In this blog, we will share our experience of working on thousands of cold campaigns in a few years and reaching the success of a 70% open rate. We will focus on improving email deliverability, and our experiments with subject lines and email copies helped us get massive success in our cold outreach campaigns. We have spent hundreds of hours perfecting these strategies, and here’s what we would like to share:
A Leap From 10% to 20% In Our Open Rates
Two years ago, when we started cold emailing, we outreached to multiple companies to spread awareness, generate leads and fix product demonstrations. We stood at an open rate of 10% with no campaign engagements, without a single lead. And that is when we had to start innovating our campaigns. We experimented with our subject lines and the sender’s name.
We used a referral name in our subject line for our prospects. This is how the subject line appears to be, “(Name), you have been referred to by (Referral’s name).”
This gave us a jump beyond 20% in our open rates, and that is where our success was defined. It got us heaps of engagement, delivering a lead number of 170 in 2 months for our first client. Whereas, we saw an opposite scenario with our second client, who came in with a requirement of hot selling product required in the B2B segment. We efficiently delivered 250 leads in 2 months by simply reaching out to Procurement Managers from multiple companies.
Reaching the target number of leads for our first two projects made us realize that every project differs based on its product. You can not survive until you find ways to innovate with your campaigns, adhere to technicalities, and follow others’ methods. With these learnings, we present shareable experiments that you can try and the essential technical set-ups you ought to follow to get going towards setting up your successful cold emailing campaign.
Tips We Followed to Grow with Successful Cold Email Campaigns
Our tried and tested experiments, and other must-follow technical email set-ups lead to huge success in our cold email outreach campaigns. The below-mentioned tips will help you improve the delivery rates of your cold emails and the real hacks that achieved our email open rates beyond 70%, landing them in recipients’ primary inboxes.
If emails do not reach their intended destinations, no matter how many innovative techniques you have thought of or have planned A/B test experiments with your email campaigns, they will be of no use if your emails won’t be opened in the first place.
Before you plan and execute your email campaigns, you need to ensure high deliverability rates. So here are a few pointers you ought to follow for a successful delivered campaign.
- Make sure you have completed the Basic technical set-ups of verifying your domain by adding a TXT or CNAME record to your DNS records followed by other records such as SPF or DMARC upon verification.
- Warm up your email list first before you send out massive campaigns. This will make email clients trust the IP that your emails are being sent from.
- Check if you’re blacklisted. Suppose you are using a list with uncertain emails, which might result in a considerable number of bounces or an irrelevant audience to your campaign who are likely to mark your emails as spam. In that case, your email server will be Blacklisted. If you are using an ESP and find that you are blacklisted, let them know immediately so they sort it out.
Improving your average open rate by keeping email deliverability on the top following the tried and tested hacks that we will share with you can get you going towards a successful cold emailing campaign.
What are the steps to engage more people with your emails?
The way people respond to your emails can provide insights into how you create your email marketing campaigns. Sharing some tried and tested methods that can make people open and engage with your emails.
Timing Is Essential To Open Rates
Your email engagement is dependent a lot on the day and time you select to shoot your cold email campaigns. As per research, the best day to send emails is considered to be Tuesday. And readers are most likely to read emails at either 10 A.M. after they arrive at work, or 1 P.M., catching up with emails after lunch. This approach can be followed though it doesn’t remain constant. Keep experimenting!
The Subject Line Of Your Emails
Use a generic subject line in comparison to niche-specific results in a difference in open rates! Research also suggests that personalized subject lines with 6 – 10 words deliver the highest open rates. Personalize your message and lift your open rates!
Be Precise & Personalize!
What I mean is, talk about the email. Mention how the email can benefit the recipient and their company in specific by personalizing with their Name, Company, Industry, etc., information as required depending on your copy to better connect with your readers to increase engagement.
Send Device-optimized Emails
Send a test email internally to check the email deliverability. Check if the URLs are correctly placed, and most importantly if the emails are optimized on PCs, tablets, or mobile devices.
Today, 81% of emails are opened and read while people walk and meet. Testing emails on a mobile device is often overlooked. An email is ignored by the readers if not mobile-optimized. Make sure how your email campaign template looks good on a mobile device.
Target Audience Defines Your Email Engagement Rate
No matter how dedicatedly you follow the ways mentioned earlier, all your efforts are wasted if the right message is delivered to the wrong target audience.
For example, suppose you promote a customer engagement platform to IT Professionals. In that case, they might simply opt out of the emails or instead delete them as they are not the relevant audience for the message to be delivered. Always know your product and the audience before designing your email campaigns.
Segment Your Email List
Instead of randomly sending emails to everyone in bulk, you can segment your email lists on parameters based on the type of audience or industry type to run different email campaign tests with the same email content. This will help you judge the best email list based upon the open rates and the campaign engagement.
