How We Launched A $35K/Month Tool To Send Bulk LinkedIn Messages

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About The Company
Coming Up With The Idea
Building The Product
Launching The Business
Growing The Business
Revenue + Financials
Lessons Learned
Recommended Tools
Books & Resources
Advice For Founders
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$35,000
revenue/mo
2
Founders
0
Employees
product
COLDINBOX
from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
started April 2020
$35,000
revenue/mo
2
Founders
0
Employees
3.71M
alexa rank
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Listen to the audio version of this story!

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hello Starter Story readers! Mohamed Hassen Mami and I, Arthur Backouche, built an amazing tool to send bulk invitations on Linkedin with Personalized messages: Coldinbox.

With ColdInbox you can quickly send automated LinkedIn messages that convert your high value-prospects into leads and then customers.

We’re currently providing this solution to B2B entrepreneurs, consultants, and business development managers.

We’re a remote team:

  • Mohamed is located in Paris, France, and works as a Tech Advisor. He also invested in a few startups.

  • On my side, I’m a Digital Marketing Manager based in Sydney, Australia, and my journey is to evangelizing brands on the Internet.

how-we-launched-a-35k-month-tool-to-send-bulk-linkedin-messages

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I recently got my diploma in computer sciences and had the opportunity to move to Australia.

When I arrived in Sydney with $1,000 in my pocket, I spent 3 weeks looking every single day for a new job in growth/digital marketing.

It was a real challenge to engage with all the startups' CEOs in Sydney, and ask if they’re hiring for one reason: It’s a repetitive process.

After searching how can I automate this process, I discovered a dodgy tool to send bulk invitations on Linkedin with personalized messages.

I started using this tool and after a few interviews, I’ve been hired as a Digital Marketing Manager in an Aussie startup.

On top of that, I also got a client interested in doing some Linkedin lead generation. :)

For a few months, I used this tool that I found on the web to send Linkedin messages and the results we achieved were great.

how-we-launched-a-35k-month-tool-to-send-bulk-linkedin-messages

The cost per lead generated was ridiculous compared to traditional advertising methods such as Facebook and Google Ads.

I understood the opportunity to develop my own SaaS that allows people to send bulk invitations on Linkedin with personalized messages.

I kept one rule in my mind. Our product, Coldinbox, has to be accessible for non-technical people.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Coldinbox was at first a small script that I coded and tested in the chrome developer console.

The script was able to invite all the people on a Linkedin search result page with a message.

When it was functional, I called my friend and co-founder Mohamed Hassen Mami and asked him if he was interested to do the project together and he was ok.

how-we-launched-a-35k-month-tool-to-send-bulk-linkedin-messages

We already knew what features must be developed for the product release because we were using the dodgy competitor’s tool and provided Linkedin Lead Generation services as an agency.

I designed the UX/UI part of chrome extension with inVision Studio, a tool that I truly recommend because it’s free and super easy to handle.

how-we-launched-a-35k-month-tool-to-send-bulk-linkedin-messages

Mohamed developed the chrome extension in React and Redux. And the backend with NestJs and MongoDB, the whole hosted on Heroku and Mongo Atlas.

He implemented the core feature that allows Coldinbox users to send bulk invitations on Linkedin, then he added the possibly personalize the invitation with a message and finally he shipped the feature to personalize messages with custom variables such as #firstName#.

how-we-launched-a-35k-month-tool-to-send-bulk-linkedin-messages

On the side, I created the homepage of Coldinbox with Wordpress and Elementor, implemented the email marketing sequence with Sendinblue, and other marketing features.

how-we-launched-a-35k-month-tool-to-send-bulk-linkedin-messages

If you’re building a product with a single but amazing feature for your users, they will naturally be involved to make it better.

Describe the process of launching the business.

We started promoting Coldinbox with a fast content strategy that drives instant traffic to the website.

Posting LIVE demo in Facebook groups related to startups, SaaS, growth hacking, and digital marketing.

how-we-launched-a-35k-month-tool-to-send-bulk-linkedin-messages

Publishing video of my interview with Martin Ren, and posts related to Coldinbox once a day on my Linkedin profile.

The cons of this method are that you have to do it every single day otherwise nobody will discover your website after day +1.

We had to start a slow content strategy at the same time to receive more traffic on Coldinbox.

The way to start is to map all the queries related to the topic of our product on Quora and Reddit.

Once all the Quora and Reddit posts are identified, we replied to each person and we invited them to have a play with our product.

This week we’re ready to run a campaign on Product Hunt and we really hope to generate another thousand sign-ups.

