Do you like it when you hear the ‘whoosh’ sound of the email notification? As much as we hate the emails piling up in our inbox, we love it when people and brands reach out to us!

We’re guilty of enjoying the attention and offers we get from promotion emails. Have you ever wondered how it would be to initiate such emails? If you’re looking to grow your business with cold outreach, then this guide is perfect for you!

Generating leads: Important for all types of business

Whether you are a new freelancing business or an established company, to remain relevant and popular with the clients, you should be flexible.

Maintaining your current customer base while actively seeking fresh clientele can be a stressful process. We will guide you on the comprehensive steps that are included to make the best of cold outreach.

Generating leads is a recurring business activity. Constantly updating and generating leads will make a huge difference in your overall business sales. Cold outreach is a very good option for reaching out to potential clients. This method will effectively ensure that you are making a lasting impression on the people and businesses you reach out to!

Lead generation process and attracting the right clientele for your new business is probably one of the most difficult things. In this guide, we will suggest steps for client acquisition and increasing business opportunities!

Why choose cold outreach?

Lead generation is one of the crucial steps which determine the sales of your company. As a business owner, you might find countless tactics that will help you reach your business goals. However, when you’re on a tight budget, most lead generation tactics can be expensive.

This is where cold outreach can come to your rescue. We often believe in the notion that more money invested means better results. Though this is not true. You don’t have to spend a lot of your money to achieve the results that you want.

You can accomplish clients and generate leads through a cost-effective and simple approach: cold emailing outreach. Consistency and attention to detail are two things that you must possess to have a successful cold outreach approach.

Step By Step Process for Generating Leads through Cold outreach

Let delve into the lead generation process step by step!

1.     Prospecting

Choosing the right potential customers is very important when you are prospecting. It is a fairly easy process, but it is one of the most critical steps in cold outreach.

Prospecting involves reaching out to qualified and experienced people who you think would be interested in your business. If done wrong, you will be wasting hours of your research and efforts to reach out to people who aren’t even the slightest bit interested in your company.

As a business owner, you should be willing to dedicate most of your time to make the prospecting list as extensive and inclusive in the cold outreach approach. By reaching out to the right people, you have already made sure that they would be interested in your business.

Prospecting in cold outreach means identifying a list of qualified individuals or businesses that have no idea about your company. By making a good prospecting list, you ensure that such companies or businesses can be informed about the services that your business can offer.

Google search and Browser Plugin

In this method, we will help you curate a prospecting list from basic internet search along with a little help from a browser plugin. In the google search, you’ll be finding a database of people who are very easily accessible. And then use a browser plugin like Hunter.io to extract the contact information from the databases that you find online.

(Source: Hunter.io)

Many of us believe we are champions to find out information on the internet. But how many of us can find the relevant information? You can use commercial aggregator sites like thumbtacks to help you find companies in your industry.

Just open google search and type in the type of company or industry that you’re looking for + ‘database’ or ‘repository’ or ‘directory.’ You can even type in ‘best (name of industry) in (location),’ and you’ll be directed to an aggregator website like a thumbtack.

Aggregator websites like clutch and thumbtack can make lead generation b2b a very easy process. You can filter out your target industry and even make it area specific. For example, if you’re a freelancing content writing business that specializes in property descriptions, then real estate would be your target industry.

(Source: Clutch.co)

Does your business specifically cater to the software industry? Then you can use G2 (formerly known as. It is a review site that is mainly focused on aggregating user reviews for lead generation in businesses and companies from the software industry.

It all depends on what your company’s niche is or who you intend to cater to! If you intend to keep your business local, then you can find a localized business database specific to your industry. It is very easy to use an aggregator. You can create a website scraper or a virtual assistant to get the company’s information.

You can even hire someone temporarily to help you with the data entry job. Let’s go through some easy prospecting steps that will help you with lead generation b2b.

  • The first step to make a list of target companies from the aggregator websites.
  • Then you can go over this list one by one to make a record in the spreadsheet. In the spreadsheet, you can mention all types of contact details that the virtual assistant has scraped out.

  • After you have recorded the basic information about the company, you need to go deeper. You need to determine which the right person to contact from the company is. This is the step where most people mess up. So, carefully research and select the correct point of contact and make a note of the same in the spreadsheet.
  • The next logical step would be to find out contact information for the point of contact. You can easily look for such details on the company’s website. Make sure you’re jotting all these things down on the spreadsheet.

When you’re scouting for details of prospecting companies for the lead generation process, it is important to note that we’re looking to contact people, not the company. So don’t shy away from research and try to find as much information about the right point of contact in the company.

