Customer-centric Growth by Lincoln Murphy

Growth Hack: Warm-Up Your Leads Before You Email Them

SaaS Growth Hacking: Email Pre-TargetingWhen it comes to SaaS growth hacking, an email address is a powerful thing.

If you have a list of email addresses – house lists, scraped, or bought – you can do some “pre-targeting” to increase the likelihood of engagement (that they’ll open, read your email, and click a link) before you ever send them a message.

For example… think about the list of people that signed-up for your Free Trial but didn’t convert and how these tactics might help warm them back up before you send the “give us another try” email.

Doing these things before emailing your list will not guarantee success with your cold outreach email, but it will improve your chances by being  a bit less cold.

Here are some ideas…

How to Get a List of Email Addresses

There are tons of posts out there about how to create a massive opt-in subscriber list. From tips, techniques, and tools, you can easily find blog after blog telling you how to organically generate your own list. Or you can buy lists, as this report called “The Dark Art of Buying Customer Data” outlines. Use it wisely.

Once you have a list of emails, you can do all sorts of magical things with them before you ever use the email address for what it was designed for.

Facebook Pre-Targeting

LinkedIn Pre-Targeting

Twitter Pre-Targeting

CRM Retargeting

GMail AdWords

This isn’t something you can do with your email list, but it is email related so I’ll put it on this list.

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Tabbed Inbox version:

You can target only users of GMail with an AdWords campaign. You can show ads based on keywords your target customers and segments are talking about (now that’s entering the conversation they’re actually having) or based on keywords in your competitors marketing/transaction messages.

Again, this isn’t so much to get them to take action, though action is great, it is more to get your company name and what you do in front of them right there in the inbox window.

GMail ads at the top of the screen are almost subliminal reminders of something

They can be generic and even product-centric because it’s more about “branding” since your email follow-up will be specific to them

Third-party Mailing Lists

This is another tactic that isn’t directly related to your possession of the email list itself, but that could be useful in pre-targeting.

You can do a “drop” on another mailing list that we think they might be on. The goal of that drop isn’t so much to get a reaction (a click, a download/opt-in, etc.) but to get them to see your name. Just plant the seed. What are some mailing lists that your targets might also be on?

It is probably not IT-specific (ThinkStrategies comes to mind) unless one of the segments you’re targeting are the IT managers, in which case that would be quite helpful.

If possible – it never hurts to ask – drop a retargeting pixel in the email so when someone opens that message that trusted third party they’ll start seeing your ads around the web.

If they’ll do the mailing for you but it will be as if you’re sending it (so they can protect their emails), doing other advertising and even a “sponsored” email from them under their brand before you send your dedicated drop would be another way to get your name in their head so it’s less “cold” when your dedicated email goes out.

Probably asking the people on this email list to try or buy now isn’t the right CTA; offer them something so they’ll opt-in with their email address

Email Lists / Newsletters to Advertise in

Aside from simply knowing who the people are in your industry with lists that contain your target audience, here are some other places to find newsletters to “do a drop,” get a “Solo Ad” (meaning a dedicated email), or place an ad in:

Concluding Thoughts

At the end of the day, using email is all about leverage, and to get the leverage you want, you have to follow the process.

The more you trust and work the process, continually refine and avoid rushing it, the more leverage you’ll have.

Don’t fall into the trap of rushing things by saying “I don’t need to pre-target” and just send a blind, cold email. You’ll burn your list and not get the results you want or need.

It’s a process – just like everything else in marketing – and you need to work the process to get the desired results.

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