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How Many Cold Emails to Send Per Day? The Ultimate Guide

In cold email outreach, there’s a common belief that sending a massive number of emails will lead to a higher probability of success. It’s a tempting thought — more emails mean more chances, right? Not necessarily.

The days of indiscriminate email blasts are, thankfully, behind us. Sending a barrage of emails with low engagement rates or irrelevant content can trigger spam filters. Once your domain gets flagged as a spammer, it’s an uphill battle to regain trust and inbox placement.

And there’s the very human factor to consider, too. Imagine receiving the same generic message from the same sender multiple times in a week. It’s not just annoying; it’s a surefire way to lose trust and credibility in the eyes of your potential clients.

So, here’s the big question: How many cold emails should you send per day to strike the delicate balance between engagement and efficiency?

In the next section, we’ll dive into the details and give you practical tips to find that sweet spot.

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How Many Cold Emails to Send Per Day?

A good rule of thumb is to begin with a modest number, such as 10 to 20 emails per day. This careful approach lets you test how well your outreach is working without feeling swamped by responses or struggling to keep track of the outcomes. Also, it allows you to maintain a good sender reputation (which we’ll talk about below) and stay in the good graces of Email Service Providers (ESPs.)

If you start seeing results and decide to increase your sending volume, do so gradually. Rapid and erratic changes in your email-sending behavior can trigger alarm bells with ESPs.

Also, remember to stick to a regular email-sending schedule. Sending emails sporadically can confuse recipients and raise suspicions.

To that end, you need to keep two important factors in mind if you want to scale your email campaigns:

  • Industry dynamics

  • Email sending limits

Industry Dynamics and Email Usage: How It Affects Your Cold Emails

Each industry’s unique characteristics can impact the success of your email outreach.

Tech decision-makers, for instance, rely heavily on email because of its speed and efficiency, making it their go-to for communication. They make it a habit to regularly check their email inboxes, giving your emails a better shot at being noticed. In this industry, sending a relatively higher number of well-crafted cold emails, like around 100 per day to various prospects, can be perfectly acceptable.

In contrast, creative fields such as graphic design or fashion exhibit a wide range of communication preferences. Professionals in these industries often lean towards visual platforms like Instagram, Behance, or LinkedIn for networking and collaboration. When launching cold email campaigns in these sectors, take a measured approach. Your emails should be precise, targeting specific recipients, and visually appealing. Emphasize the unique value you bring to creative projects to capture their attention effectively.

Moving to the financial services sector, it operates within a highly regulated and data-sensitive environment. Professionals in this industry, including financial advisors and investment managers, place a high priority on email communication due to its security and documentation capabilities.

When reaching out to them, consider sending a moderate volume of well-composed emails that emphasize compliance and data security.

Understanding Email Service Provider (ESP) Limits

Starting with a small number of cold emails and slowly sending more over time is not just a smart plan; it’s often needed because of the rules set by different email companies. Popular email companies like Gmail and Outlook have their own rules about how many emails you can send.

Gmail

Gmail, a widely used email platform, lets you send up to 500 emails per day to different recipients. Sounds reasonable, right? But here’s the catch – if your sender reputation is good (meaning people open your emails and don’t mark them as spam), Gmail starts to trust you. This means your emails are more likely to land in the recipient’s primary inbox.

However, for organizations using Google Workspace, the ceiling for email sending expands significantly, reaching up to 2000 emails per day. But remember: patience is your friend. Rushing into sending lots of cold emails can make Gmail suspicious. As we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s smarter to start small, build trust, and slowly send more emails over time.

Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365, another big player in the email world, allows a maximum of 10,000 recipients per day for all its plans. To make sure your emails reach the right inboxes, Office 365 uses authentication methods like DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Sender Policy Framework (SPF). These keep your sender reputation strong, emphasizing the importance of sending cold emails that get responses and look legitimate.

Outlook.com

Outlook.com, a sibling of Office 365, imposes daily limits of 300 emails maximum for verified email addresses with a good reputation. The email service provider assesses factors such as your email account’s age, usage frequency, and verification status. Starting slow, in this context, means that your reputation has room to mature and earn the trust of ESPs.

Rackspace

Rackspace, another reputable email host, provides an intriguing perspective. While they specify a daily limit of 10,000 recipients, they place more emphasis on the quality of your emails rather than their quantity.

BlueHost

BlueHost doesn’t specify a daily email limit, but it does impose an hourly restriction of 150 emails, sent at a rate of 70 emails every 30 minutes. Going beyond this limit results in warning messages or errors, and your email account is temporarily disabled for review.

If the review team finds no major issues, your email account is reinstated within 24 hours. You can also talk to customer support to increase the hourly limit, but you must provide a valid reason for the adjustment.

MailChimp

MailChimp offers varying limits depending on your account type. Free accounts created before August 29, 2022 enjoy a daily limit of 2,000 emails and a monthly limit of 10,000 emails. For newer accounts, the daily limit drops to 500 emails, with a monthly cap of 2,500 emails.

MailChimp’s paid plans offer even more options. The Essentials package, at $11 per month, includes 500 contacts and allows sending up to 500,000 monthly emails. Premium plans start at $299 per month, while the Standard plan, at only $17 per month, provides advanced automation.

Yahoo! Mail

Yahoo Mail has a daily email limit of 500 emails, and your contact list can’t exceed 100. Each contact you add counts as one email toward the daily limit.

Although Yahoo! doesn’t provide specific information about their hourly limit, it’s believed to be around 100 emails per hour. You can try to use multiple email addresses to split your sending volume and avoid exceeding the Yahoo sending limit.

