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How Do You Handle Rejection In Outreach Efforts Gracefully?

Rejections can be hard to deal with. But what if you can turn this rejection into an opportunity? How? Here, we will discuss the best way to handle rejection gracefully in outreach efforts.

Icegram blog general

Last updated on January 16, 2024

The email marketing journey is full of ups and downs. With continuous efforts, you might one day get results you haven’t even thought of. And sometimes, it can be quite the opposite. So how do you deal with the rejection? Well, here are some effective strategies that would help you.

How to handle rejection in outreach efforts gracefully?

Have you ever faced rejection? How do you handle yourself and move forward? No, we are not talking about your love life. We are talking about your professional one. Let me explain.

Imagine a typical workday, where you are asked to draft a campaign to strengthen connections with your clients, customers, and potential leads. You spent days writing a series of compelling messages, meticulously tailored to resonate with the audience.

After days and nights, you have refined the content, optimized subject lines, and every detail is on the spot and you send the campaigns. Days pass by and you are still not getting the responses that you expected. Forget about the conversions- many prospects haven’t even opened the email.

How would you feel? Pretty disheartened right?

It is a familiar scenario for every email marketer, whether seasoned or just starting. Even the most experienced marketers can face the same problem if they miss the right timings.

So what is the solution?

Well, instead of considering rejection as a roadblock, you can see it as a redirection.  With each ‘no’, you can learn to refine, adapt and ultimately succeed in your email campaign.

In this following article, we are going to share some valuable insights on how to handle rejection in outreach efforts. These are tips that I gained from my own experience in this email marketing field. So get ready!!

Understand rejection- Accepting reality

Rejection is not a verdict of your worth, but an opportunity for growth, a stepping stone on the path of eventual success.

One thing you should get clear in your mind is that this is not the end of your marketing career and also not the last rejection you are going to face in your entire career. There are going to be many in the future but with each, you get an opportunity to learn about your audience and improve your strategy.

Each rejection gives you a chance to adjust, learn and eventually draft a campaign that brings you ultimate success and the same process repeats. So to begin, let’s first understand where things went south. What was the exact mistake that you made in your campaign that resulted in rejection in this outreach effort? And how to handle rejection in outreach efforts gracefully?

Common reasons for rejection in outreach efforts:

  • Sending emails at an inconvenient time
  • Generic content
  • Poorly crafted
  • Focusing too much on sale
  • Sending too many follow-ups
  • Ambiguous call-to-action
  • Irrelevant content

These are a few causes that could be the reason for this outcome. But now what? The feedback you receive after each rejection provides an excellent learning opportunity. Moreover, it also helps you strengthen your follow-up strategy.

With each rejection, you may receive feedback. This feedback provides a great learning opportunity and helps you to build your follow-up strategy.

Rejection 1 – No response

Well, in this case, there are so many reasons why you shouldn’t get disheartened. First, the person might be busy at that time and have missed your email. Another reason could be that your email is lost between thousands of other emails. It means that your great pitch has just gone in vain.

But what if they have opened the email but still you didn’t receive any response? Well in this case there could be two reasons. One maybe they are not interested in your product category and simply choose not to reply to it. The other reason can be that they are interested in your brand but have simply forgotten about it.

Solution: A simple solution to this problem could be sending a polite follow-up after a reasonable time. Or, you can also try to adjust your approach a little bit and send the follow-up.

Rejection 2 – It’s not in our budget right now

If you have received this feedback, then you can consider yourself lucky, because it is not an actual no. Instead, the prospect is looking for more flexible payment plans or exclusive discounts.

Solution: In the following mail, you can inform them about different payment plans and special discounts. You can even emphasize the cost-effectiveness of your product and how it would turn fruitful in the long term.

Rejection 3 – We are not interested at this time

Now if you have received this message it simply means that the timing is not right. They may also feel like they immediately don’t need your product or services.

Solution: So in this case you have to respect your prospect’s decision. In a follow up, you can express your understanding and gratitude for their time. Also, you can inquire about suitable times to contact them. Or ask them to subscribe to your newsletter services so that they can stay updated with you.

Rejection 4 – No, we are not interested!

If you have got this as a response, then you have to respect the choice of your prospect and back off. This is the cliff end of the outreach and you may not want to take this forward.

