Cold Emailing Tips to Boost Your Reply Rates

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Are you an SDR sending out cold emails?

Do you have high open rates but low reply rates?

We're here to help.

Cold emailing may feel intimidating at, but with a little practice and some clever tricks up your sleeve, it can be an immensely powerful tool.

From our vast experience here at SalesPipe, we're experts in the world of cold emailing, and in this article, we're happy to share ten tips that will help you boost your reply rates.

Let's go!

1- Use an Outstanding Email Frame

Our first recommendation is to use an outstanding email frame.

You might confuse it for an email template at first, and we've shared some of our favorite cold email templates before.

But while an email frame is similar, it is a step before the template itself. It is how you build the template.

An example is the AIDA frame, which stands for awareness, interest, desire, and action. If we break it down, the way it works in an email is as follows:

  • Attention: The subject line is the first way to draw your prospect's attention, you want it to be concise but powerful. You can use personalization, spark curiosity, or focus on relevance - it's best when you do all three.
  • Interest: The first line is your hook. You can do a pattern interrupt via humor, use a statistic, or immediately address the problem you know your prospect has that you can help solve.
  • Desire: The next part of the email is about convincing your prospect via the benefits your product or service can offer, not the features.
  • Action: A very specific next step for your prospect to take - such as booking a meeting or joining a workshop.

    By considering this frame when creating your email, you are far more likely to experience success and receive those dreamed replies.

2- Incorporate Humor

We are big fans of using humor in sales here at SalesPipe.

If you make a prospect crack a smile or even laugh, they're bound to remember you fondly. And if they have this impression of you, you become trustworthy to them.

But don't take our word for it: you can read about how this was quantifiably proven in Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, by authors Noah J. Goldstein, Robert B. Cialdini, and Steven J. Martin.

One of the most interesting bits of data is that when they performed outreach, they sent a funny, inoffensive cartoon to some of the folks they were negotiating with. Those who received the cartoon said they immediately felt a higher level of trust in the person reaching out.

The ultimate outcome? It led to a 15% larger profit for companies utilizing humor in this way in their outreach.

So play around with fun references in your email subject lines or try out different ways to do a successful pattern interrupt such as GIFs or memes.

One we popularize here at SalesPipe last year was the classic Hi {{first_name}} - just kidding first line!

3- Be Active on LinkedIn

Social selling is a proven success tactic.

Some numbers LinkedIn has shared to demonstrate the importance of social selling are:

  • Creates 45% more sales opportunities
  • Active LinkedIn members are 51% more likely to reach their sales quota
  • 78% of businesses that use social selling outperform those that don't

But to do it well, it's not enough to simply make connections and send them cold messages.

You have to build your own buyer persona and brand on the platform, post content you are interested in and that is relevant to your industry or space, and slowly build connections and a network over time.

You can then couple your email outreach with LinkedIn, and demonstrating you are active on the platform goes a long way towards making that connection and easing the way to a meeting either via social media or email.

Growing your LinkedIn presence is a process, however, and it's best to go through it with a supportive group of people, whether it's your friends, co-workers, or colleagues.

4- Reference a Mutual Connection

This one depends on whether you have a mutual connection, but when you do, it works wonderfully.

Anything from being sent to a new person by the original prospect, to a mutual connection on LinkedIn can be useful.

It's similar to making friends with your friend's friends - it's almost as if you've already been vetoed by the team. A starting point from which to chat, referencing a mutual connection is almost certainly guaranteed to generate a response.

5- Personalize the First Sentence

Let's get one thing straight: personalization does not mean writing about your prospect's pets or kids.

That approach is far more likely to get you blacklisted.

Personalization means demonstrating that you are aware of who they are and what their needs are based on your knowledge of their company and the industry right now.

For instance, at SalesPipe where we offer outsourced SDRs, we might reach out to founders or sales leaders of companies looking to hire SDRs right now within a particular industry and of a particular size.

We could start our email with the following:

"Hey {{first name}},

Congratulations on all the growth at {{company name}}! I noticed that with how in demand you are, you're looking to hire an SDR to help you out."

You can then go into your value proposition, and offer further insight into how you will be instrumental in helping them reach their goals.

6- Use Social Proof

Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon visible every day, everywhere. Essentially, we are likely to do something if we see other people doing it.

The classic example is when picking between two restaurants next two each other, if one is full and the other is empty, we are far more likely to select the full one.

In sales, social proof inspires confidence and demonstrates that your company does not pose a risk to your prospect.

In cold emailing, this is used by name-dropping other clients in the same industry, and by providing concrete numbers or percentages to demonstrate how much your product or service has helped your existing clients.

These numbers and name-drops, so long as they're presented concisely and at the right moment, help generate confidence in you and your product or service, which leads to getting that first meeting.

7- Offer an Unique Value Proposition

You want to make sure you understand your value proposition, and that you can present it to your prospects via writing in a short, compelling way.

You need to differentiate yourself from your competitors by showcasing how your product or service will be the exact solution they need that they were unaware of before.

Look at what your marketing team has come up with, and extrapolate from there.

But keep it simple and understandable to anyone who may be unfamiliar with the exact product or service you are offering. Decision makers can end up being wildly unfamiliar with your specific product or service, so having an easily communicated sales pitch is necessary to be successful.

8- Timing is Key

Timing plays an incredibly important role in sales.

Proposal cycles, contracts, new developments in SaaS, or what the company needs at this very moment are all factors that will affect your chances of success and that are influenced by timing.

You want to be relevant to your prospects because that is what will prompt a response.

The way to be relevant? Research.

Learn about the industry and companies you are targeting, and look into what they need right now. This will help you in your personalization, as seen in the example above where we reached out knowing they are looking for exactly what SalesPipe offers.

Additionally, the time of day matters.

Sending your emails in the mornings has a higher increase of it being open and responded to than if you do so in the afternoons, but this may also be industry specific. Find the perfect time to reach out to your prospects to increase your reply rate via trial and error.

9- Provide a Clear CTA

One of the key elements of cold email structure is the call-to-action or CTA.

It needs to be as clear as possible, and you cannot offer options at this point.

There are several options for a CTA: book a meeting, watch a video, sign up for a free trial, call to order, or open a link.

While we would recommend not using any of the link examples when sending cold emails at the initial touches, they are all possibilities that companies may ask their SDRs to explore.

Make sure you are only using one in your email copy.

The more CTAs, the more confusing it is for your prospects to know what you want them to do, and the more likely it is that they will not respond.

You want to make it as easy as possible for prospects to do the action you are asking of them, and the way to do that is to only ask them to take one easy, clear step.

That is what will prompt a response.

10- Test & Refine Your Approach

As an SDR, you are on the front lines for outreach. You receive feedback constantly far more than anyone in your company.

A lack of replies despite a high open rate? That itself is feedback.

Try out all of the tips we've discussed and continue shuffling through them or experimenting with different approaches.

A variety of options will help you refine your email copy and, over time, help you build it in a way to obtain the highest number of replies.

But unless you try and test different methods out, you'll never know.


You have all the tips to make your cold emails stand out from the crowd successfully. Remember to keep them relevant, interesting, and concise, and if need be, find a trusted professional who can help you.

It's no exaggeration that the right outreach technique will make all the difference in achieving outstanding results with your cold emails.

Use this post as a guide for what to do and what not to do when it comes to cold emailing, so that you can create an effective one-to-one sales strategy with a proven response rate.

So don't wait around; seize the opportunity and get in touch with us to get the best outsourced SDR today!
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