The strategy we’re using to retain users is a cross canal strategy.

The first week after signing-up on Coldinbox, users receive an onboarding sequence that includes 4 emails.

On top of that, we’re also running a Facebook retargeting campaign to make sure to stay in the mind of our users.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Building a human relationship with our users is key to attract and retain them.

As soon as they visit our home page, they know who is building this product.

Avoid Slack & Email notifications. When we started ColdInbox, I used to waste hours and hours replying to customer’s messages and emails instantly or even chatting on Slack with my co-founder.

We’re not a B2B startup, we’re H2H: Human to Human. We’re interacting with our customers every day (Facebook/Linkedin chat, Zoom call).

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Things are going well at ColdInbox!

Since our release, we signed 2 deals with companies in the IT training & recruiting spaces.

We currently provide ColdInbox to all their Business Development Managers.

On the side, new users such as consultants, speakers, and auto-entrepreneurs are using our algorithm every day.

We’re currently targeting the Australian market, but users from worldwide sign-up every day on Coldinbox.

Here’s is the Google Analytics Dashboard with insights related to the traffic we received these last 7 days:

how-we-launched-a-35k-month-tool-to-send-bulk-linkedin-messages

At the moment our plan is to develop our organic acquisition channels to make Coldinbox discoverable from Google search.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Avoid Slack & Email notifications.

When we started ColdInbox, I used to waste hours and hours replying to customer’s messages and emails instantly or even chatting on Slack with my co-founder.

Last Wednesday, I decided to remove slack from my MacBook apps and reply to users in the morning and after lunch.

That’s super important for me to don’t be disturbed every 5min when I’m working on high-value tasks such as driving traffic to the website.

Make the difference between Daily Tasks and Projects.

It’s all about finding the balance between the execution of tasks that needs to be done every day and working on the development of new features that require weeks to be achieved.

A good organization can definitely boost productivity.

On my side, I’m using Trello for projects such as writing this article and a google spreadsheet for everything related to my daily tasks.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Coldinbox is Chrome Extension hosted on the Chrome Web Store.

The website coldinbox.com is hosted on a WordPress and we built/design the pages with Elementor.

The Product Roadmap is hosted on Trello.

We communicate on Slack and gather all the information to supervise and monitor our product thanks to the Slack apps. (Stripe, Webhooks)

Stripe is integrated into Coldinbox to handle payments and subscriptions.

It also gives us insights related to our customers such as the Monthly Recurring Revenue and the Gross Volume.

On top of that, we’re also using Google Analytics to measure the acquisition of new users and supervise the funnel.

We built 2 marketing automation sequences on Sendinblue:

  • The first-one to improve the user-onboarding (when a user sign-up).
  • The second one is triggered when a user requests use-cases on the home page.

how-we-launched-a-35k-month-tool-to-send-bulk-linkedin-messages

Instant communication with Coldinbox’s website visitors is possible (and free) thanks to the Facebook Messenger plugin.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I used to start books but never finish them… books give theoretical knowledge.

In my opinion, the best resource to upgrade your skills is practice.

Working in a startup for a while, understanding, and solving their challenges is more valuable than reading books about “How to build a startup”.

Practice pushes you to find the information you need to reach the expected results.

In most of the case, this piece of information has to be precise, can be implemented quickly, and is up-to-date.

Reading blog posts, Medium articles, forums, and being part of communities on Facebook groups and Slack are some of the solutions I found.

Another recommendation that I have is to attend hackathons - innovation challenges.

I participated in 20+ hackathons across Europe (France, Sweden, Finland).

There is no better way to learn fast how to identify a problem, build a prototype, and pitch a solution in front of an audience.

Fun fact: I met my co-founder, Mohamed Hassen-Mami in a hackathon 4 years ago.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

My advice is to start a product with only one core feature that people really need to grow their business.

From my point of view, entrepreneurs who have a product roadmap with a thousand features to implement before the release have more chances to fail.

If you’re building a product with a single but amazing feature for your users, they will naturally be involved to make it better.

Listen to their feedback, and identify features often requested.

That’s how you discover the next features you’ll have to implement for your product.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We’re working with bloggers, media, and business development managers that earn money from our revenue share affiliate program.

We’re currently looking for new affiliates, so if you’re interested feel free email me at arthur.backouche[at]coldinbox.com

Where can we go to learn more?

The best way to learn more about Coldinbox is to join our Facebook group: LinkedIn Automation Community.

We created this group a few days ago, and we’re pushing efforts to grow the community. Feel free to join! :)

-  
Arthur Backouche,   Founder of COLDINBOX

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