Welcome to this eye-opening and comprehensive guide where we shine the spotlight on the all-too-common pitfalls of bad cold email practices.

Get ready to embark on a journey that will arm you with valuable knowledge to spot, address, and rectify those cringe-worthy cold email examples.

By the time you’re done, you’ll be well-equipped to elevate your business communications, connect with your audience more effectively, and ultimately improve your outreach results. Let’s dive in!

Understanding the Anatomy of a Cold Email

The Importance of Cold Emails

In the era of digital marketing, cold emails have become a staple tool for businesses.

The cold email is an unsolicited email sent to a potential client with whom you’ve had no previous contact.

Cold emailing can serve as a powerful catalyst in establishing connections, fostering relationships, and, ultimately, expanding your business.

Subject Line – The First Impression

One of the most pivotal aspects of a cold email is the subject line. The subject line serves as the reader’s first contact with your message, thus playing a crucial role in whether your email gets opened.

A good subject line is succinct, relevant, and enticing, effectively seizing the reader’s attention.

Bad email examples often exhibit ineffective subject lines. Too many characters can make the subject line overwhelming, leading the reader to skip the email altogether.

Equally damaging can be subject lines that are vague or unrelated to the email body.

This may lead to the reader feeling deceived once they open the email, which can damage your relationship with the potential client.

The Opening Line – Capturing Attention

After the subject line, the opening line is the next critical part of a cold email.

The opening line should be engaging, relevant to the person’s business, and tailored to your target audience.

A bad example is a generic greeting or an opening line unrelated to the business or the recipient name, good example, which can come across as impersonal and lazy.

The Body – Conveying Your Message

The body of a cold email is where you deliver your main message. It’s also where many bad cold email examples falter.

Key errors here include lengthy, unstructured text blocks, too many CTAs leading to confusion, grammatical errors, and spelling mistakes.

A good example, on the other hand, is an email body that’s concise yet comprehensive, uses a polite tone, and has a clear CTA.

An appropriate CTA encourages the reader to take the desired action, whether it’s visiting a landing page, making software purchases, or simply responding to your email.

Professional Email Signature – The Closing Touch

The final part of a cold email is the email signature after you say “looking forward to hearing from you” or the like. This is your opportunity to leave a lasting impression and provide the reader with your contact details.

In bad email examples, you’ll often find no email signature, incomplete signatures, or overly complex ones with too many details.

The golden rule is to keep it simple yet professional, including only essential information like your name, company name, and contact details.


Cold emails can serve as powerful marketing tools when written and structured correctly.

Paying close attention to the subject line, opening line, email body, and email signature can significantly improve the impact of your cold emails.

Avoid bad email practices like vague subject lines, generic greetings, and poor email etiquette.

Learn from bad cold email examples to create engaging and effective cold email strategies.

Boost your cold email outreach today with Mailarrow. Sign up for our software and start sending better cold emails that drive results.

Dissecting Bad Cold Email Examples

Starting with the Subject Line

In bad cold email examples, the subject line is often one of the most glaring areas of failure. Subject lines like “Hello” or “Regarding your business” are typically ineffective.

These subject lines give no clear indication of the next email thread’s content, nor do they manage to grab the reader’s attention.

Overuse of exclamation marks, question marks, or too many characters are also typical in bad subject lines.

These mistakes can make the email appear as spam, causing the reader to delete it without giving it a second look.

An example of a good subject line might be “Improve your SEO with Mailarrow 🎯”. It’s concise, informative, and contains a hint of intrigue with the use of an emoji.

Generic Greetings and Impersonal Opening Lines

If a prospect opens an email, the first line they read can make or break the engagement.

Bad cold emails often start with generic greetings such as “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To whom it may concern.”

These opening lines can make the email feel impersonal and mass-produced, which can lead to the recipient feeling undervalued.

Good cold emails, on the other hand, are personalized. They might start by acknowledging the recipient’s recent achievement or referencing their company’s latest news.

Such personal touches show the reader that you’ve done your homework, increasing the chances of them reading the entire email.

