Here’s something you may have been wondering as you consider all your marketing options: Should we learn how to use cold B2B email to generate more sales for our HR tech company?
Aaron Ross is the man credited with achieving massive growth at Salesforce, largely due to his innovative cold email campaigns.
Let’s see how cold B2B email is described on Aaron’s website, Predictable Revenue:
“Cold emailing might be the most effective and untapped form of networking. In fact, it’s a way to build a network without having to rely on anybody and isn’t nearly as nerve wracking as a cold call. But beyond this (and maybe more importantly), cold emailing can be extremely effective for sales, especially if your company is focusing on outbound sales specifically. With a little persistence, patience and creativity, cold emailing can be your foot-in-the-door with new clients.“
To see how it all works in practice and how a B2B email outreach campaign can be implemented at an HR tech company, let’s hear from industry expert Vlad Goloshchuk, CEO of the B2B SaaS sales research and cold email company, Brightest Minds.
Woodpecker (30 days for free) is the tool most commonly used for cold email outreach.
Cold B2B Email Expert (Vlad Goloshchuk) On How To Use Cold B2B Email To Generate More Sales For Your HR Tech Company
I’ve used cold B2B email to great effect at various times in my career (to reach employment law firms, training companies, and more) so I really enjoyed this talk with Vlad.
Here’s what we discussed:
- Is cold B2B email marketing worth doing? How does it compare to other marketing channels?
- What if your HR business or product doesn’t serve one narrow, neatly-defined target audience? How can cold B2B email outreach be applied?
- What should an HR tech company say in their email messages?
- How to optimise the performance of a cold email outreach campaign?
- Where to start when setting up a cold B2B email marketing campaign?
- What does your B2B lead generation business offer?
- Can you share some tips on interesting people, websites, tools, podcasts, or books to check out to help grow a business faster?
Let’s get into it but, first, don’t forget to join my mailing list for more business marketing insights . . .
Q1. Is cold B2B email marketing worth doing? How does it compare to other marketing channels?
Cold B2B email is a fast demand generation channel.
Inbound marketing, content marketing, or SEO are all good and very effective at lowering your cost per acquisition over time but they can be slow. These slower channels also lack leverage or control so if you’ve got a sales target looming at the end of the quarter, just publishing more content may not produce the goods in time.
On the other hand, fast, paid channels like display advertising can be turned on quite quickly but they have very low click-through rates. After all, your target decision makers are busy and busy people rarely click on annoying display ads.
Paid Search is fast but an equivalent Google Adwords campaign often produces half the sales leads that cold email produces for the same cost.
For example, a recent client of ours that also runs Google Adwords campaigns typically faces an average of $2.32 cost per click. Add to that an average landing page enquiry conversion rate of around 2.35%. That means Adwords usually produces less than half the sales leads that we produce for the same cost (and plenty of other tech-focussed keywords cost a lot more than $2.32 on Adwords).
All that being said, I love this quote from the serial tech founder, Dmitry Dragilev:
“Everything I’ve achieved in my career, I’ve achieved … through cold email. I took a startup from 0 to 40M page views and sold it to Google … through cold email. I’ve published 1400+ guest posts and articles in most well known publications … through cold email. I’ve built relationships with Gary Vaynerchuck, Tim Ferriss, Matt Mullenweg founder of WordPress, the Winklevoss Twins, on and on and on … through cold email.“
In short, cold B2B is really powerful when done right.
“In short, cold B2B is really powerful when done right.“
Q2. What if your HR business or product doesn’t serve one narrow, neatly-defined target audience? How can cold B2B email outreach be applied?
B2B email outreach campaigns should always be segmented, so if you can plan it out properly, you’ll be miles ahead of other companies that only send a generic message to everyone.
This means conducting advanced prospect research to develop a laser-focused list of excellent prospects for your business on a highly segmented basis.
Advanced prospect research can mean searching public industry databases, company websites, LinkedIn, and so on. That will give you a basic level of prospect research.
The secret sauce is to then overlay buying signals to find businesses and people who are more receptive to your product right now.
Woodpecker (30 days for free) is the tool most commonly used for cold email outreach.
This might mean searching for additional data points such as company revenue, software used on their website, corporate announcements, new offices being opened, company size, industry, location, prospect seniority, groups of interest, blog posts published, and so on.
Q3. What should an HR tech company say in their email messages?
Before you go into sales hyperdrive and tell the prospect about every feature and benefit of your HR tech product, remember, it’s never about you, it’s always about the other person.
“It’s never about you, it’s always about the other person.“
Here’s a simple structure to follow when planning your message:
- Consider who you’re emailing. The email copy that works great for one customer segment might totally miss the point with others. Unfortunately, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions – therefore, testing is your best friend.
- Keep it short – Nobody wants to read an entire novel in their inbox. Keep them short, frank and to the point.
- Don’t focus on features, focus on the value you bring. Your prospect doesn’t care about your features. What they care about is the value you can provide to their role and their company.
- Have a single, clear CTA (Call-To-Action). Only ask for one thing – even if it’s just a simple, short reply. Sometimes you just want to start the dialogue.
- Make it stand out – Think about all the aspects of your email that will help it stand out in the inbox: subject line, length, social proof, email signature, etc.
- Always be personalizing. Make sure that include some references to their company, their mentions in the press, recent achievements, common connections, etc.
Following these broad guidelines will set you apart from the majority of other HR companies that are blindly emailing your sales prospects.
