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How To Measure Your SDR Team for Cold Email Outreach

How To Measure Your SDR Team for Cold Email Outreach
excited woman looking at a laptop

Email marketing delivers the highest ROI to marketers than any other channels, including social media. Cold email outreach campaigns can help you to reach more potential customers and make more sales, so it is an art that requires mastering.

Cold emailing requires finesse because there’s so much noise to cut through in your prospects’ inboxes. The average person gets up to 147 emails per day, and they will barely open 10 percent of that amount.

Source: GIPHY

While you might not be able to harness the divine power as Jim Carrey did in Bruce Almighty, you can outsource the difficult tasks to professionals who can do it better and more efficiently! However, if you have hired a team of Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), you need to stay on top of things to ensure that their methods are working towards achieving your business goals.

You don’t have to micromanage, but periodic checks with some key performance indices (KPIs) will help you to measure the success of your cold email outreach.

In this article, we’ll look at the KPIs for measuring the success of your SDR team’s email outreach. First, let’s get through what a great cold email is, and is not.

What Is a Cold Email?

First things first. Let’s get you acquainted with what a cold email actually is. Many SDRs think that cold emailing is ‘spraying and praying’- or randomly sending out non-targeted emails with the hope that someone, anyone, will respond. This results in low open rates and subsequently, little to no conversion.

A cold email is an email sent to a potential customer that has not previously contacted you or expressed interest in your product or service. However, cold emails are intentionally sent to people that you suspect will need your solutions.

The success of your cold email outreach will therefore be determined by how many new leads and eventually, customers that you get.

KPIs for Measuring Your SDR Team’s Cold Email Outreach

Remember you can’t optimize what you don’t measure. These metrics will allow you to dial in your SDR performance.

a group of people in a meeting
SDR teams need to track the efficiency of their cold email methods regularly.

1. Cold Email Open Rates

Most SDRs are fine with losing 97% or more of their leads. They say ‘that’s just how the market works’ or something along those lines, but that’s not true.

There’s no reason why you should settle for 2-3 percent conversion rates when it is possible to attain open rates up to 28.46%.

To determine the effectiveness of your cold email campaign, you must measure the open rates of the emails you’re sending out. If your prospects are not even reading the killer copy and offers that you’re sending them, what’s the point?

If your open rates are low, your SDR team may have to change their approach to cold emailing to achieve better results.

2. Response Rates (Positive and Negative)

Measuring responses is a highly important metric in determining the efficiency of your cold email approach. This covers both negative and positive responses. Taking binary responses into account will help you further streamline your target market since you can derive insights from recurring patterns in your positive responses.

For example, if all the emails that got positive responses had a certain subject line style, you could conclude that that is a component that you should use consistently.

Basically, measuring your responses will help your SDR team to determine which cold email approach is most effective, and fine-tune their methods in the process.

measuring cold email campaign
Tracking your cold email progress helps to know which approach works best.

3. Appointment Rates

It is also important to measure how many interested prospects you get further down the sales funnel. Potential clients that read your organization’s emails and agree to discuss further are rare and welcome green lights, so it is necessary to track what helped in securing their interest to that point.

Securing acceptance and appointments is a strong indicator of good salesmanship. It takes skill to pique the interest of prospects and even get them to go from ‘oh no not another email’ to ‘wow, I’d like to know more about this offer’.

You can keep track of appointment rates by measuring the percentage of follow-throughs against the number of opened emails.

4. Success Rate of Different Profiles

Prospective clients or points of contact are always divided into different tiers in the organization. You could be sending emails to CTOs, CEOs, Procurement Managers, or Content Marketers, depending on the service you’re offering and who you think would be responsible for decision-making in the organization that you’re targeting.

With that approach, it would be very important to track the profiles of the prospects that you’re getting positive responses from. This data would help you to reduce guesswork and channel more marketing effort towards the right prospect profiles.

Let’s say you’re emailing CEOs and Procurement Managers of a particular organization, for example. If you consistently get responses, whether positive or negative, from the PMs, that is an indicator that PMs are the contact people to focus on in that organization.

5. Best Converting Verticals

If your SDR team is sending out emails under different verticals, it is also crucial to measure which of those verticals have the best conversion rates.

For instance, if you have cold emails for target industries like SaaS, tech, small businesses, etc., and the SME verticals are doing good numbers, you need to find out why.

An in-depth analysis into intent, message value, and delivery would help you discover what makes that vertical stand out. Then, you could apply the same approach to the other verticals for better results.

Conclusion

It is not enough to be busy in business; what matters is getting busy doing the right things that help you achieve your business goals. Pumping out cold email batches may make you feel like work is getting done, but the main goal is results.

Monitor the progress of your SDR teams with cold email campaigns, so that you’ll be well-informed to do more of what works or change your approach if necessary.

Further Reading – Pupils should constantly search affordable-papers.net for extra information when writing a research document.

Your B2B Lead Generation Cheatsheet to Grow Your Business

Your B2B Lead Generation Cheatsheet to Grow Your Business
b2b lead generation growth

B2B lead generation is complex — the sales cycles are long, customers fewer, and it involves more decision makers. This makes it far more complicated than B2C lead generation where customers are many and sales cycles are shorter.

That’s why it’s vital for any B2B business to give special attention to their lead generation efforts. If you don’t do it well, you may as well end up wasting a lot of your marketing budget, and here’s what would happen to your campaign:

Lead generation campaigns can fall flat when not executed properly. | Source: GIPHY

This is perhaps the reason why marketers gave preference to lead generation in 2020 as well. That said, to ensure that you have a steady stream of leads and customers, we’ve put together this B2B lead generation cheatsheet.

So, let’s dive right into it.

Cheatsheet for B2B Lead Generation in 2021

From email marketing to content marketing, there are loads of approaches that you can take to generate leads for your B2B business. Here are the best B2B lead generation hacks to help you out.

1. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way of going about B2B lead generation. It’s highly effective as well with an ROI of over $40 for every single dollar invested in it. The best part about it is that you can not only use it to acquire leads but also to nurture them and move them further down your sales funnel.

