How to Rocketboost Your Cold Email Outreach Click Rate

Think about the last unsolicited email that you actually clicked or replied to. What was it about the email that made you want to follow through on the call-to-action?

How to Rocketboost Your Cold Email Outreach Click Rate: rocket

Chances are, the email you responded to DID NOT look like this:

bad cold email example

What a nightmare. If this email isn’t sitting in your spam folder right now, no doubt if you got it you would flag it as spam.

The thing is, “Mahesh” could be a perfectly reputable digital marketing expert. He could very well put me on the first page of Google…

…But you’d never know it from this awful automated email. It raises several red flags, and most of us would never respond to it.

Let’s use the example of “Mahesh and the Awful Email” as a cautionary tale.

We’ll discuss WHY this email doesn’t earn a response, and what you can do to ensure YOUR cold outreach emails get the clicks they deserve.

First of all, let’s take another look at Mahesh’s email, but this time, let’s flag the problems:

6 mistakes in the cold email

Okay: we’ve got six major problems here, plus a seventh one that we’ll talk about in a bit.

Let’s break them down and discuss how to solve them.

1. No personalization.

According to a study by Experian Marketing Services:

Personalized promotional emails deliver 41 percent higher click rates.

But 70% of brands fail to use them.


That’s a HUGE wasted opportunity, don’t you think?

Solution: More thorough prospect research and email personalization tools.

Having the first names of the prospects on your email list and using it as a merge field in the body of your email can skyrocket your click-through rate.

Email personalization is easier than ever with email automation tools like Reply. It adds merge fields like recipient’s first names and customizes the message according to the referral source.

If all you have is a prospect’s email address without a first name, how can you get that information?

Go to LinkedIn and search for your prospect’s name and job title using their extension.

Check out what happened when I searched for “”:

LinkedIn search results

As you can see, there are several employees of on LinkedIn. They all could be great prospects, depending on the purpose of your offer.

In this scenario, let’s stick with the purpose of Mahesh’s email, which is to improve SEO.

The best prospect for an SEO service is a digital marketing or business growth decision maker.

Nick Timmins is the founder AND growth strategist for this SaaS. So he’d be the best guy to contact– or could easily direct us to whoever handles their SEO decisions.

Now we have our prospect’s first name for a merge field, as well as his job title.

Let the personalization begin!

Let’s take a look at the next problem– which is that there’s no problem.

2. No description of a problem or a compelling reason to respond.

If you don’t prove understanding of your prospect’s problem, your solution has no meaning.

Including a meaningful call to action offer is the most effective way to improve email click-through rates.

The key word here is “meaningful.”

So how can we make this email more meaningful to our prospect?

Solution: Use an email template with great copy.

Email copywriting uses psychological triggers to inspire emotions in your prospect so they will make a decision.

There are dozens of killer copywriting formulas out there. I’m going to show you a few quick-and-easy ones that will get the prospect interested enough to take action with a click or a response.

The following templates have three things in common:

  • 5 sentences or less (anything more would lose their attention)
  • Personalized with name & job title
  • All identify a problem that the product will solve and the benefits the solution can provide.

Now it’s time for a cold email makeover.

Formula #1: Problem-Agitation-Solution (PAS)

Formula #1 cold email template: Problem-Agitation-Solution

Formula #2: Attention-Interest-Desire-Action (AIDA)

Formula #2 cold email template: Attention-Interest-Desire-Action

Formula #3: Before-After-Bridge (BAB)

Formula #3 cold email template: Before-After-Bridge

Formula #4: Brevity-Blunt-Basic (BBB)

Formula #4 cold email template: Brevity-Blunt-Basic

There’s only one referring link in each email template (other than the LinkedIn button in the signature, but we’ll talk about that in a sec). This guides the prospect to click and land exactly where you want him to.

Not sure which template will work with your prospects? Create a few variants within a segment so you can test to see which template has the best click rate.


3. No relevance to recipient’s industry, profession, or interests.

This goes hand-in-hand with email personalization.

It’s clear from the original message the only thing Mahesh knows about me is my website isn’t on the first page of Google.

Well, so are billions of other companies. Part of the reason his email landed in my spam folder was because it’s obvious Mahesh sent this email blast to thousands of recipients.

