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b2b saas cold email framework

New B2B SaaS cold email framework: Start sending these 2 types of cold emails

B2B SaaS companies need to stop sending generic cold email templates

When it comes to writing high-converting cold emails, a quick Google search will return thousands of different rules, templates, and steps to follow.

Cold emails as an acquisition channel are particularly popular for B2B SaaS companies. If you do your research and prospecting correctly, you can test and scale top funnel outreach very effectively and inexpensively, allowing you to allocate resources more effectively elsewhere.

However, given the amount of advice out there, with so many ‘proven’ ways to send cold emails, it’s safe to assume that there isn’t one silver bullet-type strategy that will save your failing email campaigns.

The cold email templates that flooded the internet can work, but their widespread use makes them often ineffective.

Email automation companies that have anything to do with email or cold email (from sending to verification) produce especially this type of content. And there is a fair number of them…

They understand their reads want a quick fix, plug and play solution.

Grow your SaaS business by understanding the principles behind successful cold emails

While small tweaks and improvements are nice, it’s something more nuanced than a simple template or a quick trick when it comes to long-term impact on your cold emails and sales processes.

We send thousands of cold emails weekly for our clients to prospects in different industries. The messages we send differ from client to client, and further for each client inside different campaigns, but they still perform really well.

If you start to approach your sales processes from this angle, you will quickly realize that it’s not about a magic combination of words that will make your prospects want to jump on a call.

Instead, it’s about underlying principles inside the emails. Every framework (in any field, from sales & marketing, to finance or science) is based on specific principles that make the framework robust.

The simple framework that I will discuss here is not different. Tactics follow strategy.

Based on the understanding that principles are more powerful than small tweaks, we set to analyze the cold emails we send (in this experiment, only the first emails) to understand what aspects make the successful campaigns successful.


Analysis of our best performing first cold emails – this is what we found…

Before we discuss what we did. Let’s break down the dynamics of communication that we’re engaging in when sending out emails.

One of the fundamental things our clients grasp when we start optimizing their campaigns is that there are two main categories of variables when it comes to cold email outreach.

Category 1 – You/your business

  • Product and features
  • UX/UI
  • Reputation
  • Pricing
  • Etc.

Category 2 – Your prospects

  • Competence to make a decision
  • Readiness to buy
  • Budget
  • Internal decision-making process, approvals
  • Etc.

The challenging part when it comes to cold emails is condensing the relevant Category 1 information and communicating it effectively and persuasively. How you do this is in your control.

However, you can’t control variables in Category 2 for a specific organization you communicate with. You can only influence WHO will be on the receiving end of your emails. The selection of who enters your sales cadences is in your hands, that’s why prospecting for the right accounts is as important as what you communicate to them.

To understand the effectiveness behind winning emails, we looked at how different elements interact between Category 1 and Category 2 variables.

We found that product differentiation is the major variable when it comes to writing effective cold emails and enticing a response. Upmarket solution deals are made on the features, integration, and flexibility to integrate with existing processes.

If your prospects are cold and you don’t have any history with them, they never saw your ads, read your blog or heard about you, they will care primarily about how your product solves their pain in a differentiated and better way.

Talking about price, UX/UI or other elements is important, but it’s often too early in the sales process.

While talking about price early can work for a certain type of prospects, it’s generally too early in the buying process, especially with organizations at the growth and maturity stage. They need the best solution, not the cheapest option. Click To Tweet

When I talk about differentiation, I mean a 10X differentiation, not 10%. It’s the kind of differentiation where your prospects think ‘Ok, wow, that’s really cool’ or ‘this is very interesting, how does it work?’.

Are you competing on the fact that one or a small number of features are marginally better, or are you offering a paradigm shift in terms of how the problems of your prospects are resolved?

Are you so far ahead of your competition that there is nobody competing with you in your category?

It’s important to be honest with yourself and to not make an emotional decision when thinking about this.

