Whether you like it or not, 2020 is shaping up to be a momentous year.
The thought that it might just be the beginning of a new decade, the symmetry of the numbers, or the plain fact that 2019 was not the best of years in many a business’s books may all be contributing to the exuberant and almost giddy optimism and productivity that seems to be radiating out of offices the world over.
And while we don’t have a crystal ball, and can’t predict what the year has in store for us, what we can do is talk about all the ‘little’ things that you can do to make this year better than the previous one(s).
Let’s start off with outreach and business development.
A Case for Outreach Tools
When we talk about outreach, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely blogger outreach, or some other form of what is essentially link building.
That is however not what we have in mind here – we are talking about outreach for business development purposes: lead generation, warming up cold leads, keeping in touch with past converting customers, entering a new market, branching out to a new location, and so on.
All of these developments benefit from and rely on outreach and email communication to thrive.
And as it is 2020, you shouldn’t expect yourself or your team to perform outreach manually, not with so many excellent outreach tools available, most of which can significantly boost your business development efforts.
Let’s take a look at the 6 best tools for the job:
Mailshake is an excellent piece of software that can help you execute any kind of outreach project, no matter its size or aim.
It comes with a stunning database of outreach templates, and the tool can also help personalize an email campaign specifically for your project.
It facilitates automatic follow-ups, so you never have to set a reminder to do it yourself ever again. It also handles unsubscribe requests and auto-responders on its own, leaving you only with the task of corresponding with actual leads, and doing so from a decluttered inbox.
It can be integrated with tools such as Zapier or Salesforce, further adding to your outreach capabilities.
Mailshake starts at $39 per month per user, and the price is reduced to $29 if you are looking to sign up for the entire year.
Ninja Outreach was conceived as an influencer outreach tool, but it can also be used for business development purposes.
What makes it unique is its database of over 25 million websites, which makes it so much easier to find the kind of customer you are looking for. It also has a database of over 2 million Twitter profiles, which you can use both for connecting with leads, and finding potential brand advocates.
It also has a lead generation feature, giving you access to millions of business profiles from different industries and countries. Add to that their built-in email finder, and you’ll see how much more streamlined your outreach efforts can become with the aid of this tool.
Ninja Outreach does not feature prices on their website, so you will have to sign up for a demo to learn more about the product and its costs.
While it doesn’t have some of the more attractive lead generation features of Mailshake and Ninja Outreach, Buzzstream is a great tool for email automation and monitoring.
The tool allows you to build unique campaigns, import websites and email addresses and manage conversations with them from a single dashboard.
You can craft email templates that can be further personalized in the outreach stage, and track open, click and reply rates for each template, allowing you to modify and change what’s needed.
It also lets you schedule emails for later, and comes with automated follow up sequences you can set up for each template or campaign.
Buzzstream starts at $24 per month for a single user, but with very limited contacts, so the best choice might be the $99 per month plan which accommodates three users and 25.000 contacts.
This tool was made with sales in mind rather than link building, and its top feature is the way it allows different team members to work together on outreach. It allows all users to stay on top of every conversation, thus eliminating the redundancy of reading each email all over again, and it minimizes the chances of sending out similar emails twice to the same lead.
It allows you to create workflows and move your leads through all the stages of the sales funnel you have created. It can also be integrated with both Gmail and Salesforce, so you can keep track of your contacts from either platform.
In order to learn more about the pricing of Outreach.io, you will again have to book a demo.
Now that you have all the tools you need to send out actual emails, let’s explore a couple of the additional tools that will help you make that outreach meaningful and worthwhile.
SimilarWeb Chrome Extension
Another tool that has been designed for link building campaigns, yet is an excellent way to find leads for your business.
When you visit a website, the extension will show you its most important metrics, which you don’t technically need. However, the Audience and Similar buttons will provide insight into similar businesses you may also want to reach out to, plus you can look for businesses similar to the ones you are already working with.
The extension is free, and an excellent way to gather leads for your business, no matter the industry you work in.
Now that you have a list of leads you want to contact through one of the outreach tools we have listed above comes the hardest task of finding the right contact information and email addresses for all of these people.
Hunter is a tool that does this for you, and comes up with all the relevant email addresses for a website within minutes. That way, you will significantly reduce the bounce and unopen rate of your emails, and boost your chances of success.
Hunter also comes as a Chrome extension, but it can be integrated through Zapier with your CRM as well.
The tool is free for up to 50 searches per month, and starts at 49€ per month for 1000 searches.
All of these tools have been designed to make that most difficult of steps in sales, lead generation, and of course blogger outreach that much easier: communication.
When you know that you need to send out dozens of emails to receive one reply, and that there is a high chance that some (or even most) of your emails will remain unopened, you need an ally that will help you through this, and allow you to focus on what is important, rather than keep counting failed emails and no replies.
Another advantage of using an outreach tool for business development is the fact that you can use the data it gathers (emails sent, opened, clicked, conversions, and so on) to further enhance your outreach and email subject lines, templates, and every other aspect of your email communication.
Test out a couple of different tools and see which one works best for your business development purposes before you sign up for a year’s worth of outreach – and once you have found the best option, make sure you use all of its features to boost your campaigns.