LinkedIn is an incredibly vast medium for you to grow your business. It’s equipped with a multitude of features and functionalities to help you grow.
But it’s not easy to stay on top of competition and keep up with the LinkedIn algorithm – to have success on the platform, you have to build a sufficient amount of connections via LinkedIn connection requests, hyper-target your outreach and hone in on just the right prospects, apart from being active, creating and sharing valuable content.
Sounds like a lot, right? This is precisely what LinkedIn automation tools are there to help you out with – make the LinkedIn sales process easier, save countless hours of your time and bring you the best outcome and maximized revenue (without LinkedIn restricting your account)!
What is LinkedIn Automation?
Keeping your LinkedIn account alive and thriving is no easy feat if you’re short on time. And let’s face it, we just can’t meet our networking needs in a reasonable amount of time just by doing repetitive manual work.
You can go for it manually, of course. But what will it leave for you? You’re going to be INCREDIBLY drained, which is a no-no if you want to keep adrift in modern B2B sales.
LinkedIn automation refers to the implementation of tools that streamline various tasks such as gathering data for better outreach, sending connection requests, scheduling and sending follow-up messages, identifying prospects and more by doing the work for you.
LinkedIn automation tools are pieces of software (sometimes extensions, sometimes cloud-based solutions) that do all the jobs that usually a leadgen specialist is responsible for – visiting profiles, connecting with people, sending follow-ups, tracking activities and delivering analytics.
When it comes to efficiently running your prospecting campaigns, LinkedIn automation tools have your back. There’s no need to toil over your keyboard for hours composing and sending out connection requests – leave those tasks to handy tools.
They’re a type of software that aims to take your sales game up a notch by saving you the hassle of doing manual tasks, usually we’re talking here about scraping data for effective outreach, sending connection requests and messages and ensuring campaign personalization. Some tools like Closely also helps to orchestrate efficient lead nurturing & management as well via smart embedded inboxes that should be available right in user accounts.
It is important to note that LinkedIn automation tools have to adhere to a certain limit of connections or actions performed in a specific period of time (they should operate similar to how a person would do this type of work).
Otherwise, this ‘sketchy activity’ will get noticed by LinkedIn and your account might be hit with the implications (restrictions or ban).
Types of LinkedIn automation tools
Some tools focus on lead generation, some helps more with engagement grow (engagement pods).
In general, there are 4 wide categories of such tools out there:
1) outreach automation
2) scrapers or data extractors (find required contact data on LinkedIn)
3) combination of both aforementioned
4) marketplaces (engagement pods)
Let’s talk a bit about how you can benefit from integrating a LinkedIn automation tool into your workflow.
- Saving time and money
- Gaining more audience insights for more precise targeting
- Finding loopholes to overcome LinkedIn connection limits
- Honing your writing skills through using provided templates, hand-picked by sales teams
- Taking use of handy analytics that lets you understand precisely what you’re doing wrong and bolster your marketing and sales strategies
- Having a good hold of B2B contact data that can be used in your outreach
Can you send automated messages on LinkedIn?
Of course you can!
There are a few things you have to consider though: the messages you send out have to be personalized to specific prospects, and you can’t have a huge surge of messages spike all at once – this is a sign of spam activity for LinkedIn (read more about this below).
If you’re mindful of the message frequency and are employing a tool with appropriate features, it’s definitely possible to practice automation in your outreach and reap great results from personalized campaigns (not to mention the time and efforts saved).
Is LinkedIn automation illegal?
LinkedIn is very strict when it comes to keeping up a professional, spam-free space on their platform. Accounts partaking in activities that attempt to abuse the system will be suspended. So, a logical question arises: is LinkedIn automation even legal?
The short answer: no. The majority of LinkedIn automation tools (all that are not extensions but cloud-based solutions) use the warm-up feature that mimics human behaviour to help you be undetectable. It won’t overcome the allowed request limits set by LinkedIn. They won’t do any suspicious activity. Thousands of users who already benefit from LinkedIn automation can prove this.