However, most likely you know the answer already – the answer was obvious (at least at that time) before a single line of code was written.

If you struggle to determine this, start by analyzing your competition and their products, conduct user interviews, and quantifying your findings.


Make your value proposition determine the types of cold emails you send

Generally, we send on behalf of our clients two types of emails depending on their value proposition.


If you have a product without significant differentiation – send ‘bait’ emails

In case your product falls into this category, the ‘bait’ emails perform the best. In a bait email, you introduce your product alongside a valuable piece of information or content for your prospect, ideally as a result of using your product (but this is not always possible). The bait also needs to be easy to consume and applicable in the near future.

While we’re baiting a response with something free, the value you offer has to exceed any cold emails they are used to receiving. It has to be something worth paying for.

b2b saas cold email optimization

Some examples are a detailed SEO report made with your SEO tool or a collection of PPC and SERP marketing data of your prospect’s competition. Experiment with offline or online events, data sheets, fact sheets, reports or recent industry research or statistics.

If your product can’t be used to create a bait, think about what valuable information your prospects want and will be a ‘no brainer’ to access and consume.

What to remember when writing the bait cold emails:

  1. Short
  2. Industry specific
  3. Account-specific
  4. Explain your product in 1-2 sentences
  5. Valuable bait that solve a real problem
  6. Test baits
  7. Clear call to action


If you have a differentiated solution – send ‘fact-based’ emails

In case you are miles ahead of the other players in your market, the ‘fact-based’ emails tend to perform the best.

These emails are shorter and require less research when crafting the offer (however, don’t neglect personalization). The fact-based emails simply state in what major areas you differ from other competitors.

While it’s not a ‘take it or leave it’ messaging, these emails resemble it. You outline your differentiation (remember 10x differentiation) and ask whether your prospect wants to know more.

Don’t be too pushy in this email however, ask for a brief and no strings attached introduction, discovery call or a meeting. In this case, your product is the bait.

What to remember when writing the fact-based emails:

  1. Short
  2. Outline major areas of differentiation in 3-5 brief points
  3. Explain value of taking the next step (e.g. a discovery call)
  4. Clear call to action

Here at App Marketing Minds, we often consult our clients on the types of emails they send. While their cold emails are doing well, they could be doing better by offering a bait, or improving their existing baits.

b2b saas cold email optimization

Why so many B2B SaaS companies struggle with cold emails?

I already described the 2 categories of variables that can influence the outcome of a cold email. The list is far from exhaustive.

A campaign that is underperforming can have one or more variables contributing to its performance. The ony way to find out is through A/B testing.

However, understanding where your product falls in the marketplace and adjusting messaging accordingly will make a significant difference.

Applying this change led to up to 70% improvements in lead generation efforts.

This is still concerning only the first email – but what happens next?

Switch it up regardless of your value proposition in the later emails. Introduce content baits and also go with shorter, fact-based emails.

You need to keep systematically A/B testing different angles and emails with your product, offer and market

What’s the take-home message?

Don’t simply copy email templates that you and thousands of other people can download from the internet. The chances are thousands of other people are sending, and millions are receiving these emails.

You can’t spam your way to success in sales. Think about the value you provide, whether through your product or through a bait that will lead to a demonstration of your product.

Thinking about the principles behind emails will produce results, not tweaking one or two words.

Maybe your value proposition is truly unique, but you’re not clearly explaining it in your emails. On the other hand, you could be directly selling (‘take it or leave it’) a generic solution while having many direct similar competitors.

Try to make these changes and let us know the results.

If you’d like to discuss your current sales campaigns, simply leave us a message or schedule a call. If you are new to cold emails, discover how we will set up a turn-key outbound lead generation campaign for your business.

b2b saas lead generation
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The Top Business Intelligence Methods for App Developers

Whether you’re an independent app developer or create apps for a company, you need to be up to date with what apps are trending. This is where insights from a business intelligence (BI) solution becomes an invaluable resource. Determine what apps in your industry are trending and what features users are looking for.

