Sourcing Your Emails: How To Consistently Get A 75%+ Open Rate & Avoid Getting Blacklisted
The first and arguably the most important step in cold email is sourcing your emails. This will determine the quality and relevance of your audience, which is the single most important factor in delivering a successful cold email campaign.
Not only does a list of highly relevant prospects increase your chance of converting prospects into clients, but the accuracy of your list will determine your bounce rate, open rate and reply rate, which in turn affect your domain’s overall email deliverability and spam score. Get it wrong and you’re on a one-way train to getting your domain blacklisted – that means all the emails on your domain, not just the one you use for the email campaign.
Whilst there are many ways to acquire an email list, the vast majority of them will put your domain in jeopardy. Whether you buy a list or scrape emails from the internet, the likelihood is that many of those email addresses will either be out-of-date, they will have been emailed hundreds of times over and therefore are likely to mark you as spam, or the list will contain spam traps.
With the introduction of GDPR on 25th May 2018, companies must also ensure that they have consent to contact prospects in the EU. And even if you’re not targeting the EU, can you be sure that no EU prospects have accidentally made their way into the list?
With this in mind, it is seemingly very difficult for companies to acquire enough quality and up-to-date email addresses to run an effective cold email campaign.
There is, however, one trick that allows you to both bypass the GDPR laws and builds a list of thousands of highly relevant and up-to-date contacts.
We use this same technique to generate our clients many thousands of highly targeted prospects each week.
Here are some examples of results we got for our clients, using Quickmail to then send them a cold email campaign:
Given that the average open rate and click-through rate in the software industry is 20.95% and 2.29% respectively, we think we’re doing okay…
* Average open rate and click-through rate from email marketing in the software and web app industry
So how do we do it? In one word: LinkedIn
LinkedIn’s search tool is fantastic at allowing you to only search for people that meet a specific set of requirements.
For example, if you only want c-level execs at financial services companies with more than 10,000 employees, there are over 28,000 of those on LinkedIn!
Want to target social media influencers? There are nearly 3,000 of those as well.
LinkedIn can be used to identify almost any B2B target market.
The first step is to add people to your target market. When someone accepts your LinkedIn invitation, they give you permission to access the data on their profile and also consent to contact them.
Note: you have to be very careful not to exceed LinkedIn’s limits, or you face being blocked. These change regularly and apply to almost everything from the number of people you can add per day, to the number of pending invites you can have at any one time.
The next step is to extract the users’ email addresses. Again, you have to be careful not to exceed LinkedIn’s daily limits here.
The final step is to import the list into Quickmail, before sending them an email campaign.
Top tip: Use Quickmail add-ons such as BrightVerify to check emails before they go out. This will further help your deliverability and protect your domain.
This process can be done by almost anyone, but it is important that you don’t go over the LinkedIn limits. To be safe, we recommend inviting no more than 45 people per day for new accounts and 100 per day for older accounts. You must also not extract more than 150 per day, or let your list of pending invites go over 3,000.
We also find that for most people, to get enough emails to generate a good response, you have to be adding over 500 per week, and then extracting all of those contacts and clearing your list of pending invites. This process can take tens of hours and require checking several times per day, which is why most businesses find it more cost effective to outsource their campaigns to us at Linked Hacker.