How to Build an Outreach Strategy To Grow Startups

Andy Cabasso

October 22nd

You have finally decided to take the plunge and navigate the waters of entrepreneurship – congrats! It’s time to drive customers to your doors.

startup growth postaga image

Growth is a massive challenge for startups. You must discover channels that work best for your startup, which are scalable and light on your pocket. Optimized paid ads can work fast, but you need a hefty budget for that. Unless you have a deep pocket, you should avoid it.

This post walks you through the nuts and bolts of an outreach strategy for startups, including:

  • Figuring out whether email outreach is suitable for your business
  • Tips for building a winning outreach marketing strategy
  • Tools and software that can help
  • How to get started with outreach for startups
  • Pro tips on executing your outreach strategy
email outreaching startup meme

Sounds interesting? Let’s dive right in.

What Is An Outreach Strategy?

In the marketing sphere, outreach refers to the process of sending unsolicited cold emails to strangers. There are tons of cold email outreach strategies out there. You have to choose your outreach strategy depending on what you want to accomplish. We’ve compiled a few examples of what you can achieve with optimized cold email outreach.

  1. Cold email outreach for Sales & Lead Generation
  2. Outreach strategy for networking
  3. Content promotion & link building outreach strategy
  4. Cold email outreach for podcast
  5. Brand, Media, PR email outreach strategy

Virtually any industry is competitive; implementing these strategies is mandatory if you want your startup to survive.

Is Cold Email Outreach Suitable for Startups?

According to National Business Capital, about 21.5% of startups in the USA fail within the first year. The only way for survival is to generate MRR (monthly recurring revenue) by getting clients fast. MRR measures the revenue stream you can confidently anticipate every 30 days. 

The best way to close your first potential customer is through hyper-personalized cold email outreach. Without the unique implementation of ideas, you lose the battle of getting steady clients and the chance for growth.

startup battle meme

SEO and content marketing are effective, but it requires time. Regularly publishing a piece of content won’t cut it. Instead, you will need to spend tons of time on promotion and link building to generate organic traffic. Once you have enough organic traffic, only then can you convert them to leads.

But that’s a long road, and you don’t have enough time. In addition, generating MRR requires building a formidable sales email outreach strategy.

Should Startups Use Social Media Ads?

Unless you have some serious funding, you should avoid social media ads. Let’s figure out whether it’ll work out for you.

If you are an e-commerce startup, you should look into Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest Ads.

If you’re a software company, Linkedin and Quora ads could be your best bet. However, LinkedIn Sales Navigator combined with a sales outreach strategy can produce superior results for a real bargain.

Generalized B2C startups should go for Facebook. Since it has a mixed and generalized audience base, it is supposed to work well. However, Facebook ends up breaking the bank. Hence you’d have to hire experts to see profitable results, which ends up driving up the costs anyway.

startup meme

There are also several reasons to avoid social media ads for startups:

  1. Limited Reach: Not every business owner will use Instagram or TikTok
  2. New Restrictions Every Now & Then: Everyone has faced ad restrictions issues without knowing what they did wrong.
  3. Interest-based Audience: Keyword-based ads are better, period.
  4. Not Efficient: Burns your budget like a forest fire.
  5. Unreliable: Facebook recently went dark, but emails are forever available.

One of the most common mistakes startups make is spending too much on Ads without reliable financial resources. If you want direct communication with people, you better hit their email inbox.

Build Authority Before Sales

If people don’t trust you, they are less likely to collaborate with you or buy your services.

Building authority isn’t just about having a robust social media presence; you also need to have a good relationship with business owners in your niche.

Having a website to showcase influential figures vouch for you can significantly build your authority. Testimonials and reviews work like charms for startups. Having a blog with fresh content while promoting it is another key to growing your website’s authority.

  1. Grow your social media presence
  2. Add a blog to your website
  3. Publish content regularly
  4. Promote your content
  5. Create case studies
  6. Get people to vouch for you

Work with Realistic Goals

Before you start blasting emails around your target market, create specific goals relevant to your outreach campaign. Goals tell you exactly where to focus your efforts and provide a benchmark to determine your success.

You cannot expect miracles from one single effort. It takes weeks, if not months, to gain traction. So set reasonable expectations to avoid disappointments later down the line.

one doesnt simply marketing meme

Examples of specific, realistic, and relevant outreach goals:

  • Target scheduling 10 meetings every 30 days
  • Don’t rest till you close the first 10 high-level clients within 60 Days

Assigning deadlines to your goals helps you stay focused and motivated throughout your outreach process. Let them be reasonable but not too long (else, you invite procrastination)

Create Your Customer Persona

Personas highlight key characteristics you want to see in your ideal customers. These profiles consider key quantifiers, such as

  1. Financial status
  2. Geographical location
  3. Hobbies
  4. Age & Gender
  5. Pain points
  6. Interests

Any other relevant information you need to qualify prospects comprehensively.

