Decoding warm outreach: Understanding the transition of cold strategies and the power of intent signals in outreach

8 mins

Open your email inbox and you’ll be shocked to find the number of cold emails you overlooked or never replied to. And the same applies to LinkedIn as well. Most LinkedIn connection request messages are generic or non-existent.

It’s high time to take a stance against meaningless cold outreach and upgrade it to warm, hyper-relevant outreach instead. And you’ve come to the right place. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the best warm outreach strategies for LinkedIn and how intent signals can help you break through the noise and fuel your sales pipeline. 

What is warm outbound?

Warm outbound, in simple terms, is this:

  • Reaching out to prospects or customers who’ve previously interacted with your brand in any way.

    For example, visited your website a couple of times, replied to an SDR, or followed your company page on social media.

  • Reaching out to potential customers whose signals indicate they are a part of your target market.

    For example, they engage with competitor posts on LinkedIn, sign up for an industry-specific event, or are a part of an online community.

Using buyer intent tools can be very helpful in pinpointing sales readiness. Tools like 6sense, Bombora, ZoomInfo Intent, and N.rich help identify several indicators by tracking data about purchase histories, search terms used, intent shown, content consumption, and more.

Although, as sales professionals, your goals for warm outbound may vary, here are 4 key components that are a must to run a frictionless WARM outbound campaign on LinkedIn or email:

  1. Well-defined TAM (total accessible market)
  2. Authority
  3. Relevance 
  4. Make it personal

Let’s break these down.

Well defined TAM

Cold or warm sales outreach is pointless if your team does not know who their ICP or target market is. Understanding your target market and how to segment it is the first step to a high-performing warm outbound strategy.

Start by defining your total accessible market (TAM) and segmenting it further based on your ideal customers. For example, define what verticals you must target, followed by the company’s annual revenue and size.

Authority

Inculcating authority into every step of your outbound strategy is like the cherry on top of your efforts. Authority is when you establish your brand as a trusted, go-to source for information. 

For example, you can publish educational and thought leadership content to your LinkedIn or website or build a strong online community of like-minded people who share insights and market trends. 

Relevance

Relevance is when you approach and prioritize prospects who exhibit certain signals of interest or intent. Noticing an uptick in LinkedIn responses from a certain target segment? That’s a sign you’re doing it right and reaching a relevant audience. 

Make it personal

You have now defined your TAM, understood authority, and prioritized relevant prospects. The only piece missing to complete your warm outbound approach is personalization

As and when you discover more data on your target market, the better your warm sales outreach personalization is going to get. 

Read on for more tips and practical examples of personalization using intent-based signals.

Why is it important to use signals in outreach in 2024?

Signals are used to pinpoint a customer/prospect’s level of engagement or interest in your brand or products. Such signals can erupt from specific actions they take or their firmographics. 

But why do they need your attention?

Signals show that your prospects or customers are already aware of your product or brand’s existence or features to some extent. In other words, they are warm leads, and all they may need is a slight nudge to continue engaging and eventually convert. 

With the rise in competition for the inbox in 2024, the fastest and cleanest way to grab attention from your target market is to monitor their signals, aka online behaviors and actions, and reach out to them at the perfect time.

The 8 types of warm outbound signals

what is warm outreach

Let’s explore the eight different types of warm outbound signals you must watch out for and how to take action:

1. A user shows moderate to high interest in your company over the last 30 days

The LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s ‘Buyer Intent’ lead filter helps you find high-potential leads who are most likely to respond to your team’s outreach efforts. 

This advanced filter can be used to fetch a list of B2B leads who’ve shown moderate to high interest in your company over the last 30 days. It uses engagement data from InMails, ads, likes, and company profile views to assess each lead’s intent.

warm outreach vs cold outreach

2. Website visits

Prospects who visit your website signal product and brand engagement. They may visit your product page, about us page, home page, etc., two or more times and spend an above-average amount of time on the page. 

Now the question may be how to accurately identify who’s visiting your website.

