Email Reply Rate 101
60% of marketers look at conversion rates to measure the effectiveness of an email campaign: making Reply Rate the ultimate metric of outreach email campaigns and the overall lead generation process. The ISP, getting past the spam filters, deliverability, subject lines, tools, email copy — everything leads up to this.
More reply rates mean higher chances of scheduling client meetings, more leads, and more deals closed.
Email Reply Rate
(Unique Responses Received
Number of Emails Delivered)
At The Scalelab, we send thousands of emails (with an average reply rate of 30-50%). So, here’s giving out everything we know about email reply rates, including:
Why Are Your Emails Not Getting a Response?
How to Get Replies from Prospects on Your Emails?
6 Tools to Track & Boost Your Email Reply Rate
Why Your Outreach Emails Are Not Getting Responses?
The first things to prioritize while targeting high reply rates are:
 Email Deliverability Rates, and
 Email Open Rates.
A low reply rate often signals that either your email did not reach your prospect’s inbox or was never opened. Check that your email deliverability and open metrics are in place — to ensure a higher probability of getting replies to your outreach emails.
Now, moving on to the other major factors that impact email reply rate, which include:
Promotion overkill (sales-y emails are a major turn-off)
Lengthy email copy 😴💤
No creativity in emails
Using a no-reply email address
Simply put: Your prospect didn’t find anything interesting in your email worth replying to.
We know, we know, so many things can go wrong. But we’ll tell you how to make it right. That leads us to the next question...
How to Get Replies from Prospects on Your Emails?
When we talk about getting a response to your cold outreach emails, the most crucial thing to understand here is:
Your prospect’s behavior and psychology.
Because nothing would work if your email is not targeted to the right customer base. For this:
→ Work on finding your exact buyer persona, and niching down their characteristics, like age, demographics, industry, job title, etc. — details relevant to your email.
→ Use these extracted data points to understand your prospect: their likes/dislikes, preferences, ideal time when they’re likely to open their email, industry updates, etc. — to make your email relevant, ultra-targeted, and hyper-personalized.
Now… there’s no one sure-shot formula that makes your prospect hit that Reply button. But, multiple factors increase the chances of your email getting a response.
Winning Copy Tips that Seal the Email Deal
Your email copy bears most of the weight of your email marketing campaigns. If this doesn’t stand out and catches your prospect’s attention, the email reply rate is a gone case. To avoid this nightmare-ish situation, use these tested copy techniques to improve your email reply rates.
The AIDA Model
Adored by seasoned copywriters, this classic model tailors your email copy according to each stage of customer interaction. A great AIDA-based email copy first grabs Attention, sparks Interest, creates Desire, and finally leads to Action.
The Rule of One
Having everything going on at once can be a bit overwhelming. More so, when your prospect has 3 pending meetings, and a dozen other emails to reply to. Likewise for the email copy.
This is one of the most basic rules, which states that your email copy should revolve around:
- One big idea
- One customer
- One story
- One specific promise
- One call-to-action.
More options mean your ideas compete with each other, ultimately, confusing the prospect.
So, employ the rule of one, ending with the action you want them to take, and consequently, reply to your email.
Be Conversational: Write Like You Talk
Your prospects are swamped with emails already. The same, old, standard boring emails going on like a bot… Steer away from that. Why add to the boring clutter of corporate jargon?
Your prospects do not have the time to find the meaning of the word they don’t understand or an idea they do not follow. So: Write like a human. For a human.
Here are a few tips you can follow:
- Use first-person (I, me, my, our) and second-person (you, your) pronouns.
- Avoid complex, technical words (jargons) — unless highly industry-specific.
- Let grammar take a backseat. If you want to start a sentence with a preposition, so be it. Make your email talk. But, don’t ever confuse you're with your. 🙄
- Keep the sentences short and words simple.
- Change your paragraph when you change your point.
- Write something relatable which gives them a common ground for conversation: like a recent industry event, news, or asking if the prospect likes pineapple on their pizza! 🍕
Keep it Short & Relevant
Your prospects are running busy, always short on time, and need solutions quickly. Long descriptive emails about 10 different things read like lazy drawls. So, keep your email copy to the point, concise, and strictly focused on the value you offer to your prospect.
Avoid unnecessary phrases like:
❌ If you are interested in this…
❌ Let me know of a feasible schedule to…
❌ We are looking forward to any…
Instead, write this:
✅ Are you free Mon or Tue for a 10/15 min chat? [Proposing a day/time increases chances of getting a reply, either positive or negative.]
✅ I’d love to hear what you’re planning with [company_name] in 2021.
✅ [read below] 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼
“But I get it, sometimes replying to emails takes time. To make it easy on your end, you can pick a time that suits you best on my calendly here.”
Focus on Benefits Over Features
Your prospects do not want a good email copywriter. They want more chances of landing up customers. Highlight that “benefit” in your email copy, rather than selling your product feature directly.
❌ Our email marketing tool comes with an activity dashboard and spam checker.
[Prospect’s mind: So what do I do?]
✅ Our email marketing tool helps you generate & convert 40% more leads.