Hunter.io will give you the email ids, but you’d want to go further and find out more social media handles like Instagram, LinkedIn, and their blog pages. By listing down everything, you’ll be able to foster better relationships with the prospecting company!

GrowBots

GrowBots is the easiest way you can spice up your lead generation process. It picks up data from LinkedIn Sales Navigator and BuiltWith to curate the best prospecting list. GrowBots might seem cheaper because it combines these two tools, but in reality it is not. It is an expensive investment as the costs tend to add up with the number of prospecting contacts.

(Source: growbots.com)

More than the costs, the whole process of using GrowBots makes you lazy. This is the biggest downside of using GrowBots as a part of your lead generation strategies. Highly customizable, you can find the right type of prospects with help from the extensive filters on GrowBots. You can choose to go ahead with a more mass outreach type of prospecting if you are offering exclusive deals that are irresistible.

The cold outreach approach for lead generation that we are suggesting is designed for a more 1-to-1 feel. But if your company has unique tools, then you can go for a more mass outreach program. GrowBots can help you create lists that will be appropriate for such an approach. This method of prospecting falls in the middle of the pitch box, and the personalization feels that we are going for.

GrowBots has prospecting and outreach tools so that you can get everything done in the same place. You can find contact and follow up with the contacts in the prospecting list, all with GrowBots. This is a powerful tool that gives you the most compared to other cold outreach tools.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

(Source: Google Images)

Are you looking to connect with people with their professional background? Why struggle with the ineffectual google search when there is a tool just for that? LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a very impressive tool that will help you find the right people.

With an extensive database of the world’s professional crowd and the who’s who from the industry are all on LinkedIn, lead generation on LinkedIn is super simple. You can search against popular filters like job titles, company employee strength, location, and other such data.

The process for using LinkedIn Sales Navigator is quite similar to the earlier one. However, with LinkedIn, you get better visibility of networks and exclusive access to algorithms. All these things make the job of prospecting much faster and way more effective.

LinkedIn Sales navigator will give you so many filters to choose from. Lead generation on LinkedIn makes prospecting in cold outreach less of a burden. You can target specific industries, in a particular geographic location, keywords, and even past lead and account activity.

The filters are very specific and will help you reach out to the right point of contact by cutting down your lead generation process time in half. After you click on the search tab, LinkedIn Sales Navigator will pull up a list of people matching the categories that you set.

After that, you just have to follow through the same process of prospecting and adding in relevant details in the spreadsheet. You will need to use Hunter.io to get the correct email id. Like the previous method, you can go ahead and make sure you go through all social media handles of the point of contact and make notes.

Prospecting for lead generation is very crucial. It’s easy to feel burdened by the specific details in the amount of research that goes into it, but it’s all worth it in the end. As a business owner, it’s important to note that people appreciate a personalized touch to the cold outreach.

If you go back to the mass email and similar such prospecting techniques, your marketing plan might just fall through. In fact, you could be at a higher risk of losing the value of your company. So, for an effective lead generation plan, invest in some time to give a personalized touch to every piece of interaction that you have with the point of contact.

Add an extra column in the spreadsheet to make a note of little things that will help you give a personalized touch to your interaction like something from their Instagram bio. This will help you create long-lasting connections by striking a chord with the prospecting point of contact.

For more clarity in the lead generation process, you can include an additional column for the status of the point of contact. Lead generation on LinkedIn was never this easy! LinkedIn Sales Navigator, along with Hunter.io, makes the perfect cost-effective option for cold outreach!

BuiltWith

(Source: builtwith.com)

Although BuiltWith is expensive, the specificity of tools will change the prospecting game for lead generation. What BuiltWith does is, finds out everything about the website from a technology perspective.

You can put any website for checking with the BuiltWith tool, and you’ll get access to the underlying dynamics of the page. For example, you can easily get to know if the website is running on WordPress or other such websites. Additionally, it also gives you the site’s performance using google analytics. The primary advantage of using BuiltWith is to make highly specific introductions in the cold outreach email.

BuiltWith is a very powerful tool that will help you provide specific solutions to the prospective database. It will also help to ascertain if a certain business is passing the criteria of being qualified to be in your prospecting list. BuiltWith will help you ascertain if the market is perfect for you.

It has a lot of tools like insights, keywords, industry verticals, locations, speed, and competitors.

For example, if you’re an SEO service company, then BuiltWith can help you ascertain if the websites are hosted on Demandware. Demandware is an expensive e-commerce platform that provides cloud-based solutions. Most companies that use Demandware have huge budgets, and you can target such websites to include them in your prospecting list. Then you can provide specific SEO solutions for the Demandware platform.

