cold emailing

How to grow a community: Outreach tips to getting 90+% valid emails & 15+% CTR

Mihaela Cicvaric
LAST UPDATED
January 9, 2024
READING TIME
7 min.

One of the most effective ways to stand out from competitors and build a circle of brand evangelists is to grow your online community.

An online community is a group of like-minded people that can boost brand visibility, foster relationships, and drive constant engagement. Having a thriving community helps you position your brand as an industry leader and translates into valuable feedback.

While there are numerous strategies to gather relevant people under one virtual roof, one method remains effective yet underrated: cold outreach.

Beyond its traditional use in sales and marketing, cold outreach can be a strategic tool to find and engage with potential community members!

In this article, we’ll show you how Tal, the sales lead at lemlist, used cold outreach to grow his Outbound Hub community from 0 to 500+ members in just a few days. Follow his actionable steps and replicate his strategies to grow your own online community and accelerate your business growth like never before!

4-step outreach framework to growing your online community

1. Find your leads in Sales Navigator

One of the ways to find a relevant target audience is to scrape the people whose LinkedIn profile you visited.

Because Tal was researching his Ideal Customer Profile on LinkedIn, the users whose profiles he visited might be considered valuable community members.

Targeting these people will make your outreach more “warmed up”.  LinkedIn users usually get notifications about who viewed their profile. So if someone sees that you've viewed their profile and then receives a message from you shortly afterward, it makes you more familiar and fosters engagement.

Here’s how you can scrap leads whose LinkedIn profile you visited in Sales Navigator:

  1. Sign into your Sales Navigator LinkedIn account or start a 14-day free trial
  2. Once you’re logged in, navigate to the Lead section
  3. Add filter in the section “People you interacted with” → “Viewed profile”

P.S. You can go another way around and target people who visited your profile. In this case, you're targeting individuals who have shown some level of interest already, which can lead to a higher conversion rate.

2. Scrape your leads with lemlist Chrome extension

Once you have a list of leads whose profile you visited in Sales Navigator, you can use the lemlist Chrome extension to export your new leads to lemlist’s multichannel campaigns.

This is how Tal saved hours of manual work and distributed his resources on more revenue-driven tasks.

Here’s how to scrape your leads from Sales Navigator with the lemlist Chrome extension:

In case you don’t have a lemlist Chrome extension yet,

  1. Get the extension from the Google Chrome Store
  2. Ensure you’re logged into your lemlist & LinkedIn account. If you still don’t have your lemlist account, you can start a 14-day free trial here
  3. Open the extension and link your lemlist account with your LinkedIn account

Once your lemlist Chrome extension and your LinkedIn account are linked,

1. From the Sales Navigator list of people whose LinkedIn profile you visited, click on the extension → The form with automatically filled-out (available) leads’ data will open:

You can also do this from a specific profile or a simple LinkedIn search with as many filters as you want.

2. Before importing your leads to your outreach campaign, click on "Import settings" to adjust your enrichment and duplicate options

3. From the dropdown menu, choose which lemlist campaign you’d like to import your new leads to and export your leads in seconds!

3. Find your leads’ verified data with lemlist’s Email Finder and Verifier

To ensure you find the right outreach contacts without the technical skills or tons of manual work, you can use lemlist’s Email Finder and Verifier.

Thanks to the waterfall enrichment method, Email Finder and Verifier combines the best third-party data sources to give you 80%+ valid emails. This is the equivalent of asking multiple different providers for up-to-date leads’ information without navigating and subscribing to multiple apps.

Here’s how Tal enriched his leads with lemlist’s Email Finder and Verifier and got 93% of deliverable emails:

Once you have your new leads imported into your lemlist campaign, select them by bulk (or one by one) and choose the “Verify email” option:

For each lead, the app will:

  • Clean the first name and last name
  • Extract and save relevant available information from the lead's LinkedIn profile
  • Retain the best email we found from multiple providers
  • If available, save additional information such as phone number, civility, job title, and other relevant details

P.S. If you’re exporting up to 300 leads, you can enrich them directly through the lemlist Chrome extension!

4. Create engaging outreach campaigns for different segments

To reach out to his freshly imported and enriched leads, Tal decided to create 3 different campaigns for 3 different segments.

