If you own a product- or service-oriented business, particularly in the B2B space, then cold email outreach might prove to be an extremely effective and budget-friendly sales prospecting technique for you.
The point of this prospecting method is to reach out to potential customers through a personalized ‘cold email’. A cold email is simply an email sent to someone who isn’t already aware of your business, product, or service, and who didn’t sign up to receive any communication from you.
In other words, a cold email is an unsolicited marketing message, usually from a business to a potential client or customer.
It can also be used in the B2C space, especially if the pool of potential consumers for your product or service is relatively small. For instance, if you are a real-estate agent serving homebuyers in a particular area, or a local business selling handmade clothing in a particular city, then cold emailing might be right for you.
Apart from these cases, cold emailing is typically used by B2B firms, since they typically have a smaller pool of well-defined target prospects, also known as the ideal client or customer.
Cold emailing doesn’t necessarily have to be about marketing a product or service, of course. You can reach out to someone via cold email in order to try and recruit them to your company, ask to interview them on your podcast, or do market research for your startup idea.
However, in this article, we will focus primarily on cold emailing as a lead generation channel for businesses trying to find more clients and customers. In this context, we will talk about the uses of cold email outreach, the need for cold email automation, as well as the different tools and software available for such automation.
What is the Need for Cold Email Outreach?
Research suggests that email marketing has an average open rate of 18 percent and an average click-through rate of 2.3 percent. Compare this to the average click-through rate of social media advertising, which stands at a dismal 0.93 percent, as of 2021.
Cold emails are well known for having relatively high rates of engagement and conversion, when compared to other marketing channels. This makes a lot of sense, when you realize that 60 percent of consumers prefer to receive personalized promotional messages in their email inbox, rather than being inundated with ads on social media and other platforms.
So, why do businesses need an effective cold email outreach strategy for growth (and customer/client acquisition)? It is because cold emailing offers a number of benefits that other marketing channels simply do not have. These benefits are as follows:
- Compared to many other marketing channels like SEO, social media ads, display ads, etc., cold emails are the easiest to personalize. Once you’ve obtained a prospect’s email address, it is relatively easy to find some basic information about them, such as their first and last names, industry, current company, social media URLs, etc. This can help you craft personalized cold emails that directly address the prospect, talk about their unique pain points, and thereby increase the odds of conversion.
- 58 percent of all Internet users check their email first thing in the morning, before they’ve even left the bed. Of the remaining 42 percent, only about 14 percent check social media early in the morning. So, by sending cold emails, you ensure that you are one of the first things that your prospect sees, as soon as they open their eyes in the morning. This also makes it more likely that you (or your email) will stay on their mind throughout the day.
- With the right automation tools, cold emails are highly scalable. Therefore, cold emailing can potentially help you reach more prospects than cold calling or door-to-door selling. However, unlike advertising (TV, radio, or digital), cold emailing does not sacrifice personalization for greater reach and scalability. In fact, it provides the best of both worlds – exactly the right combination of scalability and personalization.
- One of the major benefits of cold emailing – over all other forms of marketing – is that cold emails are highly informative. A cold email can include text, images, video links, and much more. If you need to convey in-depth information about your product or service, you can attach an infographic, catalog, or document with your cold email. This is far more information than you could convey on a cold call, or even in a social media ad or post. Moreover, the email recipient has the opportunity to read and absorb the information at their own pace, without having to worry about losing or forgetting any of the content.
These are the major reasons why cold emails are such an effective prospecting tool. But while it is possible to do much of this manually, that would be extremely time-consuming, and would severely limit scalability. This is why you must find a way to automate the process of cold email outreach.
How Do You Automate Cold Outreach?
There are numerous cold email automation software available in the market. Two of the most popular ones are known as Woodpecker and Lemlist.
However, the process of cold email automation starts long before such a software can be used. The first thing you need to do, in order to automate cold outreach, is create an ideal client or customer profile (also known as ICP).
An ICP will help you determine who exactly you should be targeting with your cold email campaign. Your ideal customer is one who has a need for the product or service you are selling, and has the budget to pay for it.
Your ICP can include the goals, motivations, pain points, interests, behavioral traits, industry, and demographic details of your ideal customer or client. Click here to learn more about how to build an excellent ICP that will help improve your marketing efforts.
Once you’ve perfected your ICP, you can use a tool like the LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find prospects who match that ICP. You can also find prospects that match your ICP on web directories and platforms like Angel List, Yelp, Crunchbase, and Dribbble. The right platform for you will depend on the type of business you run, and the product or service you are offering. Check out this article to learn more about how to find leads for your cold email campaign.
Once you’ve built your ICP and found a list of prospects who match it, you will need to find their email addresses. A list of valid and verified email addresses is the first thing you need, in order to launch a successful cold outreach campaign.
Scraping emails from the Internet is the easiest and most scalable way to find the email addresses of your prospects. Here is a list of the 10 best email scraping tools that can help you find and validate the email addresses of potential leads, for your cold outreach campaign. These tools will help speed up the process of building a high-quality email list, so that you can launch your cold outreach campaign as soon as possible.
