Have you ever wondered why people haven't replied to your emails...?
Maybe you spent a lot of time writing your copy and crafting the perfect follow up sequence, but you still just can't get your leads to engage with your content?
One of the most important considerations that is often overlooked when prospecting is understanding how to start the conversation with your prospects.
In other words, what's the context of the conversation ?
The reason that context is so important is because in order for your prospects to engage with your content, it needs to be relevant to their current situation.
Relevance is the key to high engagement.
When you reach out to someone without context, you're shooting in the dark because you don't have any way of knowing where that prospect is in their buying journey.
With contextual prospecting, you’re starting the conversation from a frame of reference that your prospect is already engaged with.
You want to reach prospects who are already motivated and looking for information related to what you’re going to send them. This gives them a better reason to reply to your emails and establishes more trust that you’re reaching out to help them - instead of trying to sell them something.
Let's consider an example of reaching out to a prospect cold, with no context for where the conversation should begin.
You might send them something like this:
This email isn't so bad, but there's one thing wrong with it - it's all about YOU.
In today’s busy world, people don’t have time to answer YOUR questions. They are looking for answers to THEIR questions.
For an email to become effective, it needs to be highly relevant to that person's (already existing) intent and motivation level.
Let’s look at an email that’s more relevant to someone’s situation:
This email is short and to the point.
It starts with a compliment and uses a “hook” to create relevance. This could be a comment on something they’ve already been talking about or one of their recent accomplishments.
It gives them a quick emotional spike of praise and presents an idea that speaks to their existing motivations about solving their own problem. It puts a new opportunity in front of them that aims to help solve that problem.
It also doesn’t come across as salesy because it’s focused on an “idea” that’s related to their recent activity instead of a “sales pitch”.
Understanding a Customer’s Buying Journey
When you’re approaching your market, it’s important to understand every person goes through a journey before they make a buying decision. This is known as the “customer journey”.
In the digital world, we can learn about where prospects are in the customer journey by analyzing their activity in search engines and on social media.
By researching the keywords, questions, and content that our prospects are posting we can determine where they are in this journey.
For example, here’s the type of content you might find across the customer journey:
- What is email prospecting?
- How can I generate leads?
- Who’s the best with facebook ads?
- How do I set up a facebook pixel?
- How can I connect my website to my CRM?
- How can I improve my retargeting campaigns?
- How do I hire a marketing agency?
- Who should I hire for an email marketing specialist?
- What’s the best email software?
- How should I switch to a new CRM platform?
These are just a few examples of keywords that you might find prospects searching for throughout the customer journey.
When creating a new outreach campaign, you’ll want to refine your messaging so that it matches the stage of the journey that your prospect is in.
Create a Personalized Campaign
Great prospecting starts with a great email campaign. Great email campaigns are personalized and relevant to the leads you’re reaching out to.
Before you set up your campaign, you’ll want to create custom fields that you can use in your emails. This helps you customize the copy and becomes useful later on when you’re finding new leads on LinkedIn.
In Persist, it’s easy to create custom fields. Just navigate to Settings > Prospect Fields. Click New Field and add the name of your custom fields.
In this example, we’ll add the fields:
Once you’ve set up custom fields, you can navigate to Templates and create new email templates.
You can write your copy and use custom fields to personalize the message.
You can also create follow ups that keep the conversation going and nudge the lead to reply.
Once you’ve created the templates, you can add them to a new campaign.
Lastly, you’ll want to update your settings by turning on “Auto Send” and updating your sending window.
That’s it! Now you’re all set up to start following up with prospects with email.
Finding Contextual Value Opportunities
One of the most important skills to master that will help you become successful with outbound prospecting is “market research”.
You need to gain a thorough understanding of your target market and the problems they’re facing so you can create real value. With good market intelligence, you’ll be able to identify “trigger events” that provide a window of opportunity for you to add real contextual value.
The better you understand your customers, the easier it will be to craft valuable copy and communicate your message.
Let’s say you’re a marketing agency and you want to get more clients for your advertising services. Instead of searching for “Facebook Ads” on LinkedIn to find leads, try looking for a “trigger event” that would present the need for a Facebook ads service.
For example, you could search for startups who just raised a round of funding or launched a new product on Product Hunt. This would work much better because it’s a context that opens the conversation about running Facebook ads.
On LinkedIn, you can search for a trigger event like “product hunt”.
You’ll notice a variety of content around this keyword. Your goal should be to like or comment on that conversion to gain the awareness of your prospect.
Once you’ve gained the awareness of your prospect, you can shift the conversation over to email and follow up.
You can quickly navigate to that prospect’s profile and use Luka to add their email to Persist.
You can introduce a new opportunity to that prospect using the Chrome extension and treat this process like you would if you were commenting on a post.
Finally, add this prospect to your follow up campaign.
Increase Engagement with Omni-Channel Touchpoints
When a prospect has already seen your comment on LinkedIn, they’re more likely to know who you are if you send an email shortly after this comment.
This omni-channel approach can help increase engagement because it creates a seamless evolution to the conversation. It happens as a natural cadence to your LinkedIn comment.
They’ve already seen your comment on LinkedIn. They’re aware of who you are.
Now they receive a personalized email that simply asks them to take the next step.
With this approach, you’re starting highly personalized conversations that add real contextual value in your prospect’s inbox.
Quality vs Quantity
It might seem counterintuitive to spend so much time on a single prospect, when you could send bulk emails to thousands of people at once.
The challenge with bulk emailing is that the more volume you introduce, the more difficult it becomes to personalize your emails at a granular level.
When you spend the time personalizing the emails for each prospect, you improve the quality of your messaging.
The goal isn’t to reach as many people as possible. It’s to “convert” those people into customers.
Spend the time personalizing your approach, creating contextual value and your conversion rate will skyrocket.