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Customer Case Study: Behind the Scenes of We Are Team Rocket’s Lead Generation Process

Sandra Wilk - Senior Content Creator at Woodpecker

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from one of our clients. Tom, co-founder of We Are Team Rocket, was offering to share their story: how he and Daniel Edmeades went about creating their own growth marketing agency that now generates up to 79% reply rates for their clients.

If you’d like to find out how they combine various channels to get these outstanding results, what unique snippets they use and what their follow-up approach is based on – keep reading.

About We Are Team Rocket

We Are Team Rocket is a marketing automation agency that helps businesses to generate leads and expand their sales pipelines. They’ve been driving prospect conversations, meetings, briefs and opportunities on behalf of their clients since 2013.

They’re based in the UK with a second office in Sri Lanka.

1. Who is We Are Team Rocket? What do you guys do?
What’s your company’s mission?

We Are Team Rocket – a company by Edmeades & Simpson, is a growth marketing agency, specialising in B2B outbound marketing and social selling done with a human touch.

Clients come to us to automate their top of the funnel lead generation. They rely upon us to rocket leads directly into their inboxes. Plus, outsourcing lead-gen to a company like ours carries a lesser cost and risk than the alternative of an internal hire.

Custom data-lists, human data enrichment, hyper-segmentation, hyper-personalisation and creating messages that will deliver engagement and response are at the heart of all that we do. Ultimately it’s this ground-level data enrichment grind that fuels the success of the outreach activity that we craft and execute on behalf of our clients.

2. How did you start your company?

Back in 2013, I (Tom Simpson) and my co-founder Daniel Edmeades were both working at a leading UK promotional marketing agency (Hive IP). We’d both been there for a number of years progressing the ranks, running their new business development drive. It was at this juncture we decided to pitch our then-employer.

Our intent was to formulate our own standalone business ‘Edmeades & Simpson’ (later to become We Are Team Rocket) – so that we could, in theory, hand in our notice and embark on a journey to utilise the skills and knowledge we had acquired during our careers there to help fuel the growth of a portfolio of like-minded tech businesses and agencies.

Why would any sane employer be ok with losing their new business engine? Well, we mitigated the risk of our new joint venture by taking on our existing employer as our first retained client.

We promised to deliver the same KPI’s for them, whilst at the same time saving them in costs by not being internal heads on the payroll – a promise we up-held by continuing to drive them leads in our first year apart, equating to £3m in additions to their new business pipeline and £1m extra in sales.

7 years on, in 2020, our old employer and first client still find themselves on our retained roster – joined by a plethora of diverse B2B businesses that simply share the commonality of having ambitious growth plans.

3. Who are your ideal customers?

Our Ideal Customers are ambitious businesses looking to ramp their growth and automate their top of funnel lead inflow.

Our current roster is an eclectic mix of billion-pound Tech & FMCG businesses, high-growth startups, and long-stead agencies looking to revitalize their roster.

The sweet-spot for whom we can help the most are businesses with high ticket values (at least £5K+). This is where we deliver ROI in the upper echelons of positivity.

4. What do you use Woodpecker for? What kind of campaigns do you run for your clients?

We were early adopters of Woodpecker, switching over at the time from a different tool. Loving the usability and deliverability of the platform, we were quick to invest in a white-labeled version of Woodpecker so that we could have a central agency panel from which to execute all of our clients’ email campaigns in silos.

On behalf of our roster of clients, we ideate, strategise and compose B2B sequenced email campaigns – all of which are then executed via our white-labeled Woodpecker platform.

For each and every one of our clients, we tend to have two sequenced emails running simultaneously each month. One overarching campaign is sent to their entire custom-mined and verified prospect universe. It’s usually 5-8 parts long, running over the course of 3-4 months.

The second campaign is, then, conversely hyper-targeted and hyper-personalised. It takes advantage of human enriched segments of data our team has researched and mined, and combines that with the ability to use personalised custom snippets within the Woodpecker platform.

We find this dual campaign approach the optimum to feed a steady drip flow of leads from the overarching campaign, combined with quick-win results and maximum levels of engagement from the hyper-targeted campaigns.

5. How do you get a prospect base?
How many prospects do you usually have in a single campaign?

We have a large in-house data and research team, who ahead of each and every planned client email campaign: mines, cleanses, expands, enriches, segments and double-verifies the optimal prospect base to power that specific campaign.

Our overarching, long-running, sequenced campaigns tend to feature 1000-4000 prospects, whilst our enriched, hyper-personalised, hyper-targeted campaigns tend to run to 50-200 prospects.

6. How do you personalize your emails?
What custom snippets do you use?
Where do you get the prospect info from?

This is a section that I could end up writing a dissertation on, and in fact, for the past few months, I’ve been researching and penning a mammoth skyscraper content piece that is intended to be a guest blog post for Woodpecker. It’s about the merits of human data enrichment, hyper-segmentation, and hyper-personalisation via the use of custom snippets within B2B outbound emails. Outside of the bog-standard, use of {Company}, {JobRole} & {FirstName}.

Here are some examples of a few that have been working wonders for us and our roster of clients here at We Are Team Rocket.

