It is easy to be drawn into adding large numbers of people into campaigns, but this can lead to poor email deliverability, decreased open, reply rates and not to mention unhappy recipients who feel they have been mass-mailed. Your time is much better spent focusing on refining an extra level of personalisation which will ensure that you get the best results possible from your campaigns. The key metric to focus on is the reply rate as open rates are not an exact science. A reply rate of 10% is what you should be aiming for and is a good indicator. Here are some points on best practices to incorporate into your outreach efforts:

  1. Subject Lines

  2. Email Copy

  3. Follow-ups

  4. Finding Value

  5. Diversification

  6. Originality

  7. Targeting

  8. Deliverability

  9. Activity Icons

Subject Lines

Most people open emails on their phones so make sure your personalised subject lines are short and snappy. Put the personal bit first as it may get cut off when reading on a phone.

Email copy

Writing a personalised sentence in each message sequence increases the reply rate from an average of 18% to 34.5%. But don’t overthink it! It only has to be a sentence which references something from their profile or CV or mentions a particular piece of content they have interacted with recently (on Linkedin or any social site - found through the SourceWhale extension). It is best to have this personalisation in the first line of the email, so the reader engages straight away and more inclined to read on.

Also, you shouldn't use message templates from the internet or that don't originate from your own business. This is because if that template is being used by anyone else who has spammy behaviour and is going into the spam folder, your emails with the same pattern of words/template could also be picked up for spam, even if you don't have spammy behaviour. - You should always write your own copy as far as possible and hence why SourceWhale doesn't provide message templates.


Follow-up emails are absolutely key to success and lead to 70% of all responses. Utilise SourceWhale's auto-email follow-ups and augmented Linkedin and phone call steps to make sure you are following up effectively after each outreach. The best follow-up emails are natural and refer again to the personalised content in your first email.

Finding value

Clarify the value you can offer each target individual that would make them want to respond. Getting a response should be the main aim of your outreach as this will also improve the credibility of your email domain. Replies are a recruiter’s gold dust to avoiding spam and hitting inboxes. Offering something of value to that person, either now or in the future, is often a great way to elicit a response. This can be a great opportunity, a referral fee, a common interest or networking for the future.


Make sure you diversify your outreach type. Rather than just sending email after email, try adding communication over other mediums, such as a Connection Request or InMail.


Make your outreach entertaining and funny. Making someone laugh is more likely to get a response and using your own content shows effort. You can create custom images with personalised text from the campaign editor (see below). We recommend not putting images or GIFs too early in your sequences. We usually reserve images or GIFs for our breakup (last) emails, so they have the least impact on deliverability. Keep in mind that prospects are receiving lots of similar outreach messages every day, it is important to make yours stand out from the rest.


Creating a targeted and well-researched list is mission-critical in order to maximise your open and reply rates and to maintain strong email domain credibility. Essentially, have some certainty that the people you are reaching out to will be interested in what you have to offer.


Take action to avoid your emails from being marked as spam and improve your email deliverability. If you are starting with a brand new domain or email address, take a look at our advice page on tackling spam issues.

Activity Icons

Keep an eye on the activities icon next to each contact. You can hover over each grey icon to see what the activity is, and when it happened or when it is scheduled to happen.

Here is a list of icons you may find next to each contact:

Note: Keep in mind that prospects are receiving lots of outreach messages that are similar in content every day, it is important to make yours stand out from the rest.

Next up: Read our article on using SourceWhale to maximise the effectiveness of targeted e-shot/mail-shots.

Stuck or need some help? Click on the chat icon at the bottom right hand corner to connect with our support team! 💬

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