3 Data-Backed Tactics to Nail Cold Emails
So, it’s 2016 and you can feel the world changing around you. So are sales, marketing, and customer acquisition tactics. And I can totally understand if there are days where you ask yourself, “Why bother email marketing? Don’t we have something more up-to-date and appealing to new market needs?” The answer? Hell, no. If you take a closer look, the number of email accounts is expected to reach at least 4.3 billion units by the end of this year. 4.3 billion – that’s more than half the population of Earth! Fascinating, right? So, no, email is not dead. Email is back and better than ever.
Email is expected to grow to $12 billion by 2016 and email traffic is estimated to grow to over 192 billion emails sent per day by 2016. – The Radicati Group, Inc.
In fact, most of your fellow B2B marketers have admitted that email outreach is the core of their business development strategy. And though the number of email accounts that match your customer profile is not so mind blowing, it’s still a huge and tempting piece of the market pie waiting for someone to go and eat it. As most of your competitors have already started investing their time, money and skills to scale their outreach, your target audience has become more confident and mature. You cannot rely on good old all-in-one templates, eye-catching flower-framed newsletters and “you-only-open-it-to-hit-the-link” approach anymore. When those you’re trying to reach are much more sophisticated, demanding and challenging than ever, your best chance is to master cold emails by having data on your side.
#1 Reasonably Personal
It’s just business, nothing personal, – Mario Puzo, 1969
How about NO! – B2B World, 2016.
No matter how much you love the story of Corleone family, when it comes to cold emails you’d better put down the book and pretend you’ve never read a single line of it. Because when adding a personal touch can be your most powerful tool when it comes to beginning B2B relationships. It evokes the kind of magic that turns a lead into a customer. The key for the perfect personal touch is to keep things relevant and well-balanced. This way you’ll be much more likely to achieve your campaign goals and even surpass them.
It doesn’t mean you’ll be spending tons of time on lead research. You only need specific data apart from your usual set. Pick one or two favorable touch points and add one more data field to your prospect list. Here’s a few approaches: feel free to refer someone you both know, mention a hobby you have in common or ask for expert advice in the field they’re particularly keen on (that’s the best). Include your new custom variable into the email automation tool and enjoy “effortless super targeting”. Make sure you maintain a nice balance between “stranger in a suit” and a “how-come-you-know-this-much email stalker” (if not sure, pick hobbies and pets – works all the time!).
#2 Pitch Imperfect
82% of consumers open emails from companies. (Yay!)
Sometimes I really wonder how email marketing could go all the way from a poorly written “proposal” that attempted to sell you muscle enhancement pills (biceps and triceps), to a way to get someone to invest $2M in your company. It’s ironic, but in the end, the best way to pitch your cold email – is to forget to do it. Like, literally, forget that you should close deals and spend some time to get to know your customer and understand their needs. Think of them as a person that may become your friend down the line or at least a person you will be happy to meet on the street.
62% of B2B decision makers admit relying more on emotions and gut feelings than data when making a choice.
There are 2 good ways to open doors and hearts: adding value or asking for advice. Keep in mind that such relationships require strategic thinking and a delicate approach, so make sure you don’t start pitching right after your first engagement. So, look at your first email as a way to share your experience, use your field expertise to help ease their pains and build an initial connection. No matter what market segment you focus on, time spent on building connections with your customers is never wasted. I really like the way B2B market players connect and those who work on this get back something that cannot be overrated – a community of caring individuals willing to share both negative and positive feedback about your business in order to help you grow as a company.
#3 Divide and Conquer
Marketing will always be driven by data research, tests and analytics. That’s why it’s always the right moment when it comes to self-made case study and You can never believe how much potential is wasted every time something is launched in a “one-size-fit-all” manner – until you try them both and track the results. But in case you don’t, one of last-year DMA’s benchmarks is irresistibly encouraging. And – all of a sudden! – you start having second thoughts about it.
Segmented email campaigns give 760% increase in email revenue on average.
The best thing about it is that outreach automation tools make it a one-time thing designed for long-form marketing flow. Every time you take a closer look on your customer profile and compare it to the leads you actually get, you immediately see different ranges and criteria that form smaller groups with more things in common built around their most distinctive parameters. Now you only have to track what connects them all and make use of it – take your email sequence and adjust it, appealing to their interests, referring to more specific customer issues and watching your conversion rate rise.
30% of marketers do not track revenue generated from email marketing. – VentureBeat
It’s up to you to decide how far you would like to go. Experiment with different triggers and actions, web hooks and integration tools help aggregate data from any source you need. Once you feel like you have a hold of things, why not move to the next level? Advanced segmentation can be rather time-consuming as it requires more in-depth lead research, crafting more tailored content, finding the right combinations of pre-segmented groups and track every action you make. On the other hand, this approach works wonders in enterprise marketing that entails building long-term relationships with your prospects based on knowing what they want and helping them get it.