Email blacklist

Are your mailings not reaching customers? Maybe it’s because your IP address or domain is blacklisted!

Every time you send a message, the recipient’s server checks your reputation. The essence of the test is to find out who you are and whether you can be trusted. 

If the reputation of the IP address and domain is ruined, there are many complaints about sending spam, or there is an error in the DMARC policy settings, then your emails will end up in the spam folder or won’t reach the addressee at all.

Now let’s talk more about this topic.

What is an email blacklist? 

An email blacklist is a database of domains and IP addresses blocked as suspected of spamming. Its purpose is to reduce the number of unwanted emails delivered to users.

An email blacklist can be private and public:

  • Private. Most major ISPs, such as Gmail and Microsoft, have internal blacklists that are privately maintained. Having got onto this list, you won’t know you are on it until you receive bounces.
  • Public. Unlike a private list, you can check if you’re on public blacklists directly and fix problems before you start sending emails.

How does a user get blacklisted?

There are many ways you can end up on an email blacklist:

  1. Receiving too many spam complaints from recipients.
  2. Sending emails to invalid addresses.
  3. Buying mailing lists.
  4. Falling into the spam trap.
  5. Using ESPs like Gmail to send bulk emails.
  6. Sending too many emails at the same time.
  7. Having the wrong DNS configuration.
How does a user get blacklisted?

If you recognize yourself in some of the above-mentioned actions, then you shouldn’t be surprised when your emails stop reaching your existing and potential customers. Don’t underestimate the problem. 

Some service providers specifically launch robots to subscribe to the forms they find on the Internet and then check which mailings they receive. Blacklist companies have different determined standards for finding scammers but they mostly use a similar combination – data on spam complaints and spam traps.

Spam email complaints

Spam email complaints are used to identify senders that are guilty of sending out massive batches of emails. If the complaint rate is high, the IP address or domain is likely to end up on a blacklist.

To avoid this, you need to make sure that mailings are sent only to those addresses that are interested in your messages.

Spam traps

Spam traps look like real email addresses but don’t belong to real people. Used to find the sender of unwanted mailings, they are scattered across different websites.

There are two spam trap types:

Pure (or pristine) spam traps have never been used by anyone, which means they have never signed up for any email. They are placed on forums, contact pages, etc., with only one purpose — to catch spammers who collect addresses with email parsers. Any message sent to spam traps is automatically classified as spam.

Recycled spam traps are addresses that were once used by ordinary users but then were abandoned and became inactive. After a certain period of account inactivity (depending on the service provider), such an address is disabled and converted to a spam trap address. If you try sending an email to it, it will bounce.

For example, in Yahoo, this period takes at least a year. For other providers, it may be different: 

ESP inactivity period
Source: Relevon

Falling into this type of spam trap has a less negative impact. Still, it counts and adversely affects your reputation in general, as it tells the mail provider that you don’t monitor the quality of your database mailings if you send emails to non-existent mailboxes.

How to check if my email is blacklisted?

Okay, you know what an email blacklist is and how it works. Now it’s important to figure out how to check if you are not on it. Let’s start!

#1 – IP address and domain blacklist check with Spamhaus 

You can check manually if you are included on various email blacklists such as SBL, XBL, PBL, DBL, and others. This can be done by entering your IP address and domain name on the Spamhaus website.

Let’s check Snov.io’s domain:

Domain lookup

Not found!

Blocklist removal

Such a check can be also carried out on other blacklist checkers: Microsoft, Proofpoint, Barracuda, Cisco/Ironport, Invaluement, and Spamcop.

#2 – Check mail server blacklists with MXToolbox

MXToolbox is a powerful tool that can help you view the information in over 100 blacklists. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Enter your server IP address or domain name.
  2. Click on the “Blacklist Check” button.
MXToolbox
  1. Get the information you need.

Done! A green checkmark means that your server or domain is not found on the list.

Another good alternative to MXToolbox is Ultratools.

What to do if your IP address or domain name is on the email blacklist?

Before proceeding to remove yourself from the list, make sure you’ve identified why you got on it and resolved all issues. You need to ensure you meet all the requirements for honest and transparent mailings by 110%.

Note! The first removal is usually simple and doesn’t bring any adverse consequences because companies are sympathetic to this situation. But if you are a repeat offender, antispam services may no longer want to remove your address from blacklists.

Email blacklist: removal from the blacklist using Spamhaus

Let’s see how the removal from Spamhaus is carried out. It’s considered one of the most serious and authoritative blacklists since it has a direct impact on the delivery of emails to a lot of domain names.

  1. Log in to the removal center, where you need to enter your domain or IP address. If you are an owner, then you should have already received the corresponding blocking notification.
  2. The notification will tell you what the problem is. Get busy fixing it. Let’s say the reason lies in an unauthorized mass mailing to a list of unverified addresses.
  3. Spamhaus suggests sending them an email explaining what happened, as well as a list of the steps taken to make the problem a thing of the past. The list of actions usually looks standard, e.g., “Now I use reCAPTCHA to prevent bots from subscribing to the newsletter;” “I use double opt-in to eliminate the risk of any unwanted subscriptions;” etc.
  4. After you send an email, the team will give an official answer within 24 hours. There can be two options: your address will be successfully removed from the blacklist, or they will send you the additional requirements that will need to be met for Spamhaus to fulfill your request.

How do you avoid email blacklisting?

Prevention is the best cure. Here’s what you can do to prevent your mail from being blacklisted:

  • Only send emails to prospects that have explicitly permitted you to do so.
  • Configure SPF record and DKIM in DNS.
  • Make sure you have a valid PTR record that matches your outgoing public IP address and your mail server name (also, the hostname must match the same IP address).
  • Enable SSL to encrypt the connection between the mail client and the server.
  • Ask your customers to add your email address to their contact list.
  • And, most importantly, make sure your prospect lists are verified and there are no untrusted email addresses in them.

Snov.io Email Verifier can help you with the last point. This tool allows both individual and bulk email validation. After verification, you’ll see three types of statuses – “valid,” “invalid,” and “unverifiable” (marked by green, yellow, and red colors). 

Wrapping up

Blacklists are not there to make your life difficult but to ensure there is no abuse when sending emails to the masses. You must be 100% sure that you provide your leads with valuable content and don’t flood the inbox of those who haven’t even signed up to subscribe.

If you do everything right, without bypassing the rules, then your reputation is unlikely to suffer. You can read more about it in one of our blog posts.

