LinkedIn is more than just a professional networking platform. It is the world’s most comprehensive database of professionals (at various stages of career development) from all industries.
It has more than 800 million members from almost every country around the world, with 310 million of them being monthly active users. The chief decision makers of many businesses – including founders, CTOs, and marketing managers – are active users of LinkedIn.
So, if you are trying to find customers for your B2B product or service, then LinkedIn is the ideal platform from which you can find new leads and prospects. In fact, in the B2B space, LinkedIn is almost inseparably connected with prospecting and lead generation.
Prospecting is simply the process of identifying potential clients or customers and reaching out to them, with the aim of converting them into an actual buyer of your product or service.
Identifying and reaching out to potential buyers are two of the most crucial steps in the sales process, and LinkedIn can be extremely useful for both.
Finding the Contact Details of Your Prospects from LinkedIn
The reason why LinkedIn is so important for B2B marketers is that it stores the contact details of all its members, such as their email address, phone number, and more.
However, you can only access the contact information of people who are your 1st degree connections. These are the people with whom you are directly connected on LinkedIn – either because they sent you an invitation to connect and you accepted it, or because they accepted your invitation.
Your 2nd and 3rd connections on LinkedIn are those with whom you are not directly connected, but with whom you have connections in common. For instance, all the people who are connected to one of your LinkedIn connections (but not directly connected to you) are your 2nd degree connections.
Similarly, your 3rd degree connections are those who are directly connected to one or more of your 2nd connections, but not to you or any of your 1st connections.
As mentioned above, LinkedIn only allows you to see the contact details of your 1st degree connections. The contact details of 2nd and 3rd connections are inaccessible, and stored behind a paywall.
However, 2nd and 3rd connections can be a rich, untapped source of prospects and sales leads.
1st connections are great, but they are probably already familiar with you and your business. Some of them may even be your current clients and customers. And while those can be a great source of repeat business, they aren’t the right audience for a cold outreach campaign.
2nd and 3rd degree connections, on the other hand, are more likely to be unfamiliar with your products and services. However, since they’re connected to your 1st degree connections, there is a high probability that these people would belong to the same industries and have similar interests.
This is why those 2nd and 3rd connections can be such a rich source of sales leads. But that wouldn’t be much use to you, if you have no way of contacting them.
That is why, in this article, we will guide you – step by step – through the process of extracting the email addresses of your 2nd and 3rd connections on LinkedIn.
Using Snov.io to Extract Emails from LinkedIn
The best (and easiest) way to get email addresses from your 2nd and 3rd connections on LinkedIn is via Snov.io, an email discovery and outreach automation service.
Snov.io makes the process of email collection super simple and intuitive. You just have to follow a few simple steps to get hundreds of verified emails for your cold outreach campaign.
So, without further ado, let’s jump straight into it!
Step 1: Install the Snov.io Extension
- Sign up to Snov.io using your email address.
- On the Snov.io website, you will find a button (near the top) prompting you to install the LinkedIn (LI) Prospect Finder, which is a Chrome extension.
- If you click on the LI Prospect Finder button, it will direct you to a page containing a step-by-step guide on how to install and use the extension.
- On this page, scroll down until you find a download link for LI Prospect Finder.
- Once the zip file containing the extension has been downloaded, go to the top of your Chrome browser and click on the three vertical dots on the extreme right.
- From the dropdown list, click on More Tools, and then Extensions.
- This will take you to the ‘Extensions’ page of Google Chrome. You can also get to this page by typing chrome://extensions/ into the URL bar of your browser.
- Go to the top right of the Extensions page and switch on Developer Mode.
- Before you can proceed any further, you have to unpack the zip file containing the LI Prospect Finder extension, which you just downloaded moments ago.
- Open up your File Explorer (or whichever file manager application you use) and head over to the Downloads folder.
- In the Downloads folder, locate the zip file titled ‘LI Prospect Finder’. Right click on the file, then choose the ‘Open With’ option from the dropdown list.
- Unpack the zip file with a program like WinZip or Archive Utility.
- This will open up the zip file into a normal, accessible folder titled LI Prospect Finder.
- Now, you can go back to the Extensions page open on your browser. Go to the top left of the page and click on the button that says ‘Load Unpacked’.
- From the dialog box that opens up, click on Downloads. Find the folder named LI Prospect Finder, which you recently unpacked. Click select.
- Be sure to select the folder itself, and not any of the individual files inside it.
- Go back to the Extensions page. You should find the LinkedIn (LI) Prospect Finder extension available there.
- You will also be able to access the new extension by clicking on the little black jigsaw puzzle on the Extensions Menu, at the top of your Chrome browser.
- For easier access, you can pin the LI Prospect Finder to the Extensions Menu on your browser.
Step 2: Identify Your Ideal Clients through a LinkedIn Search
- Define your ideal client profile or ICP. An ideal client or customer is the one who will be most benefitted by your product or service, and will, in turn, bring the most value to your business.