You can also perform similar tests with your email templates or subject lines to analyze your campaigns and generate insights to further campaign success.
Just like open rates, average deliverability rates differ from region to region.
For instance, only 66% of emails reach a reader’s inbox in Asia compared to 86% in Europe. This makes a massive difference to your email open rates! But this does not mean that you cannot deliver emails to your readers. The below-mentioned tips can help you improve the delivery rates of your cold emails.
To create an impact from cold email campaigns, you need to measure the success by the number of people who reply to your email (Reply rate) or click on a link (Click-through rate). What is often overlooked here is the reply rate and the click-through rate dependent on the open rate. It is because unless people open your email, there’s no chance they can reply or click on it! To get people to reply to your email and click on the URLs in your email, you need people to open your email first.
How Are You Going To Get More People To Open Your Cold Emails?
There are many opinions and ways on the web about how to increase cold email open rates. Still, we are only interested in the tried and tested concrete data behind the number of emails opened that defines the open rate success of our email campaigns.
We have outreached multiple companies through cold emails to help our clients to generate leads and fix product demos. It also gives us data and insights into how people open, respond and engage with cold email campaigns.
Our blog aims to help you get more people to read your emails and increase email open rates, which in turn has a positive impact on the overall performance of your email marketing campaigns. But before we proceed towards the insights, let us understand this primary metric first.
What Do You Understand About A Cold Email Open Rate?
To begin with, a cold email is the email sent for the first time to a receiver without any prior permission to gain a benefit in terms of sales, product awareness, or any other opportunity. A cold email is not opened easily by the recipient, and even if the email is clicked, most people consider an open rate the number of people who open your cold email. This sounds right but doesn’t stop here. A cold email is actually counted as opened when the following occurs:
- The reader spends some time reading your email and enables images to be displayed in the preview pane or full view of the email.
- The recipient looks upon the sender’s domain, company, and industry.
- The recipient clicks a URL in your email to go through the in-depth details.
Technically, Email service providers (ESPs) calculate the open rate by considering the list of people who open your mail and dividing it by the number of bounced emails.
Here is the numeric formula for Email click-to-open Rate –
For example, if you send 1000 cold emails, and 100 of them bounce, the number of emails delivered is 900. Of those 900 emails, suppose that 100 emails are opened. The open rate for your cold email campaign comes out to be 11% (i.e.,100 emails opened from 900 delivered).
If you read about email open rates for the first time, you might think that a cold email campaign’s opening falls on the lower side because it is sent to a first-timer without any prior contact.
Though that’s not the case.
As per the stats, it is understood that between 2015 – 2018, the average open rate for email was steady – hovering at 24% globally. However, in 2020, the average open rate dropped to 21.3% (a slight decrease compared to 2019). If the open rate is near 23% or higher, you are doing great in your cold email campaigns. But just apart from the stats, a lot depends on the time period and other dependable factors, such as type of audience, regions targeted, email deliverability, etc. If your emails end up in your readers’ spam folder, there are hardly any chances of the recipient getting to you!
How Can You Get More Cold Emails To Be Delivered?
Sharing a few tips below which can help you improve the delivery rates of your cold emails.
Technical Email Domain Set-ups
After you have purchased an email domain and created a Gmail/G Suite account, the domain’s complete technical set-ups are required to land your cold emails in the primary inbox of the email server.
Check Upon The Spammy Terms
Sending emails with Spammy terms can result in landing your email in the recipient’s spam. Check up on the list of most spammy terms that differ for the region you are sending emails to.
Include An Unsubscribe Button
Sending cold emails to recipients and following up with them continuously until they respond might mark your email as spam if they do not want to receive emails from your domain anymore and if they do not find an option to opt-out. So include an unsubscribe link to remain in the safe zone.
Ask Your Readers To Give Credibility To Your Emails
You can ask your well-engaged readers to mark the cold emails from your domain as ‘important,’ which increases the credibility of the emails, likely increasing the number of emails delivered.
Cleanse Your Email List
If multiple emails to the same recipient are unopened, there are chances they are not interested in receiving emails from your company. The ESP’s (Gmail or Yahoo) are smart enough to understand this, redirecting emails to the spam folder. So it becomes necessary to consider cleansing your list.
These are the tried methods for our cold email campaigns, and following these tips can increase your email deliverability. The more emails are delivered to your audience, the better chance of getting more people to open them.
The Final Word
Several factors make your recipients read and interact with your cold email campaigns. We have enlisted some of them to help you get started with experimenting. These proven methods would improve your email campaign performance to an extent leading to its success.
We hope the stats and the strategies mentioned can help you make actionable decisions regarding email marketing.
Nonetheless, the best option for you might not be from any of the above but can be the best practice that can guide you to get more cold emails opened and improve your deliverables. So never stop experimenting with new techniques. Keep updating the cold email outreach mechanism.