You’ve probably heard (and maybe even believe in) some bad things about cold calling — that cold calling sucks, cold calls aren’t effective, or how many SDRs have developed an immense fear of cold calling because of all the rejections.
Then, you would also have come across comparisons on cold calling vs cold emailing, and that emailing is the superior method to prospecting.
But, why limit yourself to using either method? Why narrow down your options when you can explore the full potential of cold calling, combined with email marketing? Your cold calling efforts can be optimized through a targeted email marketing campaign to get the most out of both.
You can either use them as complementary methods for targeting the same prospect or to reach out to different customer types, based on the tactic they’ll be more receptive to.
In this article, we will analyze how to use each one depending on the prospect’s profile, the timing, and your business type and objectives. We’ll also analyze tactics on how to combine them as well as improve cold calling responses and email open rates.
While we encourage you to use both methods, with budget and time constraints, it’s important to understand which method you should invest more in. Here are some key factors to take into account:
The type of business you run is always relevant to the solution you will choose to interact with potential customers. Insurance companies, telecommunications, and even travel agencies tend to rely on phone calls to do so, whereas e-commerce businesses are more accustomed to email marketing.
Your business development stage is important too. When you’re just starting out, making numerous phone calls to schedule appointments is effective. Later on, when your offer is validated, you may want to reconsider your approach based on your new business goals.
Your resources are also a crucial factor that affects such a decision. Small businesses invest in email marketing, seeing that it’s an effective yet affordable way to contact prospects. Cold calling is ideal for brands in need of a more complex sales approach that requires the active involvement of reps.
One of the first steps you need to take before deciding on your lead generation method is to identify your buyer personas. Leads have their own preferences when it comes to communicating with brands, depending on their age, aspirations, profession, industry type, or browsing habits.
For example, cold calling might not be the way to go if you’re targeting millennials who mostly hang out on the Internet.
On the other hand, it could be a good choice for people working in traditional industries who are usually familiar with phone communication. So, make sure you get to know your target audience, build solid customer profiles, determine which channels best fit their preferences, and then set your strategy in motion.
You need to figure out your goals and divide them into weak or strong asks. Weak asks include processes like asking for feedback or obtaining referrals while booking a meeting or promoting a product trial are categorized as strong asks.
Once you’re done with this decision, use the channel that best serves your goals. A weak ask requires straightforward information on the prospect’s behalf. So, don’t waste their time on the phone when an email is sufficient to express that simple request.
Strong asks require some kind of commitment from the prospect, though. In that case, leverage your sales team’s persuasion phone skills to manage and finally overcome objections.
This one may surprise you, but your prospect’s position in their company matters.
For instance, high-level leads are hard to reach through a call but the majority of them have personal assistants. Therefore, it’s probable that you’ll get to have an actual conversation with a person, even if they aren’t the decision-maker. Worst case scenario, you set up an email exchange to inform the prospects themselves.
If low-level professionals are part of your target audience, consider email marketing instead. People working in lower positions don’t have help in managing their calls and they almost certainly won’t return one from a number they don’t recognize. So, the possibility of having a live conversation with anyone is minimized. In this case, your best shot is to send an email for your initial outreach.
In cold calling, the right timing keeps you away from angry callers. Statistics show that the chances of leads answering the phone and being eager to hear your message grow as the day and week progresses.
In an analysis done to find the best time to cold call, we found that:
For example, contacting prospects through a call generally is more fruitful at 4 pm and on a Wednesday. And even if they don’t pick up, make sure you leave a voicemail since people tend to listen to voicemails during the evening.
As for emails, the golden rule is to craft them carefully and then decide on the best sending times to generate high open rates and recipient engagement. Here are some interesting statistics to keep in mind when scheduling your email marketing campaigns:
It would make sense to send emails during working hours since that’s when most people are in their offices and have time to check their emails. As the findings suggest, open rates decline after 6 PM as people have left for the day and most likely wouldn’t check their emails at home.
As these studies are based on a handful of businesses from different industries, take these as references. It’s still best to understand your customers better and monitor your own data to find out what exactly works for you.
The factors analyzed above are crucial to deciding how to reach your target audience. Is having them working together your ultimate goal?
Let’s explore 5 ways to nail your cold calling and email marketing efforts.
It is of utmost importance to create a clear roadmap about how to combine cold calling and email marketing.
