What results should the cold mailing campaign bring? - Instream Group
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What results should the cold mailing campaign bring?

A friend of mine took part in a marathon some time ago. He was very pleased with himself as he was around the 800th person to cross the finish line. You will admit that, as for the first start, the result was quite. The organizer made it possible to compare his position with other participants. A colleague (then almost 30) found out that there were 81 men over 50 and 10 women over 60+ with a better time than him. He certainly did not expect there would be a woman over 70 who ran the marathon faster. As you can probably guess, his initial joy disappeared immediately.

Everything is relative, and it is no different with the results of cold mailing campaigns. What kind of campaign outcome should we be happy with and what result should we consider as unsatisfactory? Before answering this question, let me explain what I mean by cold mailing and how it differs from typical marketing messages.

Cold emailing means sending a message to a person you have not previously had direct contact with. The message you send cannot be an offer. You should focus on building a business relationship that can result in future sales. The method is used in the B2B sales model.

It differs from typical marketing messages, in that, cold emailing is sent to a narrow, carefully selected group of people. The content does not contain any pictures or graphic elements, is modest and very personalised. Such a message should be similar to meeting a new person at a trade fair or conference.

Several metrics are used to measure the effectiveness of a cold emailing campaign. These are deliverability, open rate, response rate, and the number of positive responses (hot leads). Each of these indicators can say a lot about the course of the campaign. Let’s go through each of them, one by one.




Cold email campaign—measuring effectiveness using the deliverability metric


The deliverability is the number of messages that have reached the recipients. When sending messages to a random database of people, it is very difficult to achieve a rate higher than 70%. This means that when you send 100 messages, as many as 30 of them will return to us undelivered due to a non-existent recipient. Low deliverability is a symptom such as a cough and fever in a flu patient. In this case, it means poor hygiene of the prepared database. Research conducted by Marketing Sherpas shows that every month on average 2.1% of contacts in the database become outdated. An ideal base for cold emailing is one that has been prepared within 3-4 weeks especially for a given campaign. The deliverability of less than 90% can result in a worse reputation of the domain and make even more emails land in the spam box. Maintaining this rate at the level of 95% is within the reach for everyone, but it takes a little luck to reach 100%.

Some useful tools to check whether our emails will reach their recipients:

Open rate


Cold email campaign—measuring effectiveness using the open rate metric


Cold emailing is a bit like a television quiz show where with each stage the number of participants decreases. While we implement the campaign we already lose contact to half of the contact persons. It is possible that only half of our potential customers will open the message (and we could still be proud of such a result). If the open rate of your campaign is 20% and less, I recommend that you verify that you have a correctly configured Sender Policy Framework (SPF). You can do it at mail-tester.com. SPF is responsible for linking the domain to your outbox. A low open rate with a high rate of delivered messages means that messages fall into spam.

The number of open emails in a campaign is mainly influenced by three factors. The first one is the topic. It must be slightly catchy but not misleading. We should aim to include in it the pressing problem that the recipient may struggle with. The second factor is brand and sender recognition in a given target group. It is harder to disregard a message from the president of a large and well-known company than one sent by a salesman in India. The third factor is the industry and the decision-maker we write to.

Response rate


Cold email campaign—measuring effectiveness using the response rate metric


A small number of responses and a high open-rate may indicate that the prepared content is not interesting and there is no suitable CTA (call-to-action). If there is no question in the message you cannot expect your recipient to answer. Depending on the industry, people, and country, it may be easier or harder to get an answer. For example, small e-commerce shops have a low response rate. People from IT tend to respond less frequently than businessmen.

If there is no question in the message you cannot expect your recipient to answer.

The UK market is in the crosshairs of many companies around the world and this market is saturated with cold emailing methods. On the other hand, in Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and Spain it is much easier to have your message answered. If the response rate is below 15% and you are sure about the target you have chosen, then you should focus on improving the content—perhaps the message you want to convey is incomprehensible to your audience.

Positive answers (Hot leads)


Cold email campaign—measuring effectiveness using the number of positive responses


The number of leads is the most important indicator of the campaign’s success. It determines whether a campaign was cost-effective. Usually, for every 100 people, about 3-10 will show interest in further conversation. That is why it is so important to choose the right companies for your campaign. The dozen or so people who show interest should cover the costs of the campaign and ensure an appropriate profit.

All these indicators should be taken into account. Focusing only on the number of hot leads definitely makes it difficult to draw reliable conclusions from the analysis. Indicators such as the open rate and the response rate may reveal profound problems in the campaign before all the follow-ups are sent out. At InStream, while conducting cold emailing campaigns for our clients, we always make sure to draw conclusions and analyse the process on an ongoing basis. This is how we deliver more hot leads.

I hope that you now know whether you can be satisfied or not with the results of the campaign you have conducted 🙂

PS: Don’t forget to share the results of your campaigns in the comments! How did it go for you?

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