Cold emailing and outbound sales is an art. Just like martial arts it takes a lot of practice, a lot of grinding, and a lot of trial and error. Most people think that you should only apply data-driven tactics to marketing and testing, but the fact is that sales people need to be data-driven too. They need to measure and track everything just like a good marketer would with their campaigns.
Most sales people track their email opens and response time, but never do anything with the statistics. What happens when someone opens your email multiple times, but doesn’t respond? What happens if the lead haven’t opened your email in a few days? You should have a set strategy for every single situation and react based on it.
Here are a few metrics that you should be tracking on all your cold email campaigns:
You want to know how many people are opening your cold emails on a day to day basis. This is important because you can have the best context in the email, but it won’t mean anything if nobody reads it. If you have a low open rate, then you might want to ask yourself, “Why isn’t my email getting opens?” Is it because my subject line isn’t attractive enough? Is it because of a technical issue where my email is getting sent to spam?
Put all the thoughts possible in consideration and test based on that. For example, if you think that your subject line isn’t strong enough, then change up the subject line for the next 50 cold emails. Try 2–3 of them and see which ones receives the highest open rate. You’ll be surprise how effective subject lines can be. You can read more about how to improve your subject lines here: How To Improve Your Cold Email Subject Lines To Maximize Open Rates
When do they open the email?
This is another thing that a lot of people tend to leave out. You should log a note in your CRM to see the times that they open the email or find some sort of way to take note of it. For example, if you notice that they open the email everyday at 7AM, then it would make sense to reach out to them at 6AM to ensure that your messages will reach them as soon as they check.
The best way to do this would be to try and notice a pattern. A lot of busy people only check their emails once or twice a day max. You want to be able to take advantage of every minute.
It also helps if you can keep track of the time they respond to emails as well because some people will check their email through their phone in the early morning, but won’t respond until they get to their office.
How many times are they opening your email?
Let’s say you’re using Yesware or Sidekick to keep track of email opens. Both plugins will send you a notification almost instantly when the lead opens the email. A lot of times you will see that same notification many times throughout the day. This doesn’t mean that they’re reading your email multiple times and thinking about how to respond. It can mean that they’re passing the email to their team members. This is a hint that they might be interested and that they’re passing it to the correct people in the correct department to handle.
With this, you can set up follow-up responses based on what they’re doing with your cold email.
This is probably the most important right? After you get the person to open the email, you want them to respond. You want to know exactly how many people out of 100 cold emails that you are sending are actually opening your emails. Then you want to know how many that open your email are actually responding to your emails. Response rates usually aren’t high, but they can be improved by testing the context of your email.
One of the biggest reason why there’s a low response rate is usually because the context of the email is just too damn long. Shorten it. If someone can’t go through your email on a mobile phone, then you should probably think of a way to shorten it. Other reasons could be that your email looks like its coming from a robot. Using long sales templates with long pitches just doesn’t work. Personalize everything to ensure the highest response rates.
Test multiple email copies with short personalized messages to see which ones will bring you the highest response rates.
Click Through Rate
Another important metric that is a must track. You want to know if the person is clicking on your website’s links. A lot of people don’t tend to click on links. They might read your email and respond with a few questions without actually checking out your site. That isn’t necessary a bad sign because it means that the context of your email is good enough to the point where they understood your value and might just have a few more questions before they sign up.
The good thing about tracking clicks in your emails is that you can identify which links they click on. They might click on more than just your website’s homepage link. They might click on links in your signature. A good plugin will track all of that. If they click on more than one link it means that they’re somewhat engaged with your product/service and might be interested in learning more. This allows you to qualify the lead and send out an appropriate follow-up email based on that.
If the lead is reading your email but not clicking on the link, then you might even want to consider leaving out the link to the website completely just to see if you can engage a conversation with your prospects through a cold email first.
Is the first line of your email attractive enough?
What most people don’t know is that people can preview your email by simply glancing at the first line of your email. That’s the preview line that displays on mobile phones as well as their gmail inbox. If you’re first line isn’t attractive enough, the lead might just trash your email right away.
This is another thing you can test to see which one is working and what is not. Sometimes it’s not about the subject line. Subject line is crucial, but the first line of the email is important too. Does it resonate with the lead? Will it make the lead open the email right away to continue reading? We put all of those into consideration when crafting our emails.
Follow up response rate
How many follow up emails does it take for you to receive a response? Did you know that most people tend to respond after the 3rd follow up? Our sweet spot has always been the 3rd or the 4th follow up. Too many people don’t follow up and give up after the first email. This is an epic fail because you should always think of the first email as a test email. You want to gather enough information about the prospect from the first email. You want to know when they open the email and how they react to it etc. Most people are busy and won’t respond to the first email, but after a 2nd and 3rd one they will start to notice you and respond back.
The reason why the follow up response rate is important is because you can have a killer initial cold email, but you could also have poor quality follow up emails. Crafting a good follow up response is a whole different story, but if people aren’t respond to your emails, then you might want to change up the context of the follow up. Make things more personalized and identify pain points/buying signals.
Here’s one of our other articles on: “When is the best time to follow up with a prospect”
Follow-ups in sales emails receive up to 30% higher open rates than first emails. But follow-up metrics don’t differ that much from the first email. Open rate is important if you send a follow-up in a new thread. Still, click-through rate could be difficult to control, because of that you always want to include a clear call to action in your follow up and make sure you track the conversion rates for that as well.