How Business RadioX got open rates of up to 70% with Reply
Business RadioX is an online radio network, with local studios across the US, live broadcast and a podcast series.
Business RadioX is an online radio network, with local studios across the US where people can come in to record high-quality audio, who broadcast live and then post the shows as a podcast afterwards.
Working for Business RadioX, Michael Greenberg has successfully used Reply as part of their outreach program for booking guests, and intend to use it as part of their international expansion.
As part of their campaign, they were able to:
- Achieve open rates of 60-70%
- Reduce time spent on outreach from up to 10 hours a week to as low as 1 hour a month
Business RadioX is an online radio network, with local studios across the US where people can come in to record high-quality audio, who broadcast live and then post the shows as a podcast afterwards. They’re dedicated to sharing positive business stories about local businesses and the entrepreneurship community. Every week they interview entrepreneurs, executives, and business leaders, helping them share their knowledge and their story with the community at large.
Michael Greenberg is currently the host of “Top of the Top: St. Louis” on the Business RadioX network. His program focuses on local small businesses and entrepreneurs in the St. Louis, Missouri region.
He came to Business RadioX first as a consultant, having worked as a growth strategy consultant for startups and small businesses. With a background working in technology startups, specifically enterprise SaaS, he’s now using those skills and applying them in new companies.
As part of their plans for expansion, Business Radio X brought Michael on board to help them prepare. Shortly after, he moved back to St.Louis, and Business RadioX asked him to open a studio.
Michael soon found that, even though he had grown up in St. Louis, that didn’t mean he had a professional network. He needed to find guests for his show; lots of them, and fast.
Drawing on his sales experience, he knew if you wanted real acceleration, the best way always ends up being the direct approach. He started out by sending cold email invitations to people he wanted to bring on the show.
Initially this was all carried out manually, with Michael using a lead list to research various leads. He’d look for those with any recent news or events he could use as a reason to invite them on the show, before reaching out with personalised emails. When they accepted the invitation, he would then schedule them into the show.
Unfortunately, the manual process ended up taking too much time, and Michael knew he needed to find a better way of generating leads. Due to the amount of research, he was spending between 5 to 10 hours a week on sending out enough emails to fill the schedule.
In his search for a solution, Michael found Reply and started to use the sales automation tool to handle the time-consuming work. Along with that, Michael had two systems in place to get leads as part of his outreach process: He used an outsource lead generation firm to scrape and go through Linkedin, and also used RSS feeds and general data business intelligence API’s to look at up-and-coming companies in the area or to enrich the data he received from the lead generation firm. The results were exactly what he was looking for.
I have about a 60% hit rate with heavily customized emails, but at the same time, I’ve reduced the amount of time I work to about one to two hours a month to schedule those guests.
Michael proceeds: "With Reply, I would take my lead list and I’d do a little more research on the leads beforehand. With modern software, I could get a few thousand leads which are enough for a year or two for me; this was ten hours of work."
He was also smart with his outreach, as he explains: "We’re in a very advantageous position because we’re not asking for money and we’re really trying to help the person we’re reaching out to. That is the key to a cold email."
Having done this kind of work for other clients, Michael has found the process is the same no matter what business you’re in. You need to be offering something to that person that is actually worth their work time and you need to be not selling with that initial introduction.
A common mistake Michael sees in the industry is people thinking of outreach and cold email marketing as direct sales, when in fact it should just be another part of a comprehensive funnel strategy.
Michael has found that direct sales outreach campaigns are nowhere near as effective without the step of educating the customer and helping them in some way beforehand. Business RadioX use interviews because that’s their business, but there are plenty of other methods, such as blog features or webinars; anything that educates the customer and provides value will increase your campaign’s effectiveness.
With Reply, Michael was able to send out any email batch of a hundred every month and fill anywhere between one to three months of shows at a time. Reaching out to 100 people, he can expect anywhere between 20-30 guests from an email campaign, although that number can end up being higher, something that Michael is actively pursuing due to his open rates. He currently gets between 60-70% open rates, averaging out around 60%, although Michael still sees room for growth.
That’s the advantage again of having that offer and being able to reach out to people and say to them, “I want to help YOU with your business” instead of saying, “This product I have can help you with your business.”
The final key Michael attributes to the success of their campaign is their clear mission. Business Radio X has the aim of amplifying the voice of business and sharing positive business stories.
For us at least, having that strong mission definitely helps when we reach out to people.
The Future for Business RadioX
With the positive results from St. Louis, Business RadioX now has the goal to open studios in at least one city per quarter, if not more. Their end goal is to hit from one to two every month, expanding across the U.S. In the future, the goal is to go from a nationwide enterprise to an international business.
With the difficulties inherent to crossing the language barrier, the immediate goal is to go national. The company already has a strong presence regionally in the South East; St. Louis represents their first stab into the Mid West and from there, they’ll expand out.
They’re also working to offer new things to people who underwrite and sponsor their shows; If someone wants to have two or three guests for every episode and they’re doing a weekly show, that becomes difficult to maintain.
Having seen the results achieved so far contacting potential guests, Michael intends to use Reply for their influencer outreach: "The pureness of this being for just sales email automation makes it a much better tool, to be used for multiple things."
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