Here’s how you can leverage email marketing for B2B lead generation:

  1. Build a list of potential prospects.
  2. Collect their email addresses.
  3. Draft a cold email and send it over.
  4. Send reminders after a few days, if they don’t reply.

While this may seem simple enough, there can be many challenges in the way. Simply compiling a list of prospects and sending out cold emails won’t help your cause. As the Black Panther would say:

black panther we don't do that here meme
Source: Imgur

The key here is to segment and micro-segment your email list to be able to craft targeted cold email campaigns for B2B lead generation.

You can segment your audience based on their interests, demographics, or even locations. This can allow you to target particular buyer personas and thus personalize your offerings further. As a result, they’ll be more likely to find the email relevant.

With micro-segmentation, you can take this targeting one step further. You can dive deep into your audience and create granular clusters among them. This allows you to further personalize your cold email’s messaging.

2. Email Automation

Sending out cold emails can be a great way to approach B2B lead generation. However, when you’ve to scale up your cold email outreach, it can get challenging. That’s where email automation comes into the picture.

Using it, you can set up autoresponder sequences that will work without the need to intervene manually. All you’ve got to do is leverage an email marketing tool like Mailchimp or ActiveCampaign and add your email list to it.

You can then segment your audience and create an email template to send to each segment. Next, you can set up autoresponder sequences that get activated based on how the recipients respond to them.

For instance, if the recipients don’t reply to your email, the autoresponder sequence will send a second email after a few days.

3. Email Deliverability

When you’re doing cold email outreach for B2B lead generation, it’s also essential to look at your email deliverability. You might have an enormous email list, but if the emails don’t get delivered, you’ll end up wasting your time and budget.

To improve your email deliverability, here’s what you can do:

  • Get your domain verified to ensure your emails don’t go to spam folders.
  • Filter your list regularly to avoid those emails that bounce.
  • Be consistent with your email volume.
  • Don’t send spammy emails to avoid getting marked as spam.
  • Encrypt emails to build trust among the receivers.

4. Marketing Research/Data Analytics

To generate leads, it’s essential that you target your marketing efforts well. For this to happen, you need to do in-depth market research.

The idea is to understand exactly who your audience is as this will help you customize your messaging, which, in turn, can influence your B2B lead generation.

If you’ve already got a website or customers, you can dive into their data and try to understand who exactly shows interest in your brand and buys from you.

While numerous tools can do the job for you, it helps to have a combination of professionals and tools. We, at SSC, combine both to deliver the most detailed and accurate database that can help you target your marketing campaigns better. From demographic to technographic data, we cover it all.

5. Content Marketing

Yet another way through which you can do B2B lead generation is content marketing. Nearly 70% of marketers leverage it for this purpose. Content marketing involves creating and distributing high-quality content in the form of blog posts, images, videos, etc.

Content marketing helps B2Bs hit their marketing goals.

The idea behind it is to become a helpful resource for your audience. Doing so can help in improving your brand trust and may encourage your audience to become your leads.

Here’s how you can go about content marketing:

  1. Find out the pain points of your audience.
  2. Create content around how you can solve them and weave your products or services into it.
  3. Add internal links to landing pages or registration pages.
  4. Leverage search engine optimization (SEO), social media, email marketing, etc. to distribute your content and grow its reach.

Final Thoughts

Lead generation has a critical role to play in driving your business growth. Without it, you can’t expect to generate sales and drive revenues.

To generate leads, it’s essential to leverage email marketing. You must segment and micro-segment your email lists and personalize your emails for the best results. When dealing with email outreach on a large scale, it helps to use email automation to engage with your prospects without any manual interference.

Additionally, you should pay attention to email deliverability as it can make or break your campaign. It’s also equally important to conduct market research and analyze the data collected as well to understand your audience. Without doing so, even the best of campaigns can fail.

All of this can seem challenging to implement, but we can help. Get in touch with us and we’ll help you grow your business.

Uncovering A Marketing Secret: Email Personalization At Scale

Uncovering A Marketing Secret: Email Personalization At Scale

Email personalization at scale requires a well thought out, organized workflow. No ifs, ands, or buts about it!

The more personalized your emails are, the more valuable they will be to the recipient, and the better your response rate will be.

Example of email personalization at scale

The inverse is true as well – if your emails aren’t personalized or relevant to the recipient, you have a greater chance of having recipients mark your email as spam and that will burn out your domain and your results will tank.

When sending emails, you are sending your message to people who all fit different profiles and have different needs:

market segementation for cold email outreach
Draft your emails to speak to each persona in your recipient list at the same time | Source: Shutterstock

Emails are an effective way of reaching your audience and speaking to them directly. When you’re talking directly to your audience or customers, it’s best if you personalize the conversation.

Doing it for a few prospects can be easy. But what if you have hundreds or thousands of prospects or customers who you are reaching out to, you need a well thought out process to do email personalization at scale successfully.

This article will help you learn how to manage email personalization at scale.

Let’s dig in.

Why Email Personalization at Scale Matters?

It’s easy to send out a random templated email to your customers. However, that may not get you the results that you’re looking for. It might be opened at all and sent to the Junk folder directly. Customers need only a few seconds to decide whether they like your marketing message or not.

Case in point — emails that have a personalized subject line are 26% more likely to be opened.

Moreover, about 70% of millennials are frustrated because of irrelevant emails. By leveraging email personalization at scale, you are able to engage the recipient of your email on a one-to-one basis, driving more engagement because the reader feels that you are speaking directly to them.

Email personalization statistics
Image via SmarterHQ

It is not only millennials who demand personalization. Nine out of 10 consumers (91%) are more likely to buy from brands that personalize their offers and recommendations.

If you’re not personalizing your emails and communications with your customers, you’re already falling behind in the game, and subsequently, your competition.

There are numerous examples of brands that have benefited from personalization, and Amazon is a prime example among them. Every email that it sends includes personalized recommendations for the customers.

Personalized email from Amazon
Source: Amazon

How to Achieve Email Personalization at Scale?

