Your Guide to Cold Email Marketing for Outbound Lead Generation

Cold email marketing

Cold email marketing doesn’t always get the attention it deserves, especially as a viable outbound lead-generation tactic. Why? When people think of cold outreach, they think of persistent, naggy sales individuals looking out for only themselves – not the person they are reaching out to.

Unfortunately, this is why most marketing teams avoid cold email marketing. They opt to use other digital marketing tactics instead, including inbound lead generation tactics, such as:

  • Writing/Sharing blogs with actionable calls to action at the end.
  • Starting a podcast or YouTube channel to create and share video content.
  • Building a strong social media presence and focusing on regular interactions with followers.

While these are all valid ways to help you boost your lead generation, you can’t always rely on people finding you. Instead, you need to consider doing the extra legwork and start reaching out to others via outbound lead generation tactics such as cold email marketing.

Why You Need to Invest in Outbound Lead Generation

In a nutshell, outbound lead generation is defined as interruption marketing. That’s because this strategy involves the marketing team initiating the first contact with a potential lead. When you think of traditional outbound lead generation tactics, they include:

  • Direct mail outreach
  • Radio/TV advertisements
  • Publication advertisements (think newspaper or magazine ads)
  • Telemarketing calls, etc.

Each of these types of advertising is inserted into our daily lives without prior warning or permission – which is why outbound lead generation tactics often get a bad name.

What Sets Cold Email Marketing Apart from Other Outbound Marketing Tactics?

Another form of outbound lead generation is cold email marketing. What sets this form of email marketing from traditional email marketing is that these messages are sent to individuals without their express permission.

While that initially may seem a bit intrusive, one of the most significant differences between the two methods is that cold email messaging doesn’t prioritize promoting a product or service. Instead, cold email marketing focuses on networking, link building, and collaborative efforts. Even better, it focuses on providing a benefit to the individual who is on the receiving end of your cold message. That’s why cold email messages have an average open rate between 14% and 23%, with targeted cold emails having a higher average open rate than that of the standard email marketing open rate of 20%.

Different Types of Cold Email Messages

Many marketing teams don’t realize that there are a variety of cold email messages that can help build a strong cold email marketing outbound lead generation strategy when put to good use.

Networking Email

These emails are precisely what they sound like, emails sent to individuals within your industry that you wish to network with. These emails are excellent ways to introduce yourself and your brand to others without prioritizing some ulterior motive.

A link building email is a type of cold email message that focuses on you reaching out to those within your industry and proposing to either provide them with a link back to something of value that could benefit their audience or allow you an opportunity to link to mentions of your brand.

For example, say someone is writing an extensive digital marketing guide and mentions the benefits of search engine optimization (SEO). You could reach out to the author of this piece and propose that they link back to your piece that talks exclusively about the benefits of SEO. This allows them to provide proof to their claims while giving you access to their audience should they decide to follow the link and read your piece of content as well.

Content Pitch Email

Another excellent benefit of cold email messaging is that it provides you an opportunity to network with others in your industry and share your expertise with their audience. While your goal may be to get in front of a greater audience, a content pitch email needs to be focused on the needs of the person you are messaging.

Let’s return to the example above – say the person you are cold messaging has a blog on digital marketing but doesn’t focus too much on SEO and how it plays such a vital role in digital marketing success. You could use your cold message to pitch a piece of content authored by you in exchange for nothing more than a link back to your website’s “About Me” page as part of your author bio. While the person you’re messaging will reap the benefits of an excellent piece of content on their website, you’ll be benefiting not only from the link but by becoming an authoritative figure within your industry.

5 Cold Email Marketing Best Practices

As with any other form of email marketing, cold email marketing has quite a few best practices that need to be considered effective. If you’re new to cold email marketing, then you’ll want to keep these five cold email marketing best practices in mind:

1. Know Your Audience

As with any other forms of marketing, you must understand who you are reaching out to. Cold email marketing will not be an effective outbound lead generation tactic if you are simply spamming anyone with requests to link to your content or guest post on their blog.

You need to make sure you are taking your time to reach out to those within your industry and your niche. The more relevant you are to their niche, the more likely they will be willing to network with you and possibly collaborate at some point.

2. Build Your Email List

Before you start sending out your emails, you want to begin building your email list. This is crucial because, as with any other lead generation tactic, if you don’t have a list at the ready, then your contacts will dry up rather quickly.

You want to be continuously researching relevant and influential individuals within your industry.

3. Personalize Each Message

Once you’ve got your list started, you can start writing your messages. However, you must take the time to personalize each message. Not only do you want to start your personalization with the inclusion of the recipient’s name, but you want to make sure you are addressing their specific needs.

While you may have a template at the ready for link-building proposals, you still need to tweak that template to every individual you are sending the message to. That means altering:

  • The email subject line with the recipient’s name
  • The content of the message’s body to include information relevant to the recipients’ brand, website, or specific need
  • The link you are proposing for inclusion within their content, etc.

The goal is to make this person believe you are interested in serving them with your expertise – not looking to benefit from anything that could be considered salesy.

4. Have a Clear Purpose

Your cold messages must serve a clear purpose. Otherwise, you are simply wasting the reader’s time with idle chit-chat.

When writing your cold email, you’ll want to make sure you are stating your purpose early on and then focusing on that purpose throughout the message. If someone recently published a piece on SEO but didn’t include any statistical information to back it up, if you intend to share some stats that they could include within their piece, your message should tell them that.

5. Make Sure to Follow Up on Each Message

Finally, you should take the time to follow up with each message you send. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to spam them with six or seven messages throughout the week if you haven’t heard back from them.

Instead, if you haven’t received a reply to your initial message after a few days, you can send them a follow-up message at the end of the week or the beginning of next week to see if they received your initial email or not.

Outbound Lead Generation with CadenceSEO

Cold email marketing simply doesn’t get the recognition that it truly deserves, which is why many digital marketing teams are somewhat hesitant about including the method in their outbound lead generation strategy.

If you’re curious how cold email marketing could benefit your outbound lead generation strategy, then reach out to CadenceSEO today for more information!

Picture of Kevin McLauchlin

Kevin McLauchlin

Kevin is one of the Co-Founders of CadenceSEO. He has spent the last 5 years living and breathing SEO as well as other Digital Marketing channels. Outside of work he is an Ultra-Runner and father of 6 amazing kids.

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