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Guide to Outreach Automation [+ Example Outreach Campaigns]

How to make your outreach campaigns time-effective? By using email as the primary channel, you’re on the right track. Firstly, it will bring you 40 times more customers than Facebook and Twitter combined (McKinsey). Secondly, there are tools that will help you automate cold email outreach. That way, you can scale it to get a better ROI even with the same response rate.

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Table of contents

    What is outreach in sales and marketing?

    When you reach out, you attempt to contact a person that could help you achieve a goal. By that, I mean virtually any goal, be it gaining backlinks for your website or getting influencers to share your recent case study. 

    In marketing, outreach focuses on generating leads and increasing brand awareness. You won’t be pitching your product or service directly but rather connecting with people, including potential customers and industry experts that you can collaborate with on projects.

    Conversely, sales outreach is about acquiring new customers for your business. You’ll be reaching out to prospects to get them interested in your products or services. It may take 5-6 tries before they buy from you.

    What is outreach marketing?

    Outreach marketing is NOT the same as outreach. It’s the strategy of connecting with influencers, bloggers, and journalists that can help promote your business. Because they already have strong relationships with your target audience, they drive traffic to your website and make your brand known. In return, you compensate them with money or free products.

    Influencer marketing is a kind of outreach marketing

    Cold email outreach and warm email outreach – what does it mean?

    Cold outreach is when you reach out to people who don’t know you and haven’t shown interest in your brand yet. It’s your opportunity to make an excellent first impression. Depending on your goal, you could establish a relationship with a prospect by (genuinely) praising their work or giving them a freebie.

    If the recipient has already had contact with your brand, your outreach will be warm. They might be a regular reader of your blog or have met you at a conference. That means you can communicate with them in a more personal way. Warm outreach can be used to find prospects within your network or to get referrals.

    How can I use outreach emails to generate leads?

    Before you start sending out outreach emails, you need to plan your campaign thoroughly. 50 high-quality leads are better than 200 that will lose interest after the first conversation, aren’t they? If you already have a target group in mind, follow these steps:

    • Create a list of people you want to contact (e.g., managers that could implement your SaaS product in their company).
    • Write a short message template with something valuable to the recipients (e.g., a link to a case study connected to their industry) that will make them happy to receive further communications from you.
    • Personalize the messages to improve the response rate.
    • Follow up after 2-3 days if you don’t get a reply.
    • If emails don’t work, you could reach out through a LinkedIn message or phone call.

    Lead generation outreach relies on a well-defined target audience

    Lead generation outreach campaigns enable you to build relationships with potential customers even when it’s not the best time for a purchase. They might not be ready to buy from you for several months. But if you keep nurturing them, they’re likely to convert later down the line, especially if you offer them value in exchange for just a few minutes of their time.

    For specific examples, scroll down to the last section of the post.

    How can I drive more sales with cold outreach?

    Similarly, you can use outreach emails to sell your products and services. It won’t happen immediately, though. Aim to bring new prospects into your sales funnel and get them to say ‘yes’ to a meeting or call. First, you need to identify the pain points of your buyer persona. Then, catch their attention with a strong value proposition (Jake Jorgovan calls it the ‘value hammer’).

    If you want your cold outreach to work, you need to contact the right people. Timing is also crucial. Avoid scheduling your campaigns close to major holidays or sending out emails late in the afternoon. 

    One of the biggest mistakes you could make is not enough follow-ups. Have you heard about HubSpot’s sales outreach cadence that landed them meetings with 11 of the biggest e-commerce companies in the world? It consisted of at least 10 touches per contact, spread over 22 days.

    How to do outreach automation without losing credibility?

    Now, let’s talk about outreach email automation. Is it possible to scale your campaigns without compromising on quality? You can’t possibly write hundreds of personalized emails from scratch, but generic templates simply aren’t going to work. And with mass sending, you risk being flagged as spam.

    Fortunately, automation tools such as Sellizer will allow you to schedule emails and queue them to avoid spam filters. By storing your templates, you can send dozens of messages quickly and personalize them as you go along.

    Automate outreach campaigns step by step with Sellizer

1. Segment your contacts. Create a list of contacts for each campaign. You can import them from a CSV file with names and email addresses.

2. Create an email template. Leave room for names to improve the response rate. If you can give a personal reason for contacting a prospect (e.g., you used a piece of their advice and saw results), all the better!

