Automated Prospecting on LinkedIn

Credit: Josh Fechter, Badass Marketers & Founders

Here’s a great strategy for outbound lead generation with LinkedIn from Josh Fechter at Badass Marketers and Founders (BAMF).

The concept is simple: using LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dux-Soup, you can auto-connect with decision makers at your target companies and then download their emails to follow up with personalized content that you can generate with virtual assistants.

Step 1: Get the right tools

If you don’t have Sales Navigator, Dux-Soup, and LinkedIn Helper yet, get them.

These tools will allow you to auto-connect with a few hundred people per day on LinkedIn and download their contact information for campaigns.

Step 2: Set up searches in Sales Navigator

Go to Sales Navigator and search for people or companies.

For example, if you’re trying to connect with agency owners in New York with at least 11 people in their company, set those filters on the left-hand side.

Step 3: Start auto-connecting

Click on the Dux-Soup Chrome extension you installed and scrape the results. That will give you your prospects’ names, company names, and job titles.

Next, click LinkedIn Helper > Connect all 2nd Contacts in Search*. Add a brief invitation message and kick off the process. If you need help with LinkedIn Helper, read this.

*If you don’t have many connections, you can upload emails for LinkedIn to match. It will find profiles associated with the emails and let you send connection requests. Go to My Network > Add personal contacts > More options.

Avoid coming off salesy in the connection request, which runs the risk of LinkedIn banning your account. If you’re unsure how many connection requests to send out, err on the side of caution. Being too aggressive will result in getting banned. I wouldn’t connect with more than 100 – 150 people in 24 hours.

To manage your connection requests, go to My Network > Manage all. Retract requests 100 at a time if need be.

Josh says: “Make sure your total sent requests are less than 1,600. If you have over 1,600, then withdraw them by a hundred at a time. I’d wait several days without doing automation before withdrawing. Not everyone is active on LinkedIn all the time so it may take them a couple of days to accept your request.”

Step 4: Export emails from LinkedIn

After autoconnecting with your prospects, you can export their emails through LinkedIn.

Go to Me > Settings & Privacy > Privacy > Download your data > Request archive.

Once the export is ready, you’ll get an email with a link to download the CSV.

Here’s where the Dux-Soup info comes in handy. Use the index match function in your spreadsheet to match the people that Dux-Soup scraped from your Sales Navigator search to the connections you downloaded from LinkedIn.

Voila! Now you can send your targeted list of prospects emails. You can also upload the list as a custom audience and market to them on Facebook and Instagram.

Note: If you’re interested in automated InMail responses, Dux-soup doesn’t allow for that yet. GPZWeb has all-in-one Linkedin automation software ($99/year) that some growth hackers like, which might be worth checking out.

Step 5: Warm up prospects on Facebook

Upload the list of emails you’ve generated from LinkedIn as an audience on Facebook.

The goal is to promote content that features yourself more-so than your company so that people will recognize you when you start reaching out.

Josh says: “Most people will skip this step, but it only takes a couple of seconds. Just take a post that you’ve written on LinkedIn that explains a little bit about who you are and put it in the copy. Have a picture of you, and that’s the ad you’re going to run.”

Step 6: Add appreciation

In your spreadsheet of prospects and emails, add a column called “Appreciation.”

Now, hire a virtual assistant to go out and find a piece of recent news for each company you’re targeting so you can personalize your emails later.

Get them to go to Google News and search for each company, then drop one of the top links in the spreadsheet. Obviously, it might only work for midmarket and enterprise companies with some sort of news going on, but it’s worth trying out.

Using a virtual assistant for this manual process is faster and easier than doing it yourself. In no time, you’ll have tidbits of recent news for each prospect that you can put in your outreach messages.

Step 7: Write and send emails

If your regular email provider isn’t so hot on the idea of cold emails, sign up for a tool like Mailshake that’s built for outbound.

Upload your contacts and write an email that includes the appreciation link that the VAs found. Make sure these emails aren’t spammy or about what you’re selling. Try to form a common connection by noting something similar (a city you’re both in) or asking to set up a meeting (shows that you want to take time to get to know them).

Like introducing yourself to someone at the bar, this is the moment of truth—the first impression that could make this or break this—so spend time crafting a great opening message and don’t mess it up.


More of a visual learner? You’re in luck. Josh recorded a video explaining the whole tactic.

Step 1: Join Josh’s growth hacking group, BAMF

Step 2: Watch the following clip: