Sales Outreach 101: Key Elements for a Successful Sales Outreach Strategy

gmail merge email outreach

Let’s face it, sales outreach can be discouraging. Case in point: only 24% of salespeople exceeded their quotas in 2021.

To make up for a quota deficit, it’s easy to fall into the trap of pursuing as many prospects as possible in the hopes of closing more deals. However, without a well-structured sales outreach strategy, businesses may struggle to see the desired results.

Instead, businesses should adopt an effective sales outreach strategy that leverages multiple digital channels and personalized email content to convince potential customers to take the next step.

So, whether you’re just starting out or looking to revamp your sales outreach efforts, Mail Merge has you covered. Keep on reading to learn how to elevate your sales outreach game.

What is sales outreach?

Sales outreach involves reaching out to prospects to turn them into paying customers.

Modern sales outreach tactics vary depending on your business needs, product or service, and target audience, but can include:

  • Email campaigns

  • Social media outreach

  • Networking events

  • Cold calling

But no matter which tactics you use, sales outreach always focuses on providing value to prospects and personalizing each interaction. It’s all about showing that you really understand their needs, interests, and pain points.

And that’s where Merge Mail comes in. 


Our free Gmail add-on helps you capture the interest of prospects with personalized messages sent at scale. Plus, you can monitor and manage your email campaigns directly from Google Sheets, helping you save time and gain valuable insights.

Why is sales outreach important?

As we said earlier, sales outreach is vital in keeping the sales pipeline active. Let’s take a look at three examples of what makes it so essential:

1. Introduces new products and services

When you’re looking to launch a new product or service, a sales outreach strategy is a great way to share it with your target market. 

When you understand the pain points and challenges of your prospects, you can develop targeted outreach messages to demonstrate that understanding and explains how your product or service can help.

In the past, this meant sending a generic email full of copy-paste content. Today, tools like Mail Merge let you personalize mass emails, so every recipient feels special.

2. Engages with new prospects

By actively engaging in communication, businesses can expand their customer base beyond their existing network. This back-and-forth will help generate interest, boost sales, and increase brand awareness.

3. Helps seal the deal

Through targeted outreach efforts, sales teams can focus on engaging with decision-makers who are ready to close deals. By doing so, you increase your chances of converting prospects into paying customers.

What are the different types of sales outreach?

Sales outreach can be categorized as either inbound or outbound, depending on who initiates the process. 

Let’s look at the two main types of sales outreach:


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  • Inbound sales outreach involves engaging with prospects who have already shown interest in your product or service by interacting with your content (e.g., signing up for your newsletter, social media followers). An inbound salesperson can either contact these prospects individually via phone or email, or in bulk using a tool like Mail Merge for Gmail.

  • Outbound sales outreach involves proactively reaching out to potential customers who are not yet aware of your product or service. Success relies heavily on putting your best foot forward using outbound sales tactics like cold calling, cold email campaigns, or direct mail.

It’s worth noting both inbound and outbound sales outreach can be effective depending on your target audience. Also, remember to consider your resources before deciding on what approach is best—inbound sales outreach is usually a bit less resource intensive. 

How to build an effective sales outreach strategy

Now that we’ve covered the nuts and bolts of sales outreach, let’s explore how to structure a sales outreach strategy that delivers results:

Focus on your most promising leads

Although it’s a tough pill to swallow, some prospects simply won’t convert into customers—regardless of how good the pitch is.

Because of this, salespeople need to focus their energy on prospects who are more likely to say “yes”, rather than wasting time and resources on a range of maybes and nos. 

How can you tell which prospects are which? Buyer personas are a great place to start.

Establish a buyer persona

A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and data for your existing customer base. It helps you paint a detailed picture of what a person who loves your product or service looks like – including demographics, needs, goals, and pain points, as well as insights into how to engage with them.


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To create buyer personas, follow these steps:

  • Research your audience according to their age, preferences, location, and language.

  • Reach out to customers one-on-one to grasp their goals and expectations.

  • Design a blueprint to address their pain points.

