With more than 3.9 billion users and growing, email marketing is one of the most powerful marketing channels that's ever existed.
Mastering the art of business-to-business email outreach isn't easy. In the era of information and content overload, it’s difficult to grab the attention of an email recipient and to not get classified as SPAM.
Sending unsolicited emails, commonly referred to as "cold emails," is still a popular method of marketing a business. Done right, it can become a valuable weapon for generating leads and establishing mutually benefiting collaborations.
In this blog, we'll cover the anatomy of a well-designed B2B email outreach strategy. While the topic of email outreach is a broad one, we'll focus on B2B cold email outreach.
1. Set goals
As a B2B company, you likely send cold emails to either pitch your business or to start a collaboration. In either case, it’s crucial that you define your goals so that you can measure the success of your email outreach strategy against them.
Depending on the type of outreach you do, here are some of the objectives you might aim to achieve:
- Get new sign-ups
- Have your content shared
- Establish a long-term relationship
- Partner for link-building
- Accept a guest post pitch
Once you define your goals, you can advance to setting up your KPIs. In this case, you might want to monitor email deliverability rate, email open rate, etc.
Your outcomes will depend on the goals you want to achieve. Whether you're designing a strategy to generate more B2B leads, build links, or publish your guest posts, you must have a clear idea of how to measure your progress.
Sure, you should pay attention to metrics such as email deliverability or open rate, as they can help explain whether your emails are delivered to your recipients or whether your subject line is appealing enough for them to open it. This is why the built-in analytics of your chosen email marketing software is crucial.
2. Find your target audience
In order to locate people to reach out to, you have to define who fits your criteria, especially in cases when you're trying to pitch your products. That’s where the process of designing an ideal persona comes in.
Depending on the product or service you offer, you should consider factors such geolocation, industry, and budget when defining your B2B target audience.
Apart from general segmentation based on the above criteria, there are other ways to find your target audience:
- Conduct competitor analysis to get a better idea of to whom your competitors are marketing
- Interview your sales team
- Analyze your current target audience and its behaviors
- Use social listening
Once you’ve researched and segmented your audience, start looking for places where you can find them. In the case of B2B companies, you would probably want to check their websites, as well as Twitter and LinkedIn.
3. Get in touch
There are several ways to contact potential prospects.
A very common method is using email finder tools. All you have to do is paste the URL of the website into the tool and it will automatically scrape email addresses assigned to the website that would be otherwise difficult to find.
Using LinkedIn is another effective way to help you uncover the email address of a potential lead—simply connect with such a person and then go to their "Contact info."
4. Craft a compelling subject line
Studies show that 47% of email subscribers read them solely based on the subject line. That’s a pretty good argument for paying close attention to what you write in your subject line, especially as you try to grab the attention of a stranger.
Here are some best practices of a well-written subject line:
- Use lower case
- Include recipient’s name
- Refer to a common friend
- Refer to something relevant for the recipient (their article, quote, etc.)
- Be funny/mysterious/interesting
- Use a question
- Offer value
It’s recommended that you use more than one of these best practices as you try to create compelling subject lines that get your emails read.
If you're looking to build new collaborations using cold email outreach, check out this informative guide on networking subject lines.
5. Personalize email body
Once your email gets opened, it's up to your copy to convince the recipient to take action. With that in mind, personalization has become an industry standard. In fact, it’s been proven that personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates.
Check out this infographic showing statistics related to email personalization:
Email personalization is a secret weapon you should master if you want to be successful in your B2B email outreach efforts. Depending on the type of outreach and request you are reaching out with, there are various ways to personalize your email’s copy.
For example, look at this email pitch sent by Arek Ponski, the CEO of TeamBuzz. He decided to personalize his email by providing information that’s highly relevant to the businesses to whom he was pitching his product.
Here are some best practices for writing personalized outreach emails:
- Find and highlight the mutual connections
- Mention relevant pain points and possible solutions
- Use their name multiple times
- Refer to the personal, relatable short story
- Show that you have done solid research
- Use conversational tone
- Prove your expertise with social proof
- Use interactive and engaging content (videos, GIFs, drawings)
Bonus Tip: Instead of writing lengthy copy explaining the features of your product, you can record an explainer video and attach it to your email to make it more interesting.
6. Choose the right tools
Having written your perfect pitch, it’s time to choose suitable email marketing software. There's an abundance of email marketing solutions, and choosing the right one isn't an easy task.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a suitable tool:
- Third party integrations
- Content customization and data segmentation
- SPAM compliance rules and setup
- A/B testing
- Inbox preview
- Emails quota
Here at Digital Olympus, we recommend using Moosend for email marketing campaigns. Thanks to this tool, we’ve managed to automate our email process and thus save a lot of time.
For link-building outreach campaigns you can consider using tools such as Pitchbox or Lemlist. Here, it’s crucial to monitor whether your emails are being delivered, as using some tools for sending emails at scale tend to put a bunch of them in the SPAM folder of your recipients.
Keap’s powerful Campaign Builder can be configured any way you need it, then get to work automatically capturing new leads, assigning tasks, and sending emails that nurture new leads. Try it out for free here: https://t.co/sKEbAZr8yJ pic.twitter.com/MzMYHbv6YN— Keap (@KeapGrowing) May 17, 2020
Studies show that you have a 21% chance of getting a reply to your follow-up email. There are plenty of explanations for this—people tend to be busy and forget to reply, or your first email could land in SPAM. One thing is certain: Follow-up emails should be a non-negotiable part of any email marketing strategy in order to improve your odds of success.
In fact, one follow-up email might not be enough. This is why you should consider preparing a well-crafted sequence of emails to check in with your recipients.
Here are a few best practices for crafting follow-ups that won’t put you on a blacklist:
- Wait at least two days between each email
- Keep it brief and concise
- Automate the process, if possible
- Be funny, casual and flexible
Email continues to be one of the most powerful channels of reaching out to your prospective clients, business partners, and existing customers. Having the right email outreach strategy in place is what can make or break your business.
Now's the time to test this in practice and to start getting the results you want with your emails.
SEE HOW YOU RANK: Take Keap's Lifecycle Marketing Self Assessment and compare your business against the industry’s top performers with our proven formula and instantly reveal the strengths and gaps of your business.