You can also use Sumo, which is another email collecting tool. Sumo is also an expensive option. However, it is so powerful that it will collect all types of contact information and social profiles from the website. However, you might need to recruit a virtual assistant who can go through the countless companies in the database.

BuiltWith is extremely beneficial for setting up your prospecting list. The unpaid version has access to a minimum of 50 websites. So, if you’re on a tight budget, then you can use the BuiltWith free version. You can even export the results to your computer in case the free period runs out.

2.     Cleaning your Prospecting List

After you have curated a basic prospecting list, the next important step is to make it concise. If you employed a different person for data entry, then you need to take this step yourself. Unlike making a prospecting list, cleaning it requires an understanding of your business.

So, if you don’t have the time to clean it, you can properly train the person who will be doing it. It will be easier if you have the same person curating the prospecting list and then making it even more relevant by taking your inputs. This will save you a lot of time.’

When you are doing lead generation through cold outreach, it is important to note that this approach is more focused on the people we are reaching out to. It is less about your business and more about how you can offer or add value to their business. When you put the other people in the spotlight, the chances of them reverting with a positive response becomes higher.

Cleaning your prospecting list is the most crucial step because you are looking to make that meaningful connection. You have to fish out the right type of people that will benefit from connecting with your business. Moreover, you also have to make sure you are providing value to the prospects so that they will be interested in engaging with you. This is the essence of coming through with the people on your prospecting list and an effective lead generation process.

When you write a cold outreach email, to give it a personalized touch, you’ll be taking reference from the cleaned prospecting list. So, make sure that the list is relevant and has all the details that will strengthen your cold outreach email conversation.

How to clean your prospecting list?

Now let’s see some easy steps that you can go through to extract the best and highly-qualified prospects from your rough prospecting list.

  • Go through the social media pages of the people in the prospecting list. Look at their discussion topics, their online interactions, and what niche they operate in. This will help you make a great opener, which will help you add value to the conversation. You can select topics that they are passionate about, and this way, you will be able to grab their attention.

  • Check out the blogs or any content they are putting out for their company. By analyzing this, you’ll be able to know their role in the company. You can provide those solutions and even reference to one of your services that would make an excellent addition to their work. For example, you can give them a quick tip that would improve their SEO or lead generation strategies.
  • Like we previously mentioned in the first step of the cold outreach process, BuiltWith is also an amazing tool that can help in creating the prospecting list. You can even check their website from a technology angle using BuiltWith. You can give them easy tips that will help their business/personal blog site. This gesture will make them value your opinion and make it seem genuine. You can even offer them a customizable model that would be scalable and beneficial to their business!
  • Keep a record of the new findings in the notes column, so that you don’t have to repeatedly go through their social media pages. Little things like these will make a big difference when you sit down to draft out a value proposition to lure the prospective people.

You can visit the LinkedIn profile of the people to see the professional qualifications. Personal touches are a great addition to your cold outreach email, but it would be appropriate to check out the professional side of things.

It’s a human tendency to be attracted to flattery. So, you can even make it a point to appreciate or congratulate them on their professional or personal achievement. This will make you seem instantly likable!

Depending on what you’re going to sell to these people, you can make notes of the relevant things and include references that would be from your business. You can try to gauge what exactly the person would be interested in. All it takes is basic research of all social media accounts.

3.     Connecting on Social Media

This is an optional step because it can be too much of a hassle for some people who have hectic schedules. However, if you’re the type of person who is looking to convert each prospective into a quality lead, this step might help you accelerate the process. You can also find an intern to help you out with this so that you can make sure you portray your business as active as possible.

After thorough cleaning and tagging of the prospecting list, you are left with a list of high-quality potential leads. This list contains personalized information on each prospective person that will help you strike the perfect chord and convert sales.

It is easier to break the ice if you approach the people over social media. By taking help from the carefully curated notes that you have made on the people, breaking the ice won’t be as difficult. Having topics ready, you can easily comb through several conversation starters and topics.

The reason why this step is optional is that this requires a lot of effort and patience from your end. Being a business owner, you are already juggling a million tasks. And on top of that, reaching out to the prospective lists through social media can be a tedious process.

If you want to strengthen your existing lead generation strategies, then you could try connecting on social media. This way, you are keeping the company or the business updated about your services, and they can easily reach out to you if they need someone in that niche.

Easy things you can do to shine through on social media

Connecting through social media can be a tricky process. If you’re unknown to the mysteries of internet dialogue, it’s best to hire a virtual assistant who can take this task off your shoulders.

