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Outbound Marketing

WWYD? Deconstructing Spam Emails (Part 2)

Turning spam emails into emails that convert!
Nico DeBruyn
Nico DeBruyn
8.3 minutes

If your cold outreach emails are ending up in the recipient’s spam folder, you’re probably wondering why that is and what you can do to prevent it from happening in the future. We’re going to deconstruct two examples of emails we received that either ended up in our spam folder or just weren’t effective at grabbing our attention. Every single email campaign is different, but there are a few things you can do to every message to improve engagement. We’ll provide specific feedback about what changes we would make to the messages below and hope they inspire you to reevaluate your emails once more before sending them! Let’s get started.

Email Message 1:

Hi Nico,

If I told you my company could cut your travel costs significantly, would you give me a few minutes to show you how we work and what kind of savings we deliver?

We're Onriva, the first online marketplace offering billions of dollars in public, wholesale and pre-negotiated travel inventory to business.

Whatever travel agency, or online service you're using today, I can prove you're not getting near the best rates and selection. In fact, you won't find Onriva's fares anywhere else.

What's more, Onriva ensures that every traveler also gets their points, their perks, their preferences and their upgrades. In fact, they can even earn OnrivaCash back on every booking.

Finally, Onriva's premium 24/7 support team makes certain that your travelers every travel need gets managed quickly and well -- before, during and after a trip.

Nico, given your position, I couldn't help but think that a highly-rated service offering huge savings in travel costs, as well as cash back would interest you.

Let me know when you're free for a brief call about Onriva and I, or a member of my response team will get back to you promptly.


Ben J. Parodi

Executive Vice President, Sales and Business Development


This email is way too long and expands on points that don’t need to be in a first email. Your first email shouldn’t be super lengthy. It should be used to further qualify your prospect to see if it’s worth your time to continue sending them more information. Not to mention, no one wants to read a novel of an email even if they know who the email is coming from. If you’re reaching out to a prospect that’s cold, they’ll see the essay you wrote and move on to what’s more important to them. If you see your email is starting to get a little lengthy, find what you can take out and use in follow-up emails. Here’s how we trimmed this email down:

So, the final version looks like this:

Hi Nico,

CUSTOM POINT (Conference/workshop)

We help marketing agencies save $x.xx on travel expenses.

And if we can’t beat your current cost, we will Zelle you $500.

Open to connecting?

This trimmed-down email grabs the reader’s attention and gets them interested in what more you can provide for them. Think of your opening sentence as your first impression. If you received that first email, would you take the time to read it? Probably not. If you received the second one with a custom point that showed you the person sending it actually was a real person and not just a robo email and did some research you’re definitely more likely to read it.

Email Message 2:

Hi Larissa,

You're receiving this email as we've invited a few operating leaders to join our session below.

It's interesting that Boundless Media is specialized in marketing & advertising. I've been reading an article about how Athwelage Sarath, our imaginary entrepreneur, has been busy putting together his marketing plan so that he can get started in publishing marketer. It was surprising. I've been realizing the importance of having a service like this for business growth - especially when it comes to marketing & advertising.

We appreciate if you accept our invitation for the Boundless Media intro session (personalized deck) that includes more details.

Btw, if you're in Tempe, have you been to any events at Katzin Hall on East Gammage Parkway? Have a great rest of your week!


Juliana Marulanda



New York, NY.

This email is not concise, and the point of the email gets lost. Emails like this aren’t effective because no one has time to read a confusing message. In the end, you don’t even know what this company offers. What is the session about? Why do they have an imaginary entrepreneur? And this email also doesn’t read very well. After reading an email, you don’t want your lead to be left with more questions than answers. That’s a great way to get someone to hit that little trashcan icon.  Here’s how we rewrote the email.

You can see we wrote out a goal for the email, which helped us format the rest of the email. This way, the goal doesn’t get lost. Here’s how the final email looks:

Hi Larissa,

We've invited a few operating leaders in Tempe to join SESSION NAME.

In these events, we share best practices on how agencies can use automation. 

A bad idea to send over a custom deck?

Btw have you been to any events at Katzin Hall on East Gammage Parkway?

This message takes way less time to read and encourages the reader to learn more if they’re interested. You also know what the offer is. Your email should be short, sweet, to the point, and custom. That’s what is important in your cold email outreach. There are millions of emails sent every day, and you don’t want to end up as one that gets ignored.

When you’re writing your email campaigns, you always start with the salutation and then hit on a custom point. Bonus points if it’s a custom point that’s a problem you solve, i.e., “I see you’re hiring marketers right now. Great to see companies like {company name} growing!” Jump into the body of the email next. This can be a qualifying question or a quick blurb about what problem you solve. “Have you ever considered an agency for your marketing and lead gen to help cut costs on hiring and training?” Then your call to action is the grand finale. “Bad idea if I send over more info?” If you are looking for help with your cold outreach through email or even LinkedIn, reach out to us today! nico@getboundlessmedia.com (PS we have a full podcast episode about this topic that you can watch here!)

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64.45% Average Cold Email Open Rate
10% Average Response Rate