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”… Romeo knows what’s up! Adding your customer’s name in your emails is the simplest personalization you can do.

But there’s a lot more to email personalization at scale than just that. You need to truly dive into the psyche of your audience and understand them.

To do this, you need to pull together data about your prospects and customers. Once you have this data, you need to make sense of it and figure out how to personalize your emails for your customers.

But gathering all relevant and reliable data, crafting an effective email that leverages that data, then sending that personalized email to the right people at the right time can be a huge challenge. As long as you have the right tools and the right strategy, this can be done.

So, let’s take a look at the different methods to help you achieve email personalization at scale.

1. Utilize Behavioral Analytics

To personalize your emails, you need to first understand your customers by figuring out their preferences. While you can figure that out by carrying out surveys and asking your customers, behavioral analytics can help too.

Here’s how to collect behavioral data:

  1. Segment your audience into different buyer personas. In your email outreach, you may want to speak differently to a CEO prospect versus a Director level person because they have different pain points. Segmenting your audience will help you craft the right message for the right recipient.
  2. Understand the customer journey for each persona. Does your prospect have purchase authority or do they have to ask a supervisor? Knowing this upfront will help you personalize your message more effectively.
  3. Track customer behavior for each persona. Looking at open rates, response rates, click-through rates, and other parameters is a great way to track customer behavior for each persona. As they click through to your website, UTM tracking helps in driving prospects from emails to your website so you can see their path to purchase more effectively.
  4. Create an icebreaker for each contact that is a point that would be relevant to them and feel personalized. Have your researcher look at blogs each prospect on your list wrote and make note of it in the spreadsheet where you are keeping your outreach list. Create a column in your spreadsheet where you can add an “icebreaker” which is a reference note about the person that you can relate with them on when you reach out to them. Write it in such a way that it drops naturally into the message of your email. Note which posts on their blog that they posted and take a snippet from it. Then when you send an email you can include copy like “I love your post on {{topic x}}. It really spoke to me.” This turns into a very personalized email and shows this was not an email sent to everyone. You want to show them that you took the time to research THEM so your message becomes genuine and well informed.

Boosting Your Conversions via Email Personalization at Scale

Did you know that you can personalize images in your emails to increase conversions?

Segmenting your audience and using behavioral analytics to gather insights can help you understand how to effectively personalize emails.

Imagine receiving a cold outreach email that includes a personalized image to grab a cup of coffee together so you can pitch them. Businesses see a 2x increase in conversion rates when this type of email personalization at scale is implemented.

email personalization with images in email
Email personalization with images: “[{Yourname}], let’s grab a coffee and I’ll tell you how we can help you.” Source: Lemlist

2. Establish a Team

To achieve email personalization at scale, you also need a dedicated team in place that can oversee your transition from a traditional email marketing approach to a trigger-based approach.

The idea is to ensure that the transition is smooth and gets implemented without a hitch. Your team should include:

  • A Campaign Manager who is managing the entire program
  • An IT Staff Member
  • One or more SDRs – Sales Development Representatives who are sending out emails and replying to recipients who want to learn more. Their goal is to schedule as many sales appointments as possible.
  • A researcher who is building your list using tools like LinkedIn and other market research tools. This is an evergreen process.

Bear in mind that this team would need to continuously work together to improve your email personalization results.

3. Employ Technology

Finally, you can’t go anywhere without technology and automation when you’re planning to do email personalization at scale.

Image Source: Giphy

The right technology can help you create numerous personalized variations and triggers that wouldn’t be possible manually. At the same time, email marketing automation enables you to send out such emails on autopilot when the actions related to the triggers take place.

Some of the email automation tools you can check out are:

  • Mailshake
  • Hubspot
  • Woodpecker
  • Mixmax
  • Lemlist
  • Active Campaign
  • Clickfunnels

Conclusion: Personalize Your Emails at Scale Now

Email is an important marketing channel and personalization is a great way of getting the best out of it. Consumers demand personalization from brands and if you’re not delivering it, they may end up going to your competitors.

To wrap up, you should utilize behavior analytics, analyze customer usage, set up a dedicated team for personalization, and employ technology to achieve email personalization at scale.

However, doing all of this yourself can be challenging. It always helps to work with experts. We, at SSC, have a dedicated team of professionals who can help you with this and many other things. So get in touch with us now.


How A/B Testing Can Make or Break Your Cold Email Outreach Strategy

How A/B Testing Can Make or Break Your Cold Email Outreach Strategy

Cold emails form an important part of a B2B lead generation and marketing strategy. But cold emails are no secret codes to success. When you’re doing outreach through cold emails, you need to have a strategy in place. But the key here is to ensure that your emails appeal to the receivers. The only way to find this out is through A/B testing them.

A/B testing helps you find out what exactly gets most of your receivers to open your email and take the action that you want them to. This makes it a critical component of cold email outreach that helps in optimizing your emails for better results.

So, how can you perform A/B testing on your emails?

Let’s find out.

How to do A/B Testing for Your Cold Emails

A/B testing is an elaborate process that’s aimed at testing each element of your email like subject line, email body, call-to-action (CTA), and more, to figure out what works the best. Based on these tests for every element, you’ll be able to find the best combination for your cold emails.

So, let’s dive right into how you can do it.

1. Setup a Champion and Challenger System

If you’ve already been conducting cold email outreach for a while now, you may have an email that’s performed the best. You need to fix this email and all its elements as “champions” as they’ve given you the best results until now.

Then, you need to pick up each element and come up with a few alternatives. Each of these would be a challenger that would “challenge” the champion.

The idea is to test out each variant of the elements while keeping all the other elements constant. If it’s the challenger that outperforms the champion, it’ll become the champion. But if the champion performs better, you can move on to another challenger and conduct the same test again.

Think of them as two gladiators (one reigning champion and the other, a challenger) battling it out for you to determine which one’s better.

champion challenger a/b testing strategy

This champion-challenger or A/B test is a continuous process. You need to go on testing regularly so that you can constantly improve your results.

