Let’s face it, tech is always changing, so it goes without saying that the products out there are evolving to keep up with the pace too.
That’s why we figured it was high time we took an up-to-date look at the best LinkedIn automation tools out there right now, and gave you a guide to the ones we feel can best improve your LinkedIn outreach and help grow your sales funnel.
Before we get into that, let’s just have a quick re-cap on what LinkedIn automation is, why LinkedIn automation tools might be handy and go over why we are allowed to use them.
What exactly do we mean by LinkedIn automation?
With, in excess of 830 million people using LinkedIn worldwide; regardless of your profession, if you’re looking to grow the business you’re in, or become part of a business that is growing, then LinkedIn is the place to find like-minded professionals.
As the main B2B social networking platform, if you’re looking to target business professionals then it really is a resource that you can’t afford to overlook. In fact, it should be your number 1 priority when you’re looking to increase your visibility.
Whether you’re a business owner, marketer, recruiter or salesperson, in order to grow your network, you need to be constantly engaging with your prospects. Performing this activity manually can be quite simply – an overwhelming and hugely time-consuming ‘project’ in itself - and this is where LinkedIn automation tools can help.
What are LinkedIn automation tools, and why are they so useful?
LinkedIn automation tools are designed to carry out numerous, time-consuming activities on your behalf. You choose the activities you want to be automated, and any relevant messaging or time intervals; and the tool gets to work. Whilst they can carry out the more basic, mundane tasks of viewing profiles and sending connection requests, recent advancements have been significant. You can now create smart workflows that send different message sequences to different profile lists. They even stop when a reply is received to allow you to take the conversation forward in a more personal way.
You can also connect some LinkedIn automation tools to third party marketing platforms, offering centralization of your prospect information within a central CRM system, plus the ability to run your LinkedIn activity from your CRM system as part of a multi-channel approach.
The beauty of good LinkedIn automation tools is that they will mimic human behaviour when engaging with prospects. Not only do they save you vast amounts of time, but they can also help you to:
- Manage personalized campaigns
- Collect data to help you fine-tune future engagement
- Build you an up-to-date, accurate marketing database
- Integrate with other marketing tools
What are the 2 different ways to use automation tools?
Cloud-based - using a tool via the cloud. Despite some citing a dedicated IP address when you go cloud-based, LinkedIn can still easily detect these tools. They operate from the cloud in which they are stored rather than from your LinkedIn account on your standard browser, and activities carried out in such a mode can be detected by LinkedIn with ease. When a program runs through the browser in a ‘headless’ mode, it does not have a graphical user interface.
This means that LinkedIn can ultimately detect you are using your LinkedIn account from a headless browser.
Browser-based – although you can’t run the tool 24/7 (which let’s face it, no human would do anyway), as activity occurs in the browser it makes it difficult for LinkedIn to distinguish an automation tool from a ‘real’ user. With browser-based tools, you are working within your native LinkedIn account, on your browser, and provided your use continues to mimic human behaviour, then your activity levels will not alert LinkedIn.
So, as LinkedIn perceives that you are using your account through a standard web browser, it cannot detect automation tools.
So, now we are all up to speed, which are our top LinkedIn automation tools for 2022?
It goes without saying we’d position ourselves at the top, but hear us out!
We pride ourselves on giving you the right tools to personalize your outreach messaging, and take total control over the volume and interval of messaging you send, right down to being able to run multiple campaigns in parallel with completely different target audiences.
What will you achieve using Dux-Soup?
Dux-Soup allows you to automate what would ordinarily be a labour-intensive process, to find and connect with the right leads, so that you can concentrate your efforts on converting your prospects into clients, much sooner.
Not only do we help you to engage with your prospects on LinkedIn by endorsing their skills, sending personalized connection requests and providing you with the facility to send direct messages which are personalized – we offer an unparalleled campaign management system, which means you can set up multiple campaigns to run concurrently – choosing your own delay sequences that will even stop mid-sequence if a prospect chooses to engage with you during the campaign.
If you’re an analytics geek, then you’ll love the Funnel Flow facility that comes with the Turbo plan. It’s a campaign and analytics tracking tool that helps you to understand which campaigns and messages are working best for you. Dux-Soup is results-focused, which means it’s all about optimizing campaigns to deliver the best results.
