Updated Outreach Stats: 15+ Cold Email Open Rate Insights

Created On:
April 2, 2023
Updated On:
June 11, 2024
Statistics for Cold Email Open Rates

The simplest objective of a cold email is to get the recipients interested enough to continue the conversation.

So, when you are creating a cold email campaign, you need to make data-driven decisions to increase your cold email success rate. And to do that, the first KPI that you should measure is your cold email open rates. 

That's why in this blog post, we've delved deep into top studies about cold email outreach and found out the most relevant data about cold email open rates and other metrics so you can make an informed decision. 

Let's get started! 

Cold Email Open Rates Statistics 

1. The average cold email open rate is approximately 23.9%.

An average person receives around 100-120 emails per day. It means cold prospects skim through their inboxes and quickly check which email is important and worth opening. 

A recent Gartner study has published that average email open rate in b2b is 23.9%. Email users usually make the decision based on a few things – subject line, sender name, and preview text (AKA preheader text). 

2. Longer subject lines in cold emails generate a 24.6% higher response. 

Longer subject lines tend to give more context to your cold emails. It also gives the cold email recipients a better understanding of what the email is about. So, naturally, cold email subject lines with around 35 - 50 characters get 24.6% higher average cold email response rates. Nine words are optimal for both mobile devices and computers. 

Ideal Subject Lines for Cold Email Open Rates

3. Multi-threaded cold emailing approach gives a 93% hike in response rates. 

As key decision-makers or client stakeholders switch jobs frequently, it becomes difficult to retain customers. That's why it is very important to reach out to several prospective customers from the same company. 

The same is true for cold emails as well. In fact, a Backlinko analysis of 12 million cold emails shows that multi-threaded cold emailing contributes to a 93% increase in cold email reply rates

4. Cold email response rate is 8.5% on average. 

Not all the people who open your cold email will reply to the message. As we've seen before, the average cold email open rate is 23.9%, and the reply rate is expected to go down. 

According to the same study conducted by Backlinko, the average cold email response rate is only 8.5%. Remember, this is average, and the number varies based on the industry. 

Pro Tip: You can increase your reply rates by launching highly-targeted cold email campaigns and following up at least five times. Also, make sure you personalize your messages at scale before sending them out to prospects.

Try to follow and achieve the 30/30/50 rule. It means you should target a 30% open rate, 30% reply rate, and 50% cold email conversion rate. 

Cold Email Subject Line Statistics in 2023

5. 33% of email recipients decide to open a cold email based on the subject line. 

The subject line serves as the preface of an email, and it is the first thing a prospect reads when they receive emails from unknown senders. As a matter of fact, an interesting study found that 33% of email recipients read the subject line to decide whether they'd open an email, let alone read it. 

In other news, an invespcro.com study claims that 47%. Quite naturally, if your cold email subject lines look spammy or generic, your campaigns will see very low email open rates. 

Key Takeaway: Use various tactics to write intriguing subject lines, such as the FOMO trigger method, talking about pain points, personalization of the subject line, humor, etc. You can also use emojis in your subject line. Make sure your subject line doesn't overpromise, as spam filters might consider such emails as spam and land them in spam folders. 

6. Personalized subject lines see a 50% increase in email open rates.

We've all heard about email personalization – but what about subject line personalization? Well, a Klenty study has found that personalized subject lines get an email open rate of 35.69%. This is almost twice the industry average email open rate of 16.67% for sales emails with non-personalized subject lines. 

Personalized subject lines for open rates

When you personalize subject lines, cold emails instantly become more relevant for recipients. You can personalize your cold email subject lines with potential customers' names, job roles, achievements, or mutual connections. 

7. Cold email subject lines with recipients' names see an open rate of 43.41%

Using prospects' names in subject lines is a great way to hook recipients quickly. These messages give them a sense of personal communication and impact their decision-making positively. 

That's why cold email subject lines with recipients' names see an open rate of 43.41%. Here are a few cold email subject line examples with prospects' names:

“{Prospect’s name}, congrats on your promotion! 

“{prospect’s name}, I am a fan”

“{prospect’s name} + {company name}

8. 35% of recipients open a cold email when the subject line has their company name. 

