7 Common Yet Deadly Email Outreach Mistakes to Avoid

Email outreach mistakes to avoid


Email outreach is a process that requires you to work not just hard, but quite smartly.  There are many aspects to consider when you are sending an outreach email including but not limited to the time at which you send it, the subject line, the text incorporated into the email, and the status of any links that you are sending. A study suggests that about 33% of people open their emails solely based on the subject line. This suggests the importance of being impressive and unique in your outreach email approach.

Many marketers lose out on great link-building opportunities due to simple mistakes. Here are a few that can prove damaging to your outreach campaign:

#1 Not Personalizing the Email

One of the most common mistakes that you can do while writing an outreach email is not personalizing it. Influencers generally get hundreds of emails if not more, every day. The way they would look at this is that if you could not be bothered to personalize an email for them, the same attitude will reflect in your content.


  • Let them know that you are aware of their work
  • Appreciate their authority/expertise in the field
  • Add anecdotes on how their work has helped you/taught you

Your first email to the influencer will leave a lasting impression so make sure you address things that let them know that they are not just one among many that you are sending the email to.

#2 Ignoring Value within the Copy

This holds true for any email communication or for that matter, any form of professional communication at all. They say brevity is the charm of eloquence. With that principle in mind, adding value to your email copy does not mean writing long and descriptive emails defending your credibility. Being wordy in your description will only show that you are simply rambling on, without a valid point to make. In fact, this is the kind of mistake that can get your email ignored.


  • Keep your copy brief and clear
  • Make a rough draft first and then optimize it to be value-additional
  • Point out something unique that would set you apart from the rest 

Remember: A true professional will keep the email succinct and informative. After all, they would not need to boast about their skills to seek attention.

#3 Lacking Uniqueness and Originality

One of the primary mistakes that can derail your outreach communication is to set a template and then send it to everyone that you approach. Influencers in the field receive so many emails every day that they can spot a template right away. What’s more, someone else before you might have chosen a similar template, which would only raise questions on your credibility and originality.

Check this readily available email template by Moving Traffic Media: 

email template example

Source: Moving Traffic Media

Imagine getting an array of emails with the same template but the placeholder replaced with relevant information. Wouldn’t you skip the email as well?


  • Take inspiration from templates available online but make them your own
  • Create a unique copy for your outreach emails
  • Retain your originality and showcase your/your brand persona in the email

If you are unique in your approach, and original in your voice, they would definitely acknowledge and appreciate it.

#4 Explicitly Asking for Links

Anyone who has been a professional for a while knows that ‘there are no free lunches’. When you approach an influencer, they know that you are not just contacting them to chit chat about their achievements. Mentioning that you want links might seem like a straightforward approach to you, but may seem too direct to the person you are approaching. It might also seem a bit unprofessional on your part to state the obvious, but without taking the trouble to set a rapport first.


  • Don’t just ask for links, earn them
  • Invite them to check out your content so that they can decide whether to offer you links
  • Establish connecting between your content and their work and send only relevant links

Genuine influencers appreciate a more organic approach wherein, they decide whether to give you links after they look at your content.

#5 Not Proofreading Your Email

Proofreading is such an integral part of a content creator’s life, and outreach emails are not the place to take a break from that. You can be a wizard with the words, and still, accidentally make a typo that wrecks the reading experience of your email. Your outreach emails are your first impression and since you would be pitching your content to them, how weak would it look if the text has spelling or grammatical errors?


  • Create a rough draft and edit it till it is perfect
  • Use a tool like Grammarly or even the in-built editor inside your word processor to eliminate potential errors
  • Have a third party read the email for you if possible so you can check if the copy is effective

Make a great first impression by adding lines that you know would surely get their attention but make sure you spell and structure them right. Train your employees to use proofreading software and provide them with effective remote training to take care of this step for every email they send.

#6 Making it all about you 

No one likes to entertain an individual who comes off as pompous and too proud. It is definitely important to make an impression about yourself or the brand in the first go, but make sure you do not make it about you. Adding subject lines about yourself or adding statements like ‘we are the best branding agency in XYZ’ can make you look a bit high-handed. You do not want them to stop reading even before you can introduce your content. 


  • Appreciate their work and talk about what motivated you to approach them
  • Establish relevance between your content and their work
  • Be humble and acknowledge their authority on the subject

Before you send the email, read it and ask yourself if you would work with the person/brand being introduced within it. Polish the draft till you feel it is friendly, humble, and effective. 

#7 Addressing them incorrectly

This particular mistake will take place only if you commit some of the mistakes mentioned so far. People do not even like it when Starbucks gets their name wrong on the cup, imagine writing an outreach email to an influencer and addressing them with the wrong name. It is unforgivable and will result in your email being ignored permanently. No amount of follow-up would be able to salvage this situation, which is why you have to be extra careful.


  • Read, read and read the draft before you send it forward. 
  • Conduct proper research and personalize the email as far as you can to avoid repetition and addressing people incorrectly
  • Avoid using a defined template and experiment with unique ways in which you can address them in the email. 

Proofreading your emails before you send them can solve this problem too, but writing a unique email and defining an original approach for every email you send can make sure it never happens.

In Conclusion

The process of creating an email outreach campaign is often oversimplified by marketers out there. In essence, it requires you to conduct stellar research and to curate an email copy that is eye-catching and impactful. Even after that, it is important that you thoroughly proofread your copy and add value to it. Ensure takeaways for the people you are approaching so that they are eager to professionally associate with you.


Author Bio

Hazel Raoult is a freelance marketing writer and works with PRmention. She has 6+ years of experience in writing about business, entrepreneurship, marketing and all things SaaS. Hazel loves to split her time between writing, editing, and hanging out with her family.


Related reading:

This blog post is about:

  • Email Marketing
  • Email Outreach Mistakes to Avoid
  • Digital Marketing
  • Copywriting