Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2023-06-14
I'll admit, traditional “cold” sales strategies don’t have the best reputation, but the days of spammy email blasts to uninterested recipients are a thing of the past. Modern cold email marketing – which targets B2B decision-makers your organization hasn’t engaged before – leverages customized audience data, automation, and new digital strategies to let you scale your reach to high-quality prospects.
Here are 7 steps my team recommends for modernizing B2B lead-gen efforts with cold email marketing:
Leveraging the abundance of data and new analytics tools, businesses can better understand their existing customers by identifying common characteristics and behaviors. Those insights can then be used as part of a third-party data strategy to look for new prospects who share similar traits, providing a valuable way to find relevant leads.
For an even more targeted approach, use intent monitoring to find contacts searching for your solution—or for a competitor’s. Intent monitoring tracks a potential buyer’s online activities to uncover purchase intent signals. Again, while the “cold” lead may not have been looking at your company, or may not have even heard of it, they could be in the market for what you offer. That gives them a higher chance of becoming a customer. And when you combine the intent insights with business contact data, you have all the details you need for a fresh list of very targeted sales leads.
Cold email marketing can be effective on its own, but many buyers today want more channels, more convenience, and a more personalized experience. An identify graph—which pulls together online and offline data from multiple sources while maintaining privacy—can offer greater visibility into the full record of a lead for more effective omnichannel marketing. This is ideal for delivering campaigns that reach prospects everywhere they are, on all channels.
Marketers today can choose to use either a “probabilistic” or “deterministic” identity graph. Probabilistic graphs use probabilities or likelihoods rather than definitive answers. Deterministic graphs use matching algorithms to determine unique identifiers such as email addresses, customer IDs, or phone numbers, and then link together the various identifiers to create a unified view of an individual or entity. This approach gives deterministic identity graphs an advantage for delivering more accurate, precise, and consistent results.
Outbound lead-gen efforts run on data. If your data quality is low, you should expect similar results. This is a universal problem for businesses. At OMI, with over 120 million decision-maker contacts in our B2B database, we perform regular maintenance and automation to verify data validity and accuracy. We even offer a 95% email validity guarantee. To get the best results when you scale and enrich your outbound lead-gen programs, data quality should be your first priority. Without it, your sales lead campaigns will underperform and much of your hard work will go unrewarded.
One of the biggest mistakes marketers and sales teams make is using the wrong email platform. Many CRM platforms follow strict guidelines and do not allow the use of third-party data, which fuels outbound lead-gen. Sending on the wrong platform can have significant deliverability issues and result in lower open rates. Acquisition email platforms, on the other hand, have different standards for white-listing, reputation management, and IP address cleanliness. We recommend “warming up” contacts by sending the first “cold” email through our platform. Any contacts that open or click the initial email can be transferred to a CRM platform after they’ve demonstrated interest through their engagement.
There are countless reasons a warm or hot lead can go cold -- from budget constraints and internal reorganization to a change in needs and other variables you can’t control. If a lead goes cold, don’t give up! There are many ways to re-engage cold leads. Start by examining the data associated with the account. Maybe the lead changed positions, moved companies, or left the industry altogether in the Great Reshuffle. Leverage accurate data to identify the right decision-maker today.
No one is perfect, and chances are your cold email marketing won’t be at first either. Regularly monitor and analyze audience engagement metrics to refine your targeting strategy and optimize future lead-gen efforts. Understanding how your audience is responding lets you adjust as you go.
Successful B2B sales in 2023 must go beyond relying solely on inbound leads or referrals. Sure those methods may bring warm prospects, but they’re not sustainable or scalable in the long run. Businesses need new, fresh leads—and lots of them. With these seven modern steps, you can breathe new life into your B2B lead-gen program.
At OMI, we believe good things happen when you share your knowledge. That's why we're proud to educate marketers at every level - in every size and type of organization - about the basics of email marketing and the contact data that powers it.