How to Improve Conversion Rates by Combining Email and Outbound Calling

This article was contributed by Samir Sampat, a Marketing and Events Associate with’s 24/7 virtual receptionists and live chat agents capture and convert leads by phone, website chat, texts and Facebook. You can follow on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Convincing your leads to open your sales and marketing emails is difficult enough, but figuring out the mastery of getting them to engage with your business is an entirely different challenge. 

Email open rates, especially via cold outreach, and click-through rates (CTRs) are essential key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure the success of your marketing email outreach campaigns. Open rates indicate how many people — among those who have successfully received the email — opened and read it. Click-through rates measure how many people — among those that opened — clicked on any of the links within the message to take further action. Conversions are directly tracked by click-through rates since leads must click on links within your emails in order to take action.

Though these performance metrics are important —you should be looking holistically at your entire email marketing strategy. And it should be more than just “spraying and praying” for the best result. Your strategy should focus on multi-channel customer engagement and meeting them where they are. 

When you understand how to captivate and convince your audience to react as intended to your outreach efforts, you are perfecting a technique that many businesses haven’t yet mastered. This will help boost your conversion rates or turn interested prospects into new customers. 

More importantly, you will be getting them to react in such a way that helps positively impact your business. Some of these calls to action (CTAs) could include:

  • Booking a meeting or consultation
  • Checking out product pages on your website 
  • Clicking through to your social media channels
  • Reading a customer case study or testimonial 
  • Downloading an eBook or report 
  • Making a purchase 

What’s the average CTR for cold emails? 

It’s important to understand the benchmarks you should strive to reach for your email campaigns. According to research, the average click-through rate of cold emails is just 3.67%. That might indicate that email marketing is a low and unproductive use of time. Three and a half clicks for 100 sent emails certainly sounds like a lot of work for not much in the way of results. But as the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” 

Consider the impact these emails have over time — and remember that not everyone needs your products and services at all times. Constantly sending valuable emails can play a big part in lead nurturing and encouraging leads to convert when it’s the right time for them. 

A “good” email CTR rate for cold outreach can range from 1% to 5%. Higher is better, of course, but the more important factor is figuring out why your emails aren’t being opened and further determining how to make them more successful.

Causes of a low-email CTR 

The CTR for your cold email campaigns depends on several factors, namely your target audience and the content message you’re sending. Many businesses experience lower-than-average email CTRs because they’re not targeting the right qualified leads. If you send emails to a marketing list of 1,000 prospects and only half of them know who you are, that’s half your potential results immediately out the window. 

Target segmentation is essential with email outreach. If you do your research, you might even be closer to “warm” outreach by the time you are ready to execute a “cold” campaign. This can instantly increase your CTRs because you’re reaching leads who have an interest and a need and whom you can easily connect with.

Other reasons people might not click on your links or CTAs in emails include:

  • You don’t have links in the email at all
  • Links are in the wrong places
  • You used the wrong CTAat the wrong time in the sequence 
  • You used the wrong type of backlink (nurturing vs. immediate action, etc.)
  • You didn’t provide specific enough “next steps” in your message

Some best practices for your email marketing strategy is keeping your emails simple, direct, and easy to navigate to help boost open rates. For example, if you want your audience to take a specific action like visiting a product landing page, make the link easy to find and attractive to the reader. 

How to boost email open and click-through rates with follow-up calls

What should businesses do when prospects aren’t opening or engaging with emails as often as they’d like?

Pick up the phone and call! 

A multi-channel engagement strategy involves approaching leads across multiple communication channels — phone, text, emails — which increases the likelihood of those leads seeing the messaging, reading or engaging, and ultimately, taking action. 

Believe it or not, only some people monitor their email inbox as diligently as you. Making outbound follow-up calls to leads after sending an email is an effective strategy to help boost email open rates. Sending follow-up text messages works well, too. Incorporating multi-channel customer engagement is a useful way to meet your customers where they are most comfortable. Additional follow-ups can also act as reminders to reduce the chances of leads missing your messages during times of inconvenience or busyness.

Some additional reasons for this outreach strategy being successful include:

  • Adding a real human connection 
  • Showing your potential customer you care about them, not just their sale
  • Your prospect read the email but was too busy to take likely next steps

Your business will slowly build trust and credibility with potential customers with every outreach call and conversation you have. This is the foundation of relationship-based selling, which is far more lucrative than transactional selling. 

Making follow-up calls

Time is one of the most precious commodities that we all own. That’s why lean businesses need to prioritize who they are emailing and calling. You should prioritize your outreach based on expressed interest. For example, if you’re capturing data on email open rates that also clicked through but didn’t buy, you can start with them first, as they are likely some of the hottest and closest to being ready to buy. Then move down your sales funnel to leads who opened your email but didn’t click through, and so on down the sales funnel. They are warm, and you may be able to help push them closer to a sale. Lastly, focus on the cooler or cold leads who need to be introduced or reintroduced to your offering and how you can help their business at that moment.

Reasons to Outsource Your Sales Outreach

If your team is limited in size or availability — plus knowing leads often require multiple touchpoints — it would be prudent and productive to consider outsourcing those efforts. Outsourcing leads to time savings — where team members could focus on higher-value work — and cost-saving. That’s why many businesses opt to augment their in-house staff with affordable outsourced solutions like sales outreach and lead engagement.  

Outsourcing your sales call outreach to the right 24/7 customer engagement solution allows you to extend the abilities of your staff without breaking the bank. The right solution will handle many of the same tasks your in-house staff currently does. Remote agents will make calls, send follow-up emails and texts, screen and qualify leads based on your criteria, schedule appointments with interested leads using your calendar, and conduct live new client intake to capture all relevant information so all conversations sync with your systems in real time.

Along with offloading some of the tasks for your business, your outsourcing partner can also collect data and insights based on their conversations that can be used to improve future marketing emails and content that leads to growth. For example, if there is a common objection to why they’re not interested, you can tailor future messaging to address these concerns upfront. This will make it easier for you to screen out unqualified leads from potential new customers quickly. 

Consider multi-channel outreach

Outsourcing will free up time for your staff to focus on higher-value or more complex work for your business — like creating new marketing content and negotiating contracts.  

As your business shifts to multi-channel outreach by backing up your email marketing with outreach calls and follow-up texts, you’ll see your open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates increase in no time. More importantly, you’ll see an increase in new customers by meeting them where they are.

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