The Growth Hacker’s Guide to Outsourcing Your Outreach with Mixmax

Monday, Apr 17th, 2017

Mixmax is a communications platform that brings professional communication & email into the 21st century.

Imagine if every week you spoke at a conference, hosted an event in front of hundreds of entrepreneurs, and had someone interview you at their conference.

You’d be a lead generating machine.

Most of us don’t do this.

Why?

Few of us have the time to research opportunities and send many personalized emails to land them. In turn, most growth hackers don’t consider this a realistic traction channel.

What if you could have these opportunities fill up your schedule without putting in time?

You’d remove a huge amount of stress and save yourself countless hours every month to growth hack.

To make it happen, you need virtual assistants.

Working with virtual assistants requires a strong, detailed-oriented personality with an understanding of how to create process frameworks for others to copy.

Rather than have you start from scratch, here’s the outsourcing framework Josh uses to speak at conferences, host interviews, get podcast opportunities, and help build one of the largest communities of marketers and founders:

Find Anyone’s Email

If you want your virtual assistant to contact people, then you need their emails. It used to be a complex process to find someone’s email, but with growth-hacking email tools it’s easier than ever.

Here are the four email finder tools your virtual assistant needs to use:

Hunter.io:

Pros: Hunter.io has a Chrome extension which enables you to find someone’s email address using their LinkedIn profile (makes outsourcing easier), and it’s free up to 150 email credits/month.

Cons: Low deliverability rate even after using their validation service.

Clearbit:

Pros: Clearbit provides the most accurate emails, syncs with your Gmail, and is free for up to one hundred email credits/month.

Cons: I can’t think of any.

Elucify:

Pros: A free and crowdsourced database for business contact information. Find unlimited emails.

Cons: Low deliverability rate even after using their validation service.

FindThatLead:

Pros: High deliverability rate and a price competitive to Hunter.io

Cons: I can’t think of any.

Instructions for your VA on using Hunter.io:

Before diving into the instructions, ensure you have a LinkedIn Sales Navigator account. This will give you the ability to scrape sixty LinkedIn pages every day with Hunter.io and cross-reference AngelList profiles with LinkedIn profiles. I’ll dive into this tactic in just a bit.

To get your VA to start scraping profiles, provide them your defined customer avatar. For example, I target people who live in San Francisco with the job title of CMO, head of growth, or VP of marketing.

Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, I do a quick search for people with these titles who live in San Francisco. Then, using the Hunter.io Chrome extension, I begin collecting email addresses into an assigned list:

Hunter.io

What if we’re looking for attributes LinkedIn doesn’t include in search?

These metrics might include the company’s funding round and raised capital amount. In this case, you want your virtual assistant to use Angellist and LinkedIn Sales Navigator search.

I explain to my VA that these people should be in a growing company preferably about to receive their A or B round.

When you have your customer details laid out, there are two ways to approach getting their email with Hunter.io. If you can’t find their particular details on LinkedIn (i.e. company received Series A), then you’ll need to ask your VA to use a third-party source with LinkedIn when searching for people. In this case, they could use Angellist to find these extra details.

Angel.co

After you know your target companies, then you can find them on LinkedIn to identify the key employees you want to contact. I highly suggest this approach if you’re looking for a curated list industry influencers to message.

Here’s an Upwork job post example I’ve used successfully to get the contact information of one thousand highly targeted individuals combining AngelList and LinkedIn data mining.

Upwork

Once your VA pulls prospects’ emails through using the Hunter.io Chrome extension or Google Sheet Add-on, have them re-upload them into Hunter for bulk verification ( 1 - 3 minutes):

Hunter.io

Once you verify the emails with Hunter.io, then download this verified list and your unverified email list as well. The idea here is to combine the data from these two lists to send personalized emails to verified recipients.

To combine the exports, import all data from the non-verified CSV into a Google Sheet. Name the tab “Sheet1”.

Google Spreadsheet

Next, add another tab and name it “Sheet2”. Copy only the first two rows of the verified email export: “email” and “result”. Next, add the column titles from “Sheet1”.

Google Spreadsheet

To fill in the data under the column titles C → I (the column titles you copied over), you need to use this cross-match formula:

=INDEX(Sheet1!$A$2:$G$5000,MATCH($A3,Sheet1!$G$2:$G$5000,0),MATCH(C$1,Sheet1!$A$1:$G$1,0))

Once you copy this formula into cell C2, then drag it over to I2. From here, copy this formula into the second row, then double click the right corner so that it applies to every row with data on the sheet.

Next, conduct a simple filter search to show only deliverable email addresses.

Google Spreadsheet

From here, click on the three lines next to the column titled “results”. Now ensure to check only deliverable emails.

