Will van der Sanden. He’s not just the name behind the Dux-Soup brand, he’s the guy who drives its vision and direction, and the one we like to call ‘the boss’!
We get asked so many questions by you, our ever-faithful users, that we figured, what better way to get to know more about Will and his vision for LinkedIn and Dux-Soup in 2022, than by grilling him in his very own webinar?
So, just before Christmas that’s exactly what we did! If you weren’t able to attend, but want to know the answers to questions like:
· How safe is Dux-Soup?
· How likely is it that Dux-Soup will be cloud based?
· What new features will be released in 2022?
· Are there any more integrations planned for the year to come?
… then either head on over to our channel to listen in, or read on, as we discover what the future holds for 2022!
World; meet Will van der Sanden, Founder of Dux-Soup!
For those of you who don’t know much about Will, he lives near Breda in the Netherlands, and if you were ever to bump into him – suggest taking him out for a beer and a curry, and he’d almost certainly say yes – especially if it was followed with his favourite film Monty Python and The Holy Grail, but that’s not really why you’ve chosen to read this blog, so let’s get down to the heart of the matter and see what Will has to say about the following questions.
Looking back at 2021, what have been the hottest topics and biggest achievements in the world of Dux-Soup?
“We started the year with the Hubspot integration, have been through a rebranding process, faced challenges from LinkedIn with the connection limit announcement and come back from that with some great campaign developments.
The campaign feature has seen a big change in the way people use Dux-Soup and it fits really well with the new LinkedIn restrictions to the number of connection invitations users can send. It’s a big step forward from where we were a year ago, and that, together with the different integrations (especially Hubspot) makes for a much richer lead generation or lead management process.”
How have the LinkedIn changes impacted the behaviour of users?
“The big change was the LinkedIn restriction on the number of connections that could be sent per month or week, which forced people to revaluate their targeting. Beforehand there was less targeting. Now there’s more targeting, so connection requests received are more likely to be accepted. The process for users had to change so campaigns have become much more targeted.
LinkedIn was previously being used more like a numbers game, where as long as you hit a big enough audience, you’d be likely to get a known return. The recent shift towards a more targeted technique is improving results, and benefiting users.
More time upfront, means better quality leads. Do more thinking about who you’re targeting with the product and the messaging you’re using, and the result will be that you get more sales engagement out of the lead gen process. Put simply, the changes mean you need to do more upfront planning of your campaigns.”
With regards to the pandemic that we have all experienced to some degree or another over the last 20 months or so, has this had an impact on Dux-Soup and its users?
“At the start of the pandemic, we saw that more people were working online. This led to a significant increase in the number of Dux users and its usage, as people found ways of doing their lead generation work online. LinkedIn and Dux-Soup was a good place to be.
That tapered off after about 6-9mths and now we’re back at the level we were before the pandemic, which I circumscribe mostly to people finding other ways of doing their lead generation work, in response to the change in LinkedIn limits. The limits have had an impact on those who are heavily reliant on the ‘numbers game’ when it comes to targeting, so those users have gone back to email campaigns and volume-based marketing.”
How safe is Dux-Soup and what differentiates it from its competitors?
“It’s primarily a tool which allows you to automate user behaviour in the browser and we have remained with that model since the start. By virtue of staying in that model, it makes it really difficult for LinkedIn to distinguish a Dux-Soup user from a ‘real’ user.
All the activity happens in the browser, and the timing, pace and volume of activity is all humanly possible as well as being allowed within the LinkedIn limits. This means it’s not only difficult but simply not worthwhile for LinkedIn to pursue Dux for any reason. The activity performed is humanly possible, so it remains within fair use of the platform in their own terms.
Our competition tends to either use private links and API for their own purposes (which isn’t taken too lightly by the Digital Millennium Copywrite Act) or, they use what we call a ’headless browser’ (which is based in the Cloud). This makes it really easy for LinkedIn to detect.
Given those are the 3 technical options, the one Dux has chosen - is the most safe.”
If LinkedIn implements a change, what process does Dux-Soup go through, to circumvent activities that LinkedIn is carrying out to detect usage via automation?
“As part of the development process, we continuously monitor changes in LinkedIn - which are changes in the script or in the network activity that we can spot. The way the development process works is we always monitor the network for traffic for significant changes. And when we find them, we analyse them and see what’s there.
By example, a few years ago LinkedIn developed the ability to detect browser extensions by means of security holes in the extension model, which later on were all over the internet. We detected it much earlier than the reports. Because of the nature of the technology, we always need to be on top of the changes, especially security changes.
One other element of security: because Dux-Soup runs inside your browser, our customers don’t need to hand over their login details to their LinkedIn account (which would also actually be against the terms). What we see with quite a few of our competitors out there, is that they require the end user to hand over login details of their LinkedIn accounts, and from a trust perspective this is something that Dux does not require”.
Giles Garnett (Head of Professional Services at Dux-Soup) added “Ultimately – you, as a user, have control over your account and it’s up to you what activity is carried out. You have complete control locally over that action in your browser, rather than handing the credentials over to someone else and it happening in the Cloud or somewhere else, where you have limited visibility or control over it.”
To get the best out of Dux-Soup, many users ask - is it enough to use a free LinkedIn account, or do you need to have a paid account such as Sales Navigator?
