How to Automate & Increase Your Cold Outreach ROI

Edna B. Shearer

Are you among those who believe emails can’t help you grow your brand? I am afraid you are not yet aware of the potential email can hold. It is not just a matter of sending out emails to people. It is about connecting and building relationships with other businesses and professionals to further your goals.

This is what cold email outreach is all about. Since it is tough to manage multiple cold outreach campaigns simultaneously and scale them at the same time, you should consider automating some aspects. You may think that automation will make you just another spammer that never reaches the inbox, but you’d be wrong. Cold email outreach works amazing when automated, but with one catch – you have to invest your time to personalize your email sequences. 

Further, how helpful cold emails are can be well understood through these insightful statistics.

  • The average open rate of cold emails increased by 3.5% in 2021.
  • The reply rate of advanced personalized emails is 17%, whereas non-personalized emails have 7%.
  • The average open rate of cold emails varies between 15.22% to 28.46% depending on the industry.
  • Daily, consumers check personal email for an average of 2.5 hours.
  • Cold emails with just one CTA had an increase of 42% in CTRs.

Right now, your question must be, how to automate and increase the cold outreach ROI? Well, the answer is here!

Determine Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

It is essential to know who your ideal customer is before you start reaching out to them. This will help you increase the click-through rate.

Start with the following things first,

  • What is your targeted audience?
  • How am I/ my business/ service can help them?
  • What is my brand/service’s unique selling proposition (USP) that makes it better than others?

After you get answers to these questions, proceed with researching the following points:

  • Location
  • Industry/ Sector
  • Company size
  • Services that organization uses
  • Pain points of the organization
  • How you can help

For example, let’s say that you own a company that provides digital marketing services, so here’s how to choose an ICP.

  • Your targeted audience? Authoritative websites, brands, blog owners, niche micro-influencers, service providers, etc.
  • How can you help? You can provide them with writing, SEO optimization, marketing campaigns, lead generation, etc.
  • Your USP? A team of experienced experts having a vast knowledge of SEO, PPC, social media marketing, and content marketing.

Your ideal customer would be,

Location  US
Industry/Sector Blog post website on social and economic sectors
Company size Mid-cap company
Services they use WordPress and Yoast
Pain point Low traffic
Your services Can increase the website traffic exponentially by using Saas SEO Tools and optimizing the content for better readability.
Perform Initial Prospecting

Now that you know your ideal customer, it’s time to start prospecting. Look for companies or websites that fit your ICP. You can search for them using Google Advanced Search and Ahrefs.

For instance, we are looking for digital marketing customers. So, the search would be around keywords like SEO services, content writing, marketing campaigns, etc.

  • Google – “keyword” + “intitle:”contact us” , “keyword” + “inurl:contact-us” , “keyword” + “ intitle:”contact us”.
  • Ahrefs – Go to > Content Explorer> Enter the “keyword” in the query section and hit the search button.

From here, you will get a list of potential customers. Further, to filter them as your ICPs, lookout for the following information about them:

  • Does the prospect fit your ideal customer profile?
  • Do they need your solution?
  • Do they have the budget to afford your services?
  • Are they already using any competitive service?
  • What challenges do they encounter, and how can your solution help them better than the competitive service they are using?
  • What is their decision-making process for buying your services?

Find the contact information of key decision-makers

The next step is to go deeper and find contact information for key decision-makers at those organizations. These will be the people who have decision-making power when it comes to buying a service or product. 

But, how can you find them? Ever heard of LinkedIn Sales Navigator? When it comes to searching for decision-makers, nobody does it better than LinkedIn. You can use Boolean searches on LinkedIn to find the right contact.

For example – If you want to find the contact information of Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) of companies with less than 500 employees in the United States, your search would be –

“title:CMO AND company_size:51-500 AND location:United States”

The moment you get a list of first names and last names, your next target is to find their emails. Also, doing this manually can take weeks (especially if you have huge lists), so better use tools like Hunter Email Finder that automatically find all relevant email addresses that are publicly available. It provides bulk results, role-based emails, email patterns, and even sources that can be hard to find manually.

