Want to throw exclusive events for your ideal customers?

Not just any customers either.

C-level executives, CMOs, and founders.

Now you can with little-to-no marketing cost.

As I’ve learned to throw exclusive events for a few of our clients to help them with B2B prospecting, we’ve created a refined system that gets results. By results, I mean leads, customers, and most importantly, everyone having a fun time.

Here’s the playbook for throwing the most exclusive events in your city:

Step 1: Auto-Connect to Your Target Prospects in Your City

First, you need to make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized for a high add-back rate. I write about this all the time because few people have a nice headshot, tagline, and cover photo on their LinkedIn profile. Once you’ve done that, you want to download the Chrome extension, Linked Helper.

Use Linked Helper to connect to your target prospects at scale using Sales Navigator search. Sales Navigator will give you the ability filter down by a number of criteria, including industry, job title, city, and keyword. Plus, it gives you the ability to auto connect to thousands of prospects/month.

For events, you want to specifically target prospects who live in your city, then eventually neighboring cities. Depending on the size of your target prospect pool, this may take a couple of months of auto-connecting before you have most of your prospects in your network.

Step 2: Get the Emails of All Your Connections

Hit Settings & Privacy for a fast way to retrieve all the emails of your newly added prospects. You’ll be using these emails as your source for outbound event prospecting.

Next, go to Privacy, then scroll down, click Connections, then Request archive.

You now have all the emails of your target prospects.

Step 3: Get Targeted LinkedIn Profiles at Scale (Phantombuster Way)

Now you want to get the LinkedIn profile URLs of your target demographic at scale. There are two ways to do this. One is to use Dux-Soup’s feature called Scan Profiles. If you’re in Sales Navigator, it will return the Sales Navigator profile URL. Dux-Soup will enable you to get Sales Navigator profile URLs by the thousands because it doesn’t visit the actual profile; otherwise, you’d get banned. The problem: you need the original LinkedIn URL, not the Sales Navigator one.

To get the original LinkedIn profile URL, you want to use a tool called Phantombuster. Take all the data from Dux-Soup, then put it into a spreadsheet. It should look like this:

Next, get the LinkedIn Profile URL Finder in Phantombuster. This tool works by scraping Google, then providing the first LinkedIn URL based on a search query of “name” + “company.”

Click the 3 dots next to “LAUNCH” and a popup will appear:

Make sure these things are in order:

  • “spreadsheetUrl” is the same URL as your Google Sheet
  • Remove “/edit” and anything that comes after in your Google URL
  • Go to your settings to make sure the Google Sheet is accessible to anyone with the link

  • “columnName” matches the name of your sheet, in our case, it’s “Full Name + Company Name”
  • Make sure the sheet we selected is the first sheet in the Google Sheet

Now, you’re ready to click “LAUNCH” and get started.

As the script is running, make sure that the first name extracted matches the first name in our spreadsheet. This is generally an indicator that the script is running successfully.

Once it’s done running, scroll down the page to this section:

Click “Download / get link” to download a CSV containing all the LinkedIn URLs. Copy the LinkedIn URLs into your Google Sheet.

Keep in mind that Phantombuster runs 60 minutes at a time and goes through around 2,000 rows.

If you have more than 2,000 rows of data, you will have to:

  • Duplicate the spreadsheet
  • Delete the rows that we have already found LinkedIn URLs for
  • Run Phantombuster on the duplicated sheet

… rinse and repeat until we are done. Once you’re done, combine all the lists again.

Step 4: Get Targeted LinkedIn Profiles at Scale (Basic Search)

The second way to get LinkedIn profile URLs at scale is using LinkedIn basic search. It’s less time consuming, but you get fewer filters when scraping the data. For example, with LinkedIn’s basic search, you can’t specifically target people with more than 50 employees in their company. You can only input their city and job title. This is why the Phantombuster way is preferable.

