What the heck is pre-marketing?

Philip Morgan

Yesterday I touched briefly on the subject of “pre-marketing”. What the heck is pre-marketing?Pre-marketing is:An easy way to get a better response rate from your unsolicited emails to strangers.Somewhere between cheap and free if you don’t count the cost of your time.Absolutely not a replacement for working like a dog to maximize the quality of your list and the relevance of your outreach.Here are the two ways I implement pre-marketing in concert with digital outreach.The activities I’m about to describe happen after you have a really tight list put together.Let me say it again, because I really don’t think it can be said enough: in digital outreach, no matter why you’re reaching out, the best thing you can do to get better results is to build a better list. If that is all you focus on, you’ll get better results. This is a critical, foundational thing. Everything else is a form of optimization, but list quality sets the baseline for your results. Bad list, bad results every time no matter how much optimization you do.Alright, stepping down off the soapbox for now. :)About a week before you plan to reach out to your extremely high quality list via email or LinkedIn, you’ll do one or both of the following.Facebook Display AdWho knows how much longer this will be possible, but at the time of this writing you can upload a CSV of email addresses and names to the Facebook ad manager, create what is known as a custom audience, and show them an ad.The purpose of this ad is not to encourage any kind of action. Instead, it is a small, temporary “digital billboard” that you want to appear in a corner of the online world of the people you are about to reach out to via email or LinkedIn.Far less than 100% of your list will be included in this Facebook custom audience because of email address mismatches, Facebook holdouts who don’t have an account on Facebook, etc. That’s just fine. This is an optimization effort, and if it works, great, if not you’ll be just fine too.When I’ve done this in the past with a 300-person outreach list, something like 80 of those 300 people were found and included by Facebook in the custom audience.I run a lame display ad with 2 lines of text on it. Line 1: [Thing you do] for [market vertical you do it for]. Ex: Inventory management software for beverage distributors. Line 2: Your company name, or the name of the person who will be the Sender on your email or LinkedIn outreach. That’s all there is to it, except for some kind of background image (Facebook doesn’t want more than 20% of your ad to be occupied by text).Run this ad for about a week to your custom audience. It’ll be a minor miracle if it costs more than $5 and runs for more than 2 or 3 days. That’s because it will perform terribly according to Facebook’s metrics, and their ad algorithm will stop running it pretty quickly. All of this is exactly what is supposed to happen. Again, this is a temporary digital billboard to start “warming up” the people on your outreach list.Visiting LinkedIn ProfilesNext, you will visit the LinkedIn profiles of every person on your outreach list. It’s likely that 100% of the people on your outreach list will have LinkedIn profiles because LinkedIn was probably the place where you went to research and build your list in the first place. :)Again, we’re doing nothing that most people would consider annoying or intrusive here. We’re just starting to show up in the online world of the people we want to connect and speak with. We simply want your unsolicited email to them to not be the first time they’ve heard of you. That’s the only goal.There you have it. That’s really all there is to pre-marketing, though I could imagine using the same idea but on channels other than Facebook and LinkedIn.You can also extend this idea to after you do your outreach via email or LinkedIn.If you reach out via email and get no response, you might try to reach that person via LinkedIn connections and messaging.Your email outreach might include a link to a landing page or a page on your website where you have a Facebook re-targeting pixel configured to show re-targeting ads to page visitors. (I’m aware we’re sliding down the slippery slope here away from non-intrusive, non-annoying to something else, so use your own discretion if you decide to try any of this stuff.) My CPP interview with Olivier Lambert (http://consultingpipelinepodcast.com/076) dives into more detail on using unsolicited email combined with Facebook retargeting ads to increase the response rate of digital outreach.I’ve baked the 100% non-annoying, non-intrusive aspects of pre-marketing into two of the Specialization School workshops to maximize the chances of you getting the best market research or lead generation results possible.Workshop registration is open now, but closes April 22, so if you’re interested in getting the kind of support and guidance these workshops offer, the best thing to do is to set up a call with me to make sure the fit is ideal: https://calendly.com/philipmorgan/20m-call-to-check-for-workshop-fit.The description and schedule of workshops is always available at http://specializationschool.com#schedule-P