Outbound lead generation is alive and well.
Jason Lemkin from SaaStr described it best when he said:
“Outbound always works. Everything has changed in the world, but the reality is people still open their emails every day and they still have problems to solve.”
Those that say outbound is dated or doesn’t work aren’t approaching it right.
When you have something valuable to offer, people don’t mind being contacted.
Outbound lead gen success comes down to understanding two things: Who you serve and what you offer to that specific audience.
Your outbound efforts will fall short If you don’t have a grip on those two things.
Let's take a look at some of the ideas you need to leave behind and some of the tactics you need to implement in order to have success with outbound lead gen.
"I'm" and" sorry" are wasted words in sales at best, but probably a lie.
I constantly see sales emails that start with “sorry to bug you” or “apologize for filling your inbox,” etc...
Don't spend two sentences telling me how much you value my time by wasting my time telling me how much you value my time, right?
Skip the preamble.
The approach is disingenuous.
Let’s be honest, you’re not sorry for sending that email.
You’re trying to generate leads!
If you don’t actually mean it, don’t say it.
My little boy's first sale was figuring out my wife can't resist "I'm sorry, mama."
She knows he's working her, but hey, he's cute.
You’re not fooling anyone, and you aren't that cute.
Truth be told, it comes across like you lack confidence in your offerings.
Stand behind your offer or don't send it at all.
If you knew you were sending something with actual value, you would never apologize.
Breakup with the Breakup Email
We've all seen these.
A last-ditch sales effort to persuade you to take action before the seller of some service stops reaching out to you.
This tactic worked for a while, but it’s been overused.
Now it’s tired, old, and ineffective.
The second problem is you’re killing the possibility for them to appreciate your value down the road.
If you’re not getting a response from a prospect you deem as valuable, you need to rethink what value you are bringing them.
Get more personalized and figure out how to get their attention instead of sending a hail-mary email to guilt trip them into sending a response.
You ca't breakup with someone you don’t really have a relationship with and you look like a jerk.
Automate, with Caution
Just because you can automate doesn’t mean that you should.
No one wants to receive a cookie-cutter email.
Once again, it misses the key element of outbound: personalization.
How can you expect someone to work with you when you’re not putting any real effort into your outreach?
We can all spot an automated message from a mile away and it shows your prospect that you don’t really care.
The only stage in the process where automation can work is at the first touch.
If you put in the time to carefully pick your prospects and create a valuable list of ideal customers, then you can send a mass email to them with a free offering.
It could look something like this:
“Hey [name], while talking with other XYZ's like you, I noticed they keep telling me they have problems A or B. If this sounds like you, here's a free resource to help with X issue.”
That’s it. There's no ask. Just send that resource to them.
And then you’re going to wait and see who clicks the link.
Then take the time to spend 20 minutes researching the interested prospects' websites, background, and everything else.
You’re going to use that intel to send them the most highly-personalized cold email you can write up, referencing what you learned and now know about them. This will send your response rates through the roof.
I call this high effort high reward email outreach.
A little automation and a lot of personalization.
Quit Talking About Yourself
Don’t use words like I, me, we, and us.
It’s a clear indicator that you care more about yourself than the prospect.
We're busy, no one cares.
Everything you write should be about THEM.
Stop telling people why you’re so great.
You’re in the business of helping people, not bragging about your accomplishments.
Start acting like it.
Use the Insult Sandwich
When done right, this can be an incredibly effective tactic to get your prospect’s attention.
First, give them a sincere compliment. Find something specific and real. If you can’t find something you like about them - don’t email or work with them!
Then deliver the insult - tell them they’re doing things wrong and there’s a better way to do it.
After the insult, you’ll want to soften things again with another compliment.
Here’s an example of what this could look like.
Compliment 1: “Hey, (prospect), I’m a big fan of the work you’re doing and really enjoyed this (specific post) you guys wrote.
Insult: “But, I think you're making the mistake of not optimizing your blog posts for SEO.”
Compliment 2: “However, the content is so good that if more people could find your site, they would likely engage with your business.”
The Ask: “I wonder if we could get together and I could explain 3 real easy ways for you to optimize your blog posts.”
The two things to focus on here are:
It must be a sincere compliment and it must be relevant to the insult.
This is a great way to spark interest and highlight your area of expertise.
Stand Out with Your Outbound Efforts
With outbound, you have to give before you get.
And when everyone else is doing the same tired tactics over and over again, you have to do something else.
The number one key is personalization.
You have to make your emails about your prospect and their problems.
If you can understand who you serve and the value your offer brings to that audience, you can't still have great success with outbound lead generation.