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Improve cold email response rate: 11 proven tips + templates

23 min read
9080 reads

Are you still searching for ways to improve cold email response rate?

If the answer is yes, then your search ends here. In this blog, we have curated a list of 11 proven tips to improve email response rate and shared templates that will act as a helpful resource in your cold email outreach. 

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

What is an average cold email response rate?

Before understanding an average cold email response rate, let’s quickly understand what a cold email response rate is. 

Cold email response rate is a metric you consider to decide the success of your email outreach. Your response rate is the number of prospects who replied to your email. It can be regarded as the most influential metric as it indicates that the prospect might be interested in your product. 

A good response rate is between 1% to 10%, but this varies from industry to industry. Your email list, content, and target audience play an imperative role in having a good response rate. 

Here is an easy formula to calculate the email response rate. 

Formula to calculate email response rate

For example, if you send 100 emails and 10 recipients reply, your response rate will be 10%. The response rate is always considered in percentage. 

Why are your cold emails not getting any response?

You might have sent cold emails that would have got a good open rate but not the expected response rate (open rate is when your recipient opens your email but doesn’t respond).  

The question that constantly hovers during that moment is: why my cold emails aren’t working?

Here is the answer. 

We studied the cold emails sent using our platform and compared why some cold emails perform better than others. Here are the 3 major reasons your cold emails are not getting any response.

1. Your cold email is not landing in the primary inbox
2. Your cold email is less about them and more about you
3. They might not find your offer very interesting 

1. Your cold email is not landing in the primary inbox

When you start sending cold emails without following any email deliverability practices  like not warming up your email account, not authenticating it, and constantly exceeding your daily email quota, your emails fail to land in the primary inbox. 

These factors indicate to your email service provider that you might be a spammer or want to market your product. 

And this reduces the chances of your emails getting a higher response rate as the read rate of the primary inbox is higher than the other tabs.

Read rate of each tab

2. Your cold email is less about them and more about you

This is where you lose your prospect’s interest when the email speaks a lot about you and your product. 

A short introduction is good, but continuously pitching your product doesn’t do its charm. 

The purpose of the outreach is to understand the prospect’s areas of concern and offer your product/service as a solution. 

Imagine meeting a salesperson who won’t stop talking about his product at an event. You are most likely to pass, and that same thing might happen here.  

3. They might not find your offer very interesting

You may have drafted and sent the perfect email, but what you’re offering might not be very appealing to your prospects. One of the factors this happens is because of targeting the wrong audience. 

For example, a dog lover wouldn’t benefit from 10% off on cat grooming because of a conflict of interest. The difference in interest level and wrong targeting might be why your emails are not getting any response. 

Now that you know why your cold emails don’t have a good response rate let’s move to the actionable part and make your cold emails work.

11 tips to improve your cold email response rate

1. Use a company email address
2. Add your email signature
3. Write a well-crafted subject line
4. Email Preheader
5. Add emojis in your email 
6. Avoid grammar mistakes or typos
7. Go for a personalized approach
8. Add a CTA button (Call-To-Action)
9. Keep your email length short
10. Send it at the right time
11. Add follow-ups

1. Use a company email address

Always use your company email address while connecting with your prospects. Your emails quickly get unnoticed when you use domain addresses like Yahoo or Gmail. 

For example: If you get an email for a product demo from and Which one do you find more authentic? The first one, right?

Company email addresses play an imperative role in building trust.  

2. Add your email signature

Your email signature acts as your business card when your major communication happens online. It makes you look professional and helps in building brand recognition.

The prospect would easily know which team is contacting them and why. It is advisable to keep your email signature short and have a good balance of information. Alternatively, you may use some email signature generators to create your email signature.

Here are a few points you can consider for your email signature:

  • Name
  • Job Title
  • Company Name 
  • Contact details 
  • Website
  • Add your picture (optional)
Email signature to get a response

3. Write a well-crafted subject line 

Your subject line is what catches your prospect’s attention first. Hence, it should be crafted to entice the prospect to open and read your email. 

Rather than going for a generic subject line, add some personalization. For example, 
Instead of this: A special offer from you
Try this: Hey, Mark, would you like 20% off this month?

Adding personalization like the first name, last name, location, or more helps you improve your open rate by 50% (Marketing Dive).

Get here → 21 Email Subject Lines for Sales that Definitely Get Responses.

4. Email Preheader 

An email preheader is a summary text after the subject line. It provides a short summary of your email that is not more than one sentence. 

Your subject line and preheader have to work together to create interest and push the prospect to open your email. An email with a relevant preheader gets 10% higher open rates.

A good subject line can do its work but adding a preheader improves the chances of your email getting the needed attention.

So, why miss the opportunity when you can grab it, right? A preheader works in complete favor if you use it correctly while drafting your email. Here are a few points to keep in mind while writing a preheader: 

  • Your subject line and preheader should work side-by-side. If the subject line emphasizes some ongoing offers, your preheader should support your subject line. It can be around; how long is this offer valid? Or how will this offer help? 
  • We recommend keeping your preheader text between 40 to 130 characters. If you maintain the character limit, your preheader will be perfectly visible to the prospect viewing your email on their phone or desktop. 
Add a preheader using Saleshandy

5. Add emojis to your email

You can make your email fun and interactive using emojis. They are good at catching attention, especially when targeting the younger generation or the millennials. 

You can A/B test and add an emoji in the subject line or the email body copy to see if it impresses your prospects.

Here are the most commonly used emojis ⭐ 🎉⏰⚡

6. Avoid grammar mistakes or typos

It is always good to check and read your cold emails, again and again, to avoid any grammar errors or typos. It looks unprofessional and can come across as a lack of attention to detail.

You can use an easy tool like Grammarly to avoid such mistakes. 

7. Go for a personalized approach

Personalization is a key that opens many doors, and in this case, it will help you improve email response rate. One survey shows 63% of people never respond to non-personalized emails.

But your personalization should not be limited to using first or last name. You can bring in more personalization using the following ways:

  • Make them feel valued and special
  • Describe your product in a way it solves their problems 
  • Do your research for social proof and have a solid knowledge about their product (study their website or read their blogs) 
Personalize your email to improve response rate

8. Add a CTA button (Call-To-Action)

Call-To-Actions (CTAs) are great when you want to improve your cold email response rate. It encourages the prospect to take action that will be beneficial to them. 

It doesn’t mean you will fill your email with CTAs. Too much is also not good. Ask yourself what action you want the prospects to take? 

It will get easier to place your CTA accordingly when you have this clarity. And it will be helpful for the prospect as they know what exact action needs to be taken. 

If you have a special offer, you can create a sense of urgency, “Offer valid for limited time” or “20% Discount for the first 100 customers.”

9. Keep your email length short

We live in this fast-moving world where the attention span is decreasing daily. Prospects are looking to consume a lot of content in a very limited period. Sending a lengthy cold email works entirely against what the prospect wants. 

So it is a good practice to send short and simple emails (avoid HTML, please). An email that covers good points, a brief explanation of yourself, and an action-driven CTA is enough.

Pro-tip: Plan a goal before drafting your cold email. A goal-oriented approach will help you write better. It will help you highlight the more critical points than derailing the whole messaging. 

10. Send it at the right time

It can be challenging to gauge the perfect time to know when your prospect might respond to your email, but the best time can always be considered depending on your target audience. 

It is important to schedule your email at the right time, considering different factors. 

For example, weekends are not the most suitable time to send any cold email campaign. The engagement level is low, leading to a low response rate. Weekdays have a good number of engagements, especially Monday and Wednesday. You can run an A/B test to see which time brings the best result for you.  

11. Add follow-ups

Follow-ups are inevitable. You CAN’T miss them. 

A gentle follow-up is a reminder to your prospect to encourage them to reply. The follow-up always needs to be gentle and not pushy or rude. 

Putting all your hopes on your first email or the initial email will be futile. As the initial email is an ice-breaker. It is the follow-up emails that help to get a response. It is the follow-up emails that help to get a response.

One study noticed a 28% response rate on the 6th follow-up email. 

Sending multiple follow-up emails can annoy your prospect, and they may mark you as a spammer. Sending 4 to 5 follow-up emails sounds ideal.

The only factor that can hinder this process is if you’re sending follows manually. The manual process is time-consuming and limiting.
When you are working with a list of 50 prospects, manually sending a follow-up email to each can take up your half-day. And if you’re willing to send them 4 follow-ups, this process might take 2 days. (the loop goes on and on till you don’t get a response) 

Using an email automation tool feels like an easy option, but it limits your outreach campaign from exploring features that might work wonders for you. 

For example, if you use a cold email outreach tool like Saleshandy, you can easily create your follow-up email right after creating your initial email. You can set the time you want to send your email, and the system will send the email exactly then. 

Additionally, you also send your follow-up email based on your recipient’s behavior. You noticed that out of 50 emails, 25 emails were opened here; you can set a follow-up email from those 25 recipients —a trigger-based follow-up. 

Add follow-up to increase your email response rate

Cold emailing tool (recommendation)

Reading the headline, you must be wondering, do I really need a cold emailing tool to send cold emails to get responses?

The answer is Yes

If you’re using the traditional method of sending emails from your Gmail account, G Suite account, or any other ESP account, you’re missing out on some fundamental elements. 

Limitation of the traditional approach:

  • This approach lacks personalization if you want to send an email to multiple recipients. We have already discussed in tip number 3 and 4 that personalization helps you improve your open rate by 50%.

    This method reduces your 50% chance of your prospect reading your email.    
  • One of the major reasons your email doesn’t get a response is that it might not be landing in the primary inbox.

    If you frequently exceed your sending quota, your email account can get blocked, or your emails will land in the spam folder. Your email deliverability is at greater risk here.
  • This approach can make you look unprofessional while sending your cold email to multiple recipients. Because if you add them in BCC or CC tab, they will be able to view every recipient.

    This doesn’t build a good impression in the prospect’s mind. 

Using a cold emailing tool like Saleshandy, you can overcome these limitations and explore a handful of quality features that will help you improve your email response rate. 

Saleshandy is a cold email outreach tool that helps you send highly personalized cold emails using its power-packed features. 


Once you get into the dashboard, you get everything you need to run a successful cold email outreach. 

You can start sending your cold emails, get an analysis of your sequence performance, run an A-Z test, and much more.  

Key Saleshandy features to improve your email response rate.

1. Merge tags

Saleshandy offer merge tags that go beyond the {{first name}} and {{last name}}.

You can make your email as personalized as you want using different merge tags like: {{company domain}}, {{website}}, {{country}}, and more. 

Saleshandy will automatically fetch these details from your prospect list and send your email accordingly. We believe it is a good practice for you to add 2 or more merge tags in your email. 

2. Follow-ups

The most important and not to be missed feature, we recommend this feature to each of our users to make the most of their cold emailing efforts.

According to the Saleshandy whitepaper, 80% of sales require at least 5 follow-up emails after the initial contact. 

You can set up to 49 follow-up steps within a single sequence using Saleshandy. You can set a specific time when you want to send your follow-up email and, most importantly, have a behavior-driven approach.  

Here you can optimize your follow-ups at every stage after understanding your prospect’s behavior towards your email. This helps you have a more strategic approach rather than following an irrational one. 


3. A-Z testing 

Running an A-Z test helps you understand your prospects better. In the Saleshandy dashboard, you can try 26 different versions in your outreach. You can try different subject lines, pre-headers, email copy, CTA, design, etc. 

After you have sent your email, you will get a report of your sequence that will help you to study your prospect’s behavior carefully. 

Based on this, you will be able to measure what kind of interaction and communication style is working for your target audience and follow that process. 

4. LinkedIn prospecting

Saleshandy provides an easy way to find new prospects in no time. You can extract verified and accurate email addresses of any professional on LinkedIn and directly add them to your email sequence. 

You can easily download the extension or use it with CRM software like HubSpot, Zoho CRM, and Freshsales.

The LinkedIn email finder provides you with other information, like the first name, last name, and job title. This information becomes key when you want to add personalization to your email.  

Now let’s talk a bit about email deliverability. Saleshandy works with a specific goal in mind: to deliver your cold emails to the primary inbox of your prospects. And to achieve this goal, the following feature plays an important role:

Sender’s Rotation

Sender’s Rotation involves sending email sequences from multiple email accounts, rather than relying solely on one.

