This post is really a soul searching activity. I have done a fair bit of outbound email work for PodcastMotor in the past month or so, and had great success at it each time. The magnitude of it though is nothing compared to what I’m about to embark upon.
I’d previously sent somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 emails out at a time using a mail merge in Yesware, but now I’m looking at conducting a much larger campaign (or at least the same size campaign, but doing it many times over), and am feeling the need to get organized about it.
I know I’ve ranted before about my need to find a good technology solution for this endeavor, and I think I’ve just been overly dramatic about the need for “a solution”, and not doing enough damn work.
Here’s what I know works:
- Using Yesware to do a mail merge with a handful of customized fields. I have fields for a bunch of things for each entry that makes an email feel very personalized. I think this is really important to open and conversion rates.
- Following up manually with those who do respond. I’m building out a series of template emails that I know have been needed in the past, fine tuning some of the wording around it to make it a bit more general, and loading those templates into Yesware.
- Getting set up with the CRM du jour – Streak. Streak is a very simple, straight forward CRM that lives inside of Gmail. How freaking smart is that? A CRM that lives inside the place that you directly interact with your customers. Who’da thunk it? I really have no idea how to use Streak, but it came highly recommended and it’s free, so you can’t beat that.
The other thing I am conscious of is not wasting this one opportunity I have to make a first email impression on people. I want them to have nothing but a positive experience when it comes to PodcastMotor, and the worst possible thing I can imagine is offending someone with a big audience and them flying off the handle at me.
So I’m going to use a very soft approach for the first email, and very well may use The Reacharound method, and offer them something first. Then either in subsequent conversations or in at another point in the future I could bring up our service offerings to see if they’re interested. I got such good response from my PodcastMotor Radio email that went out to about 25 people that I feel like just doing that again will really serve me well.
Heck, what if I get to do 100 interviews with leaders in the podcasting field this year?! I guaran-damn-tee you that my business would be successful if I was able to do that.
Ok, that settles it. Even my outbound emails are going to be a giant softball pitch to begin with. In fact it’s not even a pitch at all. I’m going to invite them on the show and talk to them about how they’re using a podcast to further their business. And let the conversation go from there.
What do you think about this approach? I hesitate to pitch anyone right off the bat without talking to them first, and maybe some people actually will respond better to that. But, in the bigger picture of building a name for myself and this business, I think building out a fantastic show behind it would do wonders.