Finally, you will have to integrate the email scraping tool with your chosen cold email automation software. This will allow you to automatically import all the scraped email addresses to the software, saving you the time you’d otherwise have spent manually transferring the data.
The best cold email automation software will perform a number of important functions, to ensure the success of your cold outreach campaign:
- It will allow you to send large numbers of customized and personalized cold emails every single day, without adversely affecting your sender reputation or email deliverability.
- It will automatically send follow-up emails at regular intervals, to help build a relationship with the prospect and increase the chances of conversion.
- The autoresponder function of this software will send different follow-up emails, depending on the action taken (or not taken) by the recipient.
- For instance, if the recipient did not reply, then the autoresponder might send a reminder email four days later.
- On the other hand, if the recipient of the cold email signed up for a free course, then the autoresponder might send them a welcome message, along with some reading materials for the course.
- It will provide a wide range of templates to help you compose your cold email copy, and will then allow you to customize it for each prospect.
- It will integrate seamlessly with most of the popular third-party CRM platforms, in order to make the cold email campaign more efficient and easier to manage.
- Lastly, a good cold email automation software will allow you to monitor the performance of your campaign, by tracking some key metrics such as open rate, reply rate, and conversion rate.
Choosing the right cold email automation software is incredibly important, as it will play a key role in the future growth of your business.
Effective automation can help you develop relationships with potential clients and customers, enhance conversion rates, and increase your bottom-line – on autopilot!
Once the software has been set up, you won’t have to spend too much time on the day-to-day running of your cold email campaigns. As a result, you will end up saving a ton of time and energy, which you could now invest in other aspects of your business.
So, how do you choose the right email automation software for your business? Well, to answer that question, you will first need to know about the best ones currently available, as well as their key features, benefits, and drawbacks.
Two of the top email automation tools currently available are Lemlist and Woodpecker, so let’s take a look at their features, specs, payment plans, and how they compare with one another.
What Is Lemlist?
Lemlist is a cold email automation software that is typically used by entrepreneurs and small business owners to streamline their lead generation efforts and activities. Some of the key features of Lemlist are as follows:
- Lemlist offers a limited free trial for those who are just dipping their toes into cold emailing. So, if you’re not sure which features would be the most useful for your business, you can give this software a go, without any financial commitments.
- In the ‘campaigns’ section, Lemlist provides you with a wide range of data and statistics about various aspects of each and every cold outreach campaign that you’ve launched so far.
- The number of cold emails sent so far, the percentage of recipients who opened the cold email, the percentage that replied, and the number of emails that bounced are some of the statistics that Lemlist will provide you with, after you launch a campaign.
- Lemlist provides nuanced data on various cold emailing metrics. For instance, it will tell you the open rate of the first cold email, the follow-up email, the second follow-up email, and so forth. This will help you better understand how to approach and persuade your target audience.
- Lemlist is one of the very few cold email automation software out there that offers an automatic email warmup service.
- In essence, email warmup involves sending small batches of personalized emails to old, verified email addresses, and getting organic engagement from the recipients.
- Engagement happens when the recipient of your email reads it, replies to it, marks it as important, forwards it, or does all of the above.
- This tells the email service provider or ESP that you are a genuine sender, and that the people who receive your emails are interested in them.
- In turn, the ESPs then deliver your future emails to the inboxes of the recipients, rather than to their spam folders.
- However, warming up a new email address (or domain) is a time-consuming and tedious task, if done manually.
- Lemlist’s email warmup service automates the process, saving you tons of time and resources, while also improving your email deliverability and sender reputation.
- Lemlist also offers a scheduling feature, that can be used to ensure that your cold emails go out at a specific time. This can be important if your target audience lives in a different time zone than you.
- You may not want to stay up until midnight to launch a cold email campaign when your prospects are most likely to be awake and receptive to your message.
- So, you can write your email script, add the subject line, and set everything up to perfection – then schedule the emails to go out at a predetermined time, before shutting down your computer for the day.
- Lemlist will ensure that the emails go out at the right time, without any further input from you.
- Research suggests that people are most receptive to promotional emails at around 10AM and 1PM – just before they begin working and during their mid-day lunch break, respectively. So, the scheduling feature of Lemlist could help improve conversion rates, and thus increase the bottom line of your business.
- Lemlist forces you to review your cold emails – either one by one or in bulk – before you send them out. This forces you to look at each email that is being sent out, thus reducing the risk of careless mistakes and errors.
- Lemlist also provides users with a ‘graveyard’ feature, which automatically blacklists the email addresses that are bouncing consistently.
- If you don’t want to send emails to a particular email address, or even to an entire domain, then you can add it manually to the graveyard section. This will ensure that Lemlist never emails them again, unless you manually remove that email address or domain from the ‘graveyard’.
- Lemlist integrates directly and seamlessly with third-party software like Salesforce, PipeDrive, Hubspot, and Zapier.