2. Test Subject Lines

Subject lines are extremely important for all emails, especially cold emails. You won’t be a known sender for the email receiver and this means that you need to try harder to get their attention. As a result, the only element that will determine if the email will be opened or not would be your subject line.

After all, don’t we all want to stay away from spammy emails that seem to “shout” at you, like the one below?

Example of a spammy subject line

That’s why you need to A/B test your subject lines continuously to figure out which ones are delivering the best open rates. The idea is to intrigue your receivers and grab their attention so that they open your emails.

The Hustle does a good job at this. All their emails have catchy subject lines that instantly grab the attention of the receivers and nudge them to open them.

Some of the variations that you can use are:

Subject Line Length

  • Short
  • Long

Capitalization

  • Title Case
  • Uppercase
  • Lowercase
  • Sentence Case

Subject Line Components

  • Emojis
  • Personalized Words (Name, Company Name, etc.)
  • Promotional Words

3. Test Email Body

The email body is yet another important element of cold emails and it determines if the receivers will dwell on your email long enough to see the call-to-action (CTA)

Just like the subject lines, you’ll also need to use the champion and challenger method for A/B testing the body of your email.

The idea is to come up with the most engaging cold email possible.

Some of the aspects that you can vary across the email body are:

Body Length

  • Short
  • Long

Tone

  • Humorous
  • Casual
  • Conversational
  • Serious, etc.

Personalization

  • Name
  • Product Choices
  • Addressing Their Problem, etc.

Visuals

  • Images
  • Videos
  • GIFs
  • Infographics, etc.

4. Write Informed Conclusions

Finally, the conclusions of your emails are essential elements and need to be extensively A/B tested to figure out which ones work the best.

That’s because this is the spot where you’re going to put up your CTA which will determine if all your efforts until now will bear fruit or go in vain.

The email’s conclusion needs to be crisp and actionable so that the readers get inclined to take the action that you want them to. Similarly, the CTA needs to be just as attractive to get them to click on it.

Some of the elements of the CTA that you can vary are:

  • Position
  • Button/Text
  • Button/Text color
  • Color of text in the button
  • CTA text content

For instance, note how Rachel from HubSpot has sent a cold email to set up an appointment. The CTA in this particular email is a text CTA that’s placed above the fold. It’s also colored blue to make it pop out. Finally, the text content clearly describes what the receiver would be doing on clicking it.

A/B Testing: An Example

A great example of an A/B tested email is one from Shane Snow. He sent out an email to 1000 executives and A/B tested various elements to figure out which ones gave the best results possible. Here’s the email he used:

Image via Fast Company

He A/B tested the email’s subject line to figure out which one had a greater impact on the receivers. The two subject lines he used were:

  • Quick Question
  • 15 Second Question for Research on Annoying Emails

This had a direct impact on the email open rates. 51.2% of the receivers opened the email with the shorter subject line. On the other hand, only 48.8% of the receivers opened the email that had the longer subject line.

The subject lines also had an impact on the action taken by the receivers. About 66.7% of all the replies came from those emails that had the shorter subject line as compared to 33.3% for the longer one.

Final Thoughts on A/B Testing

A/B testing is an integral part of any email marketing strategy and if you’re not doing it, you’re not utilizing your marketing budget to its full potential. You need to adopt the champion/challenger framework and start optimizing your subject lines, email body, and CTAs to get more clicks and revenue.

However, we know that this process can be challenging, especially with other marketing tasks. That’s why we have a team of experts who can help put your plan together and optimize your email campaigns. So, reach out to us now.

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Managing Productive Teams Remotely

Managing Productive Teams Remotely

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, companies were forced to shift to a work from home model or stop working altogether. Widespread lockdowns imposed by governments meant that employees could no longer come to the office or meet face-to-face.

This meant that businesses had to change their approach and strategies to suit the work from home model. Meetings were replaced by video conferencing and regular communication required companies to adopt solutions like Slack, Trello, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom, among others.

So, if there’s one thing that we’ve all learned through this pandemic, it’s how to use digital solutions to manage both your tasks and teams remotely while ensuring great productivity.

We understand these things well. SSC is a truly global company and we’ve got team members in 7 countries — all working remotely. Over the years, we’ve learned some important lessons about managing remote teams from focusing on work-life balance to nurturing relationships with each other. Here’s what we’ve learned so that you can implement it in your organizations too.

Strategies to Manage Remote Teams Effectively

Over the course of the pandemic induced remote working tenure, we’ve learned several things about how you can make your team productive even while working remotely.

Here are the key strategies that we employed to make the most out of the situation:

1. Engagement is Key

When you’re under a single roof, it’s easy to engage with your team. You may meet them for conversations regularly and even the employees may interact with each other multiple times a day.

However, these things change when you go remote. Everyone’s at a different location and this may lead to lower engagement. That’s why you need to put in a special effort to engage with your team and encourage them to communicate regularly too.

We leverage Asana to manage our tasks and Skype to communicate and engage with our team. Some of the other things that we prioritize while working remotely are:

  • Constant and open communication to avoid communication gaps.
  • Clear deadlines to ensure that things are completed on time.
  • Realistic workloads that can be completed in stipulated time and don’t hamper the team’s work-life balance too.
  • Constant prioritization of work and being flexible when needed.
  • Clear communication lines with clients to deliver services that match their expectations.

This has helped us smoothly transition into this new normal.

2. Daily Huddles

In an office environment, it’s easy to get everyone aligned on a common goal. You’d typically interact with most of your key members regularly. However, when you’re working remotely, it’s essential to make this a daily ritual.

We followed the practice of having daily huddles with the key team members. This helped us keep each other updated on things to ensure that we were all aligned and on the same page.

3. Regular Team Meetings

Just as it’s important to get your key team members aligned regularly, it’s important to get your team involved as well. This is where team meetings come in handy. Here are the advantages of hosting such meetings:

  • They help you interact with your team in real-time and engage them
  • You can share your goals and vision with them
  • Helps bring your team together around the goals

We hold management team meetings twice a week to ensure that we’re all on the same page. Our team works across 7 countries so we factor in the time zones and also the times when people are working to decide on meetings. To manage all the projects and tasks, we leverage Asana which helps with the smooth functioning of our company with a globally distributed team.

