As a company that offers fractional sales operations consulting services, it is important that Data Sales Science writes on the different sales stack tech, particularly those that we use.
As Data Sales Science doesn’t have software of our own to dog food, Data Sales Science relies on other vendors to help us achieve our goals. When Data Sales Science makes a decision on software, it is therefore something, in our opinion, to write about.
The first software we chose was an email automation system: Lemlist.
More on the platform later.
First up, why did we choose email automation as the rung in our sales stack?
Table of Contents
First off, having been launched in March 2020, Data Sales science is a brand new company with a new domain.
As such our domain still has that new URL smell to it, which means our IP address has no credibility on the network. Thus ensuring that each and every email we send out will end up in our recipient’s email inbox we have been judicious only sending emails to people we knew and people who would respond.
In this way our domain reputation should increase.
However, one issue we came to was what about sending emails to people we didn’t know to solicit advice, help, and information. Personalization goes a long way, however, some people are grumpy and any cold email could get us put in the spam bin.
For example, we had our first data usage survey asking data users far and wide about how they use their data. We promoted the survey on LinkedIn and did get some traction, however, having it drop into specific people’s inbox would be better. We did not want to start a “spray and pray” campaign that could potentially burn our domain. So we decided that an email warming campaign would be the best first step.
What is email domain warming?
In very simplistic terms, it is a bot vs. bot war.
There is the “overbot” that determines the reputation of your domain. If you send too many emails that don’t get opened, don’t get clicked, are spammy in nature, end up in spam boxes, or some other non-optimistic triage of your email, the “overbot” considers you a “bot” and your reputation decreases.
On the other hand, if you send emails that get opened, clicked, and responded to, the “overbot” considers you a human and your reputation increases.
Your email reputation
How good is your reputation? This is quite important.
If your reputation is low, you will find yourself in the spam box so no matter how many emails you send out your responses will be low. With a high enough reputation, I’ve known email marketers who could pinpoint the ROI on a campaign before they sent it.
One such guru told me and my team at FatStax (now BigTinCan) that for every X emails his team would send out on a Wednesday, they would generate Y revenue in six weeks’ time. His biggest hurdle was ensuring that as he could only add ~10% new emails every week to ensure his reputation was good.
Curious about your reputation? Find out!
Here are a couple of services that can help you out.
If you are one of the major platforms (does anyone use Yahoo for business email?) then you will need to log into your domain and get your reputation
If you want a 3rd party to assess your reputation, here are a few options for you.
They require you to provide your IP address as well as some personal information, likely so they can upsell you later
They are an IT security company focusing on firewalls. Drop-in your domain name or IP address and your reputation is presented.
This is from McAffee a trusted antivirus provider. Drop in your domain name or IP address and your reputation is presented.
There are likely more. Let me know if you want me to add more.
Lemlist top value for us: Lemwarm
We decided on Lemlist for one key reason: Lemwarm.
As I mentioned earlier, my domain needed warming.
We needed something that would help us warm up our domain and shortcut to getting a positive reputation. Lemlist has a very nice way of doing this with their Lemwarm program. In short, emails are sent between different Lemwarm subscribers ensuring that your emails are being sent, received, and pulled out of the spam box if it occurs.
Slowly but surely, Lemwarm ramps up the emails coming to and from your domain so the “overbot” senses that your domain has a high reputation at an ever-increasing email volume. In this way, when you start sending cold emails, even if they aren’t getting open and possibly being clicked as spam, your reputation will remain high as Lemwarm continues to send emails out that are being opened, clicked, and pulled from spam by other Lemwarm subscribers.
We choose Lemlist due to the sheer simplicity of the platform.
Very easy and straightforward setup, emailing warming metrics were also simple, straightforward, and easy to read. Daily I would be updated on how the program was going and when I could start my first small campaigns.
It typically takes two months for Lemwarm to fully warm up all the email accounts you’d be needing to use.
There are other emailing warming solutions out there, however, I did not try them due to the complexity and pricing.
We are starting Data Sales Science from scratch, bootstrapped, so a cost-effective platform, that is easy to use, with a community to get answers from, making this a no-brainer.
That Lemlist community thing is what really got me.
On Facebook, there is a Lemlist group with over 12k subscribers as of writing this. Daily there are a couple of messages going around asking for help. Seems like many people in the group are wrestling with similar issues that I am, so a lot of great ideas, even if you aren’t a Lemlist customer. Also, there are zero sales pitches, just folks out to help other folks.
Obviously, you might want to do your own research, so here is an easy list of some other options you may want to consider.
Emailing warming only
Email warming and email automation
Once the domain is sufficiently warmed, it is time to do that time honored tradition and start sending out some cold emails.
Lemlist allows me to set up and send sequences of emails from my email and those of my teammates. This way I can set up all our cadences and fire. All they have to do is respond when necessary and focus on calling.
With my plan, I can set up sequences, A/B test my emails, and set workflows for options on what to do when people respond, click, ect… again in the very intuitive and straightforward Lemlist way.
Once my sequences are ready, I just hit fire and go on with my day.
Surprisingly, when I sent my first campaign, I got a 51% open rate. This means I’m doing something right and Lemlist is helping.
Next on my agenda is figuring out if I can set up a sequence for a newsletter.
Also Lemlist integrates with most of the CRMs like Salesforce, Hubspot, Pipedrive. Curiously I didn’t see any for MSDynamics. It could be that Lemlist was founded in 2017 so that integration could be coming, or the fact that Lemlist currently focuses on the lower SMB sector and the demand for an MSDynamics integration has not been high. Only time will tell.
Happy to entertain any comments you may have about why you love, loath, or are indifferent to Lemlist.