What is a Good Cold Email Open Rate?

what is a good cold email open rate

A good cold email open rate is 25%. You can consider yourself an elite if you can get 35% or more. Remember, this is just an open rate. Actual reads, clicks, leads and engagement will vary depending on the quality of your copy and several other factors.

Keep reading if your campaigns aren’t as successful as you’d like. Today’s post is about increasing your open rates, getting your emails read, and increasing the quality of your leads.

An Overview of Cold Email Outreach

Cold email outreach is the process of contacting potential customers or clients who have not previously expressed interest in your product or service. This can be done by sending a personal message to a specific contact at a company or business.

The purpose of cold email outreach aims to generate new leads and sales opportunities for your product or service. To be successful, your message must be well-written and relevant to the recipient (among other things).

It’s always a good practice to respect the recipient’s privacy and only contact them if you have a legitimate business reason for doing so. 

When done correctly, cold email outreach can be an effective way to grow your business. However, it is essential to avoid coming across as spammy or intrusive. Otherwise, you risk damaging your reputation/brand and losing potential customers.

Are Cold Emails Legal?

Yes, cold emailing is perfectly legal as long as you abide by the CAN-SPAM Act. This law was created to protect consumers from receiving unsolicited emails. 

It requires marketers to include specific information in their emails, such as an unsubscribe link and a valid physical address. 

How to Build a Successful Campaign

Building a marketing campaign is a lot like building a house. Your home is only as good as your foundation, and the house is only as valuable as the quality of materials used to make it. Follow these tips to construct your own successful email campaign.

The Subject Line

Your subject line is the first thing your recipient will see. Make it attention-grabbing and relevant, as this will increase your open rates.

When crafting your subject lines, you should consider using action words and personalization to stand out from the other dozens of emails flooding the recipients inbox. Keep them short and sweet; no one wants to read a long, verbose subject line.

Personalize Them

Adding a personal touch to your messages is a great way to get them noticed and increase engagement. Use the recipient’s name or other details you have gathered about them to make your message stand out.

You can also mention something they have accomplished or an article they wrote, as this will show that you have done your research and taken the time to craft something relatable to the individual.

Include a Signature

Your signature should include your name, company name, job title, website URL, and social media links.

These details will make it easier for the recipient to contact you or learn more about your product/service.

Proofread with a Passion

Double-check everything before you send it. Make sure the recipient’s name is spelled correctly and that you’ve included all the necessary information in your message.

Make sure that you double-check your spelling and grammar before sending out your emails. This will ensure that your messages look professional and increase the chances of getting a response from potential leads.

A/B Testing

A/B testing helps marketers discover which strategies work best for their campaigns. Try sending different versions of your messages with slight variations in the content, subject line, and layout.

By doing this, you can identify which elements are most effective at getting recipients’ emails opened and read. It will help you optimize future email campaigns and increase your open rates.

Most popular email marketing tools like Mailchimp already have this feature built into their platform by default. This will make analyzing your campaigns much easier as you can compare metrics across all your email marketing campaigns.

Try the Segment and Filter Method

Segmentation involves dividing up a list of contacts into smaller groups based on factors such as location, industry, job title, or other demographic information. Breaking up your contacts allows you to craft more relevant messages tailored to each individual’s needs.

Filtering involves removing contacts from your list that are unlikely to open or respond to your emails. We do this because it will help reduce your time and effort in sending emails and increase your open rates.

By segmenting and filtering your email lists before sending out messages, you’ll be able to create more successful cold email outreach campaigns that are specific to the potential clients who are most likely to turn into warm leads.

The KISS Principle

Keep it simple and straightforward.

Try to get to the point quickly and make sure that you provide clear instructions on what you want the recipient to do next. Avoid using too much technical jargon or unnecessary details, as this will only confuse them. Additionally, ensure that your message is concise and to the point – nobody likes long-winded emails.

Hit the Right People

Researching potential leads and ensuring they are relevant is essential for any successful cold email outreach campaign. Your ROI will only be as good as the research you put into the campaign.