“To start using Dux-Soup you don’t need a paid account on LinkedIn.
Dux-Soup supports all the different LinkedIn subscriptions - the free and paid accounts (Sales Navigator and Recruiter). Dux was recently updated to support the new Recruiter interface, so it works with all the different flavours of LinkedIn, but if you’re just trying it out, better to start with the free version of LinkedIn.
If you decide to continue to use Dux-Soup, then we recommend using Sales Navigator because of the filter options you have with it. You really need those options to run a targeted campaign on LinkedIn, because Business Plus doesn’t give you that, and Recruiter doesn’t give you that.
For the purpose of sales development then, Sales Navigator is the best option, but we obviously support all the alternatives.”
What is the most utilized functionality of Dux-Soup and which feature are you most proud of?
“The most-used, always used to be standard profile visiting, for triggering notifications, but more recently campaigning and automated follow-ups have also become hugely popular.
I’m most proud of the Remote Control API, as it has opened up a lot of functionality. Integrations to CRMs such as Hubspot, Zapier and Pipedrive are all enabled by the API, as are campaigns, and these can only be found in Dux-Soup Turbo. I think this is my best work.”
Can you share with us some of the most noticeable success stories you have heard from clients that are using Dux-Soup?
“Scott Wright springs to mind, a gentleman over in the US who came from nowhere, discovered Dux-Soup and claims it was responsible for catapulting his career in such a way, that he has now Co-Founded his own, very successful Marketing Company – Amped Marketing.
Another UK resident did similarly well after being made redundant at the start of the pandemic in 2020 and now runs a lead gen Marketing Business with, in excess of 20 accounts across multiple industries.
Take a look at our Results page to read some of our recent case studies – we’ve got some great examples!”
Now, looking forward to the coming year - what new features do you have in the pipeline for Dux-Soup? Do you have any more direct integrations planned and are you able to share any of the details?
“We have an ever-changing roadmap based on a number of factors, but the key areas to build on in 2022 are:
· The deployment model – it’s currently an extension plus web application. The intention is to move some of the functionality from the extension into the web application, so for those who are running a 24/7 operation for example, they won’t need to keep dedicated hardware running for it to work. Essentially it will be a ‘hybrid model’, where we move some aspects into the Cloud so it’s easier to deploy for multi-seat accounts.
· Another focus area is on ‘team-based’ functionality - where a number of team members all work within the same campaign. This will stop any overlap of activities, making your campaigns as efficient as possible.
· Integration-wise – the integration with Salesforce will go ahead this year – as it’s THE biggest CRM platform in the world by miles!”
Are there any plans to offer Dux-Soup as a Cloud-based solution?
“It won’t be solely Cloud based, but as above, there are plans to move to a hybrid model
to help support those using organizations working around the clock, using virtual private servers, or dedicated hardware.”
Do you have any personal insights regarding any LinkedIn developments going forward?
“I have some views of my own. I spend a lot of time with customers on LinkedIn, and having started Dux-Soup, I can often see a lot of things coming [on the horizon] and can see where LinkedIn is going.
I have no direct connections inside LinkedIn unfortunately, (but I am open to connect if anyone at LinkedIn wants to contact me)! Up until now, it’s really just looking at how LinkedIn is moving and it’s clear that they are still aggressively selling Sales Navigator and Recruiter (paid accounts), as well as selling their own network as a sales development tool.
It seems this will continue for the foreseeable future. So, the plan for us is to fit with the new functionality of LinkedIn and make those parts that are relevant to our customers, make them part of the package that Dux delivers and – looking to automate new functionality when it becomes relevant for our customers.
What is clear is that LinkedIn is here to stay, as nothing else comes close when it comes to a platform for lead generation.”
How do you see the mid to long-term future of Lead Generation automation?
“One of the changes in line with the reduction in connection requests that we have seen, is that lead gen is becoming much more targeted, messaging is becoming more granular and more personalized, so the interaction with prospects is a much richer conversation. In the future it will become much more AI driven - and that’s in the near future (the next year or two), as the capabilities already exist.”
What is the story behind the name Dux-Soup?
“When I started the company, my wife and I were looking on the internet for a catchy name and found a little-known expression ‘duck soup’ as a term for something that is seemingly easy to do. At the time the focus was on pulling data into a spreadsheet, so we swapped the CK in duck, for an X (for xls) and Dux-Soup was born!”
Are there any plans to add a feature to see all messages and all visits in one place, such as the Dux Dash?
“Well, that’s definitely something we could provide as an overall dashboard. We are looking at a dashboard that is less campaign focused, and will provide an overview of the activity that Dux-Soup runs, and also in the context of a team, so you can see how a team performs. We could easily have drill down options into segments that make up the KPIs too - so it’s certainly on the cards.
We have a feature request page on the site, which we review on a weekly basis, and we always try to provide feedback as well. To put in a feature request, go to our page - https://feedback.dux-soup.com”
So, there you have it! We’ll be seeing Will again later in the year for more insights into LinkedIn automation, but for now - if you’d like to listen to the whole webinar, or browse others you may have missed, then click here and scroll down!
The bit at the bottom:
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Until next time, happy Dux-ing!