Lead Generation Automation: What It is and How to Automate with Smartlead?

Created On
July 24, 2023
Lead Generation Automation

Imagine your business growing without you having to put in all the hard work - well, that's precisely what automated lead generation can do for you. 

And the good news is that 80% of marketers are leveraging lead generation automation software for effective lead gen. In the same study, 77% of B2B marketers saw improvement in conversions after switching to automated lead generation. 

By using AI powered lead generation and sales engagement tools, you can boost your sales without breaking a sweat. But you might be wondering, what exactly is lead generation automation, and why is it an absolute must-have and how to do it? 

In this post, we'll walk you through the basics of automated lead generation and how you can automate lead generation with Smartlead. 

So, let's get started!

What is Lead Generation Automation? 

Lead generation can be divided into two main categories: 

On the other hand, lead generation automation utilizes AI-powered software to establish lead generation systems for both inbound and outbound channels. This allows you to automate lead generation throughout the entire customer journey and effectively manage them to improve conversion rates. 

So, lead generation automation is a combination of inbound and outbound lead generation methods using AI and machine learning. Tools and systems such as marketing automation platforms, chatbots, email campaigns, and ad campaigns can be employed for lead generation automation.

Benefits of Using Lead Generation Automation

1. Increased Efficiency

Lead generation automation saves time by automating time-consuming manual tasks, allowing sales and marketing teams to focus on other important activities. It also streamlines manual processes, reduces errors, and improves the overall speed and efficiency of lead generation.

2. Better Data Management

Automation securely stores data in a centralized location, making it easier to access, organize, and analyze. Lead gen automation improves the accuracy and quality of data, reducing mistakes and providing valuable information for informed decision-making. Moreover, most lead gen tools usually include data enrichment features to fill in missing information and provide a comprehensive lead view. 

3. Higher Conversion Rates

Automated lead generation ensures timely and consistent follow-up, increasing the likelihood of converting leads into paying customers. Personalized communications based on individual interests and behaviors build trust and establish meaningful connections with leads.

Advanced analytics and reporting features help identify effective strategies and optimize lead generation for improved conversion rates.

4. Consistent Lead Quality

Lead generation automation focuses on generating the most promising prospects by establishing strict criteria for identifying and qualifying leads. This way, a focused lead gen automation system leads to a higher quality and consistent flow of leads.

5. Improved Lead Nurturing

Automated lead nurturing ensures consistent, relevant, and timely communications to build relationships with potential customers. These tools often come with sales funnel visualization which helps you send targeted outreach based on a lead’s journey through the sales funnel

Advanced analytics and reporting features help track the success of lead nurturing campaigns and enable data-driven decisions.

6. Time-saving Features

Lead generation automation saves time by automating research, data entry, and follow-up tasks. In Smartlead, features like cold emails and LinkedIn integration enable more efficient communication with leads.

7. Scalability

Lead generation automation easily scales with business growth, handling an increasing volume of leads and ensuring consistent follow-up. Features like lead distribution and team collaboration assist in managing a growing sales team effectively.

8. Data-driven Insights

Automated lead gen provides access to valuable data on leads' behaviors, interests, and engagement levels. Besides open, click-through, and reply rates, advanced analytics and reporting features help track lead generation performance, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions.

9. Enhanced Personalization

Lead generation automation allows for easy personalization of communications based on individual lead characteristics. You can also personalize your message depending on where your leads are at their buyer journey. This way, you can build trust and connections with leads, increasing conversion chances.

10. Integration with Sales and Marketing Tools

Lead generation automation integrates with existing sales engagement tools and marketing platforms, streamlining processes and organizing data. Plus, integration with CRM systems makes  lead management and tracking through the sales pipeline easy. 

5 Ways to Automate B2B Lead Generation in 2023

1. Cold Email Automation with Smartlead

Even in the time of social media, 80% of consumers prefer email as their primary business communication channel. And it is almost 40 times more effective than social media in generating leads. 

However, crafting personalized cold emails is not scalable for businesses, you will need a cold emailing tool. Smartlead is an omni channel lead generation and sales engagement tool to 7x your lead generation with its AI personalization and automated email warmups. With Smartlead, you can send unlimited cold emails from unlimited sender accounts without worrying about sending limits. Here’s how you do it: 

Once you have subscribed to Smartlead, added email addresses, run warmups, uploaded CSV list, and completed the SPF, DKIM, and DMARC set up, you are ready to create cold email campaigns. 

Smartlead homepage

Step 1: Upload CSV File

Log in to the Smartlead app and click on the ‘Email Campaign' section from the navigation menu. 

Uploading CSV file in Smartlead App

On the new page, you can edit the name of the campaign and add your email list. 

Adding email list in Smartlead app

Map each column in your CSV to the relevant columns from the drop down.

