Beginner’s Guide to Multichannel Outreach: Popular Channels, Messaging Tactics, Use Cases, and More

Beginner’s Guide to Multichannel Outreach: Popular Channels, Messaging Tactics, Use Cases, and More

Not too long ago, you used to be able to send a prospect an email and be confident that they’d see it and read it. Today, it’s a different story — inboxes are full to bursting, and your potential customers have a million tasks on their to-do list. Standing out from your competitors and getting prospects to notice you are real challenges. Using a single channel for outreach just isn’t enough. You need a multichannel strategy. 

In this guide, we’ll be covering the different channels that can be used for multichannel outreach as well as the best practices for using each channel effectively. We’ll also be discussing how to build a multichannel sequence and how to measure the success of your outreach efforts.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a solid foundation in multichannel outreach and be well on your way to building successful outreach campaigns. 

The benefits (and pitfalls) of multichannel outreach

So, what is multichannel outreach? Simply put, it’s the practice of using multiple channels to reach out to potential customers in order to build relationships and generate leads. There are several benefits to using multichannel outreach as part of your marketing strategy:

  1. Greater reach. Perhaps the most obvious benefit of multichannel outreach is the ability to reach a wider audience. People don’t just spend all their day in their inboxes or sitting by their phones or using any other channel you can think of. By using multiple channels for outreach, you increase the chances of your message being seen by potential customers.
  2. Increased engagement. Reach is good, but engagement is better. By using different channels, you can create a more engaging experience for your audience. Instead of seeing ten emails in their inbox, prospects can see and interact with you across multiple channels, making it more likely you’ll get a response.
  3. Better targeting. Different channels allow you to target specific demographics or segments of your audience. For example, trying to get an email through to the CEO might be tricky, while a handwritten letter might make it past the gatekeeper. In addition, you can use different messaging on different channels, tailoring your outreach to the recipient in a way that best suits the medium.
  4. Improved customer experience. Effective multichannel communication isn’t about what’s best for you — it’s about what’s best for your prospect. Using multiple channels can provide a more convenient and personalized experience for your customers, which can lead to increased loyalty and satisfaction.

However, there are also some pitfalls to consider when using multichannel outreach…

  1. Resource constraints. Managing multiple channels can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, especially if you don’t have a dedicated team or tools to help you. If you don’t plan out your multichannel strategy carefully, you can easily end up chasing every new channel without ever seeing positive results.
  2. Inconsistent messaging. A multichannel campaign isn’t the same as running multiple single-channel campaigns. It has to be treated as a complete unit, where every communication channel is in harmony and complements each other. Otherwise, you run the risk of confusing your audience.
  3. Difficulty measuring success. With multiple channels in play, it can be difficult to accurately measure the effectiveness of your outreach efforts and determine which channels are the most effective. Even when you get a response on a specific channel, it’s difficult to know exactly how much the other channels contributed. 
  4. Potential for oversaturation. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is relying exclusively on one channel. However, in rare cases, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. If you use too many channels or send too many messages, you run the risk of oversaturating your audience and turning them off to your brand.

If you want to get the best results from your multichannel outreach while avoiding all these pitfalls, then it’s essential to have a clearly defined strategy in place. That all starts with picking the right channels.

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Top channels to use in your multichannel campaign

With all the benefits that come with multichannel outreach, it’s easy to start using every channel out there. However, multichannel outreach isn’t a substitute for solid communication. If this is your first time working on any kind of outreach, it’s important to pick one channel to start with and become proficient with that before adding any others. 

In general, you’ll want to be using these three main channels as a foundation before adding any others. 

Email

There are an estimated 4,371 million email users in 2023, and that number is still growing. While social media trends come and go, email is foundational to our digital lives. This makes email one of the most powerful outreach tools out there. 