You see - Dux-Soup is the #1 trusted LinkedIn automation tool for a very good reason!
Dux-Soup operates as an extension of your browser and offers a free 14-day trial for new users to get started, with 3 different user packages thereafter:
- Starter, $0/month: The free forever version allows you to find LinkedIn prospects and visit profiles
- Pro, $14.99/month: This package allows you to upload and download prospect lists, engage using auto connect and messaging features and filter your lists by tags for more targeted prospecting
- Turbo, $55/month: For more advanced lead generation, this option allows you to run and monitor multiple drip campaigns concurrently to different lists, connect LinkedIn with your CRM and manage your LinkedIn lead funnel for conversion optimisation
To compare plans, take a look at the full list of Dux-Soup features on our website (here’s a hi-level version below).
Dux-Soup also comes out top for price vs functionality if you’re just looking for more basic LinkedIn automation features. For example, to grow your network by sending automated connection requests, or tagging LinkedIn profiles to create lists for retargeting. Dux-Soup quite simply has the widest range of ‘task based’ capabilities of all the LinkedIn tools, and this is partly due to ongoing commitment to development.
Dux-Soup releases around 4 updates a month in response to LinkedIn’s changing algorithms, requests from users and new feature releases making it one of the most proactive tools on the market.
The list of Dux-Soup integrations is ever-growing too, which currently includes: Hubspot, Pipedrive, Zapier, Make (formerly Integromat), LeadFuze and Zymplify, making your outreach efforts even more effortless.
In addition to the tool itself, Dux-Soup provides users with a regular and comprehensive programme of webinars, video tutorials, blog releases and access to a live knowledge base via the Dux-Soup Support pages - all to help answer many of those frequently asked questions. We also have a very strong community on our Facebook user-group pages, with tips galore being shared across the group (and across the globe).
All of this means you get around the clock support, even when we are sleeping!
Having recently introduced a new customer success program, in addition to all of the benefits noted above, Dux-Soup High Flyers also benefit from free accelerator calls, priority support emails and calls, account management and the ability to help shape the future development of the product.
All of this is designed to help users get more value from the tool whilst giving them the ability to work more closely with the Dux team.
What our clients say
Dux-Soup has over 70,000 users and ranks 4.2 out of 5 on G2
Don’t just take our word for it – have a look at our LinkedIn automation success stories, to see what other users have to say. You will no doubt find a company or story that resonates with your own, to help you understand exactly how the tool could help accelerate your lead generation activities.
Although this is not strictly an automation tool in its own right, LinkedIn Sales Navigator can be integrated with LinkedIn automation tools, which means it’s useful for users looking to benefit from some of the more advanced features of LinkedIn, including unlimited searches. If you’ve been using LinkedIn Basic and are ready to take the next step, then Navigator allows you to source lists, save leads and get notified of new matches to help expand your market.
What will you achieve using Sales Navigator?
Sales Nav provides sales professionals with extended search capabilities so teams can track business developments at key accounts which may impact or influence the sales approach, identify companies that may be interested in a business’s products or services and connect with prospects who are ‘open to being approached’. For account-based marketing, Sales Nav will delve into target accounts, offering you an array of contacts to target, making it great for account mapping, ready for the outreach phase with the likes of Dux-Soup.
To help you on your way, Sales Navigator offers a 30-day free trial, and thereafter has 3 packages to choose from:
- Core, $79.99/month: Advanced lead and company searches, allowing you to create custom lists
- Advanced, $125/month: Sharing content and tracking engagement
- Advanced Plus (custom pricing): Integrating with your CRM platform
We love it because it helps Dux-Soup users to really scale their outreach, as Sales Nav users can naturally run a higher level of automated outreach activity against their profile. Also, Sales Nav feeds new leads into your funnel by identifying LinkedIn profiles that meet your search criteria when they become available.
PhantomBuster is a Cloud-based tool that performs automations across multiple social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Maps and more.
With Phantombuster you schedule triggers and actions, for example, auto-following profiles, sending messages;extracting Chrome Webstore reviews, and auto-liking posts. You can link triggers and actions together to create workflows.
What will you achieve using PhantomBuster?
