Direct mail
 min read

Improving Response Rate in Cold Outreach

When it comes to cold outreach, the response rate is the most critical metric to measure because it's the best indicator that tells us whether our cold outreach is working or not.

When it comes to cold outreach, the response rate is the most critical metric to measure because it's the best indicator that tells us whether our cold outreach is working or not.

Response rate is also good to know because it can be the difference between having a great or lousy year when it comes to sales and revenue growth!  

And if you're looking for ways to determine whether your response rate is good or bad, look at metrics such as:

  • Number of good quality responses
  • Number of conversions
  • Revenue growth

You should make it a habit to look at your response rates because they’ll help you see what’s working with your campaigns, allowing you to optimize them for the future, which will then lead to greater efficiency when it comes to booking meetings and closing deals.

Response rates can also help you figure out what messaging your ideal customer responds to and what channels to use when reaching out to them. This knowledge will help you focus on the right marketing and sales activities that will lead to results.

Now that you know the impact that response rate has on your business, let's define what response rate is!



To put it simply, the response rate is the measure of how often your prospect responds or replies to you during your cold sales outreach. To measure this, all you have to do is look at how many messages you sent and divide it by how many prospects responded to you.

# of prospects that responded / total # of sales messages sent (Direct Mail, Phone Calls or Emails) X 100 = Response Rate

For example,

If you sent out 100 sales emails to 100 different prospects and 40 of those 100 people responded to you, you'd have a response rate of 40%.

So to calculate this response rate, it would look like this:

40 prospects responded / 100 total sales emails sent = .40 X 100 = 40% response rate.

I'm sure by now you probably think that the response rate is all about the numbers. But I'm here to tell you that it's more than just numbers. Numbers only tell a piece of the story because a variety of variables come into play when you’re measuring your cold outreach response rate.



When it comes to measuring response rate, there are three variables to consider.

And these variables are:

  1. Number of people that responded to your cold outreach
  2. The quality of the response (whether the response was positive or negative)
  3. The efficiency of your cold outreach to achieve a conversion

Let's break down these variables individually.


The first variable you want to consider when measuring cold outreach response rates is: how many people responded to your message?

This is highly important to measure because it'll tell you if your messaging and outreach are gaining attention. Which will then show you what communication channels and messaging are working best.

Knowing the channel and messaging that produces the best responses will help you in the long run because it’ll help make your company much more efficient and successful when it comes to getting conversions and sales. But as I said earlier, numbers aren't everything because the quality of the prospect's response can be either positive or negative.



The second variable that's important to consider when measuring response rate is the quality of the response. The quality of the response is crucial to consider because even though you may have a high response rate, the prospects’ responses to you may be negative.

These negative responses can look like

  • Unsubscribes
  • Your emails getting blocked
  • Replies from the prospect with dissatisfaction at receiving the message, or even anger

This is why the quality of response is critical when it comes to measuring response rate as it’ll tell you if your messaging is pleasing your prospects or not. If you have a high response rate and it’s all negative responses you need to change your messaging. But if your response rate is high and full of positive replies, then you’re on the right track!

This leads to my next point: if you can please your prospects you’ll have to consider the efficiency of your message. Meaning how quickly can you achieve a conversion objective with your messaging. If you're curious about the quality and intent of responses, look at this post by Outreach that explains why the quality of responses matters.


Lastly, when it comes to measuring response rate you have to measure for efficiency. This is because when you're looking at your cold outreach method, you don’t want your message to take months or years to help you achieve a given conversion goal, even if you do have a high response rate on it.

But if your messaging leads to results promptly and has a high number of positive responses, then the cold outreach you're doing may be the thing your business needs!

Now that you know what to measure for and how to measure response rate correctly, let’s see how we can improve our response rates!



When you’re looking to improve your response rates, there are several ways you can do this.

You could start off by sending direct mail and cold calling.


If you really want to get creative you can use a multichannel approach while sending handwritten notes that can help separate yourself from the competition.

Ultimately though, if you want to improve the response rates in your cold outreach, you'll have to get creative in your approach. This is because salespeople are constantly cluttering up the inboxes and voicemails of our prospects.

Which makes it harder for us to gain mindshare.

But if you use a solution like IgnitePOST, you can get higher response rates by doing something different, such as sending personalized handwritten notes!

Just take a look at What Makes Personalized Handwritten Notes Stand Out.

And if you need more ideas and inspiration than just using handwritten notes, Mailshake has a great alternative by Using Videos for Cold Outreach to Improve Response Rates!



When it comes to measuring response rates, you need to take three variables into account such as:

  1. The number of responses  
  2. The quality of responses  
  3. The efficiency of the message

Looking at these three variables will help you determine if your cold outreach response rates are improving while guiding your future outreach efforts. And when you’re creative in your outreach approach you should see an increase in your response rates.

Now that you know all of this, what are you going to do to improve your response rates moving forward?


If you're looking to improve your response rates through personalized handwritten notes, contact us here at IgnitePost we would love to help you get started!

IgnitePOST Team
Verified writer

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