4. Share Success Stories

When you’re working remotely, it can be easy to get demotivated. In fact, about 8% of remote workers face motivational issues, according to a study. One of the core reasons for this is that you may lose a sense of purpose or goal when you’re not working with your team around.

managing remote teams
Learn to manage your remote team productively!

This is exactly why you need to give sufficient impetus to boosting the morale of your team. One approach that we find very helpful here is that of valuing each individual in the organization. To showcase their importance, we explain how they contribute to the overall goals of the company. Yet another strategy that works extremely well for this is sharing success stories, and more importantly, celebrating those successes.

We regularly share even the smallest of success stories and celebrate them together, virtually. This has helped us keep the team’s motivation levels high.

5. Encourage Break Out Meetings

Break out meetings are an essential component of growing your business, irrespective of whether you’re working remotely or in the office. They work as a great way to engage your team and also get them to think and learn by discussing things among themselves.

Platforms like Zoom support breakout meetings and have helped us conduct numerous such breakout meetings throughout the year.

6. Put the Onus on Your Team

A great way to boost the trust that your employees have in your company is by trusting them to work productively. For this, you should get them to measure their performance and report it, instead of the other way round.

This sort of self-assessment not only reinforces your trust in them but also helps them figure out how much effort they’re putting into work. Such an assessment and realization can improve their productivity and push them to do better.

7. Share New Ideas

Yet another strategy that’s worked for us is sharing new ideas. We not only shared new ideas but also encouraged the team members to come up with theirs too.

Not only that — it’s also important to face and solve all the challenges together — as a team.

This sort of participation from the team gives them a sense of purpose and also helps the entire team tide over the problems together. This can dramatically improve the productivity of your team as well.

It’s equally important to expect and welcome mistakes. To deal with them, we, at SSC, hold meetings about them. The purpose behind these meetings is to figure out the root cause of the mistakes so that we can avoid them in the future. We also discuss various challenges faced by the team during management calls to figure out how to face them, just like the Avengers do.

8. Encourage Play and Team Fun

When your employees are in the office, you’d likely have sessions or days when the team could have some fun. Even something as simple as a coffee break would work as a great way for your team to bond.

While managing a remote team, you should ensure that you encourage the team to spend some time on play and fun. Even a virtual coffee break would be a great idea.

At SSC, we take fun and play as seriously as we take our work and that’s why we have dedicated activities to keep our team from over 7 countries engaged. Some of the activities we do are:

  • Weekly virtual stretching classes with a personal fitness instructor.
  • Monthly activities for team building like a virtual cooking class with Gordon Ramsey.
  • Sending out quarterly swag boxes to make everyone feel special and a part of the team.

This helps our team bond better and also keeps the spirits high.

9. Combine Video and Text

Video meetings can be a great way to have some face to face interaction with your team. However, it’s not practical to do video meetings all the time. You need a platform that can help your team members interact among themselves and also as groups. That’s why you must strengthen your team’s communication by using some messaging tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Utilizing tools to maintain proper communication is key to remote management

These tools can allow your employees to communicate with each other and also allow them to coordinate among themselves. They also help them manage day-to-day processes.

Final Thoughts

By driving your team’s engagement, measuring its performance with clear metrics, and sharing your team’s successes, you will get your team aligned around a common goal. This will help you measure the team’s overall performance and success.

You must also encourage your team to engage among themselves, have some fun time, and also support them with a text messaging and collaboration platform.

Do you have any questions about managing remote teams? Ask them in the comments below and we’ll answer them.

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Breaking Down Cold Emails: Elements That Drive Engagement

Breaking Down Cold Emails: Elements That Drive Engagement

Sending cold outreach emails to introduce yourself to new sales prospects are challenging to get right. But when you nail it, it will mean a lot of difference for your business.

Email marketing is one of the most reliable methods of marketing your brand and generating sales. Numerous brands leverage cold emails to grow brand awareness, drive lead generation, and generate sales.

More than 4 billion people use emails today and they provide an extremely high ROI of up to $42 for every dollar spent. In the past 12 months, the conversion rate of a cold email is 15.11%, making it a powerful marketing tool.

Unfortunately, not all email campaigns end up becoming successful. Sometimes they end up in the Junk or Trash folder for some reason or another. If this happens to most of your emails, then Houston, we have a problem.

Numerous factors need to be considered to ensure your email marketing campaign’s success, but the most important element is the email itself. You need to write and format your cold emails in a way that will captivate your readers and get them to notice your brand.

So, let’s take a look at some of the most important elements of cold emails that you must consider.

Important Elements of Cold Emails

Here are the major elements of cold emails that you should ace when dealing with cold emails:

1. Personalization in Cold Emails

Personalization was an advantage in the past, but now it’s a necessity. Over 91% of consumers prefer to buy from brands that personalize their recommendations and offers. Amazon, eBay, and other online retails store are great in this aspect.

Around 70% of millennials say that they are frustrated when they receive irrelevant emails. Most of them do not even bother to read the email and send it directly to the Trash. To avoid sending your emails to the Junk folder, you. need to personalize your cold emails and get the attention of your prospects. That’s elementary, my dear Watson.

When we say personalization, it’s more than just adding the name of the receiver. You also need to know about the receiver’s character and craft a highly relatable cold email.

Find a particular element that’s common among your group of prospects, then send out a personalized email to them that they all can relate to.

Rand Fishkin from SparkToro has a great way of going about personalization. Note how he’s added that the email is his personal one. This would prompt the reader to reply to the email.