Let’s see some easy hacks to get your social media noticed and use it as an effective lead generation source!

  • Be interactive. If you want to master the social media game, one thing to keep in mind is to be present. Make it a point to drop a like, comment for every new post that a prospect posts. Initiate engagement and subtly link it to your page. For example, if a person posts about SEO traffic statistics, then you can comment on something sort of a call-to-action (CTA). This has to go hand-in-hand while appreciating the person’s post and adding more value to it!

  • Don’t slide into the direct messages. As we said, social media dialogue is a completely different ballgame. Direct messaging can seem too intrusive, annoying, and quite frankly, a waste of time. Without breaking the ice, if you initiate a direct message, it might not make the intended impression.
  • Share the posts. If you see someone posting good quality content, you can share it whilst tagging them. This will get your account noticed and also further the engagement on the prospective person’s page. This will easily get the person warmed up to you.
  • Be consistent. Connecting over social media for lead generation is not just a one-day process. If you are looking to build strong relationships, you need to be consistent with your likes and comments. And make you spread it out over all social media handles and not just LinkedIn. Build your social media game by interacting with the accounts for at least 4-6 weeks before you reach out to them with a valuable cold outreach email.
  • Keep it short and personal, but not creepy. Don’t cross the professional boundaries when you’re trying to have a good cold outreach strategy. Keep your interactions and direct messages concise, to the point, and friendly.
  • Make sure your social media profiles are updated and active. You should leverage the power of social media. Keep your social accounts fresh with daily content, particularly to your niche. So, that when people click and reach your page, they feel you are genuine and will more likely connect with you.

You must have someone who is constantly managing the activity and making regular notes about the advancements. You can switch over to different social media accounts and persistently engage and spark conversation. If you try the tricks above, you are guaranteed to get a positive reply!

4.     Outreach

We’re at that stage of the lead generation process, where you will be writing cold outreach emails to the prospecting people. The database is ready after extensive amounts of research and filtering. Now, all you have to do is draft the perfect message. To reach out to the people with a 1 to 1 feel is the most important step of the cold outreach!

There is no fixed compulsion that you need to send emails for cold outreach. You can even go for LinkedIn messaging or any other form of cold outreach to grab the attention of the prospective people.

Writing personal emails is a very appropriate method for reaching out to the people on your database. The reason is that the deliverability rate is much higher. Many professionals might find it appropriate to seek help from outreach software. But, you never really know for sure if the emails through such software make it to the inbox. The individuals in your database might have really good spam filters, and your email might get lost in the spam folder.

Do’s and Don’ts of Outreach Email Copy

  • Customizing and giving a personal touch to the emails is so important. Your email will catch the attention of the person and make the intended impact. Don’t address people as ‘sir’ or ma’am as it immediately puts off the recipient. It will seem like you don’t even know their name, which is right there in their email id. So, either use their first name or nothing at all. This method might be time-consuming, but you don’t fall into the category of mass outreach emails, which is a really good thing!

  • There are two ways that you can go when reaching out to the database. Either you can write a good email with personal anecdotes or shoot a short video. You can choose either of the methods depending on how comfortable you are in front of the camera. The reason why many people feel it is better to use a video is that it is the ultimate personal touch when doing cold outreach.
  • People want to know the face behind the organization, and if you shoot a video and send it across, it shows how much you value the person on the receiving end. The people on the receiving end will appreciate the time and effort that you have put in to make such a high-quality proposition.
  • Lead generation strategies are for the growth of your business. But when you are doing a cold outreach, it’s not about your company. Design the email in such a way that it focuses more on the recipients and less on what your company or services are.
  • Humor is much appreciated. But try not to overdo it in emails. Decide the tone of the cold outreach email and stick to it. To lighten the copy, you can include their references in a humorous way.
  • Another tip while doing cold outreach email is to stay away from email templates. Overused and very common, email templates often fail to deliver the personalized tone that we are focusing on. Consider creating a framework that would leave space for ample customization for each prospecting database person.
  • You have spent a lot of hours to find out information about the people in your database. So, it has to reflect in the outreach message that you send across. For an effective lead generation, you should include as much researched points into the outreach email.
  • Don’t reveal everything in the opening email. Give them a few tips, not all of them. Make the prospective people in your database curious, and that is how you’ll capture their minds.
  • Make sure you include links and supporting information so the recipients can check out all your details.

You can try bombarding a thousand people with a non-personal marketing cold outreach email, with little to no results. However, the approach that we are suggesting is targeted to receive guaranteed results from a hundred people.

