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Marketing: Doing outbound? Zig when everyone zags

Cold emails, outreach, sliding into LinkedIn DMs…

When you’re slogging through an outbound campaign, the replies—or the silence—might make you feel like Tantalus, the mythological king punished by the Greek gods to remain forever hungry.

So what can you do to earn the curiosity of potential clients?

Well, Sam Bond recently shared an interesting story, describing how wit and newfangleness led a post-launch startup to its most successful outbound campaign.

Let’s jump out of the proverbial box for a second…

When fintech startup Brex launched in 2018 as the first corporate card for startups, it had $0 revenue and less than 30 employees. Brex needed early adopters… fast.

Did the Brex team rely on cold emails? Or ask LinkedIn connections to “grab a coffee sometime?” Not really. They did the good ol’ zig while everyone was zagging.

First, they scouted for the hottest prospects by running a Pitchbook report to determine which Series B startups raised a round in the last half year. That helped them find close to 300 companies.

Then, they purchased 300 bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne and delivered the bottles to the CEOs of those companies, along with a handwritten note of congratulations from Brex founder.

From there, the Brex CEO followed up with an email asking if they’d be open to a demo.

75% accepted. Out of those, 75% of demos converted to first customers.

Sam says this amounted to 169 new customers for a total spend of around $19k to buy the champagne, and prepare and deliver notes.

Today, Brex is valued $12.3B, with more than 1100 employees and 50k customers.

The unconventional champagne spree was definitely worth it. It was a unique method to pinpoint good leads and warm them up before initiating contact.

A cool story, no? We hope it inspires you to do something similar. Like buying cookies. We love those…

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