Business owners and marketing experts everywhere agree on the effectiveness of cold emails for prospecting, lead generation, and client acquisition.
On average, cold emailing campaigns have an open rate of over 21 percent, across all industries. If the campaign is well-planned and executed, the open rate can climb as high as 37 percent.
Even if a small fraction of all the people who open your email go on to engage with it and become paying customers, that could lead to a significant increase in your company’s revenue and profitability.
However, neither crafting a killer email nor thinking up the most intriguing subject line is the hardest part of running a successful cold outreach campaign.
The hardest part is compiling an enriched list of authentic and verified email addresses.
Without a high-quality email list, even the most well-crafted email won’t generate the results you are looking for.
This is because most people have become extremely careful with their email addresses (and other contact information) due to the rise in spam content.
People no longer put their email addresses in public forums, for fear of being inundated with spam emails. Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram also do not display the email addresses or contact details of their members, unless specifically instructed to do so.
So, how do you get the email addresses you need, in order to kickstart your cold outreach campaign? After all, you can’t personally ask thousands of people to give you their email addresses. And even if you did, it would take you years to build a usable cold email list, in this way.
The Problem with Purchased Email Lists
Faced with these challenges, business owners and marketers often resort to buying email lists from shady online vendors. However, this can prove to be a very costly mistake.
This is because valid and high-quality email lists are not usually put up for sale. Most of the email addresses that are up for sale are those that have already been deemed unqualified for marketing outreach, either because they’re unresponsive or abandoned. In all probability, the email list has already been spammed to the point of uselessness, by the time it is put up for sale.
Moreover, purchased lists are more likely to contain spam traps, which can get you flagged as a spammer. This would, in turn, harm your IP reputation as well as your email deliverability.
The solution is simple – build your own verified and high-quality email list by learning how to scrape your own data, from the right sources.
Scraping Email Addresses for Your Own List
There are various software tools available that can help you scrape different platforms for email addresses.
Knowing how to scrape and segment your own emails is very important, since it gives you control over the kind of email list you want to build. You can control the size of the list, the type of people you want to target, and several other factors. Proper segmenting also helps you optimize your cold emails through personalization.
For instance, if you own a food delivery business, then you can specifically scrape a Facebook group of food lovers in your city. Once you have the email addresses of the members of this group, you can personalize your cold emails by mentioning the Facebook group. You can start off the email with something like–
“Hey! I notice you’re in the London Food Lovers Facebook group. It’s great to get in touch with a fellow foodie…”
You can also mention the Facebook group in the subject line of your cold email, as a personalization snippet, as well as to pique the curiosity of the email recipient.
Remember, the recipient of a cold email does not know you and has not agreed to receive any communication from you. To them, you’re a random stranger who’s sent them an unsolicited message. So, their natural instinct would be to ignore anything you have to say.
Thus, you have to do everything in your power to make sure that the recipient not only notices your email, but also feels curious and interested enough to open it and read it. This is no easy task, but a bit of personalization can go a long way in increasing your cold email engagement rates.
Different Places You Can Find Emails for Your List
There are many places on the Internet – including forums, social media sites, and web directories – from which you can scrape the email addresses of your prospects. Read on to know about some of these online destinations, and how to properly scrape them.
LinkedIn is the biggest and most comprehensive database of B2B leads on the Internet. So, if you are the owner or marketer of a B2B company, then LinkedIn should be the first place where you look for email addresses for your cold outreach campaign.
The other benefit of LinkedIn is that – with more than 310 million monthly active users worldwide – it has the most up-to-date information about professionals at all levels of their career, working in a wide range of industries.
Most people update their job titles, employment status, and other career related information on LinkedIn, as soon as they get a new job, or even a promotion at their existing job.
Therefore, you can use LinkedIn to find the email addresses of key decision-makers in a given company. For instance, if you want to find customers for your new cybersecurity product, then you can use the LinkedIn filter function to compile a list of the CTOs of startups and SMEs in your city, and to then scrape their email addresses.
Read on to learn how to find the emails of your prospects from LinkedIn.
