If you have trouble find new B2B customers, it’s probably time to rethink your acquisition strategy. Truth be told, when customers don’t come to you on their own, there is only one way to find them: prospect. You have to go to them. Obviously I know when you think “Prospecting”, we immediately imagine that we will have to use our phone or go door to door. But I have a more interesting alternative to offer you. It’s about cold emailing : cold calling by email…
The advantages of cold emailing
- It’s a huge time saver: You can contact dozens of prospects simultaneously. As a result, you don’t waste your time talking to people who are not interested in your services;
- It costs almost nothing: Apart from automation software to boost your results, you won’t have much to spend. (You can even start without paying a dime, thanks to trial offers.);
- This is the least intrusive method of prospecting: An email is always less disturbing than an impromptu phone call or visit;
- There is nothing more powerful: Once you’ve automated your prospecting, your emails and dunning messages send themselves. So you can focus on what really matters, that is, your customers!
On these words, let’s see what are the 6 steps to follow to launch your first campaign <strong>cold emailing.
1. Define a target
To start well, it is a question of defining who are prospects to which you want to send your products or services.
Traditionally, a target is a group of individuals identified within a population and grouped around common characteristics.
If you sell advertising space in newspapers, one of your targets could for example be: communications managers in the fashion industry.
Often, define a target in this way will be sufficient to carry out your campaign cold emailing. However, it can be interesting to go further, just to humanize your typical client and to have in mind a more concrete target.
To do this, you can use the method of Personas, which consists of establishing a fictitious record of a typical prospect.
You can include the information you want, and even give a face to your ideal client to represent you well.
It’s pretty simple to do, and it can be very useful for later write more persuasive messages. (As we will see in step 3.)
2. Build a list of emails
What you need now are your prospects’ email addresses.
I strongly advise against buying customer files. Whatever may be said, you are very unlikely to have these files match your target. You are also not sure whether the information is correct.
The best thing is to make your own customer file. Fortunately, it is not very difficult.
As I explained in a previous article, you’re going to start with LinkedIn. This social network is a great directory of professionals. In the “Search” field, you can select all kinds of criteria to refine your targeting. Then there is nothing more than to draw in the results.
Some business developers or growth hackers just retrieve all the data from a search. But I still advise you to keep a critical eye on the results and possibly exclude profiles that do not meet your criteria.
A cold emailing campaign is not a spam campaign. The goal is not to reach as many people as possible, even if you have to do a little volume to get results.
Your main goal is to contact qualified prospects. If you send too many messages to people who do not need them, you risk degrading the reputation of your e-mail address, landing in spam more often, and therefore reduce the deliverability of your emails.
How do I get a prospect’s email address?
After having identified a potential client sure LinkedIn, you have two options.
You can add it to your network. When he has accepted you, you will then be able to see his contact details, and therefore his E-mail.
However, some people do not fill in all their information, or indicate a personal e-mail. (Now, to make cold emailing, you need a professional email.)
So, you will have to go to the second option: retrieve the email yourself.
In a company, the structure of an email is always the same:
If you have someone’s address in the business, you should be able to guess that of your prospect. (With the exception of compound names, this technique works at 90%.)
To be sure that you guessed the email, you can use Mail Tester, which will validate your hypothesis or not.
Otherwise, I invite you to use Hunter.io or VoilaNorbert. These sites allow you to retrieve most of the emails associated with a domain name. They don’t work 100%, but they do work. (In fact, it’s mainly for small sites with a small audience, or which have been created recently, that these tools will show limits.)
To finish on this, I invite you to constitute an Excel or Google Sheet with the main information you will need for your campaign. (Last name, first name, email, profession, company name, flagship product name, etc.)
3. Write an email sequence
Now is the time to write the emails you are going to send to your prospects.
The interest, to optimize your cold emailing campaign, will automate the sending of your messages in the next step.
So, we’re going to write a sequence of emails, including reminders. Until your prospect answers you, they will continue to receive your emails. (It is important to relaunch, as most professionals receive dozens of messages each day, and naturally forget to deal with some of them.)
The way you write your message will obviously have a decisive impact on your results.
