I particularly liked the way I could create different pre-recorded email scripts and have them sent out automatically. Most importantly, if the recipient replied, the entire chain would stop. That way it felt very natural to the recipient.
Using Reply in other businesses
I brought Reply to many other businesses over the years. Along with The Resource Group, I’m also the co-founder of a resumé optimization platform, Career Hero. There we’ve been able to use Reply to reach out to a completely different target audience.
Around the same time, I started a personal blog where I write a lot about HR technology as well as interview CEOs and founders. I realized I was spending a lot of time sending out the same set of questions and it was a pain reminding myself to send them chaser after chaser after chaser.
So, I put everything together into a Reply campaign.
Now, every time I get confirmation from a new founder or new CEO that they’re interested in being interviewed for the blog, I simply add their email address and first name into the campaign. Everything else is automated.
I’ve also set up an integration with Zapier, so anyone who replies to my emails goes via Zapier into my MailChimp list and is automatically subscribed to my email.
Launching new products and services
For my main business, we’re mainly using Reply to drive awareness about new products and services. For instance, we recently launched a new service line where we help companies implement flexible working arrangements and formalize those policies.
To promote this we put together another Reply campaign to reach out to our existing mailing list as well as a new set of customers. Instead of just blasting it out through MailChimp, by using Reply we’re able to put in a natural drip sequence. With Reply, those drips seem very natural because once any of our recipients reply, the whole sequence automatically stops.
Once you’ve set up a campaign in Reply, you can set it and forget it. All you have to do is add new people to the campaign and Reply does the rest, letting you move on to other tasks. Because of the size of the business I’m running right now, Reply helps us prioritize our time and spend it more diligently and strategically.
The metrics also help us understand more about who’s opened our emails. I’ve seen times where someone might open up the same email 20 times but hasn’t replied to me. In those instances, I’ll find another way to reach out to them. If I have their number I might send them an SMS or a Whatsapp instead and check in with them. I’ll say something like: “You’ve opened your email 20 times, so what’s going on? Are you interested? Could we have a discussion?”
Writing cold emails that get opened and read
I’ve been sending cold emails for many years and, through trial and error, I’ve picked up certain strategies to get better conversions.
In one of my previous jobs, we were commissioned by the Singapore Government to find unemployed citizens placements and get them back into the workforce. We’d use cold email to reach out to as many employers as possible. When we first reached out to them, it was a typical introduction to the company brochure.
The conversion rate was very bad.
So we changed the subject line. We turned it into a ‘quick question.’ Simple as that. Then we’d start our pitch and ask them our quick question: was this job posting still open or not? If so, we had someone who would be keen to take a look.
It was a very short email, but I think the key reason for the email’s high conversion rate was the subject line. In today’s world, if you leave your emails and don’t check them for a few days, when you open up your inbox you have a few hundred emails. You then have a choice: either live with it or try to filter through them as quick as you can.