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How to surely contact your prospects?

Sending good B2B prospecting emails is good, but sending them well is even better.

Sending good prospecting emails is good, but sending them well is even better.

If you want to contact a person that you do not know by email, you must necessarily go through 2 steps:

  • Find the lead's email address (a good start)
  • Make sure the email gets to its destination (and that's where the problem lies).

Do you think that it's never going to work each time? Challenge accepted! 😏

We have curated a selection of the best tools currently available, carefully tested and approved by us.

As a true emailing expert, you will increase the deliverability of your emails, improve your reputation and even manage to find anyone's email address!

The guide that we will detail is not a universal solution. It is a toolbox you can adapt according to your needs.

It is exclusively intended for people working in the B2B sector.

Here are our favorites, then it's up to you.

Let's go! 🚀

how to contact prospects for sure?

Let's start with little reminders about the basis of an email address.

📧 The email address and its structure

There are 4 main categories of email addresses:

  • Free addresses. Services such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail provide them.
  • The addresses of a purchased domain name. Most often, these are companies email addresses.
  • Addresses that are false or no longer exist.
  • Disposable addresses. They are used to counter spam as a user, such as Yopmail, Clipmail, etc...

All addresses are structured in the same way. Here are the 5 elements which constitute them:

sample email

1) The user which can be composed of letters, numbers, periods (.), dashes (-), underscore (_) and, plus sign (+).

2) The "at" (@)

3) The domain name which may consist of letters, numbers, and/or a hyphen (-).

4) The dot (.) before the extension

5) The extension (com, co, io...). They are generic or geographical but their use is sometimes diverted (e.g. .co / .io).

Tips: A company almost always has a unique email address pattern—for example, firstname.lastname@company.com or lastname.firstname@company.com.

That's it. We've got the basics. Now let's get down to business!

The email address and its structure

Increase email deliverability 📈

We're soon going to see how to find an email address and test it, in order to avoid sending emails to non-existent addresses.

But before that, you need to know a few principles that guarantee a simple objective: your contact actually reads your email 👓.

First, you must be able to deliver it correctly.

You should not neglect these prerequisites. They are essential to your ability to deliver emails:

As email services are becoming more and more efficient at detecting Spam, the slightest error or approximation will significantly increase the risk that your message will be considered Spam.

Take Radical measures!

Radical measures must be taken!
Ok captain!

Update your domain 👀

Take a look at Mxtoolbox and check that your domain name is not blacklisted.

⚠️ To establish your domain's reputation as a sender, the number of complaints, unsubscriptions, manual classifications in the Spam folder, the number of false e-mail addresses, etc. are taken into account. ⚠️

The reputation of your domain is a key element in your ability to send any email (not just when prospecting).

If your domain is blacklisted, you need to request an intervention to un-blacklist it on each of the services concerned. ✅

This can take several days or even weeks on some services.

How to improve your reputation🔧

It is imperative to configure the DKIM & SPF of your domain name. But why is that?

Don't forget the DKIM 🔩

This manipulation is not rocket science 🔮 and yet it greatly improves the deliverability of your emails.

DKIM stands for Domain Keys Identified Mail. It is an encryption authentication method used by many service providers to find out if the message comes from an authorized system. Therefore, a DKIM signature verifies the authenticity of the sending domain and guarantees the integrity of the message, protecting against Spam.

think about DKIM

Configuration of a domain's DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) allows you to add a digital signature, or a security key, to the emails you send.

The receiving servers can then know that your sent emails have not been modified and that the dispatch comes from your domain.

Without this configuration, your emails have a high probability of being filed in your recipients' spam folder. 🚫

If you are using a GSuite account with your domain name, you can find the procedure here.

In other cases, it is the person in charge of your domain name who will be able to configure it. 💾

Configuring the SPF ⚙️

The configuration of the SPF (Sender Policy Framework) of a domain allows the receiving server to verify that the sending server is authorized to send emails from the domain.

The SPF "Sender Policy Framework" is a standard for verifying an email sender's domain name. The message contains information about the mail servers that are authorized to handle outgoing mail for this domain. This system also helps to avoid spam and especially identity theft via e-mail.

If you use a GSuite account (Google Apps) with your domain name, here is the procedure for a single server and here for a multiple SPF.

Check newsletters / HTML emails spam score 🚫

As far as newsletters are concerned, before sending, you should test the spam score of your email by taking a little look at the two tools Mailtester and Putsmail. To find out all about the rules to prevent your emails from being considered Spam, here is a summary on the subject.

If you want to know in advance in which tab of Gmail or GSuite your email will land, check out these solutions: Gmass.co or Gmail Tabs

Nowadays, more than half of all emails are opened from a mobile phone, so your newsletters and HTML emails must imperatively be responsive! If your emailing solution does not easily create responsive newsletters, Mail Designer Pro is a good software.