Google Spreadsheet

The next step is to copy the results (only deliverable email addresses and corresponding data) to another Google Sheet. Make sure to use Paste + Values to avoid pasting broken formulas. Once you have a sheet full of the right data, export it as a CSV, then import it into Mixmax.

If the people who you’re trying to contact come up with undeliverable emails, then try Elucify to find their correct email. Once you log-in to Elucify, finding an email is as simple as plugging in their company name, then seeing if your target prospect shows up as an employee.

Elucify

What if you want the best of both worlds - bulk processing and deliverable emails for a highly targeted list of contacts in your Google Sheets?

Once your VA fills out the necessary columns for extracting an email (First Name, Last Name, Company Domain), you can pull thousands of individual emails at once using the FindThatLead Google Sheet Add-on. Match the right columns, click “Find emails,” and you’re ready to go.

FindThatLead Add-on

Now that your VA knows how to contact prospects using email, teach them how to contact industry influencers using LinkedIn. There are two ways to do this:

1. Connect with them on LinkedIn as a friend with a personalized message

LinkedIn

If they accept your connection request, there’s a high chance they didn’t see the personalized message because of LinkedIn’s interface. It’s almost impossible to notice. Take a look:

LinkedIn

2. Follow-up with a message as soon as they accept to ensure they see it

LinkedIn

If you still can’t get their attention, then it’s time to send follow-up LinkedIn messages and emails to get a reply. Sometimes it takes eight or nine messages for top industry influencers to respond to you.

Never Check Your Email Again

You’re finding emails like a pro. You’re almost ready to get your VA to start scheduling meetings. First, you must lay down the laws. If you never want to have a meeting before 11 a.m. or after a certain time on Wednesday or Friday, then make it known to them.

I book two types of meetings:

  1. 15-minutes long - This meeting is for quick briefings to avoid exchanging five or six emails.
  2. 45-minutes long - This meeting is for podcasts and hosting interviews.

I never (not even one time) book in-person meetings where someone requests to take me to coffee or pick my brain. None of these meetings have proved fruitful for me.

When you email the recipient an open date for a 45-minute meeting, ensure you can book an open room for that date. To understand how to set up rooms in Gmail, here’s an excellent how-to blog post.

Then, click the room to add it. Also, make sure to add the guest’s email and - if needed - an assistant or videographer’s email, so they get notified about the event.

Google Calendar

Try to book back-to-back meetings. This way you can set a harsh deadline for yourself to get things done faster and it reduces the context switching from having a five or fifteen minutes break between phone calls. When filling out the description, make sure to include both parties’ contact details and a few notes detailing the conversation to take place.

Once your VA understands how to book rooms, they need to set up and use labels as a way to organize your inbox. My favorite label is “ignore”. These emails include anything that doesn’t provide value to me. I never check it.

With that said, I balance this label out with the one “Respond Soon”.

Google Folders

I also keep a tab for my videographer because I shoot around twenty videos every month. This way I can stay in constant communication with him.

If you’re looking to book speaking, guest posting, or podcast opportunities, then create a label for each. For company inquiries, I have a dedicated label “Marketers & Founders.”

I use Mixmax for more complex tasks, including sending, tracking, scheduling, and using follow-ups. If I’m sending a one-time template, then I’ll use the Mixmax templates feature which buckets them in folders.

Mixmax

With one click, I can insert a template. For most emails you send, you want to schedule a reminder if they don’t reply or open. Use Mixmax’s “Set Reminder” feature to ensure you stay in contact with someone even if they don’t respond.

Mixmax

Sending one email is not ideal if you’re reaching out to influencers where you’d need to send several follow-ups to get their attention. For this case, I use Mixmax’s sequence feature.

If you’ve set up a sequence of emails, you can easily add someone to it. Just click sequence and select the one you want to use.

Mixmax

After you create your sequence, you’ll see it pop up in your email. If you don’t remember how it’s designed, Mixmax provides you the exact details of your sequence at the bottom of your email.

Mixmax

If you know the copy you want to use, creating sequences and templates in Mixmax takes seconds.

Mixmax

My favorite part of Mixmax templates and sequences is the option to enrich your emails with numerous media touch points (i.e. GIFs, link previews, and more), calendar invites, and even surveys.

Mixmax

Before you jump ahead and begin shooting off sequences, ensure to take advantage of Mixmax’s in-email scheduling feature. Mixmax gives you the ability to send a personalized link to someone so they can schedule a time on your calendar with a few clicks.

Mixmax

Never again use your precious time to book a meeting. Send the recipient your link, and you’re good to go.

