It’s always interesting for me to see how our customers use Woodpecker – and what exactly do they use it for. Is it just for generating leads?
Spoiler: no, it’s not.
I was thrilled when Tom Potanski, the founder and CEO of DevsData LLC, reached out to us, saying he’d love to write a case study for the Woodpecker blog. I was even more thrilled when I learned that the folks at DevsData use our tool not only for starting conversations that they hope will end in finding clients, but also for getting quality backlinks for their website to drive more traffic.
A while ago I wrote an article about link building email outreach, so I was keen on talking to one of our customers who uses Woodpecker in that exact scenario.
Here’s what Tom had to say about their lead generation strategy, most satisfying open & reply rates, and what the key to a successful link building outreach is for them.
DevsData LLC is a boutique software agency in the US with Google-level engineers and a vast network of senior expert contractors. The company was founded in 2016 by Tom Potanski, whose strong connection to the best programming talent and business decision-makers from around the globe gave him an edge in starting his own software consulting business.
They’ve been using Woodpecker for about 10 months now. Interested in what their approach to finding new clients and link building looks like? Keep reading.
First things first – who is DevsData? What do you guys do? What’s your company’s mission?
DevsData LLC is a software consulting agency in the US, with employees in both the US and Europe.
How did you start your company?
DevsData LLC started as a small startup project that I created in 2016.
Programming is my lifelong passion, but I have never coded just for the thrill of it. I’ve always been looking for a way to make an impact with my software. That is why I’ve decided to found my own company.
At DevsData LLC I consult with clients on turning over 60 years of research into business value. We’ve proven time and time again that applied software brings profits within different industries – such as construction, finance, the military, stock trading, or advertising.
Who are your ideal customers?
DevsData mainly targets corporate clients, as such companies usually have very well-specified requirements as to what type of software they need and what are their expectations. Thus, we are able to deliver them a customized solution, specifically tailored to their needs.
However, if a small or mid-size company reaches out to us with a project idea, we also eagerly follow such an opportunity.
What do you use Woodpecker for?
We mainly use Woodpecker to find leads/potential clients. We run multiple cold emailing campaigns at the same time in order to maximize the search results.
We’ve also found that Woodpecker is extremely useful in getting backlinks for our website.
What’s your secret for a successful link building outreach?
At DevsData we believe that a personal approach is key.
That is why each time we create an automated campaign, we make sure to customize it as much as possible with the available customization fields in Woodpecker.
Also, we categorize our recipients into narrow batches – that way we are able to personalize the outreach as much as possible, even though it is a cold, automated one. As a result, we get satisfying conversion rates.
We usually send a sequence of 3 emails.
In the opening email we say who we are (we keep it short) and how our message is relevant to the prospect. We always include a CTA at the end as well.
The first follow-up is somewhat similar to the opening email, and the second one is a “break-up email”.
How do you get a prospect base? And how many prospects do you usually have in a single campaign?
We get our prospect base from websites like clutch.co and toptal.com.
As mentioned above, we tend to send small campaigns as this allows for better customization. On average our campaigns have around 100 prospects. From time to time, we run bigger campaigns as well.
When it comes to segmenting out prospects, we experiment a lot. We categorize them e.g. by the size of their companies or their job titles.
What value do you see in following up with prospects? What’s your following up strategy?
Following up is a must! We’ve observed that actually a lot of prospects get back to us after the second or third follow up. This is due to the fact that these people are usually busy doing business and might have overlooked/ignored our first message. Thanks to follow-ups our emails appear again on top of their mailboxes and they decide to reply to us.
Regarding our follow up strategy, we experiment a lot and do not have one specified approach. Nevertheless, we always try to personalize the follow-ups as well.
Let’s talk about personalization – what custom snippets do you use?
We always make sure to include the person’s first and/or last name, and the company’s name. Those 3 snippets are a must in our campaigns.
When it comes to other custom snippets, we tend to use them when we want to include the topic of our campaign or mention where we have come across the prospect’s contact information.
What are your most satisfying results? (open and reply rates)
Our top results are almost 85% open rate for one of the campaigns (finding affiliates) and a 67% reply rate for another one (link building).
How long have you been using Woodpecker? If you’d been using other tools, why did you switch to Woodpecker?
It’s already been 10 months since we’ve started using Woodpecker. Before that and in the meantime, we’ve been experimenting with other tools (Gmass, Vocus.io, Rebump, Yesware), but each of them had some drawbacks/missing features that stopped us from using them.
Some of these tools did not allow for scheduling campings between specific hours; sent all emails at once, not in batches; offered only basic personalization fields; did not detect if a given prospect has already been contacted in another campaign, etc.
Woodpecker, on the other hand, allows for all of that and has a very intuitive UI, and that in the end determined why we decided to stay with Woodpecker.
What have you gained by using Woodpecker?
First of all, Woodpecker made it so easy for us to reach out to our potential clients. It is so fast to create a personalized campaign and get in touch with desired prospects. This saves us a lot of time, as before we’ve been sending out emails to each prospect individually.
What’s more, thanks to Woodpecker we can track the campaign’s success, analyze them, and see which approach worked, and which did not.
This allows us to improve our outreach so that the next time we can get even better open and response rates.
What do you like the most about Woodpecker?
We like that it is very intuitive. When we first started using it, we had no problems with understanding how it works, how to create a campaign, how to add custom snippets and prospects. Moreover, Woodpecker has all the features that we need. It is brilliant for small scale email campaigns.
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