Most companies have no clue how valuable cold emailing is—and that’s a shame.
I built all my first clients off of pure cold emailing. Most of my friends in the industry did the same.
If we didn’t take chances with total strangers, none of us would have businesses. And no matter how big your brand gets, there’s always room for outbound.
So in this article, I wanna share my passion with you. I go beyond basic stats and share data-driven insight into how powerful cold emailing is.
Cold Email Effectiveness Statistics
Let’s start with some data proving cold emailing works.
1. 8/10 of people want you to contact them by email (RAIN)
“Let’s hop on a call.”
“I’d rather not,” says over half of the buyers surveyed by RAIN. Instead, the overwhelming majority want a good old-fashioned email.
Think about how much time a call takes.
It’s not “just five minutes.” It’s stopping what you’re doing, interrupting your flow, and figuring out what these people want.
Your prospects want quick, skim-friendly cold emails.
2. 59% more people prefer cold emails to LinkedIn InMails (RAIN)
Messaging strangers on LinkedIn isn’t getting you anywhere—but email can.
The RAIN survey mentioned above shows a massive chasm of favor between InMail and cold sales emails.
To put it scientifically, people hate LinkedIn spam. And speaking from experience, I have to agree.
You wanna cold contact someone? Email is king.
3. Email conversion rate is over 3x higher than social media (Optimonster)
For every 100 people seeing the average email, six will convert. But for every 100 seeing the average social post, only half a person will convert (ouch!).
Unlike social media, email is targeted. Find the person you want to contact, tailor your message to them, and get direct responses.
No other medium has that kind of precision.
Cold Email Open & Response Rate Statistics
Every reply starts with an open. Here’s some crucial insight into getting mouse clicks on your emails.
1. The average email open rate across all industries hovers around 20% (Mailchimp)
That’s right—people open only a fifth of all emails. But if you craft your emails right, they can be much, much higher.
My average open rate hovers around 60-70%.
2. People only reply to 8.5% of emails (Backlinko)
Most prospects will ignore your emails.
And it could be your fault. My first emails were:
- Obviously templated
- Poorly formatted
- Addressed to the wrong person
But there’s a good chance it’s their fault, too. Your prospects might have been busy, asleep, or just missed the message.
That’s why we follow up!
3. Wednesday emails get the highest open rates—Saturdays get the lowest (Backlinko)
Yes, Wednesdays get the most opens. But before you revamp your campaigns, the Backlinko study showed no meaningful response rate increases.
Saturday being the lowest isn’t a big surprise. That’s when the whole world is home, regardless of time zone.
If you’re looking for advice, I send my emails Monday to Thursday (Friday emails don’t perform as well).
4. Linking your socials in your signature can boost responses by 23.7% (Backlinko)
Your email gets more attention just by having social media links. My guess is it makes you feel more authentic.
The exact correlations are:
- Twitter: 8.2%
- LinkedIn: 11.5%
- Instagram: 23.4% (wow!)
But don’t just link them in plain text. You’ll want them in a professional email signature, like mine:
I used WiseStamp to make it.
5. SEO-related emails get the highest response rates (Backlinko)
If you’re building links with:
- Guest posts
You can expect some of the highest response rates around.
My guest post emails get a 15-20% response rate. One of my friends gets up to 50% (she personalizes them a ton).
6. Emails with follow-ups get 2x more responses (Backlinko)
You send the email. They don’t respond.
You panic, asking, “why did they ignore me?”
In reality, they:
- Didn’t see it
- Wanted to respond but forgot
- Got distracted
Follow-ups are second, third, and fourth chances to get responses.
7. Campaigns with <200 recipients have the highest response rates (Woodpecker)
A cold-contact campaign with thousands of contacts leaves little time for personalization.
For oversized campaigns, you’re not emailing people—just names on a spreadsheet. And no matter how many [job]/[name]/[title] fields you have, people can smell phoniness.
Remember—no matter how big your industry is—it’s made up of a limited number of people. Each time you send someone a phony email, you burn your rep.
My advice? Make each message count with smaller, focused campaigns.
8. Emails with 3rd-grade vocab get 36% more replies than college-level (Boomerang)
Fancy vocab doesn’t do you any favors. In fact, it may cost you tons of sales.
No matter who you’re audience is, they’re human beings.
Nobody’s impressed you can fit “loquacious” into a sentence. Talk like a person.
9. Emails between 75-100 words get the highest response rates (Boomerang)
Busy people love short emails.
I learned that lesson when I sent one guy a massive cold email. He saved me a lot of time by telling me nobody would read them.
Ever since then, I’ve kept my emails nice and short. My reply rates thanked me.
10. 75% of opens and 42% of replies happen in the first hour (Yesware)
Many people are addicted to checking their email. So I wasn’t surprised to learn most opens happen within an hour of sending.
Cold Email Subject Line Statistics
Subject lines are underrated. Despite making a massive difference in open rates, people still see them as “secondary” to content.
But without good subject lines, nobody’s gonna see your email. These stats will prove it.
1. Adding company names to subject lines boosts replies by 22% (Outreach)
This is one of the easiest wins in cold outreach. Adding a prospect’s company name to the subject line boosts open rates dramatically.
By making your email relevant to their job, you “hack” their brain into thinking the email is important. It also shows you did some due diligence before sending the message.
Backlinko’s study (linked above) supports this. According to their data, personalized subject lines get 30.5% more replies.
2. About 33% of people open emails based only on the subject line (SuperOffice)
You’ve heard the phrase, “don’t judge a book by its cover.”
Sadly, that’s what a third of your prospects do. If your subject line doesn’t interest them, they assume your message won’t either.
3. Subject lines with 3-4 words get the most attention (Boomerang)
Brevity sparks interest. Which one would you open:
- A: I’d love to write an awesome guest post for [company]!
- B: Free labor for [company]
I’m going with B. I need to know what they’re talking about!
Takeaways to Boost Your Cold Email Success
Learning from these statistics can take your cold email game to new levels.
Some of these stats may have surprised you. But that’s why we do research: to confirm or disprove our ideas.
Here’s how to make the most of the data above:
- Write short, personalized subject lines
- Follow up if no response within two days
- Follow up at least three times (no more than five)
- Keep your emails between 75-100 words
- High-quality campaigns beat high-quantity campaigns
Cold emailing is a learning process no matter how experienced you are. If you want more out of your campaigns, use this data to guide your strategy.