This is why your cold email ended up in the trash can

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Cold emailing.

Done right, it can help you grow your freelance business like crazy.

Done wrong, it’ll make you seem like a sleazy salesperson with no social skills and no hope of growing a business.

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Let’s avoid the latter situation – keep reading to learn 4 reasons why your cold emails aren’t getting responses.

And along the way, you’ll pick up some helpful tips for winning freelance clients with cold emailing. 

You didn’t personalize

I get it – cold emailing gets tedious and time-consuming.

It’s tempting to just blast out a bunch of copied-and-pasted emails.

That approach might save you some time, but is it really worth it?


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Think about it – would you like to be on the receiving end of an email that was clearly sent to a billion different people?

Would that make you want to work with the sender?

Again, nope.

When it comes to cold emailing, saving time isn’t worth sacrificing results.

Take the time to personalize every email you send – the message and the subject line.

You want to make a genuine connection with the recipient right away to build trust with them.

Your niche wasn’t clear

When you first start freelancing, you might think it’s a good idea to take on any and every job you can get.

You may worry that niching down too much will cost you clients.

But the opposite is true.

High-paying clients look for freelancers who specialize in exactly what they need.

You want to be that freelancer.

So, make sure you include your niche in your cold emails.

Avoid talking about everything you can do, and talk about the one thing you can do best for your target client.

Bonus points if you have a snazzy email signature that also mentions your niche.

You talked about yourself too much

You think your freelance business is pretty great. And maybe it is.

But your clients don’t care about how much you love what you do. They don’t need to know your life story.

And they certainly aren’t going to take the time to read a huge wall of text from someone they’ve never met.

So, don’t waste valuable real estate in your email sharing every detail of your career and life.

Keep everything focused on how you can help the person you’re emailing.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. You absolutely should talk about yourself some – for example, you want to talk about your niche expertise.

But try to keep it relevant to the client.

Everything in your email should be there for one purpose – to get the client to respond and build a business relationship with you.

You asked for money right away

Imagine you’re networking at a conference.

You wouldn’t walk up to a complete stranger and demand their business, would you?

I hope not.

When you’re cold emailing as a freelancer, you have to understand that you’re not asking for the sale in your first email.

You’re simply asking for the recipient to reply and/or set up a meeting with you.

So, avoid being a pushy salesperson.

See your cold emailing strategy as a way to build business relationships, and understand that you’ll probably need to talk to the client at least once before they want to work with you.

Want more help with your cold emailing strategy

When I first started freelance writing, I knew cold emailing was going to be the key to my business growth.

And it was.

I made over $800 the very first month I did it – just from the clients I cold emailed.

It took a lot of experimenting and time, but it was worth it.

You can take a lot of the guesswork out of the process if you want.

It’s time to buckle down and start sending out cold emails.

Just make sure you avoid the mistakes in this post, and you’ll be well on your way to winning new client work.

What’s your best cold emailing tip for freelancers? Share in the comments section!

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About Jorden Roper

Jorden Roper is the fuchsia-haired founder of Writing Revolt, where she shares no-BS advice for freelance writers and bloggers. Get her free, in-depth course on how to build a highly profitable freelance writing business (even if you’re a total newbie) here!

Leave a Comment



  1. Maybe you could post some kind of good example?

  2. Do you teach a webinar or class for email marketing. I am wanting to learn this for my own graphic design promotion and for my clients too.

  3. Hang on! That all sounds great, but how do I avoid getting black-listed as spam!?

  4. Great post. It’s crazy how many people copy and paste the same template for their emails, and it’s so easy to recognise whether it’s genuine or not. If it’s not personalised, I just ignore 🙂

  5. It’s very temping to give in to the temptation to send copy and paste proposals, You can easily tell yourself that since pitching is a numbers game, you need to send as many emails as possible. Just lying to yourself 🙂

    The mistake I was making initially, with cold pitching, was talking about myself too much. I’ve since then rectified this, and I’m focusing on the benefits that the prospective client will get from hiring me (I’m a podcast transcriber) I’m getting far more responses since then.

    Oh, and thanks for the email signature tip!


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