By focusing on the highest priority leads, you can ensure that your messages are being sent to the right people and increase your chances of getting a response.

Are you using the right emails for your target recipients? EmailFox provides high quality and personal emails that will help ensure your message reaches the right person. Try us for free. no credit card required.

The Spam Paradox

Don’t get caught in spam filters. Your efforts will all be for nothing. To avoid this, you should use a reputable email provider and create messages with an appropriate amount of text and images. Avoid including too many links or attachments, as these can trigger spam filters.

Additionally, make sure that the subject line accurately reflects what’s in the body of your message and avoid using words such as “free” or “sales”, which can set off spam filters.

Give Plenty of Value

Your message should have something that is helpful or valuable for the recipient. It could be a special offer, advice on a particular subject, or even just an interesting article related to their industry. Offering real value quickly builds trust with your prospects and increases their chances of replying to your email.

Tell Them What to Do

A well-crafted email should always have a clear CTA (call to action). Without one, recipients may feel confused or uncertain about what to do next. Including a clear call to action helps to focus the reader’s attention and guide them down the conversion funnel.

For example, if you’re email marketing a new product, your call to action might be “click here to learn more.” It’s much easier to click on a link than to remember to visit a website later.

Represent the Company

Use a company email address when sending cold emails. People are more likely to take an email seriously if it comes from a recognized business. 

It also gives the impression that your message is legitimate and trustworthy. This can help increase open rates and boost engagement with potential leads.

Shorter is Better

Keep your message concise and to the point. Nobody likes scrolling through long emails, so try to stick to one or two brief paragraphs that get straight to the point. Additionally, avoid including too many unnecessary details, as this can be off-putting and reduce the chances of your message being read.

Time Emails Appropriately

Timing is also an important factor when it comes to cold email outreach. Research has shown that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings are the best times to send emails. But this can vary depending on the industry, so always research your particular target audience.

People tend to be more receptive to messages on weekdays than on weekends. Mondays are hectic, and everyone in the office is mentally checking out for the week by Friday.

Additionally, sending emails early in the morning can help ensure that your message stands out from the rest of the crowd.

Factors that Influence Response Rate

While a high open rate is fantastic, a great response rate is better. If people are opening and not responding, you’re coming up short somewhere. Go through this guide to make sure you’re checking off all of the boxes before clicking “send”.

Are You Personalizing Well?

Personalization is key to getting a good cold email response rate. Make sure you address the recipient by name and use information that you have gathered on them to craft your message. 

This can be as simple as mentioning a recent project they are working on or an article they wrote. Doing this makes it clear that you have done your research and shows that you value their time and expertise.  

It also helps to make your message stand out from the crowd, showing that you have taken the time to make a unique email just for them. Taking the time to personalize can significantly increase the chances of your email being read and get you a better response rate.

Your Offer Should Be Above the Industry Standard

The industry and offer you are targeting also impact your response rate. It can be challenging to set yourself apart if you’re sending emails to potential leads in a highly competitive market. Especially if the email and offer look like everything else hitting their inbox.

Tailor your emails specifically to the recipient’s needs so that it offers something unique or valuable. Research the industry you are targeting to make sure your email is up to date with the latest trends and innovations, then try to surpass them. 

An effort like this can help increase the chances of your message being read and create a more positive response rate.

How’s Your CTA?

Your call-to-action can play a massive role in the success of your cold email outreach. Make sure to include a clear, concise CTA that outlines exactly what you want the recipient to do. 

Additionally, make your call-to-action prominent and easy to understand so that potential leads know exactly what action you want them to take. It will help encourage recipients to respond positively and boost your overall response rate.

CTAs are a perfect example of how A/B testing is such a big deal. You can play with different text and button colors to determine which variations get the best response.

Warm Leads>Cold Leads Here

The “warmth” of your leads (i.e., how familiar they are with you or what you have to offer) is another crucial factor influencing your cold email response rate. 

Sending emails to people who already know about you and your business will likely result in higher open rates and better engagement than emailing strangers. So make sure to segment your leads according to their level of warmth. Doing this can help you target the right people and get a better response rate.


