6 Lessons Learned From Sending Over 600 Million Emails

Sujan Patel is the founder of Mailshake, a sales engagement software used by 38,000 sales and marketing professionals. He has over 15 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies.
  • March 18, 2024

We created Mailshake to simplify email outreach for sales reps. Our software helps businesses of all sizes establish meaningful relationships with potential customers at scale.

And since our launch in 2015, we have helped 69,000+ users send over 600 million emails (663,225,221 to be exact)!

As a result, we’ve learned a lot along the way about how to make sure your messages are delivered and read. The playbook hasn’t changed, it’s still all about getting the basics right with your outreach.

Here are 6 key lessons we’ve learned from sending so many emails, presented as the collective wisdom of our awesome team of 40+ members.

Lesson # 1: Deliverability Is Key

Deliverability refers to how successfully your emails make it into people’s inboxes, versus going straight to the spam folder.

Dublin-based outbound marketing outsourcing agency Leadable, know how important deliverability is. Through the use of Mailshake, Leadable achieved:

  • Open rates between 60% and 80% (vs the average 44% open rate for cold emails)
  • A click-through rate of 20% (vs the average cold email CTR of 3.67%)
  • Reply rates pivoting around 15% (vs the standard 10% reply rate that more than half of all cold email campaigns have)

But behind these great results lies the key to success: deliverability. Without a high degree of deliverability, you won’t be able to achieve such impressive open, click-through, and reply rates. After all, if someone doesn’t receive your emails, how are they going to open or reply to them?

So, we’ve put a lot of effort into Mailshake features that improve deliverability and included them in every plan. Here’s what we currently offer:

  • Email warm-up tool: To ensure the best deliverability, Mailshake will automatically send emails from your account over a period of time. We also automatically open and reply to these emails, and move any that landed in the spam folder out of it. This helps protect against email providers thinking you’re a spammer. To help you track your progress, Mailshake also assigns you a spam score that you can monitor to ensure you stay out of the spam folder.
  • Domain monitoring: Mailshake will set up your DNS records, check your domain for technical setups such as DKIM, DMARC, and SPF records, and alert you to any issues with your email deliverability configuration.
  • Email validation: Mailshake classifies each address in your list based on its bounce risk. We also automatically remove any email addresses with a high bounce rate, so your list can stay clean and your spam score low.

if someone doesn't receive email how can they reply

Lesson # 2: Good Email Copy Is Everything

If you want to actually convert your leads into customers, then you need to make sure that the emails themselves are engaging and persuasive. And that’s the second most important lesson we’ve learned.

One of our superstar customers who leveraged good email copy very well is Chris Cunnigham, the founder of ClickUp. In fact, it was Mailshake that helped Chris land his first 100 customers, a fact that we’re very proud of.

Chris first identified people who were dissatisfied with ClickUp’s competitors, then used Mailshake to reach out to them with a message that was both compelling and human. He introduced himself as the founder and shared his story with them, and then went on to explain what made ClickUp different. In the end, he asked people whether they’d like to try ClickUp as an alternative.

This simple but effective Problem-Agitate-Solve (PAS) structure helped Chris achieve open rates between 70% and 80% as well as double-digit response rates!

Luiz Centenaro, Head of Sales here at Mailshake believes “good copy is the basis of any email campaign that does well. Having talked to thousands of prospects on demos, the number one issue he’s seen is bad copy in their outreach emails.

Lesson # 3: Personalization Makes a Difference

Over the last eight years, we’ve noticed that the best-performing emails are those that are personalized to the recipient.

At its simplest, this could mean addressing the recipient by name or referring to a company they work for. More complex personalization involves using the recipient’s place in the sales cycle or even their previous interactions with your brand to tailor emails that are specific to them.

Unfortunately, many sales reps struggle to maintain personalization at scale, which is understandable. But Nicholas Rubright — the founder of New Reach Marketing — has demonstrated that it’s not impossible.