When setting up your calendar, you can block times and have immediate inputs. For example, I have the inputs “Reason?” and “Your Phone #:”. I use these inputs to get my email recipients to fill in their reason of connection. It saves me a ton of time trying to remember why I set up the meeting.

Mastering Cold Outreach with a 40% Reply Rate

Mixmax and email finding tools are only as powerful as your email copy. You can have the emails of everyone in the world, but without copy that pulls your prospect’s attention, you’ll lose. I don’t expect you to master cold email copy overnight, so here are the templates I use for outreach.

Here’s the email sequence I use to land speakers:

Email 1:

Subject: Speaking opportunity

“Hey {{First Name}},

I love the work you’ve done for {{Company}}.

I happen to run one of the largest marketers and founders communities in Silicon Valley (2300+ members) and an active 7500+ member Facebook Group.

As a growth evangelist who hosts close to seventy events a year ranging in attendance from 200 - 700 people, I’m always looking for knowledgeable speakers and people crushing it in tech such as yourself.

I think you’d make a perfect fit.

Here’s an example of one of our previous speaking events: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4gYdeVpGlU

Do you have fifteen minutes free in the next week to talk about a speaking opportunity?

Please select a time on my calendar here: https://cal.mixmax.com/

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Cheers,”

Email 2:

No subject: Email reply

Hey {{First Name}},

I just wanted to ensure you saw this email from the other day.

I love the work you’ve done for {{Company}}.

I happen to run one of the largest marketers and founders communities in Silicon Valley (2300+ members) and an active 7500+ member Facebook Group.

As a growth evangelist who hosts close to seventy events a year ranging in attendance from 200 - 700 people, I’m always looking for knowledgeable speakers. I think you’d make a perfect fit.

Here’s an example of one of our previous speaking events: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4gYdeVpGlU

Do you have fifteen minutes free in the next week to talk about a speaking opportunity?

Please select a time on my calendar here: https://cal.mixmax.com/

Excited to talk about the opportunity.

Cheers,”

Email 3:

No subject: Email reply

“Hey {{First Name}},

Following up on my previous two emails.

I’m wondering if you’d be interested in an interview in front of a couple of hundred people in San Francisco. It will be epic! :)

I run one of the largest marketers and founders communities in Silicon Valley (2300+ members) and an active 7500+ member Facebook Group.

In case you missed it, here’s an example of one of our previous speaking events: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4gYdeVpGlU

Do you have fifteen minutes free in the next week to talk about a speaking opportunity?

Feel free to select a time on my calendar here: https://cal.mixmax.com/

Talk soon.

Cheers,”

Email 4:

No subject: Email reply

“Hey {{First Name}},

I’m persistent, so here I am in your inbox again asking you to speak in front of a couple of hundred entrepreneurs in San Francisco.

I run one of the largest marketers and founders communities in Silicon Valley (2300+ members) and an active 7500+ member Facebook Group.

I want you to speak at the event because you’re crushing it in tech. More importantly, I think my audience could benefit from your advice and stories :)

Here’s an example of one of our previous speaking events (if you haven’t watched it yet):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4gYdeVpGlU

Do you have fifteen minutes free in the next week to talk about a speaking opportunity?

Feel free to select a time on my calendar here: https://cal.mixmax.com/

Cheers,”

When someone responds to my email asking for interview questions, I respond with this template:

Acceptance and Request for Questions (time works):

No subject: Email reply

“[First name]

Perfect. I attached the questions. Feel free to change them up to your liking.

What’s the best number to reach you?

[Questions attached as a Google Drive file]”

Land Your Speaking Opportunity:

Email 1:

Subject: Speaking opportunity

“Hey {{first}}

I love the work you’ve done as [job title] for [name of event]. Congrats on [recent publicity or milestone].

I’m reaching out to save you the effort of looking for speakers.

As a conference that focuses on [X] and [Y}, I think I could benefit your event with my expertise. Moreover, I’d help promote it to my audience.

I happen to run one of the largest marketers and founders communities in Silicon Valley (2300+ members) and an active 7500+ member Facebook Group. I was named top growth hacker for 2016 and have given speeches [here], [here], and [here].

Moreover, I was the head of growth for the first company to live stream on Facebook, 22Social; an events subscription company, UpOut; and a 50-million-dollar venture capital firm, GrowthX.

I’m currently the growth evangelist for Autopilot (one of the youngest tech evangelist at twenty-five years old) and an adviser to a few profitable startups.

Do you have fifteen minutes free in the next week to talk about a speaking opportunity?

How about [date & time]?

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Cheers,”

Jump on a Podcast:

Subject: Speaking opportunity

“Hey {{first}}

I love the work you’ve done as the [job title] for [name of podcast]. Congrats on [recent publicity or milestone].