Extensions, on the other hand, are only harmful, since they’re easily detectable and usually associated with spam activities.
As long as you don’t use extensions or perform manual outreach from the same account synced with some automation tool, – you can be calm. The takeaway here is also to utilize a fitting tool for the right purposes.
Browser-based LinkedIn automation tools
A browser-based LinkedIn automation tool is one of the two options available for automation. Like with any decision, you have to consider the downsides before you commit:
– This solution runs on a browser and hence utilizes browser cache. That makes this tool a more susceptible target for LinkedIn watchdogs (getting detected & restricted).
– Using a different IP every time you log in makes you look suspicious – another sign of concern for LinkedIn.
– Apart from the risk of detection, this type of solution is generally inferior to cloud-based solutions in regards to advanced and more sophisticated features.
Cloud-based LinkedIn automation tools
Cloud-based applications offer higher security and integrate with your account and other systems – this definitely puts this option way ahead of browser-based tools when it comes to safety. Not to mention the other considerable benefits:
– Stable IP address
– The possibility to employ advanced features for higher conversion rates, like ensuring campaign personalization
Taking these points in mind, it is also important to mention that cloud-based tools tend to be more expensive than browser-based ones, granting you some food for thought to choose the best option.
Let’s dive a little bit into the extensions’ world: the main thing you should keep in mind is that extensions can and probably will be detected by LinkedIn as they’re forbidden by the platform. Extensions that usually help you with stuff like gathering profiles into a CSV file, and also, automating campaigns, should be used very accurately. If you’re not sure how the extension works or it’s unclear to you completely, — it’s better to leave it to a more experiences specialist. Otherwise, it all will lead to very sad consequences.
How to personalize outreach on Linkedin?
It’s widely known by now just how crucial personalization is to your outreach. Personalizing LinkedIn outreach seems like a relatively clear task – you cater to the needs and interests of a prospect in your pitch, type your message with relevant info, hit send… and then repeat a couple hundred times!
Time to turn to automation again. Compose your campaign like normal, but add dynamic tags into the mix. Automation makes it possible to scrape data like name, job title, company name and more to fill the tags and craft your personalized campaign.
In tools like Closely, it’s easy to add customized variables for better personalization.
Thanks to laser-focused targeting options, you can compose truly personalized copies, addressing current needs and struggles of your target audiences.
Top-of-the line LinkedIn automation tools on the market
Let’s take a look at some players out there, worth laying your eye on.
Most of these tools are capable of lending you a helping hand in your prospecting activities. We’ve tried all of them and speak from our experience.
Closely is a sales intelligence platform that works primarily with LinkedIn automation (it has plans on integrating multi-channel functionality in the future, though).
At the moment, Closely fully covers the whole LinkedIn leadgen process and allows you to find loopholes in established LinkedIn rules to overcome connection limits and be able to connect with more people per week.
Closely is a very smart and intelligent tool that is mostly praised among efficient sales teams.
It’s distinctive feature is comprehensiveness that really adds up to the easiness of work. Inbox is also worth mentioning – it allows you to sort out conversations swiftly and moving through lead nurturing quicker. Closely is also known for its thorough database of business contacts (with 143 million records) and laser-specific targeting on LinkedIn (scraping of people from groups, events and posts).
It’s also very intuitive and, ergo, quite helpful. It serves perfectly for both beginners and an experienced eye. Its built-in templates are amazing and quite useful if you’re only embarking on the writing path.
For the campaign creation, Closely allows you to fill in variables with information about your prospect so the message sounds more personalized.
