How to Improve Response Rates for Warm Email Prospecting

When you first get started with email prospecting, it’s easy to get discouraged.

You send out tons and tons of emails. And you only get a handful of positive responses.

In an attempt to improve that response rate, you starting spending more and more time crafting each email.

You look for the perfect meaningful connection and you tweak the wording to get it just right.

But is this a good use of your time? Or should you keep it simple and put more emphasis on volume?

Let me answer these questions by discussing response rates for warm email prospecting … and what you can do to improve those rates.

The Average Response Rate

So what is a reasonable response rate for warm email prospecting?

Based on what I’ve seen, a 5% positive response rate is about average. That means one out of twenty warm emails you send will garner a positive reply.

This number is by no means scientific. It’s simply based on my own experience and what my coaching clients are seeing.

A positive response rate doesn’t mean the recipient is ready to hire you. It’s not “We loved your email! We have a project for you!”

That’s not likely! (And it’s not even the goal.)

Rather, the goal is to start a conversation. So responses, such as, “Tell me more….” “Can we see some pricing…?” “Do you write case studies…?” all count as positive responses.

Even this is a positive response: “We sometimes work with outside writers, but we’re not looking for anyone right now. We’ll keep your information on file.”

This prospect might not have a need for your services right now. But they may in the future. So you can nurture this lead.

How You Can Improve Your Response Rate

But what if your response rate is below five percent and you’re doing everything else right?

Generally, the more specific and niched your services — and the better you can match those services to your target market — the better your response rate.

For example, I had a coaching client who had spent 15+ years working in marketing and operations with a credit union. Part of his job was interfacing with software and technology vendors that were selling to his credit union. So he had great insights into that area.

I worked with this coaching client when he went solo. He decided to go after companies that sell technology and professional services to credit unions. That’s pretty specific!

Because his targeting was so focused, he was able to create a powerful message for his warm emails. As a result, his warm email response rate was in the neighborhood of 20 to 30%!

Here’s What WON’T Improve Your Response Rate

So that’s one way to improve your response rate.

But what about spending more time crafting your warm emails? “If I hit on the right meaningful connection or personalize the email just so… then I’ll surely get a better response.”

Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case.

In my experience, there’s very little correlation between how much time you spend on each warm email and the rate of response you get.

To a large extent, warm email marketing remains a numbers game. So you’re better off spending less time on each email and sending out more of them (to the right target market!) than spending more time on each email and sending out fewer.

Yes, relevance and personalization matter. A lot! But it’s a balance. And you can make your emails relevant and personalized without spending a ton of time on them.

So resist the urge to spend 30 minutes tweaking each email to death. Instead, make it “good enough” and send it out!

The more warm email prospecting you do, the better you’ll get at the process. The more efficient you’ll become. And the more emails you send, and the higher the number (not percentage) of positive responses you’ll get.

Warm email prospecting works. But you have to stick with it.

Keep doing the right things. Be patient with yourself. And don’t fall into the trap of spending more time on each email.

If anything, spend less!

By the way … whenever you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you grow your freelance business:

1.  Grab a free copy of my book for ESTABLISHED writers/copywriters.

You’ll discover how to quickly and predictably reawaken dead leads, generate new client opportunities and convert not-yet-ready prospects into freelance writing clients. — Click Here

2.  Download a free copy of my new book for writers who are NEW to freelancing.

I’ll show you the 3 things you need to do to get your business off the ground safely and land your first paying client faster.  — Click Here

3.  Join my implementation program and be a case study.

I’m putting together a new implementation group this month. If you’d like to work with me to grow your income quickly with better clients (and become one of my new success stories). Just email me at [email protected] and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

4.  Get a 1:1 strategy call with me.

Are you a 6-figure writer who’s trying to earn more in less time with less stress? Let’s jump on a quick call and brainstorm some ideas for getting you there. Just email me at [email protected] and put “Brainstorm” in the subject line.