B2B Sales Funnel

How to Create a B2B sales Funnel

Reading Time: 6 minutes

A B2B sales funnel is a visual representation of the customer buying journey. It helps companies to understand their customers and how they progress through the sales process. A typical funnel starts at the top with the broadest audience, moves on to those who are interested in your business’s products or services, then narrows down further to qualified leads and finally, prospective customers.

Understand your funnel

  • Know your funnel:

    The first step to creating a B2B sales funnel is to understand what a funnel is in the first place. A B2B sales funnel is essentially a process that takes your prospects from being unaware of you or your product/service, through various stages until they become customers.

The shape of your B2B sales funnel will vary depending on how you want it to look and what steps your customers take. For some, it will be marketing-driven and heavy on content. For others, it’ll begin and end with the sales team doing outreach and closing deals. Here’s a typical sales funnel:

A typical sales funnel (from Monday.com)
  • Understand why your team needs one:
    Funnels are useful because they allow marketers and salespeople to track their leads as they move through different stages of engagement with their brand or product/service. They also help organisations understand where there are opportunities for improvement. If you can figure out where your funnel has a leak, you focus on improving those specific areas.
  • Measure what matters most:
    Having a funnel in place allows you to segment your data, with each stage of the funnel having its own metrics to track. In breaking your data down this way, you can identify which metrics matter most. Are the people who read your blogs most likely to convert? Best get more blogs out, or improve the reach of your current work. Do cold emails work better than calls? It’s time to ramp up your cold outreach!

Develop buyer personas

A buyer persona (also known as an Ideal Customer Profile) is a fictional character that represents your ideal customer. It helps you to understand your customer better, and it helps you create better content—from landing pages to sales pitches. If you’ve never created one before, it can be daunting at first, but the payoff is worth it.

You don’t have to wait until after the initial meeting or conversation with a prospect in order to get started on this process; developing buyer personas can help guide your conversations from the very beginning of any interaction with customers or clients.

With your persona in place, it’s time to start marketing (and selling!) to that persona…

Develop a content strategy

Content strategy is the process of planning, creating and distributing content. If content is part of your funnel, this is needs to become an essential component of your marketing plan.

The goal of a content strategy is to create a cohesive marketing message that resonates with your audience, increases brand awareness and drives conversions from prospects into paying customers.

Content strategy includes:

  • Creating editorial calendars for video production, blog posts, articles, social media posts and more
  • Defining which topics are most relevant to your business sector or industry – then creating content that addresses those topics in an engaging way that helps you connect with potential customers

Lead magnets can generate new leads

A lead magnet is an incentive offered to potential buyers in exchange for their contact information and/or email address. This can take the form of an ebook, webinar, or other valuable piece of content that you create specifically for your target market (and which they’re not likely to find elsewhere).

Lead magnets are nothing new, they have been around since the dawn of online marketing. By now, users now the deal – they’re aware of the fact that by signing up for your webinar, or downloading your eBook, they’re likely to be contacted. With so many companies contacting them daily, their guard is naturally up. You need to really offer demonstrable value in order to overcome this hurdle. A half-assed lead magnet will yield no results!

  • Include incentives:
    If you want your lead magnet to be effective, it needs to be attractive enough to encourage people who would otherwise ignore or delete it without a second thought. This means providing value through information that helps them solve problems they have and/or helps them save time or money in some way. While this can mean more than just creating something new from scratch—you could also repackage existing resources into something more appealing—it’s important not only that you make sure there are benefits but also that these benefits aren’t lost on readers because they’re buried under layers upon layers of fluff text or poorly-written copy (which will turn people off faster than any other mistake).

Find ways to distribute your content

Now that you’ve got your lead magnet or other content pieces ready, the next step is distribution. This is often easier said than done. If you already have popular marketing channels, like a great mailing list, high traffic blog or socials with great engagement – these are your first stop! If not, it’s time to get creative. Think about your ICP hang out, what spaces do they occupy and how can you best reach them? Advertising your lead magnet can sometimes be a good option, but be aware that you’re playing a long game with ROI.

Here are some common methods for content distribution:

  • Email marketing
    Whether your own mailing list, or one that you can get your content onto (either by paying for a slot, or perhaps exchanging a share for share with somebody) emails are a great way to distribute content. An engaged list, being sent relevant content, will reap rewards.
  • Cold email
    Content can be a great way to open a cold email conversation with a prospect. Asking someone to read a blog, or watch a video, is often an easier ask than requesting a call back! Just be sure to follow the correct protocol for cold emailing and keep the content super relevant to the receiver.
  • Social media marketing ( including Facebook ads, Instagram ads etc)
    If you’ve already got social channels with plenty of engagement – great! Those users are your first port of call for distribution. Those engaged brand-advocates will often share your content for you, plus their likes and comments boost your content via the social channel’s algorithm. It’s a win-win. If you don’t have social channels with enough traffic, you can opt for ads. My advice if you’re new to ads, is start small with experiments and then hone in on what works.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) & link building:
    This is a mammoth topic for me to sum up in a paragraph! If you’re reading this, you likely either know some SEO or have someone on your team that does. If not, great reading! SEO is the slowest option of those listed, but it is both free and powerful. Once you begin to rank for a term, you’ll reap rewards. The sooner you start, the better!

Send those leads down the funnel

This point is where the collaboration between sales and marketing becomes super important. There is no use in marketing filling the hopper with potential leads that never make it to the sales team – there’s also no use in sales team talking to unqualified leads from marketing.

It’s important that leads are nurtured through the process, hitting the correct steps and being gently pushed in the direction of a close. Here are three ways of doing that.

It’s important for sales and marketing to sit down together and decide at what point in the journey, leads are considered qualified. Everything up until that point, is marketing’s domain. It’s their responsibility to provide and deliver upon a strategy to nurture users down the funnel, to the point of qualification. Then, they’re passed to the sales team to begin the closing process. The steps required for each team to do their job will not be alien to either! Driving traffic and generating interest should be bread and butter to a b2b marketer, and closing is the driving force of sales. The funnel simply serves as a framework to join these forces together.

It’s never too soon to start working on your sales funnel.

It’s never too soon to start working on your B2B sales funnel. You can begin now by identifying the steps of your sales process, from prospecting through closing. From there, you’ll need to determine how much time each step takes, who will do them and how much they cost or earn for you.

You can then create a rough outline of what each step looks like and determine how much time each one takes (i.e., what happens in step two). After that, you’ll need to determine whether that’s enough information for someone at the next level down—or if there are more details needed at this stage before proceeding with the next actionable item listed in their pipeline management software (PMS).

With the right sales funnel, you can ensure that your company is well placed to find and close customers who may be looking for your solutions to their problems. Provide a seamless journey for your leads to follow, execute the steps well and you will increase the number of deals you close.

Ideal Customer Profile

Creating your Ideal Customer Profile

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The idea of creating an ‘ideal customer profile’ may sound a little off-putting at first. After all, why would you want to limit your business? Surely the more customers you have, the better! But this isn’t about excluding people from your business. It’s about understanding who is most likely to buy from you and how you can best serve them.

Get to know your customer.

The first (and most important) step in creating your ideal customer profile is getting to know your customers. Once you know who your ideal customer is, it becomes much easier to figure out what they need and want. And when you can see the challenges they face and their budgets, it becomes easier to create marketing campaigns that target them directly.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Why knowing your customers is so important
  • How you can find out about them
  • The importance of knowing the needs, wants and challenges of your target audience

Determine benefits and value.

Your product or service has a purpose. It provides something that your customer needs and/or wants, and it does this in a way that is different from other products or services. So, what are the benefits, and how do they make things easier for your customer? What is the value of your product or service?

It’s important to think about what you can offer that no one else does. If you don’t have anything unique like this, then why should anyone buy from you? What is standing between them and buying from someone else who already has it? That’s where your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) comes in!

What are the common challenges?

The first step in creating your Ideal Customer Profile is to look at existing customers and see what problems they have. This can be done by surveying existing customers, or talking with them in person or by phone.

When you hear about these challenges, make sure you understand them fully. You might think that one customer’s problem is another customer’s opportunity—but it isn’t! For example, if a customer tells you she wants to be able to book appointments online and then pick them up in store later that day, that could mean she wants to avoid spending time on her schedule than if she had an appointment scheduled for the next week (and maybe even more). But if another customer mentions being frustrated when he has an appointment planned for tomorrow but gets stuck in traffic on the way there and misses his appointment entirely? That’s something different entirely; it means he needs better transportation options so he can be safe getting to those appointments!

Where can you find them?

Now that you know what your ideal customer is, it’s time to find them. This can be done in many ways, but let’s take a look at some of the most popular:

  • Social Media

    In addition to being one of the best ways for brands and companies to interact with customers (because it lets them better understand their needs), social media is also where many potential clients spend most of their time online—and therefore where they might be looking for solutions like yours! When it comes to B2B, LinkedIn will always be king. With 80m+ users and 50m+ companies (and growing!), it’s the largest database of potential customers ever to exist! Plus, the powerful LinkedIn search allows you to really pinpoint those in your ICP. You can also use a tool like Lix to export LinkedIn data and find email addresses for your customers, once you’ve found them. Great for research and outreach!

  • Events

    Events are a great way to find and meet your target audience. Now that Covid restrictions are easing, live events are slowing opening up again – alternatively online events can be just as fruitful. Again, LinkedIn is a great resource – head to the search bar, search your chosen topic and hit the ‘events’ filter!

What is your budget range?

When you start to create your ideal customer profile, think about how much money you want to make. The more expensive your product or service is, the fewer customers you’ll be able to affordably serve.

Before you can even think about how much money customers should pay for your product or service, though, make sure that they’re willing—and able—to pay it. If they don’t have any money at all (or if they have so little that they can’t justify spending even $10 on something), then charging them $100 would be pretty ridiculous. You’ll either turn them away entirely or end up with very few sales anyway—neither scenario is good for business!

Who is involved in the decision making process?

  • Who is involved in the decision making process?
  • The decision maker
  • Anyone else involved in the process (e.g., decision makers’ boss, someone who works with them)
  • What is their role?
  • What is their budget and timeline?
  • What are the pain points they are experiencing that you can help solve?
  • What does success look like for this customer or client and their business?

Personality types.

Personality types are a great way to help you identify your ideal customers. The most common personality types are introverts and extroverts, but there are others as well.

  • Introverts
  • Extroverts
  • Sensors (observers)
  • Intuitives (idea people)
  • Thinkers (cognitive)
  • Feelers (emotional)

The majority of people fall into one or more of these categories. If you don’t know which one(s), ask yourself: “Do I tend to be more of an observer or an idea person? Am I more concerned with logic than feelings? Or do I value both equally?” This will help you develop a better understanding of who your ideal customer is by determining what type of personality they have and how they think about things in general.

Check out the competition.

To start, you need to know who your competition is. If there are other companies in your industry, what are they doing? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How do they market themselves? What do they say about their customers, products and employees?

