Feb 21, 2023

How free is "free cold outreach"?

Now that we know all limitations of email tracking software, we can finetune our outreach strategies

How to spend less on outreach campaigns

Early-stage startups and smaller businesses are especially interested in budget-friendly yet efficient ways to reach out to people they don't know. Let's count what it takes to pitch a hundred strangers with your news, services, or sales offers.Imagine you are a first-time startup founder with a story to pitch. You have zero connections in the media world, no experience with news distribution, but your motivation is high. So you browse an average piece of advice on how to get media coverage boiled down to writing a hundred emails to complete strangers.

You pay for your outreach even if you think you do not

You have a mailing list that you bought for $200-300 or compiled for 15-20 hours of extensive research. If you're using a ready-to-send mailing list, be prepared that 17-25% of the contacts are invalid. The older the list is, the more contacts are useless. It means you will spend more hours on the verification and updates. And again, you'll pay for contact verification services if you can't find anything reliable online. After 2-4 hours, your list is in working shape. You heard about personalization, so you write different messages, playing with angles and pretending to be a big fan. That can take all day if you don't have the skill or expensive automation software. 

The total cost of what is supposed to be free

The realistic scenario: you spend ~ $500 and at least two working days for the initial outreach. Most likely, 95% of your messages end up unopened or unanswered. You will then follow up once or twice, so add another hour to your count. These are dry numbers, but if you also will be exhausted with the task: there's little creativity and fulfillment in it. First, you feel defeated by the silence and a lack of interest to your offer. You'll be frustrated with a low reply rate. Follow-ups won't come easy, too. What to write to someone you don't know about an unread message without sounding annoying, pushy, or pathetic?

Why we all hate cold outreach

All-in-all, this free outreach is not so free. It takes money and cognitive effort, and the result is usually frustrating. That's why most people hate it, and that's why we want to change it.