[Prospect’s mind: Oooh! I would love that!!!]
Here’s one of our emails that got us the highest reply rates:
Email Personalization: The Key for Email Marketing Success
Statistics tell that people who use personalization tools get double-digit returns in marketing response. The real question is how? We’ll tell you:
Focus on the Prospect & Personalize
Businesses have recorded a whopping 760% increase in email revenues from personalized email campaigns. Personalized emails indicate that the person writing the email has taken out time to study them, is aware of the prospect’s problems, their expectations, thus increasing the chances of getting a response.
Good sales emails are centered around the prospect and their interests. Remember it’s not about you, or your company, or your services. It is always about:
- Is the problem you propose a pressing issue to your prospect?
- How does your solution help them?
- What is in it for them?
Shift your focus from “we, our, my & us” → “you & your”.
Personalize According to Your Prospect’s Personality
When writing an email, use action words, tone, and emotions that work the best for your prospect. Does she prefer a subtle introduction of your company, or does she like a more direct approach?
It might not seem effective at a surface level but does a great job at creating a subconscious liking, and inducing a reply to the cold email.
❌ “Hello, we offer exceptional lead generation services for all companies…”
[Neither communicates the product’s benefit nor the relevance to the customer. Not personalized.]
✅ “Sam, At The Scalelab, we help companies like XYZ grow rapidly by generating quality leads for their sales team…”
[Establishes a direct relevance of the email to the prospect. Personalized, and increases credibility by using past clientele.]
At The Scalelab, we recommend AI tools like CrystalKnows — that give you amazing insights into your prospect’s personality. Install it as a Chrome extension and use it on LinkedIn to analyze your prospect’s personality.
Optimize Your Email For Mobiles
Mobile devices accounted for 41.9% of all opened emails. With more people using emails actively on mobile each day, optimize your copy to see how your email looks and reads on the small mobile screens of your prospect. A/B test to identify gaps and make changes.
Add A Unique Element that Stands Out in Your Email
At The Scalelab, our role is to grab prospects’ attention from the very first interaction. The 2000+ meetings we scheduled last year sure helped us perfect this art. And we recommend the same for getting replies on the emails as well:
Who doesn’t like a good laugh? Or even a smile? Some light humor greatly increases your chances of getting an email response. Step away from boring, strictly formal mails and try something different. Corporate jokes, puns, and light humor go a long way.
P.S. — Tread carefully on this path. Too many jokes and you’ll come off as weird, or worse, try-hard. We know you don’t want that! 😶
Use Gifs & Emojis
No, they do not come off as childish unless used like 😄😆😅😊🙂😉☺️. When used with restraint, emojis convey more than words, captures attention with that little dash of color, and shoots up chances of getting a reply. A/B test them in subject lines and we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.
As for gifs, no arguments here. When used right, gifs are totally…
Make it Unavoidable
It’s an age-old trick 😉 — Creating some urgency and FOMO with email copy works wonders. Use this hack in your email subject lines (inducing prospects to open up your email), and follow it up in the email copy (to render a quick response).
Make it Obvious & Easy
Ask something so easy and quick that your prospect has to reply to the email. Questions are compelling and when the right ones are asked, reply rates go out of the roof. This works best when writing follow-up emails. Ask simple questions or choices like:
- Are you a coffee or a tea person?
- We heard you liked pineapple on pizza? 😳
- If you use LinkedIn, you might wanna know…
READ MORE: Email Subject Lines That Work
6 Tools to Track & Boost Reply Rates
Reply.io: tracks your email metrics after the campaign launch, including reply rate.
RightInbox: tells you who reads your email, clicks on attachments, and the frequency.
SalesHandy: sends instant desktop notifications every time someone opens and clicks your email campaign. It’s free to use and works for Gmail & Outlook emails.
MailTrack: chrome extension that tracks Gmail campaigns and offers an overview of email engagement metrics in the dashboard.
MailChimp: for designing, A/B testing, executing, and monitoring all your email campaigns in one place.
[our favorite] LemList: to personalize your email sequences with images, gifs, checking important email metrics (like deliverability, spam rate, open rate, etc.), A/B testing, design, schedule, and running email campaigns. Basically, it does everything! 💜
Wrapping It Up…
You’ve cleared all the hurdles and your email got delivered successfully. Your subject line is on-point, the preview text is amazing, and your prospect quickly opened the mail. And now — your prospect is likely to reply to your email. Thanks to the tips above! Summing up…
All 3 email metrics are interlinked: great email deliverability increases the probability of email open rates, and thus, higher chances of email reply.
Write an email copy that stands out, grabs your prospect’s attention, to increase the probability of email response.
Use email segmentation based on your target person’s data points and personalize your emails to boost reply rates.
Don’t shy away from unconventional creativity (humor, gifs, & questions).
Leverage tools to measure, analyze, & improve email reply rate.
Always A/B test your emails!
And that’s a wrap!
There’s no one recipe to create an email copy that always works. Experiment, try out different things, learn about your prospects & always test your emails before sending. The only thing to remember: focus on your prospect, write to help & provide value, and…
Be Human 🙂
Over to you, Scaler.