Make sure to verify all the contact information

The email verification process will help you to remove irrelevant email addresses that are old, entered incorrectly, or not accepting emails. Further, it’s also a tedious task if done manually. But, tools such as Hunter Email Verifier can make it easy!

It can help in verifying the email lists in bulk. Just upload the list, and you’ll see how validations are made at multiple levels, like format, domain information, the response of the mail servers, etc.

But why verify email addresses?

  • To ensure emails belong to authentic users.
  • To avoid low deliverability rates.
  • It can boost engagement rates.
  • Eliminates hard bounces.
  • Reduces chances of spam problems.
  • It will decrease the chances of getting blacklisted.

Write engaging email copy

Before writing anything, keep in mind that PERSONALIZATION is the key here. Tons of emails are being sent daily, but only the one that entices the reader gets an impression. Therefore, using a template or generic email won’t work here. You’ll need to personalize it, and here’s how to do it.

Engaging subject lines

The subject line is the first thing your targeted audience will see. Make sure you follow these simple rules to draft an effective one:

  • Use shorter subject lines.
  • Make use of natural language.
  • Use personalization tags like name or location in the subject line.
  • Avoid using spammy phrases.
  • Add a CTA that can get a click.
  • Add an offer like a trip to XYZ.

Examples of subject lines that can work – 

  • Here’s $500 for our premium services.
  • Hi, Sam, here’s your free voucher.
  • Your account needs verification.
  • We would love feedback from you, Sam!
  • Stop scrolling! Up to 70% off on your next order!

Examples of subject lines that won’t work –

  • URGENT: You have to see this!
  • Free gift inside!
  • You’ve been chosen!
  • Can we meet?
  • Your dream job is waiting for you!

Personalized email body

The body (content) of your email should be short, sweet, and to the point. No one wants to read a long novel about you or your company. Keep it below 150 words, and make sure every sentence counts.

Some important things to keep in mind:

  • Again, personalization is key. Use the person’s name in the email and mention something that shows you’ve done your research.
  • Be ultra-clear about what you want from the recipient. Do you want a meeting or feedback?
  • Follow basic email etiquette. This means no typos, use proper grammar and check your email for errors before hitting “send.”
  • Use a professional signature. Include your name, title, company, and contact information.
  • Offer them a resolution to their problem and pitch your product or service there.
  • Include a CTA. This could be something as simple as asking the recipient to reply to your email or visit your website.
  • End on a positive note.

Create a follow-up sequence

According to a study, sending at least one email increases the reply rate by 13%. This same percentage stands at 9% if you don’t send follow-up emails.

A persuasive follow-up email is short, sweet, and to the point. You don’t desire to come across as sales-y or pushy. Just remind them that you’re still interested in hearing from them and include a CTA like replying to your email or scheduling a meeting. Moreover, give a gap of at least 2-3 days between the follow-up emails so that your prospects don’t judge you as a pushy person.

For instance, we noticed while doing a cold outreach for guest post campaigns that most of the answers come after the second follow-up. It means that if we neglected follow-ups and just move on, we’d lose quite a lot of positive answers and collaborations.

However, as we are talking of automation, this part can be the one that can be automated as well. Hunter Campaigns is one such tool that provides personalized templates for follow-ups. Further, it can let you schedule the emails, and you can even track the sent emails using this tool.

Track and adjust your cold outreach campaigns 

You can’t just sit and do nothing after sending out your cold emails. You need to track your campaign’s performance and make adjustments along the way. To do this and automate your outreach campaigns consider using Gmail apps for Windows or Mac.

Here are a few things you should be tracking:

  • Open rate: This is the percentage of people who open your email. If your open rate is below 10%, that’s a sign that you need to improve your subject lines.
  • Click-through rate: The rate of people who click on at least one link in your email. If your click-through rate is below 1%, that’s a sign that your email content needs work.
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of people who don’t receive your email because it bounced back. If your bounce rate is higher than 5%, that’s a sign that you need to improve your email list e.g. you are sending emails to invalid emails.

Wrap up

Cold outreach automation can save you a lot of time and increase your chances of success, and it’s essential to do it right. Follow the tips in this article, and you’ll be on your way to automating your cold outreach campaigns like a pro.

Smarter Email Marketing 2