These days if all is good in your company and you’re not worrying about new customers, you’re probably running a unicorn startup. Otherwise it might just be a short moment of silence before another storm of customer issues and growing demands that fuel the fear of competition taking them away. To avoid storms, you might consider organizing a cold email campaign to satisfy your need for new customers.
In case of most businesses, the goal is usually clear – growth. It can’t be achieved without sales, but companies aren’t like sailboats. You don’t have to wait for the right wind to get you to your goal.
You can install an engine on your boat and reach your destination regardless of the wind. A good lead generation campaign can help your company, similarly to that additional engine, when sales aren’t doing great.
Avoid dangerous waters – here’s what you should know about preparing, organizing and sending-out a cold email campaign to get satisfying results.
Preparing for campaign – new account and website fixes
There’s one small and second, probably larger, thing to do before you even organize your campaign to improve future results.
The first thing is necessary. It’s not the best idea to send campaign emails from the same account that you use everyday. Create another personalized email address on your domain. Campaign emails will be separated, and you’ll have a better chance of not missing that important reply from an interested customer.
Don’t use nicknames, make sure you include at least your full first name. The safest bet (and most trustworthy) is (first name).(last name)@domain.
When someone is interested in your email, they will research you next. 74% of B2B buyers conduct thorough online research before contacting a salesperson. It just makes sense to prepare relevant links about your company to add to emails. Make it easy to research you, and potential customers might respond faster.
If possible, your website should get a look-up before the campaign. This is the second thing and depending on the state of your current website it might turn out to be too large of a project. But do what you can to make it look good:
remove too much information – don’t oversell your offer
publish portfolio – get case studies
proofread content – check website content for correctness
Additional note about case studies – they are the 3rd most important marketing tactic for B2B businesses. My guess is that it’s because they interact so well with other tactics.
When you grab someone’s attention with a cold email and direct them right to an informative case study, it’s an opportunity to make a good first impression and instantly prove your professionalism.
But your marketing message has to be consistent throughout your emails and your website. If it’s pleasant to read your email, it should also be nice to browse your website and read content like case studies.
Once you’re prepared, how should you continue with organizing your campaign?
Organizing your campaign – niche customer segment, appealing to personal customer aspirations
According to research by B2B International, B2B target audiences are much smaller than in consumer markets. Most, even the largest, B2B companies have 100 or fewer companies that really impact their sales.
That’s why it’s important to find a target audience that needs your solution and can afford your prices.
Even if you can target thousands of companies around the world, it’s best to organise campaigns targeting specific groups of customers – it allows much better personalization, which makes emails more convincing.
Limiting the outreach of your cold email campaign to niche segments creates a solid foundation for writing and personalizing emails. Knowing where your customers are located determines the language you’ll use – it might be a good idea to start with your native market for your first campaign.
Personalization depends mostly on the type of decision maker and business that your campaign is aimed at. A recent study by Google, CEB’s Marketing Leadership Council and Motista surveyed 3,000 purchasers of 36 B2B brands. The study has shown that, contrary to popular belief, B2B customers are much more emotionally connected to their vendors and service providers than consumers. And that –
“B2B purchasers are almost 50% more likely to buy a product or service when they see personal value — such as opportunity for career advancement or confidence and pride in their choice — in their business purchase decision.”
This shows us that to sell more, you need to empathize more with your customers. Try to understand not only their professional aspirations, but personal ambitions as well.
This doesn’t mean adding “get a promotion” to the most commonly used line ever – “lower your costs”. This means that you should personalize cold emails based on what customers from your segment will find trustworthy.
A startup CEO might respond to a short, blunt email from another startup CEO. They probably both appreciate the loose, informal startup ways of communicating, and might like to keep it direct and short as possible.
But a senior board member of an enterprise most likely won’t bother unless the email is more formal, descriptive, with relevant data and a clearly valuable offer. He simply needs more data to even consider taking the offer to other decision makers involved in the buying process.
Find niche segments that you can actually write personalized emails for. Try defining your target segment by:
- type of decision maker (ie. CEO / Marketing Manager / Team Leader)
- type of business (early-stage enterprise SaaS / startup with ready product / mature software dev studio)
Sending – timing experiments and following up
It really matters when you send your emails. Informational noise is something that all of us deal with nowadays, and emails get lost in inboxes all the time, never opened.
There are two things that you can do to overcome that informational noise – experiment with timing and follow-up with at least 2 additional emails.
Timing is tricky. But plenty of research has gone into finding out the best times to send emails because it’s one of the most popular marketing channels for brands.
Researchers from Pure360 have even found the best times for sending marketing emails by industry:
Which is a great table for reference. But if these times don’t work for you, ultimately the best thing you could do is experiment with various sending times in your campaign.
Markets are more diverse than ever, and experimenting is a good way to match the timing with moments in which your target customers are checking their inbox.
Don’t let quality leads go to waste – follow-up!
Experienced sales professionals and founders have long known this – like Jason Zook, who wrote “more than 75 percent of the 2,000 deals I’ve landed over the years have come from sending follow-up emails.”
Follow-ups are a few more emails that you can experiment with, write in a different way and send at a different time before you decide that someone just doesn’t want to reply to you.
Give yourself at least 3 chances – 3 emails – before you let go of a possibly valuable lead from your niche customer segment.
Preparation before a cold email campaign can increase results later on, and it includes:
- creating a trustworthy, personalize email address dedicated for your campaign
- implifying and proofreading website content, adding/improving portfolio and case studies
There are several things you can do to organise your campaign well:
- Pick a niche customer segment that you know how to connect with
- Personalize email content appealing to professional, as well as personal aspirations of potential customers
- Experiment with timing of your emails
- Follow-up at least 2 times after your first email