September 8, 2022

The Mawla Prospecting Playbook: How We Automate (and Kick A$$ at) Our Outbound Lead Generation

In early August, we kicked off our new outbound lead generation sequence. And in a world where 99.99% of cold emails go unopened, we struck gold.

Even the leads who weren’t in the market for a solution like ours responded. The sequence was so good that they wanted to know how we built it.

So today, I’m sharing our playbook with you!

Step 1. Warm up Multiple Domains

When you go ham on sending cold emails with a new domain, Google blocks the sh!t out of you. It recognises you’re mass-sending emails (especially if the text is always the same), and you end up in the spam folder.

Fortunately, you can avoid the spam folder nightmare:

Buy a Few Domains to Get More Sending Power

Before reaching out to leads, make your Google Workspace look as authentic as possible.

When you create a new workspace for non-lead-gen purposes, you create multiple user accounts for different team members. That’s what we did for our cold email accounts, too.

Create 2+ users for each domain.

For example, “dan@mawla” or “daniel@mawla.”

Depending on the number of emails you want to send, you could buy as many as 10 domains, so you always have 30-50 email user accounts in rotation. With this approach, you’d be able to send 400 cold and 400 follow-up emails daily.

Quickly do the math. Your conversion rate will be higher with our lead gen sequence, but you still need the sending power.

Warm up Your Domains

Next, warm up your domains using a tool like:

Warming up will show Google that you have a reasonable mailing cadence, i.e., you’re not using your account to spam. Once you start increasing the number of emails you send, the emails won’t get caught by spam filters.

Start by warming them slowly. Then, turn up the heat after 30 days. Rotate the users you warm up, so the cadence is not the same for everyone.

(Some of the experts we consulted were doing high warming (80 emails per day) for 2 users while using regular warming for the other 3 domains.)

Note: Don’t send regular or cold emails while warming your domains. Let the tools do their thing, so you’re ready to get going once the warm-up period passes.

Once your domains are sufficiently warmed up, it’s time for the fun part - building the framework to get feedback like this:

Step 2. Pick the Right Prospects

Buying contact lists is the easiest way to get reported for spamming and generate negative sentiment right off the bat. You’re usually paying for two quality leads among the sea of low-quality mailing fodder. Skip it.

Use a prospecting tool like Apollo instead.

We targeted prospects who:

  • Matched our target customer profile
  • Are new to their jobs (they want to impress their higher-ups and teams)
  • Work at startups that recently raised money (they have the budget)

The key challenge with prospecting is the sheer amount of people to reach out to, so be specific. When you choose a specific audience segment (i.e., startup marketing managers new to their jobs and recently raised Series B funding), you can speak to their particular pain points.

It’s an asset.

Use it.

Step 3. Create Personalised Lead Gen Sequences

At this point, you (hopefully) have warm domains and a list of people whose problems you deeply understand.

It’s time to talk to them!

We used PersistIQ and Woodpecker to build out our personalised sequences, and let me tell you: our leads ate it up!

That’s a lot of details, right? How could we possibly personalise all that to make the lead feel like we met at some point?

I’ll let you in on our secret weapon…

Going Deep with Copy Personalisation

We didn’t just personalise the [NAME]. We also automatically found and personalised data for:

  • The lead’s previous company
  • The lead’s boss’s name
  • News about the company (new CEO interview, new funding round, etc.)

We already knew what the lead could be struggling with. Then, we added their previous company's name (knowing they likely have a track record and the new company expects them to fill some pretty big shoes) and their boss's name.


Then, we added everyone’s favourite internet byproducts:


Gifs, Memes, and Entertaining Lead Gen Sequences

Since most cold emails only feature text, you’ll get an advantage with personalised visuals.

We automatically generated personalised gifs and memes with an in-house tool and Vidu.io.

We’d find a relevant gif/meme depending on the personalised sequence template.

In the example above, we focused on the pain point of generating more MQL leads (for sales-driven teams). For other sequences, we generated gif memes that were a hit:

A Note on Lead Gen Hygiene: Using Spintax to Randomise Our Emails

Even if you create 2-5 personalised templates, your emails will look the same when you start sending them. You don’t want to do this, as Google will realise you’re mass-sending the same emails.

Instead, use spintax to randomise specific phrases in your emails.

From there, spintax will use “Just wanted to ask you a question” in a few emails, " "Do you mind if I ask you something?” in the next, and so on.

You can use spintax for any part of your email - from the headline to body copy and even your signature, so you get randomised emails. They still offer the same lead gen benefits but decrease your chances of being flagged for mass sending.

Step 4. Tips & Tricks for Lead Gen Automation

  • Don’t allocate your daily sending budget to new leads exclusively. Leave some room for follow-up emails. (You can set up custom rules to follow up with people who opened your previous email or responded to it.)
    • If you use Instantly, it’ll automatically prioritise sending the follow-up emails.
  • Add as much spintax as possible. (It took us a full day, but we got peace of mind knowing that we did everything we could to avoid getting flagged.)
  • Make your content fun. Most B2B cold emails are boring, so ours stood out with the personalised gifs and memes. Plus, it gave leads a sense of our personality.
  • Reference multiple personalisation points in the headline. We personalised the lead’s and their bosses’ names, making them feel like we had met.

TL;DR How Do I Build an Awesome Automated Lead Gen Sequence?


Ready to get interested leads from your outbound lead gen sequence?

  1. Get multiple users for your domain (or buy multiple domains).
  2. Warm up your accounts with Lemlist, Woodpecker, and Instantly.
  3. Pick the right prospects with Apollo.io.
  4. Personalise your lead gen sequences with the lead’s name, their boss’s name, and other data points in PersistIQ and Woodpecker.
  5. Use Vidu.io to create personalised gifs and memes.
  6. Sending lots of cold emails? Add spintax to randomise parts of your email copy.

It's time to build an outbound lead generation seequence that converts! (P.S. Don't have the time? Get in touch with our team, and we’ll set up a sequence for you.)

Pages

Contact

    • HQ: Dublin, Ireland.
    • UK: 1 Customs Wharf Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6AL.

    Copyright 2022