GoDaddy

Finally, GoDaddy’s Workspace email accounts allow you to send a maximum of 250 emails per day, with the option to increase it to 500 for an additional cost. The platform imposes a maximum of 100 recipients per email, counting all addresses in the “To, CC, and BCC” fields. If you exceed this, you’ll encounter error messages.

What If You Exceed the Daily Sending Limit?

If you send too many cold emails in a day — more than what your ESP allows — there can be various consequences, most of which may negatively affect your cold emailing campaigns.

You can, for instance, trigger technical glitches. These might manifest as emails not being delivered, messages bouncing back, or your email campaign failing to go out as planned.

Some ESPs, like Google, will immediately prevent you from sending any more emails for that day once you exceed the daily limit. This means your emails won’t go out until the next day when the limit resets.

Other ESPs like Microsoft might not reject your emails outright if you surpass the daily limit. Instead, they may hold your messages temporarily until the number of sent emails falls below the limit within the specified timeframe. This approach allows you to gradually send your backlog of emails without overloading the system.

In more serious situations, frequent violations of sending limits could lead to your ESP terminating your account. Mail servers have these limits to maintain the quality of their services and prevent misuse.

If you consistently ignore these limits, your ESP might view your email account as a potential problem and choose to shut it down.

Why Sender Reputation Matters More than You Think 

Sender reputation is a metric used by email service providers like Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook to determine the credibility and trustworthiness of your email domain or IP address. In essence, it’s a score that reflects the sender’s track record in delivering relevant, wanted, and engaging content to recipients’ inboxes.

While it’s true that your sender reputation has a direct impact on the number of cold emails you can send per day, its influence reaches far beyond mere email quotas. Your sender reputation is a complex factor that influences every facet of your email marketing efforts.

For one, the cold email campaigns you’ve poured time and effort into may never get a chance to shine if you have a poor reputation. Instead, they end up in the often-ignored spam folder, where few recipients ever venture. 

But it gets worse. Not only are your opportunities wasted, but your resources are squandered as well. Sending cold emails to a list when your sender reputation is in the dumps is like throwing your investments away. If your emails don’t land in the recipient’s inbox, all the hard work you’ve put into them is in vain.

Consider, too, the damage to your brand’s image. Consistently landing in the spam folder or, worse, sending unsolicited emails can tarnish your brand’s reputation.

Recipients may start associating your brand with the uninvited clutter of spam, fostering negative perceptions that can linger even after your next cold email campaign. 

And even if your emails manage to escape spam folders, they face an uphill battle in reaching the intended audience. Mistrust stemming from your reputation can result in low engagement rates. Recipients are less likely to open, read, or interact with your emails, significantly impacting your marketing goals and conversion rates.

The final blow is the long-term impact of a damaged sender reputation. Rebuilding it takes an enormous investment of time and effort. It’s far easier to maintain a positive reputation from the outset than to claw your way back from the depths of a tarnished one.

A poor sender reputation isn’t a short-term setback; it can cast a shadow over your email marketing efforts for an extended period.

So, how do you ensure you maintain a strong sender reputation that allows you to gradually increase your volume while keeping your cold email deliverability rates high? Read on to discover the key strategies.

What Impacts Sender Reputation?

Building a positive sender reputation, especially for cold emailing at scale, is not something that happens overnight. It requires consistent, responsible email practices over time. Some of these practices include: 

  • Personalization: One of the hallmarks of a reputable sender is the ability to send personalized emails. Take the time to research your recipients, understand their needs, and craft tailored messages. This not only increases your chances of engagement but also contributes to a positive sender reputation.

  • Relevance: Relevance is key to building a strong sender reputation. Ensure your emails are pertinent to the recipient’s interests, needs, or pain points. Irrelevant emails are more likely to trigger spam traps, harming your reputation.

  • Open Rates: High open rates indicate that recipients find your emails compelling. A steady increase in open rates over time can boost your sender’s reputation.

  • Click-Through Rates (CTR): Encourage recipients to take action by clicking on links within your emails. A strong CTR signifies that your content resonates with your audience, which is a positive signal to ESPs.

  • Reply Rates: Engaging with your audience through replies is a positive sign. Respond promptly and thoughtfully to build rapport and improve your reputation.

  • Low Complaint Rates: Recipients marking your emails as spam can have a severe impact on your standing with ESPs. Implement robust opt-out mechanisms and actively manage unsubscribes to minimize complaints.

  • Feedback Loops: Many ESPs offer feedback loops that notify you when recipients mark your emails as spam. Pay close attention to these notifications and take corrective action when necessary.

  • SPF and DKIM Records: Ensure that your SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) records are correctly configured. These mechanisms help validate your domain’s authenticity, enhancing your sender reputation.

  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance): Implementing DMARC policies can further safeguard your domain’s integrity and strengthen your sender reputation.

  • Compliance: Comply with CAN-SPAM and other email marketing regulations. Provide clear and easy-to-use options for recipients to opt out or unsubscribe from your emails. This not only builds trust but also helps maintain a positive sender reputation.

How many Cold Email Follow-ups Should You send?

Typically, it’s advisable to send one or two follow-up emails after the initial contact. These follow-ups should be spaced strategically, giving recipients enough time to respond but not forgetting your initial outreach. Common intervals include 3 to 7 days between each follow-up.

The content of your follow-up emails is crucial. Each follow-up should provide additional value or information, addressing any objections or concerns raised in previous emails. Personalization is key; tailor your follow-ups to the recipient’s needs and interests.

Wrapping Up

Building genuine relationships is at the heart of a successful cold email campaign. It’s not just a transactional process but an opportunity to connect, understand, and offer solutions. As you craft your emails, remember that behind every address is a person with aspirations, challenges, and a daily to-do list. Remember: the main goal is to not just get your email read, but to make a real impact on the person reading it.