The answers to these questions will give you a clearer picture of how to set up the ICP for your business.

Target the right person, with the right message, at the right time.

While you may be interested in selling to everyone, the reality is that not every single person will have a need for your product or service. Therefore, it’s important to spend time identifying who your ideal customer is and why they are a good fit for what you offer.

When you take the time to identify your ideal customer, it allows you to target the right people with the right message at the right time. When you’re able to do this effectively, it can help improve sales by 10x!

We hope this information will help you build your own ideal customer profile, so you can spend more time marketing to those who are ripe for buying. Are there any other tips that have helped you create buyer personas? Let us know in the comments!

Cold Email

Cold Email: The Complete Guide

Reading Time: 18 minutes

Cold email can be daunting. Finding leads, crafting copy, warming up your server, navigating GDPR… It’s easy to see why many people avoid it all together. The thing is, cold email has been proven time and time again to be on the best ways to find new customers, meet influencers, get PR, gain backlinks and generally grow your network. This guide is here to give you all the tools and confidence required to cold email like a pro. We will cover:

👆 Use these links to navigate the guide & bookmark this page for later!

Cold Email Fundamentals

Whether you’re sending ultra-personalised emails to potential investors one-by-one, or mass mailing every CEO in London, there are some cold email fundamentals that should form the foundation of your outreach. Get these right, and the rest will fall into place. If you only digest and implement one portion of this guide – this is should be it it!

  • Keep it brief
  • Personalise
  • Give Credentials
  • Demonstrate Value
  • Call to Action

Keep it brief

The average office worker receives 121 emails per day. For those in decision-making roles that number is likely much higher. Think about the emails you receive daily. When you open one up and see a wall of text, is your first thought “yay, lots to read”? Probably not! Don’t waffle, keep it short, sweet and to the point. Brevity is key.


The degree to which you can personalise will depend on the volume of outreach. If you’re working with a short list of prospects, take the time to research your prospect and personalise every single email. Reference an article they wrote, a podcast they were on, a previous investment they made… Show that you know this person and that your outreach is relevant to them. If you’re doing outreach at scale there are still ways to personalise. Separate your prospects into relevant groups and write specifically for them. This could be job title, location, industry etc. Talk about the challenges / news / industry changes relevant to them and their group. Simply using a merge tag to include their name will not cut it!

Give Credentials

Why should this person trust you, or listen to your pitch? Strong credentials are a great way to cut through the noise of a busy inbox. Referencing clients you’ve helped that your prospect will know and respect is a great option. Otherwise perhaps use a qualification, or thought leadership pieces that you feature on… Know your audience and think about what will demonstrate your trustworthiness to them.

Demonstrate Value

How will your proposal benefit this person? Will it save them time or money? Perhaps help them to grow their business? This step is where a lot of cold emails fail. Don’t talk about features, talk about benefits. A classic example of benefit-based copywriting is this iPod ad from Apple:

Apple could have easily rambled on about megabytes of storage space, but customers don’t care about the inner workings. Think about the individual’s desired outcome for your product or service and sell that outcome.

Call to action

Another common mistake is not providing a clear call to action. Do you want the recipient to reply to the email? Watch a video? Book a call? Tell them! My advice here is to provide a low-friction action at this step to get the first ‘yes’. Trying to close a deal in the first email rarely works (if ever). Often, asking for a call can be high-friction too. Asking them to respond to a simple question, or watch a video, for example, will be easier. Again, put yourself in the shoes of the person receiving this email. Do you jump on Zoom with cold emailers you’ve never spoken to before? Probably not.

Jump to our templates to see this in action!

Campaign Prep

Before you start crafting copy and workshopping subject lines, you need to establish the audience, purpose and method for your campaign. It’s important to decide what exactly you want to achieve, what metrics you will track, what success looks like and how you want to approach the outreach itself.

Research audience size

If you’re reading this, it’s likely you have an audience in mind for your campaign. The first step for campaign prep is to ascertain exactly how many prospects are out there. As we know, cold emailing a list of 10 will be very different to outreach for a list of 10,000.

Set goals

It’s easy to skip this step and assume that the goal of each email is to close a deal – whether that’s making a sale, booking a call, gaining a backlink etc. While that may be your overall purpose, it can help to take step back and set goals for the steps along the way. It’s unlikely that you sales journey looks like this:

Email sent → Deal closed

Setting response rate targets, for example, helps you to hone in on what copy, which subject lines, times of day etc. work best. Your first email is initiating a conversation, not closing a deal – so target and optimise for that!

Map the journey

Too often I see people jump headfirst into a cold email campaign with no plan for what comes next – what happens if they don’t reply? Better yet – what happens if they do? Mapping the journey (sometimes referred to as a ‘flow’) is a really important step in your preparation. Plan your initial response, your follow ups, your closers. Never hit a point in your campaign in which you don’t know what to do next!

Building an email list

A cold email campaign won’t go very far without an email list! Before we get into this, it’s important to state that Lix is a b2b email finding tool and I will be talking about that in this section.

There are other tools out there that do this, but Lix offers more free emails (50 a month!) with an accuracy to match or surpass the others. If you have a favourite tool you like to use, please feel free to do so (give ours a try though, it is free and easy to use 😁).

There are two primary ways to find email addresses for your cold prospects – using an email finding tool (like Lix) or doing it manually. Which option you choose will be down to time and budget.

Manual email finding (free)

If you’re operating on a tight budget, or have a ton of time, you can sometimes find an email address manually with some sleuthing. Some people will have an email address listed on their LinkedIn, some will be displayed on a company website. This all depends on the type of person you’re reaching out to. Those in high-demand (decision makers, generally) will be less likely to have a email address listed publicly, though.

If your list is small enough to do prospect emails manually, I’d advise signing up for a free Lix account and using your 50 free emails. It’ll save you a day’s work (at least) – valuable time you could spend writing copy and doing research!

Automated Email Finding

Finding, testing and verifying email addresses for outreach used to be a slow and expensive practice. Now you can find thousands of verified emails every single day using a tool like Lix (other tools are available, but why would you ever need them when Lix is right here? 😁).

The majority of such tools work off of LinkedIn, for a very good reason. With 800m+ users and 33m+ businesses, LinkedIn is the largest store of publicly available b2b data in history – and it grows every day. Anyone who is anyone is on LinkedIn and they very helpfully provide their name, company name and the link to their website – the building blocks of email discovery.

If you’re interested in all the techie details on how we do this, read here. Want to just see how it works in practice? Watch this 40 second video:

Another great thing about LinkedIn for email list-building is the powerful search. You have a ton of great filtering tools at your disposal with which to hone in on your ideal audience. If you’re using Lix for your list-building, you can export searches into projects – helping you break your lists up, or collaborate on your list with colleagues anywhere in the world. Here’s a video on how that works, too.

List Separation

Now you hopefully have your list full of email addresses to reach out to, it’s important to break this list up into personalisation groups if you haven’t already done so. Personally, I like to separate a batch of my most-prized prospects for some ultra-personalisation, then group the others as per the cold email fundamentals (above).

Depending on your list size, it’s likely you won’t be sending all these emails at the same time, too. When cold emailing it’s important to ‘warm up’ your server by gradually increasing sending volumes (more on this later – I have a chart for you to follow!). Consider this when separating your lists – who should receive the first batch? Do you want to test your subject lines / copy against your least-likely prospects first? These are all things to consider before sending!

How to mail merge

Now you have a list of prospects to reach out to, it’s time to send those emails. If you’re working off a large list, you’ll need to find a way to mail merge. You can either use a mail merge tool (paid) or one of the methods that allows you to mail merge right from you preferred inbox (free). As always, the paid options do come with some benefits – including some tools for regulating sending, tracking etc. that are very useful when running cold email campaigns. They’re also easy to use and set up, whereas the free options do need a little work to get started. That said, sometimes we need a free option to get things off the ground and test the efficacy of an idea, so let’s start there.

Free mail merge for Gmail (with Google Sheets)

TLDR: Create a template in Gmail & pull recipient data from Google Sheets

This method allows you to create an email template in Gmail, which is then populated by data from a Google Sheets document. You can either read on for my guide, or go straight to the source and hear it from Google.

How it works:

You’ll need Gmail (Google Workspace is preferred due to sending limits) and Google Sheets for the data spreadsheet.

The easiest method is to use a copy of the sample spreadsheet from Google as it has the columns and script set up and ready to go.

Step 1: Enter your data

Once you’ve copied Google’s sample spreadsheet, you can set about editing the data within the columns. Add in the recipient email addresses, names etc. Please note that if you change the name of any of the columns, you will need to head to Extensions > Apps Script and edit the code (this is not advised unless you know what you’re doing!).

Step 2: Create your template

Create a draft email in Gmail as normal. Use the column names in curly brackets (this is called a merge tag) for customisation. For example:

Hi {{First name}}

Will pull through the corresponding first name for each person.

Step 3: Start sending

In the menu bar for your spreadsheet you see ‘Mail Merge’ click this and then ‘Send Emails’. If you don’t see the Mail Merge option, refresh your page.

You will be prompted to authorise the pre-loaded script – do so. Then, repeat the process (Mail Merge > Send Emails).

Enter the subject line for your emails and click OK.

Free mail merge for Outlook (with Excel & Word)

The process for Outlook & Excel is similar to Gmail & Google Sheets – the data is stored and pulled from Excel, to populate an email. The main difference is that this time, the email copy itself is in Word, rather than the email client itself. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Prepare your data

Open a new Excel workbook and enter the identifying data (email, name etc.) as column titles. Ensure these are properly formatted for the correct data type. If you’re not an Excel whizz, here’s a guide from Microsoft.

Step 2:

Open Word and click Tools > Mail Merge Manager, Word’s Mail Merge Manager will give you a step by step guide for setting up your document.

When it’s time to enter your content, use the column names in curly brackets (this is called a merge tag) for customisation. For example:

Hi {{First name}}

Will pull through the corresponding first name for each person.

The example {{First name}} will only work if that is what you’ve named your column. These tags must correspond with the column names in your Excel workbook.

Step 3:

The Mail Merge Manager will ask you to ‘Select Recipients’. Choosing ;Use Existing List’ will allow you to select the Excel document you made earlier.

Next, click on ‘Preview Results’ – check that the emails and data columns match up and all looks correct. If so – hit ‘Finish and Merge’ and check your sent mail folder in Outlook!

Mail Merge Tools


Mailmeteor is designed to work with your Gmail account, and it currently the best-rated mail merge tool on the Google Marketplace. Where Mailmeteor is an improvement on the free Gmail method above, is in the added extras that improve things like deliverability and tracking.

For example, Mailmeteor makes it easy to add attachments, allows you to schedule your campaigns, import HTML email templates and collaborate with teammates. With plans from $9.99 per month, it’s worth giving this service a try if you’re going to be sending regular campaigns from your Gmail account!


Like Mailmeteor, GMass works with your Gmail account & Google Sheets to send mass email campaigns.