 By doing so, the volume of emails being sent is spread across multiple accounts, thereby reducing the likelihood of any one account being flagged or experiencing deliverability problems.

Email health score- 
An email health score rates your email’s delivery performance to ensure it doesn’t land in the spam folder.  And provides you with actionable steps to improve your score.

Bounce Guard-
Saleshandy keeps an eye on your emails when you activate your sequence (i.e., when you start sending your emails).

The system will auto-pause your sequence if there is a chance of your email getting bounced. 

Real-time AI writing-
Saleshandy’s real-time writing assistance helps you to write spam-free content. Under the content guide section, you will find the analysis of your content with some helpful tips.

Writing assistance

Cold email templates that get responses

Getting started again in your cold email outreach can get a little overwhelming. To help you overcome this, we have created cold email templates that will generate responses. 

You can edit the cold email template as per your brand tone and voice. So, feel free to use them. 

Addressing the problem template

{{First name}}, I think I have found a solution to your problem!

Hey {{First name}}, I am {{Your name}} from {{Your company name}}. I discovered you on {[mention the platform}}, and I am glad to know {{mention some of their recent achievement }}. I kept wondering for days how you would be managing your {{mention the areas of improvement. For example- cold email outreach or communication}} Since you're multiplying, you would like to focus on productive tasks than doing time-consuming tasks that can be automated. My company {{mention how your product can be a solution in 2 lines}}. Can I get 15 minutes in your schedule next week? I would personally love to explain this. I assure you it will be worth your time. {{Your email signature}}

Why does this template work?

  • The template focuses on solving your prospect’s problem. It is more about them than you. 
  • The personalization wins some brownie points as it shows you have invested time in understanding their problem. 
  • A clear CTA with specific details gives the prospect an idea of how much time they will need to invest from their schedule. 

1st Follow-up email template

{{First Name}}, I am waiting for you

Hey {{First name}}, I am sure you might be busy. I will keep it quick. I just wanted to know if you got a chance to read my previous email. I had highlighted how {{your product}} can {{solve the problem}}. I was looking forward to a 15 minutes meeting this week to help you understand this better. Let me know if this works for you! {{Your email signature}}

Why does this template work?

  • The follow-up acts like a gentle reminder without sounding too pushy or rude. 
  • It notes the key pointers mentioned in the previous email. Suppose the prospect doesn’t want to go back and read the main message. They will get an idea about what you’re willing to discuss. 
  • The clear CTA speaks directly to what action you specifically want them to take.

2nd Follow-up email template

{{First name}}, any update?

Hi {{First name}}, I assume you must have got some time to go through my email. If it completely slipped your mind, I understand, but if you didn't find it interesting. Is there anything that I can do? With this thought, I am sharing a case study similar to your niche that achieved its goal using our solution. There is the link to the study case - {{Link}} Let me know if I can help you with anything else. I would be happy to help. {{Your email signature}}

Why does this template work? 

  • Sharing a highly-relevant piece of content will spark some interest in the prospect’s mind and help build a good rapport with them.
  • The personalization and content sharing shows your prospect, that it is not a mass email you have sent everyone. 
  • You have taken the time to understand them. This will make them feel valued and special. 
  • The helpful tone in the email copy shows the prospect that you are willing to connect and help them. 

Sales Email Template

{{Prospect's Company}} + {{Your company}} = Great team.

Hi {{first name}}, I am {{Your name}}, working as a {{job role}} at {{company name}}. I read about your recent goal in {{article/ blog}} and just thought of adding how {{Your product}} can {{adresses the pain point}} can help you achieve the goal better. Would you like to hop on a call this week and discuss this further? {{Your email signature}}

Why does this template work? 

  • A classic email template that clearly states a real-time problem and a real-time solution without beating around the bush. 


Cold email outreach is still a very effective method for closing leads and building a good relationship with your prospects. If your emails are not getting any response, it doesn’t mean cold emailing is bad or doesn’t work. 

You need to make some changes in your approach to see results. We have shared the best insights that will help you achieve your goal. So, make sure to use them in your cold email outreach and make the most of it. Good luck!  

Skyrocket your conversion rates with cold emailing

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