However long you spend building your prospect list and crafting hyper-personalized messaging, the unfortunate fact is that only a small proportion of your cold emails will make you money.

How small? Let’s (quickly) crunch some numbers…

We know that — on average — if you send 1,000 emails, about 333 will get opened and approximately 85 will end up generating a response. But a lot of those replies will be people saying that they’re too busy right now, or they don’t have the budget, or they just aren’t interested in what you’re selling. Realistically, most cold emailers would be satisfied if even one of them resulted in a sale.

One sale from 1,000 emails? For the non-mathematicians out there, that’s a 0.1% conversion rate. Sheesh.

Now just imagine what it’d do for your business if you could increase that figure by, say, half a percentage point. It’s still a tiny figure, but you’re suddenly closing 6X more deals.

That’s precisely what we’re going to help you do in this article, where we’ll share our favorite best practices for cold email conversions.

Let’s get into it…

Best Practice #1: A/B Test Cold Email Subject Lines

We’re not saying that sender names or preview lines are unimportant, but when it comes to driving cold email opens, one element overshadows all the rest: your subject line.

Indeed, half of recipients decide whether to open an email based on the subject line alone.

And if people don’t open your emails, they’re not going to buy — which means writing stronger subject lines is one of the most impactful ways to boost your cold email conversion rate.

There’s no shortage of advice on what makes a “killer” cold email subject line. But the reality is that what works for one business may not work for another, so the only way to figure out what plays well for your audience is through A/B testing.

Email outreach A/B testing is about creating two (or more) versions of an email and sending each to a different group of prospects. For instance, you might test the following two subject line variants:

  1. Question about sales outreach

  2. Need help with sales outreach, [First Name]?

Once you’ve written your test subject lines, you’d split your audience in two, then send variant #1 to one half and #2 to the other. Then you simply sit back, wait for the data to pour in, and see which subject line generates the highest open rate.

Read more: 8 Best Practices for A/B Testing Email Outreach 

How QuickMail Can Help

A/B testing subject lines is one of the most essential best practices for cold email conversions — but it takes time running all those different tests. QuickMail speeds things up through A/Z testing, which allows you to test multiple variants at once.

adding a variation to a/b test a cold email in quickmail

For instance, if you’ve written five subject lines, you can test them all against your control variant simultaneously. Smart!

Best Practice #2: Personalize Subject Lines and Body Copy

Sure, it’d be just peachy if you could generate a bunch of replies and sales by writing a single cold email and blasting it out to thousands of prospects.

But that sort of cookie-cutter approach just won’t cut it in 2024. 

Today, if prospects are going to take the time to open, read, and respond to your outreach messages, they expect you to have put in the work by creating something that feels truly unique to them. 

Subject lines are the single most impactful place to add personalization, because — as we’ve already noted — they play the biggest role in whether or not your emails get opened.

But there’s far more scope to incorporate personalized elements within your cold email body copy, such as:

  • Referring to your prospect by name

  • Mentioning their job title and/or company

  • Discussing specific objectives and pain points

All that stuff takes time. But you’ll see the results in your cold email metrics, with research revealing that:

  • Personalized subject lines boost cold outreach campaign response rates by 30.5%

  • Personalizing outreach email body content increases response rates by 32.7%

Personalized subject lines infographics

And it goes without saying that the more replies you generate, the more meaningful conversations you’ll strike up — which should lead to more conversions.

Read more: How To Improve Cold Email Response Rate With Personalization

How QuickMail Can Help

QuickMail makes it easy to personalize your cold outreach campaigns at scale using attributes, which act as placeholders for specific information about a prospect. For example:

Example attributesWhat the prospect sees
Hey {{prospect.first_name}}, how is it being the new {{prospect.role}}?Hey Richard, how is it being the new Regional Supervisor?

So there’s no excuse to rely on generic outreach ever again!

Best Practice #3: Send 2-3 Follow-Up Emails

“If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.”

Whoever came up with that old idiom likely wasn’t thinking about cold outreach at the time, but it’s actually smart advice for increasing cold email conversions.

If you reach out to a prospect with a single cold email, you can expect them to reply about 9% of the time. But if you send at least one follow-up email, your average reply rate grows to ~13% — that’s an increase of 44%.

So when it comes to follow-up emails, more is always better, right?

Actually, not necessarily. The first follow-up email in a sequence — that is, the first message you send after the initial email — has by far the biggest impact on replies, while the second and third follow-ups are still pretty valuable. 

After that, the returns diminish sharply, meaning you’re sending prospects a barrage of unwanted emails with virtually zero chance of them responding.

That’s a surefire way to get your emails marked as spam.

Learn more: How to Write a Follow Up Email With 9+ Templates & Examples 

How QuickMail Can Help

Manually following up with unresponsive prospects if you only send a dozen or so outreach emails a day. But if you want to scale your campaigns, writing and sending individual follow-up emails ain’t gonna cut it.

That’s why you need QuickMail, which eradicates all that busy-work by letting you create automated follow-up sequences.

a follow up campaign in quickmail showing email and linkedin steps

If your prospect doesn’t reply, they automatically receive your follow-up email after a set period (say, three business days). Or if they respond in that time, they’ll be removed from your follow-up sequence so you can reply yourself.

