9 Tips to Improve Your Cold Email Response Rate

William Cannon
Last updated on May 31, 2024
Table of Contents

Do you have an effective cold email strategy for your marketing team? Cold emails can be a potent tool for reaching potential new clients. What should your expectations be? What kind of response rate can you expect from the average cold email campaign? After all, you’ll want to maximize the ROI of your marketing initiatives. This article answers these questions and provides nine essential best practices for improving your cold email campaigns!

📌 Reminder: At times, the lack of replies to your cold emails is not because of your copy. Your list matters, too. Target only prospects with verified emails. Try UpLead and get 5 free validated B2B emails!

Factors that Influence Cold Email Response Rates

Cold emailing can be a powerful technique for marketing and sales rep teams and offers a great way to reach new customers and build relationships with prospects. However, getting a high response rate depends on a variety of factors. 

List Quality

The quality of the list you use is one of the most critical factors that impact cold email response rates. Suppose your list contains incorrect or outdated information (such as wrong phone numbers or old email addresses). In that case, your emails won’t be delivered, and your campaigns will fail due to a lack of reachability. Finding quality lead generation software, like UpLead, can help you access up-to-date, verified contact information to get your emails delivered to the right people. With a 95% data accuracy rate, UpLead provides a reliable method of enhancing your list quality using a robust database. 


The industry you’re targeting with your cold emails also greatly influences response rates. Different industries have different norms regarding engaging with cold emails from strangers—some may be more open to it than others. For example, people in B2B industries tend to respond more positively to cold emailing techniques than consumers who receive them in their inboxes. Understanding the norms within each sector before launching a cold email campaign to maximize response rates is essential. 


Personalizing your cold emails is another crucial factor influencing your average response rate. People are more likely to respond if they feel like there’s a real person behind the message rather than just receiving an automated message from a faceless company. Craft personalized content for each recipient instead of sending out generic messages.

This could be as simple as including their name at the beginning of the message or mentioning something specific about their company or job role to show that you’ve researched them beforehand. In addition, it’s helpful to put some thought into your cold email subject line, which can result in higher open rates. This helps recipients feel appreciated and increases the likelihood of positively replying. 

Type of Lead

The type of lead you are targeting greatly influences your cold email response rates. You or your company has already contacted a “warm” lead and is familiar with your product or service. These leads will typically have higher response rates than “cold” leads — people who have never interacted with you before and don’t know anything about your business or product yet. It’s important to note that warm leads should always be targeted first, as they tend to be easier to convert into customers because they are already familiar with you and what you offer. 

Cold Email Copy

The copy in the cold email also plays a vital role in cold email response rates. You aim to craft a cold email that grabs attention and avoids being marked as spam. Start by introducing yourself and clearly stating why you are reaching out — make sure not to oversell this part! Next, pay close attention to the subject line; no one will open it if it doesn’t stand out. The subject line is your portal into a successful open rate; it can make or break your cold emailing campaign. So, don’t skip researching how to craft a successful subject line with a robust cold email template.  In addition, make sure that the body of the email is concise, informative, and relevant; avoid too much fluff, as this can quickly turn off potential leads. 

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What is the Average Cold Email Response Rate?

Cold emails are a tried-and-true tool for gaining access to new business prospects, but it can be challenging to know how successful your communication will be. Understanding the difference between the response and open rates is critical when evaluating the success of cold email campaigns. Open rates measure how many recipients open the cold email you sent out – on average, about 44%

However, response rates track which recipients have replied or engaged with your message. Both are critical indicators of whether your outreach resonates with its intended audience, so it’s wise to review them when assessing the effectiveness of any cold email campaign.

According to GMass, your cold email response rate can vary, ranging from 1-5% and sometimes up to 10%. This range varies depending on your campaign, industry, and other factors. While this is not necessarily indicative of what someone can expect all the time, it is an excellent benchmark to keep in mind. Crafting a compelling message and ensuring it reaches the right audience is essential for substantially improving your response rate.

