01:56 – It’s not rocket science
02:57 – Does cold marketing really work?
04:36 – Which markets are great for cold marketing?
07:42 – How soon can you see results?
08:39 – ROI over cost
09:24 – When to NOT use your personal email
12:07 – Platforms for lead generation
13:31 – Cold outreach for B2C
14:19 – In summary
James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. Today, I want to introduce a brand new series. This is The Get Clients Podcast Series and for this series I’ve invited my special guest, William Wang. Welcome.
Will: Cool. Thanks for having me on.
James: Can I call you Will?
Will: Yeah, it will probably be easy for both of us.
James: So Will, you run a business called GrowthLabz.com here in Sydney, and you’ve got clients all around and you specialize in getting leads which turn into clients for B2B companies, right?
Will: Yeah, that’s right.
James: So you’re going to join me on this series and we’re going to cover a whole range of topics in relation to getting clients. Today, we’re going to have the introduction of what this topic is about and why it’s important and who needs it. And then we’re going to cover, in future episodes, things like the email marketing channel. We’ll talk about who you should be contacting, and where you can actually find people. And we’ll talk about some of the techniques and tools and mistakes that people make when they’re trying to get clients and even some nuances and negotiations, and how to get people to say yes to what you’re offering. So this is going to be a lot of fun.
It’s not rocket science
And to start off with, let’s just talk about the general concept itself of getting clients. If you could just give a little description of what that process looks like when someone’s finding out about it.
Will: Yeah, sure. So I mean look, I’m not sure about you James, but I kind of like to keep things simple. I’m pretty sure that’s how you kind of operate as well. So the way that I kind of look at this whole process of getting leads and getting clients is, if we’ve got a product that helps a market, that the market wants, or that we can give them a result that they need, then all we’re doing is finding the right people within the market that we want to speak to, and giving them a choice of if they want to speak to us and learn more about how we can help them and then going through that process. So you don’t have to make it difficult or rocket science or anything like that. It’s literally how can we help and who do we help. And then let’s talk to them about if we can help them or not.
James: Right. So this is sometimes referred to as cold marketing. We’re just approaching people out of the blue, right?
Will: Yeah, so there’s a whole bunch of names. People call it outreach, cold emailing, cold marketing, there’s a whole bunch of names, but essentially, it’s just getting in front of someone who may or may not know of us and who may or may not have already spoken to us previously.
Does cold marketing really work?
James: Now at the stage my business is at where I’m fairly mature in the market, we’ve got great reputation, we get results for clients, we have amazing referrals and I’ve been doing content marketing for over a decade, it’s not really part of my marketing mix. So, I guess I want to ask you a few questions first. Does cold outreach actually work?
Will: Yes but most people are quite familiar with are people blasting their inboxes with just messages that aren’t relevant, that are spammy and for lack of a better word haven’t been thought through. So what we’re seeing across the clients that we work with is, when we send a cold email campaign out to their leads, we’ll get anywhere between 70 to 90 percent open rate and from 15 to 30 percent – one of my clients even got 60 percent reply rates from some of the leads he was targeting. So if you do it right, it’s definitely still really powerful and definitely still works.
James: Excellent. Now as part of this, and it’s certainly something I use and I teach clients – are you doing reactivations as well?
Will: Yeah, so that’s a little bit different but it is something that we do depending on the business. So most of our clients we work with come to us and say, “Hey, we’ve got this new market we want to try and tackle.” Some of them would say, “We do have a list of who we’ve worked with before,” but that’s a little bit different. It’s still kind of emailing but that’s more nurturing and emailing with the intention of bringing someone back rather than getting a new lead on board.
James: Yeah, I sort of view it as being a similar discipline because in many cases the market has ignored that customer segment. For every marketer who’s (I think I’ll use your words here) blasting their email list, there’ll be a bunch of marketers who have never maintained contact with their customers, people who have actually opted in for something or purchase something at some point and they’re being abandoned. And it is almost a cold approach to go back to that list. You got to treat it as something you really should put some consideration to. And I know some of the email techniques that you’re using will also work for reactivation if you already have a dormant list but emails is one aspect of it.
Which markets are great for cold marketing?
I’m wondering what type of clients are you generally seeing in GrowthLabz agency who turn this sort of division on that we’re missing out on it and they’re getting good results? What type of businesses would consider this?
Will: Yeah, so the types of businesses, look it’s one of those things where depending on the signal they’re after, it could really work for a whole bunch of different businesses. The criteria that we typically talk about when we onboard new client is what type of people they’re after because if one of their clients is only worth $5 a month and their lower value in the grand scheme of things, it might not be worth effort of actually setting up a cold email system to go after those clients.
