MailShake is a cold emailing software tool that integrates with an existing email account and allows you to send a larger volume cold email campaign for lead generation purposes.
It is one of many such tools, but one of the most popular. It comes along with a tagline boasting that MailShake is ‘a simple solution for cold email’. But what is it a solution to?
Primarily, the best thing about MailShake and other similar tools is that it takes away a lot of the mind-numbing tedium of a cold email campaign.
If you have ever conducted one before, you’ll know that copy and pasting an email address, then a customized message, then hitting send, then doing it all again dozens of times is enough to drive anyone half insane.
Executing a cold email campaign this way is also inefficient after you have sent the initial emails. Who is opening your message – is anyone? What percentage of your emails are bouncing?
You’ll also have to manually track who responds, and who does not, so you can follow up with each person on the list in the right way. Then start the whole process again for the next round of cold emails.
Now you can see why a good cold email tool can make all the difference right? The right sales automation tool can prevent cold email madness and help you create and execute an effective outreach campaign, which is why we are always on the lookout for them and willing to try new ones when we come across them.
The tool we are looking at here is MailShake. We’ve been trying it out for a while now and it’s as good a time as any to share what we think about it.
WHY CHOOSE A TOOL SPECIFICALLY FOR COLD EMAIL?
Email automation and customer relationship management (CRM) tools like Mailchimp and HubSpot are fantastic for communicating with prospects or customers who have already opted in through inbound marketing and other avenues of lead generation.
Cold outreach is a different story. How do you get similar automation features when emailing people you’ve never talked to before? From tools like Mailshake is where.
WHO’S BEHIND MAILSHAKE?
Several years ago a suite of influencer marketing tools – called ContentMarketer.io – became reasonably popular. However, its founders noticed that people tended to only use one or two of the tools offered within the suite, with the email outreach component, called Connector being the most popular of all.
So they shut down ContentMarketer.io to focus on refining and improving Connector with an eye to relaunching it as a stand-alone tool. Thus MailShake was born.
HOW TO LAUNCH A MAILSHAKE CAMPAIGN
At the most basic level, the purpose of a cold email outreach campaign is to encourage those on your target list to take a certain action that will help your business grow.
These actions might include scheduling a sales call, promoting your content, or buying your product. But those asks usually come later when an initial relationship has been established and your cold email prospect becomes a warm lead. The first step is getting those emails sent at all and then getting them opened. Mailshake is a great sales engagement tool, so let’s have a look at creating a campaign.
SO LET’S START AT THE BEGINNING:
1: CREATE A NEW CAMPAIGN
To get started, log in to MailShake and click the plus button to start a new campaign. Give it a memorable name. Click Save. Easy so far right?
2: ADD YOUR EMAIL LIST
Campaign created you now need to add the list of email addresses you want to target this time around.
Natively Mailshake supports CSV files for mailing list upload. If your list is in Google Sheets or Excel, you’ll have to export it as a CSV, but that’s not hard to do. How long the list takes to upload depends on its size, but the one thing you can be sure of is that it’s a heck of a lot faster than inputting the addresses by hand.
3: WRITE OR CHOOSE A TEMPLATE FOR YOUR EMAIL
Once your list has uploaded, it’s time to create that all-important initial email. Under “Insert,” you’ll be able to choose merge tags that allow you to personalize by recipient name, website, company name, and other data points you’ve compiled.
If you are used to using a tool like MailChimp, it might surprise you to see that you’ll be creating a plain text email, not one of those loads of bells and whistles HTML templates with cool fonts and spaces for lots of images.
There’s a very good reason for that. This is a cold email. It needs to look like a one-off, personal email that you composed all by yourself specifically for the recipient. A fancy pants template gives away the fact that you didn’t.
If you are struggling to come up with a great cold email copy all by yourself, MailShake offers proven templates, featuring tried and tested pre-written messages. You can choose to make use of one of those and then customize it as you see fit so that it matches your style and is optimised for your sales pipeline.
4: CREATE FOLLOW-UP EMAILS
Once you have composed your first email you will be presented with more choices. You will be offered the chance to create a drip-email campaign that will be sent automatically according to how a recipient responds – or does not respond – to your first missive.
This is the really important part. By automating this part of the process you can have the software continue to warm up cold prospects leaving you free to step in and start communicating directly with those who do reply. This saves time, effort and increases the chances that more prospects will ultimately convert. And since even these are personalized emails, you will continue to add that human touch to your campaigns and sales emails with this outreach tool.
5: SEND YOUR CAMPAIGN
Once everything looks good – remember to proofread everything three times at least – you get to the exciting bit where you hit send.
When you do so you can block out specific days and hours where the campaign is active, or set spacing rules to make sure too many emails won’t go out at once and upset your ISP and get flagged as a spammer.
Most cold email experts, the Pearl Lemon team included, agree that response rate is the most important metric to monitor in a cold email campaign. To help you measure that efficiently MailShake offers a sturdy set of reporting tools.
From within the MailShake dashboard, you’ll be able to see things like open rate, click rate, response rate, and if you opt for the Pro version, conversion rate.
These analytics are a great way to see what works and what doesn’t. They can also give you an idea of how to improve your future campaigns.
So what do we think about MailShake? We think it’s a solid cold email tool that helps lead generation professionals overcome many of the hurdles they face when trying to execute a great, effective cold email campaign.
For example, deliverability is an issue for any cold emailer. If too many emails sent from your domain bounce, your domain is then in danger of being blacklisted. If you send out too many emails at once they could block you from your email account, especially if you use G-Suite. Mailshake can solve both these issues.
Mailshake may also increase your response rate, as the automated drip campaign can just keep, well, dripping away, even while you sleep.
There are also a number of other tools available in MailShake and a couple that is worth a quick mention. The Real-Time Analysis tool is useful if you are writing your own cold emails rather than using a MailShake template, as it will analyse your email as you compose it offers you suggestions to make it better, in, as the name suggests, real-time.
The Lead Catcher can be a big help as well. Its purpose is to help you sort your leads more efficiently, quickly see who you need to follow up with personally and pull their email out of the drip campaign and start a real conversation. It’s not groundbreaking – other tools have something similar – but in a relatively inexpensive tool, it’s better than expected.
Overall, MailShake is a very solid tool that a lot of cold email professionals rely on every day. The customer service is good and the resource library is expansive. They also offer weekly training sessions to paid-up members that can help you get more out of the tool.
On the downside, this isn’t a lead generation system. You’ll need to find all those emails yourself. It can’t help you there. There are other tools that claim they can and we’ll look at those another time. Additionally, since they removed the CRM integration you are responsible for client management yourself.
For now, however, we’ll agree that MailShake is a good solid tool that will help you improve your cold email campaigns when used correctly. It’s not a magic wand, you’ll need cold email skills to make the most of it, but for the price we’re impressed.
MAILSHAKE PRICE AND INTEGRATIONS
Nitty-gritty time. What does all this cost?
You can check out the pricing as of November 2019 below (if this changes we’ll update it)