At the moment we are cold-calling, which is working wonders, but its very slow and time consuming. Requires calling, getting to the right person, then maybe a couple calls, then bingo! Then an email in response. Looking at cost-effective options. How can we be more targeted. Email marketing is an option, but I don't want to just send a bulk of unsolicited emails (done it before, mail chimp etc..., need to add some form of value, understand our different segments). Trying to avoid to just send newsletters... what options could we try?
You can reach this audience by uploading the email list to various ad platforms, too.
For example, you can create a lookalike audience on Facebook or Twitter by uploading your 200k list. Some percentage of those 200k will "match" a FB or Twitter user, and the platform(s) will look for users with similar demographics to target via advertising. We've seen this be very effective for certain clients, if you have some ad budget to play with.
Otherwise, cold email outreach may be effective for appointment setting, but you don't want to use MailChimp. We love MailChimp -- but for this type of project you really need to simulate the sending of one-off emails in order to get deliverability to a good place. Look into Yesware, Tout and similar tools. Write a *really* compelling message. Be humble and genuine. You might lock in a demo rate / reply rate of 1-5% if you do well.