Solution: All you need to do is send a thank you follow-up email.

Rejection 5 – We are currently exploring other options

This kind of message is an open invitation for you to pitch your product or services better and at reasonable costs. As your prospect is currently looking for other options in the market, you don’t want to lose them. They are already in the buying mode and you want them to choose you but you?

Solution: You can ask them about any specific features or criteria they are looking for. Or any challenges they are facing currently for which they want a solution? You can even dig deeper into that prospect to understand what kind of solution they might like. And then tailor your pitch in a way to highlight its unique features.

You can even offer a trial version of the product. Or leave it all, and simply ask them to contact you over a phone call. In this one on one interaction, you can highlight features of your product/services.

Rejection 6 – We’re handling this internally

This kind of feedback indicates that the reader is currently looking for a team or developing in-house solutions to the problem. For example, if you are offering SEO services for their website, they might be thinking of hiring an internal SEO team to handle it.

Solution: In this situation, you may think of explaining to them how easy and convenient it would be for them to choose your service. Or you can even inquire about any sort of challenges they are facing currently and offer to help them out with your expertise.

In this way, you will not only build a better relationship with the prospect but also showcase your hold on the field. They may even think of hiring you for complimentary services or referring your products to others.

Rejection 7 – I am not the decision-maker

This simply means that you have chosen the wrong person to pitch. They don’t have decision-making authority.

Solution: The solution is very simple. Just politely ask them for a referral to the decision-maker or provide them with thorough information about your product/service. You can ask them to share this with their supervisors and organization.

Additional tips on how to handle rejection in outreach efforts


After facing rejection you must understand the reasons behind that to refine your approach. For this, the best thing to do is conduct research. The first thing you should start is by reviewing your communication methods. thoroughly examine your outreach message or proposal and look for areas where it lacks clarity, relevance, or tone.

If there is any feedback provided, analyze it thoroughly to understand the specific reasons for the rejection in outreach efforts. Now you also need to research your prospect to understand their current needs, challenges, and priorities. This will help you to tailor your ways to approach them for success. Remember personalization is the key to your success.

Writing better follow up

After getting rejection, it is highly possible you may think of abandoning the prospect altogether. But it is not right. Instead, you should work on a strategic follow up after the rejection to demonstrate your persistence and genuine interests.

For example, see you have reached out to a potential lead with a perfect deal. But unfortunately, they respond with rejection citing their reasons.

Now, a perfect follow up strategy in this condition would be:

  • Choose an appropriate time to send the follow up. Don’t send it immediately after the rejection or too late. The key here is the perfect timing.
  • You can also consider any feedback received to adjust your approach before sending the follow up.
  • The next thing you can do is to offer more information or insights about the concerns expressed by your prospects in the initial rejection.
  • You can, in fact, express your gratitude for the time and consideration.
  • And at the end you can always suggest alternative ways to collaborate with them

Utilize data and analytics

Using data analytics to understand the valuable insights of your outreach efforts can help you understand the real reasons for the rejections. Analyzing data can help you identify the trends and patterns in your outreach efforts. You can understand which strategy resonates the best with your audience.

It can also help you to pinpoint the specific areas that may contribute to rejection. Apart from this, it can also help you with a better understanding of your conversion funnel analysis.  You can use data analytics to map out the whole final from initial contact to the desired outcome.

You can identify the stages from where your prospects are dropping off and address those points to eliminate the leak in the sales funnel. You can also conduct A/B testing on different elements of your outreach message to find out the best version.

You can also find out the timing issues, if any, that are playing a significant role in increasing the number of rejections. You can use this data to optimize the timing of your future follow-ups and subsequent outreach to increase the chances of success.

Final words: Self-reflection and learning

Don’t let this rejection in outreach efforts decrease your motivation or effort. And never hesitate to make outreach efforts or engage with new prospects. Even though you think you may face rejection. Why? Why not? It is a great learning experience.  It helps you to understand your audience better and shape your sales strategies for better outcomes.

But if you get stuck in this self-sabotaging cycle, it will only harm your business. By changing your perspective, you can convert this negative experience into a new opportunity to grow.  So rather than getting discouraged, keep trying. Contacting a person who has been rejected once is not bad at all.

Don’t back out forever. Instead, take a few steps back to look into your strategy, identify certain pain points of your prospects and try to solve them.

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