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  • Writer's pictureBite Marketing

F*ck Off, Cold Email


Fuck off cold emails


I have just received the 83rd cold email of the day. Sneaking its way in between promises to deliver me 10 new clients a month, this one wishes to sell me the alluring concept of cold email campaigns. (Side note- I would be highly ashamed of myself if, as a marketing agency owner, I hadn't actually been able to work out how to attract clients yet. Note the use of the word 'attract' here- we'll come back to it later.)


Now, where was I? That's right... a cold email, selling me cold emails.


It was the final straw and it's time to vent.


If you're time poor, here's the summary.


Cold emails are...

- Unethical and often illegal

- Lazy and unintelligent marketing

- Brand damaging

- Ineffective and irritating

- Basically just rude


Ask yourself if you have ever received a cold email from a well known brand. If cold emailing is such an amazing strategy, why are we not constantly bombarded by unsolicited communication from Nike, Apple, Tesla and McDonalds?


I'll tell you why. Because large brands have the luxury of large teams of professionally qualified, smart marketers, who would not dream of presenting such an idea to the business. At best they would be laughed out of the room, at worst, they would highly likely be fired. Career suicide.


So why do they exist? The answer to that is the same as why my mother still receives calls about a long lost relative who has left her a large fortune and all she needs to do is provide all her bank account details and the name of her first pet. Because sometimes people bite, and for a very small investment the occasional bite seems worth it. Who cares if you piss off 529 people, if one person could potentially be tricked into giving you some money?


Maybe I am wrong. Maybe someone can enlighten me as to why cold emails will be the best thing to happen in 2024. If you're not already convinced by my less than eloquent rant, please entertain me while I delve into some insights to validate my annoyance.


Ineffectiveness of Cold Emailing:


Low Conversion Rates: Cold emails typically have dismal conversion rates, falling below industry averages. The impersonal nature of such emails makes it challenging to capture the recipient's attention. Sometimes, I receive an email where someone has invested the minimal 10 seconds of research into me and my business by looking at the website and inserting the headline somewhere inappropriately into their pitch, but mostly they are littered with errors that convince me further that they really don't care about me (sob).


The era of interruptive marketing is fading away. Consumers demand personalised, value-driven interactions, and cold emailing simply doesn't align with these expectations.

Trust and Credibility Issues: Establishing trust is crucial in any business relationship. Cold emailing, by its very nature, lacks the foundation of trust. Most recipients view unsolicited emails with skepticism, harming your credibility.


Ethical Concerns:


Violation of Privacy: Cold emailing can be seen as an intrusion into the privacy of individuals and businesses, leading to negative perceptions and legal consequences. You know how as consumers we need to give our permission when we subscribe to legitimate businesses? Well cold emailers have clearly not obtained our permission to contact us, and are blatantly violating data protection laws in just about every country. That's illegal and for any reputable marketer a big no no.


Damage to Reputation: Engaging in cold emailing without ethical considerations can harm your brand's reputation, as being labeled as a spammer or privacy violator has long-term consequences.


Cold emailing is like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks. It often alienates potential customers rather than engaging them.


Cold Emailing Statistics and Real Impact:


a. Low Response Rates: Cold emails typically see response rates significantly lower than those of emails sent to subscribers, usually falling below 0.5%.


b. High Reporting and Spam Complaints: Cold emails contribute to a higher number of spam complaints, impacting sender reputation and deliverability rates.


c. Negative Impact on SEO: Emails marked as spam can harm your domain's reputation, potentially leading to lower search engine rankings and damaging overall SEO efforts.



Ok, But What Should You Do Instead?


Organic Inbound Marketing: Focus on creating valuable content that attracts potential customers organically through social media, podcasts, blogs, a great website experience and SEO. Authenticity attracts, and if attraction with these channels is proving a struggle, take the time to review you product and service and check that you have a compelling offer, positioned in an appealing way, targeting the right potential customers.


Relationship Building: Prioritise building genuine relationships with your audience through engagement on social media and providing exceptional customer service. Keep in touch with your customers in a genuine and ethical manner.


Permission-Based Marketing: Obtain consent before reaching out to potential clients, ensuring that your communications are welcomed and increasing the likelihood of positive engagement. There is nothing wrong with email. Email campaigns have proven to be one of the most effective forms of marketing communications for most of our clients. Just do it the right way.


Paid Social and Search: Many businesses are resorting to cold email because they consider it free, but paid search and social is highly effective when setup and managed correctly. The money you invest should pay for itself over and over again, especially when you consider the lifetime value of acquiring each new customer.



Cold emailing may seem like a quick fix, but its ineffectiveness, ethical concerns, and real impact make it a suboptimal strategy for businesses. Instead, focus on building trust, delivering value, and nurturing relationships through ethical marketing practices. The long-term success of your business depends on creating genuine connections rather than relying on impersonal, unsolicited emails.


If you would like to discuss ethical marketing strategies for your business please feel free to book a consultation with us. There's no obligation to work with us afterwards, and at the very least you will walk away with a few ideas to implement, and we promise they won't include cold email campaigns.

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