Salutation

Selecting a proper greeting is a tough task because casual daily salutations aren’t always suitable for formal business correspondence. The choice of a greeting always depends on the context and the communication strategy you use to establish strong relationships with your prospect.

Salutation definition

A salutation is a word or phrase used for greeting a recipient in business or personal correspondence. 

There are two types of salutations — formal and informal (casual). The most commonly used salutations in emails are “Dear” and “Hi/Hey,” followed by the recipient’s title or name.

salutation example

Selecting an appropriate business salutation

Before you send a message, you need to know at least some information about your recipient to greet them by their name. It helps you avoid any mistakes or misunderstandings and gives space for personalized modifications to your salutation.

Consider the following points:

  • How close you are with the recipient. If you are quite friendly with them, the best idea is to use their first name.
  • The purpose of the email you are writing and its style. If you are creating a formal business email, it’s better to use a formal salutation.

Sometimes, there are cases when you neither know the name of the recipient nor have any additional information about them. In this case, you might be better off beginning the email with a simple “Hello.”

salutation examples

Formal business salutations

Business greeting depends on how you want to approach your recipients. Context and intention are crucial, as they influence the way you present your message, the way it can be perceived, and the recipient’s impression of you.

One of the safest ways to begin your formal business letter is to address the recipient with “Dear Name.” At the same time, you better avoid gendered salutations like “Dear Sir or Madam” because they can be petty, exclusive, and offensive. Besides, they show you didn’t do your research. Meanwhile, gender-neutral language will let you come across as polite.

The closing phrase is as important as the greeting part, as it gives your prospect a strong feeling of respect. The tone of your closing salutation should be harmonious with the tone of the greeting. Some formal examples are:

  • “Best regards” 
  • “Respectfully”
  • “Best wishes”

Casual salutations

If you are writing to a friend or a close colleague, or if your business marketing campaign has a target to look as friendly as possible, it’s good to choose a casual greeting. Some examples of casual salutations are:

  • “Good morning / afternoon / evening”
  • “Hello” / “Hi” / “Hey”
  • “How are you?” / “How are you doing?” / “How is it going?” / “How’s everything?”
  • “Greetings”

Think carefully about your corporate culture and branding strategy before starting your email with a casual salutation in a large-scale email drip campaign.

Email drip campaigns

Creative and personalized alternative salutations

Formal and neutral casual salutations are a safe choice, but they can be boring, especially when you realize that your recipient probably has hundreds of such emails in their Inbox. Sometimes you need a fresh breeze!

Try to use personalization and segmentation techniques to adjust your message to your audience. This way, you will show your clients that you care and that you remember some details about them. 

The weather is often the best ice-breaking topic. However, you should know the recipient’s current location or live in the same area to make sure you are on the same page:

  • “Did we catch you enjoying the summer sunsets, Peter?”
  • “It’s a delightful day today, isn’t it, Jane?”
  • “Snowball fight or skiing today, Peter?”

These are greetings you can follow-up with after you send your recipients some useful info:

  • “I hope [The last file you sent] was helpful!”
  • “Was the information about [Client’s pain point] useful?”

And here’s how you can exchange opinions about something both of you know commonly known things:

  • “Have you seen that new [Industry-related lecture]?” 
  • “It’s been a whole month/year/decade since [Sales event]! Can you believe it?”
  • “Did you see the crazy news about [Industry-related news]?”

All these variants sound friendly, and if your marketing strategy allows casual style, they can make a good impression on the reader.

Unacceptable salutations

An inappropriate greeting can spoil your whole message. Avoid abbreviations, shortenings, and slang words. You might think that such phrases sound friendly, but the prospect isn’t your homie and can consider you overfamiliar and disrespectful. 

Examples of inappropriate salutations: 

  • “:-)”
  • “Yo!”
  • “Howdy!”
  • “G’day mate!”
  • “Sup?” or “Whazzup?”
  • “Hiya!”
  • “TTYL”

One more way to get on your prospect’s nerves is by using foreign words. Instead of adding uniqueness, they can cause confusion. The recipient might misunderstand the phrase, or it might appear politically incorrect.

Bottom line

If you want to show that you care about the recipient, use fresh and personalized salutations in your emails. But first ensure they align with your corporate style, branding, and marketing guidelines. 

To make sure your work brings fruit, use professional platforms like Snov.io, designed to create successful cold outreach campaigns. It will help you skyrocket your email deliverability, nurture, engage, and smoothly convert leads. 

Sales outreach

In B2B sales, you are always engaged in some sort of outreach as you are trying to contact the prospect and build meaningful relations with them. But the term doesn’t boil down to just making connections. So what does outreach in sales mean?

Sales outreach is the process of reaching out to potential and former customers via phone calls, emails, messaging, and social media to engage them in cooperation and persuade them to make a purchase. 

The main challenge of a B2B sales outreach is contacting the right business, the right people, at the right time, and with the right offering. 

Sales outreach has close tights with sales prospecting methodologies, which represent two sales approaches: inbound and outbound.

Balance between inbound and outbound sales 

The key rule to a successful sales outreach lies within a unique strategy to balance between inbound and outbound sales methods. The primary difference between them is the origin of your leads. 

  • Inbound sales presuppose that leads get interested in your company themselves. They reach you to inquire more about your product or service, hence, the prefix IN in the term.
  • In outbound sales, you reach potential customers who have not expressed interest in your business yet. The prefix OUT means that you figuratively go out to prospect for leads. The typical outbound sales techniques include cold calling, cold emails, and automated emails. 
inbound vs outbound

Sales outreach strategy tactics

As mentioned, balancing between inbound and outbound sales opportunities is a key point of a sales outreach strategy, i.e., a set of tactics your company should use to attract new businesses to your product or service. 

Here are six sales outreach strategy tactics to help you improve your conversions and boost sales:

Identify your best customers

Probably around half of the prospects are not always a good fit for what you are selling. So the first thing to do for your effective sales outreach is to understand your ideal customer profile. In other words, you should have a hypothetical image of a company that would be the best candidate for purchasing your product or service. 

To define the ideal customer profile, you should use firmographics, including the company’s:

  • size
  • average revenue
  • industry
  • location

Choose what buyer personas to contact

As soon as you’ve identified who your ideal customer is, you need to understand the roles your buyer personas have in their company to come out with a corresponding messaging strategy. After that, you’ll be able to prioritize them. 

For example, you may first choose to speak to a purchasing specialist, i.e., an employee responsible for communications with potential vendors, or be lucky to reach a decision-maker. No matter whom you are going to contact, your communication should be adapted to the prospect’s position.

Outline your communication

You can’t start reaching your potential clients if you are not prepared for the conversation. As such, you should identify:

  • your prospect’s primary projects and responsibilities
  • several ways on how your company may ease their daily work
  • their main goals and pain points
  • your business’s solutions to help them reach their goals 

This way, you’ll sketch your forthcoming communication and ensure it’ll be relevant to your prospect.

Determine the outreach channel

Now that you know the specifics of your buyer persona and have mapped their needs and your ways to fulfill them, you have the last thing to think about — how you’ll reach your prospect

Keep in mind that the choice of the communication channel must solely depend on their activity, not your common way of contacting your customers. So, don’t start sending a sales outreach email or giving your first call if, for instance, you’ve noticed that your prospect is an active LinkedIn user. In this case, you should make the first interaction on this platform. 

On the other hand, if you see that your potential customer has already joined your email list and is highly engaged with your content, there’s nothing better than getting to them right through their Inbox.

Start with a personalized message

Remember that the best way to start cooperating with your prospective customer is to build trust with them. That’s where personalization is a must. It makes your prospect feel you’ve done your homework and know what they need. There’s no surprise that personalized email campaigns get an 18.8% open rate

When conducting outreach, ensure you’ve customized your message with the prospect’s data, and that the problem you are about to highlight in your message is relevant and burning. 

Record outreach in your CRM

Make sure all your interactions are documented in your CRM. If you haven’t started using a CRM, it’s high time to think about it. It will enable you to keep all outreach information in one place, share it with your team, and access the data whenever you need it. 

CRM software use by industry
Source: ScienceSoft

Tips on how to outreach effectively

Now that you know how to build your sales outreach strategy, here are several tips on how to implement it in the best way.

Use a sales outreach automation tool

To enhance your sales outreach, you’ll most likely need good automation software among sales outreach tools. It will save your time, increase productivity, and work as a one-for-all platform to record your sales results. 

Snov.io is a perfect solution for your sales outreach ambitions. It contains sales prospecting, email messaging, and campaign analytics tools gathered within one platform, which, by the way, you may try for free. 

email finder

Target the right leads

93% of B2B buying processes start with an online search. Although the web seems to be a vast space for getting prospects, finding those who will convert is rather challenging. 

The biggest mistake you may make is trying to chase as many potential clients as you can. Going after any lead will cost you tons of wasted time. As an outcome, the percentage of deals that will never close will grow, causing the loss of productivity and overall frustration.

Not to face this unpleasant moment, you should always have a clear vision of your perfect lead and target only those prospects who fit your ideal customer profile.

Always stay engaged

Sales outreach requires lots of energy and daily hours of active work. That’s a never-ending process. You should get in touch with new prospects, send follow-ups to those who stay cold, and be quick to respond to any prospect’s requests that arise. 

Keep in mind that about 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. So, the golden rule for your successful sales outreach is:

‘Not any touchpoint with the potential customer should be missed.’ 

Value your time

Just like with sales prospecting, not all leads whom you’ve already tried to contact and followed up will decide to consider your offer. Much fewer will decide to purchase it. 

You can’t continue following up forever. At a certain point, it will become too pushy and just useless. As some sales gurus claim, you need at least five follow-ups on average for 80% of successful sales cases. So, if you did all you could, stop and switch to other prospects. 

Implement a ‘Smarketing’ outreach approach

Sales and marketing teams should never operate separately. Ensuring that both share the information about your customer outreach, you’ll be able to achieve 38% higher win rates. That’s why successful companies already use the term ‘Smarketing’ to explain the necessity of aligning their sales and marketing efforts. 

To make your sales and marketing outreach go hand in hand, you should have a single customer journey and customer persona in mind. You should also match messaging throughout the whole campaign, work together to analyze the client feedback, and continue cooperating at a post-sale and retention stages. 

Wrapping up

Sales outreach is a crucial part of your sales routine. If done correctly, it’ll bring you desired conversions, closed deals, and customer loyalty. That’s why you should plan ahead and come up with effective outreach strategies that will help you achieve your sales goals. 

Stay proactive, build your ideal customer profile, and Snov.io will do the rest — our platform will automate your sales outreach efforts and keep your data safe in one place. 

Call-back

You’ll find dozens of recommendations to build your sales strategy so that you won’t allow prospects to control the sales cycle. That means you should be persuasive enough with your cold calling

But what if 92% of CEOs never respond to cold calls at all? That mustn’t be a reason to stop trying to reach them. At least you can ask your prospect for a call-back.

What is a call-back in sales?

A sales call-back is a prospect’s call you expect to get after leaving a voicemail message. In fact, 97% of sales calls end up going to voicemail. But what’s incredible is that 80% of salespeople don’t leave a voice message when given a chance. Meanwhile, this is a perfect sales opportunity. What you should understand is how to make the best of it.

Voicemail to callback
Source: Sales Hacker

Tips on how to increase the number of call-backs from your customers

Here are seven tips on how you may grow your chances of getting a prospect’s call-back.

Do research

Expecting a call-back, you should be sure you’ve done your homework. In other words, you should gather data in advance to demonstrate your knowledge of what your prospect is doing on the market. Try to grasp specific information about the company, something that others might not be aware of. 

Don’t sell

If you start offering your solution right away, youl risk killing the opportunity to receive a call-back at all. Instead, come up with something relevant to your prospects. Around 63% of companies think more positively of a brand if it gave them relevant content. 

The best way to do this is to set a Google alert for a company you will be calling in two or three weeks. That way, Google will send you all the updates about your prospect, which you may use as a hook. 

Be timely

Make sure you don’t offer anything beyond the relevant timeframe. Remember that 81% of companies want brands to understand when to approach them and when not. To make a prospect dial a call back number, you should come in with an offer that would be aligned with the time of the year, urgency, and customer buying cycle.

Stand out

Your offer shouldn’t just be relevant. If you want to catch attention with your voicemail and get your prospect to call you back, be ready to say something they haven’t heard about before (in the realm of their business, of course). If you feel it’s a bit difficult, start with a rhetorical question that would provoke some thoughts and differentiate you. 

