Reaching out to contacts, such as prospective clients, media contacts or partners, while effective is often very time consuming. I remember manually reaching out to contacts myself trying to secure blog coverage and thinking it was purely a game to see how many I could process per hour.
Thankfully automation has come a long way since then, and this can be done almost completely by robots.
To automate your email outreach, the process is:
- Scrape your target contacts’ names and companies into a spreadsheet
- Use an email discovery database or tool to collect the emails of those contacts
- Pop your names, companies and emails into an automated email program, and run the outreach campaign
- Export the results to analyse the results with your sales’ team data
Below I will share with you the steps I take and the tools I like to use for this process – particular with a focus on how to do this in the B2B space, which may be handy for those employing an account-based marketing approach.
Scrape your targets
First, you’ll need your targets and their emails.
If you are fortunate, you’ll have a list of target people you would like to contact. If not, you will need to discover and scrape this information for your targeted accounts.
Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator + Dux Soup.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator will allow you to search the entire LinkedIn database for contacts that match your query:
- Signup for LinkedIn Sales Navigator
- Add DuxSoup to your browser (Chrome) and sign up for a Pro account
- Go LinkedIn sales navigator and search your target account
- Use the filters on the left hand side to narrow down your search results. Remove search results such as interns, irrelevant department members, etc.
- Select all results, and use Dux-Soup to ‘Scan all profiles without visiting’
- Once all profiles have been scanned, download the data from Dux-Soup
- To the downloaded spreadsheet, add another column with the account’s domain name.
At this point, you will have a list of all your target prospects.
Discover their emails
Armed with your list of targets, you will now need to discover their emails.
This can be done by querying an email database service, such as Hunter.io. Hunter finds emails that are open to the public at some point (giving you an clear conscience) which you can then search using a person’s name and company domain.
- Sign up for an account here: (Affiliate link) (Boring link)
- Go to your dashboard and select bulks > email finder
- Click the ‘new bulk’ button and upload your list from Dux Soup with the domain column
- Finder will now search through the database, collating the emails for each contact plus a % score of the confidence in that email’s veracity
- Download all your results based on the confidence level that you are comfortable emailing in your campaign.
You will now have a neat list of your names, companies, and emails.
Program and send your email campaign
With the list handy, you are ready to program the ‘sexy end’ of the automation.
To do this, you will need a special type of emailing program that is not like your regular newsletter sending ESP. There are specialised solutions like Woodpecker.com (never fear, the name isn’t as ‘adult’ as it sounds) which send emails in a more natural fashion, geared to emulate natural sales prospecting emails.
To program your campaign:
- Signup for Woodpecker here: (Affiliate Link) (Boring Link)
- Click add campaign
- Add your headline, body copy (use the short codes like FIRST NAME, LAST NAME, etc), send volume and times
I will suggest you start your campaign at just 5 emails a day, and improve the volume based on the reception to your emails. Blasting 50 emails a day from the get-go is not a good idea and can get your email blocked as spam.
- Scroll down and click the add prospects button, click IMPORT
- You will now be able to upload a CSV. Use your super handy list and MAP the column headings with Woodpecker’s parameters
- Send yourself a test email to check that the shortcodes are working correctly and your email looks as expected
Congratulations, you are now ready to run your email campaign.
Start the campaign when you feel ready to let Woodpecker run the outreach on your behalf.
Analyse the results
Starting conversations is one thing, but you will need to track how many conversations lead to demonstrations and conversions.
After running your campaign, report on the results using data also from your sales team using a tool like Excel or Google Sheets. How you want to do this depends on the metrics your organisation is tracking but here are some helpful ones:
- Bounces and invalid email %
- Open rate
- Reply Rate
- Demos booked + %
- Conversion rate
Note that you can extract your results from Woodpecker, and filter your columns to see only the number of contacts that have replied to your email enquiries. This should help you narrow down how many results you got on a per-contact / account basis.
While the above may seem fairly straight forward, there are a few considerations and tips you should be aware of:
- If you get a lot of bounces – reconsider your campaign list! Sending plenty of emails to bouncing contacts will get your email blacklisted and the process of getting yourself whitelisted is no walk in the park. I recommend checking on the automation every day to check for anything going wrong.
- Try to use at least one follow up email in the sequence. A surprising amount of contacts get back to you when you send the follow up email.
- Use this process in conjunction with other methods. Emailing contacts and calling at the same time should increase your chances of actually connecting.
- If you get interest from an account, pause the automation from contacting others in the same organisation. It makes no sense to keep reaching out to everyone else in the company if you’ve already got a foot in the door.
- Try to make your copy as natural as possible. It should look like a regular prospecting email, not a newsletter.
Running an automated email campaign is fairly straight forward. Following the above process should increase your capacity to reach out to targets at scale, and give you another method of contacting your prospects.
Write naturally, pay attention to the quality of your response and don’t forget to contact prospects with other methods.
If you have any questions on the above, feel free to pop them in the comments below. Good luck!