Example of personalized email by Rand Fishkin
Personalization in your cold emails will break the ice and speak one to one with your prospect | Source: Email

2. Subject Line

The first thing your reader sees when he or she receives an email is the subject line. Readers won’t click on your email if they don’t like the subject line. Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing the subject line:

  • Make it short and sweet. You need to write crisp, clear, and interesting subject lines for all your cold emails so the receivers would be inclined to click on them to open your email.
  • Make the subject lines short because about 42% of people check their emails using mobile devices.
Percentage of email users using mobiles
Image via Litmus
  • Your subject line should be relevant to the content of your email. Irrelevant subject lines may lead the readers to mark your email as spam.
  • Personalize the subject line by using words like “you” and the receiver’s name. These can improve the chances of them opening your email.
  • Having an emoji in your subject line can also push more people to open your emails. 🎉😇

3. Establish Your Credibility

When you’re sending a cold email, remember that the receiver doesn’t know you or your brand. That’s why it’s critical to establish your credibility through your email.

Mention your brand name because it is possible that some people may have heard about it than your name.

Some of the other tactics you can use are:

  • Add links to your website and social media pages.
  • Insert links to case studies.
  • Mention some testimonials in the email or provide a link to them.
  • Talk about some prominent customers.

4. Company Name in Email

Another way of establishing your credibility is by sending cold emails through your company email and not from your Gmail or Yahoo Mail. This looks unprofessional. Your prospects might think that your business isn’t a well-established one since it doesn’t have an email address of its own.

Next, add the company’s name on the sender’s name too. For instance, you can add both the company and employee names.

In this example, note how Vidyard sends emails with the sender name “Tyler at Vidyard.”

Using company name in sender name example

5. Call-to-Action (CTA)

No cold email is complete without a hard CTA that tells your receivers what action to take. In the case of cold emails, these actions could be:

  • Set up a meeting or a quick call.
  • Head to your landing page and signup.
  • Register for a webinar or event.

Whatever the purpose of your cold emails may be, your CTA must be present in the email and should highlight the action that needs to be taken.

Here are the things you should remember when creating your CTA:

  • Use a color that contrasts against the other text or background.
  • The color of the text should be in contrast with that of the button.
  • CTA must be placed prominently.
  • CTA should explain the action that needs to be taken.

For example, here’s a great CTA in an email by Adjust and Tyroo. The CTA clearly says RSVP Now for the event.

CTA example for RSVP Now
Image Source: Email

Start Sending Cold Emails

When you’re sending out cold emails, make sure that you leverage all the best practices carefully to improve your campaign’s chances of success. However, there’s a lot more to cold emails than just that.

You need to:

  • Address the pain-points of the prospects and explain why your product or service solves them.
  • Trigger an emotion that leads to the prospect clicking on the CTA.
  • A/B test your emails for perfection.

Our experts at SSC can help you with all of this and a lot more. We can craft powerful strategies and campaigns that can drive your brand growth. So, talk to us now for a customized quote.


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A Targeted Approach to Lead Generation with SSC

A Targeted Approach to Lead Generation with SSC

Whether you have a B2B or B2C business, lead generation is something you can’t do business without. It’s one of the most important parts of the buyers’ funnel and if not done well, you might end up wasting your marketing budget without getting many conversions.

A strong lead generation strategy helps you attract new prospective customers at the top of the funnel (ToFu) and can also strengthen the middle of the funnel (MoFu), which, in turn, delivers great conversions of your sales prospects into new customers.

marketing funnel for lead generation process
The Marketing Funnel | Image via Skyword

There are numerous options for investing your (finite) marketing budget such as paid search, paid social ads, content marketing, and cold email outreach. Given the budget constraints, it can be a challenge to determine where to put the money.

As marketers, you’d want to have larger marketing budgets so that you can spend lavishly on each channel, but that’s what marketing’s all about right — spending money where it delivers the best ROI possible.

Among these channels, on a dollar for dollar basis, cold email outreach is the fastest way to:

  • Identify your ideal customer profile and validate your assumptions about who your ideal customer profile truly is
  • Test what messaging is resonating best with your prospects
  • Generate sales calls to build your sales pipeline
  • Grow your revenue

But how does it match up against paid search?

Let’s find out.

Paid Search vs Cold Emails: A Comparison

Paid search involves creating ad campaigns for search engines such as Google. To launch them, you need to select the right set of target keywords for which you want your ads to appear and also put up a CPC bid. Through it, you can drive traffic to your landing page and generate leads.

On the other hand, cold emails involve sending out targeted and personalized cold emails to your prospects. Each email would have a call-to-action (CTA) that nudges the readers to take the action you want them to for becoming your leads.

But how do these stack up against each other?

Let’s take a look at them.

Lead Generation with Paid Search

lead generation with paid search
Lead generation through paid advertising | Image via Google

While lead generation is slightly affordable for B2C companies, B2B companies can find it challenging. The reason? You guessed it — high cost per click (CPC).

If you’re a B2B company, you’re likely spending at least $4 per click to your website. That may not seem like a lot in the beginning, but when we bring in the conversion rate into the picture, things change.

Let’s say that you’re converting leads at 3%. That brings your cost to $133 per Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).

But that’s just half the job done. You’ve generated a lead and are yet to convert them into getting a scheduled appointment, which would turn them into a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL).

Let’s say that, on a good day, you’re able to convert SQLs to appointments from Search at 50% (that’s rich, but follow me on this). That would bring the cost of your MQL to $266.

Taking it a step further, let’s say that the show rate from scheduled appointments to actually showing up for the call is 75% (also rich, but we’ll be generous for the point of illustrating the comparison of paid search versus cold email outreach). This would bring your cost to $354 for someone to show up to your sales call. That’s just the bare minimum, right?

Finally, let’s say that you’re able to convert 30% of these into a sale. That would bring your cost per sale to a staggering $1180. Your product would need to be pretty expensive to cover up for these costs.

Lead Generation with Cold Email Outreach

lead generation with cold email outreach
Lead generation through cold email outreach | Image via ActiveCampaign

Now that we’ve seen how costly each sale can be with paid search, let’s take a look at how cold email outreach fares.

Let’s say that you are sending out emails to 100 new people per day (2000 prospects per month). You send out a sequence of emails that has 5 steps in it — meaning, you’ll send your first email on day 1 of the sequence, the 2nd email on day 3 of the sequence. Similarly, you’ll send the 3rd email on day 5, and so on. But, in all, you’re targeting 2000 people in the month.

