Cold Email

How To Set Up an Automated Email Bot That Personalizes Each Message [Step-by-Step]

Hans Dekker
·
July 23, 2021

Everybody wants to automate lead generation as much as possible because it's hard work

But to fully automate a sales prospecting campaign that's actually personalized to each prospect was impossible before the invention of artificial intelligence.

In this guide, you'll learn how to set up an automated email bot that personalizes every single message to your prospects with the help of AI. You won't have to build this out yourself however, since the blueprint for this is available for download (for free) which will allow you to finally fully automate your lead gen or the campaigns for your clients in less than 1 hour.

automated lead generation bot setup
Your very own automated lead generation bot powered by AI

Table of Contents

What will my automated lead generation bot look like?

Before we get started, let's make sure we're on the same page.

Plenty of tools out there offer the promise of fully automated lead generation campaigns. However, most (if not all) fail.

Setting up a generic outbound automation campaign is peanuts in 2021. But because of that, personalization is key. After going through this tutorial you will have an automated, daily workflow that:

1. Scrapes LinkedIn Sales Navigator at regular intervals

2. Finds these people their emails

3. Writes a personal introduction to each prospect (which can be used as a {mergetag})

4. Adds these prospects to your outbound automation software

Your bot will personalize messages for you better than an SDR would, helping you skyrocket response rates, open rates, and demos booked metrics for your cold email campaigns.

ai cold email example
Cold email powered by our AI bot

All without needing any supervision or without you having to lift a finger. It's as if you're hiring a robot to be your SDR.

Why do we help with automated lead generation?

The worst part of outbound sales is the actual outbound sales part. Because let’s face it: no one wakes up in the morning and thinks “yay, let’s write hundreds of personalized messages to my prospects today to book me some meetings”.

It’s a morning routine however thousands of SDRs around the globe are still faced with every single day. Sales managers breathing down their neck (or their webcams these days) telling sales reps to hit specific outbound numbers.

“Send 50 personalized messages” or, even worse, “send as many generic messages as you have to in order to get 5 meetings in the calendar this week”.

Luckily, those days are now over.

Late 2020 we started Lyne with the vision to fully automate the SDR role at such a large scale that both B2B businesses as well as lead generation agencies would be able to deploy an army of sales reps at the click of a button.

We met by a one-in-a-million coincidence through an obscure Reddit thread buried deep somewhere on the 6th page of a Red Bull-fueled late night Google search and turned out to share that exact same vision.

Plenty more Red Bull-fueled nights later, we are now proudly powering several large sales engines around the world through the power of artificial intelligence and automation.

We built Lyne to write thousands of hyper-personalized cold email introductions to prospects based on their work history, news mentions, or their love for pina coladas. Whatever our automated web scrapers can get their robotic little hands on will be thrown into the AI blender that spits out first lines for cold emails that will help you skyrocket your demand gen campaigns.


All you have to do is upload your list of prospects and minutes later you will have a hyper-personalized intro line for each prospect to use as a merge tag in your cold emails. No more manually visiting hundreds of LinkedIn profiles writing catchy one-liners to try and get your foot in the door.

If your cold emails already looked like this:

“Hi {{firstName}}, {{intro}}..”

Keep reading and thank us later.

Who can benefit from this automated email bot?

While we initially built this for cold email ageny owners, anyone who needs to generate leads for their job will benefit from going through this tutorial.

🤖 AI written cold email personalization

Scale your cold email campaigns with AI powered, hyper-personalized intros.
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Automated lead generation with Lyne.ai, Integromat, and your favorite sales prospecting software [step-by-step tutorial]

First things first, let's get started with Sales Navigator.

Linked Sales Navigator Setup

If you’ve ever tried generating new leads for yourself or a client, chances are you’re pretty familiar with LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

You’ll also know that getting emails from your sales nav leads can be a bit of a challenge at times. Don’t worry about that for now, we’re hacking that bit in step 2, which means for now we can focus on putting together the best possible selection of leads in sales nav.

For our example we’ll go after SDR managers or Head of Sales Development titles in the US. It’s a fairly small list, but for our example it’ll be perfect.

If you feel you’re not getting the most out of Sales Navigator, consider watching the advanced LinkedIn Sales Nav course below that I recorded while in a previous role.

Here are a few important points to keep in mind:

  • Keep your total list under 2500 people (LinkedIn only displays 2500 at once, meaning you can only extract that many
  • If you need to break things up, try using the “current years in job” filters or any other filter to batch your results
  • Consider excluding keywords such as “stealth”
  • You can use account lists to first create ideal company filters (such as revenue filters, department headcount, or technologies used), then filter for those in your people search. For this add accounts to a list, then in leads use that list

When you have your initial list of leads you’d like to reach out to, we’re ready to proceed to step 2.

Phantombuster Setup

Finding the professional emails from your sales nav leads used to be quite a challenge. Luckily for us, there are plenty of email finders out there these days that can solve that for us.

The challenge however is that most of these operate through Chrome extensions that require you to build out your list of leads manually.

What we need is a solution that extracts your sales navigator leads and that operates in the cloud, while also offering API access (or at least integrations with Zapier or Integromat). Enter Phantombuster. 

If you’re into growth hacking and you haven’t used Phantombuster before you might want to block out your next few weekends, because you’re in for a treat.

Phantombuster is a cloud based data extraction platform that integrates with popular growth hacking tools. They charge based on server execution time, while some plans also have additional cons such as email finding credits. If you don’t have an account yet don’t worry, Phantombuster offers a free trial with plenty of execution time for you to try this tutorial.


