We all have a lack of time, so we should always seek new ways to optimize our tasks and routines with more efficient approaches, including hiring more people to scale up capability, or using more advanced tools and software, and more.
In this article, or more accurately – a guide, we will share step-by-step instructions on how you can automate your outreach processes. This method can be used for cold sales campaigns, marketing campaigns, link-building campaigns and more. Once you learn the methods and the tools – sky’s the limit!
Step 1: Where to search for leads
You don’t always have to think like a lead to find a lead, usually it’s enough to know who your targets and buyer persona are. Always keep your target audience parameters in mind, especially while searching for leads on huge social platforms such as LinkedIn.
If you don’t have your targeting parameters set yet, don’t worry – it’s not that hard. You can start with taking a small section of an audience (let’s say 50 people) and explore what they have in common.
Once you’ve studied them, create a list of target parameters for your perfect audience – geographical locations, niches, interests, professions, company sizes, etc. Also you can create a list of groups and pages on LinkedIn that are relevant to your audience. These are basically the places your audience loves, visits and joins. Here we refer more to professional groups not private and leisure ones.
If you don’t have enough users or clients from your initial research then think logically and use your main keywords as basic search parameters. If you are into social media marketing, then search for social media marketing groups, if you sell dog food then aim for dog owner groups, if your product is jewelry then search for fashion and women-related groups and pages.
Step 2: Automation of lead sourcing
Collecting leads from LinkedIn
When it comes to Linkedin lead sourcing, you don’t even have to join groups or scrape member profiles. The same Snov.io tool has a deep integration with Linkedin Search, which allows you to extract leads from Linkedin by using Linkedin Search only.
It’s probably the easiest way to generate leads from Linkedin, but you have to know what your perfect target audience is first.
Just take the parameters from Step 1 (geo, niches, interests, titles, company sizes, etc) and put them into Linkedin Search.
Once ready, click Search and let Linkedin create a list of relevant people for you. Once you see your search results, just open the Snov.io Chrome Extension and source all the leads with the email addresses found.
Step 3: Preparations for campaign launch
Verify your leads
No matter how sure you are about your newly generated leads, it’s a must to verify them. In Snovio you can verify emails immediately by sending them to Verification.
Such email verification allows you to avoid sending your campaign to invalid, incorrectly spelt or non-existing email addresses, thus improving your deliverability.
Remember, keeping your email bounce rate low and deliverability high is the key to healthy email campaigns.
Segment and enrich your leads
Before starting your email campaign it’s important to segment your list, and make sure you have enough data for personalizing your email message. It’s a must to have at least a name of a lead in addition the email address of course. Also, it’s good to mention a company name or title of the person. Such approach increases open rates dramatically, thus driving you more clicks and more sales.
If you use leads extracted from a LinkedIn group then it’s a good idea to mention the name of the group in the email’s body – this will clearly show a connection between you and the lead.
A good practice is to segment your list by geographical locations, sources and the group you extracted them from. The more you segment, the more personalized and customized messages you can create.
You can segment not only by source or geo, but also by a company size, titles, languages and more. Remember, segmentation is the best friend of an email marketer!
If you don’t have enough parameters to use for segmentation, you need to enrich your leads first. Lead enrichment is the process of finding lead-relevant data that brings additional value to your lead.
You can enrich your leads by finding more data about their companies, extracting secondary contact data such as phone numbers, using not only Country Name as a geo parameter, but also a City Name, etc.
The more enriched and segmented your list is, the better results you will definitely get!
Step 4: Automation of email campaigns
There are many services and tools that allow you to automate email campaigns. In this guide we will show you how to launch and manage campaigns with Reply.io.
Such tools are made for outreach campaigns, and they have a few distinctions from tools created for email marketing campaigns. First off, such tools allow you to easily automate follow-ups without the need to do it manually. Secondly, the goal of these tools is to drive your replies or encourage a recipient to do something valuable (register to a webinar, request a demo, register for your product).
All these tools are used to automate cold sales, link-building, media outreach, business development and more. But what’s really important – these services save a ton of time per week.
Let’s start a campaign by creating one and uploading your templates to the system. When you have a few similar templates it’s easier to copy and modify one rather to create a new one. You can always duplicate your campaign or template, modify it a bit, and create another one within a few clicks to use it with a different list or segment.
If you uploaded your lists into a CRM software previously, you can easily automate the transition of lists from CRM to a mailing tool with the help of Zapier. Just choose the platform you need and pick a few triggers. The same can be done with lists stored in Google Sheets
When you have your campaign created, templates added and lists uploaded, just proceed to connect your email account, set up your mailing steps, create a schedule or set up an A/B tests (for testing your subject lines or email bodies). Once ready just hit the“start button”!
Step 5: Managing replies
When your first email message is delivered it’s time to think about how to automate the next step of your outreach campaign – email reply management.
Pre-defined replies and priorities
Platforms usually provide users with a feature to segment received replies according to their priority. This is performed by an artificial intelligence that scans replies and divides them into several categories. Standard categories are Interested, Not Interested, Not Now, Do Not Contact and No Reply.
Such splitting of replies not only saves your precious time, but also allows you to set priorities. Interested replies should be processed as soon as possible, while No Replies can be transferred into another campaign for the second try.
Besides setting your priorities and segmenting the received replies, the wise approach is to create templates for your replies. Usually you have a few types of replies for Interested ones, and a few for Non Interested ones.
Just pre-create and upload your reply templates into the system and use them to speed up your answers. You can apply a template in just one click and easily modify a template for every person – no one will ever argue than putting the right name or few other parameters into the template is faster than writing a personalized reply from the scratch.
Synchronizing with your CRM and setting up triggers
Reply management takes time, and it’s a good idea to automate it even more with forwarding your interested leads and replies into a CRM system you use. As the first step you can start forwarding only warm and interested leads.
To automate this you can use native integrations or Zapier again. For example, you may want to create a new profile in your CRM every time you get a reply from the lead, or update a lead’s status in your existing database.
Some of these notifications and forwardings will save you few hours a week, while others will allow you to respond to the most hottest leads within minutes.
This guide discovers just a few examples for the automation of outreach processes, some tools and methods will definitely fit your needs better than others.
The main idea is to focus on your needs and the desired results. Some businesses need registrations, some – webinar attendees, while others hunt for business partners only.
The key to success in outreach campaigns is to search for new lead sources and use various lead generation methods. Test your audiences, test your messages and adapt your templates – don’t be afraid to experiment, because small changes can lead to much better results.
Enjoy your day and run smart, automated outreach campaigns!