In outbound sales, having a solid technical setup is crucial for delivering effective and successful email campaigns. A sound technical foundation ensures your emails reach the intended recipients, maintain a positive reputation, and avoid spam filters. In this exercise, we will go through a checklist of essential technical setup steps to ensure your outbound sales efforts are set up for success.
Review and implement a robust technical setup for your outbound sales campaigns. Completing the following checklist will ensure proper domain setup, email deliverability best practices, and a proactive approach to maintaining a healthy email reputation.
Review the provided checklist below and mark each item as "Complete" once you have implemented the necessary actions. Take the time to research and understand each step before proceeding to ensure a thorough technical setup.
[ ] Create a second and third (backup) domain.
- Set up additional domains to use as backups in case of any deliverability issues with your primary domain. Never send cold emails from your main/primary domain. That way any potential suspensions or spam alerts caused by outbound sales activities can never hurt the rest of the organisation.
[ ] Setup SPF, DKIM, MX Records, DMARC.
- Configure Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), Mail Exchanger (MX) Records, and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) for enhanced email authentication and deliverability. Use these instructions from Google on preventing spoofing, phishing, and spam.
[ ] Warm up email addresses.
Gradually increase your email volume over time to establish a positive reputation with email service providers and avoid being flagged as spam. Tools like Instantly, Lemlist, and Smartlead provide integrated warm-up features.
During the initial 2-3 weeks, it is crucial to maintain regular communication with "warm" contacts, including friends and colleagues. These individuals should actively engage with your emails by opening them, marking them as "not spam" if mistakenly filtered, responding to your messages, and potentially forwarding them to others. These positive interactions play a significant role in building a strong sender reputation. It is important to note that you should aim to avoid negative interactions such as email deletion, opting out, or marking your emails as spam. Additionally, diversify your email outreach by targeting various email hosting providers like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and others. This marks the beginning of a successful and effective email account/domain warm-up process.
[ ] Start small and increase the volume gradually.
- Begin with a conservative number of emails per week and incrementally increase the volume by 10-20 emails per week to maintain a healthy sending reputation.
[ ] Keep daily email volume below 100 emails.
- Ensure that your daily email volume remains below the threshold of 100 emails to avoid potential deliverability issues.
[ ] Complete your Google profile.
- Provide accurate information within your Google profile to establish credibility and trust with recipients
- [ ] Add profile picture
- [ ] Add full name
- [ ] Add real birthday
- [ ] Add contact info
- [ ] Add phone number
- [ ] Add work address
[ ] Verify all email addresses before sending.
- Double-check the accuracy and validity of email addresses in your recipient list to minimise bounce rates and maintain a clean contact database. Even if you buy verified email addresses, still run them through a tool like Neverbounce, ZeroBoune, and DeBounce to be sure that these emails are valid.
[ ] Maintain a bounce rate below 5%.
- Regularly monitor and manage your bounce rates to ensure they stay below the acceptable threshold of 5%.
[ ] Ensure your emails are not classified as spam.
- Regularly test your email content and sender reputation using tools like **https://www.mail-tester.com/** to ensure your messages avoid spam filters and reach the intended recipients.
[ ] Send genuine & relevant emails
- Are you sending genuine & relevant emails tailored to the company or person? It’s more important to be relevant, than personalised. Focus on triggers and signals that allow you to reach out, and ensure your email doesn’t seem like a random, impersonal outreach.
[ ] Provide value
- Are you providing value or asking for value? Switch your mindset from asking to giving. The goal is to initiate a conversation and establish a relationship. So, focus on the value you can offer them. What unique insights or resources can you share.
[ ] Soft sell
- Are you hard-selling or using a softer approach that prompts a reply but doesn’t pressure? Use questions that can be answered with a one-liner: “Can I tell you more?, Would you be open to learning more? If it makes sense, would you be open to a call?”
[ ] Exclude HTML
- Are you excluding attachments, hyperlinks, images, or any other HTML elements? Even in the signature - exclude images & domain links. Just stick to a plain text signature.
[ ] Have an unsubscribe option available
- Do you have a way for receivers to opt-out or click an “unsubscribe” link? The easiest way is to have a PS-section that allows the receiver to reply if they don’t want to receive more.
[ ] Avoid spam trigger words
- Do you avoid using spam trigger words?
Remember to take necessary precautions and seek technical assistance if needed to ensure a successful technical setup. By completing this checklist, you will be equipped with a robust technical foundation to support your outbound sales efforts.