For this, you can install a website tracking tool to monitor your website visitors and fetch data, such as the visitors’ companies, the average session time, and what pages they’ve visited. 

Some popular visitor recognition tools are Leadfeeder, Leadinfo, 6sense, and ZoomInfo. 

cold outreach vs warm outreach

These tools also help you apply filters to extract visitors who belong to your ICP and target market. 

Once done, clean up the extracted file and ensure columns like the company name, job title, and names are present. Double-check to ensure there are no duplicates. Read this guide for more details.

Now, suppose you have a long list of potential customers visiting your website, manual outreach is out of the equation.

That’s when a LinkedIn automation tool like Expandi comes to your rescue. 

Follow this mini tutorial, and you’re personalized outreach will be all set to take off:

  • Sign up to Expandi’s 7-day free trial
  • Select Campaigns, click on Add new campaign, and select “Connector”  

warm sales outreach

  • Create campaign steps, i.e., the LinkedIn message body, along with placeholders for added personalization.

warm outreach meaning

  • Once you’ve saved your message sequence, select “People” to upload the CSV file of website visitors. Select Upload CSV to browse and upload your cleaned-up file, and click Send CSV for processing. 

what is warm outreach

  • Select Settings to set campaign parameters, as shown below:

warm outreach vs cold outreach

Your Expandi connector campaign is all set to be activated and sent to warm up website visitors.

3. LinkedIn profile visits

Your company or personal LinkedIn pages are just like website landing pages. Prospects may have visited your LinkedIn profile to learn more about your offerings, clients, or employees—signaling a clear, warm outbound potential.

Head over to your LinkedIn profile page to find the “Who’s viewed your profile” section:

cold outreach vs warm outreach

However, the recent visitor list is accessible to LinkedIn Premium users. So if you’re looking to proactively reach out to such high-intent prospects, we suggest you sign up to LinkedIn Premium and use an automation tool like Expandi to automate outreach

Refer to this mini guide to create a warm outbound campaign for LinkedIn profile visitors. 

4. LinkedIn event attendees

This is one of the lesser-known warm outbound signals to look out for. Multiple LinkedIn events can occur within an industry at any given time.

Often, people attending these events are eager to connect and network with like-minded folks in their space.

So you have a better chance at finding LinkedIn event attendees fitting your ICP.

Say you’re selling a marketing automation product. To find specific events, enter keywords related to the topic, product type, or industry, like so and click on the Events filter:

warm sales outreach

With Expandi, you can scrape participants and set up an outreach campaign in minutes.

Follow these quick steps:

  • Sign up to Expandi’s 7-day free trial
  • Select Search, click on + Add new search 

warm outreach meaning 

  • Scroll down and select Event search to paste the LinkedIn URL.
  • Go back to LinkedIn and copy the LinkedIn search URL for the specific event

  • Now paste the LinkedIn search URL and click Next.

what is warm outreach

  • Enter a search name and select the Connector campaign if it already exists. You can also create one and assign it later. Click Confirm when you are done. 

P.S.: Check out this guide on setting up an Expandi Connector campaign.

  • Finally, wait for Expandi to scrape the list of LinkedIn event attendees. You can find the status on your Expandi dashboard:

Warm outreach template for prospects attending a LinkedIn event:

“Hey [first_name], 

Saw you’re planning to attend (webinar name). Me too!  

Looking forward to Philip Storey’s Marketing automation session. Who is your favorite speaker?”

5. Members who joined a LinkedIn group

Apart from LinkedIn events, LinkedIn groups are also breeding grounds for potential customers. Regardless of the industry, you can find multiple active groups on LinkedIn. 

So if your targeted audience is joining specific groups, that’s a clear signal for you to join those groups as well and start networking with them to build a solid rapport.

Similar to LinkedIn events, Expandi helps you scrape LinkedIn group members and set up a group campaign to automate outreach. 