3. Attach relevant media. Sending out digital gifts or handwritten notes? Include them right in your email template so you never forget attaching a file.

4. Send out your email. Schedule your messages and deliver them to your contacts. Avoid spam filters thanks to automatic queueing.

5. Track your campaign. Find out who opens your emails and files. See how recipients engage with your files to follow up more effectively.

6. Automate follow-ups. Nudge your prospects based on their actions. Opened the email but hasn't replied? Didn't even look at your file? Follow up automatically.

7. Generate reports. Stay on top of your campaigns thanks to automated reports. Learn what's worked and what hasn't to achieve better results next time.

8. Keep the data. Archive your communications with prospects so you can always get in touch with them again, pull out a message that worked or compare file analytics.

    Also, avoid using spam trigger words in your subject lines. They might get you in trouble even if you don’t send mass emails. Don’t worry; you don’t have to read the entire list. There are free tools on the web that will check your message for risky words. The first that comes up in Google is Blogiestools.

    Can I automate social media outreach campaigns?

    If your go-to outreach channel is social media, automation gets tricky. LinkedIn prohibits the use of automation tools to scrape data and perform activities such as messaging. The outreach software to do it continues to exist but comes with the risk of having your account restricted. 

    Linkedin is often used for B2B social media outreach

    That said, LinkedIn probably won’t detect automation if your activity stays within daily and weekly limits and doesn’t grow too quickly. The decision is yours. 

    Similar solutions exist for Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Twitter. Besides outreach, you can use them to greet new followers, send special offers, and for other marketing activities.

    Examples of outreach campaigns

    Let’s look at examples of outreach campaigns that you can replicate for your own purposes. Not all of them will apply to your business, but they’ll give you a good idea of how to do cold email outreach without being spammy.

    Cold outreach #1: pitching a blog post

    Have you been publishing great content but struggling to grow traffic on your blog? Try to put your newest post in front of an audience that will love it. This strategy is called content outreach. The goal might be:

    1. to have your post linked to from similar pieces or websites,
    2. to have your content shared on social media by influencers or reputable bloggers,
    3. to publish your article on an external website, i.e., guest blogging.

    Ideally, if your aim is 1 or 2, you’d pitch your blog post to the contact without asking directly for a link. Instead, have a personalized excuse – e.g., “I know you’re a fan of _____, so I thought you’d want to check it out.” Or, “You pointed out that _____ but my research suggests the opposite.” As long as your content is valuable and your reason is relevant, people will be more than happy to read and share.

    Outreach automation – message 1

    In the case of guest blogging, your intention should be clear. It’s safe to assume that the recipient of your pitch goes through dozens of emails like yours every day. 

    If you want to stand out, keep your message human. According to PointVisible’s survey of 84 editors, personalization is more important than a detailed outline of your guest post. Show that you care enough to connect with the editor. Maybe you have a common interest besides writing, or perhaps you listened to their recent interview?

    How to do outreach automation for blog posts?

    While highly-personalized messages work best, you might want to pitch your content to a larger group of people at once. Here, segmentation will be your savior. The trick is to craft a message that appears personal but actually appeals to a bigger chunk of your contact list. 

    For example, the wording “a fan of wool sweaters” accurately describes many sustainable fashion bloggers yet sounds more specific than “a fan of sustainable clothing.” Since you create content with a particular target in mind anyway, it should be easy to find common ground.

    With outreach software, you can then automate outreach campaigns for each segment separately. Besides the initial message, schedule a sequence of follow-ups to make sure nobody misses your new release!

    Cold outreach #2: sending a gift

    If your email response rates have been getting worse and worse, you’re not alone. People’s inboxes are overflowing, and it takes a unique approach to make them hear you out. If you’re trying to generate leads, sending a digital gift will improve your chances.

    Outreach automation – message 2

    It doesn’t take a lot. Maybe you could prepare a checklist summarizing the article you’re trying to get shared? Or send a couple of free stock photos to people who have accounts on your stock image website but left after their free trial? Try to come up with an idea relevant to your business.

    How to do outreach automation with a gift?

    Sellizer is a convenient automation tool for outreach campaigns with attachments. While designed with proposals in mind, it will help you deliver any file you want, along with a message to the recipient. Here’s how to do it step by step:

    1. Add your file to the library by clicking “Add proposal.”
    2. Pick one of your saved message templates or create a new one.
    3. Choose whether you want to send your email now, schedule it for later, or save a draft.
    4. Enter the recipients’ email addresses or import them from a CSV file.
    5. Personalize your message.
    6. Create a script to follow up automatically.
    7. Enter your details.
    8. If you want your file to be downloadable, open the advanced settings and check “Allow proposals to be saved on the recipient’s device.”
    9. Check any other settings you want, then send your email by clicking “Confirm proposal.”