GMass has the added bonus of having an in-built email verifier tool too (this isn’t needed if you use Lix for your prospecting though, as we do this for you!).


Outreach and tools like it are a little pricier than the previous options, because it is so much more than a mail merge tool. Outreach is a sales engagement tool – a class of software that assists with organisation, automation, integration, sending cadences and much more.

If you’re serious about cold campaigns, consider a tool like Outreach!

Tools NOT to use

I had to add this section in because it’s a mistake I see people making all the time. Please do not use email marketing platforms, or customer engagement platforms, like Mailchimp and Hubspot for your cold outreach. Firstly, it goes against their terms of service. Secondly, you will be flagged for spam and kicked off the platform very quickly.

These tools are not made for cold outreach and should not be used under any circumstances.

Cold Email Templates

Now we know the foundations of cold emailing, how to prospect and the basics of mail merging – let’s dive into some cold email templates. As we’ve covered, there is no one-size-fits-all cold email. The template you use will change depending size of the list, the amount of research you can do for each person and so on. Here are my 5 favourite templates, with examples, that you can use for different situations.

The Authority-Builder

This is a great template to use when mailing totally cold, large lists. When it isn’t possible to research each individual on your list and you don’t have an intro to reference, you need to lean on your authority.

Remember – keep it relevant! By referencing a credential that is relevant to your recipient, you still achieve some level of personalisation. This is all about showing them that you understand their role and have the credentials to provide a solution to their problems.


David is a sales representative for an SME selling medical instruments to private surgeries. There are 1,000 potential prospects for his product in the UK and personalising each email is not possible. However, David can group his prospects by job title (some large practices have dedicated buyers, in smaller surgeries it may be the lead GP), or by region, practice size etc. David’s credential, is that he works with a market-leader in this sector. The email he sends might look like this:

Subject: We’re helping Spire keep up with rising demand

Hi [First Name],

I head up sales for Example Healthcare, specialising in diagnostic equipment. As Chief Physician, I understand you’re the person to speak with regarding purchasing decisions.

Our clients at Spire are reporting an 81% increase in new patients since the pandemic and many surgeries are struggling to keep up with demand. That’s why we’re preparing complete diagnostic kits, especially for local private surgeries.

If you let me know your preferred address, I can put a brochure in the mail for you today.

Best wishes,


Brief – 5 sentences

Personalised – Shows an understanding of the recipient’s role and industry challenges

Credentials – Reference to a large client

CTA – Low-friction, initiates a conversation and invites a follow-up

You can play around with this template and add in whatever credentials / authority-builder works for you and your list. Perhaps it’s a metric you achieved for a client, or a positive case study. Think about the USP you have that will cut through the noise and show a prospect that you’re the one to trust.

The Time-Saver

This again is a great template when you’re going in cold. If you don’t have a ton of credentials to shout about – perhaps you’re a new product or service – the time-saver template allows your product to do the heavy lifting. This template is all about focusing on the positive outcome for the end user.


Beth has recently started a new marketing agency. She has a ton of experience, but as the business is new there’s little in the way of case studies or credentials to shout about. What Beth does know, however, is that SMEs are spending up to 16 hours a week creating content and posting it on social media. Beth’s proposal is to take that work off of their hands, saving them a ton of valuable time. She has broken her list up into industries and niches, in order to add some personalisation to her emails.

Subject: In just 10 minutes I’ll explain how I can save you 16 hours a week

Hi [First Name],

My name is Beth, and I’ll keep this quick.

I’m a Social Media Marketing expert and founder of Example Agency, and I know businesses in [insert niche] are spending up to 16 hours a week writing content and posting on social media.

Could I have ten minutes of your time next week for a personalized demo that’ll demonstrate to you how I can own your content and social media, freeing you up to work on your business?

Either let me know a time that works for you or book a convenient 10 minute slot in my calendar: [calendar app link].

I look forward to hearing from you,


Brief – 5 sentences

Personalised – Referring to the recipient’s industry niche

Credentials – Demonstrated expert knowledge of the time challenges these companies face

CTA – Low-friction, 10 minute call

The Researcher

In the last two examples, we’ve looked at options for large lists, where deep research isn’t possible. This template, then, is for the opposite situation. Those prospects for whom you can research and draw from their work, or activities. If you have a large list to contact, it can sometimes be a good idea to separate perhaps 10-20 top prospects to do this kind of research on while using a different template for the others.


Anna is a startup founder looking for investors. Her goal for this campaign is to book calls with potential investors so she can pitch her idea. Anna has researched investors in her space and crafted outreach for each one individually. Email #1 is going to Elizabeth, who has invested in similar companies previously:

Hi Elizabeth,

I just heard your interview with Jason Calacanis on This Week In Startups, it was really inspiring to hear you talk about your goals for the sustainable tech companies you invest in.

My startup, EcoTech, helps Data Centres offset their carbon emissions. I currently have NTT and Verizon signed and 5 more major data centre operators interested.

Our pitch deck is attached, if you have 5 minutes I would really appreciate it if you could reply with a few lines of feedback.

Best wishes,


Brief – 4 sentences

Personalised – Immediately demonstrates knowledge of the recipient

Credentials – A short summary of current success

CTA – Low-friction ask – just a few lines of feedback.

Of course, yours will vary depending on the research that you do!

Pain-Agitate-Solution (PAS)

This is a classic copywriting technique that you can apply to your cold email outreach. I’m sure you can probably guess how it works from the name! The aim is to highlight a pain point your prospect is feeling, agitate that pain point by describing how this is negatively affecting their business and then – you swoop in and provide the solution. Let’s use Lix, for this example.


Alfie is the co-founder of a SaaS startup that uses AI to find email addresses from LinkedIn searches. He wants to sell subscriptions to users in the cyber security space, as he knows they do a lot of cold outreach to prospect lists. He knows that reps in large firms are spending up to 33% of their time prospecting, when they could be selling.

Subject: Your reps spend 33% of their time prospecting, when they could be selling

Hi [First Name],

As a sales leader for [Company Name] I know that lead generation must be a huge time drain for you and your team. According to Forbes [link] the average rep spends 33% of their time building prospecting lists – time they could be spending on building relationships and closing deals.

I’m the founder a company called Lix and our mission is to give your team that time back. Our AI email-finder can turn LinkedIn searches into clean, verified email addresses; ready for your reps to reach out and do what they do best – selling!

You can try it today with 50 free emails and 1,000 rows of data [link] – or book in a call with me and I’d be happy to demo it for you [calendar link].



Brief – 5 sentences

Personalised – Mentions the company and the specific challenges faced by the receiver

Credentials – Uses trusted source (Forbes) to back-up statement

CTA – Two options, a free trial (low-friction) or a demo

The Personalised Video

This is a relatively new, but very powerful tool for cold emailing. It’s such a hot topic, I have a whole blog on personalised video for cold email. In it, I tell the story of a cold email I received from a CRM giant in which there was a video of the rep looking at my website and explaining, using examples from my site, how their tool could help me. It fits all the criteria for a good cold email – it was certainly brief, ultra-personalised! For a full guide to how to create videos for cold emails, please do read the blog.

I’m using myself again for the example, because I have an example video for you!


Alfie, the cofounder of the SaaS tool we looked at earlier, has separated 10 top targets from his prospect list that he really wants to book a call with. In order to cut through the noise, he’s going to make a personalised video for each of them.

Subject: [Your Company Name] & [Their Company Name]

Hi [First Name],

I made you a quick video (60 seconds), click here to watch:

Plus here’s a case study that shows how we helped [Company] achieve [outcome]: [link]

You can try it today with 50 free emails and 1,000 rows of data [link] – or book in a call with me and I’d be happy to demo it for you [calendar link].



Brief – 3 sentences and a short video

Personalised – As personalised as it gets!

Credentials – Uses their own site to establish credibility

CTA – Two options, a free trial (low-friction) or a demo

Here’s a great infographic on the anatomy of a great sales email from IRC Sales Solutions that you can save and refer back to when writing cold emails:


This is a hot topic in the world of cold email and for good reason. Many people rush into cold emailing gung-ho and send way too many emails, or do outreach from a brand new email address, or spam people with poorly-targeted emails… and get marked as spam. If that happens enough times, you domain can be ‘blacklisted’ and your overall deliverability will tank. This will put an end to not only cold email campaigns, but it could even affect day to day business emailing with current clients and suppliers, etc.

It’s not just about reaching inboxes, either. It’s about reaching the right area of the inbox. The Gmail users among you can attest to the fact that an email in your ‘Promotions’ tab probably doesn’t get read.

How does it work?

In simple terms, when an email is sent it has to go through various checks and tests before it reaches someone’s inbox. Your email server (and often your service provider) perform these checks in order to protect you from malware, spam and all other manner of nasty things.

These checks include things like:

  • Email Content

The content of your email can sometimes flag spam filters. This happens for various reasons, including using too many links, abusive language, spam trigger words and more. Hubspot have a great blog listing 394 spam trigger words. Avoid these!

  • Domain history

Sometimes referred to as ‘reputation’. If you are flagged or reported for spam, or you try to send too many emails too soon, are blacklisted or send too many bouncing emails – this will affect your reputation.

How do I maximise deliverability?

This topic is a whole ‘nother blog in itself, but there are some very simple steps you can take that in most instances will be enough to protect you.

  • Warm up your outreach

The max number of emails you can send in a day will vary by email client – for example a standard Gmail account can send a max of 500 emails in a rolling 24 hour period. A Google workspace account allows you to send 2,000 per 24 hours, but please bear in mind this includes all emails for your organisation!

Even if you are using a Google workspace account with a 2k daily limit, it’s not a good idea to try sending 2,000 emails in the first day. Especially if your domain is brand new! Instead, start small and build up gradually.

For a brand new account, start very small. Perhaps 10-15 non-cold emails per day for a few weeks, then slowly add in those cold emails. It’s frustrating, but less so than getting blacklisted. There are also some crucial technical steps you need take in getting your DNS set up – I’ll talk about those in the next section.

For an aged account, I would advise starting with 100-200 per day and adding the same amount daily until you hit around 1,000 a day, max. Some guides tell you to go up to the full 2,000, some say less. Personally, I’ve had the best results sticking at 500-800 per day.

  • DNS set up

DNS stands for domain name system – I won’t get into too much boring detail (but you can read this great Quora thread if you want to know more), essentially having your DNS configured correctly lets the receiver’s email server know that you email and domain are linked and trustworthy.

There are three DNS record types – SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and DMARC (Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance). Until recently, DMARC was optional and only really used for large businesses. However, Microsoft recently announced that any email without DMARC will go to spam.

Setting these up will differ depending on your email client. Here are some guides for Google Workspace & Outlook:

Google Workspace

Outlook / Office 365

  • Don’t spam

Seems obvious, right? This is the simplest step and often the hurdle people fall at first! If you follow the cold email fundamentals and list building protocols set out in this article, you will be fine. The most important points to remember are to keep your emails brief, don’t include attachments or images in your initial messages and only send emails to targeted individuals.


