Cold outreach – reaching out to new prospects without any connections or prior relationships can be challenging, but it can also be one of the most effective methods of building your business. However, you need to do it the right way, or it won’t work. Here are some of the simple strategies you can use to improve your results.
Define your target audience
Cold outreach can be a powerful marketing tool, but it’s important not to use it incorrectly. The target audience for cold outreach is anyone who needs your service or product and will take action on what you’re selling.
The number one question to ask is “Who am I reaching out to?” As a web designer, who are the people needing my services? As an accountant, which business requires my services?
Don’t email people who are unlikely to act on your offer, like customers from other companies.
If you want someone who is looking for what you’re offering, remember that they may be busy, so keep your emails short and ask them if now is a good time to chat.
Having a target audience allows you to tailor your outreach emails better, ensuring they are effective. Just don’t overdo it; a short and well-written email can be just as effective as one that’s long and full of filler words.
Research your target audience
You can find your target audience by surveying people who are similar to the type of customer you’re looking for. You can also do some research on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. You’ll have a better chance of connecting with your target audience if you can relate to them on their level. For example, if your target audience is from New York City, try not to use slang and only use words that would be familiar in their environment. Don’t say y’all or “Nashville’s got a great live music scene!” when speaking about Nashville, Tennessee. If you don’t know where your target audience lives, ask yourself what they might care about– for instance, maybe they love golfing but don’t mention it unless it’s relevant to the topic at hand.
Find the right channels and tools to reach your target audience
There’s no denying it: cold outreach is hard. But if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right. Here are some social media channels and tools that have worked for us and our clients in the past. These will be helpful in reaching people who haven’t met you yet but they also work if someone is known by one of your connections. They’ll think of you as a trustworthy source with good advice.
FormCloud.ai – This is an online form filling software that helps boost sales by leverage AI to contact 10X more customers. This tool has helped grow our business and beat competition
Klout – If they don’t follow you on Twitter or Facebook, Klout may be a better way to reach them than emailing them out of the blue. You can get an idea of their social media interests by looking at their profile or following them on Twitter or Facebook first before pitching them.
LinkedIn – A great place to network with other professionals or post interesting content that would be relevant to your target audience (plus there are tons of articles with up-to-date stats on trends). You can even share posts from other sites so long as you provide credit back to the original source. That lets people know that you value their time and want to educate them about different perspectives. Then once you’ve built up a relationship, ask for something in return like feedback or questions about your product/service/company.
Facebook – Maybe they don’t have a LinkedIn profile, or maybe you want to reach more people than their work connections. Facebook is an easy way for you and your business to connect with more people who may be interested in your product/service/ideas. You can engage them by answering questions or posting your own content that would be relevant to them. And don’t forget YouTube! Videos are a great way to show off what your company does and build relationships with viewers.
Create a compelling message
The goal with cold outreach is that you are opening the door for a relationship, and not trying to sell anything on first contact. To do this well, there are some guidelines that can help you be more successful and less bothersome.
1) Be specific about what you want from them (i.e., I’d love feedback on my podcast or your opinion of my writing);
2) Highlight any shared interests or commonalities;
3) Be personal–put a face to your name;
4) Don’t use all caps or exclamation points;
5) Provide value–show them why they should care enough to respond;
6) Personalize your message–keep it brief.
7) Show appreciation in advance–thank people in advance for their time.
Test, measure, and adjust
Test your cold outreach strategy by sending a small number of emails, and measure the results. For example, if you send five cold emails and get two responses, that’s a 40% response rate. What would happen if you sent 10 emails instead? Would your response rate increase or decrease? Find out by testing and measuring different numbers of cold emails. Use the results to adjust your strategy for future outreach efforts.
Test your email subject lines You’re basically splitting a list into two groups and sending them emails (or doing whatever it is you want to test) at different times. For example, let’s say you have a list of 500 leads and want to see which type of subject line gets better results. On 250 leads, try sending with subject line one. On another 250 leads, send out emails with subject line two. Then compare response rates for each group.
In our experience, A/B tests should give you definitive results that clearly show whether your hypothesis was correct or not in under 50 email sends before you decide which path to pursue more aggressively.
Other things you can test measure and adjust are button colors, CTAs, URLs, Landing pages, etc
So, there you have it. Cold outreach is not as hard as it seems, but there are some rules and guidelines you need to follow. All of the cold outreach tips I’ve shared in this post are designed for one single purpose: To get a response. If you use them properly, then they will work wonders for your business!