The LinkedIn Outbound Advantage

Why LinkedIn can be more effective than email for B2B lead generation

Hi there - Happy New Year! I gave y'all (and me) a break the last few weeks during the holiday season, but I'm back and ready to rumble. Let's go! 

If you're new here, I encourage you to check out the last two publications that include a PR podcast playbook + how to leverage customer reviews to drive inbound leads. 

This month we're going to continue to focus on top of funnel since that is where of our audience needs the most support. 

In case you missed it, Google and Yahoo have recently announced new rules for companies using bulk email sending. The changes will take effect in February 2024 and will be mandatory.

Cold email has been getting harder and harder due to the lower barrier to entry (cheaper and easier to access data and tools), and this is going to make it even more challenging (but not impossible!). I personally think these changes are positive for the most part and will protect us from the spray and pray tactics some have been abusing. 

However, even before these changes were announced, I've been encouraging our clients to do more of their cold outbound on LinkedIn. In my experience, it's more effective.

Let's dig into why it can be more effective and how to do it.

Leveraging LinkedIn for Outbound

Why is it more effective than email?

When you send a cold message on LinkedIn, it's easier for the prospect to 'vet' you. They can see - 

  • Mutual connections 

  • Where you've worked in the past 

  • Look into your company 

With email, you could put a picture or hyperlink in your signature but both could impact the deliverability. And most of us don't want to click on a hyperlink from a cold email because of cyber security and virus threats.

When we get a LinkedIn message, we know we can safely click on the person's profile and safely 'vet' them inside of the platform.

Plus, they can see your face! And seeing a face, knowing you aren't a bot but a real human, helps too. So for ALL of those reasons, it's easier to get comfortable with someone you don't know on LinkedIn. 

How can I do it? 

You can do it manually and/or you can layer in some automation. 

Let's break it down step by step: 

  1. Build your lead list using Sales Navigator (a beefier paid version of LinkedIn) or Apollo (a more cost effective, arguably better ZoomInfo).

  2. If you're doing manual outreach, write some copy and start sending connection requests and messages (or InMails) to the contacts from your lead list. 

  3. If you want to automate it and go a little faster, you can purchase a license for Meet Alfred or Dripify, two tools that allow you to fully automate the actions of viewing a profile, liking a recent post, sending a connection request, sending a message, etc. All for $40-70/month - not too shabby. 

Whether you are using LinkedIn or email, keep your message copy short (50 words or less) with a curious and friendly tone (don't assume, ask questions). Short and curious (or unsure) tones improve response rates. It should sound like something you would say verbally IRL. 

Note: The results are significantly better if you use the identity/profile of a founder or executive team member. Prospects are a little less likely to respond to someone with a sales title. So if you're a busy founder (who isn't), share your login with your team and let them play magician behind the curtain + air traffic control, but I encourage you to use your identity for the outreach to maximize effectiveness. 

What do 'good' metrics look like? 

If you are using the founder's identity like I suggested, 'good' metrics would be - 

  • 20% or better connection rate 

  • 5% or better response rate (much better than the 1% avg response rate with cold email) 

And I've seen some founders get as high as 30-40% connection rate and 10% response rate. 

Ok that's all for this week! Any questions, feel free to holler. 

PS - Know someone who could benefit from being added to this distribution? Send them here to sign up. 

With love and gratitude, 

Jess Schultz

Founder & CEO

Amplify Group