- safe cloud-based solution
- build an audience based on their LinkedIn activities
- invite by email campaigns
- built-in LinkedIn email finder
- inbox with CRM features
- price (affordable, compared to similar solutions)
- support + content on growth topics + growth community (https://www.facebook.com/groups/thecloserscom)
- no CRM integration yet
- maximum 2 concurrent campaigns
How you can overcome LinkedIn limits and restrictions using Closely
Closely lets you employ email connection campaigns – those are campaigns that use emails as audience source. LinkedIn allows send more than 100 connection requests per week to people by uploading a file with emails. So, if you have your prospects’ emails in a CSV file, you can just shove it in the required field in Closely and let it process them and find LinkedIn profiles. Once done, you can start sending connection requests and follow-ups automatically, up to 1000 per week. To find relevant emails of your prospects, you go to Closely Explorer and reveal emails to further download them into a CSV file.
Pricing: $50/month A life-time deal available on AppSumo
GrowthLead, a cloud-based B2B social selling intelligence tool, is designed to help users increase their sales pipeline, scale & automate outreach and view how well their current campaign is doing with relevant, insightful analytics.
This tool grants you a powerful leap towards your business goals. Once you’ve mapped them out, you can rely on the solution to automate the social sales processes.
– Advanced search filters to narrow down and pinpoint your target audience
– Automated outreach for various segment groups (allowing to also hook up multiple LinkedIn accounts and manage them all)
– Scheduling & sending out messages and follow-up chains
- Can crash quite often
- A bit slow customer support
Waalaxy is an extension that can help you run multichannel drip campaigns. You can easily pick one of the given paths for your campaign and create several touchpoints. There are basic and more intricate paths:
A more complicated can be one of the following combinations:
Waalaxy uses a third-party data enrichment tool, Dropcontact, to help you fetch the emails of prospects based on their LI profiles. It then uses fetched email to enrich your campaign if you want to include the “email step” in it.
I guess what it lacks, probably, is the ability to create your own sequence, based on your own scenario.
Moving on to its cons, the biggest stain of this tool is that it’s an extension and, therefore, is extremely risky. In fact, numerous users report cases of being banned after even disconnecting the software! So, the juice is definitely nor worth the squeeze, until the company tackles this issue.
- Drag-and-drop sequence creator
- Multichannel campaigns
- Zapier integration
- Too pricey if you want all features (basic plans don’t include some truly vital features)
- Waalaxy is extension and there is a HIGH risk you’ll end up in ban using it, unfortunately. Too many users report being banned for several times even after uninstalling the extension.
Pricing: Basic Plan - €21 Advanced - €40 Business - €64
Expandi is a LinkedIn automation tool that helps you run automated campaigns. It offers InMail automation as well.
Expandi is an amazing tool, and we used it a lot. It is definitely worth trying, at least for comparison. Although a bit pricey, the safety, reputation and team make up for it.
Expandi can create personalized GIFs for you. Let’s talk briefly about that. I don’t believe that images are a silver bullet. I guess they are just a tool and frankly it’s about how you employ them. Sometimes images can indicate an automation tool that created them, producing an entirely opposite effect. So, this feature is quite helpful, but not as a core part of your campaigns.
Also, make sure your picture is of a nice quality so it won’t break into pixels while processing.
Similar to Closely, this tool can help you scrape people from posts, events or groups, which leads to a more precise targeting that results in acquiring high-quality leads.
It also lets you run 1st-degree connection campaigns, InMails and provides robust reporting. Expandi’s content team create well thought-out pieces of content that serve as guides for beginners and those more experienced. All in all, the tool has been on the market for a long time and is considered solid LinkedIn automation, albeit lacking some of the most advanced and cutting-edge features that some other similar tools can boast of.
- Zapier Integration
- InMail automation
- Problems while running a campaign may occur, but not that often
Pricing: €99/month. You can start with a 7-day free trial.
Phantombuster is a data extractor kind of LinkedIn automation, but it covers many other platforms. The tool pulls up phones, emails, socials. It is also a great Instagram scraper.
The greatest con of the tool is that it’s unsuitable for people with limited tech knowledge. It’s quite hard to sort things out if you don’t have at least any tech background.
