Cold Email Outreach: 6 Ways to Increase Your Metrics

Cold Email Outreach: 6 Ways to Increase Your Metrics

Email campaigns are one of the most effective methods of bolstering your businesses exposure as well as growing your audience base as well as bolstering your customer base. Based on this wonderful statistics source that Campaign Monitor has put together, email outreach is used by 82% of B2B and B2C companies while 25% of Fortune 500 B2B companies have adopted email marketing automation, so getting your campaign right is a viable tactic that many companies have been adopting over the years.

I have gone into detail in the past about how effective cold email marketing is, but I wanted to cover this topic again to help those who may have had some troubles in the past with executing this process. It is not a great feeling when you put in the effort to get started with this, only to feel like your emails were ignored and fell on deaf ears. Maybe you were able to get a lot of people to open your emails but not actually engage positively with it. There are numerous non ideal situations that can result from a failed campaign, so I wanted to give some insight on how you can potentially improve your campaign.

In this blog post, we’ll go over the primary reasons why email campaigns fail to gain any traction with their audience and the steps that you can take to improve your return on investment, as well as potentially improve the effectiveness of your messages. Lets explore this together.

Why It Is Important To Perfect Your Campaigns?

To put it bluntly, it’s important to spend the time to ensure that your campaign has the best chance of success because it is a waste of time otherwise. If you are spending the time, effort, and resources towards reaching out to an audience you will want the most bang for your buck for it. Thankfully there are plenty of resources that exist online where people have shared their experiences so that you can learn from their mistakes. Optin Monster has a great resource showcasing some bad examples of what people have sent out for their email campaigns. Clearly your goal should be to never end up a list such as this, but seeing what others have done and avoiding those mistakes is an extremely valuable lesson to take away from examples such as this.

Another big reason to do everything within your power to perfect your campaign is because with a list of contacts, you only have one chance to sell them on the pitch. You only get one shot at a good first impression so you should always do anything you can to get it right. This should be one of the biggest reasons to want to ensure that everything you will be sending out is solid and will get people to positively engage with your message.

Why Email Campaigns Typically Fail

One small oversight can cause a disaster.

Before we go over some of the most important things everyone should improve upon, let's go over some of the reasons why an email campaign might not be a success to begin with. The metric typically used to measure if a campaign was a success or not is how much positive engagement you receive back on any given outreach attempt. Another important factor is your return on investment (ROI) for the campaign, as ideally with any investment you make within a company, you do not to put money into something and not at minimum get that money back in some form or anything. Sometimes this isn’t the case depending on the goal of the campaign (as maybe your call to action is to get people to sign up for a newsletter, let users or new customers know about a new feature/product, things of this nature). Whatever your goal is, it’s important to have some information in the back of your mind about when your campaign isn’t necessarily going well.

One of the most common reasons I have found from viewing or hearing about the campaigns of other businesses not performing very well typically has to do with the type contact information you utilize for your outreach attempt. For many businesses selling a product or service of some type, there are typically an audience of potential customers that you know would get some type of use out of your service. As an example, we at Companywell know that an average individual would not need to utilize the type of data we offer on our platform, so we would not spend the type trying to reach this type of audience. One of the primary reasons Companywell exists today is because we knew that people wanting to perform email outreach need highly specified contacts for their audience, so we made our platform extremely easy to use for obtaining these hyper focused lists. Campaigns can’t succeed with a dataset that isn’t tuned for the end goal of what you are trying to accomplish, so ensuring that the people you are reaching out to are

  1. Working within the right industry/within the target market of customers
  2. Have the right type job role if applicable to the nature of your campaign
  3. Have enough information to utilize in order to effectively address them in your outreach attempt.

Is a good way to ensure that you don’t reach out to people who most likely have no potential interest in your email.

