Cold Outreach: How To Increase Email Click and Conversion Rates

Cold emails are always going to be integral to the sales process. How else can companies initiate conversations with potential clients? 

Cold calls still work, to an extent. But email remains as effective as ever. Unfortunately, open and click-through rates have always been low. In the region of 17% for open rates, and 10% for click-through, according to 2021 Smart Insights data

As a sales manager or salesperson responsible for cold outreach, there’s got to be a way to get these numbers up.

If more prospects open and click-through from emails, you’ve got a better chance of getting more sales leads in the funnel, and increasing conversion rates. That’s the aim of the game. 

The good news is that there’s a lot of data on email open, click-through, and conversion rates. 

There are also numerous tools you can use to improve email effectiveness, response rates, tracking, monitoring, and optimizing. 

This article is designed to help salespeople increase conversion rates. We look at how outbound B2B sales teams can increase email conversion rates. 

The Secrets to Higher Cold Email Open and Click-through Rates 


Craft the subject line carefully

Think about how many emails you get every day. Including cold sales emails. Now think about how many emails your prospects receive. For those pursuing big prospects, the higher up the corporate ladder you go, the more emails they’re going to get. 

This means it’s more important than ever that every word in an email subject line stands out. Gets noticed. 

Here are a few ways you can do this: 

  • Keep the character count under 60: Most desktop emails, such as Gmail (and Google Workspace, formerly G Suite) only show the first 60 characters. 
  • Use emojis, whenever they seem applicable: As only 6.9% of email subjects use emojis, it’s one way to stand out. Providing an emoji would fit well with your audience and brand values. 
  • Personalize the subject line. Include the prospect’s name, or company name, giving you a better chance of having that email opened and read.

Personalize the content

Personalized content takes a little longer to write. However, including the prospect’s name, company name, and any other personal details is worth the effort. Alongside those essential details, include details of similar companies you’ve worked with. Here’s an example of how this could look: 

Hello [name], 

I am getting in contact from [your company name]. We are a [more about your services/products] provider. We work with companies such as [name 3, hopefully they should know], who were all facing similar challenges. [More information, followed by a clear Call-to-Action]

[Email sign-off] 

Use videos and images

When sending cold outreach emails, shorter lines and passages of text are more effective. You only get a few short minutes to get a prospect’s attention. 

So, if you want to get and keep that attention, use videos.

You can use a screen recorder to record your screen and webcam while you deliver a brief version of your pitch. It doesn’t have to have the best quality but highlight the problem that the recipient or his business might be facing.

If you are pitching digital marketing services, show how they appear on search engines compared to the competition or have a mock-up of their new website ready.

If you are pitching to investors, you can record your Figma prototype and embed the recording with an animated thumbnail inside your email.

Do your homework

Doing homework on prospects is so important. Know your audience. Research the company before sending cold outreach emails. Have a clear idea on the following, and use this information in the email (and on sales calls): 

  • Company name, size, sector; 
  • Name and job title of the sales lead; 
  • Clients they work with; 
  • Any awards and positive press they’ve won. 

Reference similar clients/case studies

A key part of cold outreach emails is to reference similar clients and case studies. Show you’ve solved problems for companies like them. Have case studies ready. Link to them in the email. 

It’s especially useful if these are businesses a prospect is going to know. Familiarity creates trust when emails come in out of the cold. 

Optimize emails for mobile

It’s taken a while, but finally, in 2021 mobile became the most popular platform for email. Chances are, your sales leads are reading cold emails on a mobile.

Here are a few ways to optimize sales emails for mobile: 

  • Keep them short and sweet
  • Send test emails, and check them on multiple mobile devices 
  • Check the subject line: Mobile subjects are usually in the 25-30 range, so keep the subject short 
  • Ensure links and Calls-to-Action (CTAs), especially phone numbers are clickable (and work)

Track and monitor success/failure rates

There’s a wide range of software you can use to track emails, see how many times they’ve been opened, and monitor click-through rates. With Mailshake, for example, companies can send personalized cold emails at scale and track open, click-through, and other important metrics. 

A clear Call-to-Action

Everything in a sales email is designed to drive action. Encourage a prospect to reply, buy, and call. Make the call-to-action (CTA) as clear as possible. Phrases should be action-orientated, such as: 

“Buy Now”

“Contact us Today” 

“Find out More” 

Make it easy for prospects to take action

Links in emails should be clickable. So should phone numbers, on every device. When salespeople have accessible online calendars, put links to those in emails. And the same goes if you are offering sales leads the opportunity for instant demos. Make sure to include that call-to-action (CTA) in outbound sales emails. 

Send multiple emails (drip email campaign)

Don’t stop at only one email. On average, it can take 8 emails before the prospect finally opens and takes action.

Send multiple outreach emails. Known as a drip email campaign. 

Use automated email software to set up and run an automated drip email outreach campaign. For prospects that are interested but not ready to go ahead, automated emails are the ideal way to keep awareness in the inbox, and keep them engaged. 

Outbound emails are an essential component out sales campaigns. Maximizing the ROI from them means ensuring the open and click-through rates are as high as possible. Getting and keeping the attention of potential prospects is the most effective way to drive sales leads into the pipeline. 

With the 10 approaches outlined in this article. followed up with call using a screen sharing solution, such as CrankWheel, there are ways to increase open, click-through, and conversion rates from cold email outreach campaigns.