Are you familiar with KISS? No, not the band, the acronym! KISS stands for Keep It Simple Sweetie (or Stupid if ya nasty). KISS is a good strategy for a lot of things, the more complex we make something, the harder we make it on ourselves, and often, the less successful our outcome. KISS is something we should keep in mind when we’re creating an outreach strategy.
Email outreach is a way to reach potential customers, boost your online presence, and build relationships for future collaboration opportunities. There are different types of outreach depending on your goals. But effective outreach strategies have similarities that can be tweaked to fit your specific needs.
The best cold outreach strategy can result in:
- More traffic
- Increased authority
- Social proof
- A wider audience
What is an Outreach Strategy?
An outreach strategy is a process that is meant to attract new customers, new readers, or new attention. The process can involve a single action or multiple steps. If you open a new bakery, your entire first sales outreach strategy might be distributing flyers in the neighborhood.
Suppose you’re a software company trying to sell your product. In that case, you might employ an email outreach strategy that involves sending an initial email and then an entire series of follow-up emails to potential customers.
If you’re a new blogger, your outreach strategy may involve contacting an influencer in your community through various social media channels to ask for a guest blog post spot on their (much larger) platform.
1. Determining Your Outreach Goals
The first step in building an outreach strategy is to define your end goal. What are you trying to accomplish? Whatever your business, your ultimate goal is to grow that business. To sell more widgets, to get more readers, to build beneficial relationships.
But those goals are just the end game; they’re too broad. Your outreach strategy has to be broken down into smaller steps, an outreach process that will help you reach those end goals. That’s why this list has 10 points and not 1!
Your goal depends on the type of outreach campaign you run.
- Generate Sales: A big part of generating sales is cold outreach marketing. This involves sending a series of emails to educate potential customers and build trust with them.
- Content Promotion: When you’re a little fish, you need bigger fish to promote your content, so more eyes are on it. One way to do this is through backlinks, having your content linked within the content of high-authority websites. Postaga can help you find high-value backlink outreach opportunities. Another effective strategy is to guest post for those bigger fish.
- Product Promotion: When you want to buy a product, what’s the first thing you do? You look for reviews. Product reviews are a powerful tool for promoting your product. Postaga can help you find websites that have reviewed your competitors’ products and reach out to them, asking them to do the same for you.
- Collaboration: Collaborating with another creator can bring in a new audience and potentially a different audience in the case of a cross-over collaboration. Define the target audience you want to reach and look for a creator with that audience.
2. Find the Best Channel of Communication
If someone calls me, I rarely answer. I hate talking on the phone; I much prefer texting or email. So if someone calls me with a sales pitch, an emergency, or winning lottery numbers, I’m not answering! We all have our preferred channels of communication. Before starting your outreach efforts, find out the method your target prefers.
It’s not that difficult. Do they respond to a lot of comments under their YouTube videos? Do they love to Tweet? Do they frequently post on LinkedIn? Digital marketing consultant Alexandra Tachalova loves LinkedIn for her link-building strategy as it provides the opportunity for a personalized approach and helps build relationships.
The best place to reach out is the place they most frequently hang out.
3. Build Your Outreach List
Cold outreach isn’t entirely cold. Whatever your outreach goals, you don’t just open the phone book, rip out a page, and start cold calling! Who is your perfect customer? If you’re looking for content promotion, who creates niche content relevant to your ideal reader?
Once you’ve created your ideal customer profile, you can build a targeted outreach list.
4. Collect Their Contacts
Once you know who you want to reach out to, you need contact information. Postaga can help you find contact and social profile information and email addresses so you can send a Tweet, connect on LinkedIn, or send a personalized email. With Postaga, you’ll always get live email addresses so your email message will reach its intended target.
5. Segment Your Targets for More Opportunities
Segmenting your targets is essential because it gives you more control over your sales campaign strategies, makes scaling them more manageable, and, most importantly, customizes your emails. Personalization in an outreach email is a must if you want to convert. Some 72% of prospects will only engage with personalized content.
Geographical Segmentation: This kind of segmentation is excellent for sales outreach campaigns that are international. That can mean several time zones, different workweeks (not all countries work Monday-Friday), and holidays. This is a lot to keep track of, so lucky for you, Postaga can do it for you.
