What is more valuable than first-hand advice from companies who grew with cold email outreach? I’ve put together a list of top 5 tips that can help you excel in running email campaigns. Let’s get straight to the point.
Tip #1 Go for smaller cold email campaigns
Instead of jumping straight into creating campaigns for hundreds of prospects, take baby steps. How? Divide your prospects into smaller batches and plan a series of mini-campaigns.
It’s easier to get replies
Think about it. You planned a huge outreach campaign for hundreds of prospects you found in one of those 15 places. You didn’t have enough time for personalization. Plus, there are so many variables, so the template you wrote is very generic. “At least I have it out of the way and I can focus on getting replies,” you think.
Well, a generic email copy won’t get you any replies. It’s one of the things people hate about email outreach. But it can be amended:
It’s easier to see what works well
Running a huge campaign, you’re forced to wait weeks until a big campaign finishes to gain much-needed insight. But with smaller campaigns, you’re able to draw conclusions way sooner and change your approach if it goes sour. Thus no sooner your cold email campaign finishes, are you able to conduct A/B tests to find out the tricks that work better on your prospect group. And then, optimize your email for higher results.
It’s easier to keep track of your deliverability
There are also technical aspects in favor of a lean approach to cold email campaigns. Sending massive campaigns in a short time increases the frequency of the emails sent. It may spoil your deliverability rates. Very short time breaks between your emails look like a spamming attempt to vigilant spam filters. Don’t worry. You can easily optimize your campaign before hitting ‘Send’.
Who recommends smaller campaigns?
This approach works well for a lead generation company like LeadPal, who shared with us that they get the best results from campaigns targeted at 50-70 prospects.
Jumper.ai, a social commerce tool, recommends adding a maximum of 100 prospects per campaign. Small campaigns allow them to check the results and amend the email copy as they go. A lean approach to cold email outreach makes it easier to manage the responses too.
Also, edrone, a SaaS company that offers a CRM system for e-commerce, tends to divide their prospect database into several smaller groups for better optimization.
Do you want to follow their approach? Learn how to prepare a lean cold email campaign here >>
Start 1-to-1 business conversations at scale
Tip #2 Put snippets into your email copy
Many people hate cold emails because they got ones that are impersonal and written after a fashion. This is the main factor that makes people prejudiced to cold emailing in general. How can you make people want to read yours? The answer is to use custom snippets.
Snippets boost email relevancy
Personalization adds a dimension of relevance to a cold email. Basic snippets, like a person’s name or a company name, catch the recipient’s attention. That’s a good start, but unfortunately, only a halfway to success.
You need to sprinkle your copy with some advanced snippets. But you must do some thorough research on your prospects beforehand. Look for prospect information from various sources. Start with looking up their LinkedIn profile, official website and continue skimming through other pages until you’re confident they match your Ideal Customer Profile.
Save relevant information for your outreach’s purpose. Plus, find some additional info for custom snippets to give your email and individual flair.
LeadPal shared with us that they include both basic and advanced snippets while composing cold campaigns for themselves as well as their customers’ campaigns. They usually reach an 87% open rate, 23% overall reply rate, and 5% positive response rate. Quite impressive, isn’t it?
Snippets increase email deliverability
Snippets not only grab your prospect’s attention but also play a role in keeping a good the deliverability rate. Spam filters can recognize template-looking emails and direct them straight to a spam folder, hurting your domain reputation in the process.
OBO Agency agrees that snippets are a crucial element of a cold email copy. They use customized snippets that match the context of the individual campaigns.
Usually we refer to first name, company name, and sometimes custom merge tags based upon the campaign (e.g. specific software they’re using.)
Tip #3 Always send follow-up emails
Follow-ups should be an integral part of your cold email campaign because they significantly increase the engagement of your prospects.
Follow-ups boost your replies
Every follow-up email boosts the total reply rate of your campaign. An opening email plus two or three follow-up messages are the absolute minimum. We have numbers to prove it.
Not only the stats prove it, but also our customers personally confirm that their most successful campaigns include two to even four follow-up emails.
How to plan following up?
Edrone’s `co-founder, Michal Blak, says:
We use follow-ups. Scheduling follow-up sequences is a great functionality of Woodpecker. After sending the first message, we usually use 3-4 messages.
Imaginare Digital, web design and digital marketing agency from the UK, structure their campaigns in three steps:
- The email sequence starts with an opening email that introduces the company, states the unique value of their service that is relevant to the recipient, then asks the prospect for their thoughts on the topic or encourages them to visit their website to see the case studies.
- Next, after 3 days, the recipient receives a follow-up to the previous email in the same email chain for an easy reference.
- The sequence finishes with an email containing a relevant case study and asking for an appointment.
Tip #4 Run A/B tests to learn what works
Even the top performers had to pave their way to success with missed and hit solutions. All it takes is some practice and testing.
A/B tests help you find out what works
Imaginaire found out what cold email copy works best for them, even though it’s against common suggestions:
We’ve found short, to-the-point emails massively outperform the typical ‘send-them-a-novel’ type of advice that is given on SEO blogs.
No one has a silver bullet solution for a successful cold email campaign. A formula that works perfectly for some, may not be so effective for others. That’s why split testing is the path to success.
How to start with A/B tests
In order to conduct an A/B test, you should take a homogenous group of prospects and divide it into two smaller groups. Then, prepare two campaigns that differ only in one element.
There are a few things you may want to test:
- subject line
- from line
- delivery time
- value proposition
- email signature
Here’s all about A/B testing:
- A/B Testing in Cold Email: How to Optimize Our Copy to Get More Replies? >>
- My open, reply or interest cold email metrics are low, what can I A/B test? >>
- How to Carry Out A/B Testing of Cold Email Copy in Woodpecker? >>
Tip #5 Use cold emails for more than outbound sales
Cold emails are great for the purpose of starting any conversation, not only a sales-oriented one. Cold email outreach can be used for building relations with new partners, connecting with influencers or doing market research before launching a new product or service.
Great as part of your agency’s service
Take a look at the example of Imaginaire. They use cold emails for two purposes: general outreach and sales. They reach out to the owners of websites they want to be featured on:
We’re very lucky to see some really strong results thanks to our qualification of websites to reach out to and the level of personalization we use. Generally, we get an open rate of 60-70%, and a positive reply rate of 15-20%.
This has led to us gaining some excellent placements both for ourselves and for our clients and it provides us with an efficient and effective process for client work.
Here’s all about Woodpecker Agency Panel:
Great for multi-channel outreach
A multi-channel approach is all the rave now. It means that you don’t limit yourself to doing either, inbound or outbound lead generation. You combine the two.
For example, your prospect for the people who would be interested in some webinar, you organize the webinar, then you reach out to those who signed up with an email outreach campaign. That’s what we did last year. And we shared this in two blog posts:
- How We Found our Prospects on Quora: Vol. 1 >>
- How We Asked Quora People to Attend Our Webinar: Vol. 2 >>
Great for customer retention
Email is a great channel to use to stay in touch with your customers. First of all, it’s personal. You reach out to a specific person and not a faceless company. Secondly, you build rapport. You can add a personal touch to your email so to sway the user in your favor. And lastly, it’s easy to scale. You can run any campaign automatically. Just add the customers you want to get in touch with.
Check out Etienne’s blog post about using email automation apps for customer retention >>
Do you have an idea of how you could extend the use of cold emails in your company?
Back to you
I hope you will find these tips useful for your own business. Do you have any advice based on your experience with cold emails? Share it with us in the comments below or on our social media profiles.