You can start by testing the waters through an inquiry call. This will help you find out who is the right person to contact, understand their needs, and highlight how your solution addresses their needs.
After that, it would be best to experiment through A/B testing to check which tactics make the most sense for your audience. You can test elements like outreach times and days, call and email sequence, your follow-up email content, or various call-to-actions that urge email recipients to perform certain actions.
When you have the necessary data at your disposal, make sure to plan your email marketing campaigns ahead of time. Create a roadmap and a calendar that you will share with everyone involved so that efforts are coordinated. Also, ensure regular communication is maintained between cold calling and email marketing teams across the campaign lifecycle.
People working in the cold calling industry are aware they’ll need several touchpoints before actually getting a response. It is expected that representatives may have to reach out to a potential prospect about 6 or 7 times.
In fact, statistics show that by being more persistent, sales reps can increase the conversion rate by up to 70%.
The same goes for your follow-up emails that come after outbound calls — you shouldn’t throw in the towel too soon. Sending a follow-up email after the initial touch is a great way to enhance the point made in the call. You can also take this chance to send any additional material that can help convince the prospect.
If a recipient doesn’t take action on your first email, remember that it’s the norm. Try to send the second one 2-3 days after the first but make sure there’s a bigger time span between the next emails. Most outreach tools make it simple and quick to create and schedule follow-up sequences, saving you valuable time.
The email cadence that fits your business needs depends on various factors like the industry, the target audience, or the business offer. Experiment to discover the email sequence you’re going to use and make sure to schedule them beforehand.
Let’s be real — whether we are picking up the phone or sending emails to contact prospects, it’s still an interruption to them. So, you should appreciate the time they spent hearing you out or reading your email.
The best way to do that is by making it about them, not your brand. Rather than going on and on about how amazing your product or service is, try to get prospects to talk about them: their needs, lifestyles, pain points, etc.
All you have to do then is show them how your offer addresses their everyday challenges. No matter what channel you’re using, your sales pitch has to be compelling and persuasive. Both the script for your cold calls and your email content has to be the result of meticulous thinking.
People only pay attention if they’re interested in your offer. Add value to it by demonstrating how it solves their problems and improves their lives or working conditions.
Email marketing campaigns are effective to nurture interested leads, build trust, and promote your products without sounding sales-y. You can use them to send educational material like guides, eBooks, or even a product demo video.
This type of content will convince them that your proposition serves their needs and make them receptive to future marketing efforts.
How can you achieve sending out relevant content to each of your prospects? The answer lies in a single word: personalization.
Personalized emails have a great impact on how recipients engage with your message. If you don’t put some effort into customizing your email content to match the recipient’s preferences, you’re just leaving money on the table. Not only that, but your emails could go straight to the spam folder.
Digital-savvy consumers have great expectations from a brand’s email outreach. Bulk emails with poor-written copy, bad design, and generic images won’t cut it anymore.
Turn all the information you have on your prospects into valuable content. Your prospects’ demographics, their industry, and job role, along with any type of behavioral data, are a goldmine for every email marketing effort.
Take advantage of those data to personalize various email components such as subject lines, the email copy, and design, or visual elements. This shows recipients you’ve done your homework and that you treat them as the unique people they are.
The same can also be said for cold calls. With whatever information you have about your prospects, turn that into conversation starters or ice-breakers.
Wondering how you’ll gather all those valuable prospects’ data? Some of them will be obtained through cold calling, that’s for sure.
But you can also get the information you need for your cold calls by monitoring key email marketing metrics like open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribes, bounces, and more.
With all the tracking capabilities your emails provide you, you get to know which links your prospects clicked on and more.
These are statistics that you’ll later benefit from to fully understand your prospects’ needs and habits and improve your buyer personas. They also enable you to prioritize future calls based on the recipient’s actions.
It is quite rare to communicate with prospects only through cold calls or email marketing campaigns. Each method has its own benefits and can be incorporated into your overall sales strategy.
The initial contact and the one that seals the deal should be made by phone since that’s where the relationship begins and where it reaches its ultimate purpose respectively.
In between, each contact must be personalized to catch the prospect’s attention. And while quantity matters, quality communication is what will eventually break their resistance. All you have to do is know the best situations for both methods, implement the tactics mentioned above, and then let cold calling and email marketing do wonders for you.
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