It’s no secret that the most efficient and result-oriented sales team have long employed some tech assistants to rid them of routine tasks. Automation software lets you free yourself up of really cumbersome, time-consuming activities, like searching people on LinkedIn, filling in prospect lists, connecting with people, and tracking the progress in efficiency.
That’s why LinkedIn automation is the most popular and remarkable achievement of the tech world. Let’s dive a little bit into their pros and cons to shed light a bit on how you can employ this awesome piece of technology to streamline your outreach and marketing and boost sales.
What exactly are LinkedIn automation tools
LinkedIn automation tools are pieces of software (sometimes extensions, sometimes cloud-based solutions) that do all the job that usually a leadgen specialist is responsible for – visiting profiles, connecting with people, sending follow-ups, tracking everything and fixing down achievements.
Some tools focus on lead generation, some helps more with growing engagement (engagement pods).
The following 4 categories tell more about how all these tools can be distinguished%
1) outreach automation
2) scrapers or data extractors (finding 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 such a solution into your workflow.
- Save time and money
- Gain more audience insights for more precise targeting
- Find loopholes to overcome LinkedIn connection limits
- Hone your writing skills through using provided templates
- Take use of handy analytics that lets you understand precisely what you’re doing wrong and bolster your marketing and sales strategies
- Have a good hold of B2B contact data that can be used in your outreach for various channels
Is LinkedIn automation illegal?
There are some questions that arise when you’re dealing with LinkedIn automation tools. The most obvious is the following:
- Will you act against LinkedIn’s Terms of Service by using a third-party tool? Will LinkedIn detect it?
The short answer: no. The majority of LinkedIn automation tools (all that are not extensions but cloud-based) 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.
So, yes, as long as you don’t do outreach manually at the same time as the tool does it, you can keep calm.
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.
Top-of-the line LinkedIn automation tools on the market
So, the questions here is where should you start? You need a perfectly camouflaged tool, capable of helping you secure long-term steady lead flow-in. It’s best if it can also help you engage those leads, taking away all tedious and repeatable job, leaving you up to the most pleasant and creative part — building relationships and closing deals.
Listed below are some of the great players that we deem the most powerful. All these tools are worth trying out. The list is divided by categories, according to the functionality of the tool and the part of marketing or outreach that it helps to orchestrate.
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 set rules to overcome connection limits and be able to connect with more people.
Closely is a very smart and intelligent tool that is mostly praised among efficient sales teams.
It’s most powerful features are in-built inbox (where you can orchestrate things easily, using advanced filtering and tags), 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 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
Waalaxy is an extension that can help you to 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.
Price: $12 - $40/ month
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 the whole opposite effect. So, this feature is quite helpful, but you have to use it as a complementary addition to your campaign, not the core part of the outreach strategy.
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.
- Zapier Integration
- InMail automation
- Problems while running a campaign may occur, but not that often
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 who are really there for seeing how it works in core. 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)
Price: from $30 per 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
Price: $49 per 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
Price: $7 - $25 per 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 bring in clearance, let me share the 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 creators of TexAu are doing everything to make your prospecting much easier.
- 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
- Not designed for people with limited tech skills
Price: $29, $70 per 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 get banned.
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 hovering the window up. 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
Price: $15, $55 per 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 manage to drive. 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 is the lowest option. 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
Price: $215 — $895
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 truth, with an 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
Price: $29, $59 per month
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, you should always keep in mind that your top pick 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 bringing more bumps on 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.