5.     Follow up

It is all about making an irresistible offer! The amount of time that you have invested in researching and reaching out to these people shouldn’t go to waste. Just sending a single cold outreach email is not enough.

Regular follow-ups that don’t seem too creepy are essential to break the ice and establish a two-way flow of communication. If you just send a single email and expect it to work like magic, you’re very wrong.

Strategically taking follow-ups is important as they make you seem persistent but in a positive way. A thing to note about follow-ups is that it is nothing like bombarding emails to the prospective. Follow-ups need to be carefully designed to get the conversation started.

Cold Outreach Email Follow Up Basics

It can get downright annoying at times to receive a recurring email from the same individual who you are not interested in. We often find such people trying to pave their way into our email inbox. However, we understand the reality of the situation when we are on the other side.

Here are some things that will help you space out follow up emails and effectively break the ice!

  • After you send the opening cold outreach email, wait for two days until you receive a positive response. If you don’t hear back from the person, send another email in the same thread. Wait for two more days patiently until you hear back from them. If there is still no response from their side, send them another follow-up mail on the same thread.
  • At this point, the prospecting individual has received three emails over five days. The frequency is perfect because the person is bound to notice the email thread in five days. Unfortunately, if you still don’t get a response after this, then it’s time to move on.
  • If you receive a response from the person, then you move on to the response email. When you hear back from them, you have successfully established a communication channel from both ends. That is what makes the second mail as the response email special. The purpose of the second email is to convert the person for availing of your services.
  • The second mail is crucial to driving them to consume the deal that you offered in the first email. Getting an immediate response is an ideal scenario. So, follow-ups are going to be a part of your routine in cold outreach emails.
  • After you have sent them a response email, you can again go back to follow up every two days with another email in the same thread. This is to get an acknowledgment or response from their side. You might feel this process is time-consuming, but the results are worth it. You need to follow up until you get a definite yes/no response from their end.
  • What you understand from their response is that they are interested in learning about your company/services that you are offering. You need to give them some time to ponder over the offer and get back to you. People might be forthcoming for the first email but might take time to think over the second email that you send.

A popular saying used by salesmen, ‘Money is in the follow-up.’ Stands very true in this scenario of cold outreach email. You need to be consistent and make sure you follow up because you are putting in a lot of effort and investing time in each person!

6.     Appointment Setting

This can also be called consultation. The main focus of the whole lead generation process is to reach this stage. When you send your email through, you are giving them glimpses of the services that you offer. An appointment setting or consultation meeting allows you to have a 1-on-1 conversation with the prospective and convert them into clients.

Even if your cold email outreach didn’t gain as much traction as you’d hoped, it’s still an amazing way to get the word out there. The result of the whole cold outreach process for lead generation is to reach this final step of interacting with the prospective client.

You have done your part with the accurate prospecting, investing time, and efforts in curating a personalized email and taking regular follow-ups. The deals or services that you have offered to help out in are like a glimpse into how you can add value to their existing model.

(Source: Google Images)

To set up an appointment, you can include things like, “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but your website took too long to respond. I took the liberty to check your website on Google Pagespeed Insights Tool. A slow page will kill your customer engagement performance in Google’s search. I can show you some easy tips that can fix this. Would you be interested?”

When you put things in this way, people are curious to know how you, as a business agency, can add value to their company. If you get a response on such an email, then you can go ahead and give them a little tip, but don’t give them everything. Suggest some more areas of where you have your expertise and something their business would benefit from. And then, you set a quick 5-minute zoom call consultation where you can completely convince and convert the clients for choosing your services.

If you have noticed, at every stage, we are seeing how we can add value to the prospecting person’s business. The key to personalization to keep the recipient in focus more than bragging about your business and services.

To Sum Up

Generating leads through cold outreach is something that would convert a higher percentage of people. Provided you carefully choose the prospecting list and invest the required efforts.

The key to a successful lead generation process lies in the strategic personalization and follow-ups. Cold outreach email doesn’t always have to be so impersonal and spam-like. The efforts that you pour in will reap huge profits in terms of company visibility and generating quality leads.

If you take these steps one by one, you’ll come out with some high-quality leads that will enhance your sales pipeline!

 

A ServiceNow wizard by trade, Gaby quit her 9-5 to pursue the world of search marketing. As a Customer Success Manager at SERPninja, she makes sure your projects get the attention they deserve. She is a certified Google Campaign Manager, HubSpot Inbound Marketing Expert and a SEMrush Expert – it is safe to say she knows exactly what she is talking about. She swears by  “The 5 Hour Work Week” but ends up working 80 hours a week to make sure your SEO is handled right.