How to Execute a Basic Outbound Email Marketing Campaign

In this tutorial, we cover the topic of how to execute a basic outbound email marketing campaign. We discuss how to save time prospecting for important clients and then delve into specific case studies and ideas for creating customized and effective outbound email campaigns.

Outbound vs. Inbound

The differences between outbound and inbound email campaigns can be gleaned from this slide:Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 11.32.59 AM

Basically, outbound email marketing is a campaign that actively reaches out to people directly via email, whereas inbound marketing occurs when people fill out a lead-capture or email subscription form.

We want to be particularly careful about the issue of spamming with outbound email marketing.  KissMetrics offers some useful points on the spam topic.

Marketers can’t simply amass a list of email addresses and put them into a program like “GetResponse” or “HubSpot”, because this is against their terms of service. We cannot subscribe someone to a newsletter or ongoing communication for which they didn’t ask directly. Because we can’t use traditional email marketing tools, we have to augment simple tools like Gmail to scale normal inquiry-based outbound messages.

Why Outbound?

An outbound email campaign is used when you can identify your target market directly, and when customer lifetime value makes it invaluable to contact that prospect individually.

For example, if a company refurbishes Mac computer products for universities and sells annual subscriptions, specializing in the all-too-often liquid spills that occur across campus, they might purchase a certain number of prospects from an established list and then call or email those contacts directly.

That same company might also put together its own large list of institutions and people to whom they are aiming to market their service. It is worth keeping in mind that amassing a customized and targeted list is a far more powerful tool than buying a pre-existing one, thought the latter can be a good place to start.

Old Approach vs. New Approach

The old approach to outbound email marketing used to roll out in more or less the following manner:

  • Google search for prospects
  • Manually email each prospect an individual pitch
  • MAYBE collect prospect information together in a spreadsheet for later use

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 11.49.08 AMThe new approach to outbound email marketing looks more like this:

  • Pay an Odesk worker(s) to accumulate a massive list of an exact prospect match
  • Load lists into a tool like ToutApp, YesWare, or QuickMail (outbound email tools – read more about how to conduct a campaign using Tout)
  • Send multiple emails out, automatically, to hundreds of prospects at a time

Marketers can (and should) now split-test subject lines to determine which ones get the highest open rate, click-through rate, and/or appointment rate.

If legal firm is reaching out to administrative companies, they might send out 200 emails to 200 prospects. Half of that list will have subject line A, which addresses the administrative contact by first name in the subject line. The second half of that list will get an email with subject line B, which speaks directly to software benefit in the subject line.

The legal firm can then assess which subject line has the highest of the above-mentioned rates – open, click-through, and/or appointment – and then (smartly) use the highest converting templates to contact the rest of a prospect database.

The accumulative benefits are well worth the effort, affecting not only bottom line revenue due to higher conversions but saving time and money in terms of how we put together a list and increasing effectiveness through automatic email scheduling.

Micro Case Studies

Client 1: Video marketing business

Scenario: Needs to reach out directly to fashion company CMOs to sell then on $25K video marketing projects

Before:

  • Expensive American workers in pricey downtown office
  • Manual search for one-off messaging fashion CMOs
  • Email addresses rarely saved, and CMOs who didn’t respond almost never contacted again deliberately

After:

  • Hundreds of new fashion CMO email addresses found daily by a more affordable Odesk team
  • Three to four auto emails sent via outbound email software, generating appointments fast
  • Addresses and phone numbers saved for future campaigns

Client 2: Natural products business

Scenario: Needs to reach out to small retailers in the northwest and Vermont and New York to get their products on retailer shelves

Before:

  • One-off phone calls and emails
  • Occasionally sent to retailers at random times

After:

  • Hundreds of retailers collected through an oDesk worker (freeing up business owner’s time)
  • Four automatic and personalized emails sent out strategically, three days apart
  • All opened emails tracked
  • Retailers flagged for interest and called immediately about the opportunity to stock

Major Take-aways

  • Think about the most important benefits you can deliver to your prospect. In the case of the natural products company, it was (in brief) unique and attractive products.
  • Paint a vivid and succinct picture in your subject lines and email body copy. Keeping with the ongoing example, our client advertised all-natural ingredients and a professional boutique appearance in its subject lines and copy, targeting what retailers look for in natural products.
  • Keep body messages short and sweet. Simply put – prospects do not have time to read more than a paragraph or two.
  • Actively overcome objections in email. Ask yourself, “Why might a reader ignore or resent this message?” The client knew that many retailers do not have a lot of extra shelf space. As a result, they made clear that stores could order as few as half a dozen products to start, which took away tension of large commitments.
  • Effectiveness is largely dependent on the tested and provided quality of the copywriting. This includes your subject lines and calls to action, which requires considerable skill in writing. Do not settle for average – this can make or break.

Contact us if you are interested in having CLVboost write your outbound campaign email copy or help determine the best approach to an outbound campaign. Together, we’ll assess if your company and project are a good fit for this or any of our other services, including email sequence assessment, conversion optimization to purchase, and more.

Here’s to a productive week,

-Daniel Faggella 
CLVboost Founder

 

 

About The Author

Daniel Faggella

I grow businesses with marketing automation, email marketing, and conversion-rate optimization. I've spoken on business and emerging technologies internationally and at some of America's finest schools (Yale, Stanford, Cornell, etc...). My marketing strategies have been featured in the Boston Business Journal, MarketingProfs, Direct Marketing News, and much more. CLVboost is where I share marketing strategies, TechEmergence.com is my major pursuit.