Select Campaigns > Add new campaign > Group to scrape members of a LinkedIn group you’re a part of and send them personalized messages. 

warm outreach vs cold outreach

Read this detailed guide to learn how to create an Expandi LinkedIn group campaign and activate it.

Warm outreach template for prospects part of a LinkedIn group:

“Hi [first_name], 

Loved your recent post to [group name] LinkedIn group. Looks like you’re an SME in this space. Would love to stay connected and learn more from you.

Let’s connect!

Stefan”

6. Voting on LinkedIn polls

LinkedIn polls are one of the most engaging content formats. As you can see below, the poll fetched over 1k votes within an hour of its release, unlike other forms on content:

cold outreach vs warm outreach

So try running a LinkedIn poll on a market-specific topic so it reaches your target audience and grabs their attention. Next, wait for a couple of days to scrape the poll voters and reach out to them with a personalized message through Expandi

On your Expandi dashboard, select Search > Add new search > Post engagement to scrape and set up a Connector campaign for automated warm outreach

warm sales outreach

Warm outreach template for prospects who voted on a LinkedIn poll:

“Hi [first_name], 

Saw you voted for [X] on [person]’s LinkedIn poll recently. I thought so too!

I’m sure we have a lot in common.

Let’s connect,  

Stefan”

7. Likes on a LinkedIn post

A popular figure in your industry may share content daily about challenges or market trends. So, keep an eye out for their posts to find out if your target audience likes, comments on, or shares them.

Using Expandi’s “Post engagement” search option (as shown above), you can scrape users reacting to a public post (it could be your own post, too) and set up a Connector campaign to reach out to them. 

Warm outreach template for prospects who liked a LinkedIn post:

“Hi [first_name] , 

Saw you also liked the amazing LinkedIn Growth Hack post by Ugljesa Djuric from Lemtalk.  

I guess we have a lot in common. Love it!  

Let’s connect,  

Stefan”

Follow this guide to explore more on content retargeting for warm outreach.  

8. Recently changed jobs

If your ICP and buyer persona has a specific job title to target, such as the CMO, the Sales Director, or the CXO, knowing who recently changed jobs or got promoted to these job positions is one of the best ways to perform warm outreach. 

However, you need a LinkedIn Sales Navigator account and must set up “Career Change” alerts to make this happen: 

warm outreach meaning

Warm outreach template for prospects who changed jobs recently:

“Hey [first_name],

Congratulations on the new position! 

[Previous person] and I had frequent discussions on [topic]. I’m glad someone of that caliber is filling their shoes. Good luck! Let’s stay in touch.”

How to build signal-based outreach – the ultimate guide

Step 1: Choose ICP-fitting target accounts

Curate a list of accounts that best fit your ICP based on signals like LinkedIn engagement, company size, job title, location, etc. 

Step 2: Score the “warmth” of targeted accounts

Start scoring each account from your curated list based on how “warm” they are. For example, if they’ve already visited your website or LinkedIn profile if they’ve interacted with your posts previously, have tried to contact customer support, and showcased other relevant engagement patterns.

Step 3: Define goals for warm vs. cold accounts

Setting goals will help you define what signals you must prioritize. For a cold account, your goal may be to get them to open the email or download a lead magnet, while for warm accounts, it can be to get them on a sales call or sign up for a product demo. 

Step 4: Build your warm outreach engine

Brainstorm signals and shortlist ones that you and your sales reps agree on. Once done, use an outreach expert like Expandi to automate your warm outbound effort. 

See how intent signals in outreach can help you land those dream clients. Grab Expandi’s 7-day free trial today!

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This FREE eBook will teach you all the tricks

  • The exact 1on1 examples we used (many times over) from our content plan (posts, video, polls)
  • How to automatically Invite your network throughout the month
  • 7 ‘Untapped Promotion’ strategies to get over 1000+ people to register for your event
  • How to interact with all attendees before the event and after the event

What works now won’t work again in a few months 😉 So…If you want take the swing and benefits – before it’s too late and before everyone starts using them

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