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A few months ago, at Gorgias (NYC ’15), we decided it was time to open up our beta program to more companies. Therefore, we started looking for companies that we thought could be a good fit for our product. Here’s the method and the tools we used to generate ten demos per week.

For context, our product is a helpdesk, which enables companies to handle all their customer service in one screen.

Our outreach process was composed of three steps:

  • Get a list of targeted companies
  • Try to get a warm intro to this company
  • If you can’t a warm intro, send a cold email to the right person at the company

Step 1: Generate a List of Targeted Companies

A good place to start is to look for companies that are similar to your current customers. For instance, some of our customers are box businesses. It turns out there are several websites that list all box businesses (like Cratejoy). We used Kimono to scrape these lists and generate a csv with the details of each company. Kimono helps you generate a csv out of those 162 companies in seconds.


We also looked for companies using competitive products. In our case, we looked for companies using Zendesk.

There are a ton of tools out there to help you with that, our favorite tools are Clearbit Discovery (very rich data) and Buitwith (pretty cheap: $300/m for about 4000 companies). Clearbit provides you with 58 data points per company. 

Once you get the list, it’s time to exclude all the companies that won’t be a good fit. You don’t want to spend time in later steps with people who’ll never use your product.

To identify companies that have repetitive customer service, we used the number of Twitter followers, and checked that companies had a Pinterest & Instagram account, as our current customers do.

Step 2: Try to Get a Warm Intro

The most efficient way to connect with a company was to get a warm introduction to one of their employees.

We started doing this manually: for each company, we checked the list of employees on LinkedIn to see if an employee was 2nd degree to us. Then, we sent a forwardable email to our common connection:

Hey Alex,

I’d like to get in touch with {company} and I’ve seen you know {employee}. Given they get repetitive support requests, I thought it would be interesting to connect with them. Could you please pass them this note?


— — —

Hi {employee},

{your pitch to the employee here}

— — —

In 60% of the cases, the employee would opt-in for the intro.

It turns out it’s easy to automate this process using Selenium scripts on LinkedIn. Given a list of companies, the script returns a list of employees who are 2nd degree to you that you can contact.

The script’s output: second degree connections who work at the target company, plus your common connection with them.


Then, all you need to do is select the employee you want to contact, and then ask your common connection to introduce you 🙂

We’ve shared the script on Github if you’d like to try this technique. Thanks Brice Maurin for helping here 😉

Step 3: Alternatively, Send a Cold Email to the Right Person

If you don’t have a common connection with the company, your best option is now cold emailing.

Targeting is your best ally here. First, identify the role of your ideal target. In our case, this was the Customer Support Manager or the CEO.

Then, we used the Clearbit Sheets (an add-on on Google Sheets) to find who this person was for each company. The cool thing is that it also gives you their email address. Clearbit helps you find the right point of contact along with their email. 


Now, you can set up an email campaign to get the attention of this person.

The conversion rates here can vary a lot depending on your audience/product. In our case, we had 10 demos for every 750 target companies, which was our weekly objective. For each company, we tried to get warm intro, which would lead to 3 demos, and then go with cold emailing to get another 7 demos.

If you’ve tried a similar process, please share your experience. And yes, if you’re tired of your current helpdesk, we’d love to give you early access to Gorgias.

At Techstars, we believe in full transparency. Check out this complete list of all of the companies that we’ve ever funded.


This post was originally published on Medium

Romain Lapeyre Romain Lapeyre
Romain is the Co-founder and CEO of Gorgias (NYC ’15), a helpdesk which brings all your customer support in one screen. Previously, Romain was the Product Manager at Work4. @Romain_Lapeyre