For the many that want a less complicated way, here’s how you use LinkedIn basic search:

The first step is to click My Network, then See all.

You’ll now have access to LinkedIn basic search. Use Dux-Soup to scrape the LinkedIn URLs at scale.

As you can see, there aren’t that many ways to filter in the LinkedIn basic search.

Keep in mind, you can grab up to 800 people/profiles per search. If you want more than 800 without overlapping profiles, then I recommend you switch between industries and job titles.

Step 5: Personalize Your Emails

Before you get excited to email people, we need to organize the data. This means having columns of LinkedIn URLs next to the emails, names, and company titles you originally exported via your LinkedIn settings. The fastest way to do this in Google Sheets is to use an Index + Match function. Now your data is nicely organized.

Here’s where it gets personalized. Create an extra column titled “good news.” Now, hire a virtual assistant from Freelancer or Upwork to fill this column in with publication links referencing positive news about the company. Only take publication links less than two months old.

The easiest way to have a freelancer find these publication links is to have them use Google News, then plug in the name of the company. On average, it should cost 20 cents per a publication link.

It took me only a couple of seconds to find a positive piece about the company, Engagio.

If you’re sending out 1,000 personalized emails, then this is an added $200 cost.

Well worth it.

Step 6: Email Your Connections at Scale

You’ve downloaded all your LinkedIn connections’ emails.

You have a positive press piece about each one.

It’s time to send out emails.

My favorite cold email tool is Mailshake created by well-known growth marketer, Sujan Patel.

Mailshake gives you email sequences, spaces out your sends, syncs with Zapier, and gives you full reign on your cold email skills. Here’s an example email:

Subject line: LA event with 30 CMOs

“Hey Sam,

We’re connected on LinkedIn.

I run the largest community online for marketers and founders. To date, we’ve had 150 exclusive events.

I noticed you’re also based in Los Angeles.

As the CMO of Soothe, it made sense to reach out, especially after reading [insert article title here].

I want to extend an invite to you for a rooftop mixer in Venice where we’ll have 30 of the top CMOs in Los Angeles, including [credible name one] and [credible name two].

There will be refreshments, champagne, along with a beautiful view of LA. With that said, we only have a limited number of spots open.

The date is [X date and time].

Please let me know if you’re interested.

If yes, I’ll send you the link to the event page.

Looking forward to hearing back.

-Josh

P.S. If you have any questions, just book a time here: https://calendly.com/jfechter/15″

If you’re targeting the upper echelons of exclusive people, then I recommend the primary call to action being a phone call for the event. Here’s why: people aren’t used to it. They’re used to getting spammed with event invites. An easy way to separate yourself is to show how committed you are to getting them to come because you want to hop on a call. Also, it doesn’t hurt to hop on a lot of calls with prospects 😉

The email template will look something like this:

Subject line: [Invite] LA event with 30 CMOs

“Hey Sam,

We’re connected on LinkedIn.

I run the largest community online for marketers and founders. To date, we’ve had 150 exclusive events.

I noticed you’re also based in Los Angeles.

As the CMO of Soothe, it made sense to reach out, especially after reading [insert article title here].

I want to extend an invite to you for a rooftop mixer in Venice where we’ll have 30 of the top CMOs in Los Angeles, including [credible name one] and [credible name two].

There will be refreshments, champagne, along with a beautiful view of LA. With that said, we only have a limited number of spots open.

The date is [X date and time].

Please find a time that syncs with your calendar to ensure this is the right fit for you: https://calendly.com/jfechter/15

Looking forward to speaking.

-Josh”

It’s a subtle text change but makes a world of difference when reaching out. If you want to close top-notch people to attend events, you need to do what others won’t. That means hopping on calls when your competitors are running Facebook ads with designs from Fiverr.

Step 7: Use Zapier and Trello to Follow-Up with Key People

What happens when they book a call?

First, use Zapier to remove them from the sequence ASAP.

