20+ Astonishing Cold Email Statistics in 2020

Written by: Muninder

Updated: April, 14, 2023

Cold emailing has changed a lot in these early days. 

Getting people to open your cold emails is a very big ask. If your emails are opened by none then you could waste your irresistible offers and finely crafted sales pitch. 

Cold email is just like a dart that is thrown in the dark. It might hit or not, but it is important to throw the dart the right way in order to increase the chances of hitting the bulls-eye. 

For salespeople and Marketing people who could do cold email the right way, I have observed response rates from 15 to 20 percent.  Some companies have a 44 percent response rate to their cold emails. 

 In this guide, I’ll go over everything you need to know about Cold emailing. 

 I’ve got you covered with the following topics:

  • Cold emailing facts
  • Cold emailing benchmarks
  • Cold emailing tips
  • Cold Email Open rates and Conversion rates.
  • Targeted cold email statistics
  • Cold emailing software 

Let’s dive into some stats of the Cold emailing 

Cold emailing stats and facts

Here are a few useful facts and interesting statistics about cold emails:

  • Open rates can be increased by around 22% by including the recipient’s name in the subject line.

According to Adestra, It’s very simple to include the recipient’s name in the subject line but it has a dramatic effect on the open rates.


  • Realistic targets can be set by using the industry average open rates. 

According to Mailchimp’s research, open rates may range from 15.22% to 28.46% which varies by industry. It’s a baseline that gives results against the industry average. 


  • Catchy subject lines could increase open rates

A certain amount of time should be spent on the subject line as 30% of the people would open the email based on the subject line. 

Many email recipients will be using their mobile devices, a short subject line could be beneficial. 

Also, 69% of the email recipients will report an email as spam because of long subject lines. So, avoiding language which is overly sales can reduce the spamming of email. 


  • Improve your targeting.

The target lists should be small and tightly defined to be a successful cold emailer. You need to monitor just than the open rate. 86% of the open rate is not good if you are not receiving any replies. If this happens then it’s time to revisit your subject line rather than giving up on cold emailing. 

Undelivered emails can bring your open rates down and increase costs with your email service provider.   

There are some ways to narrow down the target list and verify the addresses in your email marketing list in the database.  

More than 20 million cold emails were analyzed by Woodpecker and reported that if you narrow down the target it can increase the open rate. 


  • Reply rates can be improved with personalized emails. 

Custom snippets like {{first_name}} or {{company_name}} can help you to ensure your emails speak to email recipients directly. 

Personalized emails will work as the recipient can see that you took the time to write them personally with some interest. 

A little bit of research on your prospects can help you go a long way to increase reply rates.

Woodpecker has included advanced personalization through snippets and discovered that they could increase the reply rates to 17%(from 7%). 


  • Split testing can also improve open rates. 

Open rates can be increased by a whopping 49% with A/B split testing in your campaigns.

Split testing is squaring one email off against the other to see which one gets the best results and use the winner as a new test to create another variation with slight variations. 

You will be surprised at changing one little word can make a huge difference after a split test. Maybe that is why over 59% of companies are A/B testing their email campaigns.


  • Increase reply rates by email follow up.

Regardless of your prospect reach out, follow up is the most important thing to increase the reply rate in cold emails. 

Woodpecker has campaigned with 4 to 7 emails per sequence and scored 3 times more responses when compared campaigns with 1 to 3 emails. 

Campaigns with even longer sequences have achieved a 27% reply rate and shorter campaigns manage to have a 9% reply rate. 


Cold emailing benchmarks

Benchmarks are a great way to know if the right things are done or not with cold emailing campaigns. No one can assure you what numbers can your business needs to hit to be successful. So you need some things to compare your numbers to these metrics:

  1. Benchmarks are minimal: hitting an open rate of 30% and a conversion rate of 50% will not be enough to celebrate. It just means that you are going on the right path and no need to make serious changes.
  2. Context is everything: Every Industry, Business and Market is different. Also, Your metrics may be different but you end up hitting lower numbers which is a rarity. Benchmarks make sense in 99% of the cases. 
  3. You need not rebuild the entire funnel if you’re close to a benchmark: you can make some drastic changes if your numbers are wildly off. But, it’s better to focus on incremental growth if you are slightly below the benchmark. Tracking the metrics month-on-month and using experiments can get your numbers up. (blogclose)

Cold emailing tips

Some tips and tricks that will work well for you in making cold email effective are below: 

  • Bring only the good stuff to people.

It’s very simple as it’s been said. Most of the high-level executives get bombarded with emails every day. But, if you send some interesting stuff to them, they will respond and engage. If you send some crap then they will never respond in the near future.

  • Get to the point quickly.