Click-through rates (CTRs) are another metric to consider when measuring the success of your campaign. CTRs measure how many people clicked on the link in your email and visited the targeted page. 

The higher your CTR, the more successful your campaign will likely be.

To increase your CTRs, make sure that your call-to-action is clear, concise, and easy to understand. You can also consider including a compelling image or video along with your email to help capture the recipient’s attention and encourage them to click on the link.

Reasons Your Open Rate is Low

Low open rates can be frustrating. Especially if you feel like you’re doing everything right. Aside from the factors mentioned above, some other components may impact your efforts.

Not Going in the Right Inbox

One of the main reasons why a cold email open rate might be low is that it is not landing in the recipient’s primary inbox. This can happen if your email domain is flagged as spam or if you have sent too many emails to people who haven’t responded. There are tools like Glock Apps that will give your email message a score based on how many email providers flagged the message as spam. They offer a free trial, so its worth trying out.

Another issue could be that your domain has been blacklisted by some of the major email providers (like Gmail or Yahoo). Pay attention to your sender reputation score and keep it high by sending personalized emails to people who are likely to engage with your content.

You Made It About You…

Your cold email should be focused on the recipient and their needs. If you send emails that are overly sales-oriented or simply focus on what you have to offer without delving into how it can benefit the recipient, they may not respond positively. 

Try to keep your emails more solution-oriented by offering valuable advice or tips that are relevant to the recipient. Make sure you personalize your emails based on the recipient’s needs and interests. 

Your Offer is Lacking

No matter how well you craft your email, if the offer you present is not interesting to the recipient, they may simply delete it or ignore it. Make sure you have researched and identified what kind of offers would be attractive to your target audience. 

Additionally, consider using A/B testing to see which offers garner the best response from your leads. Doing this can help you create more compelling offers with a better chance of increasing your cold email open rate.

Your Subject Lines Are Boring

The subject line of your email can significantly impact your campaign’s success. If the subject line is too long, generic, or does not pique the recipient’s interest, it will drastically decrease the open rate. 

To remedy this, make sure to keep your subject lines short, clear, and relevant to the content of your email. Test different subject lines to see which one performs better. 

There are many tools out there that can help analyze your subject line to ensure it has the correct type of words. One such tool is an Email Subject Line Tester by Omnisend. It should help you craft a compelling subject line.

Your Content Is Too Long or Too Short

The length of your copy matters quite a bit. Emails that are too long may be off-putting to some recipients, and they may choose to ignore them or delete them without reading. 

Conversely, emails that are too short might not provide enough information for the recipient to understand what you’re offering or spur enough interest to convince them to move down the funnel. 

To ensure a high open rate, strike the right balance between length and content. Keep your emails concise, but provide enough information to explain the offer clearly and make it attractive to your audience.

Time Your Emails Well

The timing of your emails can also affect the open rate. Try to send your cold emails when most people are likely to be available, such as early in the morning or late in the evening. 

Consider sending emails at different times of the day and week and testing which time yields better results.

What Day of the Week Are You Sending Offers?

The day of the week can also impact your open rate. Generally speaking, emails sent on weekdays tend to perform better than those sent during the weekend. 

Additionally, consider sending emails on different days of the week and testing which one yields better results. Doing this can help you determine the best day of the week for your cold emails, which can help increase your open rate.

Email Open Rates by Industry

We looked at Hubspot data and some others to see how their open rates compared. Here is the information we found:

  • Electronics companies: 19%
  • Business: 20% 
  • Computer software: 20% 
  • Media: 21%
  • Telecom: 21%
  • Healthcare: 21%
  • Retail: 23%
  • Manufacturing: 23%
  • Education: 25%
  • Real Estate: 26%


Some Hubspot competitors had their own data, but most had similar figures. Some companies that focus on smaller businesses and bloggers had information that didn’t match up, but that’s to be expected.

If you can match these figures or do better, you’re in a good spot. If you aren’t, bookmark our guide and use it the next time you’re working on an outreach campaign.