12 Reasons Why Your Cold Emails Are Not Getting Replies

Updated May 2024

If your cold emails are not getting replies, then it is probably your fault.

Most people that try cold email and don’t have success will blame cold email for their failure. But this is like someone saying that a piano doesn’t work because they can’t play it.

Cold email is simply a tool (just like a piano). The skill of the user is what matters.

In this article, I will share 12 reasons why your cold emails are not getting replies:

1. Your deliverability sucks
2. You have zero credibility
3. You are selling something that nobody wants
4. Your copy is bad
5. You are not following up
6. You are sending emails at the wrong time
7. You are adding an unsubscribe link
8. Your lead list is garbage
9. Your subject lines are misleading
10. You are using HTML
11. You aren’t testing enough
12. You aren’t sending sufficient volume

1. Your deliverability sucks

If you have poor deliverability, then your cold emails will go to the spam/junk folder (not the primary inbox).

If your emails are not landing in the primary inbox, then you will not receive responses.

image showing the spam folder in an email account

There are dozens of factors that affect your deliverability (too many to list here). I recommend that you read my article How To Improve Your Cold Email Deliverability. In this article, I cover 18 factors affecting your deliverability.

You should also be sending cold emails through a specialized cold email software. If you are not, then your deliverability will suffer. You can learn which cold email software to use in my article Best Cold Email Software: 40 Top Tools Compared.

2. You have zero credibility

When you send cold emails, it is vital that your recipients believe that you can deliver results.

If you send someone an email saying something like “We can get you 10 new clients per month” and you provide zero evidence or case studies, then don’t be surprised when no one responds.

The world is full of people claiming to be able to deliver results, but the reality is that few actually can.

You also need to have a great website, online presence, reviews and case studies. Without these, no one is going to take you seriously.

If you are brand new and you don’t have any reviews or case studies, then you should offer to work for free in exchange for reviews and testimonials.

3. You are selling something that nobody wants

Most people are offering products or services that no one wants.

You need to solve a real problem, not a fake problem.

No one wants to join your TikTok AI cloud-based community network for indie hackers.

If your business offers something that people actually want, then you will receive lots of replies.

4. Your copy is bad

If the content of your cold emails is bad, then you won’t receive responses.

If you sound like someone from India using ChatGPT, then no one will respond.

screenshot showing bad email copy

I show you how to write the perfect cold email in my article How To Write A Cold Email (4-Step Process).

You also need to personalize your emails. You can learn how to do this in my other article How To Personalize Your Cold Emails At Scale.

5. You are not following up

“The money is in the follow-up.”

You will double or triple your response rate if you send two or three follow-up emails to each lead that doesn’t respond.

I recommend that you send your cold emails with Emailchaser, since Emailchaser allows you to easily schedule automatic follow-up emails.

You can learn how to write an effective follow-up sequence in my article How To Write A Follow-Up Email.

screenshot showing follow-up email section in Emailchaser

6. You are sending emails at the wrong time

If you send cold emails from the wrong time zone, then you are less likely to receive responses.

You might be sending emails from Australia, but your leads are located in the United States. You need to make sure that your emails are being sent when your leads are awake and working (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

If you send your cold emails with Emailchaser, then you can easily schedule your emails to be sent at any time, date and time zone that you want.

screenshot showing Emailchaser

I recommend that you check out my article When Is The Best Time To Send A Cold Email (According To Data).

7. You are adding an unsubscribe link

If you add an unsubscribe link to your cold emails, then your emails will look automated and not personalized, and your response rate will decrease.

image showing an unsubscribe link

Most people think that you need to add an unsubscribe link to your cold emails.

This isn’t true.

All you need to do is allow your recipients to opt-out from receiving future emails.

You can learn how to allow your recipients to opt-out without using an unsubscribe link in my article Should You Add An Unsubscribe Link To Your Cold Emails?

8. Your lead list is garbage

If you are sending cold emails to leads that are not relevant to your offer, then you won’t receive responses.

You need to understand exactly who your ideal customer is, and then make sure that you only email these types of people.

You should never buy large email lists. Instead, you should create highly targeted lead lists using Emailchaser’s LinkedIn Email Finder extension.

screenshot showing the different filters that you can search with on linkedin sales navigator

I also recommend that you read my article How To Find Leads For Sales: 7 Strategies.

9. Your subject lines are misleading

If your subject lines are misleading, then you may have a high open rate, but your response rate will be low.

People don’t like it when you are not honest about your intentions.

It is also illegal to use misleading subject lines. You can learn about this in my article Cold Email vs Spam: Is It Legal To Send Unsolicited Email?

If you need some inspiration, then check out my article 40 Best Cold Email Subject Lines For B2B Sales.

image of an email showing the subject line

10. You are using HTML

If you are sending HTML cold emails (with links, images, open tracking etc), then your deliverability will be worse and your emails are more likely to go to spam.

You should send your cold emails as plain text.

You can learn more about this in my article Plain Text vs HTML: Which Is Better For Email Deliverability?

image showing plain text vs html email

11. You aren’t testing enough

You need to test what works.

If you have a list of leads, and you email all of them with the exact same campaign, then you might receive a low response rate.

You should segment your lead list into smaller lists, and test different angles, copy, strategies, until you find what works best, then you can scale.

If you send your cold emails with Emailchaser, then you can see your campaign metrics in the analytics page, allowing you to make decisions based on real data.

screenshot showing Emailchaser's analytics page

12. You aren’t sending sufficient volume

In a lot of cases, you may be doing everything right, but you are sending too low volume to get responses.

If you are only sending 10 cold emails per day, then you probably won’t get many responses.

Using a software like Emailchaser, you can scale your cold email campaigns infinitely. You can send thousands of emails per day to maximize the number of responses that you receive.

You can learn how to scale your outreach in my article How To Safely Scale Up Your Cold Email Outreach With Inbox Rotation.

However, you need to understand that volume alone isn't the answer, as explained in the below tweet:

Frequently asked questions

Why are my cold emails not getting replies?

Your cold emails are not getting replies most likely because your deliverability and offer are bad.

Why are my sales emails not working?

Your sales emails might not be working because you are targeting the wrong people. You also might have bad copywriting in your emails.

Final thoughts

The most common reasons why your cold emails are not getting replies are that your deliverability is bad, your offer is weak, and your copywriting is amateur.

If you follow the advice in this article, then you will receive more responses than 99% of salespeople.

I recommend that you read my article How To Send Cold Emails Without Landing In Spam - Beginner’s Guide.

Also, if you need some evidence that cold email outreach works, then check out the below tweet from Brex’s Ex-Chief Revenue Officer where he shares their most successful outbound sales campaign:

picture of George Wauchope

Article by

George Wauchope

Founder of Emailchaser.

I have been working in the sales & marketing industry for nearly a decade.

When I’m not working on my business, I enjoy eating sushi & doing jiu-jitsu.

About the author