Identify your Ideal Customer before initiate email outbound campaigns.
ICP stands for Ideal Customer Profile, the so-called “low hanging fruit”, a prospect/account which will most likely to convert and become your customer. In modern outbound marketing, it’s crucial to determine the right target, so that you can secure the right prospect.
It does not matter if you sell for a start-up, SMB, enterprise, etc. — you have to know your true revenue opportunity. However, before polishing your Ideal Customer Profile, first, Total Addressable Market (TAM) is to be analyzed to estimate the number of your potential customers. If you are selling a tool for checking email deliverability rates, your TAM is everyone using an e-mail as a communication method. Meanwhile, Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM) would include the accounts using e-mail automation software.
As soon as you have defined your TAM and SAM, the first step requires some imagination from your side to think through where your ideal customer can be found. It’s better to do some research and see if they are active on any forums, social media, job boards, etc. For instance, you can go to Indeed.com for any companies having their key positions open and shoot them an e-mail saying that you can fulfill their need in this field.
This also makes good practice for outsourcing companies in less wealthy countries: a $/hour in Ukraine for Front/Back-end developer is simply lower than in the US. Thus, a Ukranian-based company can start outbound list check if an account has Dev open job positions, or even go deeper and mark ideal accounts (if they opened positions on job board or not). If yes — those prospects go to one sequence. And if no — they are sent to another one. Doing a small a/b test will help with correlations.
Even though we think that the sequence which has job posts should perform better, I’d say that life is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you are going to get.
So why is ICP so important? Outbound email marketing is all about numbers. Believe me or not, but your pipeline can be predictable: 1k prospects, 10% reply rate, 2% positive reply rate, 1.2–1.6% app rate form the sales velocity of your company.
*Note: Sales Velocity: Number of opportunities multiplied by the ACV (Average Contract Value), multiplied by LTV (Lifetime Value), multiplied by the win rate and divided by the sales cycle. To get such numbers, there are a couple of things you need to do:
- Define your ICP, SOM/TAM and create a pipeline of qualified prospects to reach out to.
- Strategy — create a template foundation for initial outbound: ICP, verticals, variations, personas and etc. Here are some tips on how to add some of the personalization and thus increase conversions — link;
- Deliverability — be sure that your email reaches the prospect’s inbox. More on deliverability here.
Getting closer to the main question of this article, here are the best questions we have come up at Quilqy to ask yourself:
- Industry — Think out of the box and keep in mind that some companies can be listed under a different industry but still be in your sweet spot (e.g. some marketing companies classify themselves as Internet industry rather than Marketing and Advertising);
- Employee Size — the higher number, the harder it is to get an appointment. It comes down to your LTV and Deal Size. If you get a $500k margin per account, then it is worth securing 5.000+ employees accounts;
- Revenue — helps to determine if an account has a budget for what you are selling;
- Geographic — depends if you are locally attached or not. In case your product/service can be sold online all over the planet — the world is your oyster then;
- Department and Titles play a role — understand who is the key decision-maker or influencer to nurture the right person;
- Commonalities — such info helps to build a pipeline of accounts with common features making them a low hanging fruit for you;
- Data elements helping you with lead conversion — this is one of the most powerful tools to use to accelerate the campaign’s statistic. Such elements form intel data points used to personalize your message;
- LTV/ ACV/ Win Rate/ Sales Cycle — simply helps to get a better understanding of your sales velocity;
We did not want to jump straight to the point and share all of these data points for your review right away since when you deal with outbound, a lot of things are connected: strategy, deliverability, research, pipeline process, ICP and etc. Knowing your ICP is not enough to get measurable ROI but definitely the right step to make.
These questions are applicable to most of the businesses but still may not be a fit for you. In any case, try different ICPs and penetrate various markets, however, don’t forget to mark the data and look for correlations. A/B testing will help you come up with a single or several solutions which would work for your company in the best way!