Taking your email marketing efforts to the next level is not a decision that you would want to take lightly. There are several factors to consider with your decision, but the most important one would be the cold email agency that you would hire.
If this is your first time hearing about cold emails, then your first problem will be finding the right agency to do the job. To make things easier on your part, it would be best that you refer to the cold email marketing questions below.
But before that, you should learn about cold email agencies first.
What Is a Cold Email Agency?
To really understand what cold email agencies do for a living, you must first understand what cold emails are. The most basic definition of a cold email is any type of email that you send without having to get the consent of the recipient first.
Thus, cold email is like cold calling but without intruding on the privacy of your would-be clients. What a cold email agency does, then, is to send out your email marketing ads to a list of pre-selected addresses and wait for their owners to respond. It’s a broader and more hands-free approach to email marketing and it does draw in a lot of potential customers.
But since there is no assurance of a response here, it would be a good idea for you to pick an agent who knows what they are doing.
For this reason, you should know what questions to ask from a cold email service provider.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Cold Email Agency:
(Note: You don’t have to ask these questions to agencies verbatim. Try to include them naturally in your conversations during the initial meetings.)
1. Who Will Own the Domain?
This might be an obvious thing but you have to make sure that you retain full ownership over the domain name. This is so that you will have control over the digital aspects of your brand. Some agencies go out and buy domain names without telling their clients of such.
If possible, buy a domain name for your cold email marketing campaigns and then offer it to the agency. Depending on the domain type at the end, each domain name goes from $20.00 to $30.00. And if you don’t have a domain name and the agency offers to buy it from you, make sure that you have complete ownership over it once their services are done.
2. How Long Till the First Lead Is Generated?
You would want your agency of choice to be as fast as possible when generating qualified leads. However, you should also know that generating the first-ever leads for any kind of marketing campaign tends to be slow in the first few weeks.
So what would be the ideal speed for your cold email list to start generating qualified leads? The most realistic rate for this time would be 1 per day at the very least. That does not sound effective at first but it will tell you that whatever the agency is doing, it is attracting at least 1 person to convert every day.
3. What’s Your Sending Volume?
When it comes to email marketing, sending volume is important. Send no less than a hundred every month and your marketing is useless.
Alternatively, send a thousand to a few prospects and what you’re doing is considered spam.
So, what your ideal cold email marketing services should be able to do is promise the right sending volume. Somewhere in the range of 100 to 500 mails for 2 weeks is manageable as that means your prospects do not get a lot of messages within a month. Also, that would mean that the agency will not go through your entire email list quickly.
A combination of a low to mid-range sending volume along with a more personal tone for the emails should prevent your prospects from shutting you out before you could even offer them something.
4. What Leads Will You Generate?
There are actually two kinds of qualified leads. The first is marketing qualified leads which are those that signify an interest in your brand. The second is sales qualified leads. These leads are those that have shown an intention to purchase something from you. In other words, leads can either be those people that interact with your brand or those that actually book appointments.
The kind of lead that they could generate is one of the most important questions to ask from a cold email service provider. This is because what leads they intend to generate may or may not align with your overall marketing goals. Perhaps you only want to generate interest and engagement with your brand. Or maybe you really want to boost your business’s sales figures. Either goal is viable as long as what your agency implements will attain such an objective.
5. Is There a Lock-In Period?
Some email service providers make a living from lock-in clauses. Here, they bind their clients to pay for their services for a period spanning 3 to 6 months regardless of whether the client is satisfied with their work or not. If you bind yourself to such a term, you can only pray that the agency does deliver on their promises so you get your money’s worth.
A lock-in clause might sound bad, but it is not illegal. What is illegal, however, is if the agency forces you to such a term without telling you beforehand. Thus, you have to ask your cold email services of choice if they implement this period. This way, you have a bit more room to readjust the terms if you feel that their services are subpar.
6. What Will Your Emails Look Like?
Since they will be doing the email marketing on your behalf, whatever content the agency pushes will reflect on you. As such, it is highly recommended that you ask for a sample of their work first to see what kind of content they usually provide.
When examining their work, what you should be looking for is some degree of personalization. This means that even if the email is following a template, it sounds personal to every recipient. Also, email recipients tend to respond more to personalized mail than they would with generic, template-based content. What should be at the forefront of your mind here is their ability to nurture leads with the quality of their content.
7. When Do You Send Emails?
Even if you know that most recipients do not open their mails immediately after it is sent, you still need to know what the best time to send a cold email is. As such, you should inquire as to when the agency sends its emails.
There is no right period when it comes to delivery time, however. What you only need to make certain is that the agency follows a schedule and that such publish schedule is within the hours that most of your recipients are active. That could range from as early as 4 in the morning or as late as 10 in the evening. Whatever the case, you only have to make sure that they send emails as often and on time without spamming your prospects.
8. What about Automation?
One of the important questions to ask from a cold email service provider is if their work will allow for automation in the future. You have to remember that creating, sending, and responding to emails is time-consuming. Thus, you’d rather have some system that will automate the entire process without losing that level of personalization in the content.
So, can that agency automate your email system as well? And if they do, will they be charging extra for it? This would also be the right time to ask them about their service packages so you could get the most of their work for a fraction of the cost.
9. Can Email Marketing Be Integrated?
Once implemented, can the cold email list be integrated with your current marketing campaigns and tools? What you should be looking for is a system that allows for seamless integration with your other programs like analytics, content management, and customer management.
What integration does is that it makes the management of all your marketing campaigns cost and labor efficient. After all, you’d rather not spend for another team to maintain your cold email marketing campaigns when your current team will suffice.
10. Will My Data Be Secure?
Perhaps the most important question you could ask cold email marketing services is the level of security that they can provide for you and your prospects. If possible, look for an agency whose data security involves multiple tiers of security features.
Cloud-based data storage is a good start but you should also look for other security systems that can prevent a breach or, in the worst-case scenario, allow for quick data recovery. Of course, that level of security must remain and be maintained even if your contract with the agency has ended.
11. Do Your Services Allow for Targeted Marketing?
As more and more data is being gathered by the cold email services, the system should be able to process enough information to come up with segments for you to refer to. In other words, the services of that agency should not only push for content, but allow you to understand the different profiles of your prospective customers.
Things like buying preferences and transaction frequency can be drawn from the data the agency gathers. The agency should also have the ability to analyze data from your previous email marketing campaign and find out what worked with them (and what didn’t). With this, they should be able to come up with an even more targeted email campaign to draw specific prospects.
12. Can You Provide Regular Reports and Analysis?
Lastly, one of the most important cold email marketing questions to ask would be the agency’s ability to regularly track the progress of your campaigns. Pushing good content is admirable but the agency should also focus on the impact of their work in real-time.
Remember that no content is valuable unless it elicits a response from your target audience. Whether it leads to increased engagements or sales, the agency should constantly analyze their work and provide you with the data you need regularly. This way, you can make the necessary corrections to achieve your marketing goals.
Since cold emails can generate a sizable amount of qualified leads within months, it goes without saying that you need to hire the best possible agency to do the job for you. Here’s a point of concern, though: no matter how well that agency representative answers the questions above, there is no assurance that the cold email marketing agency can generate the results that you are looking for.
You can only tell that the agency you hired is good once their work is generating enough qualified leads to translate to an increase in sales. But until then, how the questions above are answered will serve as your guide in choosing the best possible email marketing agency.