10 Cold Email Campaign Metrics That Matter And How To Improve Them

October 1, 2021

    Are you wondering what metrics or KPIs you should be measuring to track the success of your cold email campaigns? Relax, you’re not the only one.

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    Photographer: Tech Daily | Source: Unsplash

    We’re in a fascinating time. Communication itself is evolving at a breakneck pace. The mass personalized email has never been easier to send. CRMs, email marketing services, and specialty apps are now at the fingertips of any entrepreneurs or business owners.

    The bad news? Every renaissance creates a flood of information.

    To stand out, it takes two things:

    • Knowing which numbers to track (metrics or KPIs)
    • How to improve metrics or KPIs over time

    In this article, we’re covering how you do both. Read on!

    Table of Contents

    Understanding And Improving Your Cold Email Metrics

    How do your campaign results compare? Based on some metrics or benchmarks.

    Is there anything you should do to improve your cold email marketing campaigns’ success?

    We have a few suggestions for each key performance metric.

    1. Increasing Number Of Emails Sent

    Many businesses follow the general idea that "the more emails you send, the more deals you close." It isn't that simple, though.

    The size of your market, time, type of customers, type of product, pricing, demand, email copywriting, your domain, email account reputation, technical performance, and many other factors all play a role.

    You and your company should identify a good volume of emails to send and experiment with an A/B test to see what works best for you.

    Start small. "Small" means sending as much as one new employee would send if they just started using their email address.

    2. Improving Number Of Emails Delivered

    Many marketers overlook the importance of email deliverability. Poor deliverability has an impact on your email account's and domain's reputation. Moreover, it's the primary reason why so many of your emails end up in spam folders.

    It's crucial to make sure you're targeting the right people with those emails and that the emails you're sending are verified.

    What does “verified” mean? How can we do it?

    There are tools like VerifyBee that can help you answer that question and there are many. Those tools will go through your list of emails and through a technical approach verifies if email addresses exist or not. Or on more simple terms, they answer, if emails you are sending land in the inbox or not.

    How To Increase Your Number Of Emails Delivered?

    • Authenticate your email domain: Authenticating your email with SPF and DKIM proves to the ISPs that you really are who you say you are and are worthy to send an email.
    • Maintain proper IP allocation: Once you reach a big number of daily emails, suppose 25,000, you will want to send on a dedicated IP address. And when you add a dedicated IP address, you’ll have to properly warm it up before sending it to your entire list so that you gain trust with the ISPs that you are sending a wanted email.
    • Perfect the opt-in process: An optimized opt-in process ensures that your email list is full of engaged users. Use double opt-in which involves two verifications for the user and proves far more successful in cultivating an engaged email list.
    • Write non-spammy subject lines: When you’re writing your subject lines, focus on the genuine value of the message without sounding pushy or salesy.
    • Provide a preference center: Once your recipients have agreed to receive email from you, provide a preference center so that they can decide just how frequently they want to receive email from your brand. Doing so helps put your recipients in control and helps keep them happy. This happiness generally translates to better engagement
    • Keep clean lists: Providing a clear and easy way for your users to unsubscribe from your emails helps automate the process, but it’s also important to scrub your list on a regular basis so that your email list is healthy and only includes people who engage with your emails.
    • Avoid spam traps: Spam traps are email addresses set in place by ISPs and email community organizations to catch spammers “in the act” from sending unwanted emails. If a sender ends up sending to a spam trap, it is immediately flagged and put on a deny list.

    3. Increasing Open Rates

    Open rates are one of the best ways to tell whether your cold email strategy is working.

    How To Increase Your Open Rate?

    • Optimize your subject line: Your email subject line is the first piece of information a recipient sees in their inbox. The better your subject line resonates with your recipients, the higher your open rate. Ways to enhance your subject line include:
    1. Keeping your subject line short and to the point, ideally no longer than five words or 30 characters. Over 40% of all emails are opened on a mobile device; a simplified copy will ensure that your subject line is optimized for mobile.
    2. Personalization — the more personalized the message, the more likely the recipient is to open your email.
    • Segment your lists: Use different subject lines for separate job titles, company sizes, industries, and locations.
    • Test, test, and test: Do this for your subject line length, tone, content, and sender name (i.e., company name vs. recipient name, etc.).

    4. Improving CTR

    Click-through rate (also called Click Rate, or CTR for short) is the number of people who click on a link inside your emails.

    How To Improve Your Click-Through Rate?

    • If you're running email marketing campaigns (not cold email campaigns), test different button colors, the call-to-action text, and experiment with your offers
    • If you’re sending cold email campaigns, don’t spend your time optimizing for clicks: your goal is to start a conversation, not get your prospect to click a link.

    5. Grow Reply Rate

    Cold email reply rates indicate your recipients’ engagement. Tracking this metric is one of the easiest ways to evaluate how effective your campaign is while facilitating lead generation and sales.

    What is an expected reply rate?

    The expected range of emails being replied to is between 0% and 20%.

    Our experience shows that reply rates are lower when the CTA button is included. Usually rages between 1 – 4%.

    When you formulate an email with the only goal to collect replies it can go much higher. One of the cold email campaign service providers claims that it mainly depends on the volume. Their benchmark analysis based on the personalization of emails shows the average reply rates between 3 and 18%.

    How To Increase Your Reply Rate?

