Cold calling is very out of date. What was once a common sales practice is now so out-of-place that it’s shocking to receive a sales call.
That’s true for B2B as well as B2C. But how do you generate leads quickly if cold calling is off the table?
Let’s examine how outbound marketing is done in today’s business landscape.
How to Generate Leads Without Cold Calling
Imagine: you’re sitting down to dinner when the phone rings. It’s a sales rep trying to get you to buy something – insurance, a new vacuum, maybe some landscaping work.
Disruptive, isn’t it? Cold calling is no longer an accepted – or acceptable – way to bring in leads.
One alternative is inbound marketing. However, inbound requires a whole lot of constant legwork in terms of content creation. You need to output a steady stream of high-quality content in order to bring in leads – and they don’t come in very quickly, either.
If you want to generate more leads in a proactive fashion, here’s the modern alternative to cold calling: cold email.
Why Cold Email?
Cold campaigns have a lot to offer. For one thing, they’re far less disruptive than a call, since people can check their email at their leisure.
They’re also much more effective at generating leads. You can only phone one person at a time, but with cold email, you can reach 100,000 contacts at once – or more!
Cold email comes with more hurdles than phone calls, however, because your campaigns need to make it to inboxes without getting waylaid by spam filters – and then you need to convince your contacts to open, click and convert on them.
If that sounds daunting, don’t worry! Here’s what you need to know to succeed.
You’ve Got a Reputation to Maintain
On the technical side of things, there’s always spam filters ready to pass judgment on your campaigns. They do that with the help of something called a sender reputation (or sender score).
Your IP and domain have a sender reputation, which is a score from 1-100. The higher it is, the more trustworthy your campaigns are – and therefore less likely to get placed in spam folders.
There are all kinds of factors that influence your sender score. Everything from how people engage with your emails, like opening them or unsubscribing, to whether you’re sending to bad addresses, and more.
Maintaining your sender reputation is critical to successful cold campaigns. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Write well and be honest. If your email is riddled with poor grammar, spelling errors, and false claims, people are going to report it as spam, which damages your score.
- Don’t go for broke all at once. If you’ve been sending small campaigns, then suddenly fire off 50,000 emails at once, spam filters are going to crack down on your IP address because that’s suspicious activity. Ramp up slowly instead to warm up your IP address.
- Keep your contact list clean. Sending to bad addresses and spam traps is a surefire way to wreck your sender score.
Check out How to Avoid Spam Filters for a more detailed dive into maintaining a good sender reputation.
It’s All About the List
While we’re on the subject of lists, it’s important to know where to get the large lists of contacts you need for cold email lead generation.
You should always purchase your lists from reputable data providers who aggregate their data over time, as opposed to scraping it.
Scraped addresses are emails that have been pulled from the internet using scraping software. They’re generally full of bad addresses, and sending to them is exactly what you don’t want to do.
Reputable providers, on the other hand, sell much higher-quality lists. If you’re unsure where to find a good vendor, reach out to us. We partner with a number of them and can refer you.
Once you have a good list, the next step is to clean it.
Even the best lists decay over time. That’s because people change jobs, repurpose email addresses as spam traps, and so on. That means that you should clean out your list before you use it.
Generally, that’s a third-party service you need to purchase. If you use Clickback’s Email Lead Generation software, however, your list is cleaned automatically on upload via a series of in-depth, rigorous hygiene checks and verification processes.
Keep Your List Healthy
As you send to your list, you’ll encounter bounces. A “bounce” is what happens when your email can’t be delivered to a contact, so it “bounces” off their inbox. There are two kinds: soft bounces and hard bounces.
Soft bounces occur when there’s a temporary issue preventing your message from being delivered, like if the recipient’s inbox is full.
Hard bounces, on the other hand, are permanent failures to deliver your message. This can happen because, for example, the address doesn’t exist anymore.
You’ll never be able to deliver to hard-bounced addresses, and trying to do so will damage your sender score. It’s best to remove them from your list entirely and focus on contacts that you can deliver to.
Write Quality Messages
We touched on this before, but it’s worth talking about in a little more detail. You should strive to write high quality campaigns for multiple reasons.
A well-written campaign is more likely to pass through spam filters unhindered. It’s also much more likely to get treated seriously by the contacts you’re sending to.
If you open up an email and it’s got spelling and grammar errors, and generally looks unprofessional, it’s going in the trash, right? You might even report it as spam.
A polished, well-written email, on the other hand, is a whole lot more convincing.
Writing top-notch cold campaigns is a challenge that can pay off in a big way. A detailed look at how to do that can be found in our guide to cold email copywriting.
Use the Right Software
Clickback’s Email Lead Generation software is built specifically for cold emails. It handles many of the technical challenges for you, like IP address warmup, list cleaning, and much more.
That way, you can focus on writing great campaigns and bringing in more leads.