and submit a proposal that goes through our editorial process.

    And we’re not the only ones. More and more bloggers and website owners are adopting similar policies, which means that your cold email pitch is likely going straight into the trash.

    True story:

    Just yesterday, we got pitched some random job estimating services.  The problem is that we’re a marketing agency, not a construction company.  We get emails like this all the time, which gets annoying.

    cold email spam for project estimation service
    cold email spam for project estimation service

    So I did what any marketer would do.  I jotted down the contact number in the email and called them incessantly until they answered. (Their number is on there, feel free to hit them up…)

    “Hello, is this the job estimate software company?”

    “Yes, it is.”

    “Great! I’m calling because I’m interested in your product.”

    “Awesome!” (Reads off their elevator pitch.)

    “So, how do I sign up?

    “Well, you just need to go to our website and…”

    And that’s when I hung up.

    Know what I did next?  That’s right!  I called them right back up.  I asked the same questions and got the same answer.  So I hung up again.

    I had some downtime, so I repeated the process another 3 or 4 times.

    The final time I saw they were aggravated, I pitched them on some real estate in the Bahamas.   They scoffed and asked if I was serious.

    I asked them, “Oh so you don’t like unsolicited calls from strangers trying to sell you things?”

    “N-no,” they said, “Of course not.”

    “So why do you keep doing it to other people?”  And then I hung up.

    It’s a waste of time because:

    1. It’s ineffective
    2. It’s annoying
    3. It’s counterproductive

    Don’t waste your time with cold emailing.  It’s a terrible idea, and you’re better off spending your time on more productive activities.

    What about you all?  What are your thoughts on cold emailing?  Have you ever had any success with it?  Or has it been a colossal waste of time, like it has for me?

    I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

    Alec Daniel

    Alec Daniel

    Alec is a veteran of the US Army with multiple combat deployments. As a sniper, he developed many skills including attention to detail. This skill was an easy benefit after transitioning into the digital space following his separation from the military. He immersed himself into a digital marketing career and began learning industry best practices. After a few of his Army friends also got out and started businesses, he began acting as their consultant to help them with their digital footprints. This led to ushering in their creation of websites and helping them develop project management skills that would assist them in coordinating future projects together; thus leading him into becoming an expert in collaboration within the field of web design & development!
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