Without a doubt, one of the BEST ways to generate sales leads for B2B companies is through cold email marketing. And if you haven’t tried prospecting via email yet, you’re missing out!
Cold emailing may be challenging, but if done right – it is also one of the most cost-effective techniques for prospecting and expanding your clientele.
Before we dive in, let’s lay in the groundwork first. To launch a successful cold email marketing campaign, you must first know the basics.
What is Cold Email Marketing?
For better understanding, let us start with the definition of a cold email. A cold email is an initial email that you send to someone that you do not have prior contact with. Simply put, it is a way to start a conversation with a prospect via email. The intention is to turn prospects into warm leads by having them respond to your offer. It can either be signing up for free, attending a demo, or simply just downloading a content.
Keep in mind that a cold email is sent to build a relationship first and not to have an instant conversion. Drafting cold emails may be difficult at first, but that’s the goal of this article – to help you kickstart your cold email marketing efforts and be successful at generate sales leads. Which brings us to the next topic: cold email marketing.
Cold email marketing is the way that you reach out and communicate with your prospects, using email as the channel of communication. If done right, it is a great marketing strategy to accomplish your business objectives and that is to turn your prospects into warm leads and eventually, paying customers.
Now that we have discussed the basics, let’s start your cold email marketing journey.
Choose the Right Platform
The secret formula for success? There’s none. You just need to evaluate your needs, come up with a great strategy, and use an effective cold email marketing platform to ensure the success of your campaign.
There are a lot of marketing platforms available so choosing the right one is one of the challenges. Most platforms seem to offer similar things but take note that some platforms have features that are best suited for your marketing needs.
Identify Your Needs
If you still have not identified your needs at this point, then now is a good time to start.
Will you be sending cold emails to hundreds of your cold contacts? Thousands? Or even more?
Are you planning to send to purchased lists?
Do you need a platform with no upload limits?
Are you looking to send high-volume emails or utilize email automation to send to a smaller number of prospects?
These are just some of the questions that you need to consider when choosing the right platform.
Identifying the needs of your business allows you to see a clear purpose as to why you are launching a campaign in the first place. It also limits your choices so you can ensure that you do not waste your time, money, and effort on a platform that will not deliver the results that you are aiming for.
Choosing features that Matter
With so many platforms to choose from, there are key things that would separate the best from the rest. Once you have narrowed down your options based on your needs, you also need to make sure that you identify and fully understand the features that you would want to have.
Sure, choosing the right platform can be very tricky but here are some features that you might want to consider and look for
With A/B Testing, you will have the ability to identify which messaging is working so you can stop campaigns that do not make a lot of impact on your prospects.
Dedicated IP Address and Domain Name
If you are planning to send cold email in bulk, having a dedicated IP address and domain is necessary so you can cast a wider net in prospecting without having to worry about your own domain being flagged.
Email Address Integration
Platforms that have an email address integration feature allows you to connect your own emails and trigger email sequences coming from that particular email.
Email Automation (Drip Campaign Functionality)
Automation is another great feature to have so you can automate functions in your campaign and spend less time in doing administrative tasks. You can send drip emails or multiple emails that are automatically sent out, following specific times and dates. This is a strategy known as drip marketing
List Cleaning or Email Verification
The quality of your email list plays a big role in generating good leads and in the overall success of your cold email campaign. Look for a platform that offers list cleaning or email validation so you can effectively remove hard bounces and even those who are known as complainers. Having this feature also helps in improving your deliverability and reputation.
A comprehensive report can help you understand how your campaign is performing. Acquired data from real-time reports can also serve as a great reference for your next email campaigns.
Sending to Purchased or Cold Contacts
Look for a platform that will allow you to send emails to purchased lists or cold contacts because this is where you can grow your sales. Picking a platform that allows purchased or cold contacts protects your domain name from getting blocked or worse, blacklisted.
Find CAN-SPAM Compliant Platforms
Another critical feature to look for in a marketing platform is compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act, otherwise known as the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003. The main goal of this act is to protect consumers from unsolicited and deceptive emails. It also gives them the right to opt-out or unsubscribe anytime.
You need a cold email marketing platform that is compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act so you can manage your cold email campaigns worry-free. There are tough penalties for violations that can definitely hurt your business in the long run, so it is critical that you comply with the rules outlined by the Federal Trade Commission.
