Marketing and selling in the B2B industry hinges upon relationships and networks. And e-mails are still one of the most effective tools to build relationships with customers.

Then why do we see them fail so much?

CMO and Co-founder of PipeCandy, Ashwin Ramasamy, says the answer is in the approach you take, to outbound overall. In his meetup with HelloMeets this month, Ashwin shared some of the do's and don'ts of cold emailing and how to go about outbound marketing.

This blog is a sum of the ideas he shared on mindsets, targeting, email structure, and more...


Approaching Outbound Marketing Differently

When compared to Inbound marketing, the predictability of Outbound marketing is higher. Startups at any stage of their growth can rely on predictable demand generation, and cold emailing is a part of it.

Most cold emailing campaigns fail for due to the wrong approach to targeting.

What goes wrong:

  • When your ideal consumer persona is not defined clearly, marketers end up buying and targeting the wrong database, which does not bring them sales.
  • This further leads to poor segmentation of leads – those who do respond from the wrong database.
  • Spraying and praying approach leads to no results as they're targeting people who have no intent of buying.
  • And when consistent bad results keeping cropping up, marketers run out of ideas

What does the right approach look like?

  • Founders have an intuitive idea of customer personas. The whole organization also needs to have the same understanding of who their ideal buyers are. They need to communicate, observe the results and optimize.
  • You need to optimize for the outcome. So ask these questions before sending out emails:
    - Do you have the ideal customer profiles made? Why are they buying from you?
    - Can you use unique points about those customers that you can use in your campaigns
  • Choose your specific focus about which kind of customers to target. Let very specific kind of leads to enter your pipeline.

How to do demand generation?

Marketers need to research on a few things before beginning the demand generation process.

Figure out these:

  • Why your customers hire your services? Is it solving their existing pain or giving them a gain? Or is it helping them finish their jobs to be done?
  • Which features of your product are helping the customer solve the above points.
  • What language are your customers using to describing their pains and gains? Find out the words & phrases. [You can use zoom call recordings with potential users, and existing users to find those words]

How it helps:

  • If you find language your potential customers speak, you can use it to express your value proposition in words they resonate with. That can get you a response.
  • Allows you to make your emails something more than a sales email. It becomes a partner-to-partner conversation, where the customers see your pitch aligned to their own best interests.
  • Translate your customer profiles into your messaging. Since your research tells you how your ideal customers think and speak, your marketing message evolves to meet their demand.

How To Use Cold Emails

Here's a mindset that marketers need to have:

  • Ensure that you communicate "I am here to solve your problem" whenever you're reaching out to potential customers.
  • Replace the approach of "I don't want to be embarrassed" with "I am playing to win".  This lets you experiment more, and be more natural.

Now, what to do:

  • Define what you want to get out of the campaign. This will help you tailor a crisper message for that outcome. And make more focused campaigns.
  • Don't say everything about your company and product at one go.

Tactics to  keep in mind while writing emails:

  • The job of the first email is to get a meeting. Is to generate curiosity. It is not to sell your product. Just optimize for getting responses.
  • Reading more than 240 character is fatiguing for people these days. Your customers' attention span is falling faster than the world's economy. Don't use extra words.

Format to write good emails

Subject line -

  • Don't make it sound like a banner ad. Or a marketing email. Don't make fake claims in your subject lines.
  • Speak like a human being. Don't offer someone everything. Don't use words like 'free', 'limited time', 'discount' or 'offer'. They'll land your emails in spam.
  • Be honest about it. For example, a subject line like "A Blatant pitch" or "Let's talk about your XYZ pain point"

The body -

  • Just start with a first name. Be unpretentious about your sales role and have a tone of authenticity.
  • Say directly what is in it for the customer. Amplify their problem and bring it out vocally.
  • Give them one reason to write back to you. Don't say everything about your product, just say one thing. Say it right, in an honest way, and have a clear CTA.
  • Limit your sentences to only 4.
  • Set it up in a way where it has a story.
  • Make it conversational
  • Don't actively sell, just have a human conversation about how you can help your target customer

Some Don'ts:

  • Avoid links in your email. Don't put it in the body of the email. You can put a link in your signature. Build your domain and email's reputation first, then start using links (very minimally)
  • Avoid fake appreciations and congratulations.
  • Don't use bullet points.

Pro tips:

  • Don't use your primary emails for sending out campaigns
  • Use a domain like hellomeetsmail.com and point it to your main domain
  • Setup technical requirements for your domain – DMIK and more so that your emails don't end up in spam
  • For landing pages connected to domain: Make a very accurate copy and make it readable to a 3rd grade student. Use Hemingway editor and Grammarly for testing your writing.
  • If your emails are ending up in spam, stop the campaign. Use tools like GLocal to see if your emails are ending up in spam. To find that check for 'Email domain spam score'  
  • Practice for at least 6 months.
  • Wrapper URL needs to be fresh, or else it will get marked as a spam sender. You won't even realize this is happening
  • Buy email ids and setup domains [at least 5 and 6 email ids]
  • Start sending emails between those email ids. [Warm them for at least 30 days before using them for sending email campaigns] This will increase the reputation of the email ids. [warm the ids before using them]

Ashwin's live meetup had more niche uses cases from the audience, which we can't cover here. However, the above best practices are battle-tested, and we thank him for sharing them with the HelloMeets community.  

Here's the book that he has written on cold emailing - Cold Emailing 101: How To Get Anyone To Respond To Your Cold Emails

For more resources like this, subscribe to our blog! And if you want to learn from startup experts like Ashwin, check out our upcoming live meetups here - www.hub.hellomeets.com