The Email Body: Too Much of Everything

One of the most common mistakes in bad cold emails is an overcrowded email body.

Trying to fit too much information into one email, using too many CTAs, or overloading with technical jargon can confuse and overwhelm the reader.

Instead, a well-written cold email body should have a clear structure, simple language, and a concise message.

It should only contain one main CTA to avoid overwhelming the recipient with too many decisions.

Unprofessional Emails: Bad Grammar, Spelling Mistakes, and More

Cold emails full of grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and poor email etiquette are a surefire way to lose a potential client.

In addition to being unprofessional, these mistakes can also lead to misunderstandings and confusion in other forms.

To avoid these mistakes, always double-check your emails before sending them.

Use tools that check grammar and spelling, and consider asking a colleague to proofread your email for a fresh perspective.

The Email Signature: What Not to Do

Another common mistake seen in bad cold emails is an unprofessional or absent email signature.

A poorly constructed email signature, or lack thereof, can leave the reader with a negative impression.

Contrarily, a professional email signature is concise, provides all necessary contact information, and can even include your company logo for a touch of branding.

By analyzing bad cold email examples and learning from their mistakes, you can refine your own cold email strategy.

Improve your cold emails by personalizing your message, focusing your content, and maintaining a professional tone.

Remember, Mailarrow can help streamline your cold emailing process. Sign up today to start sending cold emails that drive results.

The Impact of Bad Cold Emails on Your Business

Hurting Your Company’s Reputation

Sending bad cold emails can have a negative impact on your company’s reputation.

Cold email mistakes, such as writing to the wrong recipients or sending unprofessional emails, can portray your company as careless and lacking in detail orientation.

For instance, a sales email riddled with spelling mistakes not only conveys a lack of professionalism, but it may also lead to doubts about your company’s overall competence.

Decreased Response Rates

Bad cold emails, especially those with poorly crafted subject lines, can significantly decrease response rates, or worse will have a no response.

If your subject lines are not compelling enough to draw the reader’s attention, your email messages may end up unopened in the recipient’s inbox.

This is a common mistake made when sending cold emails and can result in a massive waste of effort and resources.

Potential Loss of Business Opportunities

Sending bad cold emails can also lead to potential loss of business opportunities.

If the email recipient finds your cold email to be unprofessional or irrelevant, they might be less likely to respond or engage with your company in the future.

For instance, using a generic greeting instead of personalizing the email to the recipient can make the reader feel undervalued, reducing the likelihood of them responding to your call to action.

Best Practices to Avoid Sending Bad Cold Emails

To ensure that your cold emails generate positive responses, here are some best practices to follow:

Focus on the Subject Line

Spend time crafting and write a good subject line. This is often the deciding factor in whether the recipient opens your email. Keep it short, relevant, and engaging.

Personalize Your Emails

When writing cold emails, make sure to personalize them as much as possible. Use the recipient’s name in the opening line and make your email body relevant to their business or industry.

This will increase the chances of the recipient engaging with your email.

Keep Your Email Body Concise and Clear

Avoid writing lengthy email bodies. Be concise, keep your message clear, and stick to one main call to action.

Maintain a Professional Tone

Ensure that your email maintains a professional tone throughout. This includes avoiding slang, emoticons, and excessive exclamation marks, as well as ensuring your grammar and spelling are flawless.

Double-Check Your Emails Before Sending

Before you hit send, take the time to double-check your emails. Look for any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, and ensure that your message is clear and your CTA is compelling.

Remember, avoiding bad cold email practices is key to ensuring that your business maintains a professional image and maximizes its opportunities for growth.

Take your cold email outreach to the next level with Mailarrow. Sign up today and start driving better results.

Learning from Bad Email Examples

Learning from bad email examples is a great way to refine your own email practices. By recognizing the common pitfalls in these bad examples yourself, you can avoid making the same mistakes in your cold emails.

Bad Example: The “All About Us” Email

One common type of bad email is the “all about us” email. This email focuses solely on the sender’s business, products, or services, without considering the recipient’s needs or interests.

