How to Improve Response Rates to Your Cold Emails

How to Improve Response Rates to Your Cold Emails

On average, we receive 147 emails a day.

Reading and responding to each and every one of them is just not possible, which is why we tend to delete 71 of those, taking less than three seconds to get rid of each one.

This means you have a tiny amount of time to grab the attention of your recipient and get them to click into your email.

It’s no wonder that cold emailing is hard when you take these stats into consideration. Inboxes are sacred places, and even using the wrong word in the subject line can condemn your emails to the “spam” folder for the rest of eternity.

So what does it take to get recipients to see, click into, and respond to your cold emails?

1. Take Your Time With the Subject Line

The very first thing prospects will see is your subject line. This will nestle neatly in their inbox amongst the other 146 emails they’ve received that day, so you need to pack a punch with it to stand out.

One of the biggest mistakes cold emailers make is sending the same generic subject line to every single prospect without taking into account the individual wants and needs of each prospect.

There are several different tactics you can employ here.

Research has shown that invoking a sense of curiosity can work wonders for open rates. Using a subject line that says something like “quick question” will tap into recipients’ curious side and nag away at them until they open it.

Alternatively, you can create a sense of urgency which has proven to significantly increase cold email open rates. Use phrases like “limited time offer” or “only 24 hours left to get your free call”.

2. Personalize Your Emails

There’s nothing worse than a cold email that appears to have been sent to anyone and everyone.

By not providing a personal touch to your cold emails, you’re basically telling the recipient that they’re not worth the extra time it takes to even find out their name.

Source You don’t have to do loads of research into the hopes, dreams, and fears of every prospect, but simply finding out their first name and using that to lead your email can work wonders for response rates.

3. Get to the Point

Today, the average attention span of a consumer is just 8 seconds. Yes, 8 measly seconds.

This means if you want someone to respond to your cold email (let alone read it in the first place), you have to get to the point quickly. You only have a small window of time to grab attention and share your message.

On average, people can read around 300 words in a minute, which gives you just 40 words to pique interest and drive engagement – otherwise, your email will likely be banished to the trash can.

With this in mind, don’t waste time with niceties and get straight to your pitch. If the recipient has to dig really deep into your email to find out what you’re actually trying to say, they’re going to lose interest very, very quickly.

4. Include a Call-to-Action

You’ve managed to get your prospect to click on your email in their fit-to-burst inbox and read your short, sharp message, so now what?

How do you then get them to hit the reply button to boost those all-important response rates?

The most common mistake cold emailers make is not including a call-to-action in their emails. You might think it’s clear that you want your prospect to reach out with any questions they have, but if you don’t clearly state that in your email, the prospect might not know that’s what you want them to do.

This is such a simple but powerful tactic to boost your response rates. Your call-to-action doesn’t have to be long-winded or complicated; a simple “let me know when you’re free for a call this week” is just fine.

Remember here, your cold email needs to build up to this endpoint. No one is going to hit reply and book a call with you if they don’t believe your product or service will be of any value to them. This is where your succinct email body comes in; this is your chance to show prospects how you can solve a major problem they have which will, in turn, drive them to hit that reply button and get in touch.

Cold Emails Are Still a Powerful Marketing Technique

It’s easy to think you won’t have success with cold emails anymore. With people’s inboxes overflowing on a daily basis, you’re not wrong to assume that your email might just disappear into the mass of others. You need a solid strategy to increase cold email response rates.

But if you employ the right tactics and use enticing subject lines, straight-to-the-point messaging, and a clear call-to-action, you might find that cold emailing reaps huge results for you and your business.


Autho Bio: Ryan Gould

Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services

Elevation Marketing

An expert search, social and content marketer, Ryan leads Elevation Marketing’s digital strategy department, helping brands achieve their business goals, such as improving sales and market share, by developing integrated marketing strategies distinguished by research, storytelling, engagement and conversion. With a proven track record of energizing brands, engaging audiences and managing multi-discipline marketing teams, Ryan is a respected expert in achieving consistent results through creative design, thought-provoking narratives and innovative problem-solving.


Twitter: @ryanscottgould