By targeting different segments with distinct campaigns, you can address each group’s unique needs and challenges, resulting in more relevant and impactful messaging.

This tailored approach boosts relationship building, builds solid ground for future campaigns, and prevents message fatigue.

Here’s a full breakdown of Tal’s campaigns and segments that aim to grow a community:

Campaign #1 targeting super engagers

With this campaign, Tal targeted people who had already engaged with another outbound community. Targeting these leads can lead to higher CTR as these people have proven their interest already by engaging with familiar activities.

Step 1: Automatic email

Here’s why this email works:

  • personalized icebreaker shows Tal did prospects’ research which makes the rest of his message more relevant
  • there is a clear list of benefits for the recipient, pushing them to take action and click on a straightforward CTA link
  • the “PS” sentence ends the email in a friendly tone which makes the recipient more comfortable taking the desired action

P.S. You can notice that Tal used multiple senders to send his outreach campaign. By doing so, he can beat email sending limits set by email providers without risking landing in spam and not reaching out to his target audience. Check out this article on how you can do it too!

Step 2: Second automatic email after 3 days of no response to initial email

Here’s why this email works:

  • the video catches leads’ attention more easily than the written text from the majority of other emails in leads’ inboxes
  • because there’s not a lot of context around the video, it makes the message intriguing and pushes views
  • because the lead might have missed all the written benefits from the previous email, Tal ensured to include them in this 38-second format

Step 3: Third automatic email after 2 days of no response to the second email

Just because your leads didn’t respond to your first two messages doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t interested in your offer. They might have been busy, off, or simply missed your message in their inbox.

In this case, you can send them another email, but only if it adds more value!

Here’s why this email works:

  • Tal shared valuable resources for free that will help leads advance even without taking desired action to join the community
  • he included social proof to showcase his leads they can achieve the same or even more by taking action from this email
  • there’s the funny image that makes this email stand out and gives that extra personalized touch
  • the CTA is not pushy and doesn’t require a lot of effort - it sounds like something you would send to your friend or a colleague

Campaign #2 targeting lemlist users

Because lemlist’s ICP matches the targeted ICP to join the Outbound Hub community, a quick win for Tal is inviting lemlist users (whose profile he visited) to join the community!

In this campaign, Tal used the same steps as in the previous one, and only changed the subject line and content of the initial email in step 1:

Here’s why this email works:

  • he made leads feel seen and appreciated by mentioning their success and possible contribution
  • there’s a clear benefit for this specific segment, with a list of advantages to push an action
  • the PS element is very casual, asking leads for a coffee chat instead of a formal meeting

Campaign #3 targeting the rest of the qualified list

This campaign is targeting other people on the list who aren’t necessarily lemlist users or have engaged with previous communities. Still, they could be valuable members!

In this campaign, Tal used the same steps as in the previous two, and only changed the subject line and content of the initial email in step 1:

Here’s why this email works:

  • the intro makes Tal seem more familiar and positions him as someone who made an effort to find out more about leads by checking their profiles
  • there’s a clear benefit, which is broader than for the previous campaigns but still gives leads a reason to take action
  • the PS element gives extra value by dropping important industry names that can help leads beyond this email

The result?

  • 10+% CTR (Click through rate; ratio of clicks on a specific link to the number of emails)
  • besides other outbound and inbound methods, Tal grew the community from 0 to 500+ members in less than a week!

Conclusion

Creating a thriving online community requires more than just chance encounters or passive waiting.

In 2023, cold outreach is still one of the most effective methods to gather like-minded people!

By leveraging personalized, genuine, and strategic cold outreach methods, you can:

→ find proactive community members
→ foster meaningful dialogues
→ nurture trust and collaboration

The easiest way to follow Tal’s 4 steps is to create your lemlist account, and let lemlist automate your manual and repetitive tasks!

P.S. If you want to network with the most successful outreach experts and apply their tips and industry trends to sign more deals, join the Outbound Hub! No BS, no fluff - just genuine connections and collective growth.

Mihaela Cicvaric
Content Marketing Manager @ lempire | Sharing everything you need to get replies to your cold emails
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