Outbound has always been the favorite B2B sales approach. That was the case 20 years ago, and it’s still the case now. The only thing that changed is the medium that sales teams use.
When email became popular among mainstream internet users, it instantly became every marketer’s favorite sales channel. Unlike cold calling which requires a large team of sales agents, email campaigns are easy to scale.
All you need is a copywriter to craft the email copy, and email list, and all that remains is pressing that send button. The open and reply rates were incredible and big email marketing campaigns were relatively easy to pull off. Until everybody started doing it.
As time went by, email became the default communications and marketing channel for many companies. And with that, spam became a thing. Today, there are 4 billion email users who exchange around 293 billion emails PER DAY. On average, people receive something in the range of 40 emails daily. With every single legitimate and illegitimate business using email to promote their products, email inboxes are becoming a super-competitive place. A few years ago, email was the only option. Now, things have changed.
People now spend more time online than ever. In a single day, the average person spends an average of 6 hours and 42 minutes online. And of course, they don’t spend those 6 hours staring at their email inboxes.
There are plenty of other different channels where you can engage people online, and one of them is LinkedIn. With 260 million active users on that platform, there are a lot of outreach opportunities, especially for B2B businesses.
Here are the top reasons why you should consider adding LinkedIn to your email automation marketing efforts:
1. People pay more attention to their InMail
If you are like most people, you receive tens of emails per day. Many of these emails are spam messages or people trying to sell you something. That is why we tend to automatically ignore emails from strangers, and the open rates for cold emails clearly show this.
Based on the industry, the average open rate for emails ranges from 14% to 23%. And to get to an open rate in the 20% range, you need to have a highly targeted campaign, which requires a lot of work to be a relevant email list.
With Sponsored InMail, the average open rate is around 50%. That’s almost double the open rate for emails, and you don’t even have to build an email list to do it. You can target the right leads right from LinkedIn itself. And the reply rate for those messages is even more impressive at around 39%. When you compare that to a reply rate of a mere 1% for cold emails, it’s obvious which of the two is getting more attention.
2. You don’t need people’s consent to send them InMail
In most countries, sending unsolicited emails is considered illegal and can incur heavy fines. The EU have the GDPR, and almost every country outside of it has some kind of law that regulates the process of sending marketing email.
Before you email someone, you need to get their consent somehow. For cold outreach campaigns, this is usually done through a landing page. In addition to making the email automation marketing process more complicated, there are additional costs that come with those emails.
You need someone to design and execute this funnel before you even get to the point of sending the emails. All of that translates into additional costs, which is something you don’t have to worry about with LinkedIn. All you have to do is prepare an engaging message, set the criteria for the people you want to target, and you’re good to go.
3. LinkedIn is a more personal approach
One of the biggest flaws with the cold email approach is the way people perceive email. Unless someone gives you their email address, they don’t expect you to email them. And when someone provides their email via a landing page and starts getting those salesy emails…let’s just say that they don’t like it.
On LinkedIn though, people are more open to receiving messages from strangers. That’s the purpose of having an account on similar networks, and that’s why cold InMail messages tend to perform better than cold emails. Not to mention that a LinkedIn profile has all the info you need to personalize your cold InMail for better results.
So, is email marketing dead?
Despite its drawbacks, saying that email marketing is dead would be an exaggeration. Sure, there are lots of email automation alternatives now that you can use for generating leads, but this doesn’t mean that email marketing is dead.
If you use an email automation software with a channel like LinkedIn, you can get far better results compared to using any of these channels separately. For example, you can initiate the conversation with your leads on LinkedIn, then get their consent to follow up with emails.
Email is no longer the only channel for B2B prospecting. Many things regarding how people spend their time and communicate online have changed, and smart sales teams need to adapt to these changes to get great results.
Instead of using cold emails the intrusive way, you can combine it with LinkedIn outreach to make it better for everyone. This way, you can warm up your leads on LinkedIn before sending them any emails, which is much more effective compared to email blasts.