Now, you can also personalize your campaign by adding a “Custom First Line”. On the ‘first line’ section, click on the ‘custom’ field. 

Personalization field mapping in Smartlead App

Now, click on “Save & Next” and you will be redirected to the “Mail Sequence” page.

Step 2: Craft the Subject Line and Email Body 

On the ‘Stage 1’ section. Write the subject line and craft the email body. 

Writing subject line in Smartlead App

Read this, to learn more about cold email subject lines in detail. For now, rememeber to keep the subject line within 9 words or 60 chanracter. Do not use spam triggering words to ensure maximum deliverability. 

Here’s an example of subject line you can use: 

Email follow-up subject line in Smartlead

 Now, write the message. Try to write in a conversational tone, keep the length within 75 - 150 words, and use only soft CTAs. 

Here’s an example: 

Writing the email body in Smartlead App

Step 3: A/B Test Variations

Smartlead offers A/B testing features to ensure you always send the best performing email. At this stage, A/B test different variations

Click on the “Add Variant” button to create another version to test which one performs better. 

A/B testing subject lines in Smartlead App

Step 4: Create Sequence for Automated Follow-Ups

Most sales reps make the mistake of not following up after the initial email. Interestingly, around 80% of sales happen after 5 - 12 follow-up emails.  

Click on the ‘Add step’ button to create follow-up emails. 

Sequence creation in Smartlead App

Step 5: Complete the Setup

At this point, choose sender accounts and schedule the campaigns. You can also set the time zone, starting date, and the number of emails you want to send in a day from one email account. 

Adding sender accounts in Smartlead app

Now, you are all set to launch your cold email campaign.

Read more on how to do email warm up despite Google ban, here

2. LinkedIn Outreach Automation with Smartlead 

With over 930 million members from 200 countries and regions worldwide, LinkedIn is the biggest social media platform for business communication. LinkedIn is also the best platform for generating B2B leads.

Read more: Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Prospecting 

Once you login to the Smartlead app, click on the ‘Integration’ option from the drop down menu in the left. Integrate with LinkedIn within a few minutes and you are ready to perform LinkedIn outreach. Here’s how you can do it: 

Step 1: Import Lead List in Smartlead

Click on ‘Add Campaign’ import the LinkedIn lead list in CSV format on the redirected page, the same way it is for cold emails. 

Map field in Smartlead

Next, fill the all Map Fields. Once you are done, click on “Save & Next”

Step 2: Create a Campaign

Before you send cold messages to your leads, you can warm up the leads by

  • Sending connection request
  • Liking recent post
  • Visiting profile 

Smartlead offers both ‘manual’ and ‘automatic’ options. 

LinkedIn Campaign Creation in Smatlead App

With Smartlead, you can also create sub-sequences to send automated messages. 

For example, if a lead accepts your connection request, you can automate a message for that scenario. 

Click on the box under the “Push Leads to Subsequence”, name the sub-sequence and click on the “edit sub sequence” option to create that message. 

Subsequences of LinkedIn outreach in Smartlead App

Now click on save & next, and you are done. 

Like this, you can create subsequences for different scenarios.

Step 3: Send Direct Messages

Skip the previous step if you want to send cold emails directly without warming up the leads.

Click on ‘message’ in the ‘Step’ section. 

Different LinkedIn Action in Smartlead App

Now, write the cold message.

LinkedIn Cold Message in Smartlead App

You can create sub-sequences for the campaigns as well. Now, click on ‘Save & Next’. 

Step 4: Set Send Settings

In this step, you can: 

  • Select sender LinkedIn account
  • Schedule campaign
LinkedIn Sender Account Setup in Smartlead

And if you have added multiple accounts, you can choose an account in this step. You can schedule the campaign based on time zone, sending gap between messages, set campaign start date and the maximum number of leads reached per day per campaign. 

And you are ready to send LinkedIn cold messages with Smartlead.

3. Automated Ad Campaigns

You can run automated ad campaigns to generate targeted leads faster. Also, targeted ad campaigns cost way less than traditional lead generation methods. 

Before you jump into running ad campaigns, make sure you have a clear idea of your target audience, which platforms they use, and how they interact with ads. 

Now, you need to create a targeted ad copy tailored for your audience base. And you are ready to launch ad campaigns with just a few clicks. You can reach more leads and scale your outreach by automating ad campaigns.  

4. ChatBot for Lead Generation Automation

Social media platforms present an incredible opportunity to generate leads. In fact, a staggering 64% of B2B marketers leverage LinkedIn for lead generation, 49% use Facebook, and 36% Twitter.

However, social media serves a broader purpose for businesses beyond lead generation. These platforms also act as customer service channels these days, with people expecting quick responses, regardless of their time zone. 

This is where automation technology comes to the rescue, leveraging the advancements in AI and machine learning to develop efficient chatbots. These chatbots can handle the intricacies of language and provide quick resolution to users. 

For example, SalesRabbit experienced a sudden spike in conversion rates and qualified leads by incorporating chatbot. At Smartlead, we also utilize Intercom's answer bot to assist our Customer Success team during off-hours. 

Businesses with limited resources can offer 24/7 customer service by incorporating chatbots to generate leads faster.

5. Webinars for Lead generation Automation 

Webinars are a great way to add value to potential customers and establish yourself as an industry expert (and research even backs this up: 51% of top sales representatives are leveraging it).

However, running webinars is a time consuming task, so why not automate it? First, create a webinar that concerns your leads. Next, pick a hosting platform like WebinarNinja, WorkCast, Demio, or LiveWebinar. 

Build a webinar funnel. Add a clear call-to-action to the webinar (like prompting leads to book a demo call or sign up or try for free). And lastly, set up a follow-up message that will be sent 1-2 hours after they've checked out your webinar. And you are done. Webinars are a proven way to generate quality leads for your business. You can also leverage LinkedIn for your webinars. 

Wrapping Up

An alarming research shows that just 24.3% of salespeople exceeded their sales quotas last year. However, the silver lining is that lead generation automation can generate high quality leads, helping in more conversions. 

If you're considering automating your lead generation activities, here are some recommended lead generation strategies in 2023:

  • Engage in lead prospecting on social media
  • Run cold email campaigns
  • Implement an automated sales sequence
  • Automate your lead generation efforts on LinkedIn
  • Host automated webinars to attract potential leads.
  • Implement chatbot in your strategy

Smartlead is a  sales engagement and lead generation tool that offers you unlimited cold emails with unlimited sender accounts and LinkedIn outreach. This marketing automation tool offers unique IP servers and unlimited warmups to optimize deliverability

Smartlead offers a 14-day free trial, no credit cards required. 


1. How to create a lead generation email?

Here’s how you can create a lead generation email: 

  • Identify the ideal customers to create targeted messages
  • Create a valuable opt-in offer
  • Personalize your message with specific pain points
  • Send plain text email 

2. Can lead generation be automated?

Yes, lead generation can be automated using various tools and strategies. Automation allows businesses to streamline the lead generation process and convert prospective customers into leads without the need for manual intervention at every step. Some common automated lead generation techniques include: 

  • Email marketing automation 
  • Social media automation (especially, LinkedIn) 
  • Chatbots 
  • Lead scoring and segmentation 
  • Automated webinars

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.

  • dfbvrsg
  • svsv

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:

Charu Mitra Dubey


People will also read

Frequently asked questions

General Questions

What are active leads?

Active leads are the contacts you upload in Smartlead, similar to contacts in HubSpot; if you upload 1000 leads to a campaign, they are considered 1000 active leads. If you upload similar leads to a new campaign, they are not considered a “new active lead” as they already exist in our system.

Do you provide mailboxes, or do I need to connect my own?

We don’t offer mailboxes yet. You need to get your own dedicated list of mailboxes using popular providers like Gmail, Outlook, Zoho, and others that exist in the market. Once you get them, follow our detailed guides to connect them quickly.

Do you offer guides and articles on succeeding with cold emails?

Absolutely, one of our most popular guides can be found right here. It's been used by a large percentage of users to go from zero to cold emailing experts. Covering all topics from email infrastructure to copywriting and lead sourcing.

Is another tool needed for warmups?

No, Smartlead has over 200,000 highly reputed mailboxes connected. The advantage you get along with naturalized AI conversations is access to aged domains you will never find in any warmup tool.

What is the API commonly used for?

It is used popularly by agencies to automate their entire lead generation process as well as to connect Smartlead to external tools to push and pull data from. You can also connect to 1000s of apps using Zapier.

What type of businesses sees the most success with Smartlead?

Anyone that can close deals from demos will succeed with Smartlead. It works for Sales companies, Marketing agencies, SaaS businesses, Recruitment, and offline companies (like construction).

Do you provide me with lead sources?

We do not provide you with leads. You will need to use other data providers. These leads can be automatically added to Smartlead using our API or bulk uploaded via our CSV upload system.

Do you integrate with any CRMs?

We're building native integrations with Hubspot, Salesforce, Close, Pipedrive, and many more. The best part, due to our open API and Webhook infrastructure, you can connect to any CRM in the world without an issue.

How many team members can I add?

You can add an unlimited number of team members, as well as assign them roles and authority access.

Do you have custom plans beyond the Pro plan?

Yes, it's common for many people to move to Custom plans after a few weeks. You can view all the options for up to 10M leads on the subscription page once you sign up for free.

Powerful Automated Email Marketing that Drives Sales.

  • All Features Included
  • No Credit Card Required
  • Free Warmup Included