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A cold email is an email you send to someone who you do not know and have never contacted before. It’s your first - and sometimes only -  chance at making a compelling pitch that’ll get your prospects to respond. Writing the perfect cold email with a compelling subject line is an art and science rolled into one. And that’s why it’s such a resource intensive task. According to research from, sales reps spend up to 21% of their work day on writing emails. Is that time well spent? What should your team do to get the best results from email outbounding? Here are some must-know cold email statistics to help you out. 


General cold email statistics


1. 43% of salespeople say that email is the most effective sales channel (Hubspot)

Tried and true, emails have stood the test of time in terms of effectiveness. It continues to be the preferred channel of sales for most modern sales teams, especially with the emergence of sales tech.

2. 80% of buyers prefer to be contacted by email (RAIN Group)

Buyers continue to favor emails as a preferred channel to be contacted on, especially during the exploration phase of the sales cycle. 

3. 71% buyers are open to receiving emails when they're looking for new solutions to drive better business results (RAIN Group)

Like we just said, prospects prefer receiving potential solutions to their business challenges or goals on email over any other sales channel. 


4. 62% prospects are also open to emails when they're actively looking for a solution to current challenges  (RAIN Group)

Prospects also prefer sales emails over other outreaches when they are in the research phase of finding a solution to an active business challenge.

5. 81% of all emails are now opened and read on mobile devices (SuperOffice)

Device demographics have changed drastically over the years. Now, an emphatic majority of email recipients check out their emails on mobile devices on the go.

6. But only 20% of email campaigns are optimized for mobile devices (SuperOffice)

However, most sales email campaigns still aren’t optimized for mobile viewing in terms of content length and formatting. 


Cold email general statistcis

Cold email success metric statistics


7. Only 23.9% of all sales emails are opened (Gartner)

The average open rate across businesses and industries is about 24%. That might not sound like much, but successful outbound sales is built on this foundation.


8. The overall average open rate for tech is 18.34% (Constant Contact)

SaaS and tech prospects are harder to please. Open rates among this segment are lower than the overall average at around 18%.


9. Tuesdays receive the best open rates at 21.26% (SuperOffice)

Weekends receive the lowest open rates. The midweek days are almost on par when it comes to opening rate metrics. However, Tuesday has a slight edge.


10. 93% of emails are opened in the first 4 hours (Yesware)

The same research shows that 75% of emails are read within the first hour. The chances of the email being read after 24 hours since it was sent becomes negligible. 

11. Only 8.5% of outreach emails receive a response. (Backlinko)

An even smaller percentage of cold emails receive a response of any kind. The success here hinges on the relevance of the content and the strength of the call-to-action.

12. The best 25% of campaigns have a 20% reply rate or more (

Content and CTA can as much as double your reply rates. The most successful sales campaigns have seen this in action.


13. The average overall CTR for tech is 2.67% (Constant Contact)

For the uninitiated, CTR, or click-through rate is how many of the email prospect database clicks a link in the cold email. The overall industry average is just over 2.6%.


14. The average over CTOR for tech is 9.8% (Campaign Monitor)

Recently, sales teams have started tracking CTOR to get a better understanding of engagement metrics. CTRs are calculated as a percentage of the complete database that has clicked a link in the email. This doesn’t account for the undelivered/unopened emails from the database. CTOR on the other hand is a calculation of how many prospects who’ve opened the email have also clicked a link. CTORs are a more holistic gauge of engagement.


15. The average overall bounce rate for tech is 10.08% (Constant Contact)

Bounce rate is a deliverability metric which judges how many emails were actually delivered compared to the ones that were sent. Sales teams usually leverage bounce protection tools to minimize bounce rates.

16. Sending emails to more than one contact improves response rates by 93%. (Backlinko)

Sales teams have seen incredible success by sending cold emails to more than one contact per account. This helps in building domain credibility and keeps you out of spam.

17. Messages that contained links to social profile links in the sender’s signature had an 9.8% higher average response rate (Backlinko)

Adding social links to email signatures helps prospects reconcile that there’s a human behind the interaction, without feeling like they’re part of automations that lack the human touch.


18. A/B tests produce a significant change for an organization in 1 out of 8 cases (Invesp CRO)

A/B testing every changeable element of your cold outreach (one at a time of course) can be game changing. Sales teams see tremendous results in testing elements like subject line copy, time sent and more - and then applying the outcomes that deliver (pun intended) the most.


