In today’s digital age, email has become one of the most common and effective forms of communication. This is especially true for business-to-business (B2B) lead generation, where cold email campaigns are often used.
Cold email campaigns are a cost-effective and scalable strategy for initiating first contact with prospective clients. They allow businesses to reach out to a broad audience without any prior engagement.
However, getting your cold emails into the recipient’s inbox rather than their spam folder can be a significant challenge.
In this detailed guide, we shall explore the world of cold email deliverability and provide actionable tips to help you elevate your cold email campaigns for optimal B2B engagement.
What is cold emailing?
Cold emailing is the act of sending unsolicited emails to recipients who have not expressed prior interest or consent. It is a common practice in B2B sales and marketing, where businesses reach out to potential clients or customers to introduce their products or services.
One of the core advantages of cold email campaigns in B2B settings is their scalability.
In practice, cold emails are personalised and tailored to the recipient’s specific needs and interests, with the goal of initiating a conversation and ultimately driving a desired action.
What is email deliverability?
Email deliverability alludes to the ability of an email to successfully reach the recipient’s inbox without being flagged as ‘spam’, or outrightly rejected by the recipient’s email service provider (ESP).
In order to increase the likelihood of engagement and conversion, good email deliverability ensures that a B2B provider’s cold emails reach the intended recipients.
On the other hand, poor email deliverability can result in their emails being filtered out or marked as spam, significantly reducing the effectiveness of their cold email campaigns.
What is the success rate of cold emails?
The success rate of B2B cold emails may vary depending on specific factors, including the quality of your email list, the relevance of your content, and the effectiveness of your outreach strategy.
While there is no definitive success rate for cold emails, industry benchmarks suggest that an average response rate of 10-15% is considered successful.
However, it’s imperative to note that success rates may also vary widely depending on the industry, target audience, and quality of your cold email campaign.
What is a cold email strategy?
A cold email strategy is a methodical and well-planned approach to reaching out to potential clients or customers through email. It involves identifying your target audience, crafting personalised and compelling email content, and implementing effective outreach tactics.
A successful cold email strategy takes into account factors such as email deliverability, personalisation, timing, and frequency to maximise engagement.
Why do cold emails fail?
Failed cold email outreach is one of the challenges of B2B lead generation.
Cold emails can fail for various reasons, including poor email deliverability, lack of personalisation, generic or spammy content, and ineffective outreach tactics.
Email service providers use sophisticated algorithms to filter out spam emails and protect users from unwanted or unsolicited messages.
If your cold emails are not properly optimised and fail to meet the criteria set by these algorithms, they are more likely to end up in the spam folder or be rejected outright.
How do I increase cold email deliverability?
Here are some actionable tips to help you improve cold email deliverability:
1. Create effective subject lines
The subject line is the first thing recipients see whenever they receive your email. For the most part, the subject line plays a crucial role in determining whether recipients may open or ignore your message.
To avoid triggering spam filters and increase open rates, use concise, personalised subject lines that clearly convey the value or benefit of your email.
2. Begin with a low send volume
When starting a new cold email campaign, it is important to begin with a low send volume and gradually increase it over time. This allows you to establish a positive sending reputation and avoid being flagged as a spammer by email service providers.
By starting small and gradually scaling up, you can maintain a good sender reputation and maximise deliverability.
3. Create content that resonates
To engage recipients and increase the chances of a response, create content that is relevant, valuable, and personalised. Research your target audience and tailor your email content to their specific pain points and needs.
By providing valuable insights or solutions, you can establish credibility and build trust with the recipients.
4. Avoid spam triggers
Spam filters are expressly designed to identify and block emails that exhibit specific spam-like characteristics. To avoid triggering these filters, avoid using excessive capitalisation, excessive exclamation points, or misleading subject lines.
Additionally, steer clear of spam trigger words or phrases commonly used by spammers. Instead, focus on providing genuine value and personalisation in your cold emails.
5. Follow authentication protocols
It is important to follow authentication protocols like the Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) to make sure emails get delivered and build trust with email service providers.
These protocols verify the authenticity of your email and help prevent spoofing or phishing attempts.
6. Personalisation matters
Personalisation is key to increasing engagement and response rates in cold email campaigns. Always take sufficient time to research and understand your recipients’ needs, interests, and pain points, and tailor your email content accordingly.
Ensure to utilise merge tags to dynamically insert personalised information, such as the recipient’s name or company, in your emails.
7. Timing and frequency
The timing and frequency of your cold email campaigns can have a significant impact on deliverability and engagement. As such, avoid sending emails at times when recipients are less likely to be responsive, such as during weekends or holidays.
Additionally, be mindful not to overload recipients with too many emails within a short period of time. Space out your emails and find a balance that allows for consistent follow-up without overwhelming the recipient.
8. Use cold email software
To streamline your cold email campaigns and improve deliverability, consider using dedicated cold email software.
These tools often come with features designed explicitly for cold emailing, such as personalised sending, automated follow-ups, and analytics to track engagement and deliverability.
By using specialised software, you can optimise your cold email campaigns and increase the chances of reaching the inbox.
9. Check your sender score
Your sender score is a metric that indicates the reputation of your email-sending domain.
It is used by email service providers to determine whether to deliver your emails to your inbox or send them to the spam folder.
Regularly check your sender score using reputable tools or services, and take the necessary steps to improve it if needed. Maintaining a good sender score is essential for long-term cold email success.
10. Use a cold email domain for outbound mail
To separate your cold email campaigns from your main domain and protect your sender’s reputation, consider using a dedicated cold email domain.
This allows you to maintain the deliverability and reputation of your main domain while optimising your cold email campaigns for engagement and response.
11. Maintain clean email lists
Regularly clean and validate your email lists to ensure that you are reaching real and engaged recipients. Also, remove any invalid or inactive email addresses, as well as any recipients who have previously marked your emails as spam, or even unsubscribed from your list.
By maintaining your email list hygiene, you can improve deliverability and maximise engagement with your cold email campaigns.
12. Deploy opt-in process
Implementing an opt-in process ensures that you are only sending cold emails to recipients who have expressed interest in receiving communications from your organisation.
This not only improves deliverability but also helps to build a more engaged and responsive recipient base.
13. Use automation to increase efficiency
The use of automation tools can help streamline and improve the efficiency of your cold email marketing campaigns.
One may save time and resources by automating tasks such as sending emails, following up with recipients, and tracking. At the same time, one can maintain personalised and engaging communication with the people who receive their emails.
However, it is essential to make responsible use of automation and check that your emails continue to be personalised and pertinent after they have been generated.
All things considered, in today’s fast-paced digital landscape, email has undoubtedly risen as a cornerstone of communication in the realm of business-to-business (B2B) interactions.
Since B2B communication revolves around building relationships and nurturing leads to ultimately drive sales, cold emails are an instrumental tool in accomplishing these objectives.
Elevating cold email deliverability for optimal B2B engagement requires a methodical and strategic approach whilst adhering to best practices.
By religiously following the tips outlined in this guide, you can increase the chances of your cold emails reaching the inbox and engaging with your target audience.
Remember to continuously monitor and optimise your cold email campaigns to adapt to changes in spam filters and recipient preferences. With a strong focus on deliverability and personalisation, you can maximise the effectiveness of your cold email efforts and drive meaningful business outcomes.