2018 Cold Email Campaign Benchmarks (Based on 100,000+ Emails)

One of the most common questions GuessBox users ask me is what kind of results they can expect to get in a cold email campaign.

Instead of continuing to provide email benchmarks to individual users I thought I would create a full list of benchmarks valid as of 2018.

So next time you or your colleagues are wondering whether your email campaign is successful you can refer to the following benchmarks.

Note: These are true as of 1,000 campaigns run for clients with list sizes ranging from 1,000 to 50,000. A total of over 100,000+ emails were sent to come to these results.

Here you go, here are The 2018 Cold Email Campaign Benchmarks.

Note: A PDF of this report can be downloaded here where you'll find more a detailed account of what is included below along with some concise figures to use a guide.

Deliverability Rates: 80% -95%

This is assuming you're using a non-blacklisted IP / server. We like to recommend SendGrid as our ESP of choice.

Open Rates: 60% - 65%

Interestingly we have found a solid 10% -15% drop from late 2016-2017 when rates were closer to 70% - 80%

Response Rates: 15% - 30%+

This assumes first touch email, obviously, if you are doing manual or automatic follow-ups the total number would be higher by the end of your email sequence.

So make this a note to self, always follow up ideally within 24 hours of the first reply or if there is no reply keep following up until you receive one.

Email Benchmarks 2018 Statistics

We found the following intervals work best:

Day 1: First touch
Day 3: Follow up 1
Day 5: Follow up 2 (assuming no reply)
Day 8: Follow up 3
Day 11: Follow up 4
Day 13: Follow up 5

Clickthrough Rates: 0.5%-3%

This refers to the percentage of email views (impressions) divided by clicks on links within the email.

Again, the number is somewhat biased and is based on the first touch email not on the total number based on subsequent follow-ups.

Positively Geared Conversions: 30% - 50% of response rate.

A positively geared conversion is a response from people indicating your objective, be it a meeting sign up, subscription to a trial or otherwise.

Obviously different emails (and objectives and call to actions work better for different audiences). The most common one we found that works well across the board is a push to a meeting upon which sell, upsell or add your prospect to your sales cycle.

Please read 7 Easy Ways To Generate Rapport With an Email Lead and 7 Simple Ways To Avoid The Spam Folder for a general guide of what you should and shouldn't include in your email. And finally for an all-around guide to get you started read: The 2017 B2B Outbound Email Marketing Cheatsheet

Spam Rate: 0.5% - 1%

This is pretty self-explanatory what percentage of your emails got labelled as spam. You can get your spam rate by making sure you are contacting the job titles most relevant to your offering.

Unsubscription Rate: 0.5% -1.5%

Always, always give your prospects and options to stop receiving your emails, follow-ups or otherwise.

Mobile Email Marketing

Mobile Email Marketing

I couldn't do a post about benchmarks without distinguishing that results on mobile devices vary in comparison to desktop devices. In fact, so far in 2018 there has been a 12% growth in mobile email engagement.

Takeaway: Approximately 50%+ of your emails will be read on your prospects mobile phone. Keep this in mind when crafting your email. Most people choose to skim over emails they receive on their cellphone in passing and then return to them later. Problem is, if your message wasn't engaging enough they will probably forget and your email will probably be buried somewhere in their inbox.

With this mind, make sure your landing pages or even the websites you link to in your professional email signature. are mobile optimized as there is a high chance your emails will be read on a mobile device.

Types of emails that work best in 2018.

  • Highly personalized (this goes without saying)
  • Short (five sentences or less)
  • Offer a product, service or solution that can be mutually beneficial and ties into previous research done about the company.
  • Don't include the following list of spam trigger words

Types of B2B industries performing best in 2018 for cold email campaigns:

  • Internet Marketing
  • Computer Software
  • Financial Services
  • SAAS
  • Consultancy
  • Lead Generation
  • Electronics
  • Advertising
  • Retail

(to name a few)

The Things That Don't Work

  • Up(sells) to events, calls to sign up to newsletters, buy now buttons (in cold emails)
  • Long explanations of your product and why your customer MUST have it. (Comes off spammy)
  • Sending emails from an unverified/unauthenticated domain. People's standards have increased if your email looks cheap (that includes no free emails @yahoo, @gmail, @hotmail etc)
  • Not doing research about the most effective people in your target organization to contact. This is a big one, I've seen great campaigns go to waste because the leads users were emailing had no power (nor care) to make the decision the user desired.
  • Trying to cold email your prospects through services like MailChimp.

Please refer to the PDF for a more comprehensive breakdown of everything we have experienced from December 2017 - January 2018.

In short, email is still the most effective and affordable means of customer acquisition. If you want to learn more about how to create cold email campaigns that consistently convert please join our upcoming webinar titled, GuessBox's Email Secrets: Strategies to Skyrocket Your Custom Acquisition via Email.

Click the link above to register now, it's absolutely free but only for the first 25 attendees!

This is the first and probably ONLY Webinar the GuessBox team will ever do. Why? Because once the information is out there, it's out there. We don't believe in rehashing old information.

Don't like webinars?

You can always contact us for a free quote and consultancy session to see if GuessBox.io is right for you.

Merry emailing in 2018.