GDPR (General Data Protection Legislation) dictates the way companies are allowed to store, use and process personal data. It was introduced back in 2018 in order to protect consumers from unscrupulous spammers and give them back control of their data. Similarly, CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) offers similar protections to the residents of California. The rules and their application to cold emailing are largely similar. The good news is that neither prevent you from sending cold emails – so long as you stick to the rules.

Sending cold B2B emails is legal under both GDPR & CCPA, you just need to meet certain requirements. The foundational principle is thus – the service or product you’re offering must be beneficial to the individual or company that you’re contacting.

These laws don’t exist to stop people from connecting with each other and offering useful services – it’s there to stop spam. As long as you’re choosing your prospects correctly and offering something that can make their lives / jobs / businesses better, you have a case for cold email.

With that base covered, the next step is to consider the use, storage and communication of said-use. Make sure that somewhere in your email you are letting the recipient know how their data is used and that they can remove their data from your list at any time. Also, don’t store their data for longer than is necessary. If a prospect hasn’t replied within 30 days, remove their data from your system. This rule applies more to GDPR (CCPA doesn’t have any strict rules about storage time) but it’s still good practice!

The biggest difference between GDPR & CCPA is that GDPR applies to all businesses, of all sizes, whereas CCPA only applies to large companies that fit the following criteria:

  • They must be a ‘for-profit’ organisation, NFPs are exempt
  • 50% of more of their annual revenue must arise from the sale or use of personal data
  • That annual revenue must be more than $25m
  • They process data of 50,000+ individuals, household, or devices

Now, that’s not to say that if you don’t meet these criteria you should ignore the rules set out here. You should always put yourselves in the shoes of the recipient. You don’t like being spammed – so don’t spam!

If you follow the above steps, there’s nothing stopping you from sending legitimate-interest cold emails under GDPR & CCPA.

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: The Definitive 2022 Guide

Reading Time: 13 minutes

LinkedIn influencer marketing is being under-utilised by B2B marketers. We’re on a mission to change that.


In recent years, influencer marketing has grown into an essential part of every B2C marketer’s toolkit. The ability to leverage a trusting audience, pre-built by an influencer, lures in marketers like a moth to a flame. For many of us though, the phrase ‘influencer marketing’ conjures images of perma-tanned reality TV stars peddling protein shakes on Instagram. While this may be true, I certainly wouldn’t advise asking the cast of Love Island to promote your B2B product or service. So, how can us B2B marketers get in on the influencer action? With LinkedIn influencer marketing.


Why LinkedIn Influencer Marketing?


LinkedIn is the largest professional social network in the world, with a whopping 690 million users and counting. The platform has been on a steady growth trajectory since their acquisition by Microsoft in 2016, for a cool $26.2 billion. Microsoft’s investment into the business has reaped dividends, with LinkedIn’s membership growing 52% in just four years. 


In early in 2020, as I’m sure you know, the world went into lockdown. The coronavirus pandemic led to an unprecedented wave of people working from home. In fact, you might be reading this from the comfort of your home office right now, for this very reason. The rise in home working set off an explosion in LinkedIn’s engagement rates. In fact, LinkedIn saw its largest jump in DAU (daily active users) since 2011.


Amongst those users, from the casual to the committed, there are the individuals that we marketers dream of getting in front of: the decision makers. According to LinkedIn’s own stats, 61 million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers and 40 million are in decision making positions.


Let’s take a moment to step back and consider this. We have at our fingertips, the largest business network in history. LinkedIn is an audience of nearly 700 million people and among them, tens of millions of decision makers. This is an unprecedented opportunity for B2B marketers. One that we have of course been leveraging for some time. I would argue however, that we have not been utilising LinkedIn marketing to its full extent. As marketers we run ads, content campaigns, perhaps even cold outreach; all the while LinkedIn influencer marketing remains largely untapped…


LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Teamwork


As marketers we seek two things: an audience to speak to, and buy-in from that audience. Influencers can give us both of those things at the drop of a hat. They have spent years cultivating a persona, engaging with their followers and establishing themselves as a source of information and inspiration. Yes, even the reality TV stars on Instagram and the dancing teens on Tik-Tok.


The Lure of Influencers


In bygone years marketers and advertisers had to create and manage long-running campaigns to build brand recognition with their audience. Hoping that their efforts along the way cultivated some kind of relationship between brand and consumer. Social media has done away with that in a relative heartbeat. We don’t need to shoehorn emotion, connection and trust into 60 second ads, spaced out and repeated over years. Audiences can feel like they know, and therefore trust, influencers within a matter of weeks. Through photographs, captions, story posts, live videos, podcasts, Q&A sessions… The opportunities to build those connections are seemingly endless.


There is of course another important layer to the influencer marketing cake: it is social. Although there is a huge clue in the name ‘social media’, us marketers can often forget this fact when trying to sell via social platforms. We may be there to sell, but users are not there to buy. They are scrolling through their feed, interacting with their friends and consuming media related to their interests. It’s not SEM, where there is clear intent to buy, or researching buying, a product. You are interrupting their flow with your ad or message. Do you think the user would rather have their flow interrupted by an advert from a business they don’t recognise… or a recommendation from a person they know and trust?


With this in mind, it’s easy to see the power of influencer marketing, and therefore LinkedIn influencer marketing. You are leveraging not only their audience, but trust and social connection. Something that would otherwise take you many years (and thousands of dollars) to build for yourself.


This powerful combination presents us with a massive opportunity. We have a thriving social-professional network, with millions of decision-making users and, if you know where to look, a plethora of influencers ready to promote your products.


LinkedIn Influencers


LinkedIn influencers have established themselves as thought-leaders in their field. Their written content, videos, perhaps even just witty status updates have earned them thousands of fans. Their posts reach the coveted top spots within the LinkedIn feeds of not only their followers, but also those connected to their followers.


LinkedIn influencer marketing is also largely untapped market. How often do you see B2B influencers pushing products on LinkedIn? It happens, but it’s not nearly as large a phenomenon as it is on Instagram and Tik-Tok. If those platforms are anything to go by, we are just a few years away from saturation. As with any new marketing trend, the time to get involved is now.


The early adopters will reap the most rewards. Much like the early days of Facebook pages, and the ease of follow/unfollow at the dawn of Instagram; this trend will become saturated and ROI will gradually decrease. We may reach a point where, much like Facebook, the only way to really reach an audience is pay-to-play. You don’t want to look back in three years and kick yourself for missing the boat.


Influencer Campaign Preparation


Before we delve into the specifics of tracking down influencers, we need to prepare our campaign. As a marketer or solopreneur you will already understand the importance of good prep and solid tracking.


Media, Location, Duration


Setting up a LinkedIn influencer marketing campaign is not much different to any other marketing campaign. There are a few extra things to consider, including the media used, the location of the post, duration and so on.


There are a number of factors that will contribute to your choice of media, including your chosen influencer’s preference.


Where possible, I advise opting for video.


A massive 84% of buyers say they were persuaded to purchase after watching a brand’s video. Since launching native video (uploaded directly to LinkedIn) back in 2017 engagement rates have rocketed.


Within LinkedIn there are three locations you could opt to post your content, whatever it may be:


  1. The Influencer’s Feed
  2. Within a Group
  3. On your Company Page

Of the three, I would generally advise the first option, so that you can really leverage the trust and audience your influencer has built up. Groups can command excellent engagement but promoted posts are generally blocked by group admin. Some marketers advise posting on your company page to build better brand recognition, but unless you have a huge following there, I wouldn’t bother.


There is no use throwing time and money at a LinkedIn influencer marketing campaign if you cannot track what works and what doesn’t. Depending on what your desired outcome is from this campaign (clicks, email signups, conversions) there are numerous ways to track. You may wish to send users to a designated landing page, with messaging that matches the content pushed out by your influencer for a seamless customer journey. This is time consuming and perhaps not the best option for your initial test. An easy way of tracking is simply adding UTM parameters to whatever links the influencer may share – this should make it easier to separate out the clicks, visits and conversions from a specific source. You can use Google’s UTM builder for free.

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Metrics

With your campaign idea in mind and your method for tracking results prepped – it’s time to find those influencers!

How to Find LinkedIn Influencers

If you’re familiar with LinkedIn you will probably know that they curate their own list of influencers by invitation only. There are a few hundred of these ordained influencers, including the likes of Melinda Gates, Mike Bloomberg and the ubiquitous ‘Gary Vee’. If you have the kind of budget required to hook one of these big fish, go ahead. For those high-profile targets approaching them via LinkedIn, or even by email, is probably not going to yield results. I would be incredibly surprised if Mike Bloomberg is checking and responding to his DMs on LinkedIn. Your best bet for an upper-echelon influencer like that is to approach their publicist or agent and go from there.

“Now if you’ll excuse me Spiderman, I must go check my LinkedIn messages…”

My guess is that if you’re reading this, you’re either marketing for an SME or you’re a plucky entrepreneur at a startup looking to make your mark. In which case, your pockets likely aren’t deep enough to pay Gary Vee to speak 7000 words a minute about you in a LinkedIn influencer marketing video. Never fear. There are thousands of influencers, thought leaders and LinkedIn populists out there ready to spread your message for a fraction of the cost.

Let’s dive into how we can unearth them before moving onto how to approach.

Get Targeted

Before we can begin our search, we need to think about our selection criteria. My suggestion here is to start with the end result and work backwards.

For example if I wanted to sell LIX subscriptions, I would start by identifying a vertical. I know that LIX offers the ability to export LinkedIn Company Data, and I know that there are four primary verticals that tend to buy this tool: B2B marketers, salespeople, investors and recruiters. This time around, I’d like to target marketers.

Now we have our niche, let’s think about numbers. Begin by thinking about how many individuals you will need to reach with this campaign in order to convert your desired number. I estimate that I can convert approximately 3% of all readers / viewers (depending on the media) and I’m looking for 50 signups to test the viability of LinkedIn influencer marketing.  Therefore, I need an influencer in the marketing niche, preferably with interests and content relevant to automation services, with at least 1,500 followers.

With this kind of laser-targeting, we know exactly what we want and what kind of person can deliver on the above. Now, we search…

Find Influencers on LinkedIn

Part of what makes LinkedIn such an incredible tool is its powerful search function. With the right keywords, filters, time and perhaps a helping hand from the LIX LinkedIn Search Exporter you can find relevant profiles, export their data from LinkedIn into a spreadsheet and begin panning for influencer gold!

Continuing our example project, we’re searching digital marketing automation specialists. If we enter that into the LinkedIn search bar and select the ‘people’ filter around 669k results are returned.

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Search

I would advise applying some filters in order to not only bring down that number, but also hone-in on your desired influencer. For this campaign, I want to reach influencers based in the UK, so I will filter by location ‘United Kingdom’ which returns 35k results. Then, we can filter by industry. We want somebody currently in the world of marketing and advertising. When I apply that filter, it brings us to a more manageable 6.2k results.