Other ways I have seen email campaigns fail is due to how emails are structured, addressed and composed. Typically what seems to happen is that an email is structured in a way that doesn’t clearly explain

  1. The reason for contacting this person
  2. What they are offering/what they do.
  3. Does not have an effective call to action.
  4. Lacks personality
  5. The Subject Line is ineffective or not incentivizing enough to click on

We will be going into further detail of these points later on in this blog post, but essentially a messy message will not incite those on the receiving end to give your email any type of positive attention. A good way to quickly put your outreach email to the test is to put yourself in the place of the other person and read your message as if you have no idea who you are or what your business does, and try to see how clear cut your message is. Better yet, if you know somebody who would be willing to read it for you to see how effective it is, that would go a long way in ensuring that your message is on point before sending anything out. To get a better idea of what not to do when composing your emails, John Doherty has thankfully put together an extremely effective breakdown of bad emails, so I would suggest reading this through to give you a better idea of how devastating a bad email template can be for your overall efforts.

Ways To Increase Your Chances At Success With Email Campaigns

Now that we have gone over some of the reasons why these email campaigns typically fail, let’s take a deeper dive into five ways that anyone can improve their chances at success with their email campaigns. A thing to note about this list is that this is by no means the only ways to generally improve your overall campaign, more than likely there are a multitude of ways of improving your efforts depending on what industry you work in or the nature of why you are launching an outreach campaign to begin with. Lets get into it.

1: Be more Personal With Your Templates

Make your emails feel as personal as possible.

Almost nobody wants to be receiving random emails from businesses about their services. People in generally typically do not want to feel like their information has been accessed elsewhere online and used to be contacted within a way that they did not know about or sign up for beforehand (unless your email campaign is based around people who have actively signed up for a newsletter or to receive further information from your business from some sort of signup form). If someone is being contacted about an offer or a service that is a good fit for them, a cold email to them is far more effective when it feels like it was actually hand written by a person at a company, to specifically reach out to them for a certain reason. They don’t want to feel like they have received a piece of spam mail that is not relevant to their life or career, so attempting to gear an outreach email towards this target audience in a way that shows thought and meaning has been put towards it can go a long way.

There are a multitude of ways to make an outreach email more personalized, and due to the nature of an email being ‘personalized’, this is not exactly something that I can give instructions on how to do. Every industry and businesses situation will be different, but thankfully there are some commonalities you can follow to make an email more personalized.

Typically when you are acquiring a contact list for an outreach campaign such as us, there will be a multitude of information that is attached to each contact. Having a first name, last name, and email address is the bare minimum information you realistically need in order to effectively reach out to someone. However, any additional information you may have can effectively be used to establish that you have enough knowledge about who they are and why you are specifically contacting them with the hopes of making a connection. Information such as perhaps including a mention of a past role they had or information regarding their role at the company and tying this into your pitch in an organic way. As an example, if you were to export a contact list from Companywell, we track over 55 unique data fields on contacts that could potentially be used to establish a more personal connection with a first outreach attempt. A way you could potentially do this is as follows.

Hi {first},

My name is {sender full name} and I am {sender role} at {sender company}, I wanted to reach out to see if you would be interested in chatting about a potential opportunity.

I noticed that your current role is as a {receivers role} at {receivers company}, we believe that our services can greatly improve your ROI with your current customer base as we have worked with similar companies within your industry have managed to improve their outreach performance by more than 50%. I believe that you would be the best person to speak too further about this, seeing as you have been with the company for {current time employed}.

If you could please let me know if you have any availability in the next few weeks, I would love to schedule a time with you to discuss this further.

Thank you,
{sender first}

I want to stress that this is just an example of how someone could potentially utilize data that is contained within a more extensive dataset of outreach data (such as if you were to export a list from our platform). This type of initial email most likely would not be applicable for most industries but please feel free to adjust this or base your own email off such a style.

While this isn’t necessarily tied to performing large scale outreach, YesWare has a fantastic overview of ways you can personalize an email in ways that can assist with converting a contact to a customer. I personally found this helpful first hand as there have been a few occasions where I needed ideas to stand out when reaching out for smaller scale outreach campaigns. However you choose to go about it, adding a personal touch to your initial emails can really go a long way.

2: Use Hyper Targeted Leads

Make sure your leads are as accurate as possible.

The more information you have to go alongside your leads, the better. It’s always better to have more knowledge to work with when reaching out to potential customers, as the more you can demonstrate that you are clearly contacting someone because of their expertise, job role, or background, the more likely that they will at least read your email and potentially be interested in the opportunity you are reaching out to them about. As I demonstrated above in my template email, if you can attempt to demonstrate that you have an actual reason for contacting someone as opposed to coming off like you are sending out tens of thousands of emails to random contacts, you have a better chance at improving the rate in which people engage back with you in a positive manner.

