The road to a 20% email response rate at Reach (2/5)

Building in Public
April 23, 2023
The road to a 20% email response rate at Reach (2/5)

Prememoria: Reach is a sales enablement tool for hyper personalizing outbound emails at scale in order to save time while obtaining higher response rates.

In last week’s post we looked at how we got started at Reach with our outbound sales engine. We covered some of the basic and perhaps non obvious elements that went into setting up our sales efforts and what we did to ensure that we had what we needed to maximize our success and create an iterative process going forward. Today’s post will continue looking at the iterative steps we took to improve the performance of our outbound sales emails and how we ultimately arrived at a ~20% response rate. 

The first email sequence we used started off with:

Email Subject: Make sales personal again

Hey {{first name}},

{{Reach Message}}

I'm the co-founder of Reach, a tool that increases the response rate of your cold email outreach. It achieves this by hyper-personalizing each message you send to your leads with information taken from Linkedin, company website, news, blogs, etc.

You can expect a 30%+ increase in response rate. Since prospects are increasingly ignoring generic sales messages, how is your team currently personalizing outbound at {{company Name}}?



This sequence had a 76% open rate and a 3.5% response rate. While the performance wasn’t horrendous, we knew we could do significantly better. We believe that a good cold email should be relevant, personal, short and filled with value. 

Here’s what we thought we could improve:

  • Show more empathy to their specific challenge
  • Make the Reach value prop more concise
  • Provide more value
  • Remove friction

Too much of the email was focused on Reach. We needed to do more to show that we understood their challenge. Similarly we needed to offer them more value to build trust. By ending with the question we did we realized that we were making it hard for them to respond to us. People have extremely limited bandwidth, why should they provide us with a response to a relatively large question when we haven’t built any trust? 

Our next iteration looked like this:

Email Subject: Make sales personal at {{company}}

Hey {{First Name}},

{{Reach Message}} (written by Reach)

As the SDR Manager at {{Company}} I’m sure you’ve seen how prospects are increasingly ignoring generic sales messages. Reach is the tool that doubles the response rate of your outbound through automated hyper-personalization.

Can I send you some examples of personalized icebreakers generated by Reach?



The goal was to show Reach in action by labeling the personalized icebreaker. We added empathy by mentioning what they must be seeing on the ground. The Reach value prop is significantly shorter. And instead of ending with a question, we offer to add more value (and do some work upfront) by sharing some personalized icebreaker examples with them. 

Even though our open rate was already very high, we decided to try to tweak it some more by personalizing it slightly with the company’s name. 

These changes resulted in a very similar open rate of ~76% but a massive improvement in response rate. This sequence was getting a ~10% response rate. 

This process is never ending. We will be iterating our messaging forever. Next week we will look at email stages 2 and 3 of our sequences and how we iterated there as well. The first email is important but so is each point of contact. 

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