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5 Reasons Your Cold Email Pitches Are Getting Rejected (And How to Fix Them)

Let me guess.

You heard that cold emailing is the shit when it comes to getting freelance writing clients, so you thought you’d give it a try.

Then, you spent hours digging for potential clients’ contact information and trying to write the perfect sales emails.

You clicked “Send” and waited for the responses to pour in.

And then…


If you reach out to potential clients via cold email pitching - here are 5 reasons you're not receiving replies and how to fix them.

By now, hours have turned into days or weeks, and you’re on the verge of writing cold emailing off as another unsuccessful way to find clients.

Not so fast, my friend.

I’m here to tell you that cold emailing can work wonders for your freelance writing business.

It certainly has for mine — I used cold emailing to make $800 in my first ever month as a full-time freelance writer.

And since then, my income has grown like crazy!

I seriously doubt that would’ve happened if I had been too discouraged to keep trying.

So, don’t give up on cold emailing yet.

Instead, let’s talk about what you’re doing wrong, and I’ll give you my best advice on how to fix your mistakes and start landing clients with your emails like a boss.

1. You’re too long-winded.

As a freelance writer, chances are, you’re sending cold emails out to editors, content marketing managers, and even CEOs.

Those are some busy folks! And believe me — they’d rather immerse themselves in a pool of angry piranhas than waste an hour reading your 2000-word email.

So, do them (and yourself!) a favor, and get right to the point.

Be brief, and talk specifically about how your writing services can help them achieve results. You should cut out any fluff that doesn’t help you sell and get your main point across.

2. You’re not keeping the content relevant to the reader.

Clients don’t hire you because of how passionate you are about your work or how much you studied writing in school.

They hire you because the writing services you provide can help them make some sweet, sweet moolah.

That means you need to use your cold email content to let the client know specifically how you can help them make money and get results.

For example, if you’re a website copywriter, you might mention that you can increase conversion rates for the client and help them win more business.

Throw in a case study or testimonial from a client you’ve helped in the past, and you’ve made a damn good case for your freelance writing services!

3. You haven’t defined a niche and target audience.

Which of the following freelance writers do you think will have better luck with their cold emails?

  • A general freelance writer who emails tons of random business across multiple different industries
  • A B2B/tech freelance writer who only focuses on emailing marketing managers and CEOS at B2B/tech companies

Let me go ahead and answer that for you:

The second one.


Because clients want to work with writers who are specialists — not generalists.
That’s because they want to feel confident that you know your shit when it comes to their industry.

So, if you haven’t already, pick a niche and make sure that niche is clear on your website (which you should link out to from your cold email!). Then, focus on emailing one specific type of client based on the niche you’ve chosen.

Bonus points if you add your niche in your email signature under your name (“B2B/Tech Copywriter,” for example) to let clients know about your area of expertise right away.

4. You come across as unprofessional

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying you should come across as corporate-y and straight-laced (I’d be out of work if those were freelance writing requirements!).

What I am saying is that you need to start seeing yourself as a badass business owner – not just a writer for hire. By doing so, you’ll send a clear message to clients that you’re capable of delivering what they need.

Here are a few things clients will analyze to determine whether or not you seem professional:

  • Your email address. If you’re still using Yahoo or Gmail (or, God forbid, AOL) in your email address, it’s time to make a change. Your email address should include your custom website URL. You are a business owner, after all!
  • Your website. Your website should help you build an online presence that attracts your target clients and sells those clients on the fact that you’re the best writer for their business.
  • Your confidence. Stop saying things like “I don’t have much experience” and “I don’t have a degree” – even if those things are true. If you can deliver excellent work, that’s all that matters.

Also, make sure you check your email for grammar and spelling mistakes.

Every. Damn. Time.

After all, you’re trying to land a writing job. You’ll have a hard time convincing any client or editor to work with you if the first email they see from you is littered with simple errors.

5. You’re giving the recipient too many options.

You should have one call-to-action in your email.

Let me repeat that:

ONE call-to-action.

Your call-to-action is probably going to involve scheduling a phone call with the client. If that’s the case, ask for the phone call – don’t talk about a billion other options for communicating with you.

It’s as simple as saying something straightforward at the end of your email, like this:

“Is Wednesday at 10AM CST a good time for a quick phone call?”

Easy peasy – for you and the person you’re emailing.

Feeling better about cold emailing yet?

After reading the tips here, you should be well-equipped to write some bangin’ emails that help you grow your clientele fast.

Now get out there, and make it happen.

Because your next high-paying client is just a cold email away.

Jorden Roper Jorden Roper is a fuchsia-haired freelancer and the founder of Writing Revolt, where she shares no-bullshit advice for freelance writers and bloggers. Want to start attracting high-paying freelance writing clients? Get a copy of How I Turned My Freelance Writer Website Into a Client-generating Machine (A Case Study) today!

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