Data sources for building ideal customer profiles include:

  • Prospects’ social media pages
  • Business networks and groups
  • Stats on the types of visitors interacting with your website
  • Forums

Using the customer profiles, rank your target decision-makers on a scale of one to five based on their alignment with your business, budget, and level of influence within their company. All that’s left for you to do is convert them.

How to Convert Prospects into Leads

Everyone loves some hot leads! But to get there, a lot of work is required. There are two ways to build your prospects list for an outreach strategy for startups:

  • Search engine scraping
  • Or, using an outreach tool like Postaga

Let’s assume you want to forge partnerships with SEO agencies in New York. 

The first method above requires you to search for “Top SEO Agencies in New York” on search engines such as Google.

Next, visit each of the top directories and copy the companies into a google sheet. Essentially, the spreadsheet will include “company name” and “website URL” columns. 

Next, look for specific contacts associated with the gathered websites. For this, use a free email finding tool like

hunter image

Enter a website URL in the search bar to have the tool scrape the prospects’ email addresses. Then, copy and paste the details into a spreadsheet.

Or, you can leverage Postaga, an AI-powered all-in-one outreach tool designed to streamline any outreach strategy for startups. The first step to finding contacts using this tool is creating a new campaign. 

Next, enter your search term- for example, “Top SEO agencies in New York” and click the “Find Results” button.

Custom Search Campaign Opportunities in Postaga

The tool will return results that include relevant websites you can prospect. You have to select the sites based on absolute accurate relevancy.

postaga prospecting

When you click the “contacts” button below the results, Postaga will collect a list of verified emails for each website. Postaga also scapes the prospects’ LinkedIn and Twitter profile URLs. 

You can export the contacts to a CSV file at the click of a button. Else, you may proceed to build and send personalized emails to the generated contacts.

Prioritize your Personas

You don’t need to target everyone in a company, blasting their email. If you want to publish a blog post, you need to talk to the content marketing head. 

When you want to sell something, then it’s better to target the founder. The goal is to avoid info, contact, hello, support emails. In addition, Postaga’s built-in scrapers can target specific people based on their company designation. 

Harness the Power of Personalization

Personalization can incredibly boost the performance of any cold outreach for startups. It is the key to optimizing your outreach campaign. According to a report by Campaign Monitor, personalized emails are likely to generate 26% higher open rates and 6X higher transaction rates.

personalized stonks meme

However, personalization goes beyond including a prospect’s name on the email subject line and body. Instead, craft your cold email pitch once you research your target audience and offer them something they might want.

Research Your Prospects

Part of being a savvy marketer or business owner is knowing your target market’s behavior. If you don’t know much about your prospects, you will hardly create a message that resonates with them.

Peruse prospect’s social media profiles to understand more about them, their needs and desires, activities, and which products or services appeal to them. Additionally, look for their recent webinars and interviews to discover their industry topics of interest.

Identifying your prospect’s recent accomplishments gives you something to compliment them about. Yeah, flattery works like a heat-seeking missile!

Walk the extra mile to find any additional information about your target customer that you can include in your email copy. Your prospects will no doubt welcome a conversation about things that matter to them.

Use Custom Visual Personalization

Visual personalization is the new kid in the block that will help you get the outcome you desire from your marketing outreach strategy. 

A proven strategy is incorporating GIFs and Custom Images in cold emails. When done right, GIFs can add personality to your campaigns. Making your prospects smile, increase your chances of receiving positive responses.

Additional ways to leverage personalized visuals in outreach marketing include:

  • Including a screenshot of your prospect’s website
  • Incorporating a picture of you waving at the screen
  • Adding your company’s and prospect’s logo to the email’s body
  • Creating infographics based on your prospect’s business

Fun fact, you can do all of that right inside Postaga if you have a Nexweave subscription.

Use Personalized Videos

Personalized videos cut through the noise and create a unique experience that encourages prospects to respond to your emails. And what’s more, videos are barely used in cold email outreach for startups. 

Keep in mind the following tips when creating personalized outreach marketing videos:

  • Gear up: You just need a webcam and a microphone to get started.
  • Get the right software: Loom, Nexweave, or OBS combined with Youtube unlisted videos can get you the same results. Embedding those in emails and tracking the performance is an additional perk you can implement.
  • Keep them short: Two to three minutes is long enough to convey your message. 
  • Plan your points: Research your prospect, introduce yourself and focus on their pain points.

If you want to test out your campaign response rates using personalized images, gifs, or videos, you should check out Nexweave. Postaga has built-in integration with Nexweave to roll your campaigns fast.

Implement Customized Call To Action

If you want the prospect to take your desired action, make it obvious. So, include an actionable CTA (call-to-action) in each message. Examples:

  • Do send me your calendar link {{F_Name}} if you’re interested.
  • So, {{F_Name}} what would be a good time for you to discuss this?
  • How about a 10-minute call for {{Company_Name}}’s growth?
  • Here’s the link to my calendar- feel free to schedule an appointment.

Are Follow-Ups Necessary?

