The dependence on generating cold leads for business success is not new. Although, many say cold outreach is dead.
Really or has the way changed with digital lead generation strategy evolving thick and fast.
What do you think and how creative is your way of generating leads?
Would love to hear and share ideas on how to explore innovative lead solutions.
Inbox me to protect your privacy or comment here, I’d love to reach out.
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For some business, cold calling/outbound is dead - for others, not so much. There are no universal rules that apply to all business (excepting maybe for the ones articulated in the book ).
Each business requires a unique sales and marketing strategy. There is no one size fits all. It is very common to see companies executing the wrong strategy really well.
First determine the correct strategy - then hire people to execute this strategy.
If you hire the people first, they will execute the strategy that they know. If your a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
This made me chuckle.
I get a daily onslaught of email from vendors, alleged potential partners, and other suppliers of equipment or services, much of which our business could not possibly use.
I wonder how they are "qualifying" their leads, if at all. They need to start by having a few layers of vetting to better understand how a business operates, what services it may use or would make sense to consider, etc. Whether it doesn't use said services for legitimate reasons that should be apparent to anyone giving our Website a cursory review. (not that that's the best way to qualify a lead, but it provides enough background on our operation that should discourage their cold-calling us).
I often think it's me who should be cold-calling them based on their obvious lack of marketing savvy or insights.
Curious to hear more of where you're reaching your conclusions. You may have a different experience.
There are still Nigerian princes making a good living with cold contacting, despite the (pretty good) spam filters we have nowadays with services like Gmail.
If you're selling a legitimate product (of any sort) you can still find willing customers with cold contact email -- and it costs next to nothing. Mailchimp gives you 12,000 emails / 2000 addresses a month for free. And with Amazon SES, for instance each email (after the first 62,000 free) costs 1/100 of a cent.
The point being, email is so cheap, that it doesn't have to be effective. The real risk though, is to your reputation if you are perceived as spam, or annoying.
Personally, I'm more turned off by companies that cold call after I download a white paper or want to see a demo. They need to learn to nurture customers.
It's like the car lot dealer who won't let you browse without breathing down your neck, or even go for test drive without going through their high pressure 4 square scam.
Use email, use it judiciously. That could include cold contacts if appropriate. But invest more than 1/100th of a cent in each email.
The same applies to phone calls. But they have almost infinitely more cost. Each call will cost you dollars -- even if you have minimum wage workers making 10 calls/hour reading a script.
Another poster mentioned getting information for users and including the *relevant* details in the email subject (your recent home purchase at $ADDRESS) but I think went a little overboard with including the address -- too stalkery. Just use the neighborhood or town (your recent home purchase in $NEIGHBORHOOD).
And you can get that information from the address.
The more visible your brand, and the more personal you get with your customers, the less you have to annoy them though. A good judgement is -- will someone you cold contact ever tell a friend -- or want to use your business again in the future. Consider that before cold contacting. Your reputation may be worth more than customer acquisition through cold contacts.
The more you know about the prospect, the better response rate you will get. And you need to display that knowledge in the subject line. For example, if you are selling homeowner's insurance, look up recent home sales in your area and put in the subject line "regarding your recent purchase of 123 Elm Street."
Contextually, cold outreach has never been alive. The "spray and pray" model has never worked. I was a retail stockbroker decades ago when "cold calling" was the "accepted' contact method. Calling a person you do not know and trying to sell them something they do not want was always folly. Ergo, I did research on every person I called and had success. At worst, it was lukewarm (referrals were always better) but was not just a cold dial (or email in today's world). Had I had the current tools available today, I could have ratcheted it up several notches.
That has never changed. Lead gen has to have something in it for the other person. Researching interests make this not a cold contact. If a sales person is smart, they will have a conversation because it is valuable for the other person. Loading up an email list and sending a zillion in the hope of getting a few responses is a great sign of a failed sales person and program.
So over-saturated today, I do not believe it's effective. I do however, think that targeted reach, like the Premium part of CoFoundersLab, is effective tapping into a community of like-minded people.
Cold calling always gets a bad rap, because few few people like doing it. However, there are lots of cold-calling equivalents. Inmail people on LinkedIn for example. Connecting with someone on Alignable. Sending a letter of introduction and cold calling all still work if you do them properly. However, when you do things poorly, it's not the fault of the tactic. More and more inbound marketing is the preferred way to get business, but as a startup the lowest cost approach to make stuff happen now with the least fuss and expense is still cold calling.
What is your experience with Alignable? I received a couple invites from strangers, but have never heard of it before and don't know on anyone personally who uses it.