How we make sure your prospecting emails get opened

Niko Rowe

Posted on: March 1, 2022

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Category: Email content

How we make sure your prospecting emails get opened

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Here’s something worth knowing about open rates:
Sopro prospecting emails enjoy a 30.4% open rate compared to the industry average of 18%.

Which is to say that your email will be read by 68.8% more prospects.

And, that’s great news, because that’s many more who are likely to respond, engage and become a lead.

So, we thought we’d share how it is that we can boost your open rate by so much, without even asking you to lift a finger.

Here are four of the steps we take to make sure your prospecting emails get opened.

  1. Use live data
  2. Optimise your send times
  3. Take account of your target sectors and roles
  4. Nail your subject line

1.     Use live data

Getting your email delivered is the first challenge in getting it opened – and relying on a bang up-to-date list of contacts is critical here.

As a rule of thumb, we change employers – or switch roles within a company – about once every three years. That’s 12 times over our working life – and the traditional B2B database simply cannot keep track with this rather irritating habit of ours.

Within two years only 45% of a static database is still viable – and after four years, just 20% will hit the intended inbox.

That’s why, at Sopro we only ever work with real live data sourced from reliable networks, such as LinkedIn, and scrupulously verified by our expert team.

We strongly suggest you do the same.

2.     Optimise your send times

The best time to send your prospecting email is not as soon as it is good to go.

We base our send times on our historic data to help us optimise our open rates. At last count we were deep-diving into over 25 million prospecting emails sent to 82 industries to look for the data that reveals the optimal time to send.

We use all of this to understand exactly the best time to send an email to each audience segment.

There’s not much difference when you look at overall open rates by day alone, but when you start factoring in specific hours, industries and job roles then it really becomes crystal-clear what the best time to send to specific types of individuals, with specific job functions in different industries. When you think about it when a CEO in a tech firm is open to new ideas and supplier relationships is likely to be quite different from an HR manager working in Oli and Gas…

You can have a play for yourself with our actual data to find out when your best times to send are (and a whole lot more): https://sopro.io/results/the-state-of-prospecting/

While every industry has its own specifics, there are a few patterns that apply regardless of the sector you are targeting.

  • Between 9am and 10am
  • There’s really not much in it open-wise, but Tuesdays and Fridays have a slightly decreased (0.1%) chance of flowing all the way through to becoming a juicy lead rate
     
  • Friday at 8am
     
  • Monday at 11am

Taken from our State of Prospecting 2022 report.

3.     Take account of your target industries and roles

If you’d like to understand exactly how a specific industry, job role or company size is likely to affect your open rates – or, for that matter, your response and lead rates – then our rather handy tool can help you crunch the data automatically and gain instant insight.

In case you were shy on our first invite:

Go ahead and have a play for yourself with our actual data to find out what’s impacting on your open rates (and a whole lot more): https://sopro.io/results/the-state-of-prospecting/

Here’s some headline figures to get you started:

Best industry open rates:

Media Production at 45.9% (get you!)

Worst industry open rates:

Defence & Space at 19.3% (get out of here!)  

Best role for opens:

90% of the job titles with the highest open rates include the word ‘Founder’ (aka ‘get in touch’)

Taken from our State of Prospecting 2022 report.

4.     Nail your subject line

Once you are in that inbox your prospect really doesn’t have much to go on as they decide whether to open, mark as spam, ignore or delete.

Here’s the three deciding factors that you are in control of when your mail pings into their inbox:

  • Your display name
  • Your subject line
  • The date and time sent and email size.

Without doubt the most significant of these is the subject line. We have pivoted and crunched the data from our 25 million plus emails to let you know what will get you more opens from your subject lines.

The full data is here, but the all-important action points are as follows.

Create an air of mystery

Try not to spell it out too much – leave them guessing. Quirky email subject lines that pique the curiosity can lead to a 2% higher open rate.

Keep it short

Super-short subject lines of just two word or those between five and 10 are most effective in getting your mail opened.

Character count

Fewer than 15 characters is the sweet spot and you are killing your chances if you include over 60.

Personalisation

Email subject lines that include the prospect’s name or company are more likely not to be opened – perhaps because it is a tactic associated with spam mass mailers?

This can be hard to do at scale but guess what it’s a piece of smart tech that we’ve developed and Sopro and is available to all our clients.

Being upfront

Mentioning your own company name, however, also boosts open rates – probably because transparency and honesty builds trust.

You and yours

Using ‘you’ or ‘yours’ works its magic in the subject line as it does in the prospecting email itself.

Discussions and partnerships

Any mention of involvement – such as a discussion or a partnership – works to produce those opens.

Taken from our State of Prospecting 2022 report.

Beyond the open rate…

Thankfully our data doesn’t just answer your questions about getting you emails opened – because, important as it is, that is only the start of the story.

Our data allows you to benchmark, analyse and improve every aspect of your prospecting campaign.

You can dive into all of our data on our website: unedited, live, and interactive. Or, you can read all the best bits by downloading our whitepaper.


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