He started out as a freelancer helping clients build backlinks. Today, he runs an $800k a year revenue marketing agency — and Mailshake’s personalization features have played an important role in that journey.

For example, Nicholas tripled the number of responses he got for a campaign by simply A/B testing the subject line. We’ve integrated A/B testing into your sequencing, so you can instantly see the effects of your changes.

Similarly, Mailshake’s LinkedIn plugin helps you qualify leads and ensure you’re reaching out to only the right people. This is personalization at the list level, something that not many people pay attention to. But it’s highly effective and helped one of our customers — Virtuance — achieve an 83% open rate.

To learn how you can harness the power of personalization, make sure to check out the fourth lesson of our Cold Email Masterclass — Personalization.

Lesson # 4: The Importance of the Follow-up

Follow-ups are so important, and the statistics on follow-ups are very clear and convincing, so why wouldn’t they? For example, MTD Sales Training discovered that 80% of prospects say “yes” after saying “no” four times. Unfortunately, 92% of salespeople give up after four “no’s”. And that’s understandable because it’s difficult to track and follow up on every email you send, especially when you’re trying to scale your marketing operations.

Well, not when you’re using Mailshake. After sending so many emails, we fully understand the importance of follow-ups, so we’ve built robust follow-up features into our tool. With Mailshake, you can:

  • Send automatic follow-ups. Each follow-up can be a new email or a reply to your previous email. You can also set conditions that trigger an end to follow-ups, such as when you receive a reply.
  • Follow up with premade templates. After sending 600 million emails, we know what works and what doesn’t. So we’ve created a handful of tried and tested follow-up templates that you can use to save a ton of time.
  • Multi-channel follow-ups. You don’t have to stay limited to email. Instead, you can set up Mailshake follow-up campaigns with multiple touchpoints, such as connecting with prospects via phone or social media.

As you can imagine, these features have made following up with Mailshake almost effortless. Amazing, right? But we haven’t stopped there — we’ve gone ahead and created a highly comprehensive guide on writing follow-up emails, so make sure to check it out.

Lesson # 5: Maintaining a Clean Email List

For me, a surgically precise email list means two things:

  • It contains only the email addresses that are the most likely to respond. Mailshake’s LinkedIn plugin is a good way to qualify leads and focus on the right ones.
  • It contains only valid email addresses. You can use Data Finder to accurately search for prospects by their title, company, and location.

I also have another tool — called Voila Norbert — that you can use to verify email addresses and clean your list for the best results.

Data Finder

Lesson # 6: Multi-Channel Outreach Is Critical for More Sales

Even though we’ve sent so many emails, we don’t believe email is the only way to reach out and make sales.

Sure, emails are important — they’re the foundation of any outreach strategy. But if you want to take your sales to the next level, a multi-channel approach is the way to go.

Consider LinkedIn, for example. LinkedIn messages are less flooded than email inboxes, which results in an impressive reply rate of 5-20%. LinkedIn messages are also more casual and human, which makes them excellent for kick-starting new relationships.

That’s why we’ve recently introduced our LinkedIn automation tool that helps you automate LinkedIn messages, profile views, and connection requests. Instead of typing and sending the same message again and again, you can simply upload a spreadsheet of your prospects’ LinkedIn URLs, and Mailshake can automate LinkedIn outreach for you.

We also have built-in cold calling features in Mailshake that allow you to integrate cold calling into your outreach campaigns. You can also:

  • Track call related tasks
  • Take notes on prospects as you call them
  • Make calls from your browser with just a single click
  • Save time by continuing dials automatically until your prospect answers

The best thing about the Mailshake dialer is that it’s a VoIP system, meaning you can make calls using any phone number of your choice. Plus, every team member gets their own phone number.

Final Thoughts

So that was it for lessons learned from sending over 600 million emails

Although that might sound a lot, the journey doesn’t end here for us. Me and my team at Mailshake are always working to bring new and helpful features for our customers, and we recently launched the Data Finder and LinkedIn Automation.

Make sure to book a demo with one of our team members if you’re interested in learning how our software can help you and your business.

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