You might be wondering where to start when it comes to outreach strategy. You might not even know that there are different strategies that you can take! If that sounds familiar, then this is the right article for you. We’ll be exploring:
- What Are Outreach Strategies and Why Are They So Important?
- 9 Effective Email Outreach Strategies That Drive Results
- Boosting Deliverability Through Email Warm Up
- Harnessing the Power of Email Automation
What Are Outreach Strategies and Why Are They So Important?
Email outreach strategies are tips, tools, and methods to gain the best results possible from an email outreach marketing campaign. Campaigns can be made or broken based on how they are structured. Taking the time to implement a considered and planned strategy will inevitably deliver better results than a campaign that is run on the fly.
There is a wide variety of different strategies that each business can consider when running an email outreach campaign. Some might be more relevant to some businesses than others, but the majority (especially those listed below) apply to any business, no matter the size, sector, or scope.
9 Effective Email Outreach Strategies That Drive Results
The following email outreach strategies are well-tested and have been proven to deliver results. Some are easily implemented, and others will take planning from the very start of your campaign (or even before it begins).
Research Your Targets
Taking the time to research your targets is an essential but often underrated step of email outreach. Understanding the way that your audience likes to communicate, the messages they engage with, and the style of content they consume will hugely impact the success of your email campaigns.
One of the best ways to do this is to mystery shop some of your competitors. Sign up for some mailing lists and see what you get. You won’t receive truly cold emails, but you’ll get an idea of the style and tone they’re using. What works for some businesses won’t necessarily work for others, and typically email style is dictated by the product and service that you’re offering alongside the demographic of your core audience. A product aimed at the Boomer generation will have a very different email style to one aimed at Gen Z.
If you’re going for real personalization, this is only truly achievable with a significant amount of research. You need to know lots of personal details before you can even start the process of reaching out.
Segment Your Prospect List
Audience segmentation is the process of sectioning your email list into smaller chunks. These chunks can be based on a variety of categories. You might choose to segment by the industry that you’re targeting or by stage of the buying journey. The beauty of segmentation is that your email outreach strategies can get more specific. Your message is far more tailored, less generic, and is seen as a genuine conversation rather than a blanket message to all of your subscribers.
Take for example, a SaaS company offering accountancy software. They might choose to segment their email list by industry. That means that they can create email outreach strategies that apply to each of those industries. Those working on construction contracting (for instance) can receive a more specific email related to them, and retail customers can receive a different one.
Segmentation is entirely flexible as you’re the one that is creating the segments. You can get as granular as you like, but be wary of going too far. There’s an argument that there’s never too much personalization and specificity when it comes to outreach, but there are only so many hours in the day for your marketing department!
Boost Deliverability Through Email Warm-Up
If you’re new to email outreach, you need email warm-up. In fact, if you’re not new to email outreach but have never heard of email warm-up then you need it too.
Email warm-up is the process of taking an email account and slowly, over multiple weeks, sending more and more successfully delivered emails. This process is required when launching cold email marketing campaigns. If you don’t warm up an account, a sudden, massive spike in email sending (for instance if you send hundreds of emails in a single day at campaign launch) will set off spam filters and alarm bells linked to your account.
Skipping the account warm-up process is a quick way to harm deliverability. Yes, you save time and your emails are sent quicker, but the chances of all of your carefully crafted emails making it to the inboxes you’ve chosen are incredibly slim. Those emails are far more likely to end up in junk folders, unread, and ignored. Worse still, if your account is flagged for spam-like behavior, you’ll struggle with future campaigns.
Personalize Your Outreach
Nobody likes to feel that they’re just a line in a spreadsheet or just another number in a system. That is, unfortunately, the feeling many people get when they receive another mass email without any personalization. It feels like an advert, intended for anyone that sees it.
If you want your email outreach campaign to be successful you need to personalize it. At a minimum, that means including the recipient’s details such as their name and the details of the business that they work for. At best, you would take details you’ve learned about them and use them to build rapport.
There’s no hiding from the fact that the latter option above will take considerably more time. After all, you’re essentially having multiple individual conversations with each recipient. You’ll be far more likely to succeed but might not have the time to run a campaign this way. The best advice would be to save these styles of emails for when you know a personal relationship will be built. For example, you might have met a prospect at an event, or have been passed their details from a mutual connection.
A good balance is to install some personalization (name merges) and combine it with audience segmentation. That means the person feels that they’re being directly addressed, plus the message that they’re receiving is personalized to them.