🚀 Quoting {Locality} – Distance From Us To You
🚀 Quoting their {Competitor’s Name}
🚀 Quoting The Name Of Prospect’s {Last Blog Post}
🚀 Quoting The {Trending Word} On Their Profile
🚀 Quoting Their {Manager’s Name}

We’ll reveal the A/B test results these have generated in our upcoming guest post.

7. What do you A/B test?

A/B testing is a critical element of every method of outreach we employ.

Without constantly reviewing campaign analytics both on the fly and post-campaign, as well as A/B testing to the hilt, it would not be possible to continually improve and – most of all – stand out in the cluttered inboxes of this age.

We A/B test everything imaginable when it comes to B2B outreach, anything and everything that we believe could make a difference in improving deliverability: open rates, click rates, response rates, leads > meetings… You get where I’m going.

This could be from the likes of comparing and contrasting:
🚀 Email subject lines
🚀 The complexity of an email signature
🚀 The number of featured links in an email
🚀 CTAs
🚀 The combination and number of steps in a multi-channel outreach cadence

And the list goes on and on – as it should if your profession by trade is an outbound marketing specialist within a growth marketing agency.

8. What value do you see in following up with prospects?
What’s your following up strategy?

Creatively planning and penning a multi-part sequence email campaign that will inform, engage, surprise, delight and even amuse your prospect audience is absolutely critical in gaining positive lead responses, referrals and in turn, moving them through one’s sales cycle.

Our follow-up strategy here at We Are Team Rocket – honed over years of A/B testing and developed through aggregated learnings from sending millions of emails and testing all manner of outbound and inbound channels in combination – is one of a multi-touchpoint, multi-channel approach. All these methods work in unison to deliver the maximum levels of awareness, engagement, and response.

The follow-up strategy we devise, promote and tailor for our clients is one of drip-fed hyper-personalised sequenced emails, intermixed with social selling and audience rapport building (particularly via LinkedIn – ‘done for you’ manually with a human touch) and finished off with a re-targeting strategy to close the engaged but un-responded prospects.

9. What are your best campaign results?

When we’re talking about B2B COLD EMAIL OUTREACH and campaigns that include at least 200 prospects, the average open rates for our email campaigns tend to be between 45-60%, with average reply rates tending to be in the range of 4-8%. This is when talking across the board, across our clients, covering all types of industries.

In terms of standout best performers when it’s a B2B cold outreach email to a grouping of at least 200 prospects, our best performers are:

81.6% – In a hyper-personalised email campaign to 200+ leading UK beauty brands.

71% – In an email campaign to 200 Unilever Brand and Marketing Managers. This particular campaign led to 10 Face-To-Face Meetings being booked for our Tech client, with 10 different Unilever brand teams within a period of just a few weeks.

17.9% – In an email campaign to decision-makers in the petroleum space.

16.7% – Via a hyper-personalized email campaign to 1000+ UK business directors for an energy-saving comparison company.

If we were talking smaller, hyper-hyper-personalised mailers, to small groupings of 20-80 prospects, or to warm leads opposed to cold, then we have seen reply rates as high as 79%.

10. How long have you been using Woodpecker?

We have been using Woodpecker as our solus platform of choice to execute all of our internal and external client campaigns for just over 2 years.

Previous to that we had been using a different app for a number of years, but as the years passed it was clear they were unable to maintain the deliverability rates that we had become accustomed to.

After researching and trialing a number of different alternatives, Woodpecker came out a cut above the rest. Why? Because of the levels of deliverability and open rates that it could deliver when fed with quality data – thanks to its ability to mimic human-like sending. And it was this that we were looking for most in our platform of choice.

The added benefits were the platform’s usability in terms of the interface, its more advanced analytics dashboard and – most pleasing – that it could seamlessly integrate with a wide variety of email hosts.

11. What have you gained by using Woodpecker?

Woodpecker is an integral part of our stack. We have grown from a 5-man to 22-man team since we began using the app.

Knowing that we could rely upon Woodpecker for our email automation execution – so long as we were feeding in quality, verified and where ever possible custom enriched data – allowed us to put our focus into growing out a team of researchers, data-miners and B2B content writers.

We knew full well that by having standout content, double-verified and enriched data, Woodpecker would be the final piece to the puzzle in ensuring our campaigns stand to deliver and engage at the optimal levels.

12. What do you like the most about Woodpecker?

A difficult question to answer, as there are so many things we love about Woodpecker.

Ultimately, if it all boiled down to one word, it would be ‘Deliverability’. When it comes to deliverability, Woodpecker towers above its competitors.

We also love the way the platform is built and designed, Woodpecker’s immense Customer Success team and thought leadership advice blog that ensures a Growth Marketing/Lead Generation Agency like Rocket always gets the maximum out for the platform, across each of our clients and each of our campaigns.

To sum up

What are the ingredients of a successful outreach campaign? For We Are Team Rocket it means combining various channels to reach out to prospects – without losing the human touch in the process.

Extreme personalization, double-verified prospect data and hyper-targeted campaigns sent to the right prospects are the methods that work best for them. How about you – have you tried them yet?


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