So, the total number of cold emails sent out altogether would be:

2000 people x 5 emails = 10,000 emails being sent in the month

Let’s now bring the email open rate into the mix. Assuming that your open rate is 40%, you’d get about 4,000 opens.

However, not everyone who’ll open your emails will book appointments. Let’s assume that your rate to book appointments is 1% of the total number of prospects that you reach out to. That brings your total scheduled appointments to 2000 x 0.01 = 20 scheduled appointments.

From these 20, let’s say that 75% of them show up. This means that 15 people would get on your sales call.

For consistency, we’ll take the conversion rate for these sales calls as 30%, just like in the case of paid search. This would mean that you’d get 4.5 sales, but let’s round that off to 4 to be on the conservative side.

The cost for the cold email outreach program is $3500 per month and you generated 4 sales during that duration. This would bring your cost per sale to $875 per sale which is drastically lower than $1180 per sale. It translates to a 25% discount from paid search. Also, the CPCs in paid search are often much higher than $4 per click, which would drive your costs up further.

Conclusion

Lead generation is an integral part of any sales funnel, and more so for B2B businesses where the cost of acquiring a single customer can be pretty high. You could leverage both paid search and cold email outreach for driving your lead generation efforts. However, the best way of going about it is by having a targeted approach.

We, at SSC, can help you with exactly that and this will help you generate a higher ROI and reduce your cost per sale. From developing your ideal customer profile (ICP) to driving conversions, we do it all.

So, get in touch with us now.

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Email Automation Tricks to Stay in Front of Your Audience

Email Automation Tricks to Stay in Front of Your Audience

Email is considered the Holy Grail when it comes to marketing communication. In fact, did you know that it has the highest ROI among other digital marketing techniques? It can go as high as 4400% or $44 for every dollar spent on your email marketing campaign. Cha-Ching! And email automation makes everything a lot easier.

It’s important to ensure that your email marketing is cutting edge. It takes multiple touchpoints for people to buy into your business. Everyone’s a little resistant to ads and promotions, which is why email automation tricks are so vital. They help you stay in front of your audience without sounding like a bot.

With any email outreach program, the key is personalization. The following automation tricks will help you connect with your audience personally and reach as many potential customers as possible.

Welcome Emails

Anyone who engages with your business in any way should receive a welcome email. It makes your customers feel welcome. When customers interact with your website or signed up for your newsletter, they expect some kind of confirmation. It doesn’t have to be on the level of Joey’s “How you doin’?” But a simple email that acknowledges their presence should be enough.

Even if the confirmation or welcome email is automated, it helps people feel like they made a good choice in connecting with you.

Welcome emails are very easy to set up. Any email system that integrates with your website is capable of sending out an automatic email to your new contacts.

Reminder Emails

One of the best email automation tricks is to set up reminder emails in your system.

  • If you’re sending out an email campaign, have follow-up emails sent out if the initial email(s) are unopened. You’ll be surprised at how many people miss your email because it was buried in your customer’s inbox. A huge percentage of your sent emails might have also ended up in the spam folder. Sending a follow-up email gives them a nudge to notice you.
  • Whenever your company has special offers or promotions, have an automatic email sent out to your list. Spreading the promo via email is effective in increasing your sales.
  • An easy form of reminder emails that are often overlooked is to email people on their birthdays, anniversaries, or any day that’s important to your customers. People feel like your business is human when you celebrate with them the important moments in their lives.
  • Remind people about the events you have coming up. If you’re going to be at a conference, a networking event, doing some giveback for the community, running a webinar or live video, let your customers know. This way, people will know how to reach you or what you’ve been up to recently.

Behavior-Triggered Emails

Thinking of email campaigns in terms of in-person sales can be helpful. When selling to someone in person, you need to personalize your sales approach based on the customer’s interests, communication preferences, or previous purchases.

Behavior-triggered emails are an effective way to segment your email lists. Just as life is a box of chocolates, people’s behavior can also be so unpredictable. You don’t know what type of response you’ll get so it is better to cover all bases.

When someone behaves in a certain way, they get added to a new email list segment. Otherwise, they’re immediately sent a follow-up email that correlates with their behavior. For example, you can segment those who opened your email vs those who ignored it. You can then send a follow-up email to the “Ignore” list.

Here are some tips:

  • Pay careful attention to how your customers act.
  • Set up behavior flow charts with corresponding automated emails based on their interactions with your company’s outreach.

Email automation makes it easier to set up behavior-triggered emails, but you need to consider what actions your audience takes and send out an email based on that action.

Email Drip Campaigns

Whenever a customer is added to any of your email marketing tags, segments, or campaigns, it’s important to include follow-ups for that outreach. An email drip campaign is a series of pre-planned emails that take prospects through your sales funnel.

Here are the elements that set email drip campaigns apart from other email marketing techniques:

  • The message timing has a defined course and schedule
  • The automated messages are sent out to specific subscribers depending on their status and behaviors.

But the real magic of drip campaigns is that they allow you to build trust with your audience. Instead of blasting everyone with the same email, you can assign your subscribers into different funnels and run separate campaigns for each funnel.

Engaging Inactive Customers

Using a CRM, you can segment and send email campaigns to any inactive customers in your database. Set up your automated emails to send out if someone hasn’t purchased within a month, 3 months, 6 months, or whatever fits your timeframe.

You can also combine this technique with any of the other techniques listed above. Have past customers get reminder emails about promotions you have coming up. Create a multi-email drip campaign. Experiment with your techniques and test which one works the best.

Just remember that it takes a lot of work to get someone’s business in the first place. The best thing you can do is to keep working on that list over time. People who have already bought from you are more likely to purchase from you again in the future, even if it’s been a while. You’ll be surprised at how many people become repeat customers given a little time and regular email marketing follow-ups.

Goodbye Messages

When you are sending a cold email outreach sequence, which usually consists of 4-6 emails to a person, often times a well-crafted goodbye email (or “breakup email”) can convert cold prospects into a sales call. The last email in the sequence is your breakup email. Letting your prospect know that this will be the last time you are reaching out is a compelling message and you can use that moment to your advantage.