As we've discussed before, personalization works magically to increase open rates. So, it's not a surprise that 35 out of 100 people open cold emails only when the subject line contains their company's name. 

This works as a FOMO trigger, and it gives off an important vibe to easily catch prospects' attention. For example, "Want to know the future of {company name}?" will surely catch your prospects' eyes. 

9. Using emojis in subject lines 🚀🚀 increase cold email open rate by 8%. 

Although debatable, a recent analysis proved that subject lines that contain emojis increase email open rates by 8%. Emojis are fun, TBH. They bring color to the monochrome inbox and stand out in the crowd. 

Here are a few examples of subject lines with emojis: 

"Have you heard….🤔"

"SaaS marketing? Say no more. 🎯" 

Disclaimer: However, emails with emojis in the subject lines have seen a higher unsubscribe rate than the ones without emojis. So, make sure you use emojis carefully, don't overkill, and A/B test your campaigns. 

10. Subject lines that mention pain points get a higher average open rate of 28%. 

You are sending a cold email to offer a service/product to help solve pain points. So, when email marketers write pain point-specific subject lines, it gives email open rates of 28%

However, adding each prospect's company name manually is simply not practical. Use a cold emailing solution such as Smartled to add your prospects' names automatically. 

11. Subject lines containing numbers get 20% email open rate. 

Numbers are an excellent way to grab your prospects' attention. And an extensive study by Klety has just confirmed the speculation that cold email subject lines consisting of numbers can get an open rate of 20%. 

Numbers in your subject line give your prospects an idea of what you can offer them specifically and sometimes work as social proof, increasing trustability. 

For example: "Want 60% sales growth?" 

12. Question-based subject lines have an average open rate of 48.39%. 

As humans, we are naturally curious beings. And questions intrigue curiosity to find answers. The same happens when you ask a question in your email subject line. It triggers curiosity, and they open the email to find answers. 

That's why cold emails having questions in the subject line generate an average open rate of 48.39%, which is way above the average email open rate. Here are a few examples: 

"Can you do me a quick favor?"

"Did you know you can solve {pain point}?" 

Cold Email CTA Statistics in 2023

13. Interest-CTAs have a success rate of 30%.

Interest-based CTAs intrigue the prospects about learning more about your solution/product. So, instead of coming off as a pushy sales rep, you can actually build a connection with your prospects and close more deals. 

According to an interesting study by Gong, interest-based CTAs get a cold email success rate of 30%, which is double that of any other CTAs. Here are a few examples: 

"Would you be interested in learning more about {product/service}?"

"Would you like to join our yearly seminar on {pain point}?" 

14. CTAs that ask recipients about their thoughts get higher reply rates but a 20% lower chance of booking meetings. 

Well, be careful what you wish for. Asking for your prospects' thoughts on something can be a great ending for a cold email. It can strike a conversation, but not apparently sales. Usually, when you ask for a prospect's opinion, they don't consider you as an authority; hence it lowers the chances of booking meetings by 20%. 

These CTAs are great if you are conducting market research, but while promoting your product/service, go for an interest-based CTA. 

What is the Best Day and Time to Send Cold Emails in 2023? 

15. 1 pm - 4 pm is the ideal time for sending cold emails. 

A Yesware study concluded that the best time to send emails is around 1 - 4 pm. This study is actually based on behavioral psychology; as 1 pm falls right in between peak working hours, people tend to check their emails frequently. 

Similarly, as 4 pm is close to log-out time, people take a quick peek at their emails around that time. So, if you are sending cold emails during this time period, you might see higher email open rates. However, we'd recommend you research your prospects' demographics to decide the ideal time to send cold emails. 

16. Cold emails sent on Monday see the highest email open rate of 22%.

According to a CampaignMonitor study, cold emails sent on Monday see the highest email opens of about 22%. The same study suggests that Tuesday sees the highest click-through rate of 2.4%. 

Besides that, cold emails sent on Sundays see the lowest email open rates, and when it comes to click-through rates, Tuesday is followed by Monday, Thursday, and Wednesday.

Try to send cold emails on weekdays between 1-4 pm for optimal results. 

17. Email content personalization increases the response rate by 32.7%. 

Personalized emails are the key to your prospects' hearts. If you customize your email message with prospects' first names, job roles, company, pain points, or goals, prospects seem to reply back enthusiastically. 

