How Many Cold Emails Should I Send To Get Results?

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How many cold emails one should send to reach the wanted results? If you started doing cold email campaign or you are seriously considering it, you should ask yourself that. As always, there is no straight forward answer. Nevertheless, we can break down the logic and show how many cold emails you should send with different mailing strategy tactics. 

The first question to answer: How big is the market?

Why do we ask that?
Well … there needs to be a high volume of consumers in case you are going for high volume campaigns.
Why so?
A common understanding is that different tactics follow different rules and volumes of emails sent and that strongly correlates with email open rate success.

Lower the volume, higher open rate – higher the volume, lower open rate (with higher quantity). 

Let’s say you are selling services that can be sold only locally. The market is big enough to use a cold email campaign as a channel but too small to afford to lose precious leads due to bad domain reputation that will send your emails to promotion or spam folder.

If you are focusing on a smaller market, you need to make sure your email address is warmed up, that you meet all technical requirements for healthy cold emailing and that you don’t exceed the volume of emails.

If you are focusing on a larger market and larger volume of emails, you should especially meet the technical requirements and warm up your email sender address. 

How well do high volume campaigns compare to small volume campaigns?

There is no better way to explain this than with numbers. We had many chances to experience both scenarios and these are the results we were mainly seeing (there can be better performance campaigns for sure). Here are the daily stats.

Small volume campaigns (up to 80 emails sent per account)

100 emails sent,40-65 opened (50%-75%)

Higher volume campaigns 

4,500 email sent, 900 opened (~20%)

Why 100 and 4500?
100 is a reasonable number for a human to send on a daily basis without being suspiciously spammy. And 4500 sent emails daily on working days bring is a total of 99,000 emails sent on a monthly basis.
 

Some claim they get can get quite high reply rates (like 29%) so it’s quite possible to become a high performer if you make proper targeting, meet tech requirements and kill it with an awesome copy of an email.

Let’s see what would different reply rates bring us in both of before mentioned scenarios.

Reply rateSmall volume campaign – 55% open rate100 emails sentLarge volume campaign – 20% open rate4,500 emails sent
55 opened emails900 opened emails
2%~1~18
5%~3~45
9%~5~81
15%~8~135
20%~11~180
25%~14~225
29%~16~261
Comparison of small and large volume cold email campaign with reply rates

As you can see, reaching high quality copy with decent quality senders address can result in 16 replies with 29% reply rate, which is almost equivalent to 18 replies with 2% reply rate. 

It comes down to a topic of deliverability. 

“How many emails are we able to deliver into the main email box?”
Not sure.

So what should we do? How many cold emails should I send?

You have two options to find that out:

  1. Hire a team of people or agency that knows what they are doing (if you can afford that)
  2. Do the testings on your own with small and large volume campaign using different email campaign service providers. 

In any case, make sure the following topics and activities are being covered and addressed while doing that:

  • Target the right groups of people and find their emails. For role-based search, use Prospect Role
  • Verify emails (deliverability)
  • Go through technical requirements and set them up
  • Make killer copy email campaign (Optimize the subject, main text, include personalization and signature)
    You can create a new domain account to save your original one (eg. instead of microsoft.com use getmicrosoft.com – if anything happens, your original domain stays safe. 
  • Warm up the sender account
  • Set follow up emails
  • Send on the right days at the right time (do research)
  • Send multiple different volumes of emails, starting with the smallest amount
  • Measure the results with KPIs

After getting data, optimize, optimize, optimize with A/B testing.

Bottom line.

If you are doing a small volume campaign stick with max 200 email daily. It doesn’t cost much to try and even if you fail, it doesn’t make much of a difference.

If you are planning to do massive emails campaign bring in people that know what they are doing unless you can afford to fail.


Product manager 

Creator of Prospect Role. Product manager during the day and content writer overnight. Growth focused all day long =)