It is no secret that the outbound sales email strategy has received a bad rap. And given that an average customer receives more than 30 sales emails each day, from companies they’ve even briefly interacted with, standing out with outbound sales is tough.
Think for a second, which brands do you look forward to receiving emails from? A very few, right?
With a value-driven approach and passive lead generation, the complex inbound sales process has become the king of sales.
On the other hand, outbound sale emails have taken a backseat and are considered a traditional strategy.
However, if you disregard outbound sales in your marketing strategy, you’re losing out on a relevant and revenue-generating way to sell.
While inbound sales emails are effective, reaching out to prospects with cold emails still has immense value. Outbound sales emails not only increase your brand’s awareness but also generate leads when done right.
On the flip side, if you don’t do it right, you end up risking or damaging your reputation and wasting time and resources on a bad sales strategy.
This guide on how to create outbound sales is aimed to help you avoid the dreaded spam filter and create value for both your brand and the customer.
What is outbound sales?
In simplest terms, outbound sales are defined as a strategy companies use to push their message or pitch the product to prospective customers through cold calling, email marketing, and the like. Here, sales reps contact leads instead of waiting for them to come through inbound channels.
The 5 stages of an outbound sales process are:
- Identifying potential customers
- Generating leads
- Contacting and qualifying leads
- Scheduling a demo to show your solution
- Closing the deal
The good news is, you don’t have to cold call or cold email anymore. Instead, you can contact only those people who are likely to be interested in your offerings, use data to send them personalized messages, and make the experience meaningful for both you and them.
How are outbound and inbound sales different from each other?
Inbound sales is a contrasting approach to outbound.
Inbound marketing focuses on having the customer come to you. This marketing strategy entails offering useful information around the offering and generating the reader’s interest in your product or service. The next step is waiting for users to come to you because you are considered credible in the industry.
Now, the main issue with the inbound approach is that it takes a lot of time.
For inbound sales, you need a team of writers to generate smart, useful, and actionable content.
Next, you need people with deep knowledge of the content marketing funnel or an SEO agency to help you rank organically. And lastly, building authority is no easy ride.
And hence, to get results quickly, in sync with inbound, you should invest in an effective outbound sales strategy.
Here’s how you can execute a perfect outbound sales email strategy
If you’ve received an outreach mail or finished a cold call, what are you most likely to do next? Chances are, if you like the offer, you will research the brand online.
Similarly, your prospects will look at your website, social media profiles and check out your service or product. As this happens, you want to make sure that your digital channels are fresh and presentable.
Here are 3 ways to build a digital presence.
Social media profiles
Ensure that all your social media profiles are filled with industry-specific content. This indicates that you are on top of what’s going on in your industry.
With over 700 million users globally, LinkedIn is the greatest professional network. That’s why having an impeccable LinkedIn profile should be your #1 priority.
A high-quality profile photo, a simple headline, and a clear summary of what you do work best.
Going a step ahead, you should add client recommendations to show that you have significant experience in your industry as a salesperson.
An intuitive website with information in a well-organized and relevant way is a great start. Your case studies, references, and contact information should be easy to find. Combining outbound and inbound sales approaches, you could also create an effective content strategy that includes publishing and distributing different content formats.
Think of it this way: in the journey of outbound sales, your digital presence is the passport. It contains all the information your prospects would need to assess your company’s projects and expertise. An outdated website and a shady or static LinkedIn profile would lower your sales results. Ensure that your digital presence inspires trust.
#2. Conduct prospecting on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is one of the biggest publicly available databases where you can connect with relevant sales targets. However, if you are wondering how to leverage LinkedIn prospecting to close more deals, remember your competitors are doing the same thing.
Start with creating buyer personas.
So the first step to being successful at your LinkedIn prospecting game is to know who your ideal customers are. The reason being, the right customers are ideal for your business and are likely to buy from you.