A Backlinko study has proved that well–structured and personalized cold email copies can increase response rates by 32.7%. Besides the subject line, personalize your email message to build trust among prospects and close more deals master. 

Cold Email Follow-Up Statistics in 2023

18. Sending first and second follow-up emails escalates reply rates by 21% and 25%, respectively. 

Follow-ups are an integral part of cold emailing campaigns. A Yesware study states that the first follow-up email boosts reply rates by 21%, and similarly, the second follow-up increases the chances by 25%. 

Pro tip: Longer follow-up emails prove to be more successful than shorter ones. So aim to make your follow-up emails around 100 - 150 words an ad context to the previous message. 

19. "I never heard back" lowers the chances of booking meetings by 14%. 

Your prospects are not obligated to respond to your cold emails. So, it's considered an intrusive red flag when you follow up with "I never heard back." That's why including this exact phrase or similar messages like that can decrease your chances of booking meetings by 14%. 

Wrapping Up

So these are the most important email metrics you need to consider before creating your next cold email campaign. However, this goes beyond saying that cold email statistics can never be an accurate guiding force behind your outreach campaigns. 

Before launching any new campaign, delve deep into your prospect demographic data and go through your Ideal Customer Profile and buyer personas to figure out what best suits your industry and audiences. 

Make sure you:

  • Write interesting subject lines
  • Personalize your email body 
  • Follow-up consistently 
  • Measure performance

Remember that consistency is the key to bagging more successful deals. So, keep calm, be patient, and focus on consistent follow-ups and adding value to your email list. 

Ciao, see you soon! 


Does cold emailing still work in 2023? 

Yes, cold emailing is still a predominant communication channel for most businesses (irrespective of their industry), as 8 out of 10 email users prefer receiving business messages through email. And cold emailing generates more reply rates than the popular social media channels and cold calls combined. 

Is 40% a good email open rate? 

Yes, 40% is considered a very good email open rate for cold emails. A CampaignMonitor study has found that the average email open rate is between 20 - 40%. 

What is considered a good open rate for emails? 

The average b2b email open rate is around 44%. 

What is best time to send a cold email?

The best time to send a cold email is typically between 8:00 to 11:00 am in the recipient's local time zone. During these hours, professionals are usually more likely to check their emails before their workday becomes too busy.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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Author’s Details

Sattwik Das

Sattwik is a Digital Marketing professional at Smartlead. He is a dedicated content writer who focuses on juggling words to bring out meaningful content. He is experienced in well-researched and SEO-optimized content creation, content editing, and copywriting for various businesses throughout the globe. His expertise in SEO, SMM, and SMO with a touch of creativity helps businesses grow and maximize their credibility and sales.


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Frequently asked questions

General Questions

What is Smartlead's cold email outreach software?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Smartlead's cold email outreach tool helps businesses scale their outreach efforts seamlessly. With unlimited mailboxes, fully automated email warmup functionality, a multi-channel infrastructure, and a user-friendly unibox, it empowers users to manage their entire revenue cycle in one place. Whether you're looking to streamline cold email campaigns with automated email warmups, personalization fields, automated mailbox rotation, easy integrations, and spintax, improve productivity, or enhance scalability with subsequences based on lead’s intentions, automated replies, and full white-label experience, our cold email tool implifies it in a single solution.

How does the "unlimited mailboxes" feature benefit me?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Our "unlimited mailboxes" feature allows you to expand your email communications without restrictions imposed by a mailbox limit. This means you won't be constrained by artificial caps on the number of mailboxes you can connect and use. This feature makes Smartlead the best cold email software and empowers you to reach a wider audience, engage with more potential customers, and manage diverse email campaigns effectively.

What do you mean by "unibox to handle your entire revenue cycle"?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

The "unibox" is one of the unique features of Smartlead cold email outreach tool, and it's a game-changer when it comes to managing your revenue cycle. The master inbox or the unibox consolidates all your outreach channels, responses, sales follow-ups, and conversions into one centralized, user-friendly mailbox.

