A few months ago I wrote a post titled “1200 Outreach Emails Got Me This?” which sparked great conversation as well as suggestions on how to improve my email outreach efforts. The suggestions were taken seriously and implemented – here are the new results.
Instead of sending 1200 emails with limited targeting, I worked hard to send much more targeted emails to prospects I knew would be interested in Interact, and here’s what happened.
What I Learned:
1. I had to find the right people:
The main reason one in three emails resulted in a signup was that I spent a massive amount of time collecting information about who I should be targeting with my emails and how to reach them. I even created an optimal target (I apologize for the cheesy stock photo)
2. I had to do my homework:
In the days before the internet, President Teddy Roosevelt would spend hours studying people before taking important meetings with them. I know I am not as smart as Teddy Roosevelt, so why should I do less research than he did? Before sending any emails out, I spent some time reading through recent posts by the target and getting a feel for their style. In each email I was sure to point out what I liked about their writing, which turns out to be a great icebreaker. This isn’t flattery or blowing smoke, it’s genuine compliments on real quality content. People are intuitive and can tell if my compliments are canned or insincere, so I was sure to really do my reading and find something I legitimately liked about each author’s writing.
“We can’t take credit for who we are” – Andrew Carnegie. Interact provides quizzes that help content marketers capture more leads, only problem is, I was trying to sell the product by telling marketers that their current methods of lead capture were not adequate. My method was essentially equivalent to telling these people that they were failing at their job and need to use my tool to get better at it – not a great way to start a conversation. Instead of telling people they need my product to improve, I changed the approach to begin talking about how quizzes can be a great addition to the already stellar content that is being produced on their site. (once again this is a genuine compliment as all the targets I was reaching out to have far larger audiences than I’ve been able to muster).
4. Consistency is still Key:
Startups are still intensely frustrating, mainly because growth is so darn sporadic during the early stages. One day seven new people including The Washington Post sign up and then no one converts for the next seven days! The only way I’ve found to power through this is consistency. Getting on the computer and phone every day to talk with prospective customers, listen to their needs, and help them understand our product.
Here is the ROI of hyper-targeted email outreach compared to the less-targeted outreach of my last post.