B2B cold email open rates are a tough nut to crack.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of data available to inform the strategy for your next B2B email outreach campaign. If you’re serious about increasing your email open rates, you need to take a data-driven approach. Far too many B2B marketers are leaving money on the table by choosing not to test and optimise different variables in their email outreach campaigns.
When it comes to measuring the average cold email open rate for B2B businesses, it’s vital to separate email marketing from cold outreach. As you can imagine, these are entirely different animals. For B2B email marketing messages, the average open rate is 15.1%. This data is based on an industry benchmark report. For this article, we’re not interested in these emails.
Cold email lead generation is our focus here. The average open rate for B2B cold emails is around 6%. Of course, that number is just an average. In reality, your open rate will vary depending on a number of different factors. All of these factors are within your control, which means you can significantly increase your open rate with a few simple tweaks.
This number is yours to beat. And, with a little effort, you can easily double or even triple your open rate. Taking time to test and optimise a range of different variables will pay dividends in the form of higher reply rates and, ultimately, more business. Understanding where to begin is half the battle for B2B marketers that want to launch ambitious and high-converting campaigns.
From our experience, if targeting employees at a company with a headcount over 11, you need to achieve an open rate above 38%. Anything below this is a sign of underperformance. When a company has a headcount below 10, you should aim for an open rate above 45%. No matter the size of the company, a reply rate of less than 1% is a cause for concern and should get explored.
B2B marketers often underestimate the importance of subject lines and tend to treat these as an afterthought. This isn’t a good strategy. The subject lines can truly make or break the success of your outreach campaign. For this reason, if it’s not at the front of your mind, you run the serious risk of failure. Pour your attention into the subject lines and think about the email body second.
After all, a compelling subject line is the first (and sometimes only) chance you have to make a good impression. Split-testing various subject lines is a central part of any effective outreach strategy. Constantly refining your subject line copy will ensure you put your best foot forward. Cracking the code on subject lines is a challenge, but it’s well worth your time and effort.
Nobody wants to see a sprawling subject line. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. This is easier said than done, but it can be done. If you’re struggling to distil your message down to a single line, think about what the email is actually trying to achieve. From there, it will be much easier to get your point across succinctly.
You might be tempted to spice things up with some edgy copy, but this is generally a bad idea. Your goal should be to write something that accurately reflects the content of the email. This way, you won’t irritate recipients or, worse yet, get marked by them as spam. Playing it safe will support the longevity of your outreach efforts and ensure a higher open rate.
From the outset, it’s important to remember that you’re competing for attention in a crowded inbox. With this in mind, your subject lines need to pack a punch and stand out. Think outside the box and try to come up with something truly original. If you can make recipients laugh, that’s even better. Injecting a little personality into your subject lines can elevate open rates.
In a sea of faceless emails, personalisation can make a big difference. If you can customise your subject lines to include the recipient’s first name or company name, do it. This will require a little extra work on your part, but it’s worth the effort. Most email outreach services will give you the freedom to add data variables like first names and company names to the subject lines.
Your goal at this stage is simply to get the recipient to open the email. Once you’ve achieved that, you can start thinking about selling. Until then, avoid anything remotely sales-ey in your subject lines. This will only serve to turn recipients off and may even get your emails marked as spam. Instead, focus on piquing curiosity and getting recipients interested in learning more.
Email open rates are just the first hurdle. Once you’ve overcome that, you need to think about getting recipients to actually respond to your messages. With the right approach, you can get a flurry of positive responses from those who represent your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Learning how to up your response rate is a process, but over time, you can master it.
When it comes to B2B cold email response rates, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First and foremost, you need to have a clear understanding of your target market. Without this essential foundation, it will be difficult to write compelling copy that resonates with recipients. It’s also important to make sure you’re actually reaching out to the right people.
Through trial and error, we have successfully increased our own reply rate from 1% to 3%. While this may sound like a relatively small percentage increase, this has resulted in three times the number of leads. The best bit? We are not sending any more emails than previously. As we operate in a competitive market, our clients’ lead rates are often much higher than ours.
Leveraging a B2B email outreach service is often the missing piece of the puzzle for many B2B businesses trying to level up their outreach. With our backgrounds in business development, we bring a unique perspective to the table. From building out your email list to crafting email copy, our end-to-end solution is ideal for B2B businesses looking for support with their outreach.
Upon partnering with a client on a B2B email outreach campaign, we seek to understand their unique value proposition. Drawing from data on past campaigns, we pour time and effort into crafting effective email templates that are ready to convert. We send 87 emails per working day (2,000 emails a month) for our clients. With a reply rate of 2%, this results in 40 replies.
If you would like to book a demo or arrange a call to discuss our B2B email outreach services, you can do this below.
Leo Kesner is the founder of Unstuck Agency. Based in Bristol, England. Since launching Unstuck Agency in April 2020, Leo has managed over 3,000 B2B lead generation campaigns globally. You can follow Leo on LinkedIn.