My experience of being banned after the very first campaigns speaks for itself.
Phantombuster is flexible. You can add many phantoms simultaneously, it can help you here and there, so it’s an amazing helper for truly technology-obsessed guys. Marketers and other simple people will find it too challenging to explore and use.
- Many social platforms covered
- LinkedIn profile data extractor
- Sales navigator search scraper
- Twitter Auto Follow/Instagram Auto Follow
- Unsuitable for people with no tech background
- It’s an extension
- Some phantoms don’t work well (for example scraping Twitter followers)
Pricing: Starter Plan - $59/month Pro Plan - $139/month Team Plan - $399/month
We-connect is a LinkedIn automation that aims to help you automate LinkedIn outreach fully.
Here are some types of campaigns it offers for you to set up and run automatically.
We-Connect automatically suppresses duplicate contacts from the campaigns.
- Bugs happen especially at the audience importing
Pricing: One-size Plan - $49/month
Octopus CRM is an extension that automates basic outreach activities, focusing on sending personalised connection requests in bulk + 1st degree connections.
Octopus’s interface may seem a bit not-intuitive.
Problems occur when importing leads from LinkedIn search URL. However, they may be working to tackle the issue now.
CSV importing seems to be processing much faster. Octopus CRM can also help you withdraw pending invitations in bulk.
Octopus CRM provides statistics on your campaigns right in your dashboard. Each time the campaign starts, the tool projects its actions right onto your screen in real time:
- Starts with a fairly low price
- Not-some-intuitive interface
- Bugs may happen
Pricing: Starter - $6.99/month Pro - $9.99/month Advanced - $14.99/month
TexAu is a LinkedIn automation tool that offers a range of automation features, like auto-posting on LinkedIn. It covers other platforms too. You can scrape Instagram story viewers. It doesn’t offer outreach automation. Better use for scraping people, finding data, etc.
It’s one of the most popular growth hacking tools. Here is the range of platforms it covers:
At first, TexAu may seem quite challenging to nail. You definitely need to have some tech background to be able to reap the benefit.
To be more clear, let me share the entire customer journey with you.
After getting started, you’re prompted to your user space where you must figure out what’s your next step. Support is not that supportive (at least that’s how it worked for me).
However, If you do have time to explore the tool, it may turn out to be quite helpful.
For instance, I want to retrieve particular LinkedIn groups and convert them into a CSV file.
I take the needed LinkedIn URL and paste it into the field, like on the pic below. You have to connect your account each time (by getting the cookie link).
After a few seconds, the list is ready. You can convert it into a CSV file, download and use.
TexAu makes some activities so simple for you, like matching job titles and companies to find the right person, etc.
Obviously, manual processes make them sick, so the developers of TexAu are doing everything to make your prospecting much easier, as it is stated in this nice and brief CTA 🙂
- LinkedIn Data extraction
- Finding the contact with matching job titles at thousands of companies
- LinkedIn Connection remover
- Email verification automation
- Scraping people from comments on Youtube or Quora (150+ platforms)
- Retweet automation
- Zapier Integration
- Challenging for people with limited tech skills
Pricing: Cloud Starter - $290/month Cloud Growth - $790/month Cloud Agency - $1990/month
Dux-Soup is an extension for LinkedIn outreach automation. The warning comes first: it’s an extension, which means it requires your patience understanding how it works and not rushing into using it, unless you don’t want your account to end up in ban.
Dux Soup can record profiles from a particular page, auto-visit them, endorse, send messages and follow-ups that you can create by clicking on the icon and lifting the window up on the screen. You can also scan thousands of LinkedIn profiles in a fairly short time.
Overall, DuxSoup can be placed on one shelf with Phantombuster. It’s a great gain for technical team in terms of exploring, trying out, and finding ways to put it to the best use.
You can personalise messages, exclude particular people and set any time delays.
Everything that Dux Soup is doing, is displayed on your screen, in informative pop-ups. And since it’s an extension, your laptop should be left open, otherwise the campaigns are going to be paused.
