An Example of a Really, Really Bad Cold E-mail

Posted On: May 17, 2019

An Example of a Really, Really Bad Cold E-mail

There are no dearth of IT companies in India. I sure many pop up on a daily basis. And, they all want business. So, they hire a few people under the title of Business Developers to start cold emailing or cold calling prospects. Over the last few years, I have provided some tips to such companies. But, in this post, I want to share an actual example of a cold email I got, and my response to them.

In fact, this is not the first time I have responded to these cold emails with tips to improve. Typically, I never get a response. But, hopefully they may take these tips to improve their business development skills. 

Cold Email Sample and Critique

The email (name and email ID changed to protect identity):

Matt Smith <>
Subject: Re: Could we discuss?

Hi ,

We are an IT agency having offices in USA, AUS, India, UK at the moment.

We are expert in the following:

ü  Custom App Development (iPhone, Android)
ü  Mobile App Testing
ü  CRM/ERP systems
ü  GPS Based Apps. (Taxi, Food delivery Apps)
ü  E-Commerce Solutions & Graphic Design
ü  Mobile App Testing

Please revert us if you are interested. (Share your project requirements) and your contact details. (Skype, phone number, Etc)

Beat Regards

Tracy Jaimeson

Here’s my response:

To answer your email, Matt,

I doubt you’ll get many takers. Here are the reasons:
  • This email is not addressed to anyone. A quick view of my site, would provide some team members names.
  • Your email ID is gmail, so no business email ID. Also the email user name is very weird. Seems spammy.
  • And, your business name is actually not mentioned anywhere in the email. 

  • Why is the name in the email ID different than the person who signed the email?
  • And, you do not talk about my site/business and what exactly you can do for me. Yours is a generic email. It can be sent out as a mass email.

Tell me, if this email came to you, would you answer it? What would you do?

I somehow feel that you’re based in India, and using an assumed American name.

I actually provide cross cultural training to teams like yours working between the US and India to bridge culture gaps and get more business relationships.

Here are some blogs to help you:

So, to your sales email, I have written a sales email. But hopefully I have provided you some ideas to improve your approach to prospects. Feel free to get in touch with me to work with your team.

Jennifer Kumar

I did not address any grammatical mistakes. I was concerned with addressing the other glaring mistakes here. The subject line is probably ok. Though, admittedly, this email was in my spam box. I should have mentioned that in my response. I am sure most of their messages are going to spam boxes, so their response rate is very low or non existent.

Check out a case study of an effective cold email at minute marker 39 in this video from ValueSelling

I am not a sales expert. I am a cultural expert and business coach (see my bio and some of the over 50 companies I have worked with). I understand some of the concepts of sales, as I have to do this for my own business. But, as far as aiding teams like yours, we do pull apart messages like this to see where improvements need to be made. We also look at some cultural expectations that Americans have, so if you are marketing to US Americans, some of the terminology or approaches used can aid in improving those return rates. Recently, I have gotten some good feedback that coaching I did with a few companies has improved cold calling (Getting through the gatekeepers – before the training 1 or 2 calls passed the gatekeepers. Now, 9 or 10 calls pass through the gatekeepers.) and cold emailing (Previously 1 or 2 emails answered out of 10, now 3 or 4 emails answered out of 10.) 

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you, get in touch with us. Also, check out our E-mail and Business Writing Program.

Thank you for reading this blog.



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