If you don’t do this, then you’ll make a bad impression – to say the least.

Next, syncs all calls with Trello or an advanced CRM.

As a young startup, Trello works great for us.

What I love about Trello is we have a VA update all the leads with more details. This way we know who we’re hopping on a call with – everything from their marketing budget to where they were recently featured.

It’s important to know these details beforehand to determine the effort to put into each call or whether they’re even worth following up with if they’re a no-show.

Step 8: Hire a VA to Organize Leads and Your Spreadsheet

Don’t just keep the notes in Trello.

Make sure to update your primary spreadsheet with what prospects have booked calls using Calendly and have directly responded via email. This way you can find common patterns and prevent reaching out to a person who’s already interested. The best way to do this is to have a virtual assistant bucket your leads into Gmail labels “respond ASAP,” “not interested,” “do not contact.” This will save you a ton of time when replying.

So far we’ve covered a heck of a lot about cold email with event marketing.

What happens if they don’t respond to cold email?

That’s why we have their LinkedIn URL.

Step 9: Send LinkedIn Messages to People at Scale

Take all the LinkedIn URLs of people who haven’t responded via your email sequence.

Now uploaded all those URLs into Linked Helper.

Click View collected.

Click Upload Profile URLs in the top right-hand corner.

Upload the CSV of all the LinkedIn URLs of people who haven’t responded.

Next, we want to message first connections with the invite.

“Hey James,

I emailed you a few times. Haven’t heard anything back, so I wanted to follow up here. We’re having an event….”

Once you’ve written your message, then Open lists manager to choose the LinkedIn profile list you uploaded.

Select the right list.

Then use Linked Helper to auto message 40 people per day. This is not a lot of people, but it’s important we keep the numbers low so we don’t get your LinkedIn profile banned. You want to have a VA looking over everyone who responds to you via LinkedIn. Make sure they note who responds in your primary spreadsheet.

Step 10: Keep Automating with Eventbrite

Eventbrite enables you to auto-populate a spreadsheet based on who says they’re attending. Sync this spreadsheet with your primary one that keeps track of all the follow-ups with your target profiles.

This way you’re constantly updating the status of your event attendees without lifting a finger. The reason for this is it helps close the gap where people who say they’re attending, actually attend. Plus, it shows where you’re having the most success in acquisition and retention. There’s no way to track what email or LinkedIn copy works best if you don’t see where the conversions come from.

Step 11: A Couple of Extra Steps for Perfection

Want to induce a sense of FOMO?

Run Facebook and Instagram remarketing ads to everyone on your email list highlighting the best parts of past events. You can do this by uploading these emails into Facebook as a Custom Audience.

This is an exclusive list.

Not a list of 1,000 people who are attending.

To make sure every who says they’re attending shows up, send follow up emails to confirmed attendees using Mailshake. This way they look like they came directly from your Gmail. Use these emails to announce new attendees. This provides credibility for your event. I would only do this a couple of times before your event. Here’s an example:

Subject line: New attendees

“Hey James,

I have exciting news.

[credible name] from [credible company] + [credible name] from [credible company] said they’re attending. I dropped a couple of links to their LinkedIn profiles below so you can connect with them before the event. 

Alex: [profile URL]

Josh: [profile URL]

Cheers!”

The most important email is sent on the morning of or the night before the event.

It’s a small reminder that can increase your attendee rate by 20%.

Here’s what it looks like:

Subject line: Coming to the event, tonight?

“Hey James,

I wanted to make sure you’re still coming to the event.

We’ve prepared food, seating, and staff for exactly [X number] CMOs. 

For a quick reminder, here are the details: [link here]

Looking forward to hearing back.

Cheers,

Josh”

Let’s Party

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” -Jeff Bezos

If you’re ready to throw exclusive events, you now have the playbook. Whether you’re a marketer, founder, or someone who just wants to host get-togethers, now you can automate the entire process.

Time to party.

 

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