How to Craft Hyper-Relevant Email Sequence for Perfect B2B Outreach
B2B cold email outreach is tough. The product is usually complicated and the benefits are not easy to conclude. You could spill it out all in a single email, but odds are you will get the silence treatment. The average corporate email inbox will send or receive 112 emails per day and nobody enjoys reading a wall of text from a stranger.
So how do we convey value? slide decks. Personalized, relevant, informative slide decks for each lead in your campaign. Vocus.io supports multi-stage mail merge for PowerPoint, and there’s a free version available here. It’s exactly as easy as personalizing the body of your email in a mail merge campaign.
Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) advocates for multi-touchpoint email sequence with “hyper-relevant” content that is specific to your accounts’ industry and use case. Below is a simple, three-stage email sequence to implement this approach and up your game to the next level: introduction, ROI, and nudge.
Email #1: the introduction
Making the right first impression is immensely important. A strong first email must score high on three dimensions: comes from a thought partner, structured and to the point, and hits the right levers of influence.
Thought partner, not transactional:
As much as it hurts, most of your leads will dismiss your email the second they find out that they’re part of a mass email campaign. Wrapping your links with “Yesware” redirects, links to PDFs instead of real attachments, and “via Sendgrid” will not help your case.
Instead, consider CCing one of your colleagues and include real attachments. Consider dropping the link tracking, which wraps your links with redirects; measuring email opens and email replies are usually good enough metrics.
Structured and to the point:
Start with the ask. My favorite is a short first paragraph, no more than two lines, and ends with a question mark. The Pyramid Principle is a great guide on structure in writing and thinking.
Avoid walls of text. If you have a lot of things you want to convey, consider including a product brief in the attachment and point out to the right sections from the body of your email.
Hit the levers of influence:
People like those who are similar to them. They listen to those who are authoritative. Couple compliments doesn’t hurt. For example, sentences like “we seem to be highly aligned around X and Y”, dropping the name of your largest customer, and complementing their latest product strategy are all good practice. Chaldini’s book on Influence lists six principles which are all valuable as a checklist.
Email #2: the ROI deck
This is the whole reason for writing this post. There’s a high likelihood that your lead received several emails that day with “can I get you on the phone?” pitches. This is an opportunity to stand out from the noise by giving them a personalized slide deck which conveys what you want to say and signals how much you care. Vocus.io allows you to create those slide decks and deliver them en masse within your mail merge campaign. See this page for more details.
This is your time to shine. Any B2B product will either help them make money or will help them save money. Given this fact, I recommend a short ROI deck that quantifies either or both of those benefits to your lead, and frame the value to their world, with numbers.
If your product adds value then you should be able to measure that value. It doesn’t have to be exact figures, but at least a range or a way to reduce uncertainty.
For example, let’s say you’re Dwight Schrute and you’re selling paper. Your product will save your customer money without compromising quality or service. Let’s quantify that value: let’s say a single paper you sell is $0.04, whereas the industry average is $0.06. Studies show that the average corporate employee in the US consumes 10,000 papers annually (figure is from a quick google search, I can’t believe it either!).
If your lead is a Director of Procurement at Acme Inc, and Acme Inc has 5,000 desk employees, then they will save:
New Expense = 5,000 x 10,000 x 0.04
Savings = $1,000,000 (annually)
You can customize a PowerPoint slide deck to include those variables exactly like how you would in a mail merge campaign. Here’s a crude example template ROI slide deck. This tool will allow you to generate those slides for free and you can send them out manually. Alternatively, you could use Vocus.io which will send it automatically, as part of a mail merge sequence.
Email #3: the nudge
At this point, a lead would have not responded to your email either because 1) they do not have the pain points/your pitch didn’t strike a chord, or 2) they’re busy. In both situations it is better to (reasonably) delay your “nudge” message until you can replace it with product update/refined pitch or give them a chance to reconsider you when they have the time to do so.
Where to take it from here is up to you. A good salesperson would not let go until they hear a resounding no. I like to keep a list of “passive” prospects, categorized and ready to go, and revisit that list whenever we have a major upgrade that might be relevant.