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Signal-Based Email Outbound using Outreach

We highly recommend reading our strategic overview of this Play prior to execution!
Play Objective: Your ICP has a stronger likelihood to buy when specific events occur and you want to catch them at the right moment.
Use Case: You already have a concrete understanding of your ICP and what attributes qualify a company as a good fit.
Who You'll Need to Execute This Play: Sales Operations Manager or SDR Manager.
Required Tools/Permissions: Sales automation tool (Outreach).
Estimated Time for Completion: 20 - 25 minutes

Defining a signal-based audience

Primer stitches together 1st and 3rd party data sources with your marketing and sales apps to power Signal Based Audiences, allowing you to:
  1. 1.
    Monitor companies in your Total Addressable Market (TAM) from multiple sources.
  2. 2.
    Track signal events from existing 3rd party database subscriptions/sources.
  3. 3.
    Automatically identify net-new decision-makers that don't exist in your CRM.
  4. 4.
    Easily sync data from multiple sources into your CRM, sales automation tool (outbound), and paid social apps.
  5. 5.
    Personalize multi-channel campaigns with insights built off these signals.

Identify the signals for your ICP

Step 1. Construct your signals

First, determine what are the right signals that matter to your prospects – this will differ for every business. Here are examples of the types of signals that Primer can identify:
Example Account Signals
Signal Description
Accelerator Graduate
When a company graduates from one of the following accelerators: YC, 500 Startups, Techstart, StartX, PlugNPlay
Portfolio co. of an Investor
A new portfolio company of the current investor
Headcount Growth
When a company adds > X% new employees/headcount overall or by dept.
Raised a Round
When a company announces a funding round
Job Listings
When a company is hiring for > X jobs and/or specific positions
Job Promotions / Job Change
When a company has a decision-maker that is new to their role
Ad Spend / Social Follower Growth
When a company has a change in its ad spend or significant growth in their social following
New Tech Installation
When a company has installed or removed a specific front-end software
Distributed Team
When a company has > X% of employees spread across geos
Growth DTC Brand
DTC brands that are in the top 30% of growth
Signal data only matters if it identifies a pain point that your product can solve. To determine your signals, think about the attributes that indicate your product's need. Reverse engineer these by looking at your current customers (e.g. 3 months after a funding event + hiring a new head of finance a customer went in-market for a spend management tool).
Remember: this process may be iterative – expect a certain amount of experimentation to identify the right signals that matter for your ICP.

Step 2. Build a custom audience

Within Primer, select the filters that define your ICP and then layer on the additional filters that correlate with your top signals.
Example Company Filters
You can learn more about how to leverage Primer for paid social and outbound outreach here.

Step 3: Select your destination

Generally, we recommend building an audience and then exporting to a CSV for the first few iterations of your desired signals before directly importing them into your CRM.

Step 4: Set up your Outreach import

Outreach CSV Import

  • Permissions: Settings > User Admin > Profiles > Prospects > CSV Import = Permitted
  • Upload: Actions > Bulk Create > Import Type = Prospects comma-seperated values file (.csv) > click to select a file > click next
  • Configure Fields: map all req’d Field Overrides: configure (owner, dupes, stage, time zone, tags)
  • Check Field Overrides

Step 5. Launch with custom messaging

When it comes to the messaging for outbound, you have the option to go extremely customized. Primer gives you access to an extensive number of lead-level attributes that you can leverage as fields in your emails.
Here’s an example of an outreach Primer has sent to prospects:
Email Personalization
However, we’ve also heard from customers that generic messaging that doesn’t include lead-level personalization can also be very successful. We believe this is because by targeting prospects via signals, you are able to serve them such relevant messages at the right time that the optimal strategy is to just explain how your product fits their pain points versus reflecting back all you know about their account.
We encourage you to experiment to find the right strategy for your audience.

[Optional] Step 6. Validate with an A/B test

If you want to measure the incremental lift of targeting a signal-based audience versus targeting your general ICP, set up an A/B test:
  1. 1.
    Split your aggregate ICP into a control group and a test group.
  2. 2.
    Control group: receives sales and marketing outreach.
  3. 3.
    Test group: filter leads through the signals and only apply sales and marketing outreach to those in your signal-based audience.
  4. 4.
    Compare the positive response rates of each group – we’ve seen signal-based audiences respond 5-7x as often as leads in the general ICP.
Lastly, while it’s true that new companies and people will qualify into your signal-based audience over time, we have noticed that there’s usually an initial surge of leads and it then tapers out. Signal-based audiences are by definition a highly qualified segment of your ICP.
Only so many new companies will meet the criteria of your signal. Other marketing activities are required to push more prospects in your ICP through the funnel.