Here are some tips for write a good prospecting email :
- Keep it short: The person you are contacting does not know you. If you send her a huge block of text, she won’t read you in full. Ideally, your email should not do more than 150 words;
- Don’t talk about yourself: No need to list everything you can or can do. Instead, talk to your prospect about their needs. (And of the solution you propose.);
- Do not try to sell: The purpose of your email is to get a qualified appointment, not to sell directly;
- Do not write a marketing email: A good prospecting email should not look like a commercial message. Your first email should simply allow you to connect with your prospect. (Systematically banish the layouts worked. Just write in black on a white background, as you would if you wrote to a friend.)
Use your Personas!
To write a persuasive message, I recommend that you have your Persona in mind. Act as if the message is addressed to him. It doesn’t sound like much, but it will help you humanize your message.
Also keep in mind that your messages need to be personalized, despite the fact that we will automate sending them. When writing, be sure to leave free fields for customization. (And make sure your message remains consistent, no matter what is indicated in the fields.)
Send e-mails one by one is not a lot of fun. It’s a long time, and you also have to think about raise.
However, if you have to contact 20 prospects a day, after a week, you will quickly find it difficult to manage all this small world of contacts.
Some tools allow you toautomate your process. Once you’ve written your emails, you just need to load your customer file and configure a scenario like:
- D-1: Sending of email n ° 1;
- D-3: If no response to the previous message, send email n ° 2;
- D-7: If no response to the previous message, send email n ° 3;
Depending on the target you are targeting, do not hesitate to try up to 4 or 5 raises. When I was business developer and that I contacted marketing directors in large groups, I needed at least that for succeed my prospecting.
In terms of tools, I used Reply.io a lot, which has always given me satisfaction. Otherwise, PersistIQ and Woodpecker are completely correct. (You can test them for free for several days to get an idea.)
If this is your first campaign, before loading your customer file, I recommend you to test your sequence with an email to you, just to make sure everything is set up correctly.
Then you can fire!
5. Analyze the results
Always keep an eye on your statistics. Now that your campaign is launched, you may need to make adjustments if the results are not good enough.
The opening rate
To begin with, if your opening rate is below 30%, it is very bad.
In this case, the explanation may be among these:
- Your customer file is not of good quality: It contains errors, that is, email addresses that do not exist;
- The subject of your emails does not trigger the click: We will have to rework them. (If necessary, make someA / B test to see what works best.);
- Your emails fall directly into the spam of your prospects: You will need to take steps to improve the reputation of your email or domain name.
By identifying the cause of the problem, you will naturally take a big step forward in finding a solution.
Then a the opening rate Between 30% and 60% is correct. Depending on the nature of your target, it will sometimes be difficult to do better. (Contacting a marketing director of a large group is for example more difficult than entering into a relationship with a freelancer.)
Beyond 60% open rate, I consider it to be good. Over 80% is excellent.
A response rate between 10% and 20% is in my opinion excellent. (I specify that I calculate the response rate on all sent messages, not on those that have been opened.).
Again, do not hesitate to raise. Contrary to popular belief, just because a prospect does not respond does not mean that they are not interested. He may be busy, distracted, etc., hence the importance of persevering.
Tell yourself one thing: until you have been answered, you have not been told no.
6. Manage responses
Now is the time to process the returns you have received.
As a reminder, the purpose of a cold e-mailis to get an appointment. A positive response is therefore a prospect who agrees to chat with you.
If your prospect tells you that he is not interested, never forget to answer him, if only for the form. He may also tell you that he is not available in the short term. In this case, note in your calendar when to relaunch it.
Then if he’s interested in talking to you, great! Your campaign cold emailing has paid off. You are now in contact with a prospect who has expressed an interest in your products or services.
It’s up to you to convince him to sign. 🙂
My best advice for a successful cold emailing campaign
Most people imagine that the cold emailing consists in setting up a robot to send mass emails.
The most successful campaigns are not the ones that send the most emails.
The key to successful prospecting is to write persuasive messages to the right people. In theory, it sounds easy. But doing this task properly is another matter.
To check that your emails are good, I have one last piece of advice to give you. Test your prospecting messages on yourself. Once you’ve written your email, send it to one of your addresses. Wait a few hours, then open it and ask yourself the effect it produces. For that, try to put yourself in the place of your prospect.
How do you react to the message? It was by doing this that I managed to write my best messages.
To be able to use the cold emailing, your customers must be professionals. (You cannot contact an individual who does not know you on their personal e-mail. This is a measure to prevent spam.)