Don’t talk about the weather

Making an attention-grabbing lead-in for your message, avoid talking about the weather, current social events, and any other topics that may sound too artificial, especially, for decision-makers who have been long in the business world and are reluctant to waste their time on shallow issues. 

Bring value

Ensure your communication with the potential buyer is value-bringing. It doesn’t mean you should present the top features of your product at once. Remember: a good sales rep always speaks about the customer, not about themselves. Focus on your prospect’s goal and connect reaching that goal with your interaction, i.e., with their call-back. 

Get prepared for every call

Don’t count on a call-back if you are planning to repeat the same script over and over again. About 59% of customers say that personalization influences their purchase decision. Find some time to make your message personalized, so that it could sound genuine.

Email drip campaigns

Effective voicemail script techniques and examples for getting a sales call-back

To help you make up voicemail messages that would bring more call-backs, we have compiled a list of script techniques and examples. They will be presented as templates you may use in your practice.

Use a lever

As mentioned in the previous section, your voicemail shouldn’t sound like a cold call. Use a lever that would relate to the prospect you are trying to reach, for example:

  • People you might know in common
  • Customers’ testimonials in similar businesses
  • History shared with the prospect

Let’s take a look at the voicemail message sample that contains a lever:

“Hi [Prospect’s name], 

This is [Your name] from [Your company]. I liked and supported your comment on LinkedIn about [LinkedIn post] you left in [LinkedIn group] on [Date]. 

I would like to have a brief chat with you. 

Please call me back at [Your phone number]. 

Thanks!”

Be helpful

Another tactic you can apply to your sales voicemail script is providing help, i.e, something your prospects may consider a real value. For instance:

  • Hint on your possibility to provide options for saving their time and money. 
  • Point out how you can simplify their sales process.
  • Provide an answer to something they want to know or are interested in.

IMPORTANT: Using this technique, you should be careful not to sound too salesy. 

Here’s an example of a script that highlights how helpful you may be to your potential clients:

“Hi [Prospect’s name], 

This is [Your name] from [Your company]. I have found out that your sales have fallen in 2020. That’s true about the majority of companies, yet we managed to help our customers maintain and even increase their revenue this year. 

I have a solution that may streamline your sales process next year.

If you could give me a call-back at [Your phone number], we would discuss this opportunity in detail.

Thanks!”

Create a FOMO effect

Try to play to a fear of loss in your sales voicemail script. That would motivate your prospect to find out what is hidden behind your offer. In particular, they might get interested if you hint that:

  • Something might be wrong with their account.
  • They are the only ones who have not called you back. 

Here’s a template of a brief script that creates a FOMO effect:

“Hi [Prospect’s name], 

This is [Your name] from [Your company]. I am at [Your phone number]. 

Please, call me back. Again, I am at [Your phone number]. 

Thanks!”

Create a sense of urgency

Add a timeline within which your prospect may call you back to arouse the feeling of urgency. With this technique, you’ll also again convey a FOMO effect.

Let’s take a look at the template script:

“Hi [Prospect’s name], 

This is [Your name] from [Your company]. I am trying to call you before the end of the day [Your phone number] with an important issue to discuss.  

Please, call me back. Again, I am at [Your phone number]. 

Thanks!”

IMPORTANT: The urgency you create should be real. If, say, you tell your prospect their free trial expires when it isn’t, this will only spoil your image and avert them from cooperating with you at all. 

Keep in mind that you may combine various voicemail script techniques. Make it creative but up to the point. 

Wrapping up

Most of your business prospects won’t buy from you instantly. Even more, the majority of your prospective customers won’t reply to your cold call. But this can’t be the point of disappointment. 

Remember, you can always go to a voicemail and do your best to get a prospect’s call-back. Tactics are plenty. Plan your sales voicemail script and make sure your message isn’t too pitchy and sounds worthy of their attention. 

And don’t forget that Snov.io is always here to help you develop your sales strategy. 

Business email

Business email has become the main way of communication at work that plays a significant role in building rapport with chief executives, customers, sponsors, suppliers, and partners. 

When setting up a triggered email campaign, there are many details to consider, including the priority — the business email address and the business email format.

Let’s start with the business email address definition first.

What is a business email address?

A business email address is simply an email used specifically for your organization. It includes the company’s name, for example, my@snov.io. The addresses of the CEO and their team are usually formatted in the same way.

Business email address examples

The correct name for an email inbox from a corporate culture point of view is:

  1.  For an employee: employee’s name + @ + company’s domain
    E.g., john.doe@mydomain.by
  1. For a department or a related group of people: group name/department + @ + company’s domain
    E.g., marketing.department@mydomain.by

Corporate mail is a way of advertising. The reason is that the company’s name will be displayed on every contact and will always be seen, which increases brand awareness.

Please note! Before sending business letters, you need to create a professional website, register a domain, and set up your email address correctly.

What is a proper business email format?

For a business email to look right, it’s important to know the structure first. It helps convey your message clearly. Poorly formatted email can make a bad impression.

The correct business email format should include such elements:

  • Sender name;
  • Subject line;
  • Preheader;
  • Greeting;
  • Email body;
  • Sign off and signature.

Structure your business email so that the first sentences of the body text clearly explain what it is about. The final sentences should summarize your letter. A call-to-action (CTA) is appropriate here, which will tell the reader what to do next and how.

Below we will tell you more about each element.

Sender name, subject line, and preheader

The sender name, subject line, and preheader are the first thing your readers will see. Their first impression will determine whether they will open your letter. 

Your sender name shouldn’t be just a random email address. Make sure it includes a company name or an employee’s name. Another way to convey a personal touch is to send emails using this pattern: First Name at/from Company.

Sender name

It’s also essential not to forget that the subject line should be short, from six to ten words, and carry specific information. Otherwise, what’s the use of it if people can’t read it? For example:

Lastly, a preheader is used to summarize an email message and usually consists of one sentence. The subject line and headline text can — and should — work together to arouse your readers’ interest so that they open your email. 

Subject line and pre-header

Greeting

It’s not so simple when it comes to writing a greeting because you need to understand whether you are addressing your audience formally or friendly. Don’t forget that we are talking about business correspondence, and your tone needs to be appropriate. 