Once signed in to Phantombuster, navigate to their sales navigator section and select the “Sales Navigator Search Export” phantom.



Phantombuster needs to authenticate to LinkedIn in your name. For this they use a LinkedIn authentication cookie called “li_at”.

In your sales navigator tab right click and click “inspect”. From here click “Application” and in the left sidebar under “Cookies”, select linkedin.com.


Find the “li_at” cookie and copy the value behind it.

Paste your cookie into the Phantombuster setup (see below) and hit “save”.

In the next window copy/paste the sales navigator URL from your search from step 1, and hit “save” again.



In the next setup step change the "Number of results to scrape per launch" to any number between 50-75. Important: this is the same number we'll use for our next Phantom setup as well.



We now want to both test our Phantom and generate a first result for our next step. Set your Phantom to launch 4-8 times per day, save it, then launch it manually.

After this step we’re ready for the next part of our workflow.

We want to chain this Phantom to one that finds the professional email of these leads. We’ll use Hunter since that one works best with Phantombuster. If you have credits at a different email finder that can find emails based on “first name”, “last name”, and “company name” then you can manually handle this step. However in order to keep things as automated as possible, going with Hunter would be the best and easiest way of handling this.

In your Phantombuster dashboard find the “Professional Email Finder” Phantom (or go to this url)




As input, select the “My Phantoms” option and from the dropdown select the output file from your sales navigator extractor Phantom.



Leave the “spreadsheet settings” section empty, save, and move on to step 2.


Leave the number of lines field empty, and choose a name for your file. I suggest naming the file depending on the campaign you’re working on, your targeting, or your client.


Naming files is vital in staying organized. One formula to use is the (Campaign)(Targeting)(Details) one, making sure you use brackets to keep things easy to read. For example: (Tutorial Campaign)(SDR Managers)(US Only-HC10-500).


Under email discovery service in the next step pick Hunter.io and paste your API key.



To find your Hunter API key click on your profile image (top right), click “API”, then generate a new API key and copy it.



Leave the setup set to “Manually”, save your Phantom, and move on to step 3 of our tutorial.


Integromat Setup


The next step is to tie everything together using Integromat. Because the next step is a bit advanced, we’ve decided to not go through each component individually. If you’re interested in a bit more background on what each part of the flow does, make sure to watch the video in this blog that goes a bit deeper into each step and its use.



For now, you can download the entire blueprint by following this link (.Zip file). Extract the Zip file so the .JSON inside is available for upload.


Next, in Integromat click “Create a new scenario” on the top right of your dashboard and click “Skip” on the setup.


Next, on the bottom of your screen click the three horizontal dots and click “Import Blueprint”, then select the JSON file you just downloaded. You would need a paid account to be able to do this, which will only cost you around $9 per month.



If you’re new to Integromat it’ll ask you to set up some connections and data structures. The first part of the workflow should look like this:



If you don’t have your Phantombuster connection set up just click “Add” and go through the setup of generating and adding your API key.


As for the JSON data structure, simply hit “Add” and “Save” to add a basic data structure and you’re good to go.


The “HTTP” request parts are the calls to the Lyne.ai API which will require your API key from Lyne. To get your API key go to your account and copy the “Bearer Token” value.


Lyne.ai is an automated intro line writer for cold email agencies. Lyne cuts the time and costs it takes to launch an effective campaign and scale your agency.



In Integromat, click each HTTP request and under “Headers” update the “Value” section by clicking the edit icon. Save things by clicking “OK”.



As the final section of our workflow we’re adding our leads with their personalized intros to SmartReach.io. We’ve chosen SmartReach because of the way they’re handling email sending, their advanced campaign setup, and because they allow for the ability to easily add custom fields.


While you can definitely add different connections here such as Mailshake or even Hunter, SmartReach is our tool of choice for this tutorial. Simply click “Add” if you haven’t set up your connection already and paste in your API key.


Then in SmartReach (or whichever tool you're using), your template will need the {lyne} custom field in there. Setup is easy for most tools, and your template will look something like the one below.

To set up custom variables in SmartReach, just head over to Setting > Team Settings > Custom Columns.

From there, set up a custom column called "Lyne" and you're good to go. Next, set up your template like the one above and you're ready to get started.

Quick tip: if your software doesn't allow for custom fields, just use any field you're not using as your custom intro line. So if you'll never use the {website} custom field for personalization, just map that one as your custom intro so your template will look something like this:

"Hi {firstName}, {website}

Here's the rest of my email.

Best,

John"


What’s next?

By now, you should have an automated email bot that generates leads on autopilot. Every day we’ll automatically find new leads from LinkedIn Sales Navigator, write a personalized intro to them, and add them to our campaigns.


All there’s left for you to do after this is manage the replies that will come in and book new leads into your calendar. Of course it won’t be all rainbows and sunshine as you’ll receive several types of responses. 


Knowing how to handle these different types of responses is almost a superpower in itself and something we want to share with you next time to help you make the most out of your automated campaigns.

If that’s something you’re interested in, subscribe to the blog & stay tuned.

🤖 AI written cold email personalization

Scale your cold email campaigns with AI powered, hyper-personalized intros.
See how it works
20 credits FREE! No credit card required
ABOUT AUTHOR

Hans Dekker

Hey, I'm Hans, Co-Founder and CEO of Lyne.ai. I used to run hundreds of campaigns for clients when I ran my own cold email agency. Having to train and manage that many virtual assistants or SDRs can get very stressful, which is why we built Lyne. Now you can write thousands of personalized first lines for cold emails in less than an hour & all without being locked into a monthly plan.