December 4, 2015

How Pre-targeting Helped us Achieve a 75% Cold Email Open Rate

BY John Paul Narowski IN Sales and Marketing 5 Comments

Two weeks ago, the karmaCRM email marketing campaign was sitting at a healthy 51.5% open rate with a 13.5% reply rate over the last 1,000 sent emails. That has helped us generate 57 phone conversations which turned into 35 signups for our platform. Not too bad! However, after implementing a simple tactic to warm up our cold emails, our statistics were as follows:

Open rate: 75%

Reply rate: 21%

The key to our success was a little talked about tactic called pre-targeting. By pre-targeting our prospects with social advertisements before we send them cold emails, we familiarize our prospects with our brand. The key, is to ensure these pre-targeting ads are brand awareness ads. 

I’m going to dive into how we achieved a 75% cold email open rate and how you can implement this into your own sales prospecting process.

We’ll cover:

  • How to prospect for email addresses
  • How to run a pre-targeting campaign through Facebook or Twitter
  • How to structure your ads to maximize exposure and minimize cost

Let’s get started!

  1. How to prospect for email addresses

Prospecting for emails has become one of the most blogged about topics within the sales industry over the past year. With tools like Email Hunter, Leadfuze, Sales Intelligent, and Datanyzer, it’s easier than ever to find anyone’s verified email address. We won’t cover each tactic here, but see below to find our favorite blogs on the topic:

How to Find 200 Targeted Email Addresses for Tree

Find Email Addresses – 60+ Tools and Tips to Find Someone’s Email

How to Find Anyone’s Email Address

  1. How to run a pre-targeting campaign on Facebook and Twitter

Now that you have a solid email list, the real fun begins!

Pre-targeting is in essence very similar to retargeting on Facebook or Twitter using custom audiences or tailored audiences. You simply add your email list to your Facebook or Twitter ad campaigns, and let ads run ONLY for those specified email addresses

Pre-targeting with Facebook and Custom Audiences

For Facebook, pre-targeting can be done using a customer audience created for your pre-targeting campaign. There are again, tons of great articles that teach you how to utilize custom audiences, so we won’t reinvent the wheel. The guys at Shopify, Wishpond, and our favorite Facebook Marketer Jon Loomer all do a great job with Facebook custom audiences.  Check out the links below to read straight from the experts.

Shopify Pre-targeting: Scroll to Email Audiences section


Jon Loomer

Pre-targeting with Twitter Tailored Audiences

Retargeting (and pre-targeting) with Twitter works almost exactly the same as for Facebook except Twitter calls them tailored audiences. The guys and gals over at Sprout social kick some major butt on this topic. We took insights directly from their Tailored audiences article and we recommend you do the same. Read their article here

  1. How to structure your pre-targeting ads

With pre-targeting, you should be using a strategy that allows you to maximize your reach and increase brand awareness but also minimizes costs. So the key here is to run CPC campaigns that DO NOT get clicks or run CPM campaigns instead. You DO want your ad to stand out and be seen, just not clicked. That means you don’t want a call to action (I know it’s Madness!).

You should run your pre-targeting campaign for about 3 days prior to sending out your emails to your list to maximize the  opportunities that your target market has to see your advertisement. The warmer the lead the better!

Last Thoughts

Social media retargeting has become one of the hottest trends in internet marketing over the last couple of years because of it’s low customer acquisition costs and high conversion rates. Sales teams can now utilize these same tools and principles to warm leads, increase outbound email open rates, and get more qualified leads into the funnel!

As always, cold emailing is a process, so expect to test, iterate, test, and then iterate some more to get the desired results. However, if you stay consistent and diligent, you can achieve rockstar stats!

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

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