To make sure that the prospect fits the ideal customer profile, set up some basic attributes such as:
- Company size
- Annual revenue
- Product offerings
- Average sale size
The next step in personalizing your sales outreach and prospecting is to find out the right person to reach out to in the company you are targeting and the job role responsible for making the buying decision that aligns with what you sell.
Now, using advanced targeting, collect qualified leads.
Facebook and LinkedIn groups are great places to find ideal leads. Once you join these groups, a tool like Phantombuster can scrape all the contacts from there.
In the same way, Phantombuster can also scrape the contacts of people who have interacted with a particular LinkedIn post.
The last step is lead qualification.
Imagine you are selling marketing automation software and one of your leads is the CMO in a startup. Naturally, this lead would be valuable, so you should prioritize it in the outbound sales process.
#3. Personalize your message
When conducting sales prospecting on LinkedIn, it is crucial to be creative with your prospecting messages.
Start by researching the target, including their LinkedIn activity, their other social media pages and any publications they may have authored.
Studies have shown that prospects care about personalization, and for a good reason, make it a part of your outbound sales process.
So you must be thinking, how can you personalize your message?
Be it a LinkedIn connection request or your email’s subject; personalize your opening line.
6 examples of LinkedIn outreach templates include:
#1. Asking a specific question to pick the reader’s brain
For example, “Hey Sam, came across your post that you are looking to add more people to your sales team. Firstly, congrats to you and your team.
Very curious to know, what strategies are you using to scale your sales team? I’d love to get your inputs as we are developing a sales recruitment CRM.”
#2. A genuine compliment with no ask
For example, “Just finished listening to your podcast. Great stuff. Particularly enjoyed the section (insert personalization).”
#3. When you want to connect with an audience that commented on an influencer’s post
Here, HubSpot’s marketing team got in touch with people who responded to marketing influencer Dave Gerhardt’s post on the importance of video marketing.
#4. Feedback from people who engaged with your post
For example, “Hi Melanie, thanks for liking my post on (topic). I’d love to hear your thoughts about (a section from the post/article).”
You could also use LinkedIn outreach to establish an early customer-feedback loop for your minimum viable product (MVP). MVP strategies for startups allow you to receive feedback for improving the experience right from your users. In short, reach out to get your product validated by the target audience.
Now, if you want to stand out from the competition, here’s how you can add something new using personalization. Adding a personalized video to your outbound message is a great option.
Use video engagement platforms like Hippo Video to lift off your sales efforts. Leverage power-packed editing features and branding capabilities and give your videos a professional flow.
Further, consider adopting LinkedIn automation tools to put your lead generation and B2B sales outreach process on autopilot. Some reasons why you should consider using LinkedIn automation tools for your outreach are:
- As you don’t have to manually connect with each of the lead and second connection requests individually, they save time.
- You can personalize the mass outreach. This way, your outreach messages appear natural, regardless of the number of people you are contacting.
- The outreach campaign reports show how many leads responded, replied and converted.
Making an interesting video is not just for social media — you can also attach it to your first sales email. Video tends to be more interactive and engaging than text-only emails, which could mean the recipient finds your content interesting and considers working with you.
Plus, through a video, you can convey what you feel through gestures, intonation and other non-verbal cues that are not captured in the text but are critical to building trust and a connection, on the basis of which authentic relationships can be built.
Be sure to get your audio and video quality right, upload on YouTube or Vimeo for free (so that the file can be shared easily), and pick a thumbnail that is interesting enough to get your recipient to click.
Additionally, address your prospect by name in the video — this seemingly small personalization gesture goes a long way in making the viewer feel valued.
#4. Tailor messages to warm up cold leads
Just because a relationship with a lead has fizzled out does not mean you cannot revive it and yield results from it. Research what the prospect has been up to since your last interaction with them and on what note your interaction concluded, and then tailor a message accordingly.