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Searching

Now the real work begins. You have two options for sifting through these results: the free option, which is time consuming, but… well, free. Or, you can utilise LIX’s ability to export ‘deep’ LinkedIn profile data (there is a short ‘how-to’ for this feature within our video CV parsing on YouTube!).

Using LIX Deep Profile Extraction will allow you export up to 1k profiles per day, directly in to XLS or CSV. The tool will extract the number of followers a person has directly to your spreadsheet, making it easy to identify influencers within this niche. You can simply sort your results by ‘followers’ within Excel or Numbers and work your way along the top results to discover those who post relevant, engaging content. Voila! You have your list of targets. If your CRM supports CSV or XLS uploads, it’s a good idea to move these potential influencers over for better tracking and organisation.

If you’re opting for the manual method, the end result is the same but you will need to sort through those profiles one by one to find their follower numbers, select the best candidates and copy their details into the list-maker, spreadsheet or CRM of your choice.

When manually sifting through, head to the user’s profile and click on ‘activity’. Here you will find the number of followers, along with a list of their posted content (articles, feed posts etc.). With this information, we can make informed decisions about potential influencers.

Our example search led us to this handsome fellow, with following within our desired range and well-engaged posts. Maybe he’s right for our LinkedIn influencer marketing campaign?:

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Target


Another place to search is within the ever-popular LinkedIn groups. There are over 2 million groups on LinkedIn. According to Tech Crunch, more than half of all LinkedIn users are in at least one group.

Within these groups, you tend to find that there are usually a handful of regular posters. They tend receive a good response, with strong engagement on their posts. These are your influencers.  If we return to our example search, we can see that there are 289 groups that match our keywords. The largest groups should command the most engagement, therefore leading you to your potential influencers faster. My advice is to not neglect the smaller groups however – sometimes you can unearth a gem.

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Hone

How to Approach LinkedIn Influencers

We have targets in our crosshairs, now it’s time to get them on board. This is not as straightforward as it may seem on the surface. Just because we want to work with them, does not mean that they instantly want to work with us. Remember, these influencers have spent years cultivating an audience and presenting themselves as thought leaders within their field. They will not risk sullying their reputation and standing in the community if they feel that your brand isn’t the right fit, or the product isn’t right for their audience. In order to leverage the trust that influencers have built up with their followers, you need to build trust with the influencer.

Email vs. LinkedIn Messages?

This may seem like an easy choice. We’re already using LinkedIn, so why not just message them there? In reality, it depends on how quickly you’re looking to receive a response.

If you’re a regular LinkedIn user you will no doubt receive dozens of messages every week. Many of which are ‘spammy’ or annoying. Usually they are connected to a connection request (the only way to message a user not within your connections, unless you have a paid version of LinkedIn such as Sales Navigator).

This, I think, is the reason why people put off regularly reading their LinkedIn messages. Personally, I check my emails 10+ times a day and my LinkedIn messages perhaps 2-3 times a week.

Want your message to cut through the noise of LinkedIn and receive a faster response? Find your influencer’s email address and contact them there. If in the last step you used LIX to export data from LinkedIn, you will notice that where a person has listed their email address on their profile, their email address will have been exported onto your spreadsheet. If you’re working manually, head to Google and do your best to find it that way. Happy sleuthing.

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Discover

For those of you not in a hurry to receive a response, or struggling to find those emails, LinkedIn messaging is fine. My advice here is to start strong. You’ll notice in your inbox; you get a short preview of around 10 words before opening a message. Make those 10 words count.

Opening with a standard “Hi, I hope you are well” is not going to stand out in a crowded inbox. This is the exactly the kind of message I put off until I cannot stand the notifications any longer. Mainly because I have no idea what is inside. It could be anything from a cold sales pitch, a job offer, or just straight up spam.

What do you think will capture the attention of your chosen influencer?

Here are a few 10-word examples that I’ve used in the past with some success.

Paid promotion opportunity: We would like to work with you…

We’ve identified you as a LinkedIn influencer in ‘X’ field…

Excellent content, we would like to discuss a sponsored post…

These may seem a little impersonal, and they are. These openers on LinkedIn are not designed to build rapport (yet, that comes later). These are designed to grab attention in a stuffed inbox, enticing the influencer to read your message.

You can also use variations of these openers as email subject headers if you choose to contact your influencers that way!


For some of us, contacting and building rapport with people comes naturally – for others, not so much. If you’re the kind of person who listens in to the sales team making calls and thinks “how do they do that??”, this section is for you.

You’ve already grabbed their attention and got them to open the message. All we need to establish now is who you are, what you do and whether they would be interested in learning more about this opportunity. That’s it. At this stage, don’t bog them down with a ton of details, don’t discuss fees or even what the promotion is. Those details can come after you receive your first ‘yes’. Up until the point at which they agree to talk further (your first ‘yes’) you are talking at them, not with them. We need to open up a conversation in which both parties are happy to participate.

Continuing our example, here’s a sample message I would send to our digital marketing & automation influencer:

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Message

It’s straightforward and to the point, without being pushy or presumptuous. Another technique that can work well here is referencing what you think makes them the perfect candidate. If they wrote a great blog about your niche, or received a ton of engagement for a post, reference it!

“I saw your blog about automation and thought it was excellent. I especially like your take on setting responsible limits….”

Influencers may put out content in order to win business, but they also like getting good feedback too! Even the least-vain influencers respond well to a little praise.

Some people like to use what is called ‘presumptive closing’. This when you push the person receiving your correspondence into agreeing to a proposition. Something like:

“We want to work with you. I’m calling influencers on Friday, what’s the best time for us to speak – 11am or 1pm?”

I tend to find, however, that influencers receive a lot of messages from a lot of salespeople and are pretty fed up with the pushy approach!

When you have their reply, hopefully saying that yes, they’re happy to discuss; you’re ready to go into details with them.

Now that you have read, absorbed and percolated this information it’s time to go forth and put it into action! LinkedIn is an untapped treasure trove of B2B influencers – get out there and tap it.

Find more blogs from LIX, here.

LinkedIn Emails

LinkedIn Emails: How to find the email address of anyone on LinkedIn

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Looking to find and extract LinkedIn emails? You’ve come to the right place! This blog is going to show you how to do it, give you 50 free email credits to try it for yourself and even explain how it all works.

For those of you who don’t want to read a blog and just want to get started right away – claim your 50 free emails and follow the guide on the Lix dashboard. You can also watch this super quick 46 second video that shows you how it works:

How to extract LinkedIn emails

The first step is of course to head over to LinkedIn. Then, search for the people you’d like to extract emails for. The search function is really powerful and offers great filters. We’ve even got a blog about LinkedIn search if you want some tips on making the most of it!

Now you need a way to find and extract their emails, that’s where Lix comes in. You get 50 free emails and 1,000 rows of search every single month on the Starter plan. Please do claim your free emails and give it a try. It’s really easy to get started – simply install the browser extension and head back to your LinkedIn search.

When you’re ready, click on the Lix browser extension icon and the toolbar will drop down. Simply select how many profiles you’d like to extract, what format you’d like the export in (CSV or Excel) and toggle on “Generate Emails”. Hit the LIX IT button and await your data!

It’s really that simple – LinkedIn emails, exported and ready to use in just a few clicks.

How it works

Lix’s AI-powered email discovery system matches people with companies, companies with domains, domains with emails and emails with formats.

Using this information, it puts together the most likely email address for that individual – and then tests it. Email addresses are run through a variety of tests to assure their validity, including some fairly standard ones (like real-time SMTP checks, MX & A records, DNS etc.) as well as some proprietary secret-sauce tests that allow us to determine if an email address is able to receive mail properly.

The emails that pass these rigorous tests go into the Valid column of your Lix export. If an email address doesn’t pass our tests, we won’t charge you for it.

An email export from Lix has been searched, discovered and rigorously tested before we deliver it to you. All in a matter of seconds. Meaning you can 10x your pipeline with LinkedIn emails, confident in the knowledge that your data is accurate and your emails won’t bounce.

sales intelligence

Sales Intelligence: The Ultimate Disruption

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Sales intelligence has reached a tipping point. The sheer volume of freely available business data, combined with falling entry costs and a change-igniting global pandemic, is proving to be the trifecta of conditions necessary for what I believe is the largest leap forward in sales history.

Let me explain.

Just 33% of a salesperson’s day is spent engaging with customers, with the other 66% being taken up with prospecting, administration and research tasks. If human interaction is the key to sales, then this allocation of time and energy is completely upside down.

That’s a serious problem.

I believe that for the first time in history, we have a solution to that problem – sales intelligence. Imagine, if you will, the salesperson’s ‘second brain’: a processing powerhouse that reps can call upon to carry out these tasks for them. A partner in prospecting, freeing them up to spend more time connecting and less time administrating.

That is what sales intelligence is about to do for sales and it is time for you to make a leap forward… or get left behind.

In order for me to give context to bold claims, allow me to take you on a journey back to the dawn of advertising, a time when marketing and sales lived in technological harmony.

The History of Sales & Marketing

Almost 2,000 years ago, in 1st century CE, a gentleman named Umbricius Scaurus was the Roman Empire’s leading manufacturer of ‘garum’; a luxury fish-based sauce loved by Roman high society. We know all about Scaurus’ and his ancient fish sauce for two reasons: the preservation of Pompeii (thanks Vesuvius!) and Scaurus’ talent for sales and marketing.

During the excavation of Pompeii, archaeologists discovered mosaic advertisements for Scaurus’ garum in his family home and the local market. Advertisements that talked about the quality and pedigree of his particular fish sauce. Urns stamped with the recognisable Scaurus label have since been discovered as far away as modern France.

sales intelligence
This mosaic is in the square of corporations in the ancient Roman port of Ostia

The term ‘marketing’ first appeared in dictionaries much later, during the 16th century, referring the process of selling at market. The term came from merchants, like Scaurus, finding ways to bring new customers to their doors. Customers that could be sold to.

The marketing channels available (mosaics, urns, brass plates, painted banners…) and the point of human interaction – the merchant at their stall – were perfectly balanced. The marketing drew them in, and the merchant closed the deal. Sales and marketing existed in this person-to-person harmony for many centuries.

Until it didn’t.

Merchants and markets fell to the industrial revolution, replaced by general stores and the supermarket. The Gutenberg press gave us the newspaper and with it, print advertising. During the advertising boom of the 1920s, the terms B2B and B2C were first coined, marking a split between the two. 1955 saw the first TV ad broadcast on ITV, the world’s first commercial TV channel.

sales intelligence
The first TV ad: Gibbs S.R. toothpaste, broadcast at 8.12pm on September 22, 1955

The days of the merchant manning their stall was long gone. Consumer goods no longer needed human contact to close the deal. Advertisers could present a product, educate the consumer and convince them to purchase long before they ever stepped into a store.

Person-to-person selling was only required where costs were high and trust building was crucial: b2b and high-ticket items.

A chasm had formed, between the old ways of selling and the new.

