Cold Email vs Linkedin – Why Linkedin is More Profitable for B2B Businesses

By: Jack Reamer |
 August 31, 2022 |

With over a decade of lead generation experience, we have found that you will get a higher reply rate on Linkedin

Initially, we started out as a cold email lead generation agency called Emailsthatsell, but over time, we started evolving and realized that LinkedIn is a much more profitable channel for B2B companies when it comes to generating high-quality leads. 

On average, we are seeing 20-50% reply rates from Linkedin outreach at Salebread, whereas with email outreach, we are seeing a 10-20% reply rate on average. 

So in our opinion, Linkedin is the better outbound channel for booking more qualified sales meetings compared to email.

This article will share our findings and reasonings.

Here are the stats for cold email outreach

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Average Reply Rate

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Average Open Rate

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Average Unsubscribe Rate

As we mentioned above, we are seeing an average reply rate of between 10 and 20% when it comes to cold email outreach

Quickmail, a company that specializes in cold email outreach, and an auto warmer, mentions that “the best 25% of campaigns have a 20% reply rate or more.”

But what if you are seeing less than 10% in your response rates? This probably means that most of your emails are being sent to the spam folder

If this is the case please read this article to see how we run our cold outreach email campaigns

In it, we share how to write personalized messages, (we even share templates that you can adapt).

You will also learn how to build a targeted list of prospects, what would be the correct email segmentation to use, and how many emails you should be sending per day.  

You might also want to try using Quickmails free auto warmer, which will allow you to warm up your inbox.

This will ensure that your emails aren’t sent to your prospect’s spam folder

Why?

Because it creates a positive sender reputation, by generating engagement automatically by replying to some emails. 

Here are the stats for Linkedin outreach

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Connection Request Acceptance Rate

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Positive Reply Rate

Qualified Leads Per Day

According to Linkedin, the average reply rate is three times higher than that of cold email

As mentioned above, Salesbread is seeing POSITIVE reply rates of between 20-50%. These stats are taken once we get a new connection to reply to us.

Because of these reply rates, we are seeing 1-2 leads per day for our clients. 

What are some of the biggest differences between Linkedin outreach and cold email?

Number 1: Linkedin shares valuable insights that cold email doesn’t. 

Unlike cold email, Linkedin allows you to see who is most likely to engage with you based on their social media activity on the channel. 

(For example, you can see who has been active on the platform recently, by filtering results by recently posted.)

When we build a cold email list, we can never know which person has opened a cold email lately. So you can’t prioritize which prospects to message first. 

Whereas with Linkedin, you could reach out to everyone who is active on the platform first.

If a prospect is more active on Linkedin, the chances of them engaging with you will be higher. 

And this is one of the reasons why our response rates are so much higher than with cold emails. Because we can see who is a heavy user on the platform and prioritize reaching out to them first. 

You can also engage with prospects who are in your second-degree network. 

Why is this important? 

Well, we have seen that prospects who are in your second-degree network are more willing to accept your connection request because of having a shared commonality. 

They have already accepted someone like you into their network, so the chances of them accepting you will be much greater than if they were a third-degree connection. 

Number 2: With Linkedin, you can reach out to a greater pool of validated prospects.

And if you are a b2b sales rep for example, and you can’t validate your prospect’s emails by using a tool such as neverbounce.com, there will always be a percentage of your market (maybe 20-40%) of your market who is not reachable through email outreach campaigns.

Why? Because you can’t find a valid email address for the prospects and this means that your messages will most likely bounce. 

This could be one of the reasons why reply rates through email are lower. 

Whereas with Linkedin, you can reach out to a lot more Linkedin users who have valid profiles that they are using.

As mentioned in point one, you can check how engaged they are on the platform, and this ensures that prospects on your list will get your messages. 

If a prospect doesn’t use Linkedin, don’t reach out to them on the platform, this will just be a waste of time.

It would be better to reach out to them on a platform that they engage a lot with. This could be by cold calling them, sending an SMS, an email, or using a different outreach channel, like Instagram or Twitter. 

Number 3: Linkedin lead generation can give you a lot more context as a salesperson

Why do we say this? Because if you have a Linkedin account, you are sending a LinkedIn message with a fully filled-out profile.

Think about it. 

When you receive a cold message through email, you aren’t really sure who the person is who is reaching out to you.

You could Google their name, or their company email address, which might help validate who they are, but there are also a lot of scammers out there who use cold email to target people. 

Whereas if you have a great Linkedin profile, and you send messages through Linkedin to potential customers, they can click on your profile and see who you are and what you’re about. 

Your profile provides social proof that a prospect might need to convince them to engage with you.

With a great profile prospects can see exactly who you are and how established your business is.

They can see things like which companies you have worked with, what’s your title, endorsements, and so on. 

Have a look at the example below:

You can see:

  • The person that you are engaging with.
  • Exactly what it is that they do.
  • Who their connections are
  • Where they are from
  • How many connections and followers they have
  • How long their business has been established for. 

Let’s face it. Someone will look at your profile before they respond.

And unfortunately, with email, you can’t see all of the above. You might have your signature and an image, but it’s not quite as trustworthy.

So when it comes to your email outreach strategy you really have to up your game and work harder to get that prospect to reply. 

And we aren’t saying that email doesn’t work. It does work and is still relevant for finding leads, but we find Linkedin to be more profitable. 

Number 4: Cold Email is easier to automate

A study published by Forbes shows that almost 65% of emails are ignored. 

And if you think about it, there are hundreds of email automation tools on the market. 

How many automated emails have you received just this week alone? You received the same email that another hundred people received.  (I counted, and within 3 days, I’ve received about 50 automated emails. Whereas with Linkedin, I’ve received 2 automated Linkedin InMails.)

Chances are, you probably didn’t even read the email because you know it’s automated and generic. It isn’t personal for you, so your mind automatically blocks out the mail.

With Linkedin, it’s a lot harder to automate messages. And this enhances the channel. It’s much easier to come across as an actual human on Linkedin

Yes, there is noise on both email and Linkedin, but if you use personalization in your messages, whether it’s via Linkedin or email, your email open rates and connection request acceptance rates will be higher.

And unfortunately, most sales teams and lead gen agencies leave out ultra-personalization. 

(To see why Salesbread is different from every other lead generation agency, read this article:  https://salesbread.com/the-best-done-for-you-lead-generation-service/ )

Number 5: With Linkedin, you build an asset:

What do we mean by this? Well on Linkedin you are continually growing a network of potential clients who are ideal buyers for your product/service. 

You’re growing a network that you can continually reach out to, share posts with, and sell to over many years.

Clients that we have worked with on behalf of, have walked about with 1 lead a day, but they also walk away with (after engagement with) sometimes thousands of new ideal prospects in their network that will always see their posts and reach out to in a heartbeat. 

It is actually an asset that you are able to grow and nurture over the years, that you can keep selling to. 

Whereas with cold email, once you go through a list that’s kind of it. You might be able to re-engage them, but it’s harder.

What’s the verdict?

As we mentioned at the outset of this article, we feel Linkedin prospecting is more profitable than cold email outreach. If you’re curious to see if Linkedin will work for you, read this article on how to test it out within 7 days. 

Or hop on a free 15-minute consultation call with Salesbread if you have any questions about gaining more qualified b2b sales leads for your business. 

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