PhantomBuster’s ‘complete prospecting strategy’ comprises of 5 steps:
- Store a list of leads from different sources (searches, groups, posts)
- Send automatic follower invitations with customized messages
- Monitor connection requests
- Schedule 1 to 3 follow-up messages with personalized content
- Retrieve answers to connection invites or messages
The extraction tool allows you to collate data to help build your prospect lists, but it is more of a ‘build it yourself’ tool so you have to put the individual parts together to achieve your desired end result, which does mean that it’s not strong on the lead management side.
PhantomBuster offers a free 14-day trial and thereafter you can choose from 4 packages which include increasing volumes of execution time for your automated actions to occur and Phantom slots. Phantoms are the types of automation you can choose to be actioned on your behalf. The 4 packages are:
- Trial, $0/month: 2 hours per day execution time, 5 slots
- Starter, $59/month: Start growing your automation activity with 20 hours per month execution time, 5 slots
- Business, £139/month: Increase growth with 80 hours per month execution time, 15 slots and priority support
- Team, £399/month: Scale growth with 300 hours per month execution time, 50 slots
This is a slightly different charging model, which can be confusing to get to grips with when you begin with PhantomBuster.
PhantomBuster doesn’t offer dashboards to show statistics, or allow you to see which prospects have responded, nor does the tool offer A/B testing unless you build a new workflow from scratch. In fact, their ‘complete prospecting strategy’ doesn’t discuss the analysis of conversion rates and optimisation of results, so we feel it does only half the job, with the analysis side being a time-consuming manual effort.
So, we feel Phantombuster is a multi-platform task automation tool, however, falls short on true lead generation focus and campaign optimization.
Lemlist focuses on automating your email marketing, and combining emails with ‘cold calling’ to generate leads. They are often used in the market for warming up email domains to achieve higher deliverability. Most of their content and resources are based around maximizing the impact of your email strategy, which is where their development focus is.
What will you achieve using Lemlist?
Lemlist connects with your email provider (Google, Office 365, E Exchange, SMTP/IMPA), to let you customize email intros, add images, GIFs or videos and calls to action. The functionality allows you to integrate into your CRM platform, customize email sequences, and use their Sales Engagement Platform to manage cold call dialling as part of the workflow sequence.
With their multi-channel feature, they also touch on LinkedIn, and can build in basic LinkedIn actions such as liking LinkedIn posts. Where this falls short is that it doesn’t pick up and respond to triggers, for example, if someone messages you, then it doesn’t pause the next action. It’s rather rudimentary in its multi-channel workflows which perhaps limits it to a single LinkedIn action before manual intervention is then required.
You can trial Lemlist for free and then select one of 4 packages:
- Email Warm-Up, $25/month: Warm-up any email domain and email deliverability booster
- Email Outreach, $50/month: Integrations with Pipedrive, Hubspot and Salesforce
- Sales Engagement, $83/month: LinkedIn workflows, video prospecting and cold calling
- Agency: For management of client campaigns
You’ll need to have the data ready to use with Lemlist, so it’s not the right tool if you’re trying to build your network and your database. Lemlist offers more of a half-way house between automation and manual workflows when it comes to LinkedIn. Within their dashboard you can view individual contacts and respond/follow-up following a sequence. This however takes you back through a manual process, and denies you the benefits of a truly automated LinkedIn strategy.
LinkedHelper has been on the market for over 5 years now and has recently launched a CRM system for use with their LinkedIn automation tool. They target their products towards the role you hold in the workplace. For Marketers – they offer LinkedIn marketing strategy automation. If you’re a Sales Rep – LinkedHelper provides you with a LinkedIn sales software funnel, and for the Recruiters amongst you, they offer a LinkedIn recruiter app to help in your search for candidates. The standalone product runs on your browser, but you can also install and run it on a remote server.
What will you achieve using LinkedHelper?
LinkedHelper allows you to manage your outreach by connecting you with 2nd and 3rd degree connections via their app and allows you to send up to 700 connection requests each week by using methods to bypass LinkedIn limits. Like Dux-Soup, it can find email addresses for your connections to build your database. It allows you to work with one campaign at a time within the Basic editor, or unlimited campaigns with their advanced editor.
