If you’re looking into cold email as a way to boost your lead volume, congratulations: you’ve discovered an exceptionally powerful way to generate new B2B leads. Now you need to chose the best outbound email tool for the job.
There’s a bit more to consider than when you’re picking an inbound email platform; cold email comes with a different set of challenges, and you need a platform built to handle them.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know to choose the best platform for your needs.
Choosing the Best Outbound Email Tool: What to Look For
The foundation of outbound email is, of course, a large list of cold contacts. In order to succeed, you need a large enough list of high-quality, well-targeted contacts to send to. One of the biggest strengths outbound email has is the ability to reach massive amounts of people at once.
Why can’t you just use whatever email platform you’re already on? You need an email platform that will let you use those big lists. It’s important to keep your cold campaigns and opted-in emails completely separate, and typical inbound email service providers like HubSpot flat out don’t allow cold lists.
It makes sense when you think about it this way: email service providers (ESPs) that focus on non-outbound emails commonly share IP addresses across numerous users. This isn’t a problem for inbound email, but your sender score is tied to your IP address and domain – if one user accidentally got that IP address blacklisted, for example, it would impact other customers as well.
So those platforms just don’t allow cold email to begin with, nipping that problem in the bud. However, the first thing to check is whether the platform you’re considering allows large lists and cold contacts at all.
Dedicated IP Addresses and Warmup
Your sender score is a metric (tied to your IP address and domain) that spam filters use to determine how trustworthy your campaigns are. The lower your score, the more likely they are to just shove your campaigns into the recipient’s junk folder.
Protecting your sender score is absolutely critical, as you can imagine. The problem is, it’s fairly fragile.
When spam filters see too many potential spammy red flags, your sender score takes a hit. You can split these “red flags” into factors in your content, and technical factors such as your send volume and how “hot” your IP address is.
Say you’ve been sending campaigns to 1000 contacts every week or so. The spam filters are used to that level of activity, so it’s no problem. But if you suddenly sent a cold campaign to 100,000 contacts, that sudden surge in volume is going to tell the spam filters something’s up. Your address was warmed up at 1000 contacts, so sending a hundred times as many emails all at once turns your IP address white-hot.
A top-tier outbound email tool handles this for you in two ways.
First, it will provide a pool of dedicated IP addresses and domains for your outbound campaigns, meaning your corporate IP address and domain isn’t impacted by your outbound email campaigns at all.
Second, it will warm up your IP addresses for you by staggering your send volume. Instead of sending your that first 100,000-contact campaign in one big lump, it will send the emails in gradually-increasing batches until your IP is suitably prepared to handle your full volume. Think of it as teaching the spam filters to trust you.
Trigger Word Checks
It’s not just your send volume that impacts your campaigns. It’s also the content of your messages. There are a lot of words and phrases that spam filters don’t like, and when your emails include them, your ability to hit inboxes might suffer.
Realistically, you can’t memorize all of them and keep them in mind while you’re writing. The best outbound email tools check your content for you as you write, and let you know what bits of your content and formatting might negatively impact your campaigns.
Successful email campaigns are built on previous successful campaigns. Don’t just fire and forget your emails. Build on your previous campaigns with split tests and analytics. Look at what worked best, test small changes and keep the things that worked better.
In order to do that, you need to know how your campaigns do. Deep analytics are a must-have, and the best tool will go the extra mile to provide additional data sources, such as Clickback’s Website Visitor Intelligence™ technology.