A customer relationship software such as EngageBay CRM stores all the customer and prospect interactions. Link your CRM with HippoVideo to know the stage of the buyer’s journey that they are at, and send customized messages.
For instance, if the prospect simply stopped responding because they were busy, you will need to craft emails with subject lines that immediately set the context so that their time is saved.
Or, if there were certain unanswered questions from last time, you can open with answers or clarifications to those. A good way to time your emails to cold leads is by picking an important event they have been a part of, such as a win for their company or a personal accomplishment.
You could also consider incentivizing the user to take the next action. By integrating Xoxoday Plum, a rewards and incentive platform with your existing tools, you can personalize rewards across 20+ categories and 100+ countries.
This comes from research. Finally, be sure to ‘warm up’ before sending the email by liking the recipient’s activity on LinkedIn or other social media platforms where you may have connected before. Do not just pounce on them.
#5. Follow-up with videos
Be it inbound or outbound sales approach, any good salesperson and marketer would say that following up is the most important part of a sales methodology.
Your follow-up sales emails are as crucial as your initial ones, so add drip email marketing campaigns to your outbound sales strategy. This is the stage where your prospect is interested in what you have to offer but has not necessarily reached a buying decision yet, much to your chagrin.
Therefore, your emails at this stage need to sustain their interest and guide them towards conversion, and that is where video comes in. First, do some research on what your response rates to initial emails are currently like.
After that, craft different videos depending on how long it has been since you sent the email.
Keep the content warm and friendly and craft the video titles based on what the prospect might be looking for, such as help with picking among options or a recap of the action items in the previous email. Explain as thoroughly as you need to, but do try to keep it brief.
A free email verifying tool such as ZeroBounce can help you check the recipient’s email address to ensure that your pitch goes to a real human and increases your chances of getting a response.
Another good time to send a follow-up video is just before a scheduled phone call or demo, serving as a gentle reminder as well as a friendly touchpoint. You can also send follow-up video emails or as a reminder for any limited-period sales that might be going on.
#6. End with a strong CTA
Close the sale with a strong CTA. Give your prospects a strong incentive to purchase your product.
Since cold emails can go on for a long time with lots of back and forth, ensure to arrive at a conclusion and close the sale.
Some suggestions include:
- The now or never approach – You’ve likely encountered this approach in B2C marketing. Limited time offers, discounts and holiday specials are now or never CTAs that could push the prospect to purchase.
- Questions – Is this a reasonable offer? This approach allows you to continue the sales prospect. Even when the prospect refuses, you have room to make a better offer and try winning them over.
Five quick tips: Fun ideas to make your outbound sales emails stand out
#1. Interactive content:
Consider adding gifs, animations, charts, infographics, polls, and quizzes.
#2. Customer Testimonials:
What better than cementing your customer retention strategies with video testimonials from happy customers.
#3. Making it mobile-friendly:
Make sure that your videos are mobile-friendly as a large chunk of your customers check email via mobile. Compress videos so that they load quickly and don’t leave the viewer waiting.
When using personalized videos in your email marketing, use a catchy image with a play button. When clicked, it takes the viewer to watch the video on your website or the video hosting platform. This allows you to track the clicks for additional stats.
#5. A bold call to action:
Be it the email or personalized video, have a CTA that stands out. Some options could be an animated text gif or a bold graphic design text box.
Crafting a winning outbound sales email strategy is not as difficult as it looks.
A smart outbound sales strategy focuses on getting quality leads and engaging them. Start with personalized content, keep the videos short and sweet, add an intriguing subject line, a bold CTA and sum up the email in the preview text.
Video emails are all the rage now and can sweeten the deal for your prospects if done correctly, whether it is a quick product demo or a testimonial recorded by a happy customer. But, above all, make sure that every sales email you send out has your customer at the heart of it first and foremost — as long as you have that in place, you are well on your way to more sales!
Follow this guide on outbound sales strategies to get a step closer to achieving your sales results.