If you’re looking to send out mass email marketing campaigns, MailClickConvert does everything you need to do to make sure your emails reach their recipients’ inboxes without spam complaints or any other delays. MailClickConvert is an all-in-one marketing suite where you can store as many contacts as you want, design your email templates, and schedule email campaigns by date and time.
Know Your Target Audience
A target audience is a specific group of consumers that will most likely be interested in what you have to offer. It can be dictated by several factors such as age group, gender, location, profession, interests, purchase intention, and more.
Knowing your target audience is vital because it can help increase the chances of your cold email being opened and responded to. If you know your target audience, then you can make sure that you are sending your emails to the right people. But before you can do that, you also need to spend some time analyzing information derived from the steps below.
Create a buyer persona.
For your cold email marketing campaign to be effective, it is important to know who you are writing to. You need to research the details related to your target market such as their industry, interests, geographic location, priorities, and such. Basically, you need a buyer persona.
Creating a buyer persona is like developing the characters of a story. You have to gather their information through research, surveys, and even interviews, so you can organize them into specific segments. You will find this helpful especially when you have a diverse group of consumers.
Understand what problem you are solving.
Once you have your buyer persona, then you have a representation of your ideal customers. But it does not stop there. You need to understand their pain points and how your offering can help solve them. It may take additional research but to put it simply, you need to get inside your customers’ heads to understand not only their struggles, but their goals and aspirations as well.
Segment your cold lists.
Identifying your target audience is quite an effort, but there should always be room for segmentation in your process. This makes a lot of difference because your prospects need to see the value that you offer to them specifically, or else they will just leave your email unopened.
Segment your cold lists by dividing them into smaller groups based on information that you have gathered. It can be based on geographic area, demographics, and even on their product or industry acumen. List segmentation allows you to send highly targeted emails and often results to higher open rates.
Knowing your target audience can help boost your conversion because it allows you to understand your customers on a deeper level. With a deeper understanding, you can support and work with your customers which can lead to increased loyalty to your business.
Draft a High-Converting Message
One indication that your cold email campaign is a success is when you get a reply. For that to happen, you need to make sure that your message grabs attention and powerful enough for your prospects to take action. Now, that’s the tricky part. The good thing is, there are email templates that you can use for your cold email and generate real leads.
These templates are a good starting point but remember to add your unique spin with good copywriting. Here are some tips to get you started.
Personalize your subject line and email body
One key to winning the interest of your target audience is to add a personal touch. Personalized subject lines, such as those with the prospect’s name, have better open rates than generic ones. Addressing the prospect by first name and using casual language in the email body can also imply familiarity and keep them engaged.
Produce a well-balanced design
Images and videos can make your cold email more interesting but make sure that you balance it with the text content of your email. Creative visuals can grab the attention of your prospects, but a well-crafted copy will make them know the value that you are offering as well as the action that they need to take.
Avoid spam trigger words
When drafting a cold email message, keep in mind that your goal is to not get blocked by spam filters. You can do this by avoiding the use of common spam trigger words so that your email will most likely go to the inbox and not get routed to spam folders. But what exactly are spam trigger words?
Spam trigger words are keywords or phrases that can be considered as red flags. Email providers usually identify them as fraudulent and suspicious, so emails containing these words are often routed away from your prospects’ primary inboxes. Most of the time, these words are associated with promises, gimmicks, schemes, and free gifts. If it sounds too good to be true, don’t use it.
Test Your Inbox Placement
Whether you are deploying a solicited or unsolicited email, there is always a chance of it being marked as spam. To prevent that from happening, you must take extra steps to research and ensure that your email will land in the primary inbox of your recipients.
Conducting a test can help detect inbox deliverability issues before sending your cold email. This allows you to take necessary actions to improve the performance of your cold email campaigns. Take note of the two tips below so you’d know what powerful tool to use and learn how to analyze results.
Use a free powerful tool
To beat the spam box, you can rely on an online tool that will give you detailed insights and predict the performance of your emails. The most effective and consistent platform youcan try is MailTester. It is a free online tool that allows you to test your emails’ spam score and quality.
Inbox placement testers in general will analyze your email message, your mail server, your sending IP address, and show you a detailed report of what’s configured properly and what’s not. It’s not impossible to get a 10/10 score but if you get a passing score of 7/10, your email is good to go.
Performing an inbox placement test is an important step to include in your quality assurance process. It does not tell you exactly how your emails are going to perform but it helps you gauge the outcome of your cold email campaigns.
