When Brian Dean speaks, I listen.
And recently he took a slight detour from his gold-laden SEO advice to publish a study over at Backlinko on cold email outreach that I thought was fascinating.
- Ignorance is our default mode for emails received without prior consent. They found that “only 8.5% of all outreach emails receive a response.” That seems high actually, so I’m assuming “a response” includes such email replies as “UNSUBSCRIBE!!!” and “HOW DID YOU GET MY EMAIL!?” Nonetheless, the point is that we all have a well-developed email B.S. detector.
- You’ve gotta follow up. Most office workers have 100+ new emails to sort through each day. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Backlinko study found: “While sending 3 or more messages results in the best overall response rate, sending just one additional follow-up can boost replies by 65.8%.”
- Personalization and specificity. (a.k.a. Be a real person and do the work.) The study shows marked increases in response rates for more specific subject lines and personalized email body copy. To this I say… duh. This point from “David” in the comments sums it up nicely: “A 50% response on 20 personal emails vs a 10% response on 100 emails would still net you the same amount (10) of responses, and the first group would probably actually talk to you again in the future.”
Note: The examples they use (and from what I can tell the data used for the study as well) are within the context of content marketing and “influencer” cold outreach. So take that with a grain of salt re: consulting lead generation. That said, I’m fully comfortable extrapolating their overarching findings to cold outreach used four our area of focus.
Here’s the link again: