How to Build Lead Lists with Clay for Cold Outreach?

Created On:
April 1, 2024
Updated On:
April 1, 2024
How to Build Lead Lists with Clay for Cold Outreach?

Prospecting for sales can feel overwhelming, like looking for a needle in a haystack. 

You spend hours on LinkedIn, Twitter, and websites, gathering bits and pieces about potential leads, but it’s never quite enough. That’s where Clay comes in, transforming this daunting task into a quick, straightforward process. 

Importing and enriching leads from various sources takes just a few minutes with Clay. Even better, Smartlead’s native integration with Clay means you can effortlessly move your leads over and start campaigns. This method not only saves you time but also lets you focus on what really matters: closing deals. 

In this blog post, learn how to build your lead lists for successful cold email outreach easily.

How to Build Lead Lists with Clay for Cold Outreach? 

Finding sales leads can often feel like searching for a diamond in the rough. While platforms like Crunchbase and ZoomInfo offer a wealth of company data, digging through them is hardly quick or easy. 

Enter Clay, a tool tat transforms this arduous task into something you can accomplish in mere minutes. Forget about the endless cycle of searching for prospects and transferring their details into a spreadsheet. Clay does the heavy lifting for you, pulling data from multiple web sources based on your specific criteria and automatically organizing it into a neat spreadsheet. Here’s a simple guide to build high-quality lead list with Clay:

  1. Start by creating an account with Clay.
  2. Once you're in, hit “New Table” and choose your data source. Clay allows you to fetch data from LinkedIn, Twitter, Github, Google, Google Maps, and beyond.
  1. Next, set your search parameters. These might include the company's name, size, location, the role of the person you're targeting, or the industry they're in.
  1. Decide on the number of results you want. Remember, more isn’t always better; the key is refining your search to generate a manageable list.
  2. Hit run, and watch as Clay fills your table with potential leads, ready for you to reach out to.

This streamlined process is all about making lead generation as painless as possible, giving you more time to focus on crafting those perfect cold emails. 

How to Qualify Yoru Sales Leads for Targeted Sales Outreach? 

After identifying potential sales leads, the next critical step is ensuring they align with who you're aiming to reach. This phase is where true sales prospecting begins, as it narrows down your focus to those who are most likely to become valuable customers. Here's a streamlined approach to effectively qualify your sales leads:

Identify Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

First and foremost, understand the characteristics of your ideal customer. This involves creating an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), a blueprint that outlines the specific demographic, geographic, and psychographic traits of your target market.
If you're new to customer acquisition or still figuring out who your ICP is, start broad based on industry research and refine as you learn more about your market. Recognizing your ICP's pain points is crucial since your solutions are designed to address these issues.

Leverage Clay for Lead Information

With your ICP in hand, compare your sales prospects against this profile. This can be challenging if you lack detailed information about your leads. This is where Clay's enrichment feature becomes invaluable, offering access to detailed data from over 50 sources. Here's how to use it:

  1. Navigate to your prospect list in Clay and click the “+” next to the last column to select “enrich data.”
  1. Clay offers enrichment from more than 40 providers, so choose the one that best fits the type of information you need, such as company size or funding details.
  2. After selecting a provider, you'll enter your search criteria in the provided tab. For instance, the LinkedIn “Enrich Company” option requires a profile link. You can also apply conditional formatting for more targeted searches.
  3. Simply click “Run” to activate the enrichment process.

Upon completion, you can review the enriched data directly within your results. This enables you to map out key information on your spreadsheet.

Qualify and Filter Your Leads 

With enriched data at your fingertips, utilize Clay's sophisticated filtering tools to sift through the information and decide which prospects should advance to your sales team. This process ensures you're only focusing on leads that match your ICP, making your outreach efforts more targeted and effective.

Following these steps can transform a pool of potential contacts into a list of qualified leads ready for targeted sales outreach. 

Gathering Contact Details for Your Leads

Congratulations on identifying new leads! The next crucial step is figuring out how to reach them. Whether it’s through direct calls by your sales team, engaging via social media, or crafting personalized emails, choosing the right communication method is key to making that initial successful contact. 

This part of the sales journey can be challenging, particularly without the right resources. Without direct customer referrals, leveraging cold outreach strategies is essential to fostering customer relationships. Thankfully, Clay offers solutions for this challenge as well.

Clay streamlines the process of obtaining contact information, including work and personal emails, phone numbers, and social media profiles of essential contacts within your target companies. By tapping into a variety of integrations, Clay not only speeds up the sales cycle but also provides valuable contact details that propel you closer to a sale. Here’s your action plan:

1. Determine the Most Effective Contact Method

The preferred outreach strategy varies by industry. While some businesses find more success with phone calls, others might benefit from initiating contact through email campaigns. New businesses must identify the most effective communication channel early on to maximize potential conversions. Exploring common sales tools within your industry, such as Salesforce, can offer insights into effective outreach strategies. Our BuiltWith integration can assist in this discovery process.

2. Identify Key Decision Makers

Although you might have started this process earlier, pinpointing the top decision-makers within a prospect’s company is vital. These are the individuals with the power to make purchasing decisions, so ensuring they're the focus of your outreach is essential. A compelling sales pitch is only effective if it reaches someone capable of making a commitment.

3. Leverage Clay for Contact Information

Clay’s vast array of integrations enables you to find nearly any type of contact information you need, whether that’s through our “Find Work Email” feature or by identifying social media profiles. The process for utilizing these integrations follows the same steps as those for lead qualification.

The Smartlead & Clay Integration: Making Personalized Outreach Easier

Clay is cloud-based software designed to help you build lead lists, enrich lead information (by leveraging over 50 data sources and real-time web scraping), and create highly personalized cold emails for your outreach campaigns. Tailoring each email to its recipient can be a difficult task, and frankly, it's hard to do on a large scale. That's where Smartlead comes in, joining forces with Clay to streamline your cold emailing process.

Due to this native integration, you can now build lead lists with Clay and directly start a Smartlead campaign. 

Connect Clay with Smartlead 

How to Connect Clay with Smartlead? 

Step 1

Click on the “Integrations” tab from your Smartlead App dashboard. 

Step 2

Hover over “Clay” and click on “Connect App”. You will be redirected to another tab where you have to login to your existing Clay account. But before moving forward, follow the next step. 

Step 3

Hover to the top right corner, and click on the drop-down arrow on the profile icon. Click on Settings. 

Now, copy your Smartlead API Key. Just click on the copy button.

Step 4

Now, open your Clay account and click on “Workspace Settings” on the side bar of the dashboard.  

Step 5

Under the “Integrations” section, scroll down, click on 

Click on Add an Account and input your Smartlead API Key (that you’ve copied from your Smartlead account). You can see we already have an account connected to Clay. 

Once you’ve pasted the API key, click on Authenticate, and you are ready to go. 

Start a Smartlead Campaign with a Scraped lead List from Clay

Once you have enriched your lead list, click on the drop-down menu “Actions” and click on “Create Smartlead campaign.” 

Now, fill in the necessary details for the campaign and click on Ok. 

Additional Resources

  1. Check out how you can iterate through different prompts, demonstrated by engineer Tess Bianchi. 
  2. AI Messaging with AI with Clay x Smartlead: an end-to-end process. 
  3. Check out the Clay guide on using AI Personalization for emails. 
  4. If you are still trying to figure out AI for sales emails, read this

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Author’s Details

Sattwik Das

Sattwik is a Digital Marketing professional at Smartlead. He is a dedicated content writer who focuses on juggling words to bring out meaningful content. He is experienced in well-researched and SEO-optimized content creation, content editing, and copywriting for various businesses throughout the globe. His expertise in SEO, SMM, and SMO with a touch of creativity helps businesses grow and maximize their credibility and sales.


Edited by:

Sattwik Das


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Frequently asked questions

General Questions

What is Smartlead's cold email outreach software?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Smartlead's cold email outreach tool helps businesses scale their outreach efforts seamlessly. With unlimited mailboxes, fully automated email warmup functionality, a multi-channel infrastructure, and a user-friendly unibox, it empowers users to manage their entire revenue cycle in one place. Whether you're looking to streamline cold email campaigns with automated email warmups, personalization fields, automated mailbox rotation, easy integrations, and spintax, improve productivity, or enhance scalability with subsequences based on lead’s intentions, automated replies, and full white-label experience, our cold email tool implifies it in a single solution.

How does the "unlimited mailboxes" feature benefit me?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Our "unlimited mailboxes" feature allows you to expand your email communications without restrictions imposed by a mailbox limit. This means you won't be constrained by artificial caps on the number of mailboxes you can connect and use. This feature makes Smartlead the best cold email software and empowers you to reach a wider audience, engage with more potential customers, and manage diverse email campaigns effectively.

What do you mean by "unibox to handle your entire revenue cycle"?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

The "unibox" is one of the unique features of Smartlead cold email outreach tool, and it's a game-changer when it comes to managing your revenue cycle. The master inbox or the unibox consolidates all your outreach channels, responses, sales follow-ups, and conversions into one centralized, user-friendly mailbox.

With the "unibox," you gain the ability to:
1. Focus on closing deals: You can now say goodbye to the hassle of logging into multiple mailboxes to search for replies. The "unibox" streamlines your sales communication, allowing you to focus on what matters most—closing deals.

2. Centralized lead management: All your leads are managed from one central location, simplifying lead tracking and response management. This ensures you take advantage of every opportunity and efficiently engage with your prospects.

3. Maintain context: The "unibox" provides a 360-degree view of all your customer messages, allowing you to maintain context and deliver more personalized and effective responses.

How does Smartlead ensure my emails don't land in the spam folder?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Smartlead, the best cold email marketing tool, ensures your emails reach the intended recipients' primary inbox rather than the spam folder. 

Here's how it works:
1. Our "unlimited warmups" feature is designed to build and maintain a healthy sending reputation for your cold email outreach. Instead of sending a large volume of emails all at once, which can trigger spam filters, we gradually ramp up your sending volume. This gradual approach, combined with positive email interactions, helps boost your email deliverability rates.

2. We deploy high-deliverability IP servers specific to each campaign. 

3. The ‘Warmup’ feature replicates humanized email sending patterns, spintax, and smart replies.
4. By establishing a positive sender reputation and gradually increasing the number of sent emails, Smartlead minimizes the risk of your emails being flagged as spam. This way, you can be confident that your messages will consistently land in the primary inbox, increasing the likelihood of engagement and successful communication with your recipients.

Can I integrate Smartlead with other tools I'm using?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Certainly, Smartlead is designed for seamless integration with a wide range of tools and platforms. Smartlead offers integration with HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, Clay, Listkit, and more. You can leverage webhooks and APIs to integrate the tools you use. Try Now!

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

What type of businesses sees the most success with Smartlead?

No, there are no limitations on the number of channels you can utilize with Smartlead. Our multi-channel infrastructure is designed to be limitless, allowing you to reach potential customers through multiple avenues without constraints.

This flexibility empowers you to diversify your cold email outreach efforts, connect with your audience through various communication channels, and increase your chances of conversion. Whether email, social media, SMS, or other communication methods, Smartlead's multi-channel capabilities ensure you can choose the channels that best align with your outreach strategy and business goals. This way, you can engage with your prospects effectively and maximize the impact of your email outreach.

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Do you provide me with lead sources?

Smartlead distinguishes itself from other cold email outreach software by focusing on limitless scalability and seamless integration. While many similar tools restrict your outreach capabilities, Smartlead offers a different approach.

Here's what makes us uniquely the best cold email software:

1. Unlimited Mailboxes: In contrast to platforms that limit mailbox usage, Smartlead provides unlimited mailboxes. This means you can expand your outreach without any arbitrary constraints.

2. Unique IP Servers: Smartlead offers unique IP servers for every campaign it sends out. 

3. Sender Reputation Protection: Smartlead protects your sender reputation by auto-moving emails from spam folders to the primary inbox. This tool uses unique identifiers to cloak all warmup emails from being recognized by automation parsers. 

4. Automated Warmup: Smartlead’s warmup functionality enhances your sender reputation and improves email deliverability by maintaining humanized email sending patterns and ramping up the sending volume. 

5. Multi-Channel Emphasis: Smartlead places a strong emphasis on multi-channel outreach. You can reach your prospects where they are with the LinkedIn outreach feature.   With Smartlead’s cold email automation software, you're always one step ahead in your outreach efforts, enjoying the freedom to scale your initiatives and seamlessly integrate with other tools—all while maintaining a focus on maximizing the impact of your outreach.

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

How secure is my data with Smartlead?

Ensuring the security of your data is Smartlead's utmost priority. We implement robust encryption methods and stringent security measures to guarantee the continuous protection of your information. Your data's safety is paramount to us, and we are always dedicated to upholding the highest standards of security.

How can I get started with Smartlead?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Getting started with Smartlead is straightforward! Just head over to our sign-up page and follow our easy step-by-step guide. If you ever have any questions or need assistance, our round-the-clock support team is ready to help, standing by to provide you with any assistance you may require. Sign Up Now!

How can I reach the Smartlead team?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

We're here to assist you! You can easily get in touch with our dedicated support team on chat. We strive to provide a response within 24 hours to address any inquiries or concerns you may have.

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