Sending unsolicited emails is always a contentious topic in the marketing world. Some regard it as an outdated method that should be retired. Others see it as a secret weapon that gives them an edge.
There’s also sometimes confusion around what unsolicited email actually means. Isn’t that just spam?
There’s a difference, though. Let’s take a look at why you might want to consider unsolicited email as a tactic, what the challenges are, and the benefits you can reap.
Isn’t It Just Spam?
There’s a definite difference between spam and unsolicited marketing email. If you load up a bunch of random cold contacts and fire a marketing email at them hoping it’ll be relevant to some, that’s spamming.
If you have a targeted list of cold B2B contacts, meaning professionals’ corporate email addresses, and you have a legitimate reason to believe they may be interested in what you’re offering, then it’s not spamming. That’s outbound email marketing, which is a legitimate tactic even in this inbound-focused landscape.
How Unsolicited Email is Different
Fundamentally, you’re still sending an email marketing campaign. There’s some technical differences, which we’ll get into shortly, but the primary difference is really in mindset.
You have to be mindful that cold contacts have, by definition, never heard of you. That means your approach should be a bit different.
Create campaigns with the mindset that your contacts are looking for any excuse to ignore or delete the email. Since they’ve never heard of you, they have zero investment in what you have to say, which means you need to say something really interesting.
What’s more interesting than someone absolutely hitting the nail on the head about something you’re struggling with?
Your audience targeting is superbly important for unsolicited email – you need to understand your contacts’ challenges, how your product solves them, and how to communicate that effectively.
Every single word should be designed to grab and keep their interest and make them want to keep reading.
The Technical Challenges
The sheer scale of your campaigns is going to be a major factor. Sending an email to a thousand subscribers is different to sending a campaign that’s headed for hundreds of thousands of contacts.
While that means you have massively increased reach, it also means you need to contend more heavily with spam filters.
Many marketers don’t really think about them. You create an email and hit send, and it shows up in your contacts’ inboxes. In reality, it passes through a couple of checkpoints on the way.
Your own email provider will check your campaign as it goes out, and spam filters are fairly advanced these days.
They use something called a sender score, which is a number from 1 to 100 that they assign to your IP address and domain. When a spam filter thinks you’re doing something shady or spammy, your sender score takes a hit, and lower sender scores mean more of your campaigns go to junk folders instead of inboxes.
Then the same thing happens with the recipient’s email provider. It’s fairly easy to damage your sender score, but recovering it can be tougher.
A detailed dive into the technical side of cold email is a bit beyond the scope of this article, but you can find more information in our article on avoiding spam filters.
Unsolicited email offers quite a few benefits. It’s a very cost-effective way to reach your audience in numbers that simply aren’t possible with other channels, for one thing.
It’s also an effective way to generate leads. If you really nail your targeting and messaging, you can snag new leads before they’ve started to shop around for solutions – which means you’re slipping them out from under the competition before they’ve even heard of the competition.
And if you’re using Clickback’s Email Lead Generation software, you’ve got the added benefit of its built-in Website Visitor Intelligence™ (WVI) technology. WVI is a block of code that you install on your website.
What’s that got to do with email marketing? Once it’s installed, when a contact clicks on one of your email campaigns, it’ll track their activity on your site – including if they leave and return later. This means you can determine which contacts were interested in specific pages on your site, for example.
That’s the sort of data that gives you an important edge when you want to refine your campaigns – and it’s also ideal for crafting nurturing campaigns that really hit the mark.
Clickback is the ultimate cold email tool. Check it out for yourself with a 1:1 live demo today.