Irina Maltseva is Head of Marketing at Hunter. She enjoys working on inbound and product marketing strategies. In her spare time, Irina entertains her cat Persie and collects airline miles.
Cold Outreach: The Skinny
Cold outreach automation is a surefire way to scale your outreach return on investment.
“You need to define your target leads, segment them, gather their contact info, verify it, and create a personalized email template.”
A proper cold outreach process allows you to sell your offerings, nurture relationships, or get valuable backlinks to rank higher organically. You can achieve this seamlessly by automating the outreach.
This article details how to automate your cold outreach process for lead generation, and sales funnel optimization.
Read on to learn how to stay away from spam triggers while getting your desired results.
1. Identify the right lead targets
The first thing is to find the right people to connect with. You want to send cold emails to the right people and get you the response you desire.
For example, when you’re looking to build backlinks to one of your resource pages, find businesses that serve your target audience or similar blogs. These blogs and businesses are your target leads. Gather all their information, which you will use to segment the targets.
You may group your prospects by demographic, industry, psychographics (lifestyle, personality), market position, location, or otherwise according to your domain.
Segmenting will help create profiles that you can use to personalize your cold emails.
For example, for link building in the marketing industry, you could have segments like:
- Industry stars - thought leaders like Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jay Baer, etc.
- Market influencers - influencers in your niche with massive followers in their blogs.
- Emerging bloggers - bloggers who are just starting, but they have potential. You might notice that the blogger regularly posts quality content.
After having your categories, refine your list further to narrow down to the leads worth your effort.
You use Ahrefs to determine the Domain Rating (between 0 and 100) for each website. The Domain Rating shows you the value of a backlink from the website. A high rating means that the website is very influential.
Because the most influential websites are the hardest to reach, you can filter out the websites with a Domain Rating (DA) higher than 80. You can then filter out websites with a DA below 40 to remain with the best value websites.
2. Collect decision makers’ information
Now that you know your target leads, the next step is to find valid contact information about the decision-makers.
When building backlinks to your business, you need to collect information about editors, heads of marketing positions, or content marketers. These are the decision-makers. They are the most likely people to determine if you get a backlink or not.
Imagine having the information of the developer or lead designer. That won’t help you at all in this scenario because they deal in a different field. Well, unless they give you contact details for the right person.
It's easy to get overwhelmed when you have a long list of targets to analyze. While you can search for the contact details manually, you will save time with Email Finder.
You can quickly find the relevant email address of any professional working for a specific company you target.
So, automate the process and instead focus on getting more lead targets.
3. Build clean email lists
Not only are cold emails less intrusive than calls, but they are cost-effective too.
A quality check of your email list will avoid failed delivery. You do not want to go through all the trouble of creating killer emails, only for your emails to bounce.
Failure of email delivery can be permanent (hard bounce) or temporary (soft bounce).
Hard bounces occur when you email a non-existent address or an address that only accepts pre-approved domains.
To avoid the low deliverability of your emails due to hard bounces, ensure that all email addresses in your email list are valid and functional.
Soft bounces may occur when your recipient’s inbox is full or that you’re blacklisted. It could also result from a server declining your emails, or the email is extensive.
In this case, you could wait to see if the next sending attempt will be successful.
If more than 2% of your emails bounce, you need to implement some habits to help improve your bounce rate.
For example, you can use an Email Verifier to automate the email verification.
Besides verifying that the emails work, refine your email list to the most qualified leads. These leads will be your priority.
4. Write a personalized outreach template
Now, you have enough prospects, the contact of the decision-makers, and you’ve verified that their emails work.
The next step is to create a personalized outreach template to send emails to each target group in batches. These target groups are based on the profiles you created in step #1.
After writing your personalized outreach templates, you should also develop a follow-up sequence. One email is not enough to guarantee that your prospects will convert to clients.
Follow-up emails keep you in the prospect’s eyes, and you could push them down the sales funnel.
These cold email tips will help you increase your outreach ROI:
Write a killer subject line
An essential feature of a winning email subject line design is personalization.
Write a subject line relevant to the prospect so that they won’t see it as random cold email or spam.
Keep it short and straight to the point.
For example, “Question about [prospect’s problem].”
Questions make great cold email lines, as they can easily spark your prospects’ interest.
For example, “Did you find what you were looking for?”
Don’t forget to use power words to engage the reader’s imagination.
For example, “Share your expert opinion about [prospect’s pain point].”
With well-crafted cold email subject lines, you will be able to boost your cold outreach campaign.
Personalization of outreach body
Copy-pasted emails are more likely to be seen as random cold emails or spam. In many cases, you will offend the recipient and get blocked.
That's why it is important to personalize your emails for the receiver.
Personalization doesn’t end at using the recipient’s name in the salutation or subject line.
You must ensure that the outreach body includes elements that show you've researched and taken out time to write a good and professional email.
Introduce yourself, then focus on the recipient’s pain points. Your purpose for writing the email should be apparent on the get-go.
Include clear CTA and email sign-off
After explaining your purpose, summarize everything in one or two closing lines. Then include a call to action (CTA), so your recipient will know what to do next.
You can get the reader to respond, click on a certain link, or take a particular action. Make sure that the CTA is obvious.
A professional email must have a well-written ending line that can get the results you desire.
For the sign-off, Sincerely or Best Regards will suffice.
Include your professional signature
After writing your closing thoughts and signing off, you should send the email with a professional signature.
Your name or initials should suffice when writing personal emails, but in this case, a well-crafted signature is needed.
Your professional signature should include your full name, job title, email address, phone number, and a link to your website and social media profiles.
Ending your email with a professional signature makes it easy for the readers to reach out to you. It’s also a simple but effective step towards a more positive customer perception.
5. Don’t forget to follow-up
You should write a follow-up email to your prospects after no response. A follow-up email reminds your prospects of the emails they have missed.
Prospects only consider responding to cold emails after replying to their clients, colleagues, and partners. So, it’s easy for your email to get lost in their inboxes.
Hunter Campaigns, which is a cold outreach automation tool, allows you to automate the entire follow-up process. You simply write the follow-up emails and schedule them for each recipient.
6. Split test is your friend
After automating your email campaigns, you need to track their performance and tweak them accordingly.
You can ensure the success of your cold outreach campaign by tracking the following:
- Open rate: The percentage of emails that get opened
- Response rate: The percentage of direct replies to your emails
- Conversion rate: The percentage of prospects that complete your desired goal
Tracking your rates will help you determine if they are below the industry benchmark. If so, you need to use the insights to scale your outreach campaign.
You can track how these rates impact your outreach campaign by comparing the performance of different subject lines, opening lines, email body, CTAs, the time you send the emails, and more.
Finding the winning combination might take time. But don’t give up because once you find the perfect combo, it will pay off big time!
Automating your cold outreach process can help you improve your outreach ROI.
But first, you must identify the right lead targets that will get you the results you need.
Once done, gather valid contact information of decision-makers and build “healthy” email lists. Write personalized outreach templates, including a killer subject line, clear CTAs, personalized outreach body, and professional signature.
Don’t forget to follow up, automate, and track your email campaign performance. With a data synchronization and automation platform like Automate.io, you can improve your business processes and boost your productivity.