Every budding agency wants to grow out of its infancy stage and get a more robust client catalog. But, it’s not about finding the most leads. It’s about finding the right ones.
Scaling your business means working with clients that make sense. When you’re stuck sending cold emails to the wrong leads, you’ll be losing precious time and resources.
It’s a common issue whether you’re a digital marketing, sales, or SEO agency. We’re here to guide you through this. In this article, we’ll be going over:
- Why email marketing is one of the best options for getting high-quality leads.
- How to use email marketing to find leads.
- The importance of validating your email list.
- Best practices every agency should follow for lead generation.
Why Should Agencies Use Cold Emails to Find Leads?
While there are tons of options for lead generation, cold email has been the most consistent and scalable option for any agency. Here are some quick stats to prove it:
- A McKinsey study suggests cold email can be 40x more effective than social media.
- 80% of people prefer sales representatives to contact them via email.
- Sagefrog suggests email marketing is the most used strategy for B2B.
- SEO-related emails get high response rates according to a Samszu study.
- Cold emails with follow-ups are 3x more likely to get responses.
We put an emphasis on the word “scalable” because email outreach campaigns can be automated and personalized. It’s still a numbers game.
But, with analytics on our side, we can make data-driven decisions that help us qualify and convert more leads faster.
So, how can we use email marketing to find leads? Here are some ideas to help you out!
Using Cold Email Marketing to Find Agency Leads
Email marketing is like the holy trinity of lead generation. You can use it to find, qualify, and nurture. You need all three for the best chances of converting high-quality leads.
There are several ways to go about this. We’ll be spitballing a couple of ideas to help you get started. Find what resonates and try it out yourself!
Use Lead Scoring to Qualify Leads
Qualify your leads right off the gate using lead scoring. The higher the score, the more likely a conversion. You determine the metrics based on your lead’s behavior.
Each behavior has its own score. It’s up to your agency on what you value most. For example, if a site visitor subscribes to your newsletter, that could have a score of 30. If they respond to a cold email, it could be 40.
If that site visitor happens to be the head of operations, that could be a 10. When the total score goes above a certain threshold—say 50 or 60, your team can confidently send a cold email.
Use High-Quality Gated Content in Exchange for Email Info
Have in-house information that goes deep into certain topics? You can leverage that to build your email list. Think case studies, statistics, or infographics.
To further qualify leads, add restrictions to only accept emails from business domains. Filter out domains like Gmail or Yahoo. This ensures that you’re already dealing with another legitimate business.
Sending Bulk Emails With Automation
Creating the perfect personalized email and sending each individually takes so much unnecessary time. But, with the right email tool, this can easily be automated.
However, you can’t just hit send all. Warm up your email accounts first to ensure deliverability. This could take between 1-2 weeks. While you warm up, build your email list.
Then, set up your email campaigns, sales cadence, and nurturing. For the copy (subject lines, body, and CTAs) use templates you can personalize. Short, concise, and always provides value.
You won’t close a sale with the first-cold email. It takes time to build relationships. Trust the process. Look into your analytics, see what’s working, and what doesn’t, and strategize.
Before starting campaigns, validate every email on your list. Instantly can help with this with just one click. Our bulk domain tester ensures your lead list is primed for cold emails.
Why Email Validation is Necessary for Cold Emails
Getting real quality leads demands real emails. Unfortunately, people aren’t too keen on giving away their precious emails.
Studies from Marketing Week suggest that 60% of people intentionally give the wrong info. Imagine setting up an email campaign where only 4 out of 10 people actually get an email.
So, before starting any cold outreach campaign, make sure to validate. It helps with the following:
You want to make data-driven decisions. But, if your campaign includes unverified email addresses, the data won’t be accurate enough for you to make the right calls. Validating your email list eliminates hard bounces and keeps your data clean.
Reduced Spam Complaints
What you never want is to be associated with a domain sending spam emails. Even just one wrong character can lead to hard bounces. It can even send emails to the wrong person.
When that happens, hope they click on an opt-out link. They could easily file a spam complaint. If done enough times, this can lead to blacklists.
Your sending reputation is an invisible metric that tells email service providers your domain can be trusted. Send enough emails to the wrong addresses and your reputation might take a dive.
This signals service providers that your domain might be sending spam. We don’t want this. Best-case scenario, only one email address gets blacklisted. Worst case, your entire domain. To help us avoid issues like these, we can look to cold email best practices.
Best Practices for Cold Email Lead Generation
Now that you’ve got a baseline idea of how to get leads with cold email, here are some best practices to ensure you’re making the most out of any strategy you use:
If It Needs Repeating, Automate
Identify everything in your cold email process that needs repeating. These are the tasks you can likely automate. For example, you can personalize cold email templates to fit every lead.
Even with a solid template, you still need to change every detail several times. With Instantly, you can use variables or “merge tags” as placeholders, so you don’t have to write anything.
Everything is automated for you, and it takes a few clicks to set up. Here’s a more in-depth guide on email template personalization you can follow along to.
Set up Email Triggers on your Website
Let’s say you’ve got gated content, webinars, or contact forms to get leads from. What you want to do is set up triggers that automate your emails based on user behavior.
Did a user download gated content? Schedule an email sequence with more information regarding that topic. Did somebody subscribe to a newsletter? Automate a welcome email!
Being too straightforward, especially in a cold email, might not get you a response. Our end goal is to convert a lead. But, asking for a meeting or a call after the first cold email might be too big of an ask.
Instead, start off with “low-effort” CTAs. These are no-brainer clicks that help build a relationship rather than just a hail mary CTA asking for a scheduled meeting. Think of links to blogs, case studies, and anything that solves a pain point and provides value.
Work your way up to get that “schedule a meeting” email. It’ll be easier once you’ve established a relationship with a lead through email nurturing.
Make Yourself Look Trustworthy
People won’t judge a book by its cover. This doesn’t apply to emails. Receiving a cold email is sketchy enough as it is. Make sure you look as trustworthy and authoritative as possible.
That’s why your emails should be a combination of business and casual. Receiving an email from [email protected] looks legit but it just feels like you’re another name on a list.
Studies show that adding a name to the business in your from lines helps improve open rates. Try something like [email protected]. The domain looks legit, plus it feels like an actual person is reaching out!
Always Include Analytics
Data doesn’t care about your feelings. But, you’ll definitely feel better once you find out what went wrong in your last cold email campaign.
Always track your key performance indicators (KPIs). For cold emails, these are your open rates, CTRs, bounce rates, or deliverability.
Instantly has an intuitive analytics dashboard where you can see your campaigns in real-time. You can even compare campaigns to see which one works best and optimize it further.
Cold emails, paired with the right automation tools, can help any agency get high-quality leads and scale its business. Here are details you might’ve missed that can help you with your next outreach campaign:
- Use strategies like lead scoring, gated content, and email automation to find leads.
- Automate tasks that need repeating such as personalization, sequencing, or follow-ups.
- Warm-up and validate emails to ensure high deliverability rates.
- Try going for low-effort CTAs in your first cold emails to help build trust.
- Add immediate value to every email.
When it comes to cold emails, choose an email marketing tool built by cold emailers for cold emailers. Instantly covers everything from analytics, warm-ups, and automation. Get a free trial today and start getting high-quality leads with your cold emails with Instantly!