This approach is counterproductive because it fails to engage the reader’s attention. Instead, your email should talk about the recipient’s business needs and how your product or service can provide a solution.

Bad Example: The No-Value Email

Another type of bad email is the no-value email. This email provides no clear benefit to the recipient. It may be full of jargon, have a vague subject line, or lack a clear CTA.

Remember, your email should clearly communicate the value proposition and the action you want the recipient to take.

Bad Example: The “Spray and Pray” Email

The “spray and pray” email is a mass email sent to a large number of recipients without any personalization.

The generic greeting and content make it obvious that the same email has been sent to many people.

This method can make the recipients feel unimportant and is likely to result in low response rates. Instead, each email should be tailored to the recipient, their industry, and their specific needs.

Bad Example: The Poorly Formatted Email

The poorly formatted email can be hard to read and lacks structure. It might contain large blocks of text, have inconsistent fonts, or use too many different colors.

The golden rule here is to keep your emails clean, professional, and easy to read. Use bullet points, numbered lists, and bold text to highlight key information.

Bad Example: The Bad Email Etiquette

Bad email etiquette can be a major turnoff for recipients. Examples of bad it include using an unprofessional email address, writing in all caps, and not including an email signature.

To avoid bad email etiquette, always use a professional email address, maintain a polite tone throughout your email, and include a professional email signature.

In the next section, we will look at good examples of marketing cold emails and learn how to effectively engage your target audience.

Don’t forget, Mailarrow can help you automate and optimize your cold email outreach. Sign up today for a free trial.

Good Email Examples and How to Write Them

After examining bad cold email examples, it’s time to learn from good cold email mistakes and examples. Here are some strategies to ensure your cold emails resonate with your target audience and encourage a positive response.

Good Example: The Problem-Solution Email

In this type of cold email, you first identify a problem that the recipient’s business might be facing. Then, you present your product or service as a solution.

This approach shows the recipient that you understand their business needs and that your offering is relevant to them.

Good Example: The Personalized Email

Personalized cold email is key to success. Address the recipient by their name and mention something specific about their company.

This can include a recent achievement, a press release, or a shared connection. This will show the recipient that you’ve taken the time to research them and their business.

Good Example: The Clear CTA Email

A good cold email should have a clear and compelling call to action. Whether it’s booking a meeting, downloading a whitepaper, or visiting your landing page, the recipient should know exactly what you want them to do.

Good Example: The Polite Follow-Up Email

Sometimes, the recipient might not respond to your first email. In this case, it’s totally fine to send a follow-up email.

Be sure to maintain a polite tone and refrain from sounding desperate or pushy. You can reference your previous email, but also add some new information that might be valuable to the person or recipient.

Good Example: The Testimonial Email

In this email, you share a testimonial from a happy customer. This can help build trust with the recipient and show them the real-world benefits of your product or service.

By incorporating these techniques from good email examples, you can write cold emails that engage the recipient and increase your chances of getting a response.

Remember to keep refining your cold emailing strategy. Make use of tools like Mailarrow to simplify your cold email outreach and track the effectiveness of your efforts. Sign up today and start writing cold emails that get results.


What is an example of a negative email?

A negative email is one that is written without considering the recipient’s needs or perspective.

It might include an irrelevant subject line, a lack of personalization, a lengthy and confusing email body, poor email etiquette, spelling mistakes, or too many calls to action.

Such emails are often perceived as unprofessional and are likely to be ignored or deleted by the recipient.

What are unprofessional emails?

Unprofessional emails are those that don’t adhere to standard business email etiquette. Examples of unprofessional business emails, may include ones with a casual or inappropriate tone, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, a generic greeting, or a lack of a clear call to action. They may also be sent from a non-professional email address or lack a proper email signature.

What makes an email look bad?

An email may look bad due to a variety of factors. This includes a poor subject line that fails to capture the reader’s attention, an email body that is too long and difficult to read, a tone that is either too formal or too casual, spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, a lack of personalization, too many CTAs, or a bad example of email etiquette such as writing in all caps, failing to include an email signature, or using an unprofessional email address.