- Go to LinkedIn and type in the target position or job title of your ideal client in the search bar. For instance, if you want to get the email addresses of startup CTOs, then simply type in ‘CTO’ in the search bar and click enter.
- Now, click on the ‘People’ tab just below the search bar. From the same menu, click on the ‘All Filters’ tab.
- A list of different search parameters will open up on the right side of your screen. Select the location and industry of your ideal customer, then scroll to the bottom and click ‘see results’.
- LinkedIn will provide you with a list of CTOs working in companies that fall within your industry and location requirements.
- Click the Snov.io extension on your Chrome browser. If you don’t have this extension, then you can learn how to install it here. It’s super simple and will allow you to scrape hundreds of emails per day from LinkedIn.
- Once the Snov.io extension has loaded all the profiles from your LinkedIn search results, simply click on the ‘Find Emails and Save’ button.
- Choose the page range for the scraping process. For instance, you can choose to scrape every profile on pages 1-5 of your LinkedIn search results. Ideally, though, you shouldn’t scrape more than 150 profiles in a single day.
- Click the ‘Find Emails and Save’ button once again.
- Snov.io will come up with a list of all the email addresses it could find, after scraping the LinkedIn profiles. You can export this list in the form of a CSV file or a Google Sheet.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
The Sales Navigator is a subscription-based offering from LinkedIn which comes with a more powerful and detailed search functionality. It offers a larger number of search parameters to narrow down your criteria for finding your ideal clients or customers.
Some of the parameters by which you can filter your search results using the Sales Navigator are:
- Job title
- Seniority level at the company
- Years in current position
- Total years of work experience
- Job function
- Company headcount (or number of employees in their current company)
- Company type
- LinkedIn groups to which they belong
Hence, the results from a Sales Navigator search will be much more nuanced and detailed than a general LinkedIn search. However, you do need to pay to use the Sales Navigator functions, while the normal LinkedIn ‘filter’ function is free. So, you have to decide which option will yield better returns for your business.
Facebook groups are a great way to find prospect emails for your cold outreach campaign, because they can work as an accurate signal of intent.
In other words, if someone has joined a Facebook group focusing on a certain hobby, interest, or activity, then that person might be interested in an email on that topic.
If your company manufactures aftermarket parts for dirt bikes, for instance, then you can scrape a Facebook group focused on dirt biking. Such a group will naturally be populated by dirt bike enthusiasts and hobbyists, who might have some use for your products. So, reaching out to them through a cold emailing campaign would yield higher-than-average engagement and ROI.
You can use an online tool called PhantomBuster to scrape Facebook groups for the email addresses of their members. If you want a step-by-step guide on how to extract email addresses from Facebook groups using PhantomBuster, then you can check out this article, which explains the entire process in great detail.
Originally designed to track startups, Crunchbase now offers an amazing database of both private and public companies. This is the perfect platform to scrape for information if your ideal client is a tech startup, particularly in the software industry.
Crunchbase offers a number of interesting search parameters with which you can better target your ideal clients. These parameters include:
- Total funding raised
- Last funding amount
- Number of employees
- New leadership hires (within the last 3-12 months)
- Number of layoffs reported in the last 3-12 months
- Location of company headquarters
- Type of funding they received (e.g., pre-seed, seed, grant, private equity, etc.)
- IPO status of the company (whether it is public, private, or delisted)
You can further filter your search results by whether or not a company has–
- Participated in a certain event,
- Is currently hiring,
- Made any recent acquisitions.
These search parameters are a great way to find new leads for your business, and to collect the email addresses of key decision-makers who will be most willing (and able) to try your product or service.
If you’re selling a new online marketing tool, for instance, you can use Crunchbase to compile an email list of prospects who have recently raised funding. Crunchbase even allows you to specify a range for the amount of money raised.
This might help increase your chances of success in your cold outreach efforts, since a company that has recently raised funding would be more likely to try new marketing products and growth initiatives.
Dribbble serves as an all-in-one social networking site, recruiting platform, and portfolio site for digital designers and creative agencies. It offers a safe and easy way for designers to showcase their work online.
So, if you are selling any product or service that might be useful to a digital designer, a creative agency, or other professionals in this field, then Dribbble is the place where you should be prospecting for leads.
