Let's think 🤔 of your outreach campaign as if it was the blind marketing date with your cold email recipients. You want to attract them with your offer and hope to get invited for another rendezvous. That's because you'll never have a second chance to make the first impression. But will they open your message to read your shining email copy? Let's encourage them with the cold email best practices!
What Is a Good Open Rate for Email?
Email marketing analytics include many parameters which show how successful cold emails are. These metrics are click-through rate, bounce rate, conversion rate, forwarding rate, unsubscription rate, average ROI, total revenue, and, finally, open rate. The number of opened emails to the delivered ones is the first indicator of your marketing efforts. But what is a good open rate for email?
📊 This indicator varies from industry to industry. In 2021, the average email open rate across all niches was 21.5%, 3.5% more than in the previous year.
However, Apple's MPP (Mail Privacy Protection) implementation in 2021 blurred open rates. For the sake of confidentiality, Apple mail downloads each email and, thus, opens it. This way, your cold email marketing tool sees each message delivered to the Apple mailbox as opened. But Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, and many other mail providers still show reliable open rates.
❓ And what is a good email open rate for your business? Well, no matter the answer, read on to grow it!
7 Tips on Improving the Open Rate in Your Cold Email Campaign
The tips below will help make your cold outreach credible, helpful, and timely. And consequently, value-bringing content will grow your open rate, increase reply rate, and generate conversions.
1. Make your name sound trustful
An email address consists of two parts separated by the @ symbol: a username and a domain name. And both matter to your recipients. Your real name in the "From" field should coincide with that in the signature section. Try not to use generic mailboxes like firstname.lastname@example.org as they feel mass-scale.
The domain part should be identical to your website address, so a person can see the proof that your company is legit.
2. Create engaging subject lines
How many boring emails have you seen? Probably thousands. And it's only the email subject line that can make an email stand out and engage potential readers. This line shouldn't be long but must be informative and irresistible to motivate users to open the message. It can be a short question, relevant statistics, or a joke.
However, keep the balance between being proactive and pushy 🙌 because people won't grow your response rate under pressure.
3. Add an intriguing introduction
The preheader of your cold emails is the following sentence your recipients look at after the subject. In a well-crafted intro, marketers refer to the recipient's expertise, business, problems, or solutions. That's what advanced personalization is. You should tie your copy to how you can help the recipient rather than to how to sell.
Sometimes your potential clients don't yet know they have issues. And by defining those problems, you show expertise and demonstrate involvement. How can they resist?
4. Share helpful content
Following the idea in the previous section, keep it up with email marketing personalization. And you need to describe your buying persona to better segment the audience. This will help you address the specific needs of each group and tailor your offer to each segment.
✉️ So, if you insert a couple of dynamic tags, you still can't say you create personalized emails. And don't make your messages too long as decision-makers don't have another five minutes to read them.
5. Include a CTA (Call to Action)
Don't expect your potential clients to guess what they should do after reading your emails. If you want them to give to your website and complete the contact form, say it in the CTA. Once you plan to attract them to your e-commerce platform, motivate them with a clear CTA.
Your CTA button or link should be easily identifiable, so if the recipients don't have those two minutes to read, they will switch directly to the action.
6. Finish with a credible email signature
A signature is one of the most critical elements in your email copy. It allows your potential buyers to decide whether they can trust you. State your name, position, business address, phone, and LinkedIn account. Let users visit your page and ensure you're the one you claim to be.
Such transparent messages will encourage prospects to agree to meet you or participate in a demo session. This means you'll get responses, and your reply rate will grow.
7. Choose the right day to send
Not every day is equally favorable for sending cold emails. For example, Fridays and weekends bring the fewest number of opened emails. That's reasonable as we all want some rest from work and business. 📬 So, Tuesday and Wednesday would probably be ideal for hitting your "Send'' button.
Once users are inactive for some time, send them follow-up emails. Many C-level executives have hundreds of electronic messages daily, so send a kind reminder.
Now you know how to create emails that convert. Still, set realistic targets, and don't expect your metrics to boost overnight. And with the "What's a good open rate for emails in my industry?" question on your mind, let's see how deliverability impacts open rates.
Deliverability of Your Cold Emailing
Even if you craft an enticing subject line, engaging introductory, and excellent email copy, your cold email statistics may not improve. Moreover, your email deliverability can even drop. This can happen because the spam filters categorize your messages as junk emails. But why would they if you've never meant to bother people? Because you haven't done the following:
- Do the warm-up of your mailbox.
You can launch email campaigns only from the warmed-up email address 🔥. Otherwise, spam detectors will block your mailbox because spammers behave the same way. They register a brand new address and try to send bulk emails the same day. But you need to increase sending volumes little by little. This will make anti-spam algorithms believe your cold emails are legitimate.