I consider their interface a bit clunky. It’s a bit disjointed and requires time to figure out how to arrange things and make it work.
- Auto-visiting profiles feature
- Auto endorse
- Free version available
- Help Center is quite helpful
- Slight lags when initially uploading leads
A forever free Starter plan (np auto-engage feature) Professional plan- $14.99/month Turbo plan - $55/month
Zopto is one more LinkedIn outreach automation solution, packed with everything you need for efficient lead generation. It is not limited to LinkedIn and covers other platforms too. Post likes, Twitter likes, profile views and follows, profile invites, email invites — are all basic channels that it can drive automatically. The tool is intuitive, easy-to-use and offers decent customer support.
There is only one thing that spoiled it all: you can’t start a free trial and need to book a demo first. (whaat?)
Creating campaigns is not hard and the interface is pretty intuitive.
With Zopto, you can also paste the search URL and import profiles that are open to free messaging (InMails) Zapier integration is there for you.
Another significant downside is its price. $215 per month at start. If you want to add two accounts and get access to “profile views” and “auto-follow” features — that will be $395 per month.
- A bunch of automation features
- Zapier integration
- Covering many platforms
- No trial
Pricing: Personal - $215/month Grow - $395/month Enterprise - $895/month
Meetalfred refers to the third category: automation plus scraping plus growth hacking features. Connection campaigns, InMails are included in the basic package.
There is also an auto-following feature. The tools lets you connect your LinkedIn, Email, Twitter, Zapier, Hyperise.
All in all, MeetAlfred is great, there is only one thing.
The claimed multichannel campaigns don’t quite work as described. In order for it to run efficiently, you should know your prospects’ emails. I think if you set up a “multichannel” campaign there, it will work only for the first-degree connections.
This is the message from the support team that proves my anticipations.
From our practice, though, this method of email scraping won’t be better than finding 5-7% of relevant emails for you. Others will be completely obsolete data…
A truly small amount of people choose to show their email to public, openly on their LinkedIn profiles. So, your “multichannel” campaign is going to be a single-channel campaign in reality, with some additional email touchpoint that only covers those 5-7% of really relevant emails, pulled from LinkedIn pages.
- Hyper-targeted outreach
- Many 3-d party integrations
- Multiple platforms covered
- Some features don’t work as described
Pricing: Personal - $29/month Business - $59/month Enterprise - $299/month
LinkedIn Engagement Pods
LinkedIn pods are communities within LinkedIn consisting of people who have mutually decided to engage with each other’s posts in an attempt to bypass the LinkedIn algorithm and increase exposure & reach. There’s a lot of debate going around regarding these groups – whether they’re actually worth it, or if they won’t accomplish anything in the long-run, artificially maintaining an undedicated audience that won’t stick around.
Virtually anyone can create and join these groups, and they’re most often free. Also, its an absolutely legal activity.
To pod or not to pod
The strategy behind this whole ploy is getting LinkedIn to show their post to more people (which subsequently means more leads and revenue) based on the high engagement the members exchange on each other’s posts.
Using this method to promote your posts can turn out fruitful if your content is already valuable, won’t get marked as spam, and you’re able to grow your audience (an actual, engaged one) outside of the pod – but evidently only in terms of reach, not gaining traction for your business.
Pods do nothing to build brand trust – quite the opposite. Spreading and letting your posts be a breeding ground for empty comments devoid of human touch is downright damaging to your credibility and reputation.
The only good thing that could come out of a pod is widening your network – but that’s not what pods are meant to do in the first place.
Let’s describe briefly one of the most famous LinkedIn engagement pods – Lempod.
Lempod is a LinkedIn automation tool designed to significantly increase your reach. The tool makes use of pods to ensure engagement – other LinkedIn creators support one another on autopilot.
In general, this tool is very effective if you want to pump up your reach with likes and comments. It’s also quite simple to use and is pretty cheap.
