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Valerie KakovkinaNov 10, 2021 4:07:39 AM7 min read

7 Reasons Why an Email Outreach Campaign Fails

Email marketing is the most effective digital marketing strategy, with the highest return on investment across every other marketing method. Email campaigns are capable of generating up to $42 per every $1 spent; a staggering 4,200% ROI!

In reality, only 8.5% of outreach emails receive a response, while the vast majority of them remain ignored by recipients.

Such sad statistics stems from the fact that a lot of marketers don’t approach their email outreach strategy responsibly. A lot of the most common email outreach mistakes lie on the very surface of the problem, and can be easily avoided.

Below is a list of things NOT to do, at any cost. That is, if you want your email outreach to turn prospects into qualified leads.

Table of Contents

1) By Not Personalising Emails

The first mistake of inexperienced marketers, trying to achieve maximum results with minimal effort, is reaching out to prospects by shooting mass-emails. While there’s no point in denying the fact that most outreach emails are sent in bulk, there’s still a line between a robotic, emotionless copy, and a copy that evokes positive associations.

Personalize emails to boost email outreach
Personalize your emails

Essentially, it’s all about prospect perception of your communication. No one wants to be treated like just another number on an email address list.. It’s an ego crusher, and the last thing you want to do when trying to pitch a sales offer is hurt a prospect’s ego. Unless your prospects believe you’re genuinely interested in connecting with them and can help them prosper, you’re not likely to get your email opened... let alone receive a response.

One surefire way to boost email outreach open rate is personalisation. A personalised email is the perfect trap. It’s capable of guilt-tripping your prospects into taking the action you ask them to take. It’s a simple concept: a lot of people feel obliged to do something, if they feel like the person speaking to them is genuinely interested. There’s no better way to say ‘I care about you’ than showing that you’ve done your research.

It doesn’t have to be overly personal (we don’t encourage stalking), but something as simple as a prospect’s name in the subject line can boost your open rate by 26%!

However, don’t stop your outreach strategy there. It’s easy to understand which email was crafted using simple “((First)) ((Last))” mail merge filters, and which was not. You need to appeal more personally to the prospects you’re trying to reach out to. Is there anything you like about their business? Perhaps their blog posts are useful. Have you enjoyed their latest tool? It can be virtually anything, as long as you’re being genuine.

It takes less than a minute for a recipient to check whether you’re telling the truth. If you’re lying, chances are they won’t even consider replying to your outreach email.

When it comes to email outreach strategy, you should adopt a ‘less is more’ approach. Although it seems counterintuitive to limit the number of emails you send out, you’re not seeking quantity but rather want to focus on the quality of the connections you make. After all, what’s the point in dropping an email that gets lost to the spam folder? It’s only going to raise the cost of your campaign, without bringing any ROI.

2) By Not Double-Checking Your CRM Data

Relevancy is the bedrock of marketing efforts.

In order to best personalise email outreach, it’s essential to keep your CRM records up-to-date and refreshed. Your CRM system should contain all the relevant information about prospects on your mailing list. This means ensuring that each person is both still at the company and in the role required for outreach email strategy success. This significantly decreases bounce rate.

Double check your CRM data
Double check your CRM data

Example. If your offer aims at salespeople, sending outreach campaigns to marketers or CEOs would be inefficient.

Indeed, CRM updating is a big job and needs human oversight. However, it can be delegated. If you employ a Gmail CRM, it can manage data automatically by merging doubles, pulling all the relevant details from the contact’s Google account, and automating synchronisation at regular intervals. Then, you can take advantage of ‘tagging’ to make sure you create targeted campaigns for relevant lists.

Segmented campaigns drive a 760% increase in revenue.

3) By Providing a Vague Value Proposition

Even if your CRM is top-notch, and you show a lot of knowledge about outreach campaigns to recipients in emails... it’s still not enough if you want to make a sales offer. These things help immensely with boosting open rates and keeping recipients engaged, but the only thing that can call them to action is a valuable proposition.

In your outreach emails, you need to get straight to the point, explaining how your particular product or service can be beneficial to prospects. Unless you offer a clear reason why a prospect should consider your offer, they won’t be tempted to do so.

Your goal is to provide a solution to the recipient's pain points, which can only be done if you’ve done some preliminary research and know what the pain points are, to begin with. Then, you can match your product’s characteristics and properties with the requirements your prospects have and show how your particular offer is the best fit for them.

4) By Underestimating a Prospect’s Achievements

At the same time, you can’t only focus on what’s wrong with your prospects’ business. A solution to all their problems is an offer that’s hard to turn down, but at the same time, accepting the offer would mean agreeing they’re not doing too well. Too often, people are overprotective when it comes to admitting their vulnerability to others. Nobody wants to showcase their failures.

Therefore, you shouldn’t only emphasise on the drawbacks of your prospects. If you keep pointing out to them that the reason they’re underperforming is the absence of your solution, it’s unlikely you’ll get a reply. Instead, it makes sense to focus on praising the achievements of prospects, showing them how they could achieve even more if they had your product.

5) Neglecting Follow-up Emails

If one email is good, two emails are better. At least... when it comes to email outreach campaigns.

Based on observations, a large portion of responses come from later stage follow-ups. 80% of sales require 5 follow-ups to complete a deal, but 44% of salespeople give up after just one.

Only a few people reach back out in response to the initial outreach email, so it would make a lot of sense to set up a drip campaign.

Neglecting setting up a sequence of continuous outreach ‘drips’ that would build a step-by-step strong bond between you and prospects most likely results in a missed sales opportunity. You also need to remember that both your initial outreach email and all subsequent follow-up emails need to be personalised and relevant. Only when they all share the same goal are they effective.

6) By Being Unoriginal

It’s easy to tell the difference between a standard outreach email template that you downloaded off the internet, and a well-designed well-thought-through email you put time and effort into crafting. It can break or make your outreach strategy.

On an average, a business person receives around 121 emails every day, which totals up to a bit over 600 emails in a business week. Statistically speaking, the chances of some other business using the same outreach email template as you do are too high to risk. So, after a while, your once progressive campaign can become nothing but annoyingly repetitive.

You need to approach email campaigns with creativity. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the contents of the emails you send out. Eventually, you’ll find a unique style.

7) Not Including A/B Tests Into the Outreach Strategy

Speaking of experiments. Email outreach is not a ‘set and forget’ type of thing. You can’t just go with the first idea that comes to your mind and expect it to be successful and effective. While it’s still possible, the chances are very slim!

Therefore, you need to try out different things to find out what works best for you. One of the best ways to do that is by running A/B tests. You can test out different combinations to see which outreach emails rack up the most engagement and perform best. Then, you’ll have a clear image of which parts of your campaign work well and which require immediate attention. Just keep in mind that you can only change one element at a time so that you could know for sure what affected the metrics.


It only takes a little to stand among your competitors. By avoiding making rookie email outreach campaign mistakes you can skyrocket your sales in no time!

Here’s a tip: executing a great email outreach requires an intuitive and affordable email marketing software like SendX, which comes with a 14-day trial (no credit card required).


Valerie Kakovkina

Valerie Kakovkina, Marketing Content Writer at NetHunt CRM. Whenever Valerie is not actively jotting down a new article, she's most likely researching for it. She enjoys discussing controversial topics and picking up on innovative concepts in the world of B2B Marketing and Sales.