Q4. How to optimize the performance of a cold email outreach campaign?
Generally, there are four main ways in which an HR tech company can optimize the performance of their cold B2B email campaign. I went into these in detail in a recent blog post on cold B2B email but here’s a quick summary:
Improve your targeting.
Targeting can include two main elements:
- Personalization: Items such as name, job title, company name, industry.
- Actionable Data: Pieces of information that indicate that the sales prospect is in the market for your type of product or service.
When it comes to actionable data, most people stick to the basics such as Name, Company Name, Industry, Company Size, Location, and so on but this tends to produce ineffective, cookie-cutter email messages that are a dime a dozen.
I mentioned earlier some of the more detailed data points a business could use to produce more effective targeting. Imagine how much more powerful your email outreach campaign will become when you include some of these pieces of actionable data.
Better Email Content.
After bad targeting, bad email content is the next cause of an under-performing B2B email outreach campaign.
HR tech companies can split-test elements such as:
- Subject Lines
- Sender’s Name
- Opening Lines
- Length of Message
- Features vs Benefits
- Calls To Action
Then, as I mentioned earlier, when actually writing your messages, aim to:
- Consider who you’re emailing.
- Don’t focus on features, focus on the value you bring.
- Keep it short.
- Have an easy, clear CTA (Call-To-Action).
- Always be personalizing.
People are busy and may not take action on the first approach. Without being annoying or aware of their needs, the more you follow-up, the more likely you are to make the sale.
Keep running split-tests and new sub-campaigns to see what works and what doesn’t (and, obviously, keep track of it all).
Split-test ideas include:
- Narrower targeting per campaign.
- Subject lines.
- Email elements such as the opening line of your message, the depth of personalization used throughout, the length of the message, etc.
- Your Calls To Action (CTAs).
- Buying signal data – can you add search filters to better identify companies in need of your product right now?
Working on all four areas can significantly improve the performance on B2B email outreach campaigns over time.
Q5. Where to start when setting up a cold B2B email marketing campaign?
In a nutshell, here’s a five-step process for an HR tech company to use when commencing a B2B email outreach campaign:
- Identify your target audience. This will include understanding the industry, business type, location, job types, and so on. It will also involve identifying key features and benefits of your product or service and appreciating the key needs and drivers of the people you plan to contact.
- Data mining. Use team members, research tools, or AI-enabled crawlers with predictive analytics and natural-language processing to crawl the internet and show the right companies for your company so you can get busy closing more deals.
- Launch email outreach campaigns. Segment your campaigns appropriately by using the information you compiled when you identified you target audience. You can segment your campaigns by industry, business type, location, job types, messaging, and so on.
- Continually monitor and improve your campaigns. Just like a running a Google Adwords campaign, run split-tests to identify the best-performers in terms of targeting and messaging. Every time you fin a new winner, make that one the new benchmark and continue your testing.
- Respond to sales leads quickly. Sales leads start to go cold even within the first five minutes so be set-up to react as soon as possible.
“Just like a Google Adwords campaign, keep running split-tests to identify the best-performers in terms of targeting and messaging.“
Q6. What does your B2B lead generation business do?
Brightest Minds manages large-scale, personalized outreach to targeted profiles via email to generate sales leads for B2B SaaS/tech companies.
We manage everything and look after all top-of-funnel email lead generation so our clients can focus on talking to warm sales prospects and closing deals.
In a nutshell, when an HR tech company contacts Brightest Minds, here’s what happens:
- We have an in-depth discussion to understand your perfect customer categories.
- We develop an email outreach strategy tailored to your business.
- Your Data Research Analyst gets to work finding you high-quality sales leads.
- We build & commence your highly personalized email outreach campaign to ensure optimal results.
- You start scheduling more sales meetings and win more customers.
With our service, you’re not getting some bulk list broker or faceless data scraping portal. We carefully use the insights you provide and combine it with our own research to search for the right people and companies.
Performance data from our top-performing email campaigns across all clients is aggregated to increase the conversion rate for your specific email campaign.
To summarise, the B2B sales lead generation service includes:
- Lead generation strategy planning.
- Email copywriting.
- Lead generation process set-up and automation (including CRM connection where required).
- All premium data mining technologies and tools.
- Full-time dedicated certified Data Research Analyst.
- Monitoring of lead volume & quality.
- Ongoing split-tests of campaign types and variables to ensure constant optimisation.
We’ve found that it’s a fast, scalable way to grow a B2B tech business.
Q7. Can you share some tips on interesting people, websites, tools, podcasts, or books to check out to help grow a business faster?
It’s certainly worth looking at Aaron Ross’ classic book, Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into A Sales Machine With The $100 Million Best Practices Of Salesforce.com.
I always enjoying reading what Dmitry Dragilev has to say about the tech world.
Of course, you’d be crazy not to visit Brightest Minds if you’re wanting more HR tech customers 😉
Conclusion – How To Use Cold B2B Email To Generate More Sales For Your HR Tech Company
Lots of food for thought there from Vlad.
I have used cold B2B email many times over my career to get in touch with the exact sales prospects and partners I wanted to work with so I’d suggest you consider it as a marketing channel for your business.
If you’d like to talk with Vlad about B2B cold email for your HR tech company, you can reach him here: Vlad Goloshchuk.
Visit Brightest Minds.
For more tips and ideas, visit the blog to grow your HR business faster.