Prepare a Pre-Campaign Checklist
Launching a successful cold email marketing campaign can be a daunting task. Having a checklist can serve as your guide in identifying errors and avoiding them, which can result to an increase in the success rate of your campaign.
You can customize your checklist depending on what you think will work for your campaign. You do not need to follow a standard template but there are best practices that you might want to consider.
Here are some of our recommendations to help you prepare for your first campaign:
Dont use your own domain
No matter how greatly written your cold emails are, recipients might still mark it as spam. Creating an alternative domain means not putting your main domain at risk of being blacklisted.
Don’t use a free account
Professional email accounts have a lesser possibility of being blocked compared with free accounts from Gmail and Outlook. A business email address helps your email to look more professional too.
Set up SPF and DKIM
Sender Policy Network (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) are custom domain authentication that indicates your email address is secure. If you fail to set up SPF and DKIM to your domain, your emails will go straight to the junk folder.
Check your inbox placement
As mentioned earlier, you can use online tools like MailTester to increase the deliverability rate of your emails. Simply follow the recommendations mentioned in the results and you’ll be good to go.
Warm-up your new domain
Properly warming up your inbox is a great method of building trust in your new domain by gradually introducing your sending practices to the ISP. Doing this will help your emails not reach the spam and junk folder.
Verify your email list
Major email providers will mostly block your emails if email addresses included in your list are unverified. The idea here is that unverified email addresses will result in bounces. And if you have a high bounce rate, there is a high chance of you being marked as a spammer.
Follow a strict schedule
Do not send cold emails at random days and times. Determine the best sending schedule and stick with it. If you decide to send 100 emails each day, don’t send 500 emails in just one day the following week.
An email ecosystem approach is a proprietary strategy developed to help you maximize the full potential of your cold email list. More so, it helps you reap the benefits of your cold email marketing campaigns.
The basic principle of it is you run your large campaign using a bulk email automation tool and nurture engaged contacts (those who opened/clicked your emails) with a hyper-targeted drip campaign.
This approach works by combining the strengths of bulk email marketing and automation to build an effective cold email ecosystem. Bulk email marketing helps you filter your cold list so you can have an idea , which contacts are opening and clicking your cold emails. Then, you use an email automation platform to send automated emails to this small but engaged contact list. This gives you the power to further nurture these contacts and convert them into sales-ready leads.
We have listed below the specific process involved in building this strategy to your business:
Select the best platforms
Platforms like MailClickConvert and Automailer are good options if you want to conduct an ecosystem approach on your cold email campaigns. MailClickConvert allows you to send cold emails to the masses and you can use Automailer to send drip emails to your most engaged contacts.
Send a cold email to your list
Once you have selected a bulk cold email marketing platform, you can start uploading your contacts and sending your email. Make sure that you consider the tips we shared above when doing cold email marketing.
Analyze the results
Monitor, track, and analyze the results of your cold email campaigns. Doing this will provide you with data that you can use in the next step of the strategy. Now, begin compiling a list of contacts that have either clicked or open your emails.
Prepare your drip emails
You now have the idea that these contacts are most likely interested in your service/product. The next step is to write a series of automated emails that will be sent to your engaged contacts. You have to ensure that you maintain the engagement and build excitement in every email.
Automate your email sequence
Once you have all your email copy in place, automate your drip emails using an email automation platform like Automailer. Identify and test out different send schedules to determine which one is most successful.
Monitor and track performance
At the end of each campaign, monitor the overall performance and track key metrics. This will help you gauge the effectiveness of your strategy. Then, you can make necessary adjustments to further improve performance.
After completing the steps mentioned above, you just need to circle back to step two and repeat the entire process. A great tip to remember is to observe the time your contacts are opening and clicking your bulk cold emails. You can use that data as a reference for the sending schedule of your drip email campaigns. Following this tip will increase the likelihood of your drip emails being opened, clicked, and read.
Cold email marketing, when implemented properly, can be a great way for your business to reach prospects and increase revenue. Keep in mind that your cold email campaign strategy has to be in line with your overall goals. As a business, you are reaching out to your prospects with a specific intention, so you need to provide unmatched values by offering a solution to solve their struggles and pain points.
Need help with your cold email campaigns? MailClickConvert is a powerful platform that allows businesses to send emails to a purchased cold contact list. MailClickConvert boasts its capability of converting cold contacts into real sales leads.