Do you want to achieve predictable revenue growth for your company’s sales in 2015?
One of the easiest and most certain ways to do that is to learn to build and deploy effective outbound email campaigns. Research from Marketing Profs, Inside Sales and countless other sources will all tell you that outbound email is still the most powerful tool for generating revenue.
As an email expert for B2B sales, I’m a big fan of outbound email, but only when it is done the right way. In fact, screwing up your cold email campaigns can actually be brand suicide and tarnish your company’s reputation as an obnoxious spammer.
B2B companies selling premium services and products need to make sure their marketing and sales efforts signal their high quality. In other words, if you’re selling to people in the C-suite you better be sure your outbound email campaign makes you feel like a specialty brand like “Whole Foods” instead of something generic like “Wal-Mart.”
Why People Screw Up Their Outbound Email Campaigns
The most common reason that people send out terrible email campaigns is that they’re desperately hurrying and looking for a “silver bullet” solution.
I see this scenario all the time. Sometimes it’s because businesses are in a hurry to make their revenue numbers to appease investors and board members, or maybe they’re trying to hit targets in order to raise a new round or not run out of cash.
While I’m glad these companies are looking at cold email as a predictable way to scale their sales revenue, they regularly sabotage their outbound efforts by trying to cut corners. Oftentimes these companies don’t have a clear picture of which prospects their emails are targeting, and so they also don’t really understand their sales prospects’ needs either. The result is usually building subpar untargeted prospect lists and crappy cold email copy; neither of which will lead to a successful outbound email campaign.
How to Avoid Ruining Your Brand with Bad Outbound Email Campaigns
Before you go wild blasting out thousands of cold emails from an untargeted list you bought from Data.com please consider these 3 basic questions:
- Which personas are you targeting? (What are their titles, what industries do they come from, and what’s their revenue size?)
- What are the pain points of each of these personas? (What annoys them and what do they fear?)
- How can you solve these peoples’ problems? (What benefits does your product or service offer them? List out the benefits from each of your value propositions.)
These 3 questions are the difference between running a successful outbound campaign that can generate dozens of sales calls and having your domain blacklisted as a spammer. If you can’t take the time to answer them, you shouldn’t be doing outbound. Otherwise you’re just sending your prospects irrelevant and uninteresting emails, and that’s a waste of your time and theirs.
3 Outbound Email Tips That Will Get You Dozens of Qualified Leads
1. Research Your Prospects Before You Even Build Your List
Answering the 3 questions above is the first step to understanding how to create an effective outbound email campaign that your prospects will actually respond to. The more research you do, the better your outbound emails will be.
Some tips for your outbound research to get started:
- See what your competitors are doing. Check out their website, read their blog and sign up for their email newsletters from an alternate email account.
- Research at least 3 real examples from your prospect list on Linkedin. What do these people have in common?
- Talk to your existing customers who fit your prospects’ buyer profiles to better understand their needs.
- Check with Google and popular news sites to see what’s trending or hot in your industry right now to see what people care about.
2. Build a High Quality Laser Targeted List
The best outbound email campaigns build highly targeted lists that have less obvious commonalities. Instead of just grabbing a list from Data.com based on titles, industry and company size you might want to try to find other ways you can group your prospects together.
Here are a few ways I recommend for building better lists:
- Do a Linkedin job search to see which companies that are hiring for specific roles similar to your product or service and build your list from there.
- Search for lists of speakers or attendees from relevant conferences and events.
- Have an intern, Odesk worker or SDR visit the websites of your existing targeted list and search for client or partner logos to expand your list.
3. Don’t Send the Same Lame, Generic Template to All Your Prospects!
Please, please, please do NOT send everyone the same identical email!
Ideally you should write unique email campaigns for each of your unique buyer personas from your list of prospects. However, if your prospects are similar enough you might be able to differentiate the copy enough with enough custom inserts built into the email copy.
Every cold email you send should have it’s own unique benefits, and only focus on one main value proposition per email.