Any type of additional information such as the amount of time they have worked for a company, any additional information on their role at the company past their title, a previous job they may have worked at, or knowledge about what service or customer base their business already utilizes can go a long way in making your outreach efforts feel less like an automated and ingenuine message cluttering their inbox. To repeat myself, most people do not want to feel like they are being targeted for a mass outreach email. Utilizing additional information at your display to have a more genuine engagement with the contacts you are reaching out too can demonstrate that you performed your research before sending out this email. And having a list of contacts that are hyper focused on a certain type of lead can increase your chances at a positive engagement by a long shot.

3: Make Sure Your Subject Line Is Perfect

Capture their attention with your first sentence.

The first aspect of any email that people read is the subject line. It’s arguably more important than what is contained within the email itself, as if someone receives a random email from an unfamiliar address they might not open it on the basis of not caring enough to find out what it is about. Anyone working within a business most likely does not have a lot of time on their hands, so making sure that your subject line is compelling enough to click on and clear enough so that they know what this email is about and want to find out more is an extremely important aspect of an outreach campaign.

The maximum length of a subject line is exactly 78 characters. Due to the nature of people viewing emails on phones or other smaller devices, we highly suggest you do not use this many characters since more than likely it will be cut off by those viewing your email. You will want your subject line to be as short and straight to action as possible. Think of it as writing a great tweet except you have much less space overall to work with. Campaign Monitor has a very informative article on this exact subject (that we would highly recommend you read after this post). They recommend utilizing a subject line between 41 and 70 characters as based on their research, this seems like the optimal length to write your message and not be too wordy.

Some examples of approaches you can take for your outreach campaign can be found below. As i mentioned before, almost all campaigns can vary in focus and purpose depending upon the industry you work in and the reason in which you are performing an email campaign, but for the most part these can be modified and adjusted accordingly.

  • I wanted to discuss a possible opportunity with you
  • Hello {first}, I believe I can help you out
  • Are you available next week?
  • Possibility for potential partnership
  • How We Can Save You Money

Optin Monster actually put together a huge compilation of subject lines other companies have used and had success with, so I would definitely suggest checking this out to give you some more ideas that may be more applicable to your business.

4: Create A Compelling Call To Action

Get your audience to follow in your direction.

If you are aiming for more positive engagement than a contact simply opening up your email, then you are going to want to create a clear and precise call to action on what the next steps should be if the contact is interested in further discussing the subject of your email. To ensure we are all on the same page, a call to action is the process in which you give the recipient a suggestion on how to proceed further in the manner in which you want to further pursue an opportunity. For most use cases that I have found, these next steps involve either scheduling a call/meeting with the contact or asking them to visit your website and sign up for your service. This is obviously not the only type of call to action, but for most businesses this will be the end goal.

The typical example of a type of call to action within an email would be as follows.

  • If you would be interested in learning more about us please feel free to visit our website
  • If you are interested in discussing this further please contact me with your availability and we can get a time set on the calendar

Not that the breakdown of the structure of this is to.

  1. Asking them directly if this email was helpful
  2. Asking them to re-engage with you in some manner to build upon this encounter

It’s all about being as straightforward as possible and giving them a clear process by which to perform if they had a positive reaction to your email. For some situations it may make sense to include some type of visual button or hyperlink that visually stands out from the rest of the email structure. Another approach for businesses wishing to set meetings would be to utilize a service such as Calendly or Drift in order for recipients to directly set a meeting without needing to go through the process of sending over their availability to you and figuring out a time that works manually. Whatever your end goal is with an email campaign, it’s important to clearly establish what you wish a recipient to do if they are interested in the contents of your email.

5: Demonstrate your potential value to them

Money saved is money earned.

Everyone either wants to make their life easier in some way or save money. Almost every business that exists serves some specific purpose where they are either a better competitor than another service, or they are performing or creating some type of product or service that can benefit the end user in some way that creates value for it. You want to be able to clearly and precisely explain to an email recipient that what you do is better in some manner compared to what they are currently using or not using all together. The way that I see it personally, you want to take the elevator pitch to your company and modify it in a way that makes sense to the overall structure of your email. Why is your business cool, or useful, or better than another company? What makes you stand out from the rest in your space, or how is your business doing something different or completely new? This type of information is critical to know and be confident about when crafting your outreach emails as if you do not believe or know why your business is great, then why should the recipient be bothered to care about your email?

