Marketing Tips

6 Steps to Start an Effective Outbound Email Campaign

If you want your outbound emails to be effective, they have to connect with the people they’re sent to.

A recent study from MailChimp showed that segmented campaigns get 14.64% more opens and 59.99% more clicks.

The results of a well-segmented campaign are:

- Increased conversion

More personalized messaging customized to each segment and their pain points results in higher engagement and ultimately conversion.

- Bigger deals

Offering the right product to the right type of customers, at the right price increases revenue. Also, it allows you to spend less time on less lucrative markets.

- Snowball effects

Increased impact within a specific segment will increase perceived market share, word-of-mouth, and referrals.

- Improved product

Understanding the needs and pain points of each segment will help the company refine its offering, as well as differentiate itself as a leader in the segment.

1. Make Ideal Customer Profiles

Identify your ICPs (Ideal Customer Profiles) and tailor email copy to each profile. For example, imagine your offering is relevant to both IT and Marketing managers, and those positions could each be the decision maker for your product. An IT manager and a Marketing manager have very different needs, daily concerns, and approaches to making a decision, so you wouldn’t want to write emails the same way for each of them. You want to tailor your messaging to connect with each segment.

There are several ways to segment, and some are more effective than others.

Here are a few ways of thinking about segmentation:

  • Firmographic - industry, location, size, status or structure, etc. of a business.
  • Needs-based - what the customer needs, what job they have to be done. For example, if a company has recently raised a round of funding, you can assume they’re going to make some hires.
  • Value-based - a combination of needs-based/firmographic segmentation and the potential profitability and ease of serving each segment. This tends to be the most valuable and practical approach, as it helps companies focus on their most lucrative segments. It also best positions them to craft successful channel strategies to convert each segment.

Here are the steps to create value-based segments:

2. Establish a clear, value-based hypotheses that will guide the segmentation

Hypotheses should be clear, logical, testable, and formed around customer characteristics or factors that allow your company to clearly separate current customers into distinct value-based segments.

For example, large online e-commerce platforms use your technology because you help them reduce fraud. Or, smaller e-commerce and SaaS businesses use your promotional tools to increase traffic to their sites.

3. Generate customer data and insights

A list of accounts must be developed to use as a data set. Built from a billing or customer relationship management database, the list needs to be comprehensive and include all customers with the exception of trial and proof of concept accounts.

In addition, accounts that are outliers, too recent, too old, or too small (in terms of revenue or organization size) should not be included as they may erroneously influence your analysis. The overall goal here is to determine basic criteria that will create fences between customer groups based on existing information. If you don’t have existing information, you can create hypotheses here too as to what type of customer would be ideal.

4. Analyze data and grouping customers into “Ideal Customer Profiles”

Try defining each profile with segment-specific characteristics. For example: marketplaces that use our platform and have high web traffic, significant funding ($5 million to $50 million), and use Stripe as their payment processor.

Here is an example of several ICPs:

5. Evaluate the attractiveness of each segment relative to your business goals

A formula or set of weighted criteria must be developed to measure the attractiveness of each micro-segment of ICPs. Answer these questions about each of your ICP-based segments:

  • What is the current size of the segment in terms of economic value?
  • What is the quality of our interaction with this type of customer?
  • How easy is this type of customer to reach?
  • Does this type of customer have potential for future growth or expansion?
  • Does this customer fit into our current business model or will we have to adjust for them?
  • What is the length of the sales cycle for this customer?

Such a formula creates an objective measure that can consistently be used to compare and prioritize micro-segments.

Typically, the final choice of micro-segments is quite obvious. However, as markets and competitors change, it is important to continue refining each segment and identifying additional ones to ensure your company focuses on the most attractive markets.

6. Find leads in each micro-segment

Once you’ve identified the most attractive markets as well as your ICP in each, it’s time to start generating a list of leads in Growlabs.

Here’s how easy it is to apply your considerations and create audiences that match your segments. Let’s run through an example following the steps above.

In this example, you’re a marketing agency that focuses on independent medical practices.

You also know that your best experience and case studies are for dentistry practices and plastic surgery practices, and you hypothesize that your service is most relevant to bring them high-quality leads.

You know from experience and analyzing your current and past clients that the best ones are big enough to afford your services, but you rarely get one over a certain size because they like to keep marketing in-house. Your best customers are practices that typically have between 10 and 50 employees.

The dentistry practices usually have slower marketing needs because their customer bases tend to be large, long-term, and with lower value transactions. The plastic surgeons get repeat business as well, but that repeat business is less regular and each transaction is usually a higher value. Therefore plastic surgeons are looking for a higher volume of leads, while dentists might respond better to messaging about acquiring new, loyal, high-quality leads.

This is your hypothesis, so you decide to create three ICPs based off this and assign them a value priority.

  1. Mid-sized plastic surgeons - high value
  2. Mid-sized dentists - high value
  3. Other mid-sized medical practices like ENT doctors - lower value

Now in Growlabs, you can instantly reach out to those audiences by just filtering our database of verified leads to create two audiences and then create an email sequence tailored to each. You only pay for the leads you choose, and you can reach out to them directly, completely bypassing the lead generation challenge of most businesses.

Justin West
March 28, 2018

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