Like their older sister the cold call, cold outreach emails aren’t the most effective way to grab a potential client’s attention. According to a recent analysis from Backlinko, only 8.5% of all outreach emails receive a response. But it’s not all bad news. The study’s research suggests several ways to boost your response rates, followed by the amount of improvement:

  • Longer subject lines between 36-50 characters (32.7%)
  • Personalized subject lines (30.5%)
  • Personalized body copy (32.7%)
  • Emails to multiple contacts (no more than five (93%)
  • Follow-up message after sending initial email (65.8%)

The bottom line? No matter how you reach out to new and prospective customers, authentic content is the best way to engage your audience. “Authentic content” means that you keep the focus on the customer. For example, instead of providing a rote list of your services or products in an email, focus on how they benefit the customer or solve a customer problem.

Authentic content also means relevant content. People spend an average time of 11.1 seconds reading email, so you need to grab their attention quickly — and use your words wisely. While personalized subject lines and body copy are critical, avoid the temptation to oversell your services with a long-winded email. If you’re addressing multiple contacts in a single email, keep the list to five or fewer. Backlinko’s analysis found that your outreach email loses efficacy when you reach out to too many people. And remember that follow-up email is just that — keep the message personalized, and don’t repeat the entire content of the original email.

As we wrote in our last blog, email reigns supreme in customer communication. Although only a handful of people will read your outreach email, these tips can help you capture the ones who do.