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Outreach’s less known email superpowers

∙ 6 min

One of my son's drawings

Outreach.io is a sales productivity platform that can, but need not connect to your CRM. It enables salespeople to build up structured, repeatable and scalable cadences of prospect outreach, combining channels like telephone, email and LinkedIn InMail. Here, I walk you through two sales/marketing use-cases that Outreach handles impressively. They’re not so obvious in their own marketing:

  1. Hands-free one-on-one email logging
  2. Ad-hoc bulk email sends to clients or prospects

1. Hands-free one-on-one email logging

Account-based growth strategies need solid execution. Visible all-up account views in your systems are a big part of that. Your team must log email exchanges between prospects or client contacts in your CRM to achieve this. And this requires a ton of discipline. It’s impractical, though, to ask them to do this by hand. It’s error-prone and time-consuming.

In this article, I’ll refer to Prospects (people) and Accounts (companies) within Outreach. That’s their terminology. Depending on the CRM or marketing automation platform you’re using, terminology will vary.

So what do you do? Ask your sales and account management teams to use a clumsy BCC address from the CRM? Or do you accept reality, letting your teams get on with their jobs and accept holes in your Account-level visibility? Here, Outreach lets you have your cake and eat it too.

Outreach has a deep integration with major email providers like Microsoft and Google. If Outreach users connect their email account to Outreach, magic happens. Outreach’s Prospects dataset now acts as the backbone for email logging. Synchronize your Outreach object database to your CRM object database 1:1 to get the full power of this.

As long as the Prospect exists and you exchange one-on-one emails, Outreach logs it. And this rolls up to the Account level too. These emails get logged in Outreach and back in your CRM.

You don’t need to use the Outreach web app to achieve this. It happens independent of how you composed and sent the email (mobile device, Outlook, Outreach web app). It’s happening at the email server level. They all get logged and contribute to the Account reporting. This may sound minor but it’s a major differentiator in how Outreach approaches email. Competitors force you to “pin” emails to Prospects by hand.

This also occurs retroactively. Outreach fetches past email exchanges with your Prospects and those emails show up at the Prospect and Account records. Close also do an amazing job of this with their deep email integration.

Exclusion list

I mentioned that it’s helpful to completely synchronize your Outreach database to your CRM database. Logically, then, if a person exists in your CRM they will also exist as an associated Prospect object in Outreach. And this guarantees the passive email logging (as long as the sender set Outreach up properly).

But…there are Prospects you’ll want to exclude from Outreach. It’s very possible that many of your own employees are in your CRM. Maybe they submitted a web form at some point. In this case, internal emails would get logged in Outreach and your CRM. This can lead to rather embarassing situations in which emails, which aren’t intended for anyone else’s eyes, are visible to others. The same applies for partners, suppliers, lawyers and so on.

2. Ad-hoc bulk email sends to clients or prospects

Most B2B marketers have received a request to “send a emailer” to a list of prospects or clients. These requests often come from sales or account management. It’s actually hard to categorize this type of email.

Neither of these are marketing emails. But many will reach for their email marketing tooling to execute this send. But that requires sending a marketing email (yeah, I know, obviously). And that’s wrong.

Outreach.io can work its magic here. You can send a one-off email to a list of Prospects. The email won’t be have a polished layout and style the way a marketing email does, but that’s correct. This isn’t a marketing email, after all.

The sender can personalize the Outreach emails with {{tokens}}. And the system sends out individual emails to the Prospects (no lame BCC’ing 742 recipients). All this without a clumsy footer.

Alternatives to using Outreach are:

In any case, Outreach is a great option for one-off sends. You might be tempted to “abuse” your email marketing tooling for this…but don’t. 😄

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