March 30, 2017

How to increase your email response rate

Published: 30 March 2017 

When you’re doing an email campaign, one of your goals is to have a high response rate. If you’re getting no responses, what is the point of doing the email campaign in the first place? The reply rate will ultimately determine the success of your campaign. So it’s important to know how you can improve your response rate.

Before you start your next outreach campaign, make sure you think about your:

Subject line

This is the first thing someone will see when receiving your email, and will ultimately cause people to decide whether or not they even want to open and read your email. It’s a make or break factor of your outreach strategy. So it’s very important to get your subject line right.

Think about the value of your subject line. You want to make it personable enough for people to be interested and want to open the email. If this is generic and boring, people will simply delete your email. Without being dull, you still have to let people know the contents of the email. After all, it’s not a gimmicky ad. Let people know what’s in it for them, and they’ll be more likely to open your email.

Some people, especially those on their mobiles, will only see the start of the subject line. If your subject line is too long, the rest of the message will be cut off. Make sure the most important part of your subject line is at the front, so it doesn’t get missed.

Keep it short

You’ve written an enticing subject line and got the recipient to open your email - great! The last thing they want is to be greeted by a wall of text. People don’t want to be reading an essay in their emails. Aim to keep your email short and to the point. Include the important details, such as who you are, why you are emailing and what action you want them to take, toward the top of the email.

Call to action

Make it easy for the recipient to know what action they need to take - whether you just want them to read a link, participate in a survey or approve your guest post. If people read your email and don’t know what action they’re supposed to take, they will simply delete it without further action. You can even test different types of call to action buttons and links to see which gets the best response rate.   


This point seems kind of obvious, but can frequently be overlooked. When we’re busy at work and rushing to move on to the next task, just skimming over what we’ve written will suffice. Unfortunately, that’s how mistakes slip through the cracks. Spelling errors, poor grammar or bad punctuation can make you and your brand look unprofessional. If you’re reaching out to influencers for a guest post, who is going to accept one from someone who can’t spell? We’re all human, and we make mistakes, so that’s why it’s important to triple check your emails before hitting the send button.

Know who you’re emailing

It’s important to know your audience. No matter what you’re emailing, make sure the content is appropriate for who you’re sending it to. If you can target a specific audience, you’ll be able to tailor the content and have a better chance of a high open and response rate. If you’re undertaking an outreach campaign for guest posts, make sure you research who you’re targeting to know their interests, and what they would be keen on publishing. Always use the right language and tone of voice for your target audience - business professionals aren’t going to appreciate an email that is using slang.


You’ve got the catchy subject line, proofread your short email, and researched who you’re emailing. You’re all ready to send out your email! The next thing to consider is when you’re going to send the email. Of course, the timing will vary for every business and different industries.

Coschedule looked at 10 different studies to find out when is the best time to send an email. The studies found Tuesday is the best day, and if you’re sending two emails a week, Thursday is the next best day. As well as looking at which day of the week, Coschedule also looked at the best time. While the results varied, the best times were:

  • 10am
  • 8pm - midnight
  • 2pm
  • 6am

If you’re looking for the highest email response rate, consider sending your emails at these times on Tuesdays or Thursdays.  

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should now start sending your emails out every Tuesday at 10am. You can use your own data to track how your emails are performing, and see whether there is a time more were opened. This will help you to optimise your campaign and achieve the most success.

Start a relationship

The benefit of email campaigns is you can start getting to know the people you’re contacting better. Help the people you’re emailing get to know you by including links to your website and social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Twitter. People will be more likely to reply if they feel like they know you, and you look like a trustworthy figure. Include these contact details to encourage people to get to know you, and eventually you’ll see your response rate rise.

Think we missed something? Got a tip on how to increase email response rates? Let us know in the comments.

Ben Maden

Read more posts by Ben

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