- To narrow down your search, you should consider the characteristics of some of your best clients and customers, so far. These characteristics may include factors like:
- Size of the company (startup, SME, multinational group, etc.)
- Industry or sector of activity
- Target position within the company (e.g., founder, CTO, marketing manager, etc.)
- Stage of company development (e.g., early-stage startup, established small business, unicorn, etc.)
- Use the LinkedIn ‘search’ and ‘filter’ functionalities to find prospects who fit all the criteria and characteristics of your ICP.
- To do this, simply go to the LinkedIn website, and in the search bar, type the target position of your ideal client or customer.
- For instance, let’s say you have a product or service that you think might bring immense value to B2B SaaS startups.
- In that case, you can narrow down your search to target only the founders and co-founders of B2B SaaS startups in your city or country.
- Simply type in ‘Founder’ in the LinkedIn search bar and click enter. When the results come up, click on the ‘People’ tab, just below the search bar. Then, click on the ‘All Filters’ tab on the same menu.
- This will open up a form – with various filtering categories – on the right side of your screen.
- In the ‘Connections’ category, choose 2nd and 3rd connections, since those are the email addresses you want to extract.
- You can further narrow your search by location – do you want to do business with B2B SaaS startups located in a particular area, city, or country?
- If so, click on the location of your choice, such as London Area, United Kingdom. You can also add a new location, if the available options aren’t sufficient.
- Next, scroll down until you come to the ‘Industry’ section. Since you’re looking for the founders of B2B SaaS startups, choose ‘Computer Software’, ‘Internet’, and any other industry that might be relevant to your search.
- In the ‘Profile Language’ section, you can choose English, or the primary language of your chosen market. For instance, if you want to do business with French startups, then you should definitely choose French as one of the languages.
- Check if you have any other criteria by which you want to filter your search. If not, you can finally scroll down to the bottom and click on ‘show results’.
- Now, LinkedIn will come up with a list of B2B SaaS founders and co-founders that match your chosen criteria.
- If you want the results to be even more refined and nuanced, you can use the LinkedIn Sales Navigator – a paid tool that offers some more filtering options.
- For instance, it allows you to filter prospects by the number of employees working at their company, the LinkedIn groups that they belong to, and more.
Step 3: Extract and Use the List of Emails
- To extract the email addresses of all the profiles on your list of search results, click on the LinkedIn (LI) Prospect Finder extension. Remain on the first page of the search results while using the extension.
- The extension will load up all the LinkedIn profiles that came up through your search results. Select all the names that have been loaded.
- Within the extension, create a new prospect list and name it.
- Click on the button that says ‘Find Emails and Save’.
- You will now be directed to a new section within the extension. In this section, you will have to specify the page range from which emails will be extracted. This is only if your search returned more than one page of results.
- For instance, if you choose 1 as the start page and 6 as the end page, then the extension will extract email addresses from every profile on the first six pages of the search results.
- To be on the safe side, try not to extract emails from more than 150 profiles in a single day. Usually, one page will have 10 profiles, so you should not do more than 15 pages in one day.
- Do not change the values in the Timeout (min and max) fields.
- Click on the ‘Find Emails and Save’ button.
- The extension will take a few minutes to extract the emails.
- Once the LI Prospect Finder has finished running, it will tell you what percentage of the emails it was able to extract, and how many pages have been processed.
- You can now go to Snov.io, to see the list of all the newly-extracted email addresses.
- Each email address will have a green, yellow, or red dot beside it. A green dot indicates that the email address is valid, a yellow dot means that it is unverifiable, and a red dot means that the email is invalid.
- You could try and use a different email verification and validation service to verify the ones with the yellow dots.
- Near the top of the page containing the list of emails, find the ‘Export Prospects’ button.
- When you click on the button, it will ask you a series of questions, such as:
- In what format you want to download the email list? Options include a CSV file, an XLSX file, or a Google Sheet.
- Which columns you want to export? Column headers on the list include prospect’s first name, last name, email address, email validity, job position, and more. You should ideally click on the option that says ‘select all’.
- Whether you want to export the email addresses that are valid, unverifiable, not valid, or all of them?
- Once you’ve answered all the questions, you can export the emails as a CSV file and upload it to your chosen outbound email tool, such as Salesmate, Woodpecker, Lemlist, etc.
- If you would rather use a single tool for your entire cold outreach campaign, then you can opt for the outbound email drip functionality offered by Snov.io. This would make the whole process simpler and more seamless, since you no longer have to keep track of multiple software tools.
After completing the three above-mentioned steps, you will have an enriched list of sales leads and prospects, along with their verified email addresses and other relevant data.
Since every email on the list belongs to your 2nd and 3rd degree LinkedIn connections, there is a high probability that many of them will be in the same industry and will match your ideal client profile.
This would also make them more likely to buy (or at least be interested in) the product or service you’re offering.
So, be sure to optimize your cold outreach campaign by personalizing each email before you send it out, following up in a timely manner, and adding a clear call to action at the end of the email.
This will help you convert more leads, and maximize your chances of success in the cold emailing game.