For example: 

  • Dear Mrs. Smith, I’m writing to you in response to… (very formal)
  • Dear Mary, I would like to tell you… (formal)
  • Hi Barbara, we are glad to see you on our team… (friendly)
Greetings

Email body

No one reads huge one-paragraph messages with great enthusiasm. Get to the point quickly and write short paragraphs with one or two sentences. Brevity will add more clarity. It’s also a wonderful idea to use bulleted or numbered lists. For example:

Email body

And don’t forget about the CTA!

Sign-off and signature

Sign-off is the conclusion of the email. Yes, it’s crucial to write a well-thought-out body of your message, but it’s just as important how you end a business letter if you want to leave a positive impression on the reader. For instance, here are the best sign-off options according to Boomerang:

Sign-off

At the end of your message, add a prominent email signature that will help your reader find all the information they need about you. It usually has 4-7 lines of text. All you want to include is your name, job title, company name, email, website link, social media accounts, and phone number. For example:

Signature

Good vs. bad business email examples

Example of a bad business email

Here’s an example of how you shouldn’t write business letters. Take a minute to read it and see what is wrong there.

Example of bad business email

This is the worst way to present your project. It looks sloppy, and the subject line is too short and vague. Yes, it shouldn’t be too long, but one word isn’t enough in this case. With a subject line like this, you even risk getting hit by a spam filter. 

Pay attention to the body of the supposedly business letter. This is one big paragraph that is impossible to focus on. A solution here will be adding a bullet list and paragraphs. 

Besides, don’t forget about the most important thing — there are typos here. In the text, you may notice some of them, for example, the word “make” is written twice. You should also avoid poorly formulated phrases. 

Finally, it’s worth noting that the sign-off is too informal for most business letters. Plus, there isn’t even a signature. How will the new team figure out who the sender of this strange letter is and how to contact them if needed?

Example of a good business email

This re-formatted email will help a sender build a more professional image in the eyes of the recipient.

Example of a good business email

When you look at this business email, you will immediately notice that it’s ready to be sent, and the recipient will probably read it with pleasure. So, what’s changed?

  1. The subject line has changed dramatically. It’s now the ideal length of 6 to 10 words as well as clear and specific.
  2. The updated greeting makes it clear to whom the letter is addressed — to new team members.
  3. The introduction, body, and sign-off are not cobbled together into one huge paragraph, as in the previous example. The body text is broken down into short parts and includes a numbered list. This makes it easier to perceive information. And there’s also a CTA in the sign-off that invites readers to contact the sender in case they have any questions.

If you want to start sending free business emails right now, sign up on our website and use the Snov.io Email Drip Campaigns tool.

email drip campaigns

Wrapping up

Business email is critical to achieving your business goals. If you use this marketing tool incorrectly, then you will only damage the image of your company. Think well about how your business emails will be phrased and formatted. For inspiration and knowledge, you can always visit our blog to start doing it right.

BASHO email

It’s a known fact for marketers and salespeople that personalized content increases the email open rate. But even though such emails deliver six times higher transaction rates, 70% of brands fail to use them. 

When it comes to sales, the main challenge is: how is it possible to send a highly personalized email to a recipient with whom you are not in personal contact? The strategy has been found — now sales reps, especially in the SaaS world, use a BASHO email.

What is a BASHO email?

A BASHO email is a personalized B2B message commonly addressed to decision-makers and aimed at getting the first phone call or meeting with them. Being a type of cold email, it helps a sales rep get a prospect’s attention by showing their understanding of the prospect’s needs and pain points.

The term ‘BASHO email’ emerged owing to Jeff Hoffmann, a world-renowned sales trainer and entrepreneur under the Basho brand, hence the name. Now, this innovation is in the toolkit of many sales representatives due to its high efficiency.

Why use BASHO emails?

The one-size-fits-all approach in marketing and sales is not what today’s reality calls for. 88% of users are more likely to respond to an email if it looks like it’s been specifically created for them. With this data in mind, using a BASHO email comes as the best cold outreach strategy because:

It rockets conversion
Some companies that used BASHO emails as a part of their sales strategy were able to get up to a 65% response rate. Even if you don’t always convert a lead to a customer, you will be able to leave a good impression, which may be later paid off with re-engaged or referral leads.

It helps you reach top decision-makers
It’s not easy to reach people of influence by phone. You may spend lots of time on a telephone conversation with representatives, but with a BASHO email, chances to get right to the CEO are higher.

You may use it not only for sales
A highly personalized BASHO email strategy may be applicable among B2B marketers for collaboration offers or guest blogging. 

It’s not difficult to start
If you have not incorporated a BASHO email into your strategy, you don’t need to have special skills to try it. That’s the case when the experience comes with action. You just need to understand the basic principles of composing such an email. 

email finder

How to write a top-quality BASHO email?

You are going to reach out to people whom you do not know in person and who most likely hold managing positions. This is why you should arrange your BASHO email so that it will stand out among the rest in their busy inbox and catch their eye with its content. We provide you with 5 tips on how to create your BASHO email step-by-step.

Research

The first important step of writing a good BASHO email is the research you are to do in advance. Without it, your email has all chances to be deleted by the recipient. Think of a person whom you will write. 

Find their social media profile — LinkedIn or Twitter will be helpful in this case. Pay special attention to personal information and their activity. It’s also recommended to look at their company’s profile. You may find valuable data about a brand’s product, current events, and growth plans. Use an Email Finder to get a prospect’s email from their social media pages.

For example, by looking through a LinkedIn profile of a targeted lead, Tony Smirge, you may see his position, the company’s name, as well as some descriptive personal information you can further use in your BASHO email to build a contact with the prospect: 

LinkedIn profile example

*Any resemblance to real people or businesses is purely coincidental.

Elaborate on a proper subject line

47% of people open emails based on the subject. Since your email will be targeted to a person in a chief position, it will take them seconds to decide whether it’s worth opening at all.  

Your subject line must be specific and direct. Avoid phrases that may sound too buddy or salesy. If you are going to offer a solution that will help the company you are reaching to grow its product, in the subject line, it’s better to highlight your prospect’s goal rather than what you offer. 

Make a hook

To keep your message personal and relevant, begin it with a hook by connecting the information you have found about your targeted prospect with your offer. 

For instance, based on your previous LinkedIn research, you know that your prospect is an ambitious person who is always up for a challenge. Trying to find additional information about him, you might have found that he is running a blog, where he shares some bright business ideas. So you’ll start your email by sharing your impressions about his articles. This way, you will demonstrate you are well-prepared and highly interested. 