👉 It is mandatory to include an unsubscribe link in email campaigns. Unfortunately, this will lead to some of these emails ending up in the "promotion" box. But it's still a legal obligation...

Mailing solutions 📬

Whether you want to launch an email marketing campaign or a transactional email campaign, you can choose from the following list of tools:

Now you can send emails with peace of mind. But you still need to know who to...

Let's look for contacts!

Let's look for contacts!

Find an email address 🔍

You can find email addresses in three different ways: using a pattern, a dedicated tool, or by generating leads.

Searching from a pattern 🗂

It is a method of research by deduction:

- Finding the domain name of your "target company".

- Generating email addresses from the first name, last name and domain name

This structure is an example of a pattern that a company uses to create its email addresses: initial of first name, period "." and last name.

To know a company's domain name and its emails patterns allows to know the email addresses of all its employees.😵

About 40 possible patterns are possible depending on their combinations.

Here are the most common patterns:

  • first.last@company.com
  • firstlast@company.com
  • f.last@company.com
  • flast@company.com
  • fl@company.com
  • first@company.com
  • last.first@company.com
  • lastfirst@company.com
  • l.first@company.com
  • lfirst@company.com
  • lf@company.com
  • last@company.com

If you want to make an exhaustive list of combinations, it is possible to generate 34 different patterns using this Google Sheets file. It's our gift to you 🎁 !

Otherwise, Email-permutator offers an efficient and free online pattern generator, starting from a first name, the last name, and a domain name.

⚠️ Be careful. However, you should always check the existence of addresses before sending an email. Otherwise, there is a real risk of having your domain name blacklisted. ⚠️

We'll talk about that later.

Find an email easily 📍

The extensions below allow you to get an email address when visiting a LinkedIn profile:

What about the legal aspect? 🏛

This guide would not be complete without a brief focus on what the law has to say about all of this.

A simple principle to stay within the legal framework, never send a prospecting email to a free address (such as Gmail, Yahoo...). It is also recommended not to target generic business addresses (such as info@company.com, contact@company.com...). They could damage your domain reputation and reduce your opening rate.

As for LinkedIn, it is mentioned on their site that the collection of user data is prohibited. An American court decision of August 14, 2017, ruled otherwise, and the appeal of September 9, 2019; their data being of a public nature. The Microsoft site had to remove the blockages preventing companies from collecting its data (data-scrapping).

Test email address validity  ✅

The tool of reference to check the validity of an email address is Mailtester.

Nevertheless, it is possible to be much more efficient!

test the validity of an email address

When working on an email addresses database file, it can be helpful to test them all at the same time; this is the case with the following tools:

Alphabetical classification

Keep in mind that it is not always possible to verify the existence of an email address. The reason? Wrestling! 😈

A company may have configured its mail server as "catch-all". That means the server accepts to receive all emails from the domain, even if the address does not exist. In this case, it will be impossible to know if an email address exists or not.

Your emails can end up never being read, while you keep on sending them for nothing...

catch all emails

Don't panic. You can know if a domain has a catch-all configuration. In this case, it is strongly recommended not to try sending an email reconstructed from a pattern on this domain unless you are 100% sure that the pattern you're using matches the company's one. 😇

If this is not the case, only one address among the 34 patterns will arrive, while the 33 false addresses will only degrade the reputation of your domain ... 📉.

NB: In order to avoid spam, providers of free email addresses (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail...) generally have domains configured in catch-all. It will therefore be impossible to test an email address generated by this type of domain.

Generate new leads 💼

And now let's go even further. Imagine finding thousands of leads with their email addresses in just a few clics...

lead generation

It's possible!

Here are some of the solutions to this problem.

These tools 🛠 should be considered as extras, but beware of wasting time and energy. Nothing replaces common sense and good targeting.

One more thing🍎

Your domain name is set up, your reputation is good, you know what to send and you will find lots of new prospects.

Forgetting something? 🤔

There is a resource that you already own and do not use.

This is all the contact data scattered in lines of excel or .csv files, not updated, badly sorted and just waiting to be used!

Taking care of it takes time and is tedious...

Yet there is an automatic solution that cleans, corrects and enriches these files, so you don't even have to think about it anymore!

We've created this solution: Dropcontact

That's it. Now you're ready!

Most frequently asked questions

What's B2B prospecting?

The goal of B2B prospecting is rather simple: finding and converting prospects into clients.Prospects are therefore potential clients.Keep in mind that a prospect is different from a lead: a prospect is a potential client and is part of your target;a lead is an individual who has shown interest in your product by checking your website, by subscribing to your newsletter...

How can I turn my prospects and leads into opportunities?

When you're starting your business, your first reflex is to try and find new prospects.Yet, companies have one recurring problem: abandoned contact files, full of duplicates, of incomplete or obsolete data.

How can I generate a continuous stream of leads?

Email marketing is one of the most scalable prospecting methods and one that will boost your ROI to its max.
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