How to automatically generate leads with growth hacking: Arnaud Hochart (EDHEC Master 2019) shares 6 hot tips.

Published on 20/12/2020
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If you graduated from EDHEC more than 10 years ago, you probably haven’t had the opportunity to learn about growth hacking. First used by start-ups in the digital world, this technique now extends to all areas. Growth marketing expert Arnaud Hochart (EDHEC Grande École 2019) ran a webinar on this topic on 30 June during the EDHEC Alumni Summer Session. Here he shares concrete solutions to put in place an effective growth hacking strategy. Ready? 

Let’s start with the basics: what’s growth hacking?

Despite what the name suggests, growth hacking is actually a strategy for improving the performance of your business (sales, acquiring new clients or subscribers, improving customer loyalty, upscaling, etc.). The famous AARRR framework (Acquisition/Activation/Retention/Recommendation/Revenue) is often used to explain it.

Here are a few growth hacking techniques to remember:

-  Create optimised landing pages to match your offer, emphasising your strengths.

-  Make sure your offers are relevant (sponsoring, free services, premium subscriptions, etc.).

-  Create White Paper-type content to collect email addresses and increase your prospective client base.

-  Use the “social proof” approach to earn the trust of your business leads (posting testimonials from other brands and positive reviews).

-  Engage in influence marketing by activating your subscriber numbers on social media and soliciting bloggers (the free tool Right Relevance is one way to find content and influencers on Twitter).

-  Rely on user-collected data (actions on the website) to trigger marketing campaigns that target their behaviour (abandoning baskets, using a premium function, etc.).

-  Quickly test your market before launching a product by running marketing campaigns involving your target segment.


Automatically generating leads: user guide

The principle of growth hacking is to boost your performance in a short timeframe. To move quickly, automating your tools is essential. Arnaud speaks of a veritable lead-gen machinethat allows you to directly contact carefully selected business leads. He explains how in 6 steps:

1/ Define your objectives

There are many automation tools out there. Before you choose which ones to use, it is essential to precisely set out your objectives: whom are you trying to reach and for what purpose (registration on your website, make an appointment, subscribe to your services, purchase a product, etc.)? 

2/ Draw up a workflow

To choose solutions suited to your approach, Arnaud recommends putting in place a workflow; this means identifying all the phases of your process (whom are you trying to contact, through which means? etc.).    

3/ Adapt your content

It’s essential to work on your content so it’s consistent with your objectives. To be sure your message is relevant, answer the following questions:

-  Who are you reaching out to?

-  What message do you want to convey?

-  What’s your timescale?

-  What response or action are you expecting from your leads?

The more the message seems personalised, the higher the response rate will be. But how can you “personalise” automated messages? By dividing your leads into segments as much as possible, for example by business sector or by position. Arnaud says, “Segmentation is of the utmost importance. You don’t address people working in healthcare in the same way as those in heavy industry, for example. And when you don’t have many contacts, you should personalise as much as possible.

4/ Find your target

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a highly effective segmentation tool that allows you to select different criteria to draw up a list of qualified contacts. “That means you can target your prospective clients very precisely depending on their position, the size of their company, etc.” Arnaud explains.  

To automatically retrieve profiles from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, go with Phantombuster or ProspectIn. Then you can use dropcontact, Kaspr or coldcrm to retrieve their addresses. 

5/ Create and send out your emailing sequences

Cold emailing is a common technique in growth hacking. It involves sending out sequences of emails to your targeted business leads. To create these sequences and send out automated messages, you must carefully choose the right tools. Here’s a piece of advice for your eyes only: avoid Lusha and, and instead go for lemlist or Reply.

A study by Forbes and showed that nowadays around 9 emails are needed to get a response! But Arnaud warns that you must adopt a “behaviour that is natural and human” and not harass your prospective clients with messages. He recommends 3 to 4 emails over 10 to 15 days, making sure each new message adds something to the previous one.

6/ Take care with your CRM

Analysing and cleaning your database is essential to minimise bounces and avoid being blacklisted (NeverBounce and mailwarm are effective tools). You can use UTM codes when sharing links; these will allow you to trace the origin of your leads. Lastly, after an emailing campaign, add any leads who interacted to your CRM database, including their profiles, and do a follow-up. Several tools can help with this task, such as salesforce, pipedrive or HubSpot.

What about the GDPR?

Good news: contrary to popular belief, commercial prospecting is compatible with the GDPR, because B2B is not subjected to the same rules as B2C. In practice, you can target professionals with cold emailing provided you inform them that their email address is being used for prospecting and you give them a way to unsubscribe.


So now you know all there is to know about generating leads! To find out more, don’t hesitate to ask for advice within the EDHEC Alumni community, even for simple questions or to make contact with someone. There is nothing easier: simply consult the EDHEC alumni directory on the website to find EDHEC Resources and tap into their expertise.  

Are you aware of the private group of EDHEC alumni on LinkedIn? It boasts more than 15,000 students and graduates. Join us to find the right people, chat and stay informed about all the network’s latest news.

Finally, the EDHEC Alumni webinars are a great opportunity to address specific topics via live events.

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