When reaching out to B2B customers, sales teams often send a standard email template to get the ball rolling. This template might (and should) have customizable sections for better personalization, but that personalization often stops at “Name” and “Company,” if only because, along with an email address, that’s all the information they have to go on.
This is cold outreach, without any context, and it is actually easier to do than warm outreach in some ways. After all, if a lead doesn’t know who you are, and if you don’t know anything about them, the standard “This is how we can help you” email will usually suffice as a first introduction.
But what about warm leads? They offer a much better chance at converting to a sale. Because of the huge demand for more qualified leads ( 61 percent of marketers say generating high-quality leads is their biggest challenge), LeadSift’s mission is to deliver contacts that you know something about, particularly around the content they engage with. These leads are warmer, as they have sent a signal that they are interested in content pertaining to your business or industry. But how do you reach out to them and leverage this knowledge without sounding over-intrusive or downright creepy?
Here are our tips for developing a killer B2B email outreach campaign that takes advantage of your knowledge of warm leads – without scaring them away.
Three Golden Rules of B2B Email Outreach Using LeadSift:
1. Reach out as soon as possible
Research shows that 50 percent of buyers choose the vendor that responds to them first. So if you wait days or weeks from discovering a lead to sending that first-touch email, you’re missing out.
2. Use a drip campaign
3. Reach out at least 3 times
Once is never enough. Even if your prospect doesn’t respond, even if they don’t open that first email, don’t be discouraged: send at least three emails before moving on.
In addition to following these three basic rules of B2B email outreach, there are specific ways that you can engage with prospects based on which signals LeadSift has picked up about them. In the following three scenarios, let’s imagine that you are in the email outreach industry, and you are using LeadSift to identify warm prospects.
If they… Engaged with Industry News
LeadSift can identify leads that have recently engaged with industry news. Whether they tweeted a blog post about best practices in marketing automation or shared a news piece about an upcoming conference on LinkedIn, you know that they have publicly expressed an interest in your industry.
In order to start a dialogue with this person, let them know that you are aware of their interests, without being overly specific.
For instance, the tweet below shows that this individual is interested in email outreach, and would be picked up as a lead by LeadSift:
— Bilal Safdar (@bilalsafdar111) April 25, 2016
A good opening line in this case might be:
“I noticed that you recently shared content about email automation…”
This avoids calling out the specific piece of content that they shared, which might make them feel uncomfortable. However, you are still using this knowledge to connect to them, and establish a common interest.
From there, your email can explain what your product is, and how it can solve common pain points that they may be experiencing.
If they… Engaged with Competitor Content
Another signal that LeadSift can pick up on is competitor engagement. Your prospects may be sharing content that doesn’t come from industry publications, but rather those of your competitor: their blog posts, whitepapers, webinars and more. We can serve up prospects that have shared or commented on these pieces of content.
Our clients often have the most difficulty reaching out to these leads, as they are (rightfully) hesitant to point out that they know about the engagement. Our advice: ignore the fact that they shared the competition’s content altogether. Don’t mention the competition whatsoever – but do mention the topic.
For example, LeadSift might serve up a prospect that commented on an article like this:
Your competitor might’ve written this piece, but you can use that knowledge to your advantage when reaching out to the prospect that engaged with it.
Rather than speaking directly about the piece, open with a line like:
“If you’re 82% of marketers, you struggle with sending cold emails.”
This touches on the topic of the content, but doesn’t mention the competition.
If they… Followed the Competition
The third signal that LeadSift picks up on is any time a prospect follows or connects with the competition – and this means the branded accounts, as well as salespeople, executives and more.
In this case, there is no content being shared. So rather than building your email outreach off of content, you’ll want to build it off of the shared value proposition between yourself and your competitor.
Imagine you were notified by a prospect who has recently followed Outreach’s Twitter account. What is the pain point that they claim to have a solution for, and how does your product solve it (better)?
To open an email to this prospect, you might want to lead with:
“Are you sick of not having the intelligence you need to hit – and exceed – your sales goals? Our email automation tool can help.”
The value proposition is the underlying theme here, so be sure to touch on it in the first sentence of your email.
The signals that LeadSift picks up can help you reach leads that are more likely to convert, and they can give you the knowledge you need to convert them. You no longer have to send cold emails to a massive, anonymous email list. And although it can be a challenge to incorporate contextual information into your outreach, it is essential in order to establish trust, credibility and position your brand as one that can be a benefit to your prospects.