6 min read

Cold Email Outreach: How To Find Your Target Audience

Cold Email Outreach: How To Find Your Target Audience
On this page

Did you know that a Gartner report found that only 23.9% of sales emails are ever opened? To increase your chances of your potential customer opening your email and responding, you need to make sure you are sending it to the right person.

So how can you identify your target audience for your next cold email outreach campaign? Let’s start with defining a target audience.

“A target audience is the demographic of people most likely to be interested in a company's product or service.”
Laura Lake, Author of "Consumer Behavior for Dummies."

Your target audience will influence how you write your cold emails, structure your messaging, and how you connect with them. Your target audience can share similar demographic traits, such as:

  • Age
  • Job title
  • Location
  • Education
  • Gender

Why bother putting in so much effort to create a small, albeit focused audience when you can send out emails to a larger quantity of people, thus increasing your chances of a response? If you are sending large amounts of emails to anyone you can think of, your emails won’t be relevant to their specific needs. Plus, today, spam filters and other measures are harder than ever to get past. Going for a broad, untargeted audience will likely result in very few of your emails getting received or replied to, while many end up in a spam folder.

Narrowing down your audience will help you create emails that appeal to every person you want to connect with.

Why is a Target Audience Important?

Everyone knows the phrase, “know your audience.” With cold email outreach, this rings even more true.

It’s critical to flesh out your core customers before you send off a cold email outreach campaign. A ‘spray and pray’ approach to cold emailing won’t land you more leads. In fact, it might land you less, because spam filters will detect that people are not opening and reading your emails.

Everything you do in sales and marketing is based on your audience and their challenges — which is why you need to understand them. Focusing on the needs of your current consumer helps your cold emails appeal to what they need in their day-to-day life.

Only a small percentage of online users will have interest in your product or service offering. That’s why you need to discover the audience that, once they see your email, will be intrigued about your offering and have a pain point you can address.

Identifying your audience allows you to focus on writing cold emails for customers most likely to buy from you. A smaller audience means you have more time to create personalized emails. This means you are generating leads in an efficient and timely manner.

Ask Yourself, Who Is My Customer?

This is one of the most important questions you need to think about to send out a successful cold email and have a better chance of receiving a response.

While we defined what a target audience is above, we didn’t touch on what a target market is. They are different, contrary to what your initial impressions might be. A target market is a group of potential customers that you identify to sell products or services to.

You need to identify both a target market and a target audience. This will take more time, but it’s necessary for your lead generation efforts.

Why do I need to identify a target audience and not only my target market?

Unlike a target audience, a target market is a set of individuals sharing similar needs or characteristics that your organization hopes to serve. To discover what target market your offering will sell to, conduct research on Google using publicly available sources, scan industry news, and see what your competitors are doing. If you have existing customers, see if they’d be willing to take part in a survey to help you answer some key questions. If you have the budget, you can also try to run a focus group or complete a market survey.

“Though both target audience and target markets are centered around segmenting customers into groups to make informed business decisions, a target market is a specific group of consumers at whom a company’s products are aimed. A target audience defines that group using audience demographics, interests, and buying history.”
Kayla Carmicheal, Writer at HubSpot

If you combine your knowledge of both your target audience by who they are, and your target market by what they need, then you should have a promising idea of who you want to pursue to drive your sales.

Successful Cold Email Outreach Starts with Research

Now that you have a general idea of who you are sending your cold email to, it’s time to research what they need. The focus of your cold email outreach is to deliver value to your potential customers. With this mindset, your emails will address how you can solve their problems, not how exceptional your offering is.

That’s why you need to research your target audience and market’s pain points. You can research what questions people have about your relevant product or service. Once you locate them, use this information to drive up your cold email open rates by answering them.

Start with these questions to help narrow down your research efforts:

  1. Are there enough or too many people who fit into my target audience?
  2. Will my customer benefit from my offering? Will they see a need for it?
  3. Do I understand what drives my contact to make decisions?
  4. Can I reach them with my cold email? Is their email inbox accessible?

With your research completed, let’s dive into how you can actually find your audience.

Tools to Find Your Audience

You might want to brush off social media, but it can be a great place to find your audience, and what their needs are. Look at the most popular hashtags for your industry on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Instagram. See what people are discussing and mold your cold outreach based on those online discussions.

Don’t forget about competitor research. According to UppercutSEO, when you are sending a cold email campaign, research what your competitors are talking about online. Show how your offering is different, and solves the needs of your customers more effectively.

When you use links in your emails, you can incorporate tracking links into the content. You can also do this when you post new content on social media, in emails, or in newsletters. This helps you find out who is clicking on your content, and maybe you can find their information to include in a cold email. Try using Rebrandly’s URL Shortener tool.

These tools will help narrow your focus on your audience until you have a shortlist of candidates for your cold email outreach ideas. No matter what tools you use, if you’re targeting the wrong audience, your cold emailing efforts will not prevail.

Then, Segment Your Audience

It’s time to divide and segment this well-researched list of contacts into lists. This makes the contacts easier to contact and keep track of.

Businesspeople who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue from their cold email campaigns.

To start segmenting, come back to the main goal of your outreach emails. The more data you have to work with, the better. Now start dividing your list of contacts by the information you gathered above, for example, location, industry, etc.

Once you further define your list, you can start personalizing your subject lines, email signature, and the call to action. Offering personalization in your communication directly influences the value of your messages. Another important element when writing your cold email is honesty. Be straightforward about what your offer and what you can provide your contact.

When you eventually require contact information to send your emails, you can use a tool to create an email list in seconds to enrich your segmented audiences.

A/B Testing Your Cold Emails

A/B testing proves invaluable in refining your cold email outreach strategy. By varying elements like subject lines, CTAs, and content, you can pinpoint the most impactful combination.

Distribute different versions of your cold emails across various segments of your email list and monitor response rates closely. Analyze the results to ascertain which elements resonate most with your audience, and adapt your approach accordingly.

A/B testing is crucial for cold emails because it allows marketers to systematically experiment with different elements such as subject lines, CTAs, and content variations.

By analyzing the performance of these variations, marketers can identify the most effective strategies to optimize engagement and conversion rates with their target audience.

Nurturing Follow-ups

Consistent effort yields results in cold email outreach. Don't lose heart if you don't get an instant reply. Send a friendly reminder as a follow-up to your initial email.

This could be as straightforward as: "Just a quick follow-up on our previous email. Let's discuss further."

Such follow-ups showcase your commitment and willingness to support the recipient.

Follow-up emails are essential in maintaining communication momentum and increasing response rates in cold outreach. They serve as gentle reminders, demonstrating persistence and dedication to the recipient.

Follow-ups provide another opportunity to engage and offer assistance, often leading to successful connections and conversions.

Start Preparing Your Cold Email Outreach

You now understand exactly what a target audience is and why it’s important for your cold emailing efforts. Remember that a target market and target audience are two sides of the same coin, and utilizing both will improve your lead generation.

Better understand your customer’s needs and tailor your communications to help satisfy them. Use the Internet’s tools to help you research who you are already contacting and who would be interested in your offering.

Remember to revise your audiences and segmented lists every six to ten months. Re-examining your target market and cold email contacts ensures you stay in-tune with their needs, and your outreach will see improved results.

Try using Skrapp.io’s Chrome extension to find your target audience’s contact information with the click of a button.