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Wrote the perfect cold email but no response? Here’s what you’ve missed!

Trigger events are the missing ingredient to turn your cold email into warm outreach

July 7, 2021
Snigdha Nigam
Growth marketing consultant at Mesg.ai

There is a lot of advice out there about writing the perfect cold email - from the optimal size and readability, to the right call-to-action and effective personalisation. Yet, you may not get a response if the outreach email doesn’t do its job - inform the prospect about how you can solve their pain point when they’re feeling the pain. Sure, you may have an awesome product, and maybe your prospect thinks so too! But if your proposition is not addressing a pain that your prospect is having exactly when you send your sales message, your offer will stay a vitamin, and won’t become a painkiller. There won’t be a ‘compelling reason to act’..

How can you tell if your proposition fits their current needs? How can you time your outreach accordingly? The answer lies in ‘Triggers’. Trigger events indicate a new sales opportunity, and could be anything ranging from a strategy change to a new executive hire or a new legislation.

Source: Better Lead Generation

A good salesperson will identify a relevant trigger event timely, understand how it changes the prospect’s priorities and situation, and reach out to address this. Integrating data about trigger events in your outbound process will help your salespeople to find the optimal timing for their outreach. Let’s discuss why one should focus on triggers, and some do’s and don’ts of using them in sales messaging.

Why use triggers?

Here are three main reasons why you should orient your outreach around trigger events:

  1. They help you identify relevant and timely sales opportunities. According to research conducted by Aberdeen, two thirds of high performing sales teams are using trigger data.
  2. They are a great way to break the ice. Cold outreach can feel awkward, and templates are usually too generic. Important events act like a good starting point for genuine conversations.
  3. They help you establish buyer urgency. According to a HubSpot study, 42% of sellers say their biggest challenge is compelling buyers to act now, rather than later. But if you position your product in the context of the current needs of the buyer, chances of a positive response are higher.

However, it is important to remember to use trigger events wisely and carefully in your outreach. It’s not sufficient to bet on the right trigger, you’ll still have to focus your email on the right buyer persona. Here are the key do’s and don’ts when using trigger events.

Do’s of using trigger events

  1. Pick only those events that are relevant to your product or service. E.g.,news about a Series A funding round is a good trigger event, but only if your offering aligns with the key goals and challenges associated with this trigger event. Positioning a cost-restructuring project is probably not the best idea at this point in time. But if your proposition is about startup growth, then this is a great opportunity.
  2. Use new information in conjunction with the buyer persona. At the end of the day, as a salesperson, you are trying to solve your buyer’s problems and challenges. Your messaging must highlight how you do that, and why it is important in the light of recent events.
  3. Check the tonality of your message. Buyers can detect ‘sales breath’ and so, the language and tone of your message should not portray you as an opportunist. Your messaging should reflect an authentic desire to help your prospect in their new journey.

Don’ts of using trigger events

  1. Don’t be generic. Now that you have specific information about your prospect, don’t waste it away by using a generic template. This is your chance to ‘truly customize’ your messaging and demonstrate your deep understanding of the customer. Especially if the trigger event is industry related, do not use a ‘spray-and-pray’ method. Take the time, or use a tool, to be specific and targeted.
  2. Don’t be creepy. It’s great that you know a lot about the situation, and what it means for the customer. But don’t go into too much detail in your first outreach. You don’t want the prospect to feel as if they are under constant scrutiny. Building trust is all about giving others psychological safety, and your messaging must have the restraint to ensure that.
  3. Don’t be inaccurate. Ensure that you use accurate, trustworthy (and also GDPR compliant) data sources and news outlets for your intel. Also ensure that you completely understand the implications of the event. If you heard a piece of news in a chat room or a tweet, look for the original data source and do a quick fact check. Don’t lead with unverified information.

Final thoughts

Trigger events allow you to approach your prospects in a timely and relevant manner. Done right, you’ll benefit from significantly improved response rates, an increased number of discovery calls, and ultimately many new customers.

  • Use triggers to solve for a current need, break the ice and establish urgency for the buyers.
  • Only select relevant events as starting points, and use new information in accordance with buyer personas to craft optimal messaging. Be mindful of the tone of your message.
  • Leverage this opportunity to be highly targeted in your messaging, but make sure you only use verified news.

Let us know if it worked!

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