Having buyer personas helps you quickly zero in on prospects who are more likely to convert, allowing you to focus your resources where they’re most likely to pay off.

Turning social media followers into sales prospects

With over 270 million social media users in the United States alone, it’s clear that the majority of your ideal customers spend time on one of the big social media platforms. By engaging with your followers and posting relevant content, you can turn social media followers into prospects.

Leveraging social listening tools like Hootsuite and Digimind helps identify pain points that you can solve in the future. Plus, you can use social media to collect email addresses for personalized follow-ups.

Have a clear understanding of your product or service

Before reaching out to potential clients, prepare yourself for the conversation. Armed with an in-depth understanding of your business (as well as your prospects), it’s easy to highlight the benefits your product or service will bring them. 

To capture their attention, always link features to tangible benefits. Clearly explain how you’re offering meets their needs by demonstrating your expertise in the industry. 

Remember, failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

Know your competitive landscape

Take the time to learn about your competitors, look at their product offerings, pricing, and marketing strategies, and use this info to identify your unique selling proposition (USP). Once you know your USP, incorporate it into your sales pitch to stand out.

Researching your competitors’ reviews is a great way to peek behind the curtain and uncover issues that they’re facing. This way, you can create an effective strategy that offers real solutions to real problems that people are facing.

Send follow-up emails

Since 48% of salespeople never even make a single follow-up, writing follow-up emails is becoming a deceptively simple way to differentiate yourself. Initial contact is usually not enough to secure a sale, but thankfully, sending follow-up emails keeps the conversation going.


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We recommend sending a follow-up email shortly after your initial introduction. Your follow-up should recap your conversation and express your willingness to answer any questions. It should also serve as a reminder for the next meeting.


Here’s where Mail Merge can help. With Mail Merge, you can easily send up to 1,500 personalized emails directly from your Gmail account. Our easy customization tool lets you tailor your email subject and body so that every recipient feels a personal connection.

Conduct multi-channel outreach

We all want to cast a wider net, and building a multi-channel outreach strategy (based on your audience research) does just that. By adopting a multi-channel approach, you increase your chances of attracting the attention of motivated prospects.

If a potential customer shows interest on a social media post, contact them via a phone call and follow-up email. By connecting via multiple channels, you’re making yourself more reachable and occupying more mental real-estate. That’s exactly why 64.2% of sales reps combine two to three various channels in their outreach strategies.

Track all KPIs and metrics

Key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics are measurable values that offer insight into your outreach campaigns. They target conversion rates, response rates, click-through rates, and revenue generated from your outreach methods.

By tracking this data, you determine which channels, messaging, and tactics are the most effective at driving conversions.

Stay ahead of the game

Staying aware and adaptable is a must in today’s fast-changing market. You need to keep your finger on the pulse, otherwise, your market research quickly becomes obsolete. 

Because of this, it’s best to regularly analyze your customer’s evolving needs and your competitors’ campaigns, so you’re able to adapt and remain relevant. Make a habit of looking at what’s working and bringing new tactics to the table.

Target competing unhappy customers

Speaking of your competitors, as the old saying goes, “all’s fair in love and war.” 

There’s no shame in targeting competing customers, especially if they’re unhappy with their current service.


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Have a look at your competitor’s social media channels and see who’s engaging with the content they post—specifically, people who match your buyer personas. Then, reach out to them and offer your services as an alternative using that USP we covered earlier.

This method can help you quickly build up a customer base, as well as increase brand awareness. Plus, it’s much easier to convert customers who already have a pretty good idea about what it is you do!

Target more customers with Mail Merge

An effective sales outreach can lead to improved productivity, stronger customer relationships, and increased sales. If you implement some (or all!) of the sales outreach tactics we covered above, you’ll be converting leads into loyal customers in no time.

And if you’re looking for a tool that simplifies sales outreach, Mail Merge for Gmail is the way to go. With our powerful, zero-setup Gmail add-on, sending 1,500 personalized emails per day is as simple as A, B, C. 


To find out more about how Mail Merge can streamline your sales outreach process, check out our free mail merge tool and start messaging!