Charles Perry – Talk Recap FemtoConf 2019

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Twitter: @dazeend

Brute-Forcing Customer Acquisition with Cold Email

  • started out with RelaNet, trying SEO
    • no customers, very little traffic
    • needed revenue right now
  • tried Content Marketing next
    • very few conversion, because I had no traffic
  • tried Facebook Ads next
    • it worked somewhat
    • spent money faster than revenue came in
  • Realization:
    • I need to hunt down my customers
    • So I started cold emailing

The Process

  1. Create Email List
  2. Compose
  3. Send

Step 1: Create Email List

  • nice thing about B2B: businesses want to be found (on the internet), makes creating the email list easier
  • Three step process:
    • Target Audience
    • Decision Maker (who can say yes to purchase decision?)
    • Categorize by need (helps you personalize the message)
  • Define your target audience by:
    • Occupation
    • Revenue
    • Number of employees
    • level of sophistication (expressed through job titles)
    • Geography
    • Technology

Targetting by Occupation

  • are you trying to get in front of people who need to register with the government?
    • e.g. pharmacies, dentists, firearm instructors
    • There is probably a society and a website that has all the registration data

Targetting by Size (Revenue, Number of Employees, Job Titles)

  • LinkedIn is the way to go
  • LinkedIn has a boolean search capability
  • Use LIX (LinkedIn search eXporter) to export search results

Targetting by Geography

  • almost all governments make the business registrations available online
  • powerful way to find businesses

Targetting by Technology

Finding the Decision Maker

  • get a virtual assistant to find the relevant contacts and fill in the blanks in your contact list

Categorize by Need

  • categorized each business by
    • has a nice website
    • has an ugly website
    • has no website

Step 2: Compose Emails

  • two things to compose:
    • Subject Lines
    • email bodies (plural)
  • tips for subject lines:
    • use their name or the company name in the subject line
  • Email bodies:
    • write one email body for each category we identified earlier
    • best email bodies are: Relevant, Genuine, Personal
  • Structure for a good email:
    • “Hi $Firstname”
    • Introduce yourself and your company
    • Mention that you are local (if applicable)
    • In simple words state the problem they have (“I was looking at your firm’s website, and noticed that it might be due for an update”)
    • Offer to help (“If you’d like a hand with this, I can help”)
    • Show them how you can solve it and why you’re the best choice for the job
    • Write a clear Call-To-Action that is appropriate to your audience (e.g. accountants are used to doing business on the phone)
    • Sign off and mention your contact details

Step 3: Send Emails

  • Don’t send them by hand one at a time


  • based on when I used MaxBulk Mailer, so no follow-ups!
  • I expect that all of these results are way better now
  • 6.6% Response rate
  • 1.5% book call rate
  • 0.4% email-to-close rate
  • Knowing these statistics allows you to calculate how many emails you need to send

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About Christoph

Christoph lives in Munich, Germany and is bootstrapping his own SaaS application as a part-time entrepreneur.

He likes to write on this blog about anything of relevance to single-founder bootstrapped software startups.


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