    Now, you’ll be able to track what happens to your messages and files. You’ll receive notifications when recipients open them and analyze their level of interest from within your Sellizer account. Want to test how it works?

    Cold outreach #3: sharing a tip

    Like with gifts, you can spark interest by reaching out to potential customers with personalized tips. Since you’ll be giving unsolicited advice, it’s vital to keep your tone friendly and your message short. 

    Nobody wants to read a 10-point list of everything wrong with their website or social media profile if they haven’t recognized you as an expert yet. But if you notice a minor problem and offer a quick solution, many will be happy to use it. And some will book a consultation with you.

    Outreach automation – message 3

    It consumes more time than other kinds of outreach because you can’t do it en masse. However, there have been examples of highly successful campaigns like that. 

    One that stuck in my mind is the best cold email Proposify has received. It was a 30-second video of FullStory showing their tool in action on Proposify’s website. Could you do a condensed demo for your prospects, too?

    How to do outreach automation for tips?

    Naturally, you can’t automate fully personalized advice. What you can do, though, is schedule a sequence of follow-ups to make sure the effort pays off. Some people might be too busy with other projects when you send the message but show interest later if you reach them at a better moment. 

    Experiment with numbers – what if your response rate skyrockets after the second or the fourth follow-up? Don’t push for a reply, though. Just let the other person know you’re still there to help them.

    Cold outreach #4: broken link building

    If you’re after backlinks, there’s another outreach strategy that uses your content. It’s called broken link building. How does it work? 

    First, you need to find articles (on topics related to yours) containing many links. The easiest way is to look for:

    • resource pages, 
    • curated lists, 
    • ultimate guides,
    • TOP lists.

    Then, check them for dead links with a free tool (e.g., Ahrefs’ Broken Link Checker). When you discover a broken link that you can replace with your content, find all the other sites linking to it with a backlink checker. Let all the website owners or editors know about the dead link and suggest yours as a replacement.

    Outreach automation – message 4

    To maximize your chances, personalize the message so that it doesn’t look templated. For example, you could start with a sentence about what you found helpful in the piece of content that contains the dead link.

    How to do outreach automation for broken links?

    At least 3 steps in broken link building campaigns are possible to automate. Firstly, you could make your search even easier by using Ahrefs to discover all the dead links (and their backlinks) on your competitors’ websites. 

    Secondly, if you plan individual outreach campaigns for each broken link, you can create a solid message template to auto-copy and quickly personalize before hitting ‘send.’

    Lastly, a tool like Hunter can help you find the email addresses of people responsible for the websites. It will show you all the verified email addresses in a given organization. See an “Editor,” “Webmaster,” or “Content Manager” on the list? Chances are, they’ll care about broken links.

    Cold outreach #5: getting quotes for a roundup

    The last example we’ll look at is getting experts to contribute to a piece of content you want to create. For instance, we could ask 100 salespeople the question: “What do you wish you knew before getting into sales?” and write a roundup article featuring their responses.

    Outreach automation – message 5

    The number of responses you’ll get depends on the size of your audience and the experts’ level of influence. If they feel like you’re doing them a favor by sharing their voices and giving them exposure, your outreach campaign is sure to be successful. They’ll share the piece on social media and bring valuable traffic to your website.

    How to do outreach automation for expert quotes?

    An email automation tool with personalization tags will let you send the campaign in no time. Just the name, job title, and company will be enough for less influential people. If you’re contacting some big fishes, though, you’ll need a stronger value proposition or a genuine reason for asking them specifically.

    For example, you could mention that you read their latest book and used some tips but didn’t know their opinion on a new topic that you’d like to cover. If you show the expert that you’ve connected with them at some level, they’ll be more likely to answer you.

    Save time with outreach automation and reach your goals faster

    Have you planned some outreach campaigns yet? When you execute them, track metrics such as the open rate and response rate. With automation tools, not only will you save time but also get insights into what works. It’s only a matter of time before you master cold outreach. Good luck!

    If you want to test outreach campaigns with attachments, sign up for a free 14-day trial of Sellizer.

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