Highlight the added value of your product or service

Think about how your product or service may add value to your prospect’s goals. This part of your email will be the most important. Based on how persuasive you will be, the prospect will decide whether there is any use reading your message.

Remember about call-to-action

Even if your prospect has read your email, that is not the goal you are pursuing. There must be a clear call-to-action, for example, a phone call. Specify how much time it will take (it’s better to start with a short call). Otherwise, your client will hardly agree to have any phone conversation, thinking it might be too time-consuming. 

Here is an example of a BASHO email that you could write to the above-mentioned prospect:

BASHO email example

Wrapping it up

Cold email outreach is not easy, especially if your goal is to establish contact with decision-makers. A highly personalized BASHO email enables you to do it easier and faster. Research to better understand the prospect’s needs and pain points, break the ice with your BASHO email, and your potential clients will be more tempted to respond. 

Sales pitch

Crafting a good sales pitch that will encourage your clients to take the next steps with you is tough. Some marketers come up with great sales pitch ideas but forget that it’s not only about figures, results, and facts that you throw at your customer. Rather, there are fundamental elements that need to be included in sales decks.

What is a sales pitch?

A sales pitch (also known as a sales presentation) is a short presentation of your product or service to new or existing customers to persuade them to make a purchase. It can take up to 20 minutes, vary in length and style depending on the audience, and include an introduction to a product, documents, diagrams, or other advertising media. 

Still, short pitching is better, as brevity is the soul of wit. 1-3 minutes will be enough for a perfect pitch to describe the product’s benefits and grab the customer’s attention. In your pitch, you should explain how your product can help people and how they can generate revenue with its help.

Recipe for the best sales pitch

Step 1. Know your customers  

Know your buyer persona and find out customers’ needs beforehand and draw attention to the product’s features that can solve their problems. If you can’t clearly understand what they’ll gain with your solution, then they’ll have no reason to buy it. Explain how your product can save time, cut costs, increase profits, etc. Be prepared to give an example of how you already helped someone. 

Know your customers

Step 2. Concentrate on communicating 

A successful sales pitch is a dialogue rather than a monologue. People often ask questions, and it’s a great chance to include them in a discussion and build a relationship with your potential customers. Listen attentively and show how exactly your product offers a solution to their issue. Wendy Weiss, a sales coach, also known as The Queen of Cold Calling, says:

A good pitch is one where you ask questions, listen to the prospects, and offer them a solution to a problem.

Step 3. Outshine the competition

Everybody has a competitor. You’ve got to know your market to show your special secret.

Tell the main feature that makes you different from others. How are you better than your competitors?

Step 4. Tell a story to create a connection  

With the story of your brand and product that supports your statements, you can quickly involve a modern customer to want to know more. When you do this efficiently, you will set a strong connection between you and your customer. Prospects often correlate successful stories to their life, and this brings them more reasons to buy.

Tell a story to create a connection
(Source of statistics

Step 5. Be enthusiastic and emotional

Show your passion and dedication to the product. Emotions are contagious. Bring life to your pitch! If you’re not passionate about it, why should anyone else be? 

Step 6. Add confidence to your speech

Assure an audience that your pitch is worth listening to and make people feel confident about purchasing what you’re pitching. Once you’ve created your pitch, practice until you feel confident presenting it in front of customers. Practice makes perfect.

Step 7. Call to action 

Don’t cut your pitch with a simple “Thank you.” Do your best to attract customers’ emotional attention. Build a connection with them so that they are ready to convert and throw money at you before you leave or so that they certainly want to get in touch with you. 

Here’s one of the best sales pitch examples to close a deal. Take a look at the previously outlined points.

Step 8. Learn from others

There’s plenty of useful sales pitch templates, scripts, examples, and success stories on the internet. Get inspiration from what others have created or check out videos where experienced entrepreneurs share their secrets to the perfect sales pitch.

What to include in your sales presentation

Draw the attention to your visuals that back up your speech. You may use posters, handouts, whiteboards, etc. 

The most commonly used form of visual aid now is a PowerPoint presentation. But be careful with it. Omit long-text slides, as well as bullets and numbers, as they may often distract people from the verbal pitch. Besides, many customers find pitches with slides boring. Just go with a headline or images to keep the audience engaged. 

Present your company logo. A picture’s worth a thousand words. The customer looks at the logo, remembers it, and then focuses on a sales rep, listening to reasons it’s worth attention. 

Email drip campaigns

What are the sales presentation tips?

David Rose, a serial entrepreneur and investor, defines top five presentation tips:

  1. Never look at the screen. You’re making a connection with people; the screen should be an addition to what you’re doing, not a replacement. 
  2. Don’t read your speech. 
  3. The handouts you give are not your presentation. The purpose of your pitch is to attract the customer’s attention. If you want to give more detailed information, prepare handouts.
  4. Always use a remote control. Don’t disturb people by touching the computer all the time.
  5. Always use presenter mode. It lets you know exactly where you’re going, helps take your time, and gives you a timer.
Sales pitch presentation

Wrapping it up

Use the aforementioned tips to succeed with your pitch. It’s extremely important to present a crystal clear brief outline of your product that will raise customers’ awareness and leave a trace to think and certainly close a sale!

Cold call

Some people might say that cold calling is dead. But many companies, be that startups or Fortune 500 businesses, still use it to successfully drive revenue.

What is cold calling?

As opposed to warm calling, where there is already an established connection, cold calling is defined as making an unsolicited call to a prospect. Because there is no established communication, the prospect is not expecting the call.

Cold calling isn’t particularly a salesperson’s favorite thing, as the rate of success is low, and the time put into it is high. But don’t let the following numbers discourage you, make them encourage you to do better cold calls:

Upsides of cold calling

Because the success rates are low, many companies view cold calling as a dead sales technique. Still, despite the bad reputation, it’s a vital component of B2B sales that has quite a few advantages, as it’s: 

Personalized

The power of hearing a human being on the other side of the phone line helps personalize the pitch in a way cold emails can’t. A cold email can be easily thrown away, just like direct mail.

Informative

There’s much to say about a human touch when calling a prospect, whether it be a cold or warm call. A cold email can give some information, but a salesperson can be asked questions and give answers without wasting the prospects’ time on researching the product (which is something no one wants to do!). 