Woodpecker for Cold Email Automation
As a cold email automation platform, Woodpecker.co helps B2B businesses craft personalized and relevant email sequences to connect with prospects around the globe. Some of its most important features are as follows:
- For those just getting started with cold emailing, Woodpecker offers a 15-day free trial with 150 cold emails.
- Of all the cold email automation tools currently available, Woodpecker is perhaps the simplest, easiest, and most intuitive. So, if you don’t have the time to go through a big learning curve, then this is the perfect software for you.
- Their user interface (UI) is super simple and minimalistic. For each cold email campaign, you can quickly see the total number of prospects to whom an email was sent, the number of recipients who opened the email, and the number of recipients who responded to it.
- Woodpecker offers a feature that can help you gauge the interest level of each person who responded to your cold email. Using their AI, they can analyze each response to determine whether the respondent was interested in the cold email, was neutral towards it, or if he or she was actively disinterested and would not want to be contacted on the topic again.
- Setting up an email campaign on Woodpecker is quite easy, since they provide all the elements you need on a single screen. So, you can compose your email copy (as well as the copy for any follow-up emails), customize it for each recipient, write the subject line, schedule the emails, and create the flow or sequence of your campaign, all on the same page!
- Once you’ve composed your cold email, Woodpecker allows you to test different versions of it to see which one works best. You can use this split testing feature to test different versions of the subject line, the email copy, as well as any other variables you think might affect the success of your campaign. Then, when you’re ready to send out the bulk of your cold emails, you’ll be able to choose the version that has the highest open and response rates.
- Woodpecker allows for extensive personalization, through a feature known as snippets. You can intersperse your generic sales pitch with different personalized ‘snippets’, throughout your cold email copy. For instance, you can use a snippet to personalize the first line of your cold email.
- Apart from the subject line, the first line is the one that the recipient will be able to see, even before opening the email. So, personalizing it with a snippet can help skyrocket your open and response rates. You can learn more about the first-liner method here.
- With Woodpecker, not only can you set up an email sequence with multiple follow-up emails, you can also set conditions for what the software will do, if the recipient takes (or doesn’t take) certain actions.
- For instance, you can set up your campaign so that a prospect will receive one follow-up email if they’ve opened the initial email only once, but will receive a different follow-up email if they’ve opened the initial one more than twice. Additionally, you can instruct Woodpecker to send a certain email if a prospect has clicked on a link, which wouldn’t be sent to those who haven’t clicked on that link.
- This type of segmenting allows you to modify your approach, depending on the level of interest that each prospect is showing.
- Woodpecker also has a very simple and intuitive dashboard. The dashboard displays, at a glance, how well each of your campaigns is doing. Some of the metrics displayed include percentage of bounced emails, percentage of invalid emails, as well as the percentage of emails that were delivered, opened, clicked on, responded to, etc.
- The simple dashboard allows you to use the relevant data to make good business decisions, without wasting a lot of time trying to understand the intricacies of the different parameters and metrics.
Which Cold Email Software is Better?
Woodpecker and Lemlist have many differences, and also some similarities. To help you compare the two pieces of software quickly, we’ve compiled a brief overview of the major differences between them.
|User Interface||Very vibrant, with lots of colors and emojis.||Very simple and minimalistic, with only three colors and lots of blank spaces.|
|Email Warmup||Lemlist offers an excellent automatic email warm-up service.||Woodpecker does not have an automatic email warm-up feature.|
|Interest Level Analysis||Lemlist does not analyze the interest level of cold email respondents.||Woodpecker can use its AI to automatically analyze the interest level of any email response.|
|Personalization||Lemlist offers various personalized cold email templates, but they are not very nuanced.||Woodpecker offers comprehensive personalization through its snippets.|
So finally, it is time to answer the question that started this discussion in the first place – which email automation software should you use for cold outreach?
Well, the short answer is that it depends.
Whether you should opt for Lemlist or Woodpecker depends on the needs and priorities of your business. If you already have an old, highly reputed email domain, and hyper-personalization is important to you, then Woodpecker might be the best choice. On the other hand, if you have a relatively new email domain that needs to be warmed up quickly, then Lemlist would be the better option.
In conclusion, you should first analyze your business – its goals as well as its requirements – before you invest in a cold email automation tool like Woodpecker or Lemlist.
Useful Resources & Tutorials
I hope you found this ebook helpful. Down below, I’ve listed some links to tutorials that you might find useful if you’re looking to set up LinkedIn ads.
How To Run Successful LinkedIn Ads in 2021 – a step by step 38-minute tutorial where we cover all the fundamentals of running LinkedIn ads.
LinkedIn Campaign Manager Tutorial – a 9-minute video that’ll give you a deep overview & bring you up to speed on how LinkedIn Campaign Manager works.
Lead Generation Forms (step by step tutorial) – this 10-minute tutorial will show you how to use lead generation forms & get the cheapest cost per lead.
Which LinkedIn Ads Objectives – Explained (2021) – in this 13-minute video, I cover how to properly use the right LinkedIn ads objectives to your advantage.