No one warms up mailboxes manually today because it involves a lot of effort. But instruments similar to Folderly help build your domain reputation (domain is what you find after the @ symbol in your email address). But how does it work? Its professional team possesses plenty of mailboxes registered with different providers (personal and corporate).
This software helps craft relevant and human-like messages because filters analyze email content too. So, the team starts the warm-up email campaign. During the first week, it sends five messages a day. The following week, it can be 20, and in 6-8 weeks, you can reach the targeted volume.
- Set up technical parameters.
Each email has some backend records, which help authenticate the sender. Such text records are called DNS parameters, and when they're set up correctly, anti-spam tools have more trust in you and will willingly let your cold email campaigns in. ⚒ There are three essential records to be set:
– SPF Record. It states the IP numbers which your messages can arrive from. The Sender Policy Framework simply checks if the sender is you or your representative. This technique saves your cold emails from compromising, so attackers won't steal your clients' confidential data.
– DKIM Record. The DomainKeys Identified Mail method uses two keys to encrypt an invisible signature on each email header. And only when the receiving server has private and public keys is the verification signature unlocked. This record is also critical for the security of your cold emailing recipients and you.
– DMARC Record. Once the email doesn't pass the SPF and DKIM tests, the Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance record define how to treat the fake emails. The Sender can ask to mark them as spam, put them in quarantine, or immediately delete them.
- Keep your contact list updated.
How long ago have you cleaned up your list with business emails? If it was last year or never, it's high time to start now. First, eliminate the old and non-existing email addresses which return bounce (non-delivery) notifications. For, when your bounce rate grows, anti-spam algorithms can blacklist your domain name.
Then you need to identify inactive users. They're the ones who haven't opened your emails for months. Don't delete these contacts and try to re-engage them with a new campaign. However, accept realistic targets: most of them won't reply because your messages are no longer relevant.
If your email marketing tool doesn't verify addresses before sending, use the online ones or subscribe to this service. And one more vital thing: never purchase ready contact bases. 🤯
When you buy leads, you can't be sure that these addresses aren't fake, temporary, or non-existing. The third-party contacts can never be interested in your offers and only drop your response rate.
- Allow your recipients to unsubscribe
Churn is normal. And even if your churn rate exceeds the average monthly 5% for a SaaS company, you still can't hide the unsubscription button in your cold emailing copy because it's a bad idea to force someone to get your promotional pitches. Because doing so, you jeopardize your sender reputation and do not meet the requirements of the US CAN-SPAM Act.
Your reputation in the eyes of spam-identifying software worsens each time recipients mark your email as spam and even leave it unopened. And these are the only two options you leave to users when your cold email misses the unsubscribe link. But the opt-out option lets you ask why users reject your messages. And if they provide the reason you can control, why not try to re-engage them.
- Don't use spam words
Spammy words trigger anti-spam programs right away. And surprisingly, the spam vocabulary includes many "normal" words from various industries. And spam detectors can find them in any text throughout the message. For instance, easy-going "Hey" and "Hi" aren't on the list, while "Hello" is there, and it will alert the system.
Earlier, we wrote that attractive subject lines and introductions are the keys to the potential buyers' door 🚪. However, making these elements catchy, beware of adding spam trigger words there. For example, percent signs and numbers are appealing not only to humans but, unfortunately, to spam-detection filters too. You'll find numerous lists of spammy words on the web, and special tools will help you test your email content before sending it.
- Avoid short URLs, many images, and videos
Spam identification tools aren't very happy with links in your cold emails, but even more, they don't like URLs that go to the web addresses other than those mentioned. And short links are just like that. You'll also need to check how the link looks when users click it, as it may contain a mix of random symbols only readable to machines.
Placing a link in your cold email copy is a great way to drive traffic to your website or landing page. It also can be a great CTA or link to some helpful PDF resource and the only tool for measuring your click-through rate. But many marketing specialists think links only affect cold emailing deliverability—the same appeals to images or videos.
Though many marketers think images will make the message more interesting, some mail providers like Outlook never display external images (let alone videos) to their recipients, even on smartphones. So, your creativity won't be appreciated. Moreover, it can alert the spam-detection triggers as spammers do the same: they add catchy images and embed videos right into the email bodies.
💡 Email open rates depend on your email deliverability and the content you send. If your subject line and preheader aren't catchy enough, your email recipients won't bother opening such messages. And if the email copy is irrelevant and non-personalized, your click-through rate won't grow either-even if you send five follow-ups.
Finally, the above factors won't matter once your email lands in a spam folder. But we hope these seven tips will help you boost the statistics of your cold email outreach.
Need to grow your open rates? Start fixing your email deliverability today with Folderly!