Hackernoon logoHow To Improve Your Cold Email Outreach ROI: Getting Higher Open and Response Rates by@alonashalieieva

How To Improve Your Cold Email Outreach ROI: Getting Higher Open and Response Rates

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Alona Shalieieva

I'm a 5years digital marketing specialist.

How often do people use emails? Quite often. It is a primary reason marketing advertisers utilize email as the channel for lead generation. Why? The high ROI of email marketing, which is, by the way, is around 120%, fosters using such approaches as cold email for sales. Besides, automation made it easy for marketers to send emails and get leads in return.

Nevertheless, a fair amount of marketers applies it unwisely. It is cheap, so let's pick quantity over quality, while automation tools can give an advantage. That’s what they think.

I was among them, too. I made errors, not paying enough attention to email composition and list. My ROI was not so great, even compared to digital advertising ROI. Still, it was not bad either. What was wrong, then? 

There was no optimization and focus on critical aspects of the cold email outreach for the ROI. Behind each tool, there should be a strategy, while a cold outreach strategy needs an approach and attention to detail.

If you are reading this post, you want to make your cold outreach efficient, and I have some advice on selecting the right aspects and improving them. 

Cold Email Strategy ROI: What to Look At?

Return on investments rate shows the actual profit the firm gets from the email sending. In cold email prospecting, the open rate matters a lot. In this case, deliverability is a significant factor. 

However, it is not only about it. There is also a response rate and conversion rate. If the campaign has a high open rate but a low response rate, an advertiser may have the wrong offer or insincere compliment in their letter. Today, recipients feel such things, while some see the proposal coming miles away, especially if they are CMOs or CEOs.

So, what things to pay attention to when elaborating a cold outreach strategy? For sure, they refer to email lists, the message, spam check, and personalization. The explanation is that each of these concepts affects either open rates or response rates, or both, and, thus, conversion. 

Luckily for marketers, technology made it easier to contribute to each of the cold email strategy parts presented. There are tools to help to make a cold outreach campaign with a high ROI.

Nevertheless, the valid reason for low ROI is likely the answer to one of the following questions.

1. Am I sending emails in vain?

It is possible that some of the messages do not arrive at the email box of the target audience. How so? Well, the most common cause is that email is wrong or invalid. As cold emails contemplate no prior consent from the receiving party, one can get just a random or unused box. Many of us have specific email boxes for promotion, while in the B2B sector, people just try to keep their email unadvertised. 

What should B2B firms do in such a case? Such a fact can place the cold lead advertising in jeopardy. However, a solution may be special software. Many marketers use such for email validation and verification or even finding contacts. In particular, an email address locator can search contacts by the name of a person, their company, or their Linkedin profile. It refers to corporate emails mainly. If the firm operates in the b2b sector, it is likely to fit perfectly fine. 

At the same time, such software can have large databases where a marketer can verify their email list. By using such a technology, you can save efforts related to sending the bulk of emails to email addresses that are unreal or inactive. It is about deliverability in the end. Will it improve ROI rates? Likely, as a marketer uses quality over quantity here.

2. Do my emails go to spam?

Many marketing teams seem to ignore the possibility of falling under spam filters. That is the case with newcomers and those who have not worked with selling bulks of emails before. However, if the emails happen to get into "Spam" of your email boxes, there will be a substantial effect on the cold email conversion rate and effectiveness of a campaign. They affect open rates and the visibility of the emails. 

How can you make sure that emails don't get into spam boxes? First of all, there are limitations and rules. Although the spam letters level has decreased from 75% to 47% in the last several years, many promotional or cold lead advertising pieces have got under that label quite often. Thus, it might be good to take some preventive measures before sending the emails to potential customers.

As spam filters are composed by IT specialists, they determine the spam score. For instance, a shady IP can add more points as well as unsafe links in an email. Besides, if a marketer inserts misleading headlines or many CTA words and overuses CAPITAL letters in subject lines, it will raise the score. Lastly, the etiquette contemplates that there would be an unsubscribe button. 

Secondly, a marketing team can think of having a reserved domain if its main one will fall under sanctions. One can always check the rating of their email domain with special services. In this regard, such email marketing tools like Mailchimp can offer separate domains under their Premium account. 

Once the score is within the accepted range, the emails can be seen by potential customers and prospects. Visibility is vital, and it is better to check the domain's status before making an extensive campaign. The ignorance of it can result in higher costs and a failed campaign.

3. Am I sincere enough with my prospect?

If there are reasonable open rates and deliverability, something may be wrong with the letter's content. As I have already mentioned, everyone is suspicious about new emails, and being sincere is the best way to change their perception. I do not recall any tool or service to make a campaign more sincere. However, there are simple ideas behind increasing engagement. 

Firstly, pay attention to the subject lines of your emails. They should be clear and reflect the body of the letter to be sent. Yes, creativity can grab customers' attention. Yet, too much is too much, and in the case of cold email strategy, making it unclear but catchy can have a negative effect.

Secondly, everyone knows that a marketer should say something nice during the cold email for sales to proceed. It helps to establish the contact; even Harvard Business Review wrote about it back in 2016. However, it has been five years, and sincerity plays a significant role. 

How to make a message more sincere? Add details and personal judgment so that the letter was not basic. These things can require more time, thus costs. However, if it increases the response rate, it will likely improve the campaign's effectiveness, therefore, ROI.

4. Do I use inserting right?

The particular question is about personalization with some of the automation tools aimed at improving the response rate. Several years ago, reports indicated that the insertion of the name or surname contributed to the opening rates and effectiveness of campaigns. However, today, such a technique is not new, while customers see their names in headers all the time.  

How can personalization via automated still be a good idea? Modern email marketing services offer options for inserting not only names but other elements. After you have your template design, you can leave some spaces for filling. 

Imagine that an email marketer compliments the work of the targeted small business owner in their cold email. It may refer to the blog or video. Depending on the object, a user (marketer) can pick the suitable template and just insert the related details. Some services offer the users to customize or create the information to be input. As it is ready, the only thing left for a marketing specialist is synchronizing it with CRM contacts. 

What does it give in terms of the ROI of cold outreach? More efforts within the personalization aspects are to increase the chance of response of potential customers. In this case, the productivity of the campaign will increase, leading to a higher ROI.

Summing Up

Email marketing ROI is one of the highest in the industry. Still, some people may use it wrong and have considerably lower digital advertising ROI compared to other channels. If it is your case, be sure to assess the deliverability, visibility, and engagement rates within your cold outreach campaign. The questions above are just a part of my checklist, however, they are definitely the first ones for a marketer to ask.

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