Here are a few best practices for using email as part of your outreach strategy:

  • Use targeted lists. Forget about “spray and pray” email outreach, trying to get your message in every single inbox. Instead, send your emails to a targeted list of prospects or customers who are likely to be interested in your product or service. This will help you achieve a higher response rate and reduce the risk of being marked as spam.
  • Personalize your emails. Personalized emails tend to perform better than generic ones, so be sure to use the recipient’s name and any other relevant information you have about them in your emails. By segmenting your list based on your prospect’s demographics, interests and other criteria, you can send more relevant and targeted emails.
  • Test and optimize your emails. There’s no one-size-fits-all email that will work 100% of the time for every audience. Different tactics and strategies will be more or less effective depending on who you’re emailing. Once you find a high-performing email, your job is to make it even better. Experiment with different email subject lines and content to find out what works best for your audience. 
  • Use a clear call to action (CTA). What do you want your prospect to do immediately after reading your email? In most cases, they won’t be ready to buy without further lead nurturing, but they might be happy to reply and continue the conversation or download a brochure with more details. Either way, make sure your emails include a CTA that makes it clear what the recipient should do next.

By following these best practices, you can effectively use email as part of your multichannel outreach strategy and achieve better results.

How to write better cold emails, according to data

Data-backed insights on several aspects of effective cold email copy, including length, variables, questions, and non-text elements.

Phone calls

While many salespeople dread making them, phone calls are an incredibly effective outreach channel. In just a few seconds, you can be talking directly to your prospects, answering their questions and engaging with them in real time. 

We’ve previously shared some cold calling tips to help you make the most of this channel, but here’s a quick summary of ways you can make better use of phone calls as part of your outreach strategy:

  • Reach out at the right time. Most channels are largely asynchronous, meaning you can send your message at any time and the prospect will pick it up when they choose. However, with phone calls, timing is essential; if the prospect isn’t available or too busy to take the call, you’ll be stuck talking to the answerphone. Take the time to work out the optimal day and time to make the call and you’ll get far better results.
  • Prepare a script. When you get through to a prospect, you want to know exactly what you’re going to say. Consider using a script to start the conversation, ensure that you stay on track and cover all the important points. You should also prepare how you’ll respond to common objections. However, be sure to sound natural and avoid reading the script verbatim. 
  • Have a clear purpose. Even with the best script, you never know for certain how a prospect is going to respond. By having a clear purpose in mind for the conversation, you can adjust your approach and guide the conversation. Just as with your emails, you’ll want to include a clear call-to-action at the end of the call that helps the prospect take the next step.

The ultimate sales calls playbook: checklist, best practices, proven scripts

If you think you could use some help with cold calls, here’s a simple checklist and ready-to-use scripts to get you through.

LinkedIn

Social media isn’t just for selfies; smart salespeople know that it’s a great opportunity to discover and engage with new leads. LinkedIn is particularly popular for B2B sales, with plenty of ways to reach out and get noticed. We’ve already covered how to use social selling on LinkedIn effectively, but here are some specific ways you can use LinkedIn for your outreach. 

  • Get social. People don’t go on social media hoping to be sold to. Sliding into your prospects’ DMs with a pitch isn’t going to get you far. Instead, view LinkedIn as an opportunity to build relationships and engage with prospects. View profiles, join relevant groups, comment on posts and publish helpful content to get positive attention.
  • Use LinkedIn InMail. While connections can freely message each other, LinkedIn InMail can be used to reach out to potential connections. This isn’t a substitute for making genuine connections, but when used correctly it can help build those relationships and help you stand out in the prospect’s inbox.
  • Do your research. While uncovering key prospect information can sometimes be a challenge, LinkedIn makes it easy to learn more about your potential customers. People freely share their details, the challenges they’re facing and their latest wins. All of this can be used to personalize your outreach and add genuine value. With this much information, there’s no excuse for poorly-researched outreach.

More engagement channels and touchpoints to consider

While emails, phone calls and LinkedIn can form a solid foundation for most multichannel campaigns, they’re not the only channels out there. It’s important to consider your target audience, the channels they use and the best way to get their attention. These channels can be a great addition to your outreach and help you engage with more of your prospects. 

Text messaging 

Whatever market you’re in, there’s a good chance your prospect spends a lot of time on their phones. Along with phone calls (see above), text messages — including traditional SMS and other app-based solutions, like WhatsApp — are a great way to meet prospects where they are. 

Think about the last time you received a text message. While emails may be ignored and phone calls declined, there’s a good chance you read any text messages as soon as your phone pings. It’s an under-used channel, which means that salespeople who use it effectively have a major advantage over their competitors. 

However, text messaging should only be used for inbound leads who’ve already voluntarily given you their number. This will ensure your messages are well-received and you’ll avoid any potential spam complaints.