Whereas if a business comes to us and each of their clients is worth a five or 10,000 or even more, then just one successful client would pay for a lot of the marketing and it will help them become a lot more profitable.
So it really depends on the price point they’re charging and also the services that they’re providing as well. Some markets just don’t like getting cold emails. And that’s, you know, what we’ve seen across a few different markets. So it really depends on how they want to tackle the market, their products, and their ideal client or lead profile.
James: So are there markets who like getting cold emails?
Will: Yep. There are, funnily enough. So in our experience (and this is just obviously just based on what we’ve seen) technology savvy markets, markets like e-commerce businesses, financial services businesses, lots of them are quite OK if you send them a cold email. Those markets are generally quite good.
The markets that we’ve tried that haven’t worked so well are things like construction, just because they’re typically not at their emails. They don’t prefer getting emails. And sometimes restaurants depending on the area, either too busy or they’re just not around on it. So it really depends. I mean, there are exceptions to all rules but yeah, it’s kind of one of those things where it depends on the business and how they’re trying to sell the services.
James: I know it’s a hard one to answer. What kind of results might I expect if I was doing – and I’ll just give you some context for this question – I’ve had plenty of guests here talking about AdWords and Facebook paid traffic campaigns. And we’ve talked about content marketing before and I would say in almost every one of those scenarios, there’s a little bit of a phase where you have to either wait. If it’s content, you’re not going to get a lot of sales off your first podcast or your first video that you put up to Instagram. That’s a longer haul strategy and over time, you can build authority and brand and trust.
How soon can you see results?
When it comes to the paid traffic techniques like Facebook, AdWords or YouTube, they always caution there’s an upfront learning phase where there will be a fair bit of ad budget consumed until you can get to breakeven, and then go into profit. And I’ve experienced that as well when I was being a super affiliate.
And then there’s the joint venture kind of arrangement where you simply hook up with someone who already has your customers and you have them promote for you. Now, that can be an instant result. That is a fast turnaround because you’ll either make the sale or not. An example of that is today, somebody sent an email out for my LIVE event and instantly sales started happening. So that’s a very fast turnaround.
How fast a turnaround can we expect and what kind of upfront frustrations might we have with a brand new cold outreach campaign?
Will: Yeah, that’s a really, really good question. Because the way that I kind of look at it is, I’m not sure this is because we can also do Facebook stuff so we’re quite familiar with that side of things. We treat it very similar to say, Google AdWords or a Facebook campaign. So when we talk to new clients about this, typically what we say is we should be breaking even between the second or the third month depending on their sales process. Some products are easy to sell than others but typically, there is a bit of a learning cycle.
There is a bit of a time needed to learn who was meant to be speaking to within businesses, and also what copy works, what subject line works. So even though it sounds a lot simpler than an AdWords campaign, or a Facebook ads campaign, there is definitely that time frame where we test subject lines, we test copy and we test who we’re sending it to. So I treat it more like a proper campaign or a proper ad spend campaign rather than like a JV kind of venture.
ROI over cost
James: Does it cost a lot to have an agency do this for you versus trying to learn it yourself?
Will: I think the main cost is in time. So what I mean by that is, I can teach someone the exact process we used to find the lead, to find the emails, and to write copy but it’s still going to take time. It’s very different from getting templates to becoming a copywriter and understanding what to say and when to say it. So in terms of cost, obviously, we can do things a lot faster and also help our clients get to the results faster.
I think it’s one of those things where instead of looking at the cost, we kind of look at the return on investment and go how can we justify a cost by getting you way more return than you would if you try this yourself.
James: That does make a lot of sense. Now when it comes to this, can you give us a picture of the kind of platforms you’re using? You’ve already mentioned emails, and I’m wondering, are we sending those emails directly to a customer from our email account, our personal account, or are we doing this on a broadcast? Are we going through the messaging features of certain platforms?
When to NOT use your personal email
Will: Yeah, so that’s a good question. It’s really important too because I’ve had a client start off and tried using a Gmail account, which is definitely not what you want to do. So the way that we structure it is, it has to be sent person to person but as part of a business. Rather than sending from my personal Gmail account, I’ll use my company domain. No, not the company domain but a company name that looks similar to the main domain. So it’s a little bit technical this point but what it means is just in case things go wrong, you don’t want to burn your main company website so for us that’s GrowthLabz.com. I don’t want to burn that and have the rest of my emails, which are meant for clients or suppliers to go to the junk box, so I’ll buy a separate domain like GrowthLabz.net and use that to send cold emails from. I hope that made sense. It got a little bit technical there.
James: Right. So do you have to install a mail server for that or are you using some kind of service provider?
Will: So typically we go for something like G Suite. So it’s a Google Suite, set it up for that. And then we’ve got other software such as quickmail.io or Mailshake that goes and does the automation of the cold email sending.
James: Right. Now, I sometimes send emails from my personal Gmail, which is the same one that I use for the business so I’m using superfastbusiness.com. And if I do this, I’m making sure that I only send one email at a time. And if I wanted to send more than a few, I think for my Maldives trip campaign, I personally sent emails to people who are on the waiting list one by one and it resulted in a massive conversion. I think 12 out of the 13 emails that I sent ordered a ticket and the event sold out almost immediately. And I’d be interested though, what kind of mistakes are you seeing people make?
I have heard of people being locked out of their account for trying to bulk send like too many. And you’ve also inferred that you can lose sender reputation and you might cause your emails to go into the spam box. Is this a rookie error that you see a lot?
Will: Yeah it is. So generally, if someone knows of you, or if someone’s come into your funnel, sorry, not funnel but lead list and they’ve opted in somehow by downloading a lead magnet or something like that, generally, you don’t need to have a separate domain to send those. Depending on the number obviously but if it’s more of a warm email, that’s generally a lot safer to send from my personal email address.
So the reason why we do a separate domain is because it’s purely cold emails. So it’s people who don’t know of you or haven’t heard from you before. They’re more likely to mark you as spam and if you don’t like you, it’s more likely to get ugly that way. Whereas the other side, it’s actually more powerful because they already know of you. There’s no real reason why you need a separate domain just for emailing.
Platforms for lead generation
James: That’s a perfect distinction. Now, what about when it comes to platforms? I know that I receive cold outreach approaches of varying degrees of weakness. Some of them are weak and pathetic, other ones are really quite clever and good. Not many results in me taking the action that I suspect they would like me to.
However, we get them through our help desk a lot and in particular, we get podcast outreach requests. People trying to pimp their expert or guest from some kind of podcast booking service. But when it comes to LinkedIn, I get all sorts of different approaches. And I’m getting a few private messages in LinkedIn and some of them have great campaigns, some of them don’t, but those are the two places where I’m receiving messages. Where else (if anywhere else) can you use as a platform as your surrogate email?
Will: That’s a good point. I mean, the way that we structure our campaigns, we don’t even use LinkedIn that much. So with LinkedIn, the issue that we found is you can either only send one connection request or one email. Whereas with a cold email campaign, we can send up to five or eight emails as part of the sequence and campaign. So typically with us, I know we’re a little bit different than maybe a lot of the other lead generation agencies out there, but we do it in such a way that we get enough numbers just from using emails not to have to worry too much about other platforms. So emails and LinkedIn would I’d say be that 95 percent of the platforms that we actually use.
Cold outreach for B2C
James: Right and this is because you’re B2B as well?
Will: Yeah, that’s right. So I mean, if you’re B2C, honestly, cold email probably isn’t the best place. I wouldn’t be cold emailing consumers for products if you’re B2C. As I’m talking through this, essentially B2B is the best place to cold email. B2C you really do want to be building a warm email list rather than a cold email list. And just because of the way that laws are, especially if you’re having the new laws about cold emailing, it’s just a lot safer to only use cold emailing for B2B.
James: Right. Now, I haven’t yet bought Viagra or a Rolex from any of these offers that have been sent to me from somewhat dubious sources, I might add, but I think they’re getting filtered out. This has been a really great introduction, Will, when it comes to getting clients through this traffic channel, what are the top couple of bullet points that really should be on our mind as we’ve listened to this episode and we’re closing out, just to summarize.
Will: Sure, so I guess the main bullet point to have in mind always is to make sure you’ve got product-market fit before you even try any of this. So we’ve had clients in the past where, you know, we’ve tried different campaigns and even though they got through to people, it wasn’t a successful campaign just because the product wasn’t the right fit with the market. So even though we’re talking about getting clients and leads everything like that, a lot of it does come back to the product. And then after they’ve got that, the rest is really just getting the right message in from the right people and just keep it as simple as you can.
James: Perfect. Well, there you go. I’ve been speaking with Will a.k.a William Wang from GrowthLabz.com. And I just want to say thanks for sharing that great information. When we come back on our next episode, Will, we’re going to be talking about emails because that sounds like the 80/20 of what it is that we’re doing here.
We’ll have a chat about subject lines, what sort of laws we might want to keep in mind, what we’re actually putting inside the emails, and what a campaign might look like if you’re willing to share that stuff?
Will: Yeah, absolutely. Sounds good.
Find the best experts and resources to build your business inside the SuperFastBusiness membership
Want more high-quality leads and high-value clients? Check out GrowthLabz.com
Liked the show? Enjoy all the episodes by subscribing on iTunes