Solution: Segmentation will keep your email campaigns smaller, more personalized, and less spammy.

Segmented email campaigns have a 58.99% higher clickthrough rate (CTR) than non-segmented campaigns.

Reply makes it easy to create segmented campaigns. It will narrow your focus and send customized messages to targeted groups. As a result, your outreach campaign will be more relevant to your prospects’ needs.
And relevancy = clicks.

Here are some ways you can create segmentations:

  • By referral source (i.e. contacts from a trade show, emails gathered from a company website, etc.)
  • By job title (i.e. “CEOs”, “marketing directors”, “graphic designers,”)
  • By company type (i.e. “small business”, “enterprise,” “Fortune 500 brand”)
  • By region/city/neighborhood (i.e. “Australasia,” “Twin Cities area,” “Westerville, OH”)
  • By outcome desired (i.e. “webinar sign-up,” “consultation,” “trial offer”)
  • By interest/problem (i.e. “no health insurance,” “home-buying research,” “MMA fans”)

Those are just a few examples. The more specific your segmentation is, the more personalized your message will be. And that will result in higher click-through rates.

4. No relevant benefits.

Good cold email copy focuses on “what’s in it for me.” That is, describing how the prospect will enjoy giving your product a try or giving you a call.
In this case, Mahesh promises to get me on “the first page of Google,” which will “help them find me.”

First of all, who are “they” and why would I want “them” to find me? Secondly, why is replying to Mahesh worth my time?

Solution: Better Call-to-Action

Take a look at the template examples above. They all include a statement about the benefits of using the SEO service, AND the benefits of getting in touch with the sender:

  • “call so we can help your team skyrocket your growth”
  • “get in touch so we can explore how we can help you get more traffic and sales”

5. Grammatical errors.

It’s clear from the grammar mistakes that Mahesh isn’t a native English speaker. English is my second language as well, and this isn’t a big problem.

But when your errors get in the way of the clear expression of ideas, it hurts your chances of getting a response.

Solution: Proofreading Tools

Before you hit “send” on that email, copy and paste it into editing apps like Hemingway or Grammarly. Both apps identify spelling and grammar problems and make suggestions on how to improve them.

They’ll make your emails easier to read, and they’ll help you improve your writing skills!

6. No contact information in signature.

The internet is swarming with viruses, phishing schemes, and scammers. Why the heck would anyone click on a link from a complete stranger?

Solution: Create a professional email signature

An email signature should build trust, give your prospect the opportunity to learn more about you, and increase the likelihood of a response. Here’s what it should include:

  • Full name
  • Job title
  • Company Name (with link to website)
  • Social media links (LinkedIn at the very least to prove your credentials)
  • Phone number
  • Physical address (this is required under anti-spam law- you can place it in the footer space so it doesn’t make your signature too top heavy)
  • An opt-out message (again, required by law and can be placed in footer space)

7. No follow-up.

After the first email, I never heard from Mahesh, the mysterious digital marketing expert again.

Not surprising, considering that 44% of sales reps give up after one follow-up email. Which is counterintuitive, since 80% of sales result after 5 follow-ups.

If the average sales rep is too busy to follow up on every cold prospect, what can we do to send enough follow-ups to earn responses, clicks, and eventually sales?

Solution: Email Outreach Automation

      An automation tool like Reply helps you segment your lists, personalizes your content and creates email sequences. So you can

let Reply reach out and follow-up with your prospects automatically until they reply.

    And you don’t have to worry about being a nuisance.

    Once you’ve received a response, Reply removes the prospect from the campaign so you can personally interact with them and close the deal.

Now it’s up to you: give these improvements a try and watch your click rates soar.

Let me know what did or didn’t work for you. Leave a comment, or email me at [email protected]

Comments (3)

I hate emails with zero personalization. Better to send out a handful of personalized, thoughtful emails than thousands of robotic, clearly automated messages.

The sales copy section of this post is really helpful. I like #4 the best! #brevity

Hi Oleg! Personalization really makes an outreach stand out and appealing. Thanks for the awesome tips! Would like to know, do you think follow up emails should also need a personalized approach?

Emmerey Rose
[email protected]

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