 

Why BI Matters

Here’s a jaw-dropping fact: about 200 apps account for 70% of total app usage in the U.S. That is pretty shocking considering that there are roughly 160 million apps, according to a 2015 report.

How do you create a successful app when so few dominate the entire marketplace? This is why big data is so important. It helps you understand the who, what, why, and how of an app and their intended users.

 

Define Your Metrics

Metrics should include performance of previous apps. Get specific to determine what makes a particular app click with demographic users. Avoid broad metrics like overall download rate. Examples of well defined metrics include:

  • download rate of app X according to gender, age group, and geo-location
  • download rate of app X within 24 hours of release, 48 hours, etc.
  • consensus of app according to social media reviews
  • the success rate of native versus hybrid apps, if you have developed both app types in the past

When you evaluate the specific performance parameters of past apps, you gain insight into what resonates with users.

In addition, you should also define a separate set of metrics for your demographic consumers. Learn who they are and why they are interested in your industry and products in the first place. You can even flat out ask them what kind of app would they be interested in. It doesn’t get any more straightforward than that.

Through online surveys or social media input, you can get to know your customers at a more personal level. This helps you determine what type of app to create that caters to demographic demands.

Know What Matters Most to Users

What do users hope to get out of an app? What do they value the most? A study by Compuware made these discoveries regarding what people expect out of an app:

  • zero errors and glitches. Users will often abandon an app just after one or two failed attempts.
  • an easy-to-navigate and intuitive interface. Perform a usability testing to determine whether it meets this criteria. Introduce the app to a layperson; if he/she can’t figure the ins and outs within five minutes, then it’s too complex.
  • an app that’s responsive and identifies what device and platform they’re using.

The same study also found that dissatisfied users will likely submit negative reviews. These findings may or may not pertain to app use for your industry. Use online surveys and BI tools to collect data on what they expect out of an app.

 

What About Enterprise Apps?

It’s a different matter altogether if you’re creating an app for workplace or internal department use. In this case, what do employees expect to get out of it? Employees want an app that simplifies their job in some shape or form. Structured and unstructured data can determine many insights about employees and the type of app they want. Data analysis may indicate that workers may prioritize the following:

  • an app that provides 24/7 mobile access to sales sheets, invoices, and other similar data updated in real time
  • apps that send urgent notification alerts, such as a delay in supply delivery, an overcharge in an invoice, or an item needing restocking
  • apps that present big data in an easy-to-read format, such as through charts or bar graphs
  • multi-featured apps with functions that include time tracking, enhanced resource, and project analytics

 

Data-Driven Marketing for Apps

Big data doesn’t just help you produce an app that resonates with users, it also helps you determine an optimal marketing strategy. If the data shows the highest download rate among users who are also the most active on social media, for example, then you can dedicate more resources to social media marketing, as opposed to, say, email or Google Adsense.

Multiple factors must be taken into consideration to create an app that resonates with users. With BI analytics, you can gauge user behavior and predict patterns common of a successful app.

—-

Lucy Boyle (@BoyleLucy2), is a full-time mother, blogger for Allocable and freelance business consultant, interested in finance, business, home gardening and mental health.

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App Stories: Airbnb competitors on the rise

 

Airbnb has growing competitors

Airbnb is a vacation rental site, which serves as an online market place for property owners. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Started in the year 2008, the company has managed to establish its presence in 191 countries and 34,000 cities across the globe. The company has 2 million listing on its website.

 

The business model of Airbnb is popularly referred to as sharing economy or gig economy. The company model claims that it helps in mobilizing local economy and make money from unused property.

 

Though Airbnb’s model was completely new at the time of its launch there were certain services which bear minor resemblances to the former like couch surfing.

The success of the company stands at how it managed to monetize through it by keeping the interest of both guest and host in priority.

 

After the company took off there are several companies following its footpath and have also managed to be successful. Despite being replicas or clones of Airbnb they managed to be famous because people loved this model of business, for hosts its easy money making and incase of guests they were spending less money for staying.

