Cold Email Rate

A/B Test Your Way to a Better Cold Email Open Rate

Cold email is, to be frank, something of a science. Not a really complicated one, but it does call for experimentation, testing and tweaking to come up with the right ‘formula’ for success.

One of the most frustrating things for new cold emailers is that even after they have crafted what they think is a great subject line, created even better body copy and have verified the heck out of their email list to ensure that all of the addresses they are sending to are valid their open rate is still lower (sometimes far lower) than they’d like.

One of the best ways to determine what you can do to change that is to A/B test. But what should you test? Here are just a few pointers:

Subject Line

You know how important a subject line is for a cold email campaign. But there is more in play in terms of the open rate than just whether or not you’ve nailed the copy. How the email displays in an inbox is important as well. Is your title too long and being cut off by some email clients? Is Gmail picking up your email as promotional and hiding it away on that tab? Are your missives ending up in SPAM folders because a word or two is raising red flags to those fussy bots? Only testing with several different options can help you some real answers.

The ‘From’

Before they even really take in the subject line, many people pay the most attention to who an email is from. If your open rate is less than stellar, this could be a problem too. So try testing a few different versions. Here’s an example:

A. First name (Deepak)
B. First name + Last name (Deepak Shukla)
C. First name + Last name, Title (Deepak Shukla, Lead Generation Guru)
D. First name + Company name (Deepak at Pearl Lemon)
E. First name + Last name + Company name (Deepak Shukla at Pearl Lemon)
F. First name+ Last name + Title + Company name (Deepak Shukla, Founder at Pearl Lemon)

Pick two or three, and test away (by the way, I generally use, and tend to have the most success with F.)


When you send your cold emails out is very important as well. But there really is no ‘one size fits all’ best time ‘template’ or ‘hack’ you can follow’. Try splitting an email campaign into batches and sending out each at different times to try and determine which times seem to produce the best results.

Don’t send emails on Bank Holidays, those very rarely work, although in some niches weekends can perform quite well.

Final Note: Check Your Prospect List

Another reason your cold email open rate may be low is that you just are not sending the right message to the right people.

Take another look at the names on that cold email list. Are these people the RIGHT people to receive the message you are sending?

Want to learn more about the lucrative art of cold emailing? Click here now.