Easy to follow-up

If nothing else, making the 2nd call gives you the chance to give an even more personalized experience, make a business connection, and hopefully make a sale (or, at least, come closer to making it). Often prospects will want to be given time to decide, and multiple calls and meetings can help.

email verifier

How to cold call effectively

With research into potential prospects, tenacity, patience while being rejected, and a good script, you can eventually make a sale. When making a cold call, there are some helpful guidelines to stick to:

Prepare your opening statement ahead of time

You don’t want to ask questions that may derail your sales pitch, nor do you want to come off rude, so have a solid opening for your pitch.

Prepare a script for any possible calls

This also includes scripts for situations when the call goes south. You want to know prior to any cold call how you will handle it, no matter what mood your prospects are in or what questions they may have.

Make sure your data on the prospect is up-to-date

It’s important to know who you are talking to and how to approach them. Be prepared by knowing everything you can about the company and the person you are contacting.

Listen to the prospect, don’t do all the talking

Once you get through your opening statement, a cold call should turn into an interaction, which requires letting the prospect talk and ask questions.

Be persistent

Don’t give up on your sale; prospects need time to decide, and that takes more calling them and more patience on your part.

Ask for the 2nd meeting

Tell your prospect you would like to meet and be specific, e.g., “I’m getting coffee at 2 pm, would it be a good time to meet to discuss this more?”

Be friendly

This may be obvious, but be nice to everyone, as this reflects upon your character in a positive way.

Downsides of cold calling

As we’ve mentioned in the cold calling definition, it means you are just showing up out of the blue, not completely knowing if prospects will be interested. Despite some tips, you have to be prepared to get many rejections, including being hung up on and having your number blocked. At such a low rate of success, you have to choose whether you find it worth the time.

Cold calling can be tedious with no guaranteed success. So, in this highly technological age, cold emails, social media interactions, and new technology are much more utilized. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it. It just means that it takes more time and effort to do.

email finder

Unfortunately, most prospects do not like cold calling. Scam artists and spammers frequently use it as a method to defraud, which hampers the effectiveness of legitimate cold calling. In the US, it’s even harder to cold call now. Due to infinite robocalls, the government has set up Do Not Call Registry laws, which in theory keeps spammers from contacting you on your personal phone. This law doesn’t apply to companies, but it makes people wary of unknown numbers. 

So, you can no longer be sure your call is even going to be picked up when making a cold call. If you are not picked up, either leave a message or try again later.

Wrapping up

Indeed, cold calling is not a popular marketing strategy anymore, but it is still used widely. The key to its success is patience and preparation of what you will say as soon as the phone is picked up on the other end. Don’t get discouraged by the lack of positive responses – for every hundred you call, there’s at least one diamond in there. 

In cold calling, you have precisely one chance to get it right. Make those scripts and practice a lot. Learn everything you can about your prospects and demonstrate you have done your homework on them and their company. Be confident and be among 37% of salespeople who don’t mind doing cold calls at all.

Cold email

To sell a product or service, it’s essential to use a complex approach that will help spread information and get prospective buyers to go further and learn more about your offer. Having determined the target audience, you need to think over the channels that allow delivering data right into users’ hands. And when making a plan of action, don’t forget cold emails as they are one of the most productive means.

What is a cold email?

In short, a cold email is an initial email you send to a potential customer without prior contact. The notion of “cold emails” may bring to mind “cold phone calls.” Although the concepts seem very much alike, in reality, emails are much less obtrusive.

Cold email vs. spam

You may wonder if cold emails may be referred to as spam? Not always. First, you address your target audience who may be interested in the provided data. Unlike bulk emailing, your message will be personalized and include no false or prohibited content. Besides, you can check our blog article on how to avoid spam filters when sending out cold emails to new leads.

Cold email vs. spam

Why is cold emailing important?

These days it is hardly possible to find a person who doesn’t have an online mailbox. Almost everybody prefers using technology instead of classic paper letters. It means that you can find your target audience online, no matter the age.

The Internet has penetrated all the spheres of everyday life and made it easy to find and purchase the desired products. Thus, sellers acquired unlimited opportunities for marketing. With minimum effort, they can deliver any service to those who may need it. 

Here are some of the uses for cold emails:

  • Lead generation: This is the most common reason for cold emailing. 89% of marketers use email as the primary channel for lead generation. All you need is just email addresses of prospects in your target market.
  • Invitation: If you’re doing a podcast, having a workshop, or having a webinar, inviting people by cold emailing can help build a productive relationship.
  • Market research: You might need to identify the pain points of your target market or to validate your startup idea. Cold emailing is one of the ways of doing your research.
  • Hiring: People that you need might be working for someone else but looking for other opportunities. LinkedIn and email are the best ways to contact them.

How to create a quality cold email?

It’s not easy to stand out above others when attempting to promote your business. The probability that computer and mobile device users will open a letter from an unknown sender isn’t too high. Still, there are many ways that can help you design a good letter that will draw recipients’ attention and make them read the contents. 

Provided that the recipients are not the ones you know in person, make sure your emails are well-arranged. Below you will find useful tips that can help you compose a letter that will have a viable chance to be opened.

Go over the mailing list

It should include only those who may be interested in your offer. Make use of lead generation techniques: detect users who once visited your website and, say, subscribed to newsletters or filled in the request form. Then, add them to your list. These people already have a clear idea about your product or service and may find it interesting. 

Browse forums or social media like LinkedIn and see who left comments and asked questions concerning your business. For bulk email search and verification, use professional tools like Snov.io

Represent yourself

Make sure you fill in the “from” and “to” fields appropriately and make up a good cold email subject line. Imagine that the recipient is expecting your email and act accordingly. It’s essential to avoid any kind of cheating and selling phrases. They may get the person to open your email; however, once the bluff is detected, you are likely to be blocked forever.

Don’t forget to add all kinds of contact info, including the phone number and the address of your office. You can arrange them in your signature. Adding links to your pages on social media channels can come in very handy.

Do's and don'ts for cold email

Prepare a good text

If you use cold email templates, make sure your mail doesn’t look spammy or contain standard advertising phrases and slogans that may arouse distrust. Be neat, concise, and exact. Recipients should find it easy to figure out why they received your email. Don’t make them search for the actual point of the message.

Don’t overload the email with images, links, and fancy fonts

Although the use of pictures and videos is an effective way to reach potential customers, try not to pack the message with them even if they appear highly informative.

Big headings and excessive color can make your mail look like an advertising leaflet. You know that they usually go to the trash bin.

