Hackernoon logoEmail Marketing: Cold Email Outreach Solutions Review For SMBs by@ks.shilov

Email Marketing: Cold Email Outreach Solutions Review For SMBs

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@ks.shilovKirill

Blockchain enthusiast developer and writer. My telegram: ksshilov

Email marketing is one of the best ways to reach new customers, especially when viewed from an ROI perspective. No one likes cold email outreach, honestly. The people sending them and the people receiving them don’t like it — but they work, which is why we all keep doing it. Although cold email outreach can be a bit off putting, by doing your research ahead of time and ensuring you are actually reaching out to people who might have some slight interest in your product can go a long way.

Emails are cheaper and quicker than reaching out to potential clients through social media, but that doesn’t mean modern email solutions don’t come with their own set of problems. The perfect cold email outreach solution is waiting for you, and I’m going to tell you how I found mine.

Step 1 - Identify the problems

Launching an email campaign requires tools, and unfortunately, these tools probably aren’t free. 
“But Kirill,” you’re thinking, “I send emails through MailChimp and Gmail all the time.” Trust me, I was there at one time, too, many years ago. Looking for the free solutions to my cold outreach problems and wondering why none of my emails were getting any traction.
There are inherent problems with those solutions, here’s the gist of it:
The major problems I ran into were bandwidth (number of emails per day), a lack of tools to save me time (time = money), and all of my emails going straight to people’s spam folders (money down the drain). To solve these problems I started a quest to try many different cold outreach email solutions until I found the one that fit my situation like a glove. I went through five services until finally ending up on the one I currently use and love. Because you’re busy, here’s the tl;dr for each one:
  • Mixmax - Full suite of services with a full-suite price to go along with it.
  • Woodpecker - A company with a clever pun and clever ways of making email receiving customers feel special.
  • Lemlist - Amazing tool that are used by some big-name businesses to run their campaigns.
  • GMass - If you love the G Suite, you’ll probably like working with GMass.
  • Smartreach - Straightforward tools to take you from a list of 100 emails to a list of 10,000+ emails.

Step 2 - Figure out your needs

Cold email outreach solutions are both extremely personal for businesses as well as generic across the board. What works for me may not work for you, but we all still have similar needs when it comes to cold email outreach. My needs led me to create a list of metrics to compare solutions: you can use this list as a starting point to figure out what you and your business need.
Functionality:
  • Can you attach more than 1 email at a time?
  • Can you easily scale up your campaign to 200, 300, 500 emails per day?
  • How easy is it to integrate follow up emails? Can you set the time they respond?
  • Are there tracking tools, open rate tools, insight tools?
Warmup mode:
You can’t just start sending massive amounts of emails from a fresh email address, that’s a recipe for spam. Instead, you need to warm up an address, coax spam filters into understanding that you aren’t a bot AND that people actually want to hear what you have to say.
Warming up an email address is all about slowly engaging more and more people, building relationships through click-throughs and responses. At the end of the day, though, people are going to mark your emails as spam if they are spam — so contact me personally if you need help creating content that is worthy of reading.
Followup emails:
You’ve done it - you’ve found the tools, warmed up your email address, and sent out your first batch. Now what? You follow up! But you’re busy, and you have 150 email responses to deal with — this is why you need followup management from the software you are using.
The more organic your follow ups feel the more engaged the customer will be, and the further down the funnel they will travel.
Price per email:
This one’s a no brainer — my budget isn’t endless, and neither is yours. Calculating the actual price per email can be done with this formula:
(plan price per month) / (total emails per month) = cost per email
So if your plan costs ($50), divide it by total emails sent (10,000) and you can figure out that your cost per email = $0.005.
This is one of the largest considerations for me, because it doesn’t matter how many tools you have at your disposal if you A) can’t afford to use them and B) are extremely limited on the number of emails you can send. It’s important to remember here that even small changes in email price can quickly add up when you are sending thousands upon thousands of emails every month.

Step 3 - learn from my mistakes

This is where I pull out the cliche statement and tell you that “I paid the price so that you don’t have to.” But honestly, I’ve been paying subscription prices for 2+ years for email software and until I switched to my most recent provider I always felt a bit dissatisfied. Incase you are curious, I currently use Smartreach.io and find them to be extremely easy to use (even for a newbie, if you’re just getting into cold outreach), and this is my experience with the other services before I gave up on them.
Note: All prices are based on the plans that you’ll probably actually use, some services offer “basic” plans that are more or less a waste of your money.
MixMax (price per email @ 15k emails/month = 0.00193)
I spent a long time learning how to use MixMax, and still feel that I never really got the hang of how to do exactly what I wanted to do for some of their features. I will admit that their email constructor was a breeze to use, with a clean layout, but the overall price per email ended up being a bit too high for my needs. Also, it lacks a warmup function (when I used it), which made launching new campaigns a bit of a hassle.
Woodpecker (price per email @ 15k emails/month = 0.0026)
This service has a fantastic warmup function, and the email constructor made me feel like a content creation wizard - even the most inexperienced creator could make something look decent through Wordpecker. After I got the hang of the interface it started to make more sense, but when I first started with them the learning curve was steep. I would probably still be using Wordpecker if the cost per email wasn’t so steep, it just didn’t make sense for the size of my business.
GMass (price per email @ 15k emails/month =  0.00086 ← pay attention to that extra zero)
I wanted more from GMass, but you definitely get what you pay for. This solution isn’t offered as standalone software, instead it is a service that gets integrated into your existing Gmail or G Suite accounts. Don’t use Gmail? You can’t use GMass then. There is no warmup function, and the controls for creating emails sometimes felt a bit clunky. However, for a cheap email campaign this is a solid way to go.
Lemlist (price per email @ 15k emails/month = 0.0096)
This company is relatively new to the game (2018), but has some awesome ideas they are bringing to the market. The warmup function they offer is top notch (seriously, you’d have to try hard to get banned if you put your warmup in their hands), and the email constructor they provide is straightforward. The pricing they charge is not high, not low, and that’s kind of how I feel about them in general — they are a fantastic middle-ground option.
Smartreach.io (price per email @ 15k emails/month = 0.0016)
This is the service I currently use, and unless they drastically change something, I can’t see myself switching. The price per email is solid, and all of their included tools are easy to use and understand. One feature I particularly enjoy is that you can connect as many emails as you want to an account, then shuffle them through your campaigns as you see fit. This is extremely useful when you have various email groups that may share interests, but you don’t always want them lumped together. 

Step 4 - pick one and start sending

The trick is to stop procrastinating and start sending. The best way to fail at your cold email outreach campaign is to spend all your time on the internet researching what service you should use instead of just picking one. At the end of the day the price per email won’t matter until you get up into the tens of thousands of emails per month, so bookmark this article now and I’ll see you in a year.

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