Cold, bulk emails are an awful tactic. Your buyers hate getting them, you hate the responses, and you also hate the lack of replies you receive. They’re ineffective and they can even devalue your brand. But sometimes, just sometimes, they’re welcomed and very successful. I want to talk today about those exceptions.
Like any marketing message, a good eDM should be highly targeted to the buyer – customisation is key. So, here we’ll talk about how to approach two different targets: new movers and strategic targets.
New movers are those people who have just moved into a target role at a target company – a buying influence you really want to talk to, because your solution solves a problem unique to them. And they might not know about it. They might not even be aware of the problem if they’re really new to a role.
Strategic targets are in the same sort of roles in the same sort of companies, but haven’t necessarily moved recently. They’re old hands – but ones you want to talk to.
So, what’s the best way to reach out to these targets – completely cold – and set yourself up for a positive response?
Tips for reaching out to new movers
Tip 1: Build an asset for targets new to their role
People who are new to the role are a great prospect. Let’s think about why they’ve been hired. Usually, it’s because they have either:
- Come in to make some change; or
- They’ve just been hired to replace the other person
But even in that second case, they have views about how things can improve. They don’t simply want to maintain the momentum. They want to build their own personal brand into what they’re doing. It’s a fantastic time to create change and it’s a perfect time for you to be talking to them.
Therefore, we have these first few tips for new movers. The first one is to build an asset that’s relevant to that newness. We often call it the first 90-day pack.
You’re not saying, “Oh, because they’re new, they’ll enjoy this other white paper I’ve built.” No, I’m talking about something very different from that. I’m talking about building an asset specific to that newness.
Tip 2: Develop a series of emails about that asset
The second tip is to build a campaign – a series of emails about that asset. You want to reinforce points in the campaign by asking questions like the following:
- How to get it?
- Where to get it?
- Why get it?
- How to use it?
Take a look at some of the other videos I produced in this four-part series on eDM. If you have a look at the trigger campaign and the EDM for events videos, you’ll notice I refer to this same sequence.
For now, I want to leave you with this sequence idea and my second tip that there needs to be a series of emails related to that first 90-day-pack (or whichever form that asset takes in your world).
Tip 3: Offer a meeting in each contact
My next tip refers to making it easy for new movers each time you make contact, and remember to ask if they’re ready to talk. Frame the conversation in such a way that it’s not offensive if they’re not ready. Although this is a clear call to action, you want to position it in the context of conversing about that asset.
Remember, you’ve done this wonderful thing of giving them this gift, this valuable asset. Don’t cheapen it in the way that you ask for a meeting, but don’t forget to ask for the meeting either.
Both of these contexts are opportunities for you to be seeking a meeting because frankly, that’s what you wanted in the first place, right?
Tip 4: Build to a crescendo
My fourth tip for new movers involves building that series to a crescendo. At some point, you might retire and stop communicating with them. But before you reach that point, you want to develop a distinct and compelling conclusion related to that asset.
Make sure the email series builds to that crescendo. You want to reach that obvious conclusion where it’s just going to make sense for them to meet with you.
Tips for reaching out to strategic targets
Some prospects may not have moved, but they’re still a great target. As mentioned earlier, cold and unsolicited emails are still a bad tactic for them. However, there are eDMs that make all sorts of sense for them.
Those are the emails that communicate how well you’ve researched them and how carefully you’ve discovered a problem they have. This problem might be one that they don’t even know about – but it’s time that they do.
Miller Heiman Group, the sales process company we work very closely with, call that a valid business reason (VBR). You can check out lots of my blogs on the website about VBR.
Tip 1: Identify the value they will get from meeting you
For now, in this communication you’re sending out to the cold person – the strategic target – you want to convey only one thing. It’s not why you want the meeting and it’s not the agenda. It’s why they should want the meeting.
What value will they get from meeting you – new information? Skills? Avoid a big problem? The letter isn’t to introduce your products. The letter is to sell what they will get out of a meeting, no more.
Tip 2: Sell that value, not your product
Primarily, this is a meeting they will get value out of and not one that you will. They don’t care about you. You want to sell that value, not your product. What are they going to get out of this meeting? Here’s a quick example:
“Hey, John, we haven’t met, but I do know these things about your business, A, B, and C. I also believe that D, E and F. I have a lot of experience dealing with these issues with companies like A, B, and C. I’d like to share some of those experiences with you to help you avoid the traps that these other companies may have found themselves falling foul on.”
That’s a call to action related to the meeting that you want as the seller. But, it’s all deliberately phrased using the language of what they are going to get out of that meeting.
Tip 3: Make the email as short as it can be and no shorter
The final tip is about brevity. Keep the email as short as you can, but no shorter. That is, don’t get sucked into the dogma that says your email has to be short. You can’t waffle. Get to the point as quickly as you can, but don’t short change yourself either.
If you simply cannot convince them that a meeting would be a smart move in less than five paragraphs, then that’s what you should use. If you can do it in two, fantastic. As short as you can and no shorter.
Perfect, reuse, and reap the benefits
The beauty of a really well crafted and thought out cold outbound email is that it can be used again and again. A new movers asset and content can be recycled throughout the year to target the people continuously moving into your target role. Even emails to strategic targets that achieve good results can be reused or tweaked. This way, you’re always prepared to reach out to a target – and you’ve already done the hard work.
Of course, if you have more than just a couple of targets you can’t completely customise every single email. It’ll simply take too long and eat up too much budget. But when you focus on the responsibilities, problems, and key issues for a specific role, it’s likely you’ll be able to speak to many people who hold it.
So who do you target? Start with the buying influences – those roles who will be personally helped by the solution you solve, and will be advocates within their own business for it. That article we’ve linked gives you all you need to know.
Remember, when it comes to writing a successful cold outbound eDM, targeted messaging, role-specific research, and brevity are your three greatest tools. Need help pulling it all together? We’ve got you covered. Our marketing strategy, list building, and content marketing expertise can help you plan your eDM, find the right roles, write it out, and improve your response rate. Get in touch to find out how.
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