Decide how you will send emails

Although this step has nothing to do with actual mail-creating, still, this is an important aspect that should be carefully thought-out.

In case you prefer to make it on your own, make sure you are not going to exceed the limit set by your Internet provider. Another important point is to check that the recipients won’t see other addressees. Unlike bulk-mailing, your message should be truly personalized.

Check out available mailing services. Choose among the variety of free and paid tools. Some of them offer useful features that can significantly simplify the task: tracking of open rates, link clicks, etc. We have made a short comparison of the most popular drip mailing tools

email drips

Wrapping up

Being a part of email marketing, cold email outreach allows developing and expanding customer base. While e-marketing plays a major role in the promotion and direct sales, cold emails can perfectly serve as a delicate invitation to potential cooperation. 

Try to get over the desire to apply “screaming” attention-drawing methods; opt for maximum neatness and customer-centered mindset. Think about users’ reactions when they check the email. Help them get it right – the new inbox message contains useful information about the product that they need. Focus on the client and ensure positive advertising experience. 

In the end, nobody likes to be followed by annoying sales-advisors in the market. Let your email become the first step in your long-term relationship.

Drip campaign

A drip campaign, or drip marketing, means using a series of pre-planned, automated messages to existing and prospective clients to encourage interaction and sales. The multi-step communication stream can be triggered by time, the recipient’s actions with prior correspondence, interaction with the website, and other predetermined parameters.

Advantages of drip marketing

The main appeal of email drip campaigns is keeping in touch with the consumer in a timely manner without having to spend large amounts of individual time on each client.

Automation

The best feature of drip emailing is that it is a guaranteed timesaver. Once you have planned your chain of messages, you just let them do the work for you. They keep you in consistent touch with the consumer, which means you won’t miss sales by slipping through the cracks or being forgotten.

Creating the chain is the hardest part of a drip campaign. Still, different tools can help you with it, offering drip campaign templates and setting triggers for you. At the same time, you can focus on sales and building your product.

Nurturing leads

Drip campaign nurtures leads for you. Say you send a cold email about your software to a prospective client, they open it and click through to your website. You don’t want this to be the last time they think of you. An automated campaign will send them a second drip email thanking them for viewing your site and encouraging them to try out a free trial if they’d like. 

If they try the product, there’s a much higher chance they will buy it than if you send them one email and never nurture a continued relationship with them. Nurturing leads and staying in contact with your clients can, of course, take more than two emails. A consistent, continuous stream is required to lead to sales

email drip campaigns

Timely information

You don’t ever want to send people incorrect or outdated information. With an email drip campaign, you can edit your chain as needed for that not to happen. To ensure your lead sees the information they need, you can easily add or update old information in a drip campaign with relevant content.

The other appeal of drip marketing is that each client receives information relevant to their sales cycle step. You wouldn’t send the same email to a brand new prospect and a paying customer, and a drip campaign takes care of that for you. Through triggers, the right information goes out to the right people right when you want it to, leaving all guesswork and juggling of clients out of it. 

Drip campaign examples

This is not an exhaustive list, as just like chains, drip campaigns can have endless incarnations. However, these are the most common ones you definitely should take into consideration when creating your drip campaign.

Welcoming

When someone joins a mailing list, they expect at least an immediate confirmation of the fact they joined to show up in their mailbox, but you’d be wise to offer more than that. A series of welcome emails goes a long way to show your prospective client you care that they are showing interest. It also gives you a chance to go ahead and show what you have to offer and what they can expect from you while they are still newly interested.

Here is an example from Smile Direct Club. It’s informative and welcoming, simple but well-designed.

drip campaign email example

Top of mind

The idea behind a top of mind drip emailing is to keep your prospect’s interest. These messages may be triggered by a lack of interaction with your site or spread to remind prospective clients what you have to offer. You want to remind them you exist and want to interact – which will hopefully lead to a click on that CTA button. 

drip campaign email example

Duolingo never lets you forget about them. Daily reminders to use their website abound!

Re-engagement

If your lead has gotten cold, you have to re-engage. There are many ways to do this, from a very casual “Hey, haven’t heard from you in a while” to a more formal invitation back. Maybe you need to retarget because the drip persona you chose for that person isn’t quite the right one. Whatever you do, turning a prospect into an engaged client is the end goal.

Re-engagement drip emails are often paired with promotions to give incentive to the customer to interact.

drip campaign email example

Post-purchase

Part of building brand loyalty is showing the client the brand cares about them as an individual and as a customer. If you have a customer, the whole idea is to keep them! Courting new customers is crucial, but having existing customers come back to you is more important, as they are more likely to make future purchases with you. Post-purchase drip emailing can help you do that.

Automatically sending out a confirmation of purchase also brings peace of mind that the order went through.

drip campaign email example

Competitive

An email drip campaign directed at competitors’ clients explaining why your product is superior or more beneficial can be an effective way to pique interest and ultimately convert them. This is also a good time to run promos, as explained in the next section.

As shown in this Moo email, even when not naming competitors, superiority claims can be made.

drip campaign email example

Promotional

Everyone loves a good sale! Running limited-time promos almost guarantees a jump in interactions and sales. Set a drip campaign that will offer your prospects an occasional deal or sale. Free trials, promo codes, and temporary markdowns are all enticing and exciting for consumers, who are always looking to get the most bang for their buck. 

In this limited offer sent early in the morning, DoorDash offers what is basically a steal, and I promise you it was effective. 

drip campaign email example

Product information/educational

It’s important to make sure you’re clear about exactly what your product is, what it does, and how to use it. This applies to everything from bookshelves to software: people need to know what they are getting. It’s also vital your client knows how to maximize their user experience, so any educational media, such as how to’s, tips, or industry information, can be shared for their benefit.

Product information helps people decide which solution is right for them and, as you can see, Image Beauty does a great job with that.

drip campaign email example

Unsubscribe

People who unsubscribe don’t always want to never hear from you again. Maybe they just want fewer emails or to follow you on social media instead. A link to a “sorry to see you go” webpage or email with those options might just keep someone from disengaging entirely.

A good unsubscribe page makes people consider for a moment why they unsubscribed and gives them a chance to just receive fewer emails.

drip campaign email example

Well-designed drip campaigns are a very effective way to keep in touch with your customers without having to do a ton of work on your end. Reminders, sales, interactions, all can be put into your drip campaign – it nurtures leads for you in a timely manner, specific to each customer’s actions. 

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