However, the comments can be a bit vague and not post-specific, and there’s no free trial available for you to try it out. 🙁
How should I choose a LinkedIn automation tool?
Of course, everything in this business depends on the goal that you set yourself. What do you want to achieve turning to LinkedIn outreach? Is it more hot leads? Is it improving your brand awareness? Is it traffic to your website?
Once you’re clear on that, I recommend you to listen up to some experts and read reviews. In this article, we’ve put together all major tools that are worth trying.
Anyway, my list of the greatest LinkedIn automation tools would look something like:
Best prospecting automation + sales intelligence > Closely
The safest and established > Expandi
Best for tech guys and experiments > Phantombuster
I do think that Closely is overtaking competing extensions in confident strides. And that’s saying a lot. If you choose it, you can be sure you’re never going to run out from feature updates. For example, just recently it has launched an incredibly useful and free LinkedIn extension, Closely Surfer that serves as a nice supplement to the main tool. What a deal!
LinkedIn automation is no longer something mysterious, those are concrete and solid tools that compete with each other on one of the most promising markets. Incorporating such a solution means you’re already two steps ahead of competitors.
Once tried, it’s hard to resist using it over and over again. The most satisfying part of it is seeing leads flowing into your inbox, without you lifting a finger. What a joyful time!
When weighing out pros and cons of the tool against your current needs, you should always keep in mind that your best bet should be:
1) A cloud-based solution and not an extension.
2) Ideally making it for multiple channels, since single-channelled strategy is becoming an outdated stratagem that does not fulfil the current demands of the B2B crowd .
3) Providing a high degree of data trustworthiness if it’s also a data finder
4) A breeze to use. Make sure it adds up to simplifying your sale processes, not adding more bumps to the road.
Closely is clearly the winner among other automation solutions, for it’s the most intuitive, feature abundant, flexible and promising tool that can be proved by its numerous happy users.
Thank you for your attention, happy prospecting everyone!
Here are some frequent questions related to the topic.
WHAT IS LINKEDIN MESSAGE AUTOMATION?
It’s the ability to streamline your outreach activities and send messages to prospects or customers on LinkedIn automatically, using one of the various tools presented on the market.
HOW MANY LINKEDIN CONNECTIONS CAN YOU SEND IN A DAY?
LinkedIn allows you to send up to 100 connection requests per week. More than 200 actions per day (messaging, connecting, visiting profiles) on LinkedIn may be considered a suspicious activity. It depends on your profile though: is it established or a newly created. Anyway, try not to exceed the number of 200 actions per day. As to the connection requests, it’s still 100 per week (20 per day).
If you want to stay tuned to the latest updates and trends, join our community on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/667027160929201
HOW DO I SEND A BULK MESSAGE ON LINKEDIN?
If you use an automation tools, there is nothing easier: just follow the prompts inside your tool. First, you name your campaign and import the audience. Second, you create a message sequence, using best practices or your own fantasy – as you wish. Then you start the campaign and track its success. That’s the nest method of doing the A/B campaign testing.
Have questions? We’re waiting for you in our FB community. 💜
WHAT ARE THE BEST EFFECTIVE TOOLS FOR LINKEDIN CAMPAIGN?
Closely, Expandi and Waalaxy are the most popular LinkedIn automation. I would cross out Waalaxy because it’s an extension and therefore using it increases risks of being banned.
Try out Closely and Expandi and define your winner.
CAN LINKEDIN DETECT CHROME EXTENSIONS?
Yes, absolutely. Their crawlers can search up your browser’s storage and distinguish potentially malicious files. Even if your extension is not up and running, LinkedIn can detect it simply by identifying a specific file in the local storage of your browser. The most dangerous extensions are those that automate message sending and connections with people, because they make you look spammy. Simpler extensions that only simplify LinkedIn search, lets you download files with data, or data collectors are not LinkedIn’s primary target.