The dawn of the internet

Web 1.0, the first iteration of the internet, widened this chasm even further. Uptake was slow, at first – new technology always takes a while to reach widespread adoption – but it was coming.

1990 saw the first (albeit limited) search engine: Archie. In 1993, clickable ad banners began appearing on websites. The digital marketing revolution had begun.

sales intelligence
Go and ‘archie it’ doesn’t have the same ring, does it?

These technological advancements allowed marketers and advertisers to do something that person-to-person selling couldn’t match – messaging at scale. The evolution of these technologies gave marketers the ability to push their message out to ever more people. To track, to ‘personalise’ and convert at a scale never before imagined.

At the click of a button, a modern marketer can reach millions of people across the globe, in a matter of minutes.

Marketing technology left sales in the dust.

It’s true that marketing tech can be leveraged to help reps, too. The same channels and tactics exist in B2B lead generation as they do in B2C marketing: PPC, SEO, content marketing, webinars… all drive inbound leads and (hopefully) sales, but if a product or service truly requires person-to-person connection to get over the line, there’s a bottleneck. Salespeople, like all of us, only have so much time in their day, much of which is taken up by admin, research and prospecting.

There’s an important point for us to remember, here. Having a ‘human in the loop’ is not about pushing prospects into a purchase, it’s about building trust and forging personal relationships in a way that marketing alone cannot.

The true magic of sales lives in connection, in those moments where the expertise and intuition of the rep helps to solve a problem for the potential buyer. Where trust is built, and loyalty is won. That is what all truly great salespeople know and strive for.

This poses a question, one that – if answered – could propel sales into a whole new era:

How do we scale personal relationships?

Scaling personal relationships

Salespeople know the bottleneck of time is a problem. Countless surveys and studies show that reps feel hamstrung by unproductive prospecting and stifled by administration. According to one such study carried out by CSO insights, salespeople on average spend just 33% of their day actually talking to prospects, 71% of reps feel they spend too much time doing data entry and 68% of businesses report struggling with lead generation.

sales intelligence

McKinsey’s comprehensive study on Automation and the future of work assessed the “automatability” of over 2,000 workplace activities in 2018 and concluded that over 40% of time spent on sales tasks could be automated.

These statistics are not anomalies. A casual Google search will reveal a multitude of blogs and papers that mirror these concerns. Salespeople (and therefore, the businesses they represent) are being held back from achieving their true potential. Their time, such a precious resource in relationship building, is being squandered on peripheral tasks.

Enter: Sales Intelligence

Sales intelligence (SI) refers to a broad range of tools and technologies designed to enable organisations to find and utilise sales-related data and insights.

In plain English, sales intelligence tools help salespeople find, extract and sort information in an instant: slashing the time required for quality prospecting, research and lead generation.

Better still, where sales intelligence meets sales productivity, these tools relieve reps of the need for monotonous data entry. Robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI), the primary drivers of SI, have the power to eradicate the time lost to such tasks.

This is it. The salesperson’s second brain. The key to scaling personal connection.

Quality lead generation becomes a source of delight, not stress. Collecting information on prospects, discovering those all-important shared interests, finding contact information, spotting buying signals… all become effortless with the right tools.

There’s a force multiplier effect, here. In freeing your reps from manual prospecting and data entry you don’t just free up the 66% of their day spent on these tasks, you free them from the power drain of even thinking about it.

Imagine a sales team laser-focused on building relationships at 3x the rate they ever could before. A team with more time to spend nurturing, educating and exciting your customers.

For some businesses, this dream is already becoming a reality.

Sales intelligence has been a category on G2 since way back in 2012. Five long years ago, Harvard Business Review told sales leaders that it was time to develop ‘Machine Intelligence’. Some business leaders listened, and those that did, prospered.

Salesforce’s State of Sales (2020) shows that high-performing sales teams are 4.1x more likely to use AI and machine learning applications than their peers. According to Deloitte, 83% of B2B AI-adopters are seeing rapid and positive changes, with 53% achieving moderate benefits, and 30% experiencing substantial benefits.

As you might imagine many of these early adopters were large firms, or rather, firms with large budgets. This is no longer the case. In accordance with Moore’s Law, as computing power increases, it decreases in relative cost at an exponential pace.

Removing cost as a barrier of entry is a key driver for the sales intelligence revolution. Sales intelligence is becoming democratised. Salespeople with a drive to achieve don’t need the financial backing of their organisation. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can now utilise the same technology as the behemoths of business. For anywhere upwards of $40 a month, they can get in on the action.

Salespeople are cottoning on to the fact that the old ways are dying, and a new world of sales technology is upon us. A world in which they can focus on the magic of human connection.

Grand View’s Sales Intelligence industry report indicates that:

“The global sales intelligence market was valued at $2.3 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $5.6 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 10.5% from 2020 to 2027.”

These figures, published early in 2020, may even be conservative as to the potential for this sector. The Covid-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated business transformation, in many cases lighting a fire under the (usually molassic) decision making process of large corporations. We’re in an age of flux, where digital change is being implemented at a speed never before seen.

The sales intelligence revolution is upon us. We are at the dawn of a new era and you have to decide as a salesperson, entrepreneur or business leader – will you take the next leap forward, now, or let your fish sauce be forgotten?

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Data Enrichment: What it is, and how to use it

Reading Time: 5 minutes


Back in 2006, British mathematician Clive Humby coined the (now ubiquitous) phrase, “Data is the new oil”. At the time it raised some eyebrows, now of course we know that Humby was right. Companies that know how to capture, refine and utilise data properly are on track for all the wealth and status afforded to those oil rush pioneers of the 1800s; but the parallel runs deeper than simply fame and fortune:


Data, much like oil, is worth far less in its raw state. It too needs to be refined and enriched to reach its true value.

With industries companies increasingly data-driven, knowing how and why to enrich that data is then paramount to success. If you, your company and your team are already putting data to work, it’s time to learn about data enrichment.




Data Sources


It doesn’t work like this


So, what is data enrichment?


Data enrichment is, as the name suggests, is the process of enriching existing data with additional (typically external) data in an effort to support and improve upon what is there. Although the base definition remains the same, data enrichment will of course mean different things to different people depending on their job role, industry and desired outcomes.


For a salesperson, it might mean bolstering the customer information in their pipeline with external data to craft a more complete customer profile; providing them with a better understanding of their potential clients in order to pitch them correctly and close those all-important deals.  


Similarly, for someone in marketing, enriching their CRM data for example will allow them to better identify, segment and market to their chosen audiences. This is especially useful for those in database marketing roles, for obvious reasons!


A study by the ONS showed that 27% of the workforce switch jobs every 3 years, meaning every 3 years more than a quarter of your CRM data becomes inaccurate. Using ReTrace allows you to not only do you enrich the data you have, but also unearth potential leads – because every time a contact changes jobs, they take the relationship you have built with them.


At LIX we work predominantly with LinkedIn data, but where else can you find b2b data?


Source: Kinsta LinkedIn statistics


Data Sources & Providers


We’ve established that in order to enrich your data, you will need external data to enrich it with. There are a huge range of sources for data, from free directories to paid providers. For data scientists and researchers there are tons of free, public data sets out there. Two of the biggest sources for those are Google Public Data and AWS’ Registry of Open Data.


If you’re looking for b2b data to improve sales and/or marketing however, this free public data probably isn’t for you. If you’re looking for information on businesses and people in business, you will more often than not have to pay for that information. With that in mind, let’s run through some popular sources of b2b data.




This might surprise a few of you, but a leading source of b2b data is the credit reporting agency Equifax. The data available leans towards the financial (understandably), but there are plenty of ways to utilise it.


According to their website they can help you to:


  • Segment your customer base using a wide selection of personal attributes


  • Build up a valuable, in-depth view of the risks and opportunities for your business
  • Monitor individuals and businesses for changes, gradual or sudden, that affect their value as customers – such as credit limit changes, CCJs and trends in their financial health
  • Accurately analyse the profitability, purchasing profile, buying behaviour and other predictive characteristics of your existing customers and target marketplace
  • Determine how best to apply your findings to your marketing, lending, collections and other business strategies, to support your corporate objectives
  • Add value for customers with personalized services based on their credit score and financial circumstances


People Data Labs


People Data Labs refer to themselves as The Single Source of Truth for People Data’ a bold claim – but they may just live up to it.

Their database includes “the resumé, contact, social, and demographic information for over 2.5 billion unique individuals, delivered to you at the scale you need it.”


They even offer a free Company or Job Title dataset too. So, if you want to test them out that’s probably the best place to start!




411, a Whitepages company, has been around in some form or another since way back in 1997. Essentially an online extension of the phone book, 411 primarily carries data about individuals and businesses in the US – if you’re looking for someone outside of North America, you may need to look elsewhere.


Their main offerings are:

  • People Search
  • Phone Search
  • Address Search (including reverse address search)
  • Business Search
  • Background Checks


Does anyone in Gen Z know what one of these is?




As you probably already know, LinkedIn is the world’s #1 professional social platform. What you may not know, is that there are almost 800m users on LinkedIn with over 33m businesses. It’s the single largest network of businesses and business professionals… ever!


What’s particularly great about LinkedIn, is that it’s UGG – User Generated Content. It’s in the best interest of businesses and individuals alike to keep their profiles (and therefore, data) up to date. Changed job? You will update your own profile. New hire? LinkedIn will add them to your organisation when they change their ‘current role’ data.


The issue of course is that LinkedIn don’t sell the data on their platform, but that data is public – so unless you want to copy data by hand, what you need is a LinkedIn data extractor, like LIX. Export up to 10,000 lines of data every single day with no risk to your LinkedIn account (give it a try!).

We have more guides, tips and tricks for LinkedIn here

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LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn Marketing in 2022: The Unreserved Guide

Reading Time: 16 minutes

LinkedIn marketing is a topic that has been done to death. The platform itself was launched in 2003 and by early 2004 there were a tranche of blogs and articles detailing just how to market on this new and exciting platform. Back then, professional social networking was box fresh. Nobody had done it before and, as we all know, marketers love something new and shiny.


Over the 17 years & 740m users that followed, LinkedIn marketing guides haven’t really changed much. There have been thousands of blogs, videos and courses passing on and on the received wisdom from those early pioneers. Sure, features have changed and updated and some new channels within LinkedIn have opened up, but read any current guide on this topic (even from the big players, I’m looking at you Hubspot & Neil Patel) and the basics remain: make a company page, join some groups, start a group, run some ads…

I’m here to tell you that much of this ‘wisdom’ is, in 2022, baloney.


Anyone that uses LinkedIn on a regular basis, either in a marketing capacity or otherwise, will know that LinkedIn groups, for example, have been stone dead for years. This is due to a combination of algorithm changes (that prioritise high-engagement posts from individuals) and an over-saturation of promotional posts, spam and irrelevant content. Chasing engagement in LinkedIn groups in 2022 is flogging a long-dead horse.