I’m reaching out to save you the effort of looking for people to interview.

I happen to run one of the largest marketers and founders communities in Silicon Valley (2300+ members) and an active 7500+ member Facebook Group. I was named top growth hacker for 2016 and have been featured on these podcasts:

  1. Podcast 1
  2. Podcast 2
  3. Podcast 3

Moreover, I was the head of growth for the first company to live stream on Facebook, 22Social; an events subscription company, UpOut; and a 50-million-dollar venture capital firm, GrowthX.

Do you have fifteen minutes free in the next week to talk about a podcast interview opportunity?

How about [date & time]?

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Cheers,”

Get Those Backlinks from Guest Posting

For guest posting, I never reach out to the editor. I reach out to many high-level friends to see where they have connections. I’ve found this tactic to triple my response rate from high-level publications.

Subject: What do you think about this?

“Hey {{first}}

As someone who reads and appreciates my work, I wanted to give you a heads up on this article I want to use for a guest post:

Here it is: [Link to guest post]

Please don’t share this with anyone. Let’s keep these [benefits] a secret for now.

I was wondering if you know a great publication to guest post this piece on?

I’m looking for a perfect fit because - as you know - I put in a ton of time into my content to help people. If you have any suggestions for or connections to cool publishers that’d be super helpful.

Let me know if you need anything.

Cheers,

Josh”

Facebook Group Outsourcing:

One of the most annoying tasks I began outsourcing is approving people into my Facebook Group. It takes a significant amount of my time because I look at each person’s LinkedIn profile to ensure they’d add value to my community.

I ask a virtual assistant to do it. I give them a set criteria of people to accept based on these attributes: Job title City they’re from Years of experience School(s) they attended Accelerators mentioned Publications featured in Whether they work for a software company

Marketers & Founders

No more Facebook Group member checking.

It feels great.

Grow Your Tribe Faster With Email

To increase my Facebook Group membership, I use Mixmax to reach out to people based on their membership in another tight-knit, startup community. For example, if they’re in an accelerator, then I’ll send them a cold email mentioning their accelerator.

Angel.co

To get their emails at scale with little work, I get a VA to use both Angellist and LinkedIn to extract their contact details into a Google Sheet, then ask them to use Google Sheet Add-ons like those of FindThatLead and Clearbit to extract their emails.

The next step is to ask a member from one of these communities to vouch for your Facebook Group. I use their vouch as a testimonial in my email copy. Here’s a direct message I’ll send to someone in my Facebook Group to get this testimonial:

“Hey John, I wanted to reach out because I’ve been talking to many people from Y Combinator. Is it cool if I mentioned there are other Y Combinator members in my group such as yourself?”

Once they say, “Yes,” I start sending cold emails to my list of Y Combinator people asking them to join my Facebook Group. All I do is download the CSV file of contact info with emails, then upload it into a new Mixmax Sequence.

Here’s the cold email template I use:

Subject: You were referred to Marketers & Founders

“Hey Francis,

One of our members from Y Combinator referred you to our Marketers & Founders Facebook Group (we have over 100 alumni from Y Combinator, including [insert testimonial name]).

I happen to run one of the largest marketing communities in Silicon Valley (2300+ members) and the Facebook Group (7500+ members).

The Marketers & Founders Facebook Group is moderated by a few of the best, so it’s invite only.

Our moderators:

  1. Aj Cartas, has 1.2 million social media fans and is an influencer lead @TopBuzz
  2. Juan Campos, growth hacker and founder of NomadApp.co
  3. Me :) Past head of growth for @22Social, @UpOut, and @GrowthX. I’m now a growth evangelist @Autopilot
You can join the Marketers and Founders Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/growthmarketers/

If you want to know more info, feel free to reply.

Cheers,”

This template works wonders. The join rate from a cold email when using a Mixmax Sequence to send this email and a follow-up is 20%. If I send enough emails, I can get several hundred founders and entrepreneurs from Y Combinator into my Facebook Group in one day. That’s powerful.

Just imagine doing this for the many other accelerator programs, too!

Run Through the Finish Line

The hardest part of using a virtual assistant for Mixmax outreach is starting. It’s another way to re-invest in your career from the perspective of time; however, it’s difficult if you’re not used to creating processes for others to copy.

What do you assign to a virtual assistant?

If you think you’ll do a task more than several times, the chances are you should outsource it, especially if includes these variables:

  1. You don’t enjoy it
  2. Your project requires data entry and research
  3. You can create a process to make it replicable
  4. You can hire someone for less than what you get paid

When you take these variables into consideration, think of the many projects you can start outsourcing.

Now ask yourself, how much time could I save having a virtual assistant using my Mixmax account?