We had the opportunity to speak with Aditya Mehta, the founder of Cogito, a full-stack growth consulting firm for early-stage businesses. Previously, Aditya Mehta was the CEO of Suggestr, a company backed by Y Combinator that offered small- and medium-sized business owners access to the same cutting-edge AI algorithms used by Amazon, Facebook, and TikTok.
We talked about how his experience in the B2B sector aided him in developing the best lead sourcing strategies, his priorities when assisting companies with cold email, and how important A/B testing is in his opinion when developing the content for cold emails.
Do you think there's anything else we should do before we start lead sourcing?
Before we even start talking about (lead sourcing), we should probably set up the email infrastructure. So, never cold outbound with your primary domain; it's the quickest way to lose the ability to email anyone and have that email land in their inbox.
Always have a secondary domain, at the very least one or two secondary domains. Once you have those domains, you must create a Google workspace on them. When you have a new domain, you must also warm it up for at least a couple of weeks before you start reaching out. If you don't warm it up and start sending 50 emails a day, it will all go to spam.
How do you approach lead sourcing?
There are two aspects to lead generation. The first consideration is the technical aspect of lead generation: Where do you find leads? What is the most cost-effective way to obtain them? How do you confirm them? What email addresses should you avoid?
Then there's the business owner's perspective: How's the business model? Who exactly are we contacting to define a clear ICP (Ideal Customer Persona) so that we can have a very high-resolution insight into the persona? And those two things, in my opinion, constitute a good lead generation.
What I would not recommend is that you directly use emails from a database without verifying them independently. Even if a database platform says the lead is verified, there is a 1 to 2% chance that the email address is incorrect or invalid. If you want to avoid this, you should check those emails with a secondary or external tool.
Assume we have everything sorted; we have that leads list, cleaned, enriched, and verified. What would be the next steps in engaging with the leads?
If you're selling a B2B product (product at higher price point), you should take it slowly. It is unlikely the prospects are going to convert or take big action in the first cold email. In the first email, do not request a call or a meeting. Before asking for larger commitments, focus on actually starting a conversation and developing a relationship.
We've seen soft CTAs work well, such as asking for permission to send over more information or asking for permission to send case studies. In general, short emails outperform long emails, and plain text emails outperform highly formatted HTML emails.
When cold emailing, my rule of thumb is that the first email should be no longer than what would fit on a phone screen. That is how much information you want to condense and distill.
In terms of sequences, three emails are the sweet spot.
There’s one initial email and two follow-ups. What you can do is a three-step response for a quarter. If you do not hear back within three months, feel free to try again. Do not send a 15-email sequence in a row, that’s too long!
What should I do now that we've tested these ICPs and valid propositions? How do you know whether cold email is a viable channel for your company?
The logical next step in your case is to get these people on calls and try to close them as clients, seeing if you can get a 30-40% close rate on those calls. Then, assess the unit economics of the entire outbound funnel to see if it makes sense. If it does, scale it up!
Would you run an A/B test on the content of your cold email?
Sure, absolutely. Whatever your first draft is, if you get 4-5% response rate, you have potential and should dig deeper and optimize it. If you only got 1-2% of the first 400 or 500 emails you sent out, the mapping between ICP value propositions and email is probably not perfect. As a result, I would switch either the value proposition or the ICP.
So that's how we usually decide: When should we invest more time and resources into optimizing a campaign? Should we put more effort into going back to the drawing board and reviewing the ICP? What specific value proposition we attempt to pitch to ICPs? That is the point at which we make our decision.
Have you ever considered how you could improve your cold outbound strategies? Schedule a call with us and we'll tell you what you can do to make the most of your cold outbound strategies.