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What happens when your cell phone rings and you don’t recognize the number? Most likely, one of two things: A) You answer with your guard up, poised to hang up immediately at the first sign of an unwanted sales pitch, or B) You ignore the call completely and let it roll over to voicemail, a.k.a the void where calls go to die. Either way, not a great scenario for the caller, right?

So what makes you think your cold calls are going to yield any better results?

It’s time to start thinking outside the cold calling box and into other more productive ways to capture the interest and attention of your leads and customers.

1 – Email Marketing

Whereas cold calling interrupts and bothers people during their daily activities, email marketing puts control in your customers’ hands, and is an extremely powerful tool for getting your audience to take immediate action. 

Emails are a highly valuable source of information that can help direct your marketing efforts. By simply sending one email, you can test your contacts’ interest by studying various metrics, including opens, clicks, bounces, unsubscribes, and even engagement over time. This is all extremely valuable information to have as a marketer, none of which you’d be able to gain from an unanswered cold call.

Email marketing also allows you to better organize all of your contacts via list segmentation so that you can easily distinguish between your leads, prospects, and customers, and tailor your messaging accordingly. That means the right messages are going to the right people at the right time.

That’s certainly more than you can say for ringing a stranger’s phone unannounced.

2 – Blogging

Rather than bombarding your prospects and customers with cold calls, why not make them come to you? Business blogging is one of the best ways to invite potential customers in. By providing answers to the questions they are asking online, you will be more likely to turn up in search results, driving new leads directly to your business. 

Blogging can help you:

  • Improve your SEO ranking
  • Increase your web traffic
  • Position your company as industry thought leaders
  • Demonstrate expertise
  • Grow your social media following

Just make sure that you really make blogging a priority by doing it consistently, which is ideally 16+ times per month.  No one is going to trust you as an expert source if your most recent post was about Google’s latest algorithm updates from three years ago.

3 – Social Media

Social media can be a very powerful tool for connecting you with the people you want to do business with – and delighting your existing customers as well.

Start by determining where your ideal customers spend their time online. You don’t want to waste time trying to reach your customer base on LinkedIn when they’re only going onto Twitter, and vice versa.

Once you have that nailed down, get the conversation started! Share relevant articles and information that your prospects will be interested in and respond to any questions or comments in a timely manner. Share. Retweet. Connect. Get involved.  

Just don’t make the mistake of using your social media platforms as a place to sell; people will see right through this and you’ll lose what could have been great customers in the process. Instead, use these platforms as a place to share, connect, network, and build up an online community.

4 – Paid Social Ads

Paid social ads are another great way to reach your ideal audience while they’re already on social media.

Start with a bold, engaging headline that speaks directly to your target audience and addresses their pain points. Don’t make the mistake of trying to target everybody, because in doing so, you’ll end up targeting nobody. Pick a specific audience and speak directly to them.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re trying to get hotel managers to take care of bed bug infestations. Why not lead with something captivating that hits directly on their pain: “Lose bed bugs – not customers.”

Then include a clear, solution-oriented CTA: “Get Your Free Bed Bug Assessment Today.”

Your ad should lead directly to a landing page where your contacts can register for the aforementioned offer, and become a new and shiny lead for your business.

Good luck capturing email addresses (let alone interest) with your unwelcome cold calls during family dinner.

5 – Events & Speaking Engagements

If you want people to view you as the expert in your industry, then you need to demonstrate your expertise. But there’s only so many people you’re ever going to reach by sitting behind a desk all day.

Instead, you need to get out in the community and meet people face to face. Remember, people form connections with other people, not with email addresses and phone numbers. So start expanding your reach and forging lasting business relationships by participating in more industry events and speaking engagements.

The more involved you are, the more you’ll start to see that in-person meetings are one of the best ways to build trust, open up the lines of communication, and build up your brand.

So the next time you’re thinking about picking up the phone to make a cold call, imagine that you were on the receiving end and do as HubSpot CEO & Founder Dharmesh Shah would advise: “Market unto others as you would have them market unto you.”

Download The Essential Guide to Internet Marketing