The attention span of the recipients is at an all-time low. You need to grab them within the first two sentences itself. Ensure that recipients are getting engaged with email and make them read the rest of the email too.

  • Keep it informal. 

Being formal looks weird as if you haven’t done real business. However, you should check spelling, facts, etc. 

You could start an email with something like, “Hi Jamie — Hope this email finds you well.” 

  • Be confident. 

As of the first rule — you will be confident enough if you bring people the good stuff. Deliver the message in a way that you have something worthy and you deserve to be working with them. They will appreciate and elevate you for whatever you are pitching them. 

  • Know who you are emailing to. 

Sloppiness equals no response. If you are emailing someone about a potential partnership, don’t copy-paste your email and forget to change it throughout the message. It may take 30 seconds to run through the email before sending it to the right person with the right info. 


Email Open rates, average business email open rates

  • In 2019, the global average open rate dropped to 22.1%, a decrease of 8% when compared to 2018. 

The global average open rate for email between 2015 and 2018 was hovering at 24%. 


Average cold email open rate by industry

  • The average open rate across all the industries is 22.15% in 2019.

If the open rate is 23% or higher, then you are doing great in the business. 


Response rates of cold emails 

The average response rate of a cold email is 1%. For every 100 people, you are getting through only one person. (probably bothering the other 99 people)


Case study: 

Ambition.com, a company that helps to increase the employee productivity of companies
through software, ran a cold email campaign to get 73 new leads. 
The company has cold emailed nearly 600 prospects with a response rate of 1%. They have
used follow up emails and could increase the response rate to about 12.6%.
So, sheer persistence is the easiest way to boost your response rates. 


Cold email conversion rates

  • In 2020, the conversion rate of a cold email is 15.11%.

The average conversion rate peaked at 18.49% in 2018. Then conversion rate had a significant pullback in 2019 and 2020. 

According to Custora E-commerce Pulse, email has accounted for 19.8% of all transactions in which trailing paid search is at 19.9% and organic traffic at 21.8%. 


ROI on Cold Emailing campaigns 

54.9% revenue per email was generated by Email my cart campaigns than the second-highest campaign type(cart abandonment emails), and also 168% better average. 

  • Average ROI – $38 for every $1 invested, or 3,800%.
  • Top performers – 18% of businesses achieve ROI of more than $70 per $1 invested.
  • Low performers – 20% of businesses achieve ROI less than $5 per $1 invested. 
  • Segmented emails – Generated 36% of the total revenue of cold emailing
  • Triggered campaigns – Generated 306% more CTR per email than non- triggered emails. 


Cold email subject lines 

The usual advice given to write subject lines is to keep it short so as to be seen fully on a phone screen.

Some recommendations to the users after digging some data and crunching some numbers show that you gotta make it very short or long but specifically 45 characters. 

The sweet spots:

3-12 characters : 44% open rate

81-86 characters: 43% open rate

98-111 characters: 54% open rate

Surprisingly: 29-45 characters: 33% open rate


Cold Email content length

Content length should also be just like subject lines, make it short to the point, or very specific.

The sweet spots: 

200-400 characters: 3,5% response rate

900-1000 characters: 7,5% response rate

1400 – 1500 characters: 8% response rate


What is the best time to send cold emails

How to get your emails opened and responded to?

Here are the best options:

  1.  When your prospect gets to work you should be on the top of the pile.

The sweet spot: 

5AM-6AM: 37% open rate & 8% response rate

  1. Email your prospect when every competitor of yours have left the office.

The sweet spot:

7PM-9PM: 48% open rate – 8% response rate


Follow up emailing statistics

People are so busy these days. They may forget to reply to you; your email may get lost in the spam; 

Follow up email should be a must after a week. 

For Example:

“Hi, James, 
I hope you are well. I’m just following up on my previous email from last week to see 
if you had a chance to consider Get invited?
I’d love to have a quick chat with you to demonstrate how we could help you 
with your next event. 
Would any particular time suit me to give you a quick call?”

Many people do not get back until the second email, so do not give up on the first attempt.  


Top cold emailing software based on the number of users and user rating

Using a cold email tool is a surefire thing to boost your email conversions and outreach. 

To choose the right one in hundreds of such tools, here are the three key things to look for good cold email software. 

  1. Personalization features :  

It helps you to make very good connections with potential clients or customers. 

  1. Email tracking and Analytics:

It tracks your email response rates, open rates, and link clicks and you can modify your future emails accordingly. 

  1. Campaign Automation: 

It automates the process of creating and sending emails. Look for the software which can create mail lists, automates sending cold emails and follow-ups, and mass email personalization.


The top seven cold email software 

  • Reply.io
  • SalesHandy
  • Mailshake
  • AutoKlose
  • Prospect.io
  • Lemlist
  • Outreach.io 


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