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Cold email subject line statistics 


19. 33% of recipients decide to open emails based on subject lines (SuperOffice)

The first impression is the last or lasting impression. And that’s what the subject line is. Sales teams that manage to hook prospects with the subject line have won half the battle. 

20. Subject lines with 41 characters, or seven words performed the best (Marketo)

Long or short? Subject lines are obviously subjective to the nature of the business, stage of the cycles etc., but the sweet spot lies around the 41 character mark. 

21. Personalized subject lines boost response rate by 30.5%. (Backlinko)

It’s not news that prospects like their content personalized. This extends right up to the subject line, which has direct bearing on the desire to open.


22. Personalizing subject lines with the prospect’s name gets the highest open rates at 43.41% (Klenty)

Personalizing the subject line with the prospect’s name or specific pain point (“Jack, troubled by low response rates?”) have a direct impact on response rates. 


23. Subject lines WITHOUT emojis have 1.84% higher open rate than subject lines with emojis (GetResponse)

Emojis can enhance the visual appeal and expressiveness of a subject line, but they may not always be contextually relevant or resonate with all recipients. So proceed with caution!

24. A/B testing of email subject lines and content can drive up to 28% higher ROI. (Litmus)

By experimenting with different content formats, layouts, and design elements, sales teams have made data-backed calls on which variation has the maximum conversion potential.

25. Adding preview text to emails increase open rates by 10% (GetResponse)

Preview text refers to a short snippet of text that appears next to or below the email subject line in the inbox preview. As we saw, people access emails predominantly on their mobile devices. And that’s where the preview text becomes increasingly important. On mobile email clients, the preview text may be displayed prominently, allowing prospects to quickly evaluate the email's relevance. 

Cold email subject line statistics

Cold email body copy statistics 


26. Emails with personalized message bodies have a 32.7% better response rate (Backlinko)

You know the drill. Personalized emails are tailored to the recipient, making them more engaging and relevant. And therefore more inclined to open it.

27. Emails with images in the body have a 2.78% CTR compared to 1.13% CTR for pure text emails (GetResponse)

Images speak a thousand words, right? We humans are inherently drawn to visuals, and images can enhance the overall look and feel of an email. Or break the monotony of a text-only chunk.

28. Deep personalization can increase deliverability and reply rates by as much as 50% (Woodpecker)

Deep personalization allows you to create dynamic content within your messages. By dynamically inserting personalized information such as names, locations, or previous interactions, sales teams create reading experiences that are tailored and customized to the individual prospect. And that shows.


29. Emails between 50 and 125 words have the highest response rates that can hit 50% (Boomerang) 

Longer emails tend to lose the attention of the reader. Noone has time to scroll through lengthy expositions.


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Cold email follow-up statistics


30. 80% of all sales happen after 5 follow ups and more (Hubspot)

People are often busy, and their priorities can shift. Following up ensures that your product or service remains on their radar. Regular reminders about the value and benefits of what you're offering can be instrumental in keeping your brand top of mind and eventually influencing their decision.


31. Emailing the same contact multiple times leads to 2x more responses (Backlinko)

People are busy, and your initial email may have been forgotten or pushed down in their inbox. By sending follow-up emails, you serve as a reminder, prompting the recipient to respond or take action.


32. There’s a 21% chance of getting a reply after the 1st follow-up and a 25% chance of reply after the second (Yesware) 

Out of mind, out of sight. Follow-up and your prospect might bite. Setting-up a systematic follow-up cadence has seen sales teams drive up reply rates. 


33. Email sequences with multiple attempts and multiple contacts boost response rates by 160%. (Backlinko)

Multiple attempts, multiple channels, multiple contacts - the modern sales cadence has to incorporate all three to succeed.


What do these cold email statistics mean for you?


It’s clear what works. Correctly timed, personalized emails that show the prospects that you’ve taken the effort to do your homework. And remember…never forget the follow-up. Crafting emails that are personalized and valuable to prospects can be hard. Timing each email to perfection, that’s tough too. Keeping track of your follow-ups and your performance metrics..that’s a whole other non-negotiable aspect. And doing this all at scale - that’s the biggest challenge. Unless you have the right tool of course. With Outplay, you can leverage the power of AI to generate powerful emails, use intelligent automations to set-up and run cadences on auto-pilot, A/B test the elements of your copy, track the right metrics, access a library of winning templates…phew…and a whole lot more. We’ve helped our customers increase their outbound success rates by 30%. If that’s something you want to explore, hit up our experts for a personalized demo. Ready to explore on your own? Sign up for a free trial


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