    • Create a human connection: You can achieve this by personalizing your messaging.
    • Have a clear call to action: Make it clear what the recipient should do next and what’s in it for them.
    • Timing is everything: Identify your recipients’ time zone and holiday calendar based on their location and tailor your sending schedule accordingly.
    • Create multi-touchpoint campaigns: Campaigns with four to six follow-up sequences achieve higher reply rates. Because 80% of prospects say “no” four times before they say “yes.”
    • A/B testing is essential: Test various elements of your campaign to figure out what your lead drivers are:
    1. Which emails are your recipients opening?
    2. To which emails are they replying?
    3. When and why are they unsubscribing?

    6. Improve Unsubscribe Rate

    Your unsubscribe rate is an important metric to study to determine if certain campaign elements (subject lines, topics, sending schedules, etc.) could impact your unsubscribe rate, as this is a clear indicator of an unengaged audience.

    How To Improve Your Unsubscribe Rate?

    • Find the right audience: Direct your marketing efforts toward the right people. Ask yourself, who is your ideal client, and what are their pain points? Where are they located, and when do they buy your product or service? It’s all about getting the right message to the right audience at the right time.
    • Keep it clean: Don’t send cold emails to invalid email addresses. Use a reliable email validation tool to verify all email addresses on your list to ensure it’s clean.
    • Make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe: People who unsubscribe are unengaged recipients — they’re negatively impacting your campaign performance by not engaging with your emails. Allowing them to unsubscribe easily should improve your campaign performance.

    7. Lower Bounce Rate

    A bounce is a message from an email server informing you that your email wasn’t delivered to the intended recipient.

    Temporary delivery failures, or soft bounces, usually occur due to an interim issue with the recipient’s server. Common reasons include a full mailbox, server downtime, and too large messages for the recipient’s inbox.

    Permanent delivery failures, or hard bounces, usually occur due to invalid or outdated email addresses or domains.

    Excessive bounces will affect your deliverability as well as your reputation as a sender. The ideal benchmark for bounces is 2%. Anything above 5% is a reason for concern and should be addressed.

    How To Improve Your Bounce Rate?

    • Again, keep it clean. Use a reliable email validation tool to verify all email addresses on your list.
    • Closely monitor and proactively manage email bounces. Remove hard bounces, and keep an eye on soft bounces — a soft bounce will convert into a hard bounce after several tries.

    8. Increase CTOR

    CTOR accounts for the recipients who opened, read, and engaged with your emails by clicking on a call-to-action link; it measures the quality and relevancy of your email content.

    Successful click-to-open rates are achieved by creating relevant content and carefully considering the placement and content of the CTA link in the email body.

    Depending on your camping format, what kind of action do you expect your recipient to perform? Two most usual actions: Click on the CTA button or reply to an email.

    What is a normal click rate?

    Again, it depends. It depends on your target group and on your copy of the email that should persuade the reader to do so. Our experience shows between 4-40 % click rate depending on how well we manage to set the cold email campaign.

    How To Improve Your CTOR?

    • Make your point crystal clear: Avoid vague phrasing that could appear misleading – or that lacks any oomph. It should provide enough detail to motivate the site visitor and let them know what you’re offering and how they can access it.
    • Design your CTA to look “clickable”: The point is for members of your target audience to click on the CTA. So whether you create a 3-D aesthetic, activate a motion graphic or change in color when a visitor scrolls over the image, or simply shape your CTA in a way that differentiates it from the rest of your content, ensure you are doing something that entices a click!
    • Align your CTA copy with copy on the landing page: If the landing page’s headline and/or imagery does not match up with that of the correlating CTA, the chance of that visitor bouncing is much higher.
    • Ensure your CTA stands out: Though your Call-to-Action should adhere to your company’s branding guidelines, be sure that the CTA doesn’t blend right into the background.
    • Use numbers: Including a compelling statistic often prompts a higher click-through rate.
    • Include a testimonial: A brief customer quote or a certification badge seamlessly woven into the CTA design provides added authenticity to your offering.

    9. Reduce Spam Complaint Rate

    Spam complaint rate refers to the number of people who will report your cold emails as spam when they receive them. It doesn’t include any emails that are delivered directly to the spam folder.

    How to Reduce Your Spam Complaint Rate?

    • Never purchase an email list.
    • Personalize every email with unique attributes like the first name, or a custom opening line for every prospect.
    • Don’t ask people to click on links.
    • Don’t follow up multiple times in a short span (e.g., 3 follow-ups in 3 days).
    • State who you are in your email signature.

    10. Improve Overall Campaign ROI

    Your overall ROI is the return on investment you generated from your cold email campaign.

    How to Improve Your Cold Outreach ROI?

    • Ensure your prospect list is well qualified for your product/service.
    • Design your call-to-action to start conversations with prospects.
    • Focus on improving your email deliverability: the more emails that land in the inbox, the more chances of a reply, and the more chances of closing a new deal.
    • Always follow up multiple times before giving up (use an automated cold email tool like OutReachBin to do this automatically).

    Final Thoughts

    These cold email marketing metrics will help you analyze how well your outreach is performing and make smarter decisions when creating new campaigns.

    The key is to focus on metrics that link directly to your bottom lines i.e. reply rate, campaign ROI, and others. Even though the numbers won’t look as good as vanity metrics like open rate, they’ll have a bigger impact on your business and revenue in the long run.

    So, if you’re ready to launch the cold email campaigns that help you build better customer relationships and start more conversations with qualified prospects, get Started with OutReachBin today.

    Article written by Esrat S.
    outreachbin
    Send emails that land in your prospect's inbox and get replies. Automate your emails, convert more prospects and grow your business
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