Client outreach is a difficult topic for many business owners. It’s something that’s easy to get wrong. Just doing it for the sake of doing it isn’t enough. You have to put in the effort up front to make sure you’re sending out the right message to your clients, leads, or target audience.
But, how do you actually do that? With all the noise of other businesses vying for people’s attention, you have a hard job ahead! There are a few central points to focus on if you want to come up with a client outreach strategy that people can’t ignore.
Choosing Your Client Outreach Method
How you send your message is equally as important as what you say. If you choose the wrong channel, your outreach efforts may fall on deaf ears, or they could end up in front of the wrong people entirely. Select a communication channel that makes sense for your customer base, target market, and your capabilities.
Social Media Outreach
Social media is the new generation of noise. Some companies have successfully leveraged social media and created an engaging, useful client outreach platform. A lot of effort goes into using social media. It’s not the land flowing with milk and honey. Your hard work could pay off, but you’re likely to need to pour money into paid advertising options or boosting posts to see good results.
Email marketing is the darling of client outreach. The first ever marketing message was sent in 1978, but widespread marketing strategies didn’t begin in earnest until around 1996, when Hotmail entered the scene and the number of users skyrocketed. Although it’s undergone a lot of evolutions since 1996, email marketing remains a cornerstone to many client outreach strategies.
The end of email is regularly predicted, as though the death of email is inevitable. So far, every prediction has been wildly off the mark. Worldwide, there are still hundreds of millions more active email users than social media users. Email use is on track to continue growing, potentially reaching 4.4 billion users in 2023.
If you want a more direct approach, there is also the option of picking up the phone, sending snail mail, or going out on the streets. While direct contact can make you more memorable, it takes a lot more manpower and it may dilute your message or limit what you can communicate. This approach is only effective in limited applications.
At the end of the day, you need to go where your market is. Research suggests that while you may have a high chance of finding younger people on social media, you’re likely to find a wider variety of people in all market segments through email.
(Image Source: Pixabay)
Elements of an Unforgettable Client Outreach Strategy
Your strategy may be unique, but it will likely contain the same elements as other top client outreach strategies. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. You can put your own spin on outreach without starting completely from scratch! Here are some recommendations for the elements that will help your client outreach strategy shine above the rest:
The point of client outreach is to start a conversation between you and the client. Especially if you’re using social media, engagement is hugely important. Engaging content is anything that draws people into your message and elicits a response from them. If you’re seeking engagement, you always need to stay on brand. Don’t lose your brand voice or dilute your message in exchange for higher engagement.
The key to making engaging content is to plan far in advance. You should have a calendar with your outreach plan spreading weeks or months into the future. Do this so you can make sure you’re getting in front of people regularly and spreading a consistent message. When people interact with you, always be responsive to them, no matter if you’re using social media, email, or another channel. Lastly, make sure your content is useful in some way, giving novel information.
Every client outreach message should have a CTA. Even if it’s a soft CTA to visit a website, subscribe to a specific list, read more articles, or to follow social media accounts. There should always be something you’re asking clients to do. Everything you send clients should give them an easy pathway to continue interacting with you or your company.
Value Up Front
Don’t make people wait to see what you’re offering. Spoiler: they won’t wait. Make it immediately obvious what kind of value you’re offering and what they can expect to receive from the interaction. Teasers and vague marketing speak are a good way to get your message filed straight to spam. You want to offer something that encourages customer success, because successful customers are happy customers!
Triggering Immediate Response
Ideally, your outreach messaging will be framed in a way that drives people to act right away. The email subject line should grab their attention and make them want to open it, while the content inside should encourage them to fulfill the CTA right away. If someone leaves your messaging without acting, they’re unlikely to return, even if they plan to do it later.
Personalization Is King
Unless someone is clipping a coupon from a magazine or watching an ad on TV, people tend to reject broad statements and company messaging. Even in terms of online ads, like those on social media or video streaming sites, people expect some personalization.
The same holds true for client outreach. If you want someone to view an email, social media post, or other content from you, it has to be personal to them in some way. The higher the level of personalization, the better. For email marketing campaigns, you can sometimes even get people’s names in the titles of the email. With social media, you can target a post to be shown to only people within a narrow section of the market.
Multi-Part Outreach Plans
If you create a client outreach strategy that only addresses the initial messaging and any immediate reactions to that, you’re not doing enough. Your outreach strategy should have multiple layers of follow up, tailored to where the recipient is in the process.
Follow up messaging should correspond to what’s happening which the client at that moment. Did they open the message? Ignore it? Respond to it, without following through with the CTA? Did they do the CTA? Create follow up messaging that speaks to each potential outcome individually.
Statistics & Metrics
Did you really succeed if you can’t measure that success? How would you know? Get hooked up to a good analytics program. There are so many easily accessible programs that can connect to your social media accounts or email marketing campaigns. It’s so simple to start tracking that you have no reason not to do it! You will be able to make better decisions when you have data.
Client Outreach Strategy Ideas
#1 Build a Brand Image
If your brand building counts entirely on people landing on your website, you need to make an effort to change that. Use client outreach as an opportunity to educate people about your brand and build up your image in the eyes of your target audience.
Outreach for branding purposes is anything that gets your message in front of people rather than asking them to look for you on their own. This can be effective for outreach because people tend to enjoy relatable content or content that speaks to something they believe in. You can build your brand while sending out personalized messages to your target audience. Try a simple email marketing campaign about your partnership with a local charity, launch a Reddit AMA, or submit a series of targeted guest posts.
#2 Niche Out
The temptation is always to throw your net wide so you can then narrow down leads to find actual customers. Try it in reverse instead. Get hyper-focused on speaking directly to your target market. Define your ideal customers and the people who would be most interested in what you have to offer, then clamp down on that and personalize all your outreach messaging to suit that group.
We see this practice all the time with new brands that are just entering the market or trying to build their presence. When you market to a specific lifestyle or need, you become very attractive to your target market, as long as you’re providing the value they’re seeking. By focusing more on expanding the value you’re providing in your messaging and less on enlarging the list of recipients, you can end up with a higher ROI and a better conversion rate.
#3 Hop into the Comment Section
One easy, budget-friendly way to reach out to customers is just to go looking for their posts, or for posts relevant to your industry, and jump into the conversation. You can make new connections and draw people in by seeking them out on their platforms and adding your voice to the mix. If this is too time-consuming for you to do personally, hire a virtual assistant and train them in your brand voice before setting them loose!
(Image Source: Pixabay)
#4 Make It Automatic
If time is what’s holding you back from starting or maintaining an effective client outreach strategy (with proper, personalized follow-up), look into automating the process. Use a program that helps you automate your email or social media operations to keep your customers in the loop and release useful content on a consistent basis.
Consistency helps you stay visible and also increases your chances of conversion, considering it takes 6-8 attempts to actually reach a new prospect. A few great posts or emails, including video content if possible, will go a long way.
Making It Happen
The best time to start an effective client outreach strategy is NOW. Get into the planning phase and begin preparing a personalized, thorough client outreach strategy people can’t ignore.
Nikola Baldikov is a Digital Marketing Manager at Brosix, a secure instant messaging software for business communication. Besides his passion for digital marketing, Nikola is an avid fan of football and he loves to dance.