10 easy ways to make sure people don’t want to read your email

Bethany Crystal
2 min readJan 7, 2019

I spent a good part of this afternoon and evening getting through an email backlog from over the holidays. It seems like many people thought this was a great time of year to send cold emails.

So I thought I’d take a few of my favorites from this batch (along with some other cold emails I’ve received over the years) and create this list.

10 Easy Ways to Make Sure People Don’t Want to Read Your Email

#1: Start with the subject: “Can we network?”

I’d be much more intrigued by a more creative approach to getting my attention.

#2: Kick off your email with the line, “First of all, I want to say that this is not spam.”

If you have to say that..then I don’t believe you.

#3: Send a really great email…then copy/paste it to everyone in your office.

This one still gets me every time. Until it’s forwarded to me 3–4 times.

#4: Spell the recipient’s name wrong.

I’m on at least one spam list as “Bathany” Crystal. I’ll promise you right now that Bathany will never respond to your request.

#5: Send repeated follow-up emails every other day.

One follow-up email within one week is okay. Maybe one more in a month. But after that, it’s best to try someone else.

#6: Include an Anchorman gif after the third sentence.

Even worse if it doesn’t load properly.

#7: Have zero personalized details in the body of the email.

Please spend at least 30 seconds reading what we do before you email me.

#8: Ask a question you can easily find out on your own

Information like: what our company does, where we are located, whether we are hiring, and what companies are in our portfolio are all very easy to figure out. Do your homework.

#9: Include vague details about what you do and a sketchy-looking link.

I’ve been trained *not* to click that.

#10: Kick off with, “I imagine you’ve heard of me already.”

There’s no winning with a line like this.

All of these were inspired or lifted from real emails I’ve received in the last month. Next time, I’ll dig into my favorite LinkedIn InMail requests…

Originally published at Dry Erase.



Bethany Crystal

A little bit web2, a little bit web3… Board @CompSci_High ; ex-USV, Stack Overflow, Bolster, Variant, Uniswap Foundation; alum of @Northwes