Direct mail

Physical mail is a great way to grab attention. It can be difficult to scale compared to other channels, but that also means there’s less competition and more potential to stand out. 

Direct mail can be a powerful tool for multichannel outreach when used in unique and creative ways. For example, a handwritten note will get far more attention than a mass-printed circular. You can also use more eye-catching designs, from pop-ups to scratch-and-sniff cards.

As with all outreach channels, having a clear purpose and CTA is important. To make physical mail a part of your multichannel campaign, consider using it to drive traffic to your website or other online channels. 

How to build your sequence

Although it’s beneficial to think about what channels you can use for outreach, a good multichannel campaign requires more than just picking a few channels and blasting out a sales pitch. Follow these steps to build a successful multichannel outreach sequence.

1. Define your goals. Clearly define what you hope to achieve with your multichannel outreach, whether it’s driving sales, increasing brand awareness or something else. This will help you think about which channels align with that goal and the type of content you’ll need to include in your outreach.

2. Identify your target audience. As we’ve already seen, different channels are more effective for certain audiences. For example, LinkedIn is usually great for B2B but unlikely to be useful for B2C. Direct mail might get the CEO’s attention but struggle to reach someone who spends most of their time on the road. Clarify exactly who you’re trying to reach and research which channels they’re most likely to respond to.

3. Plan your schedule. Develop a detailed plan outlining the specific steps you will take to reach your target audience through each channel. This should include the content you will use, the timing of your outreach and any other relevant details. 

To be clear, there is no “ultimate” sequence that works for every possible use case. You’ll need different sequence types depending on your goals and audience. For example, you could use the following sequence for inbound leads who request a demo:

  • Day 1 – Automated welcome email, manually research prospect
  • Day 2 – Phone call to follow up on email
  • Day 4 – LinkedIn connection request, automated email follow-up
  • Day 6 – Automated email follow-up

Alternatively, here’s one of our favorite sequences for an outbound campaign:

  • Day 1 – LinkedIn profile view, call/voicemail
  • Day 2 – Automated contact enrichment
  • Day 4 – Manual email with custom snippet
  • Day 7 – Automated email follow-up, call/voicemail
  • Day 9 – Automated email with personalized image, LinkedIn connection request
  • Day 10 – Call/voicemail
  • Day 13 – Manual email with personalized video

5 proven multichannel sequence templates to scale your sales [OUTBOUND]

Make sure to leave a good first impression on your leads (and turn them into engaged opportunities) with proven sequence templates.

4. Set up your campaign. Now it’s time to actually start sending out your messages. If you take another look at our multichannel outreach sequence examples, you’ll notice there’s a combination of automated and manual touchpoints. 

There’s a lot you can do with automation, and a sales engagement platform like Reply can help you bring all those channels into one place. You can also add additional channels with Zapier, connecting your different apps and automating steps in your sequence. 

On the other hand, there are still some occasions where a manual touch will be more effective. These manual steps allow you to easily customize your message and personalize it so it’s unique to your prospect. This is especially valuable when dealing with high-value customers. While manually managing a multichannel campaign may take more time and effort, it can be a useful way to tailor your outreach efforts to your specific needs and goals and achieve better results.

5. Test and optimize. As you implement your outreach sequence, be sure to test and optimize your efforts to ensure that you’re getting the best results possible. This may involve trying different types of content, adjusting the timing of your outreach or making other changes to your approach. Regularly track and analyze the results of your outreach efforts to determine what’s working and what’s not, then use this information to make any necessary adjustments to your schedule or messaging.

Final thoughts

Multichannel outreach campaigns are one of the best ways to rise above the noise and get your prospect’s attention. The good news is that they’re now easier and more cost-effective than ever before, with sales engagement platforms and automation tools allowing you to connect your channels, send coordinated messaging and monitor your performance. 

However, you still need a carefully planned multichannel strategy if you want to get meaningful results. By researching your prospects and carefully considering the different potential channels out there, you can create a schedule with value-based messaging that makes a positive impact without annoying your customers. 

Want to manage your multichannel outreach campaigns from one platform? Reply enables you to personalize messaging across key channels, while still giving you the flexibility to implement manual touchpoints. Try it out for free today.

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