Demographic Segmentation: Demographics are things like age, gender, location, household income, and level of education. You have (or should have) a lot of demographic data on your potential customers so you can tailor your outreach activity and marketing strategies based on demographics.
Behavior-Based Segmentation: This kind of segmentation typically applies to warm leads, and within those, their position in the sales funnel. The behaviors include customer interactions with your brand like their purchasing history, website, and social media site interactions. If a customer only buys items on sale, it won’t be appropriate to send them information on new products (that aren’t discounted).
Tech-Stack Segmentation: This segmentation requires you to know what technology business owners use on their sites. Once you know this, it’s easier to sell your services. If you sell a newsletter service and potential targets don’t have Mailchimp, it could be an easy win for you.
SEO Metrics Segmentation: You know how important SEO is, and that goes for segmentation too. When you do link-building outreach, part of the customer strategy is to segment the list based on SEO metrics. You can find organic traffic and domain rating in tools like Ahrefs and Spam Score in Moz.
6. Craft a Compelling Email Subject Line
If you want potential clients to open your email (you do!), you have to have a hook, something to intrigue them. Nearly 70% of people mark email messages as spam based solely on the subject line. But 33% of recipients are intrigued enough to open a marketing email because of a catchy subject line.
Your subject lines should contain the following elements:
And because you never want to start a new email chain when you send a follow-up message, you only have one chance to get your subject line right, so make it count!
7. Personalize Emails With Your Personality
Personalization is becoming an increasingly important part of sales outreach strategy. Consider these statistics:
- 91% of consumers say they’re more willing to do business with a company that provides offers directly relevant to them
- 36% of people want companies to offer more personalized experiences
- 72% only respond to messages aimed directly at them
- 80% of eCommerce users only choose companies that provide a personalized experience
- 72% only respond to messages directly aimed at them
- 70% of Millennials feel unfavorable about brands that don’t send personalized emails
- Marketers typically see a 20% increase in sales revenues when their email campaigns are personalized
- Including a customized video in an email can increase click-through rates by up to 200%
Personalize like they used to vote in Chicago, early and often starting in the opening line. Postaga scrapes company social profiles for you to help you write a personalized opening line and collects article snippets in the same dashboard so you can write the perfect opening lines for successful link building.
There are four potent ways to personalize your emails:
Text: A personalized opening line will contain just plain text. Using the email recipient’s name seems like an obvious choice, but that tactic has largely been co-opted by spammers, and it can make your message look spammy. Try using your name instead! “Andy’s Top 5 Tips for the best cold outreach strategy you’ve ever seen!”
Personalize the body of your email with different kinds of visual media:
Images: You can use tools to create custom images and graphics for a potential customer using things like their company logo or other associated images. Including such specific, personalized images shows that you’ve done a lot more than copying and pasting a generic message for them and hundreds of other people. We like and recommend Nexweave.
GIFs: RIP to Stephen Wilhite, the creator of the GIF, who passed away recently. Without him, we would never experience the joys of Side-Eye Chloe or Homer Backing Into the Bushes. Tailor your included GIFs based on the segmentation data you collected in Step 5.
Videos: While videos can be compelling, especially for those who prefer to absorb information visually rather than by reading, people are busy. You know how you get annoyed when your friend wants to show you a video they think is funny on YouTube, and you agree because they keep bugging you about it, and when they open the video, it’s ten minutes long, and you want to die? Yeah. Keep any included videos in a first cold email short. Busy people aren’t going to watch a video that’s longer than a minute or two.
Emojis: Using emojis in your outreach strategies is a bit of a crapshoot. Some people love them; some people find them absurd and unprofessional. And emojis fall in and out of fashion just like any other trend. For a while, hearts were the emoji du jour, and today they’re considered passe. You need to know your audience well before you risk wading into the emoji minefield! Should you use an emoji in a pitch to a white-shoe law firm? Definitely not. Should you use an emoji in a link-building email to a Gen-Z lifestyle blogger, probably.
8. Follow-up Without Being Annoying
Persistence is the key to closing your deals. Cold email statistics show that the average response rate for a first email is 16% and sending at least one follow-up boosts the response rate by an average of 27%!
Your first email is just the amuse-bouche, something to prime the palate! The follow-up emails are the other courses culminating in the dessert course, that sweet moment you seal the deal! Each follow-up should have a point, providing additional information, scheduling a call or meeting, offering a free trial.
