5 min read

How Custom Reporting Helps Improve Your Cold Outreach

October 26th, 2020

Everyone is screaming that they hate being reached out to with a cold email while these exact people, or companies they are working at, do precisely the same thing – cold prospecting. And that’s great – the question is how far SDRs and BDRs are willing to go with personalization and reporting to boost the campaign’s stats.

Also, how do you go about reading the data you generated from your campaigns, spotting the issue, and adjusting to get the best out of your pipeline? Let’s find out.

*Disclaimer: The data you are about to see is real and has been gained over 3 years. To protect our clients’ privacy, no names will be shared.

Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance: get the right tool for your data funnel

There are lots of tools available for outreach campaigns, however, let’s have a look at the most popular ones.


Reply used to be an outreach-focused platform but has been developing into a CRM system, assisting customers with handling all data about prospects regardless of the way they got into the system.

So now, it’s rather an outreach-turned-CRM system with simple stats, providing you with opens, replies, bounces, total prospects engaged, and clicks for reporting.


Woodpecker is an outreach-only tool for cold prospecting. However, unlike Reply.io, it has less functionality that still covers basic outreach campaigns and is suitable for smaller budgets. Just as in reply.io, metrics are rather simple.


Quickmail is an outreach tool with some CRM elements – you can create tasks and call actions after email steps. But still, it has simple reporting capabilities.


Outreach.io is an industry-leading provider of combined (email and Linkedin) outreach services with custom reporting, the only disadvantage being that you must sign up for a minimum of a 1-year term with 200$/mo pricing. It’s rather a solution for enterprises.

Is that enough?

To improve and adjust outreach efforts for better conversions, SDRs should be more KPI driven – analyzing just open/reply rates would not do the trick.

Custom Reporting

Without a proper way to analyze, companies are blind and deaf, where their next move is almost like a shot in the dark rather than a thought-out step.

You may say that’s a waste of resources, time, and energy. Or simply useless. Of course, it depends on your strategy and expectations from the campaign: if the goal is to send 50k emails per day, blasting people with generic messages that would give you measurable ROI – you’d be right.

However, if you aim to run personalized drip campaigns boosting open/reply/appointment rates as well as reduce CPL (Cost Per Lead) – start customizing your excel file.

What you need is to build custom reporting to be able to see further data:

Having these metrics, you will be able to sift through the data with relevant filtering. For instance, what’s the reply rate for 2+ steps for Executive Persona? Or what’s the best-performing industry, and for which persona?

However, to get them you need a system inside your outreach platform with workflows to place ‘X’ in a certain column. i..e. “prospect A” opens an email – column with opens must have X, as that’s how excel file will count Xs and get you metrics at scale.

Feel free to shoot us a note to help you automate these things. Meanwhile, let’s move to the next point.

Crunching the numbers

Let’s start with the basics – every outreach tool, as was mentioned above, has standard metrics for outreach sequences, mainly:

Open Rate – shows how your domain and/or sender performs. If it is burnt, you will see negative fluctuations in the frequency of opens. And secondly, it simply shows how good the subject line is. 

To boost the open rate, we don’t track opens on the first step, letting servers get on well. Thus, the only way to track the open rate is to exclude 1st steps forms sequences.

Reply Rate – that’s where things are getting interesting. Reply rate shows how good your message and strategy is and whether it needs adjustments. ALSO, it shows whether the audience is right. Don’t worry – we will cover how to measure both later.

Bounce Rate – if it’s less than 2% – that’s great. Otherwise, someone is slacking on checking outreach lists. However, sometimes it’s just the industry which may cause bounce issue, like with Healthcare Industry:

Anyway, let’s go deeper. Assuming your open rate is good but the reply rate stays under 5% – delve into data and start analyzing. Is that content? No? What about the ICP?

For another client, which provides Amazon content and advertising solutions, we ran through those who have enough ASINs posted on the website in the relevant industry. What we realized with the data, that 51-200 employee accounts perform much better than 500+ ones.

Converting 500+ though turned out to be much more ROI positive. This finding steered us to aborting outreach efforts to 51-200 accounts, focusing on bigger ones instead.

Let’s have a look at another example. For another client, we are running campaigns through huge accounts clogging several chief personas. Custom reporting helps us to check which persona performs the best, from both appointments and actual sales perspective.

Final Thought

To stand out among the crowd it is crucial to be KPI driven and continuously adjust your campaigns to achieve better customer acquisition. To do that, you need custom solutions for better reporting – whether it’s inside of an excel file or outreach tool. But, if you don’t utilize outreach.io, the first one is the only way.

In the end, your pipeline can be predictable, once you find the right persona, pitch, and strategy. As if you are a pirate – just lock and load, set the right aim, and shoot. Cause, you know a pirate’s favorite thing about marketing? Thee arrrrrrROI!

You may also be interested in:

Blog Writing: Baby Steps.
Aim first, outreach second. Keep an order.
Website Design vs. Content: what matters most to your inbound efforts?
4 reasons to do blogging. Boost your online presence now!
Omnichannel outreach and why you need that.
Personalization@Scale 101
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