How Do You Plan Your Cold Email Experiments?

Getting a steady flow of leads from your outbound campaigns requires a lot of experimentation.

It’s a lot like the scientific method: You need to hypothesize how to grow, run that experiment, track how it performed, and move forward with winning experiments that reached statistical significance.

Most importantly, documenting what you have learned during the entire experiment – did we get more opens with this experiment, more clicks, more traffic to the website, more positive responses, etc.. This information will then inform your future experiments.

Miro, the Visual Collaboration Tool, had this to say about the Experiment Trackers. I adapted their process for us.


  1. Log all ideas you can think of. This usually starts with “We believe if we do X, we will achieve Y”.
  2. Prioritize them by ease of implementation, which ones can you test right away without significant resources.
  3. Decide WHAT you want to test with WHOM and HOW.
  4. Define which data you want to measure and which targets you need to meet to call it a success.
  5. Take time to craft the experiment and run it.
  6. Run the campaign and periodically update your findings. Distill key insights out of it. Any surprises?
  7. Define how you want to continue: Kill this idea right away, give it another chance with some adjustments (pivot) or continue like is (persevere).
  8. Enjoy the journey

Common challenges and mistakes to avoid.

  • Start with more than one experiment and loose focus
  • Overestimate the success of their solution, keep in mind: If you don’t reach the target you might consider to kill the idea
  • Set the bar too low. A good benchmark for cold email replies are between 1% and 5%. If you need more benchmarks, here’s a list of cold email statistics to use.
  • Are thinking too big creating the first experiment. What is the minimum thing you need to do to learn?

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