Best Practice #4: Optimize Send Days

The day on which you send a cold email has a huge impact on open and reply rates — and, therefore, on your cold email conversion rate.

Because we’ve all ignored plenty of Friday afternoon emails in our time.

So when should you send cold emails if you want to maximize replies?

Well, we crunched the numbers based on emails sent through the QuickMail platform and discovered something surprising: emails sent on Sunday have the highest average response rate, closely followed by Tuesday and Wednesday.

Email Replies By Send Day

Sunday sends accounted for 15.5% of the week's replies.

Maybe that’s because messages sent on Sundays are waiting at the top of the prospect’s inbox on a Monday morning, when we’re at our most receptive. Or perhaps we’re just more likely to read, remember, and reply to emails that arrive on a Sunday.

Whatever the case, our data makes it clear that if you want to optimize your campaign for replies, you should schedule your emails for Sunday – Wednesday.

(That said, we’d always recommend running your own tests to find the best send time for your audience.)

Read more: Best Time To Send an Email (Backed by Data)

How QuickMail Can Help

With QuickMail, you can select the days and hours when your campaigns send emails.

For instance, you might want to add 25 leads per day from Monday – Friday and only send emails between 10 am and 4 pm. No problem — QuickMail makes it easy!

campaigns send emails details

Another QuickMail bonus: our advanced analytics view provides send-day attribution, so you can easily identify the days on which you’re most likely to generate positive replies.

Best Practice #5: Add One (Compelling) CTA Per Email

Imagine you’re at a networking event.

You get chatting to a potential customer. They sound kinda interested in your product, so you roll out the elevator pitch (tailoring it to their needs, obviously). Now, what do you do next?

  1. Stop talking and stare at them until they reply

  2. Ask if they’d be interested in a demo to find out more

While all prospects are different, it’s fair to say that in most scenarios, option #2 is going to yield the best results.

It’s exactly the same when it comes to cold outreach — you’re far more likely to get a positive reaction by telling prospects what you want them to do next. That’s why you need to add a clear call to action (CTA) to each and every cold email you send.

A CTA is a piece of text that prompts the reader to take some sort of action. In the context of cold outreach, the desired action typically involves replying to your email or booking a meeting via a calendar link (more on them later).

So writing strong calls to action is an essential best practice for driving cold email conversions.

But that doesn’t mean you should be adding multiple CTAs to a single cold email. Ask the recipient to take more than one action — like booking a meeting and downloading a piece of content — and you risk confusing them.

And a confused prospect isn’t going to buy from you.

Learn more: 100+ Examples Of Cold Email CTAs

How QuickMail Can Help

When it comes to crafting effective CTAs, does your audience prefer a direct instruction or a more softly-softly approach? The best way to find out is through A/B testing. Use QuickMail to test various call-to-action tactics, such as:

  • Changing the text to see which words and phrases are most persuasive

  • Personalizing elements of your CTAs (such as adding the prospect’s name)

  • Testing different CTA positions, such as within the body copy vs in the final sentence

You can also personalize your calls to action using our computed attributes. For instance, you can set a CTA to always suggest meeting dates a certain number of days (or business days) in advance — say, two working days from when the original email was sent.

Best Practice #6: Include Your Email Signature

A cold email signature is essentially the email equivalent of a business card, explaining who you are and what you do. Typically, email signatures contain some or all of the following elements:

  • Your full name

  • Your job title

  • A headshot

  • Your professional contact details

  • Links to social proof (like awards, accreditations, and/or social media profiles)

  • A calendar link (or some other CTA)

Cold Email Signature sample

Signature source

At this point, you might be thinking: “What does my email signature have to do with increasing conversion rates?”

It’s simple: most prospects have never heard of you before. Chances are they won’t recognize your business name, either. In short, they don’t know if they can trust you — and reading your signature is the easiest way to get a feel for whether or not you’re legit.

For instance, if your email signature states that your business has won a respected industry award or your product has a super-high G2 rating, that’s a strong indicator that you’re not trying to rip anyone off.

Read more: 8 Key Tips for Crafting Winning Email Signatures 

How QuickMail Can Help

The overwhelming majority of outreach platforms will let you add a custom signature. It’s hardly rocket science.

But QuickMail takes things a step further through custom attributes and bulk actions. This allows you to add or edit signatures for entire teams at once. For instance, if you have 100 inboxes with 100 different names, you can create the signature once using the Inbox Name attribute.

custom attributes sample

That way, you can scale your campaigns without wasting valuable time writing new signatures for every inbox. Easy!

Boost Your Cold Email Conversion Rate With QuickMail

There’s no single silver bullet for elevating cold email conversion rates.

Rather, it’s a case of leveraging multiple tactics — like altering your send times, personalizing your email copy, and experimenting with different CTAs — to find out what works best for your audience.

With our generous A/Z testing functionality and ability to customize cold emails at scale through personalized attributes, QuickMail is the perfect platform for any outreach professional looking to generate more email opens, replies, and sales.

But don’t take our word for it.

See for yourself by signing up for your free QuickMail trial today!