In fact, I would go so far as to say that you can disregard any blog written post-2017 that instructs you to put time and energy into LinkedIn groups. If a writer is recommending this as a strategy in 2022, it shows they’re either not a regular LinkedIn user or marketer (in which case, they don’t know what they’re talking about), or they are reworking those same old LinkedIn marketing blogs from years past in a lazy attempt to earn your precious clicks.


You deserve better.

Say it with me now: “I deserve better!”


If you’re marketing on LinkedIn 2022 you need a guide that is honest, robust and accurate. A guide written by someone who actually markets on LinkedIn and uses the platform day in and day out.

You need this guide.


LinkedIn Marketing Part 1: The Basics


I will start this section off by saying that some of the old school methods are still useful, but these are the absolute basics. For example, having a company page is a bare minimum requirement for marketing on LinkedIn. It is not a LinkedIn marketing tool, or goal, in itself.

As a marketer in 2022 you already know that “if you build it, they will come” does not work anymore. It is not enough to simply build this page and make it pretty. In fact, it’s not even enough to build a company page and post articles on it. There are 55m+ companies on LinkedIn at the time of writing and millions of them are already doing this. Millions. If you want to cut through the noise, you need to work harder and smarter.

With all that said, lets cover those basics and give you a solid foundation from which to build.


Company Pages


Having a polished LinkedIn company page is the minimum requirement for marketing on LinkedIn. In fact, I included LinkedIn company pages in my How to use LinkedIn walkthrough earlier this year, designed for absolute beginners. You can check out the video for a more in-depth guide to company pages and the best practices therein.



Let’s take a look at the example I give in the video, to show you what a great LinkedIn company page looks like. I use the Teleperformance page as an example because it was voted best Company Page of 2019 by LinkedIn users.



As a marketer, you probably already know the ground rules for setting up a website or landing page and those rules ring true for LinkedIn company pages, too: proper branding, concise copy (in line with your brand tone) and clear calls to action.

One glance at the Teleperformance page shows that they are ticking all of those boxes. The Teleperformance logo is clear and their colours are mirrored into their cover image, a great shot of an employee in their offices. The use of a young, tattooed employee isn’t accidental either – Teleperformance a firmly planting their flag as a young, cool and modern company.


They’ve changed the standard CTA that comes with company page from ‘Learn more’ (my least favourite of all CTAs) to ‘Contact us’, a link that leads directly to their contact page.


Their ‘about’ section is maybe a little wordy, but they spell out exactly what they do. Even if “omnichannel customer experience management” means nothing to you, the more complete description that follows makes sense to anyone in or out of the industry.


Teleperformance also make use of all the additional Company Page tabs that are available today, including the ‘life’ tab – a chance for employers to sound off about how great their employees work life is.



For Teleperformance, this makes total sense. They’re a big company with lots of seats to fill. Their emphasis on ‘life’ and ‘jobs’ shows that this page is really there to attract the best talent, while fulfilling a secondary function of promoting the brand. As an industry leader in a recognised space, they don’t need to use this space to sell what they do, so much as how they do it.


If you’re not quite in that industry leading position just yet, adjust your page to wax lyrical about the benefits you bring to clients / users and maybe use some of this space for testimonials, or whitepapers or whatever it is your company uses to demonstrate their skill and expertise.


Take your time to ensure that this page is up to the same standard you would expect from a landing page. Whatever tactics you employ from the rest of this blog (content, lead gen, cold outreach, ads) people will be clicking through to your company page and looking for more information. Don’t let them leave without getting what they want.


If you’d like a guide to the mechanics of setting up a company page, LinkedIn’s own article is probably best.


They also have a handy guide for designing and sizing your banners and images




Now you have the page, it’s a good idea to publish some content. This is also covered in more depth in my How to use LinkedIn blog ,with an accompanying video.



Publishing content on LinkedIn used to be sure-fire way of getting attention, but the market is becoming increasingly saturated. In fact, the amount of content produced on LinkedIn increased by 60% in 2020 (partially fuelled by the lockdown and corollary rise in LinkedIn usage).


That doesn’t mean you should skip this step, it just means you need to work a little harder to cut through the noise and produce the very best content that you can. LinkedIn content allows you to really demonstrate the breadth of your knowledge in your chosen subject or industry, it also allows potential clients to connect with you and your brand. Remember the old adage ‘people buy from people’? Creating content gives you the opportunity to show who you are and why you’re the kind of people they should be buying from.


If you’re a regular LinkedIn user, you will have experienced (and perhaps created) almost all forms of LinkedIn content. They are:


LinkedIn Posts


The most common type of content on LinkedIn. There are a bunch of options available when you choose to post, including the options to link to a document, create a poll, share that you’re hiring, celebrate an occasion… There are more features added fairly regularly and it doesn’t hurt to take a look at what’s available from time to time.


Posts with images tend to do better than simple text posts, for a number of reasons. Some people respond better to the written word, some prefer visuals – a text post with an image, contains both. Also, from a technical standpoint it’s important to remember that LinkedIn collapses long posts to only show the first few lines of text. If you add in an image, you get the same text allowance but with a big chunk of visual digital real estate along with it. This will stand out more in the feed and attract more views and engagements.


Here’s one from my feed today:

Without the image, the text would have perhaps been too bland to make me stop in my tracks and read the post.




LinkedIn native articles (also known as LinkedIn Pulse) are the most common long-form medium on the site.

I cannot teach you how to write long form blogs and articles, and as an experienced marketer, you probably don’t need to me to; but there are a few nuggets of wisdom that I would like to impart here.


Firstly, do not neglect the header image, Again, images will give you more digital real estate in the feed and they are a great chance to demonstrate your brand and capture imagination. There are plenty of free tools you can use to create these header images, including Canva and Adobe Spark. Here’s an article I wrote, with a header I created in Adobe Spark:


The image is fun, the colours really stand out (whilst staying on-brand) and as you can see, it attracted some good engagement.


If you want to learn more about b2b blog writing, here’s a great guide: https://altitudemarketing.com/blog/how-to-write-b2b-blog-post/




Video is king. One more time for the people that aren’t paying full attention: video is king!


There are a plethora of reasons why video is so powerful. Firstly, LinkedIn users are 20 times more likely to share a video than a written post. That 20x boost in shares will make a huge difference to your engagement. Not just because more people will see the shared post, but also because a ‘share’ is thought to be a powerful indicator to the LinkedIn algorithm that this post deserves to be pushed to the top of the feed (more on the algorithm later…).


If you’re not comfortable making videos, get comfortable. The best way is with practice. For those of you struggling with nerves, why not create a video that you narrate rather than being in front of the camera? From experience, it won’t receive quite as much engagement (people like to see a face!) but it can ease you in to producing more videos.


Another great tip for video engagement is transcription. People use LinkedIn primarily at work and perhaps don’t use speakers or headphones, so if you can include some subtitles, you’re going to get many more engagements. Try something like Trint.


LinkedIn Live


LinkedIn live streaming increased by 437% in 2020. Live streaming is on the rise on all social platforms and professional-social is no different. Part of the reason for its meteoric rise on LinkedIn is that it’s a new feature and as such, it is prioritised in the feed. The logic is that the more people that see live videos, the more people that will produce live videos.


Live streaming is a little riskier, as there’s nowhere to hide when you make a mistake, but sometimes that helps. We’re all human and showing your fallible side in a live stream can be endearing (depending on the gaffe!).


Q&As can be a popular format for LinkedIn live, but of course this also carries some risk depending on how friendly your audience are…


Algorithm & Engagement


Much like Instagram and Facebook, LinkedIn’s feed runs on an engagement-based algorithm. The more engagement that you get, the more people that will see your post. Which means you’ll get more engagement. Which means more people will see it… This means it’s important to capture attention and soak up as much early engagement as you can.


Having lots of (relevant) connections can help. If they’re interested in your industry and your post is relevant to that industry, the likelihood is that they’ll at least watch – even if they don’t engage.


Use hashtags on posts, but don’t go crazy. I find that three is enough, maybe five at a push. I’ve seen posts go viral (LinkedIn viral, which is a few thousand likes) with 10 or more but that’s a rarity. Keep the hashtags relevant and try hashtag terms that correlate with the broad topics your audience follows. For example, if you’re aiming a video at marketers, you can hashtag #marketing and #digitalmarketing, don’t hashtag #marketingvideo. This will feel counter-intuitive to those of you who have used hashtags for this purpose on Instagram, where it’s best to blend broad and niche terms to game your way onto the explore page. Just remember that people on LinkedIn aren’t regularly searching for niche terms


My top tip for gaming the algorithm is to think about the times of day that people use LinkedIn. Posting at 8.30am just before people start, or at 1pm for the lunchtime crowd, will probably bring in more engagements than posting during the working day or late in the evening. If your primary audience are in a different time zone, factor this in too.




I touched upon this topic early on but I’m coming back to really hammer the point home. LinkedIn groups are dead. LinkedIn groups are so dead that the body isn’t even warm anymore. Following 12 full years of groups being spammed with promotional posts, algorithm changes in 2017 deprioritised group posts (they used to feature very high in the feed).


Another contributing factor is probably the fact that there are thousands of ‘How to Market on LinkedIn’ blogs all telling people to start their own groups. This was in order to ‘control the narrative’ and ‘build a community’ all useful things for marketers, but when everyone is trying to do the same thing it all falls apart. The explosion of groups meant that many became havens for spam and self-promotion, with lots of groups being abandoned by their owners – with no one left around to administrate and regulate them.



We’ve taken over this here group you yellow-belled varmint


Now, there are 20m+ groups on LinkedIn. Think about that for a second, twenty million groups. According to this blog they’re “not dead, only 99% of them are dead” – so enjoy sifting through the 1,980,000 dead ones to find the 20k that still have a pulse.


Sure, if you find relevant groups that you want to share your posts into then by all means do so. You might get a few views and clicks. However, I strongly advise that you do not waste time building strategy and content around LinkedIn groups. It’s like recording an album for an 8 track. That day is done.


Part 2: Smarketing


Smarketing is a term that is being used increasingly to describe the synergy between marketing and sales, especially in the world of b2b (which I assume you are in, otherwise why are you reading a guide to LinkedIn marketing?).


For many of us, a big part of our job is bringing in leads for our sales team to close. If you’re marketing for a startup, you might be the marketer and the salesperson all rolled into one. If either of these apply to you, congratulations – you’re a smarketer.


Marketing on LinkedIn puts you right at the coal face for smarketing, because you are interacting one on one with the very individuals that you and your sales team wish to close. This section covers the best in current techniques for bringing in leads, setting up meetings and turning your professional network into viable pipeline.


Lead Generation


Using the powerful LinkedIn search function (yes, I’ve written a guide for that too: LinkedIn Search) you can find thousands of potential leads. Filtering for location, language, job title, industry, current organisation etc. allows you to hone-in on your ideal prospects. This is great, but how do you turn this list of search results into a pipeline?



“How can I get the email addresses for all these John Smiths?” I hear you cry. Read on and find out.