They do offer their own CRM for storing leads, however, they don’t offer a direct integration to any of the mainstream CRMs like Hubspot or Pipedrive. Instead, you need to use Zapier with their webhooks to create your own integrations.
You can send contacts to a snov.io email campaign from LinkedHelper, although the workflows can get quite complicated. For the more advanced users, this level of complexity has the benefit of offering better functionality once you get to grips with the tool.
Following your free 14-day trial, select 1 of 3 packages:
- Free, $0/month: Access to the most used features for messaging and data scraping for a limited number of prospects per day
- Standard, $15/month: Sending connection requests, campaigns, messages, plus data scraping
- Pro, $45/month: Scale your activity to achieve a higher volume of actions and generate more leads for those looking for accelerated growth
The multi-stage process for sorting your LinkedIn list ready for campaign enrollment is rather long-winded, requiring you to run your LinkedIn search, then collects the profiles, and finally you filter out the unwanted profiles within LinkedHelper, to exclude them from the campaign. With Dux-Soup, by comparison, you can set your exclusion criteria within the app settings so it automatically skips those profiles – missing out this additional filtering requirement.
The reviews often comment about the tool being difficult to use. The UI is cluttered and tricky for beginners to master. Users also find the lack of an automatic backup, is a limitation.
A Cloud-based platform, Expandi offer LinkedIn and email automation as well as image personalization and smart sequence messaging. You can also use Expandi to find LinkedIn information on Twitter and Facebook profiles that may be relevant to your business and products or services.
What will you achieve using Expandi?
Expandi pitches itself towards the more advanced lead generation users, and keeps pricing simple, but potentially limits its audience by not offering a more introductory plan.
They have worked hard on their dashboard which follows the look and feel of popular SaaS platforms like Mailchimp and HubSpot, although some users says that their interface is tricky when doing basic tasks like adding personalized links and could do with more development.
Once your free 7-day trial ends, you enter into a 1-size-fits-all, monthly pay as you go plan, costing $99/month. For your monthly fee you can:
- Receive an unlimited number of campaigns
- Manage multiple accounts from one dashboard
- Connect any email provider
- Personalize images and GIFs
Reports suggest that, beyond sending LinkedIn messages, it offers little functionality -which for the price point means that the ROI has been perceived as being undervalued.
The main feedback of note is that their onboarding process is poor, which leads to difficulty in learning how to use tool within the short 7-day trial period. When you’re looking to decide on the most expensive tool on the market, you’d expect a longer trial period and more functionality – both of which don’t come to fruition.
Users comment that their customer support is not particularly responsive either – noting 3 hours response times and difficulty with cancelling accounts.
Octopus CRM aims to simplify your prospecting efforts and help build your sales funnel by sending connection messages via email to bypass the LinkedIn connection limits. The tool automates personalized connection messages, auto-visiting profiles and sending messages to hundreds of 1st level connections en masse.
What will you achieve using Octopus?
Octopus CRM bypasses the existing LinkedIn limits with an email allowance of 500+ connection requests per week.
Following the 7-day trial period, there are 4 plans to choose from:
- Starter, $6.99/month: Enables you to auto-send personalized invites and connect with Premium LinkedIn users
- Pro, $9.99/month: Allows you to send automated messages in bulk, auto-endorse and auto-view profiles
- Advanced, $14.99/month: Gives you the option to import and export data and build your sales funnel
- Unlimited, $24.99/month: Provides the ability to integrate with workflow tools
At the lowest price, this tool is a good entry point. It supports integrations with HubSpot and Zapier and stores leads within their CRM making it simple to track and manage your prospecting, however as it’s perhaps the simplest of automation tools, its usability is somewhat limited.
And finally ..
There you have it – the Dux-Soup guide to LinkedIn automation tools. It goes without saying that we want you to stick with us, but we appreciate there are other options out there too, and what better way of making sure we stay current than doing our research to make sure we are always looking to update our own products and services, and add new features, to stay at the forefront of the LinkedIn automation market.
We love to hear what our users need from us (firstname.lastname@example.org), so we can keep on improving the technology to help you generate more leads and grow your sales pipeline.
Don’t forget, if you’re new to Dux-Soup, you can get started with your free Dux-Soup trial right here. We don’t even ask for your credit card details – so it really is that easy. Come and join us – we promise you won’t be disappointed!