How Do I Increase My Cold Email Response Rate? 9 Tips

Despite the rise of social media, cold emails are still one of the most effective ways to reach potential customers. However, it may be time to rethink your approach if your cold emails aren’t receiving the response rate you want. Writing effective cold emails can be boiled down to a science, and there are several steps you can take to increase your response rate. Here are nine tips for writing cold emails to get the desired responses. 

1. Include a Focused Call to Action

A call to action (CTA) should be included at the end of your cold email. A CTA encourages the reader to take the desired action, such as scheduling a meeting or reading a blog post. Make sure the CTA is clear and concise so the recipient knows exactly what you want them to do. Here are some examples of effective CTAs: 

  • Schedule a time for us to discuss this further 
  • Let me know if you’re interested in learning more 
  • Please click this link for more information 
  • Check out our website for additional details 

2. Emphasis on Personalization

While you can (and should) use a cold email template to get started, it’s crucial to personalize each email you send to ensure that the recipient feels like they are being addressed directly. You can use the recipient’s name, company name, or even their location to make them feel special and boost engagement with your message. In addition, reading up on company news and mentioning recent events can show your recipient you care about their specific needs. Here are some examples of ways you can personalize each cold email: 

  • Mentioning their company name
  • Referring to an article or blog post they wrote recently
  • Asking about their current projects/initiatives
  • Addressing them by their first name in the subject line
  • Complimenting them on recent achievements

3. Show Credibility and Authority

Demonstrating credibility and authority builds trust with the reader and increases the likelihood of them responding positively. This can be done by showing off awards, certifications, past projects, case studies, etc., indicating your industry experience and knowledge. Here are some ways you can demonstrate credibility in your cold email: 

  • Linking back relevant articles/blogs written by yourself or other experts in the field
  • Attaching case studies or other evidence of success with similar projects
  • Mentioning any awards held by yourself or anyone else associated with your company 
  • Sharing reviews/testimonials from previous clients/customers
  • Displaying badges of security certifications for your product or service achieved through a rigorous technical process

4. Strive to Add Value

Your goal with any cold email should be to add value in some way.  Whether offering helpful information about a topic they’re interested in or providing them with resources they may find useful for their business, strive to provide value whenever possible. Here are some examples of ways you can add value to each email: 

  • Offer free consultations or product demos
  • Provide helpful resources related to their industry
  • Invite them to upcoming events in their area of expertise
  • Introduce them to other professionals who could help advance their career goals
  • Share relevant industry news and insights 

5. A/B Test Your Emails

A/B testing allows you to compare two versions of an email side by side and determine which one performs better with customers by tracking metrics such as open rates, click rates, conversion rates, etc., so make sure you’re taking advantage of this feature when sending out emails! Here are some variables worth testing when performing an A/B test:

  • Subject lines
  • Call-to-action buttons
  • Length of emails
  • Frequency & timing of emails

6. Apply List Filters

When compiling your email address list, it’s critical to target only those prospects interested in what you have to offer, so take advantage of list filters such as location, job title, company size, etc. This emphasis will ensure that everyone on the list is genuinely interested in hearing more about what you have going on. Furthermore, it’ll enhance your sales process by making it more targeted and precise. Here are some examples of different types of filters you can apply: 

  • Industry / Niche-Specific List
  • Location-Based Lists
  • Job Title-Based Lists
  • Company Size-Based Lists
  • Technology Usage Lists

7. Keep it Short and To the Point

No one likes reading long emails, especially if they don’t know who it’s from or why they should care about its contents. Keep your cold emails succinct; focus on what’s essential without going off tangents. Keep your email body around two paragraphs long, at least three at most. Use bullet points whenever possible to make your message easier to read and more digestible. 