The manner in which you do this can be difficult to demonstrate with a written example as almost every business and industry is different. But the general structure I have found that works is as follows.

We are a {explain the type of business you are within what industry} that {explain what you do} in a way that {why you are different from similar companies you compete with}. We strongly believe that {explain what benefit you can bring the recipient} because {explain past metrics, successes, selling points that you are confident about}.

The idea is to keep it precise, clear, and informative. Do not fill this section with marketing terms or terminology that increases the length of the pitch in a way that does not add value to your explanation. If you have the information as well, including metrics that are precise to the reason why you are reaching out to a contact can be a huge selling point and a jumping off point for a recipient to engage with you in a positive manner if they want to get more information on this. Including links to pages on your website that provide more information is also an extremely valuable way of elaborating on your message in a quick and efficient manner. The Interview Guys have a resource for crafting elevator pitches that can be utilized for this section of your crafting, as essentially the structure of what you are doing within this section of an email is within the same spirit.

6: Create Perfect Followup Messages

Set your reminders like clockwork.

As anyone working within the business space knows, we all receive a lot of emails on a daily basis from a wide variety of sources. Because of this, it is not uncommon for emails to get lost in inboxes if someone has a particularly heavy email day. Do not let your emails get lost in these inboxes. The way to do this is to just casually follow up after a day or two of an email being sent out if you have not heard anything back from a contact. Thankfully almost all email outreach platforms make it easy to set these up and schedule them, so you do not need to worry about the logistics of managing the scheduling of this as much, but crafting these follow ups is extremely important to make sure that you have the most potential for exposure throughout the life of an email campaign.

For this, you need to find a balance between being annoying and coming off as someone genuinely following up in case an email has been lost. The general approach that I have followed in the past and have had success with is as follows.

  1. Send out your initial emails.
  2. Wait 2 days, (or until the start of the upcoming week if 3 days falls on a weekend) then send out your 1st followup message
  3. Wait 3 days (or until the start of the upcoming week if 3 days falls on a weekend), then send out your last follow up email.

Sending out 3 followup emails is both annoying on the part of a recipient as if they have ignored or haven’t seen 3 emails, chances are they will not respond in a positive manner after 4. Another reason to space it out in this manner is that you can time it out to make the life of this campaign last exactly 1 week, which I have seen first hand as being the optimal amount of time to be actively performing an outreach campaign. So what should these followup emails be?

The basic answer to this question is that any type of followup email should just be a gentle nudge to the recipient to see if they received your previous message and to remind them that this email is in the inbox and that you are waiting for their response. It should be as basic as this.

Hi {first},

This is {sender first} again, I wanted to see if you have received my email about a potential opportunity. Please get back to me if you are interested at all and want to discuss this further.

Thanks,
{first}

If you are performing this outreach campaign via an outreach platform, typically this will be sent as a reply on the email thread so this will both bump up your previous email to the top of their inbox, along with giving them this reminder.

Another critical note is that you shouldn’t use the same exact message for both follow ups. The reason for this is that when you do this, it

  1. Looks lazy on your part
  2. Looks more automated
  3. Is annoying to the end user

You do not need to go crazy with modifying your previous message, but making sure that you are not sending the same exact message twice is a very good approach as this adds way more authenticity to the identity you built prior.

To Summarize

Email Outreach is one of the most effective ways to get your business and pitch in front of people who can potentially be converted to customers. A majority of the most successful companies on the planet utilize this technique to increase their revenue and build up their audience and outreach, so most companies have no excuse to not perfect this process as there is a track record of how effective this approach is for increasing your revenue. It can be difficult to nail down your approach to improving your overall metrics on an email campaign if you had difficulties in the past, but know that we have all been in the same shoes as you if your first email campaign didn’t turn out the way you expected it too. There are plenty of avenues for you to pursue to improve your overall mail opening and positive reply rates, so we hope that our first hand experience can be utilized by everyone to allow their company to thrive at their full potential.

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