What’s New With Cold Emailing
Great question! I’m excited I found this right now as I am nearing the end of an in-depth platform review. But first, let me try and shed some light on the situation:
State of the union – cold emailing
Canada has the, the U.S. has the and there is a new reform to regulations in the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is causing a lot of discussion in the B2B sales/marketing communities. (Also find an easier-to-understand report from fieldfisher explaining the e-marketing requirements of the EU states).
What is GDPR?
“GDPR is a regulation that requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states. And non-compliance could cost companies dearly. Here’s what every company that does business in Europe needs to know about GDPR.” – Michael Nadeau, Senior Editor, CSO
3 most important things to know about GDPR in the context of e-marketing
- Contact and other personal data used in an e-marketing campaign need to have been collected for that purpose specifically.
- Contact (data subject) needs to be able to exercise their right of access, right of erasure, right of rectification and right of opt-out without any barriers.
- Data processors (data providers) need to provide a data processing agreement to their customers defining the scope and purpose of the data processing.
The use case we’ll be discussing
- Data + Email Campaign Management
- High-value targets
- Focused, nuanced audiences
- Customized dynamic email body copy and subject lines
- CRM integrations to add/update contacts/leads based on email interactions
- – Based off of an email scraping tool, now offers email sequence-building/sending and ad hoc email lists. They are the cheap option in terms of data and usage.
- Growbots – One of the first to provide an easy-to-use UI with both grabbing and sending capabilities. They captured huge market share with their offering early on. The UI/UX in Growbots is great, and they provide data for you.
- Growlabs – Very similar to Growbots – with some differentiators. The UI is good, and the Salesforce Integration is excellent.
- Hubsell – This platform, out of Germany, was built under the most strict email regulations so it has everything you need to avoid spam filters. It also differentiates from these others by doing their data research for you ad hoc (gathering fresh verified leads for you as you order them, instead of having you pull them down from a pre-filled database).
Beyond the key points charted above, there are a few key differentiators among each, as well as downsides to consider:
- Company industry criteria can be quite in-depth with SIC code filters to use in certain industries/verticals.
- Creation of custom fields specific to your business (e.g. how many times a user did this in your app or on your site) which can be pulled from your CRM
- Data coverage is only in the US
- Bounce rate is in the mid and upper double digits
- Very little customization options for email copy
- Pricing is their key competitive advantage.
- They will add emails which are only determined by pattern-recognition ()
- Pre-loaded sequence templates for you to use and customize.
- Great UI/UX makes the on-boarding easy.
- Bounce rate can the double digits which
- Content customization is limited to mainly static placeholders.
- Bilateral Salesforce integration allowing very easy syncing of data
- The dashboard has a great UI/UX
- Pre-loaded email templates you can customize for your use case.
- They are strict about emailing B2C and will not allow uploads of or sends to any personal emails.
- On-demand researched data which you can cherry pick in the approval stage delivered with 20+ variables containing categorical data per row.
- A copy can be customized based on categorical data such as gender, seniority, industry, department and more using an if this then that logic.
- Among the lowest bounce rate with auto data credit reimbursement
- Steep learning curve makes adoption rate slow.
- On the higher end of cost per prospect
Thank you for taking the time to review this research. My team and I spent hours gathering it. And, you are still owed a recommendation…
My current recommendation for most cold-emailing use cases is going to be Hubsell.
To add context my conclusion here is why Hubsell has been the best for the most recent projects I’ve been involved in:
- Data Quality – Hubsell’s ad hoc data gathering has increased the quality of data a ton. An anecdote to put into perspective how important the data is; when I used Growlabs, their data filter provided me with tons of mismatches which translated into more of my time excluding contacts from filters sometimes over 5000 in total. Further, when I would upload my own data, which I gathered from a very good source, they would scrub out over 70% of the contacts for their own reasons (my sense is they hoped to force me to buy more from their DB). Using Hubsell, I spend very little time approving contacts and am able to load my own verified data.
- Copy Customization – Using Hubsell’s dynamic text, I am able to create one sequence for multiple personas in a company/vertical (using IF/THEN statements). I can even go as far as to send one version of the copy to women and an entirely different version to men. This practice is necessary when sending in languages where verbs are conjugated differently based on gender, but can also be useful for other language/tone customizations.
- Customer success – Hubsell’s team has been the most help with onboarding needs as well as best practices. They have gone above/beyond – being both supportive and helping with strategy.
GDPR Compliance – Lately this has caused all other platforms to remove their EU contacts from their databases entirely. Hubsell built their platform under EU’s strict emailing guidelines and had planned ahead for GDPR so their system is much more valuable under these new regs.
Thank you for your time and consideration
“Alex grasps your market and your value proposition all while keeping a pulse on the daily changes of options for your software stack. The best part about Alex is the experience, he’s tried different approaches and software and will save you the time of going down the hard road. Bottom-line: the best Chicago Growth-Hackers I’ve met yet.”Darren McAbery,
Head of Marketing at Inspire Marketing Services
“Alex knows the tactics that it takes to execute to get growth. He’s got a good sense for the latest trends in growth and user acquisition as well as paid acquisition across different channels. He understands the marketing landscape and all the changes that companies need to make to grow their audiences.” Andy O’Dower, Head of Product for Curiosity.com
“Alex is very knowledgeable about marketplace growth strategies. He has a solid understanding analytics attribution and event tracking for saas. Just recently I consulted Alex on some event-based messaging for apps to further our strategy. I would definitely recommend Alex to anyone that is looking to improved their business, whether saas or app, to help solidify their growth strategy.”Marek Dzik,
Mobile Product Manager for Brad's Deals
“Alex came into a brand new industry, learned the nuances, and then customized a strategy based on the needs of our customers. In addition to his marketing skills, Alex is also a tremendous recruiter and manager of both internal and virtual teams.” Patrick O'Rahilly, CEO of FactoryFix.com
“Alex has been a mentor to me the past 6 months, and has taught me more this year than I could have hoped to learn in the next 5. I am now confident and eager to start putting his training to work in this field.” Zackary Conover, Marketing Professional
“When it comes to growth marketing, Alex is the master. I had the pleasure of hosting a networking event where I moderated a panel on what it takes to run a mobile app company. Alex was one of our panelist and his ability to relate, explain and motivate the audience really impressed me. The audience could tell he is an absolute expert in his field but was also able to explain his thoughts in a way that was relatable to everyone. Both myself and the audience, were so appreciative of him spreading his knowledge with us that evening.”J.P. Lamp, PHR, Corporate Recruiter and Entrepreneur
“I have worked under Alex for the past 6 months, and every day he brings so much excitement and passion to our project. He is constantly showing us how to optimize our processes to get the most out of each day. He knows what technology to use and what processes will or won’t work. I am very thankful to have worked with Alex and hope to keep learning from him in the future.”Alice Salt, Settlement Analyst at Invenergy LLC