The sequence of your emails is essential, too; there’s a particular rhythm that you should follow for the best results.
But if your best efforts have failed and you’ve had no response after several attempts, know when to quit. Send that final break-up email and then give up.
9. Automate Cold Email Outreach Campaigns
If follow-up emails are a must (they are), automating your entire cold outreach campaign is how you can make that must-do as painless and seamless as possible.
Postaga has a built-in mechanism that allows you to schedule multiple campaigns months in advance. There are also automated follow-up email sequences that will save you a considerable chunk of time and make sure a customer who is getting warm doesn’t go cold due to lack of communication. Content Hub’s automated campaign builder will build your campaigns with ease, automating most of the process for you.
10. Actively Engage With Prospects on Social Media
Personalization is easier than it ever was, thanks to all of the communication channels today; LinkedIn, company blogs, personal blogs, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and the list goes on! Although LinkedIn and Twitter are the best places to pop up as a way to establish your credibility.
You can glean tons of relevant information from these sources that will allow a level of personalization and customization never before possible.
Well, lucky for you, you don’t have to glean it; Postaga can do it for you! Postaga scrapes the social media profiles of your prospects and company social profiles too.
The more a prospect sees you on their social media, the more they feel they know you and can trust you. It shows that you are interested in them and what they have to say, which is universally flattering!
Best Ways to Improve Your Cold Outreach Campaign Strategy
1. Always Target the Decision Maker
The best cold outreach strategy won’t work if you’re talking to the wrong person. Make sure the person you’re talking to can grant you what you want, whether that’s a sale or a guest posting spot.
2. Write Super Personalized Emails
The best cold outreach strategies aren’t cold at all but warmed up through ultra-personalization. We can’t stress this enough.
3. Set Campaigns Based on Prospects’ Timezones
People don’t read emails at 3:00 am. And what might be 11:00 am your time might be the middle of the night for the person you’re sending the email to. Check time zones before scheduling emails.
4. Always Test Out Subject Lines
Compose two great subject lines and send the same email with different subject lines to a small portion of your list. See which line got the most opens, and go with that one for the rest of your list.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to A/B Test Email Elements
A/B testing works the same way testing out subject lines described above works. Test out two versions on a small segment of your list and see which one gets more opens.
6. Send Cold Email To Land a Call
A cold email is one way to warm up to what would otherwise be a cold phone call! It’s less nerve-wracking for sure. Be sure to include a clear CTA for the reader to schedule a call with you.
7. Segment Based on Location, Industry, Size, and SEO Metrics
Segmenting is the first step to the kind of ultra-personalized, ultra-customized email campaigns that can help build lasting relationships and long-term customers.
8. Always Follow Up Without Annoying Them
Follow-up is one of the best ways to improve cold outreach strategy and is really a non-negotiable. But know when enough is enough, or you could violate spam laws.
9. Be Transparent and Reasonable With Prospects
Don’t use clickbait, and don’t promise things you can’t deliver. It might get you a sale, but it won’t get you a loyal customer, and one disgruntled customer can do a lot of damage. And don’t expect too much, especially early on in your communication. Don’t include a CTA that asks for too much commitment too early.
10. Persuade Prospects to Your Call to Action
Make your CTA clear and reasonable. And never include more than one per email! More than one can confuse the reader.
To Wrap It All Up
While seeing a list of 10 ways to improve cold outreach strategies can seem overwhelming, these 10 action points have the potential to really improve your conversion rates which is the goal for any cold outreach. And if you’ve been around the block a few times, you’re probably already doing several, just check off the rest on the list, and you’ll be golden!
Outreach strategies that are appropriately segmented and based on that segmentation, ultra-personalized and ultra-customized for each reader, will garner the best results for your cold email outreach campaigns and other outreach activities.
Generally, cold outreach campaigns take the form of one of the following: sales emails, media pitch emails, networking pitch emails, brand pitch emails, content promotion emails, and link-building emails.
Your entire cold email outreach strategy should be focused on the first step in this list, determine your outreach goals. Once you have a goal in mind, all the steps will be tailored to help your campaign meet that goal.
Link-building starts and ends with building relationships. Focus on building authentic relationships with those you want to help promote your content. Engage frequently on your target’s social media channels.
Segment your marketing lists and customize your approach, everything from the initial email to every follow-up that comes after, to solving a problem your target is having. Solve that problem, and you have a new customer.
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