Biz Tips: Growth Hack Your Email Outreach With Mail Merge

Biz Tips: Growth Hack Your Email Outreach With Mail Merge


Growth Hack Your Email Outreach With Mail Merge

by Catalin Zorzini

I adopted the good old mail merge technique for my content marketing outreach a while back, and now it has become my go-to method for most campaigns. The integration with Gmail adds a layer of personalization that other solutions just don’t approximate. Less cumbersome than automation tools like Mailchimp, it’s also free to use for most purposes.

We all know how hard it can be to send personalized messages out to a massive list of recipients. It can take a significant amount of time to navigate, look for individual recipients and make any additional changes.

However, mail merge cuts your time down by more than half, and as everyone knows, time is money (plus, there are more fun things to do than individually email hundreds of contacts).So let’s dive in directly and learn how you can scale your outreaching process using mail merge.

The Process

A basic content marketing outreach campaign involves some simple tweaks that need to be followed properly to connect with your recipients and increase conversion rate.

Before you begin, take a step back and identify the marketing goals and key KPI’s that will help you measure the success of your campaign.

Learn more about KPIs

The first step involves compiling a database of the prospects you need to reach out to. You should try to find the right people who would notice what you’re offering. If the prospects collected aren’t relevant enough, it may take ages to receive responses.

If — in the worst case scenario — your campaign receives no responses at all, it’s probably because your precious emails have ended up in the trash.

So, the first thing to do is identify the niche or the shoulder niche and prepare a category of prospects. Begin by collecting details such as

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Location
  • A certain topic which the prospect is likely to act upon or share

Tip: find a common interest you share with the prospect in question. Once all these criteria tick the right boxes, add him or her to the list.

Now, slowly build up the list while choosing prospects which seem suitable for your campaign.

Once you’re done with that, let’s move onto the most important phase — outreach.

Creating Mail Merge Templates

By now, you’ll have a Google sheet with the list of selected prospects. Now in the add-ons section, select mail merge and you’ll see a field called ‘Create mail merge templates’.

This will load a sheet in which you can add any custom fields you need for the email template.

Personalize the Mail Merge Sheet

Now, we need to add fields to the sheet, like the location of the recipient or something else which we can relate to them. Success rate strongly depends on level of personalization.

The emails should be personalized to encourage the recipient’s interest. That being said, be careful while personalizing, and never overdo it. There’s a fine line between trying to know the person and coming across as a stalker.

Here I simply add a generic location to the specific column.

The Email Template

The template is one of the most important things that will make or break the campaign. So your template has to be short and on point.

The mail should have a proper introduction, a short pitch and a good conclusion. But for all this to work and capture the prospect’s attention, you should have an enticing subject line.

Now for the template: select the mail merge add-on again and click on ‘Configure mail merge’.

Here, you can add the email id, full name, and any other fields you may have used.

Let me show you a sample email template used for one of my campaigns.

The name and location fields are automatically added to the template during the actual outreach.

For the basic template, replace the field with {{field name}}.
Note: Use the same capitalization!

The data under the columns would be pulled automatically and loaded into the mail merge application.

Set the Follow-up Responses

Follow-ups are the sweet spot in every outreach campaign. If one doesn’t feel impressed with your initial pitch, then you can try to turn things around with a few quick follow-ups.

They should be really short and interesting. Your original emails might end up in spam or get read and forgotten. So, following up acts as an adequate reminder.

Ideally, there should be at least two follow-ups to an original mail. One could be scheduled three days after the original mail is sent and the other one, maybe five days.

This is the best chance for you to get really creative. Imagine how cool it would be if you can add funny gifs or memes to seal the prospect completely.

Send/Schedule Emails

Once we’re done with the outreach, the only thing left to do is to schedule the date and time for sending the email. To send the mail you need to click on the mail merge add-on, and then, click ‘Configure mail merge’, check all the fields, add the template for the mail merge, specify all the fields that are to be automated. Finally, click on send.

Suppose there are some batches of emails that are to be sent on a different date. We need to schedule the date and time separately for those emails.

The process is simple, really.

Check the mail merge sheet which contains the details of the campaign. There will be a column called ‘Schedule’. Over there, you simply add the date and time of your choice for the specific batch of recipients.

In Conclusion…

And that’s all there is to it!

Always try to do a test run to check whether everything is scheduled properly before sending a bigger batch. Following these steps would help you to scale your campaigns effectively.

Suppose you’ve setup an e-commerce website using Shopify and you’re planning to launch a new product. If I were you, the first thing I’d do is to notify subscribers with personalized emails.

This will greatly improve your chances of increasing sales conversions since you’re directly dealing with potential customers who are interested in your brand.

Find the right contacts and more importantly, don’t be shy to try out new things with each outreach.

Catalin is the founder of Ecommerce Platforms and Inspired Mag. He’s a design enthusiast who loves matcha; he’s also uber passionate about blockchain technology and travel.

OMI is dedicated to helping small businesses navigate new marketing technologies more effectively, with practical education from experts across digital marketing fields.

To learn more about launching an effective email campaign to convert prospects and gain contacts, check out our course on Email Campaign Fundamentals. For ten days, access to our entire library of classes is completely free.

  • Brandon Shutt, Editor at OMI

Growth Hack Your Email Outreach With Mail Merge was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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