Hook Prospects With Crafty Subject Lines
The subject line is your first impression. It is your only opportunity to grab the recipient’s attention and entice them to open your email. If this is the first email that your contact is receiving from you, it’s also the time that they’ll be making a snap judgment about you and your business. Suffice it to say, the subject line is important.
The best email subject lines will:
- Avoid clickbait: Clickbait-style subject lines are just seen as spam. They almost always tend to overpromise and underdeliver. If you received an email that suggests it can 500x your revenue in 7 days, chances are you wouldn’t believe it and maybe report it as spam.
- Keep it clear and concise: The subject line is no time to waffle. Explain what you’re offering and leave it at that. Leave the recipient wanting more so they’re intrigued and open the email.
- Include personalization: Personalization once again. The best way to grab someone's attention is to address them by name. Even better if you can name-drop someone familiar to them, “[Name], [Referrer’s Name] said I should get in touch.”
- Offer value: If the recipient feels that there’s something of genuine value within the email they’ll feel compelled to click and read more.
- Give a sense of urgency: That doesn’t mean telling them to “READ NOW”, but rather they should know that replying quickly will benefit them.
Deliver On Your Email While Staying Concise and Specific
Your emails should always deliver value to the reader. A straight sales pitch is never going to win the hearts and minds of the recipients. Instead, look to offer value wherever possible while staying as concise and specific as possible. It’s important to remember that even if the prospect hasn’t parted with any of their money at the moment, they are choosing to give you some of their time by reading your email. It needs to be worth it and not feel like a waste.
If in doubt, assume that less is more regarding emails. Give the recipient just enough to pique their interest, and not so much that they are uninterested or bored by the end. There’s a balance between sharing valuable information completely and wanting your recipient to seek more information from you.
Follow-up The Right Way
Following up is another essential part of the email outreach process. Many campaigns have failed after sending a well-received opening but not following up. There are very few people who will respond to the very first contact with a company. They might read the email, they consider replying, they might even visit your website, but something stops them. Maybe they need to find out more information, or maybe something came up in their working day. Whatever it is, it slips their mind.
That prospect isn’t a lost cause, it just wasn’t the right time for them to reply. A simple follow-up that offers a little bit more value, a little bit more information, or simply acts as a nudge, can work wonders for response rates.
Many businesses follow up multiple times before declaring the lead dead. That doesn’t mean sending successive emails day after day. Instead, it means leaving some time (potentially for a week or more) and then trying a slightly different approach.
A/B Test Your Emails
Some email marketing tactics will work brilliantly for you. Others will fall flat. It all depends on your audience and what they like to engage with. A great way to test ideas is to leverage A/B testing. A/B testing is where you change just one of the many variables in your email. You send one variation of the email to group A, and the other variation to group B. It’s important that you keep the entirety of the rest of the email the same (otherwise you’ll be testing more than one thing at a time).
Once the campaigns have been sent, analyze the results to see which email was received better. Then you’ll know which variation to use going forward. Typically businesses A/B test items such as:
- Subject line
- Opening sentence
- Use of emojis
- Time of sending
There are considerably more variables, and most come to light when you have a couple of great ideas, but you aren’t sure which would work best. The key is to be sure to check the results and then move forward accordingly.
Harness the Power of Email Automation
You’d be right in thinking that everything above sounds like an incredible amount of work. Email outreach is a big task and not one that should be taken on half-heartedly. It’s an especially large task if everything is being done manually. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be.
Tools, such as Instantly, offer significant amounts of automation which take care of major tasks for you. Audience segmentation, personalization, follow-up, and A/B testing can all be automated using Instantly. Arguably one of the biggest benefits of using Instantly is the market-leading email warm-up feature. Once accounts are warmed up, deliverability is dramatically improved. Plus it’s available to a completely unlimited number of email accounts per user.
These strategies are a great place to start if you’re looking to launch an effective email campaign. Each time you start a new campaign or even begin to think about a new campaign, check out the strategy list above and see if there are any which require your attention. Sometimes the simplest things can make all the difference.
- Personalization is key to building rapport and connecting with your audience.
- Automation will take your campaign to the next level, and allows you to scale efficiently.
So we know that email outreach strategy is important. We also know that it takes a lot of work. It makes sense to invest in the market-leading tool, Instantly, and lighten that load. Get started in 5 minutes. No credit card required.