For instance, if you have created a new graphic design tool, then you should definitely scrape Dribbble for the email addresses of your ideal clients. It is the perfect database full of people who would benefit greatly from your product and might, therefore, be interested in your emails.
Angel List is a great source of potential leads if your company primarily works with startups. In fact, this platform is particularly useful for finding startups that are actively looking for new hires.
This can offer great opportunities for freelancers and solopreneurs who are trying to find new clients. For instance, if you are a freelance digital marketing expert, then you can use Angel List to compile a list of startups that are currently hiring digital marketers.
You can then scrape the emails for the hiring managers or marketing managers of those startups and reach out to them directly. In your cold email, you can provide a list of your digital marketing packages, as a more efficient and cost-effective alternative to hiring a full-time digital marketer.
You can even offer them a discount (or some other freebie) to encourage them to sign on with your business.
Yelp is a web directory and review platform that offers a comprehensive database of dentists, beauty salons, bars, restaurants, and other service-oriented local businesses. You can filter the businesses by location, type, size, and many more parameters.
So, if you are a graphic designer who has worked extensively with restaurants – i.e., designing menus, packaging materials, and social media posters – then you can use Yelp to find the email addresses of restauranteurs in your city who might need your services.
You can then reach out to them via a personalized cold email, detailing your past experience working with similar businesses, the results you generated for them, etc. You can also filter the restaurants by specialty, location, cuisine, and neighborhood, to better match your ideal client profile.
Popular Platforms for Finding Prospect Emails
There are various online platforms that you can use to find the email addresses of your sales leads. Once you’ve found the website or forum where your ideal clients are gathered, you can use these platforms to collect all their emails in a quick and efficient manner.
- Voila Norbert: This is primarily an email discovery service which costs around $0.009 per email. Since finding and extracting valid email addresses is the primary function of this platform, it is quite accurate, fast, and easy to use. However, it lacks drip campaigns, searchable databases, and some other features commonly found in marketing automation platforms. Some of the useful features it does have are bulk email verification, prospect list export, and integrated API.
- Snov.io: This sales automation platform offers an excellent, easy-to-use email scraping Chrome extension called the LinkedIn (LI) Prospect Finder. As the name suggests, this extension can be used to scrape the email addresses of your 2nd and 3rd connections on LinkedIn. (Click here to learn more about the extension and how to use it.) It also verifies the email addresses and scrapes other relevant data, such as the first name, last name, and job title of your prospects.
- Leadfeeder: This platform helps you identify the companies and businesses that recently paid a visit to your website. From this, you can get an idea of which prospects are taking an interest in your work. You can then use a web scraping tool to extract their email address and contact them with your pitch. Leadfeeder can be integrated with other marketing tools like Mailchimp, Google Analytics, Zoho, and Salesforce.
- Hunter.io: You can use Hunter to extract email addresses from various places on the Internet, such as LinkedIn, Crunchbase, Angel List, and all the other platforms mentioned above. There are two ways to extract email addresses using Hunter – individually and in bulk. To extract the emails of a large number of people (e.g., all the members of a Facebook group), you simply have to upload a CSV file with their names and Facebook URLs to Hunter’s Bulk Email Finder tool.
- LeadFuze: LeadFuze is a great prospecting and data scraping tool for businesses wanting to hyper-target the leads that fit their ideal client profile. Along with the verified email addresses of your sales leads, this platform will also find you their phone numbers, social profiles, and real-time company updates. It helps you make the most of your cold outreach efforts with accurate and up-to-date data.
- Lusha: Lusha can help you reach out to your ‘ideal future customers’, and to then convert them into paying clients. It scrapes the Internet to find accurate B2B contact details, including emails and phone numbers. This platform claims to have the highest accuracy rate in the industry, with more than 80 percent accurate email addresses and phone numbers extracted from various sites and forums.
Compiling a perfect list of verified email addresses belonging to your ideal prospects is no easy task. Thankfully, there are quite a few online tools and websites (both free and paid) that can help you build an amazing cold emailing list, fast. Just be sure to choose the tools and websites based on the needs of your business, as well as your budget.