Do you know the risks involved when you email cold leads? If they come from a purchased list, it’s possible their information is outdated. You’re also reaching out to contacts who haven’t opted in to your messages, which means you need to avoid looking like spam. Being mindful of these factors is important because it will protect your sender reputation, and ultimately your brand. Let’s talk about how to manage both, and the tools that are available to help you.
Lead Lists vs. Prospecting Automation
It’s pretty common for marketers to purchase lead lists to try and grow their contact database more quickly. But these lists are often expensive (a dollar per email, or more), and could be inaccurate. If your automated email campaign has too many incorrect emails, your bounce rate will be high, and that could flag your sender reputation as spam. Do it enough, and you risk a blacklisted domain.
Instead, use prospecting automation to help you find and verify the most up-to-date email addresses for the leads you want to target. It does this by taking firmographic data on those leads — their first names, last names, company names, and company domains — running them through its proprietary software, and sending out a short email message to verify the accuracy of each address. Prospecting automation also protects your core domain from blacklisting by sending these emails from companion domains: those that look similar to your core domain and redirect to it.
Warm Up Leads Who Haven’t Opted In
Emailing new leads works best if your messages are minimal. In other words, avoid too much sales lingo, don’t use graphics, and stick with one or two backlinks at most. This makes you look more authentic. It also helps you avoid spam filters.
Some leads may respond to your first message, and that’s great. But don’t be disheartened when a sizable portion don’t. Either they didn’t see your first message, they don’t have a current need for your services, or they’re not sure they can trust you yet.
All are good reasons why cold leads need nurturing. Apply conversational marketing to your content and follow-up emails, and continue sending them with prospecting automation. You’ll protect your sender reputation, establish your authority in their market, and show that you are a legitimate company that wants to talk business.
Note: You may be tempted to take a recently verified email list of contacts out of prospecting automation and immediately load them into another marketing automation platform. We do not recommend this approach. There’s still too much potential for emails to bounce, or leads to unsubscribe in high numbers, and that could damage your sender reputation. Wait until leads suitably warm up before moving them over to a different CRM. You’ll know by their lead scoring.
If there’s one factor to keep in mind when it comes to prospecting and lead generation, it’s patience. Cold leads need time to learn about you, just as you need time to qualify them. And it can take a few emails before a lead is ready to talk shop.
Keep an eye on electronic engagement. Leads may not be responding or buying yet, but you want them to remain interested in what you have to say. That means reviewing campaign statistics for open and click-through rates, as well as website visits. You’ll be able to tell if your messages are resonating with your target audience, or when it’s time to switch things up.
Ready to Try Prospecting Automation?
If you’d like to see how prospecting automation can help you grow your contact database and protect your brand’s reputation, let’s talk. Click the link below to schedule a free lead nurturing consultation.