You know that when deals go away, that moment creates a Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) for the prospective client. Scarcity is a powerful selling tool.

By letting your prospect know that you have something special and personalized for them that can help them and coupling that message with “this will be the last time I reach out” can create a trigger for your prospect to react.

For example, consider this email:

Hi {{firstname}},

I’ve tried reaching out 5 times to let you know about the ways I can help your business grow. Are you interested in talking about how I can help you increase your top line revenue by 20% with a few easy tactics to put in place?

This will be the last time that I reach out – I don’t want to bug you.

If you’re up for jumping on a 15 minute call, I’d love to tell you about our program and how it can help you have a great year.

Please let me know if you’d like to discuss it.

Thanks.

By crafting the right goodbye email, you can create triggers to convert your prospects into new sales calls and grow your business.

Conclusion

Map out the different touchpoints where your customer engagement happens. Whether it’s cold email outreach to acquire customers, or setting up an email lead nurturing campaign or setting up a mailing list, identifying the context for when your prospective customers engage with you will help you create breadcrumbs for their user experience with you and your business. Creating email automation around the customer journey will help you convert more visitors into new sales leads.


 

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Proven B2B Lead Generation Tactics for 2021

Are you struggling with B2B lead generation? You’re not alone.

Regardless of the nature of your business, it’s critical for every company out there to generate leads. This is the reason why generating leads was the top priority for marketers in 2020.

But B2B lead generation can be quite tricky since it normally relies on trade shows, events, conferences, and other in-person modes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these in-person techniques will no longer be applicable in 2021.

With no clear end in sight, it’s essential that you start coming up with new strategies to generate leads for your business amidst the pandemic. If you don’t step up your lead generation game, you’ll be stomped by the competition.

To help you out, we’ve put together these outbound B2B lead generation tactics that you can implement for your business.

B2B Lead Generation Strategies for 2021

COVID-19 has forced businesses to rethink digital marketing. As we move into 2021, your marketing strategy needs to take the pandemic into consideration and should outline your approach to go online.

So, let’s take a look at the various B2B lead generation strategies that will be useful for you.

1. Social Media Marketing

“Hi! I’d like to connect!”

Social media has over 3.9 billion users now. That’s more than 50% of the world’s population. If we follow the rule that a business should be where its audience is, so that would be social media.

Remember this early 2020 viral meme challenge?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Doug The Pug (@itsdougthepug)

All jokes aside, knowing which platform best serves your business is crucial to successful lead generation. While Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms might be good for B2C marketing, LinkedIn is still the best for B2B marketing.

LinkedIn has over 700 million users and most of these are working professionals and business owners, making it the perfect audience for B2B companies.

LinkedIn is the #1 source for B2B lead generation
Image via We Are Social

To tap into this audience, you need to establish a strong presence on LinkedIn. The first thing you need to do is set up your LinkedIn profile well. Here’s how you can do that:

  1. “Say, Cheese!” Add a photo and cover photo to the profile. Don’t forget to smile. 😁
  2. Enter a description that describes your business.
  3. Create affiliated pages for various brands of your company.

Strategies to Reach People on LinkedIn

Once you’ve set up your business profile well on LinkedIn, you need to start reaching people through it using the tips below:

  • Publish original, high-quality posts regularly.
  • Publish articles on LinkedIn.
  • Curate share-worthy content that your audience might like.
  • Engage with your audience through comments and messages.
  • Encourage employees to share your posts.
  • Leverage LinkedIn ads to broaden your reach.

2. Email Marketing for B2B Lead Generation

Email marketing is yet another powerful B2B lead generation tactic. In fact, for every dollar invested in email marketing, brands get an average return of $42. This is perhaps the reason why email marketing is used by about 87% of marketers for organic content distribution.

Channels used by B2b marketers for organic content distribution
Image via Content Marketing Institute

You need to develop a comprehensive email marketing strategy for B2B lead generation that involves:

  • Conducting cold outreach through emails
  • Leverage email automation to send drip emails
  • Nurture leads and qualify them

However, conducting cold outreach is easier said than done. You need to have a plan in mind before you go ahead with it. This is because you need to ensure that your leads not only receive your email but open it and take the desired action.

So, let’s take a look at how you can draft a powerful email that can get you the desired results.

How to Draft Powerful Cold Emails

Before you send out cold emails, you need to plan them out and draft them. This process needs to be done well to get the most out of your cold email outreach plan.

Step 1: Personalize your emails.

Cold emails mean that you’re interacting with the receiver for the first time. So, you must customize your email to get their attention. About 91% of consumers would prefer to buy from brands that personalize their offerings, so you’ll have a better chance of attracting their attention.

Step 2: Get your subject lines right.

If the subject line fails to get the attention of your readers, even the most stellar email won’t create any impact. Create subject lines that entice your readers to click and open the email. Also, keep them short as 42% of people use smartphones to access emails.

Step 3: Keep the message short and sweet!

Try to keep the email short and focus well on your goal. Use simple but persuasive language to keep the readers hooked to your email till the very end.

Step 4: Pay attention to your call-to-action (CTA).

It matters a lot because this is what the readers will have to click on to execute the action you want them to do. Be it getting on a call or registering for your webinar, the CTA must stand out so that the readers will be able to find it easily and click on it. The button should be designed such that it’s in contrast with the background of the email.

Here are some other best practices that you should implement for your cold emails:

Table depicting tips to improve email deliverability, open rate, and drive action

Start B2B Lead Generation Today!

Lead generation is a critical aspect of marketing for any business. If it’s not done right, you’ll not be able to get customers and drive sales. Given the pandemic restrictions, you need to take your B2B lead generation online in 2021.

Harness the power of social media using LinkedIn to reach your target customers and engage with them to convert them into leads.

Using email marketing to send out cold emails for B2B lead generation is a top priority for businesses in 2020.

This implementation can be overwhelming, and that’s why it helps to have an experienced partner like SSC. We have highly qualified full-service teams to help you ensure that your lead generation strategy succeeds. Get in touch with us now.