Tricks of the trade: How UJET’s Alex Palomino gets the highest open rates and the most responses – while sending the fewest emails on her team

Collin Stewart, CEO

13 February 2019

In the crazy, busy, and ever-evolving world of sales development, saving a few minutes each day can be a huge win.

This is a demanding job and any extra time you can spend on your prospects – building precise lists, tailoring messages, and executing critical follow-ups – will help you meet those ever-looming quotas.

But what if I told you that with tweaks and refinements to your day-to-day, you could increase both your open and response rates, all while sending the fewest emails and LinkedIn messages, and making the fewest phone calls on your team?

I know, I know…that’s what we’re all trying to do. Tell me something I haven’t heard before, right?

But, that’s what Alexandra Palomino has been able to accomplish in a just one year at UJET. Since July 2018, she’s achieved a 48% open rate, a 6% reply rate, with the fewest emails sent on her team. Oh, and she booked more than 50 meetings during that stretch.

It can be done.

Of course, every sales job comes with its own quirks and unique responsibilities – no outbound gig is every the same, is it? – but that’s the beauty of learning the tips and tricks used by others: if any of them can work for you, then take those lessons, adapt them, and give them a shot. Lord knows finding new ways to crush those always looming monthly numbers is worth it.

Research: where it all begins

For Alexandra, it all starts with research (aka stalking, as she likes to call it) her prospects and their accounts. A few of her favorite sources of data are:

  • LinkedIn (does the prospect explain their role in their bio? Do they list any achievements or promotions you can congratulate them on?)
  • Crunchbase (has the account announced any recent fundraising rounds?)
  • Owler
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

These sources can be absolute treasure troves of information on companies and their employees. Where possible, include the nuggets you find via these sources in your outreach. Finally, you must (must!) hone in on your ICP with razor-like precision. For example, UJET’s target companies are app-based B2C firms that offer a support phone or live chat. The job titles they go after are:

  • VP of customer support
  • Head of customer happiness
  • VP of customer experience

“I like to get to know my prospects. What are they up to? And, how can I use that information to get their attention? Personally, I start with Linkedin, because why not start with their work? If they have any achievements I can mention, I like to use that to my advantage,” says Palomino, on a recent edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast.

“After I do that research, I make sure I connect with them on LinkedIn. You have to hit at all points: I follow them on social, I make calls, I send emails. Let them know you’re a person, and you are trying to connect.”

Alexandra’s email process

Once that’s all locked in, Alex starts emailing – still the foundation of every effective outbound cadence. And, as mentioned up top, she starts with LinkedIn: she sends every prospect a request, she makes sure to add a “personal message” to that request to give the prospect some context for who she is, and highlight where she works.

Hopefully, she says, that activity reinforces the human elements of prospecting (a fact that can often, sadly, get lost amongst the whirlwind of touchpoints). The more human you can be, the better.

“I need to be likable, friendly, personable – so I send a custom sentence or two in each LinkedIn invite,” adds Alexandra.

“This is super important.”

From there, Alexandra executes a relatively aggressive cadence of:

  • 20+ touches
  • Over 30 days
  • With a custom first email (where she includes any of the information she gleaned in her…stalking)

As for subject lines, Alexandra prefers to keep them short and sweet. Her favorite options are:

  • Prospect’s first name – Her name – Introduction
  • Prospect’s first name – Coffee on me?

 

GIFs

Using GIFs in prospecting, although not a new idea, remains a case- or vertical-specific tactic. Not every team can use them, as not every industry will respond to them. For example, if you sell to a conservative vertical, your prospects might not care to receive a funny GIF. In fact, it may make you look less-than-professional.

That is not the case with UJET’s market.

“I’m a big GIF user. But, there are a few good rules to follow when using them. Remember, this is always a judgement call – not everyone is going to want to get one,” says Alexandra.

“Don’t send a GIF in the first email, use it after a few touchpoints.”

A critical, yet often forgotten, element of using GIFs is the research that goes into choosing the right one. Not every GIF is created equal, and not every GIF should be sent to every prospect. You need to do your research, think creatively about what image you want to use, and send it at just the right time. If you can do that, you will make an impact.

A couple of the GIFs Alexandra has used to connect, and impress, her prospects are:

  • Cardi B (the hip hop star was designing a clothing line for a company Alex was reaching out to, so she used her image in an email)
  • The Kardashians (after checking out her prospect’s Twitter feed, Alexandra saw that a prospect has retweeted some Kardashian content. So, she used that bit of research to connect and show she has a genuine interest in her prospects)

“I didn’t get the meeting when I used the Kardashian GIF,” Alexandra says, with a laugh.

“But, I circled back with that account a few months later and got a meeting then.”

The calls

When it comes to cold calling, Alexandra follows a set of inspirational tactics to get pumped up to hit the phones. To set the mood, she put on some upbeat music, pulls up each prospect’s LinkedIn profile, organizes her leads by geography, and reads her emails as a script to make sure she’s being short and sweet when she gets the prospect’s on the phone.

Reading emails, a tactic Alexandra says she learned at her first SDR job at Everstring, is a very useful tool for cold calls – those emails should have very distilled versions of your company’s value prop and, assuming your emails are being read, re-using that language could help connect the dots and remind your prospect who you are.

“When I first had to make calls at Everstring, I wanted to cry. I thought I couldn’t do it. But, my team helped me. Showed me it was simple,” says Alexandra.

“I realized it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. You need to get pumped up, and organize yourself.”

(Editor’s note: Matt Amundson, VP of Marketing at Everstring, was on the podcast a while back to chat all things outbound. You can listen to our interview here, or read about our chat here)

A cup of coffee…on us!

If all else fails, it’s time to send some gifts. Alexandra, and the rest of the UJET team, like using Sendoso, a platform for sending accounts and prospects gifts. Like her cold calling techniques, Alexandra was first introduced to Sendoso when she was an SDR at Everstring.

Let’s be honest, coffee cards go a long way (I mean, who doesn’t want a cup of coffee on the house?) and sometimes you have to bargain with the prospect to get time on their calendars. Give a little get a little, as they say.

This doesn’t have to be a big investment – UJET just sends $5 coffee cards. It’s the thought that counts and a small gift will get the attention of your prospects.

“It sweetens the deal, for sure. Sometimes prospects are bound by company policy, and they can’t accept it. But they will remember it,” says Alexandra.

And, really, that’s what prospecting is all about, isn’t it? Standing out amongst the crowd is paramount. If a few of these tactics can help you better stand out, as Alexandra is at UJET – then take what you can. And, of course, if you have any killer outbound tips that you want to share, we’d love to hear from you.

For more Alexandra’s thoughts on outbound – including a few stellar tips and tricks on leaving effective voicemails – check out the rest of her interview on The Predictable Revenue Podcast.

Have a look at these blog posts, too:

You can talk to us anytime about getting started with outbound.