Interview with Vuk, Head of Growth at lemlist. How to increase lead generation from landing pages by 25% & detailed strategies on how to nurture leads correctly.
I’m Vuk, Head of Growth @lemlist. Simply put, my job is to take good care of our funnel, starting with user acquisition and brand awareness, ending with user retention and lowering churn.
I’ve been in lemlist for over three years now, having joined as their first employee, initially as a freelancer before joining full-time in March 2019.
Before that, I worked as a Marketing Manager in both an agency and a U.S. based startup.
My “Why” isn’t anything complicated, but might not be the norm. I’m obsessed with creative marketing, brand building, and doing all that in a profitable way. You know how you’ve never seen an iPhone ad, but there are still rows in front of the Apple store. I’d like to get to that level of marketing.
Apart from marketing, you can easily spot me at a quality wine bar or watching an Inter game. If you do, come say hi. Unless the match is tense, then it’s best to leave me alone…for your own good 🙂
1. What’re the most common mistakes you discover in your clients’ outbound strategies? What quick wins do you suggest as immediate actions?
It starts with research and the number of emails they are sending. Let me explain.
Good research and qualifying prospects is 51% of outbound campaign work. It helps you envision what a win-win solution between a prospect and you looks like, while it also paves a clearer way on how you can personalize a cold email. Think about it like pre-qualifying leads so they are more likely to be a fit.
Another big factor is the size of your list and what your sending strategy is. In other words, email deliverability.
Let’s imagine you have 5000 prospects on your list. The goal of email outreach is never to be the fastest to send 5k emails in 24 hours.
The real goal is to get a reply. And the only way to receive a reply is to personalize your email and make it relevant for the prospect. But also make sure they actually see it in their inbox and that it doesn’t land in spam or promotion folders.
So the game plan becomes sending no more than 100-200 emails a week, so you have enough time to optimize them. Shoot for a 50%+ open rate and 20%+ reply rate. With this approach, for every 100 emails you send, you should be able to have a 10% conversion rate. For example, book 10 meetings out of 100 emails sent.
This is the way you win. By building win-win relationships, standing out of the crowd, and landing in the primary tab regularly.
2. We’d love to know what recent growth hacks you’ve successfully used for lead generation
One of the things that worked out pretty well for us recently is a classic ebook launch, but with smart distribution.
What we did here is create two ebooks: Master The Art of Cold Emailing and LinkedIn Content Secrets. Then, the distribution of both was based on LinkedIn promotion through comment-bait posts and our internal infrastructure (community + newsletter).
For us, this is very unique as our entire team is active on LinkedIn, while our community and newsletter have huge audiences (17k+ members and 60k+ subscribers).
If the ebook delivers in terms of quality, word-of-mouth and social sharing comes next. Of course, as with any lead gen strategy, people were leaving their information in the exchange for both ebooks.
Whenever somebody would download it, we would enrich that lead in our marketing CRM, and move it to the next stage. Either a lead nurturing sequence or, if enriched according to specific buying criteria, these were sent as MQLs to our sales team.
Another growth marketing sprint we had was back in Q2 of 2021. We invested a lot of time in conversion optimization and messaging on the website.
The results were awesome:
- Home: +25% conversions
- Pricing: +37% conversions
The first thing we changed is to put a bigger focus on “problem-solving” words on our homepage, rather than the features themselves. For example, we don’t say “Email warm-up service”, but “Keep your emails out of spam”.
Secondly, your best features sometimes deserve their own page, as lemwarm does in our example. It’s not just a feature but it’s also a plan you can buy. So we connected the dots because it allowed us to educate people on the importance of domain warm-up + boost sales + capture more targeted organic clicks this way.
We tested a couple of call-to-actions, but “Start for free” won by a mile. Since we offer a 14-day free trial with no commitment needed, this CTA ended up representing the winning combination.
Then, whenever you’re writing stuff for leads, use the resources you have at your disposal. For instance, Support is marketing’s wing(wo)man. We went to them to understand pricing questions and then updated the wording on the pricing page + added a comparison table answering the most frequent questions. This was the main reason why we ended up having +37% more conversions.
3. What underrated outbound sales strategies do you recommend for email sequences?
I wouldn’t say they are underrated, but they deserve more attention. First, custom intro lines. The idea here is to have a personalized intro sentence for every prospect in your list.
The best intro line breaks the ice and motivates the person to read the rest of the email. But another challenge you have after crafting the intro line is to write a smooth transition to your pitch.
Let’s imagine you’re approaching a prospect. You go to Google News and see they’ve recently raised funds. A solid intro line can be a GENUINE congratulations that feels cool, not generic. And a good transition may be to understand their ambitions on investing those funds, and mentioning it.
Here’s an imaginary example of me approaching Canva and trying to bring their attention to my HR software.
Congrats on your $40 billion valuation! What a journey it has been for Canva! 🎉
I saw that you have exciting projects in your plans, with doubling your workforce maybe being one of the biggest and most exciting ones.
Our conversation can be around new developers they might bring to further develop the product thanks to the new investment, as I’ve already confirmed in my research they’re planning to bring more people on.
If I manage to get a reply, I can then match their pains with the solutions my tool can offer to them.
Another good one is a personalized video thumbnail tactic. In this scenario, I will have a custom image with a play button, motivating people to click on it and go to a specific place I want. Here’s how it works.
4. How often do you send emails to new leads or subscribers? How many emails in the entire sequence before you mark them dead?
For cold email outreach, my campaigns usually have between 3-5 emails in total, and they tend to finish in about 2.5 weeks approximately. They always have an option to unsubscribe, so this helps unqualify prospects without doing any work myself.
But overall I monitor their engagement. Sending follow-ups is key because most times prospects aren’t responding because of things like timing or communication channel, not because they aren’t interested. You can lose a lot of good conversations by only sending one email. The trick is just to avoid making follow-ups annoying.
On the other hand, I prefer to send multichannel campaigns, where LinkedIn is a part of the story. So even if a prospect doesn’t reply, I can still connect with them there, we hopefully engage with each other’s content, and they get exposed to the content I’d be posting. You never know, but it comes back to relationship building.
Finally, the last email in my sequence is almost always apologizing for emailing them and asking if there’s a better person to talk to in the company about this topic. This usually encourages a response or gets them to redirect you.
5. How do you keep your network warm over time?
You don’t always send sales emails where you’re asking for something. When you ask for something, you lose leverage. Gary Vee identified this a long time ago. To build a relationship and keep one warm you bring value to the person, and you can, if you think it’s the right moment, ask for their business later.
6. What’re your best tips for giving the same customer a second upsell?
Answer one question. What does that second upsell bring to them? Will they really benefit from it or is it just you making more money out of it?
The trick is to connect that benefit and transform it into a pitch that will resonate with the prospect. Since lemlist is a SaaS product, the logic is simple. Our user wins first, and we win with them later on. That’s the way it goes.