Examples of short and sweet cold emails: 

  • Hi [Name], I’m [Your Name] from [Company], and I wanted to ask if you’re interested in learning more about our services. Please let me know if you’d like to discuss this further! 
  • Hey [Name], I’m reaching out because I think my product may fit your business needs. Can we schedule a time so I can learn more about what you’re looking for? 
  • Hi [Name], I wanted to see if you’d be interested in hearing more about our new product line. Please let me know when would be a good time for us to touch base further! 

8. Send it at an Optimal Time

Timing matters when sending cold emails—the day of the week and time of day play an important role in how successful your mass email outreach efforts will be. Generally speaking, Tuesdays through Thursdays tend to have higher open rates than Mondays or Fridays, which tend to have too many emails from the weekend crowding an inbox. Regarding timing within those days, research suggests that any time between 8 AM and 11 AM tends to be optimal for getting someone’s attention and increasing response rates significantly. Examples of optimal times/days: 

  • Thursday 10 AM
  • Tuesday 8 AM 
  • Monday 8 AM
  • Wednesday 9 AM

9. Always Follow Up

Following up with potential customers after sending an initial email is vital—it shows that you’re serious about connecting and engaging with them further. If someone doesn’t respond after your first email, try sending them a follow-up email a few days later. Doing this increases the likelihood that they will eventually respond because it shows them that you are genuinely interested in connecting with them. It may initially seem like you are bothering your recipient with a follow-up email, especially after only a few days. However, a follow-up email can be a gentle reminder for someone with a busy and crowded inbox and will likely not be perceived as a nuisance. 

Examples of effective follow-up emails:

  • Hi [Name], I just wanted to check back with you regarding my last email—are there any updates on this front? Looking forward to hearing back from you soon!
  • Hey [Name], I hope all is well. I just wanted to follow up again regarding my previous email—let me know if there’s anything else I can do or provide further info! 

Use UpLead to Find High-Quality Leads for Cold Emails

UpLead is an invaluable tool for marketers and entrepreneurs searching for high-quality leads for their cold email campaigns. It offers a 95% accuracy rate in its data and over fifty search filters, making it easy to find the right people. UpLead allows you to verify the email data in real time, so you can rest assured that your contacts are up-to-date and reliable. Plug your cold email outreach into high-quality leads you can generate on UpLead. 


Below are a few critical, frequently asked questions about cold email response rates.

What is a good cold email response rate?

An acceptable cold email response rate for a cold email depends on the particular circumstances; typically, it can range from 2-5% to 6-10%. This range differs by industry and type of campaign being conducted. However, conditions such as niche or in-demand products/services may push your average response rate higher than average. In addition, compelling subject lines and a good sequence of follow-up emails can enhance your response rate. 

How long do people take to respond to cold emails?

Regarding how long people take to respond to cold emails, research tells us that the sweet spot is 1-2 days. The good news is that around 50% of all respondents reply within an hour, indicating a solid chance of getting a timely response. On the other hand, studies have suggested that getting prospects’ responses becomes increasingly challenging after two days. 

What percentage of cold emails are opened?

Although the average open rate for cold emails is 44%, 8% have an impressive open rate of 80% or more. Different personalization, timing, and optimization strategies can help increase this number significantly to reach best-in-class rates. A captivating subject line has much to do with your cold email open rate and keeping it out of your recipients’ spam folders. 

What You Need to Remember About Cold Email Response Rates

Though you may not get the response rate you want from your cold emails, there are steps you can take to improve your results. Following the tips in this article, you can create a more successful cold email campaign and start seeing the results you want from your efforts— alongside a B2B contact provider like UpLead. With some planning and effort, you can create a successful cold email marketing campaign that generates leads and drives sales.

Laser-targeting your prospects increases your chances of getting replies from cold emails.

With UpLead, you can hyper-target prospects by narrowing the search down to their industry, role, company size, and buying needs using intent data and 50+ other filters. You’ll also get their emails and all the info you need to personalize your meeting requests.

Try UpLead for free today and get prospecting data on 5 leads today.

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