With LIX! LIX is an industry-leading contact intelligence company. People use our tools and services in a number of ways, but one of the most popular is for LinkedIn lead generation. Using the LIX tool, you can turn a list of LinkedIn search results into a spreadsheet full of email addresses.


The best thing is, doing so is totally GDPR and CCPA compliant. Our clever algorithm matches company email formats with domain names, using publicly available information. A human could do what the LIX tool does, it would just take them much, much longer! This allows you to feed your sales team an almost never-ending supply of clean, verified email address for potential targets, filtered and sorted along your own parameters.


Yes, you guessed it – we’ve got a guide for that too: Export LinkedIn Contacts & Emails.

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LinkedIn Messaging


Cold messaging on LinkedIn can get a bad rap, but that’s mainly due to bad practitioners rather than bad practice. This is another one of those issues started and propagated by lazy marketing advice from cookie cutter blogs, telling everyone to do the exact same (wrong!) thing. If you use LinkedIn regularly, this will have definitely happened to you and it will have almost definitely annoyed you.


Step 1: They send a connection request, explaining why you should connect with them: you’re in the same industry, there’s some synergy, they looked at your profile and liked it, they want to share information. It doesn’t matter what they say here, because it isn’t true. They just want to get to….


Step 2: As soon as you accept their connection request, their adoration for you evaporates and it’s straight into the cold pitch. There was no information exchanged, there is no synergy – they’ve got something to peddle, and you’re next on the list.


I want to pause here for a second and point out that I have no problem with people trying to sell me things, pitch ideas, invite me to webinars, whatever it is. I do it too. In fact, if you’re marketing on LinkedIn then in some capacity, you’re always pushing people towards one of these goals.

The problem I have with this method, is the same problem you have with this method if you really think about it: it’s insincere.


The second they hit you with that follow up pitch, you know that the first message was total rubbish. They didn’t look at your profile and decide they wanted to know more. They don’t want to share information with you. They wanted to sell you something and they used a barefaced fib to get their foot in the door. Not a great way to start a working relationship, is it?



Here’s one I received today. At the very least, the sender isn’t gushing – but one quick look at his profile shows that his job is to sell video production services to software companies (like mine). So, I accepted his request, and this is what immediately followed:



This a case study in what not to do. This bait and switch intro left a sour taste in my mouth and I will not be using his company for my upcoming video production work (which I do have a genuine need for).


How to do it properly

You have two options here – be honest, upfront and pitch (politely) right off the bat, or actually build a relationship with this connection over time and then naturally move towards a pitch. Of course, which of these you choose will probably hinge on the size of the potential deal. If your company closes big 6-figure deals, the long and slow approach is possibly best – although I have started then closed such deals with short and sweet cold pitches on LinkedIn, too.


When I send out personalised connection requests with cold pitches (of which I have sent around 4,000 over the years), I say something like this:

“Hi, I see that you work in X and I have Y product that could help with that. If you’d like to know more, let’s connect and I’ll be happy to explain in more detail.”


This way you are not being disingenuous and any connections that accept your request are now warm leads. They’ve seen the pitch and decided they’re happy to learn more – or perhaps they don’t want your product right now, but they’re happy to connect anyway because one day they might.


Yes, lots of people will choose not to connect with you, but let’s remember what you’re actually here for. This isn’t a game of ‘collect the most connections’ we’re here to nurture leads, close deals, sell subscriptions, gain webinar attendees – whatever it might be.




Some individuals on LinkedIn, especially those in positions of power (CEOs of big firms, influencers and so on) who get lots of sales pitches and messages, require you to know their email address in order to connect with them on LinkedIn. When this is the case, you can’t send a personalised connection request as you would normally.


In these instances, you can opt to send an InMail – these either come included as part of a LinkedIn Premium or Sales Navigator package, or you can ‘pay as you go’ with InMail credits.


If you’re going to pay for InMail, I wouldn’t advise using the short and sweet pitch example in the section above. Chances are, anyone that you need to InMail is a primary target for your business and as such, they deserve something of a special touch.

I like to use a technique that I stole from Hubspot (thanks Hubspot!). Sometimes a Hubspot rep will record a video of themselves on your homepage, using their own version of Loom, then email you a link to the video saying “hey, I made you a short video”.


This really stood out to me as a great cold outreach method and I have employed it since with great success. If you’re going to spend the time and money chasing a LinkedIn big hitter with InMails, go the extra mile and do something like this. If they’re not worth the extra time, they’re probably not worth the InMail credits.


Part 3: Advertising


Historically marketers have shied away from LinkedIn ads because… well, they weren’t very good. In truth, they’re still not great but they have improved a lot. The UI is better, the targeting is miles ahead of where it was… The problem for me is ROI. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by using Facebook ads in former b2c roles, but LinkedIn ads tend to be quite expensive for small returns.


Think about it – how many ads have you clicked on LinkedIn? I can tell you that in the 12 years I’ve had a profile, I’ve clicked on a grand total of ZERO ads.


The positioning and prominence of LinkedIn ads used to be terrible. That horrid little text bar above a search, or those little display ads on the side…


Has anyone ever clicked one of these?


Now that ads are appearing in the feed, without being too regular and overbearing, things are getting better and ROI is gradually improving.


If you’re a marketer at a big firm with lots of budget, the lower ROI isn’t too huge an issue for you and perhaps the branding benefits are worth it. If you’re at a startup, or running your own business I would still probably advise that you spend your money elsewhere.

If you are keen to run some LinkedIn ads, there is a great guide here.


There you have it. My unreserved guide to marketing on LinkedIn. If you’ve read every single of these four thousand words, then I commend you. Remember to bookmark this blog to refer back to whenever you need some inspiration or a little guidance and definitely check out our other blogs.

How to export someone's connections from Linkedin

How to Export Someone Else’s Connections on LinkedIn

Reading Time: 3 minutes

How to export someone else’s connections on LinkedIn is a question we get asked a lot here at Lix, so we put together this handy guide to walk you through the process. Before we get into this guide, it’s important to note that you can only view, and therefore export, the connections of someone you are connected to.

View and exporting the connections of someone you are not connected to, is not possible. This is a LinkedIn privacy rule that cannot be bent or broken! Connecting with that person via your LinkedIn, or perhaps a different account, is the only way for you to view their connections.

With that out of the way, let’s get into how to export someone else’s connections on LinkedIn. If you prefer video to text, skip to our video guide!

Step 1. Open your connections

From the LinkedIn feed, head up to ‘My Network’

Then, ‘Connections’

Step 2. Filter your search

Click on ‘Search with filters’

Then ‘All filters’

Step 3. Choose your connection

Scroll down to ‘Connections of’ and type in the name of the connect whose connections you’d like to view

Step 4. Hit the Lix extension

Head to your bookmarks bar and hit the Lix extension. If you don’t have Lix installed, you get it here for free. The Starter plan comes with 1,000 rows of search data exports for free – this should be enough to export the connections of one person!

Step 5. Select your options and export!

Choose your export options – XLS or CSV, whether you want to create a project (where you can save multiple exports into a deduplicated list), the number of profiles to export, you can even generate emails for the people on the list.

There you have it! Everything you need to export your connection’s connections from LinkedIn. Remember, if you don’t have a Lix account you get one here, for free and start right away.

Video Guide:

Lix can also do a lot of other cool things on LinkedIn, including producing email addresses from People searches, data from Company searches and much more.

Why not check out one of our other blogs?

LinkedIn Search: The Ultimate Guide

LinkedIn Helper Tools: How to Growth Hack LinkedIn

How to use LinkedIn: The Complete Walkthrough

LinkedIn Advertising Costs

LinkedIn Advertising Costs: The Key to High Value Campaigns

Reading Time: 3 minutes

LinkedIn advertising costs are expensive; there’s no getting around it, but there’s good reason for it. On other social platforms, your ads can be seen by anybody with even a passing interest in your industry or niche. However, LinkedIn allows you to qualify your lead in a way the others couldn’t dream to offer.

Simply obtaining a LinkedIn profile URL allows you to check you’re hitting your ideal persona. With LinkedIn’s very own pre-filled Lead Gen form, users are more likely to click through as they feel safe. On your landing page, the chance of bouncing is infinitely higher.

In addition, anyone playing the LinkedIn advertising game will see that the costs seem to be ever increasing. The Campaign Manager seems like a daunting playground when its recommended bid-per-click rises from £8-£20 to £25-£75. But it’s all bark and no bite.

Minimum bid costs are rising slightly, but nobody needs to be paying that, and if we’re wrong, we’ll eat a print out of our words.

From bluechips to start-ups it’s all the same. Your ads may be seen quicker and at prime-time if you bid more, however, it’s not necessary. We’re going to explain why you should be advertising on LinkedIn despite the costs, and how to keep that cost as low as it’ll go.

High Quality Leads

From CEO to office temp, LinkedIn has it all. Using LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager, you can select the level of seniority you want to target. You can include specific job titles for highly targeted campaigns, or even those in fast growing businesses ready to innovate.

This is perfect for both sales and recruitment, giving you the ability to put your creatives right in front of those likely to consume it. You know your business better than any algorithm- choose exactly who sees it.

Additionally, as long as you bid per-click rather than impressions, you only pay when your persona has an interest in your product or services.

We’ve found leads are more likely to part with their profile URL than any other piece of information (it’s less personal). You increase your conversion rate and can vet your lead by asking for just this piece of info.

Also, this is GDPR-friendly and requires no tick-boxes as by continuing the conversation on LinkedIn, they remain the data controller at all times.

Adding to this LinkedIn’s retargeting tool for those who click but do not convert and you have the perfect recipe for filling your funnel with the right people at the right time.

Cost per Click/Result

Video ads tend to outperform image ads every time. This doesn’t mean you need Hollywood special effects – simply having moving text overlaying stock footage works well.

We recommend creating 1080×1080 videos. These are more likely to be seen than the 16:9 footage clogging up the news feed. This gives you the greatest chance of getting more clicks and ultimately more leads into the funnel.

Covid has changed behaviours. Time previously spent lamenting the delayed train lengthening a commute is now spent browsing and consuming content.

Typically, to encourage LinkedIn to run a successful campaign to your entire targeted audience, you bid between £2.50 – £6.00

Now, you can bid more, but the only benefit is that your ads will be seen quicker. Your conversion rates will remain the same, but your cost per click and therefore lead, will increase dramatically. Treat it like a marathon and you’ll get more bang for your buck.

Tips/Tricks to Keep LinkedIn Advertising Costs Low

A little tip is to immediately duplicate your campaign as soon as you start it. It’s more likely to be seen if it’s going out to the same audience twice. Most people scroll without really paying too much attention.

This is a great way with getting seen by more people without paying more. Remember, if you bid per click, you won’t be charged per impression, even if millions see it.

Give to get. Offering a free guide or ebook is a great way of getting a soft commitment and high conversion. Continue the conversation to sell or add them to your retargeting list.

Also, check out our Pinpoint Technique to maximise your ad performance whilst keeping your LinkedIn advertising cost as low as possible.