So, you have initiated your campaign; congratulations! But when do you expect to hear from them? Startups using email outreach will send just one email and not bother with a second one. 

Using follow-up messages, you can keep your brand on top of their prospect’s mind and elevate your possibility of getting a response. According to a Backlinko report, a single follow-up message can improve the response rates by 65.8%.

follow up sequence

Wait 3-5 days before following up on the initial message. If you don’t get a response after 2-3 follow-ups, test new subject lines. Anything beyond five follow-ups is pushy.

email sequence

Postaga’s Email Sequence feature helps put your prospecting on autopilot to keep your efforts from slipping through the cracks and free up more time to close valuable leads. But, of course, you can always modify the sequences to fit your preferences.

Keep Track Of Everything In A CRM

You’ve implemented strategies and tactics that bring in new leads. But, don’t let these victories go to waste for the mere reason of not tracking and nurturing your leads.

Using a CRM (customer relationship management) platform can make you stay on top of your leads. 

A sound CRM system will help you keep track of the relationship stage you are in with your leads. Ideally, it should include customer data and detailed records of each interaction, including dates and times, company information, and related documents. In addition, you should be able to retrieve, view, and share this information at any time.

Postaga has built-in CRM, so users can avoid tools like Salesforce that break your bank.

Automate The Possible Steps

With Postaga, you can automate almost every step of your cold outreach campaign. Other platforms like Lemlist, Buzzstream, Respona, or Pitchbox can automate only a few steps. Here are several things Postaga can do that most tools can’t do. Cause we just love making your campaign easier.

  1. Automated prospecting
  2. AI suggested automatic campaign builder
  3. Automated Email Scraping and verification
  4. Automated designation targeting
  5. Automated bad email clean up
  6. Automated scheduled campaign launch
  7. Automated email sequencing
  8. Follow up personalization
  9. Automated social profile scraping
  10. Automatically pulls snippet data of prospects for personalization
  11. Leads automatically added to CRM
  12. Automated CRM notifications for new leads
  13. Tracks emails campaigns
  14. Automated reports

Build Trust Using the Right Channels

You have set up your campaign, so what next? Pop up on those social media platforms where your prospects are most active. 

For example, if a particular prospect is especially active on LinkedIn, that would be an excellent platform for initiating a conversation. If prospects consistently engage with your emails, focus on email outreach.

Getting a positive response from a prospect primarily lies in your ability to build trust with them. These are a few commonly practiced etiquettes to develop your authority among your targeted audience.

  1. Interact with their social media- mainly Twitter and LinkedIn
  2. Comments on their blogs
  3. Pop up on their Twitter
  4. Interact on Facebook groups
  5. Download their content
  6. Recommend or Mention them
  7. Share valuable resources
  8. Share their posts
  9. Praise wins on social media
  10. Interact with their LinkedIn

Focus on Building Relationships

Do not dwell on it if you can’t close every deal. You can close up to 2% of the cold emails you send out. However, if you are too pushy towards getting sales, you will eventually lose more than you can have. 

Once you’ve struck up a real relationship with someone, they will likely be more receptive to your business and propose outreach. So, connect and network as much as possible.

So, how do you make your partners feel recognized and appreciated? Try the following tricks:

  • Send a newsletter to your prospects every month
  • Send them personalized holiday messages
  • Adding them to a roundup of experts in your industry 
  • Feature them in your podcasts and webinars 

Also, don’t get upset when you get negative responses, not everyone will be nice to you. So you must know when to stop your cold outreach campaign. When the prospects respond negatively you must blacklist their email address from your cold email automation software dashboard.

Following up even after they said no can get you in trouble for breaking can-spam or GDPR law.

To Wrap It All Up

The initial steps to success can be challenging for startups. Thus, you need to find new and innovative ways to expand your visibility.

Building partnerships with industry influencers can help position your brand as a leader in its respective domain, and cold email outreach is the way to do that perfectly. Postaga is an affordable outreach tool for all businesses that streamlines and automates most of the process.

startup meme

We understand how difficult running a startup can be. Thus we created Postaga! an all-in-one outreach tool that won’t break your bank.


How Can I Market My Startup?

Outreach marketing is one of the most efficient ways to market any startup. There are multiple ways, on the other hand, if but are the way to go.

Does Cold Email Work For Startups?

Yes. Many startups use cold emails to amplify interest in their business and solutions.

How Do I Promote My Startup With No Money?

Get your outreach campaign started for free with Postaga.

How Do I Attract Customers?

PPC ads, cold email outreach, and networking are among the best to drive new customers to a startup.

What Is The Go-to Marketing Strategy For Startups?

The proven marketing strategy for startups revolves around identifying a target market and positioning a product as a solution to a particular market problem.

When to stop your outreach campaign?

You should stop your outreach campaign when the prospects respond to you in a negative manner. You must take them off your list immediately.

When should you pause your outreach campaign?

You should pause your campaign during the holidays. Not a lot of people appreciate getting sales emails during the holiday season.

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