With the "unibox," you gain the ability to:
1. Focus on closing deals: You can now say goodbye to the hassle of logging into multiple mailboxes to search for replies. The "unibox" streamlines your sales communication, allowing you to focus on what matters most—closing deals.

2. Centralized lead management: All your leads are managed from one central location, simplifying lead tracking and response management. This ensures you take advantage of every opportunity and efficiently engage with your prospects.

3. Maintain context: The "unibox" provides a 360-degree view of all your customer messages, allowing you to maintain context and deliver more personalized and effective responses.

How does Smartlead ensure my emails don't land in the spam folder?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Smartlead, the best cold email marketing tool, ensures your emails reach the intended recipients' primary inbox rather than the spam folder. 

Here's how it works:
1. Our "unlimited warmups" feature is designed to build and maintain a healthy sending reputation for your cold email outreach. Instead of sending a large volume of emails all at once, which can trigger spam filters, we gradually ramp up your sending volume. This gradual approach, combined with positive email interactions, helps boost your email deliverability rates.

2. We deploy high-deliverability IP servers specific to each campaign. 

3. The ‘Warmup’ feature replicates humanized email sending patterns, spintax, and smart replies.
4. By establishing a positive sender reputation and gradually increasing the number of sent emails, Smartlead minimizes the risk of your emails being flagged as spam. This way, you can be confident that your messages will consistently land in the primary inbox, increasing the likelihood of engagement and successful communication with your recipients.

Can I integrate Smartlead with other tools I'm using?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Certainly, Smartlead is designed for seamless integration with a wide range of tools and platforms. Smartlead offers integration with HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, Clay, Listkit, and more. You can leverage webhooks and APIs to integrate the tools you use. Try Now!

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What type of businesses sees the most success with Smartlead?

No, there are no limitations on the number of channels you can utilize with Smartlead. Our multi-channel infrastructure is designed to be limitless, allowing you to reach potential customers through multiple avenues without constraints.

This flexibility empowers you to diversify your cold email outreach efforts, connect with your audience through various communication channels, and increase your chances of conversion. Whether email, social media, SMS, or other communication methods, Smartlead's multi-channel capabilities ensure you can choose the channels that best align with your outreach strategy and business goals. This way, you can engage with your prospects effectively and maximize the impact of your email outreach.

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Do you provide me with lead sources?

Smartlead distinguishes itself from other cold email outreach software by focusing on limitless scalability and seamless integration. While many similar tools restrict your outreach capabilities, Smartlead offers a different approach.

Here's what makes us uniquely the best cold email software:

1. Unlimited Mailboxes: In contrast to platforms that limit mailbox usage, Smartlead provides unlimited mailboxes. This means you can expand your outreach without any arbitrary constraints.

2. Unique IP Servers: Smartlead offers unique IP servers for every campaign it sends out. 

3. Sender Reputation Protection: Smartlead protects your sender reputation by auto-moving emails from spam folders to the primary inbox. This tool uses unique identifiers to cloak all warmup emails from being recognized by automation parsers. 

4. Automated Warmup: Smartlead’s warmup functionality enhances your sender reputation and improves email deliverability by maintaining humanized email sending patterns and ramping up the sending volume. 

5. Multi-Channel Emphasis: Smartlead places a strong emphasis on multi-channel outreach. You can reach your prospects where they are with the LinkedIn outreach feature.   With Smartlead’s cold email automation software, you're always one step ahead in your outreach efforts, enjoying the freedom to scale your initiatives and seamlessly integrate with other tools—all while maintaining a focus on maximizing the impact of your outreach.

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How secure is my data with Smartlead?

Ensuring the security of your data is Smartlead's utmost priority. We implement robust encryption methods and stringent security measures to guarantee the continuous protection of your information. Your data's safety is paramount to us, and we are always dedicated to upholding the highest standards of security.

How can I get started with Smartlead?

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Getting started with Smartlead is straightforward! Just head over to our sign-up page and follow our easy step-by-step guide. If you ever have any questions or need assistance, our round-the-clock support team is ready to help, standing by to provide you with any assistance you may require. Sign Up Now!

How can I reach the Smartlead team?

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We're here to assist you! You can easily get in touch with our dedicated support team on chat. We strive to provide a response within 24 hours to address any inquiries or concerns you may have.

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