What is a good reply rate for cold email

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Best cold email reply rate needs to be interpreted very carefully. Not all industries or methods enjoy the privileges to yield the success of cold email campaigns with high cold email reply rates.

The nature of our curiosity forces us to ask Google the question about the average cold email reply rate. And so we did.

As you press enter for search, the first result is printed with a BIG font and it says 1%. Now if you sell a 10.000 $ product, not such a bad deal when sending 1000 emails and you manage to get 10 replies of which you close 3 deals. Fantastic! But what if you could do 6 %? What about 16 %? Maybe a 50% reply rate?

Google search top result (link)

It all starts with a reliable email list provider

It is crucial to send emails to accurate email addresses as using false or incorrect email addresses can significantly impact the reply rate. When emails are sent to invalid addresses, they bounce back as undeliverable. High bounce rates not only waste valuable time and resources but also harm the overall reputation of your email domain. Email service providers and spam filters take note of bounced emails, and if a large number of bounces occur, it can negatively impact your deliverability and increase the chances of your legitimate emails being marked as spam. By ensuring the accuracy of email addresses, you maximize the chances of your emails reaching the intended recipients and receiving a response, ultimately improving your overall reply rate.

Make sure you try our Prospect Role Chrome extension designed especially for accuracy. It will search for email addresses in real-time using high-quality email verification methods.

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Look for proof of extraordinary cold email reply rates

The times are changing. A lot has changed in the past years. New products have entered the market, the covid-19 definitely impacted the way companies look for clients etc.

When searching for reliable information on Google make sure you look for time-relevant results. Search only for the results in the past year when it comes to time-sensitive insights. Tons of articles are still dominating the top search results on Google and are far from accurate and reliable. Let’s see what some other masters of reply rate can do.

Kylegawley.com Claims that they reached 29% reply rate.

Woodpecker.co claims that their analysis found an average of 16% reply rate for specific cases.

Leadiq.com claims they can reach a reply rate of crazy 48% reply rate and

lemlist.com claims that one of their users reached 50% reply rate.

The following results tell us that there is a huge opportunity for cold email campaigns if you do them right. But how to get there?

Investigate what makes these reply rates so damn good

You will soon realize that the best results come from combinations of several things;

  1. The tools and the proper technical setup
  2. The copy of your emails with killer subjects and amazing content
  3. The volume of emails and their follow-ups

These are just some high-level aspects that you should focus on and try to improve over time.

Where ever you can come to a use case that claims high results investigate what made this use case a success. Look for information from 3 points stated above in order to classify and compare the information from several cases. After 5-10 use cases, you will see the pattern and when you combine that knowledge with your personal experience you will be scoring high reply rates in no time.

Create a habit of continuous A/B testings

Test like you never tasted before. Start as soon as possible with the first version on a smaller targeted group. If you have a perfect target group, maybe don’t start with those emails just yet. Save them for later. It doesn’t have to be fancy email or the exact amount of follow-ups with killer subject lines. Start with something and see how the data behaves with this version.

Soon you will see the first numbers and comparing it with the benchmarks you will immediately see what needs to be improved first. Try to make A/B testing as part of your process. If you send 1 campaign per week make sure you test the subject lines for the next 4 weeks. After those 4 weeks maybe focus on content in order to increase engagement with clicks and replies. And so on…make sure that approach is well planned and that targeted groups are coming from the same pot so the results can be comparable. It wouldn’t make sense to sell a banana to an alligator and a lamb to a monkey, would it?

Most importantly, find your own system that supports the capacity and resources you are handling with and make sure you stay persistent with testing.

Find your best cold email reply rate

After all the testing. In some cases, you can come up with amazing deliverability, open rate and reply rate just after 2 months or so and after that the sky is the limit 😉 Evaluate the data, analyze the patterns and use the best-performing emails. With several different target groups of audiences you might need to do this on a repetitive basis.

The conclusion

The only best benchmark is your own. Analyze the competitors and other experts but focus on your own A/B testing when perfecting the cold email strategy. All you need to know is that others have made it. Some reached 50% reply rates and probably even better results. Some results are good just because of the specifics of the industry or other factors being involved. But at the end of the day, don’t focus on others that have nothing to do with what you sell and how you sell it. Make sure you exploit the right tools and the variety of copywriting alternatives. Best of luck!


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Product manager 

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