Thought building an app was hard enough? Wait till you get around to marketing your app and finding users. A lot of mobile app businesses opt for a “hope and pray” approach when it comes to marketing their apps. Their inbound users come from organic searches made on the respective app stores.
But to even start ranking here, you will need user traction and reviews. Getting there is the first step to sustainable growth. Few businesses consider cold outreach as a strategy to gain users. In this article, we will give you a step by step guide to making use of this acquisition model to promote your app. Please note that this strategy is more effective for business applications than for those targeted at the retail user.
Build user lists
The first step in the process is to build a niche list of users. Nathan Barry, the founder of ConvertKit, the company that pulls in over $10 million monthly gained initial traction by reaching out to a very niche audience of users through cold outreach. In his case, he segmented prospective users either by the competitor product they used (MailChimp, GetResponse, etc.), or by niche (paleo diet recipe bloggers, for instance). You can build lists either with the help of tools like Builtwith or with a relevant Google search.
At the end of this step, you will have a long list of websites of users you want to reach out to.
Generate email addresses to reach out to
The next step is to generate a list of email addresses from the website list you have already built. To do this, you may first have to pull in the LinkedIn page of the business you want to reach out to and find the right decision maker from within the organization. For smaller organizations, this information might also be available from the ‘Teams’ page on the company’s website.
Once you have the name of the person you want to talk to, you can make use of any of the email discovery services to generate the email ID of the person you want to talk to. If you are performing this at a small scale, you may check out the ‘Find Email For Free’ Google Chrome extension (previously called Name2Email). This is a nifty app from the folks at Reply.io that lets you instantly view the email ID of a person by simply typing in their full name and website URL within the ‘To’ field of your Gmail compose window.
Validate the list
Once you have a long list of email IDs to reach out to, it is important to validate the list. Without this step, you risk bouncing and eventually hitting the spam filters of your recipients’ inbox. There are plenty of good email validation tools that you can make use of for this purpose.
Crafting the right message
At this point, you have a long list of prospective users to reach out to. Before you start sending out your pitch, sit down and create an outreach strategy. This includes how to introduce yourself in the first email, what your pitch is going to be, how often do you follow up, what is your follow up angle, when do you stop pitching, how do you take the conversation forward with an interested prospect, how to deal with objections, and so on.
Once you have started outreach, you may encounter several roadblocks along the way. Maybe a prospective client is not a good fit after all, or you may find that the price you quoted is not scalable.
The strategy mentioned above is not fixed and needs to constantly optimized. This includes including conversation terminators like saying ‘no’ to your client or to send a revised quote. While these optimizations may potentially disrupt your growth in the short term, you may need to know when to deploy them in the larger interest of your business.
In conclusion, cold outreach may seem like a not so ideal option to build a scalable business. However, with the right tools and strategy, not only can it scale, but also build you a recurring lead generating model that can help you grow your business to several thousands of users.