 

Guests have an option of staying in a single room in the suburbs to mansions or yachts, none of the hotel sites can provide such a wide range of options.

Coming to the competitors there are several of them across the world that have replicated Airbnb and have become successful.

 

Wimdu and 9flats merge

The biggest rivals in Europe for the company are Wimdu and 9flats. Both the companies have now merged to become one. Wimdu is a rocket internet clone earlier headquartered in Germany, now in Singapore. Both of them are merging after 5 years of beginning their respective business.

 

The information was first released by German start-up news site WiWo.

 

The cost and other financial aspects of the deal were not disclosed.

 

Wimdu claims to have 300,000 listing and 9flats stated that it has 250,000 listing globally both of them merged together will have 500,000 listing however it does not match airbnb’s 2 million listings.

 

Wimdu is previously was in search of a buyer in the fire sale. The company burnt through the 90 million dollars it raised in the year 2011. Airbnb raised around 3.38 billion dollar during the same period.

 

9flats will be heading the merged companies under CEO Roman Bach. Bach was the head of business development and marketing before taking over as CEO from the founder of the company Stephan Uhrenbacher.

 

He stated that the merger will be beneficial to the company as it will help them build the largest force in online accommodation industry. It will provide the guests and hosts higher value propositions, long-term growth and acceleration.

 

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While competitors have to battle against a strong force like Airbnb they also need to handle the ever changing regulatory issues. Countries and governments are still not in terms with the sharing economy and each city and state has been coming up with its set of rules making it really difficult for online accommodation companies.

 

The regulatory issues are painful even for Airbnb however given their large scale they have the flexibility to handle it. For example in Berlin there was a change in the housing law which does not allow tourist to stay in vacation rentals which did not have city permits. This change made 9flats shift its headquarters from Germany to Singapore.

 

In Europe the regional government of Catalonia has been cracking down on illegal vacation rentals and has fined a few of them. Initially the UK government was supportive to the sharing government however it seems to have now backed off after the BIS government wrote the mayor of London regarding the assessment whether online accommodation caused the inflation in rental prices in London.

 

Ever changing regulations pose problems to Europe’s sharing economy.

The company CEO stated that after merging there will be no job cuts and the in the future the combined entity will be making more investments in markets.

Both of the above mentioned companies are some of the popular rivalries apart from this we have few others like:

 

1. FLIPKEY

Famous Airbnb alternative, Flipkey is owned by tripadvisor and has 30,000 listings and is present in more than 1100 cities across the globe. All the owners registerd on the site are verified by their IDs therefore providing security to guests. Also the website lists special deals, at least 5000 of them everyday so there is a high probability that you might get a offer which makes your stay even cheaper. However one of the drawbacks of the site is every listing cannot be booked through the site some of them require you to contact through phone or email.

 

2. Tripping

Another popular site for rental booking does not just places to stay but it works as a search engine for going through the listings in other sites it works like a comparison site giving you an idea about the prices and values in other places.

 

3. Homeaway

The only online market place of vacation rentals that comes close to Airbnb in terms of size and business is Homeaway. It operates in similar fashion to Airbnb and has 1 million listing it does not charge guest for booking through their site and also has its own brand of insurance.

 

 4. VRBO

This site is owned by the above mentioned Homeaway and is present in 100 countries and has 800,000 listings in it. It containes lot of full sized vacation homes thus giving space for your grandparents pets or grandkids.

 

 5. Roomorama

This is another popular site operating in the same lines of Airbnb, it ensures safety of the guests by verifying proper ID and the company also has a unique payment system which will provide the guest with a six digit code while booking a room to ensure that the listing is by the house owner and also keeps scammers away.

 

 6. Onefinestay

This site does its best to check whether the place you stay is comfortable enough to maintain the company staff personally assess the properties that are being listed on their site and them allow them on their site. This ensures good quality rooms.

 

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