#05 – How to Find Hot Leads?


#05 – How to Find Hot Leads?

July 19, 2017

Attention please, this is a very important episode, because everyone new to cold emailing thinks there is a magic template that will just convert like crazy. The truth is, if you want to be successful with cold email, your list is a far better predictor of success than your email content. With the right list, everything becomes easier. So how do we build that magic list made of the hottest leads out there? Tune in to find out!


  • What is a hot lead and how to recognize one when you see it?
  • Why you need to be VERY specific when looking for hot leads    
  • What are attributes and events and how to use them to build a hot list
  • Simple online tools to help you find events and attributes for your list
  • Once you find them, which specific attributes and events will make a hot list for your business?    

Make sure to check out all the useful resources we share below, that will give you ideas and inspiration for building your hottest lead list ever. Don’t wait, start today and watch it grow.

Happy cold emailing!

Jeremy and Jack

Approach to building a list (from bad to good)

  • Buy a list -> BAD idea, trust us, move on
  • Databases (, LimeLeads, …) will let you download leads instantly, but quality may be an issue depending on your provider
  • Use BuiltWith or NerdyData to see which websites are built with relevant tools for your product or service
  • Find specific company attributes and events (funding, market, news, etc.) using online directories
  • Closed a deal with <big company>:  Techcrunch, Crunchbase, Wallstreet journal
  • Use to find out the owner and contact info of a website
  • Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find people or companies that match your attributes/events
  • Search Google (or use SEMrush or Alexa or SimilarWeb) to find websites ranking for certain keywords
  • Outsource to an agency (check out ;))
  • Look up job boards like to find out who’s hiring specific roles
  • Social networks (Twitter followers, Facebook group, Quora)
  • Attended to conferences
  • Collect business cards at conferences (use full contact to upload them into your CRM)
  • Inbound marketing
  • Referrals

Where to find attributes for hot list

Where to find events for hot list


– [Jeremy] Hey, what’s up, everyone. This is Jeremy from

– [Jack] And this is Jack from EmailsThatSell.

– [Jeremy] Episode Five today, we are going to look at how to find hot leads. And this is such an important task because everyone new to cold email is looking for the magic template when the truth is, if you want to be successful at cold email, your list is a far better predictor of success than your email content. Because with the right list, everything becomes easier.

– [Jack] And do you know, building a list is actually easy. The top of my head, I can name a few places that you can go to find an endless amount of leads. So there’s online databases, there’s LinkedIn, there’s conferences. You can buy a list, you can use referrals. We’ve got in the show notes a big list of where you can find leads. But that’s not the issue. Building a list of hot leads is what’s difficult.

– [Jeremy] Awesome. I want to know. So let’s start by defining what hot leads means.

– [Jack] So a lot of people think that a hot lead is a dream customer. And though that may be the case, what makes them a hot lead has nothing to do with how much that account is worth or how excited you’d be to sign them up. A hot lead is defined by their eagerness to engage with you about how you can help them.

– [Jeremy] Can you give me an example of a hot lead and how this will look like?

– [Jack] Let’s say that you are looking for leads and you have a hosting company. If you have found the CEO of a tech company that just went through a two-week outage because of their hosting provider, you can imagine that it’d probably be causing them a massive headache and they’re probably already exploring ways to fix this hosting issue. So if you reached out to that CEO and said that you have 99% up time, there’s a good chance they’d be excited to engage with you.

– [Jeremy] That sounds like a lot of work, you find people in this specific situation. Do I have to be that specific all the time to find hot leads?

– [Jack] You don’t have to be that specific, but the truth is a lot of people aren’t. The thing is though, if you’re not going to segment your list that specific, you’re just not going to have hot leads, period. At best you might get a few people who need your offer but you just won’t be able to talk to them correctly because your segment is too broad.

– [Jeremy] Deep down I think I’m afraid that if I go that specific I won’t have a big enough list of people to contact.

– [Jack] Think about this. If your business can’t identify enough people who actually need what you have to offer, then there may be a larger problem here than list building. It could just be a product-market fit or something like that because if you can’t find hot leads you’re just going to be at a severe disadvantage from the start.

– [Jeremy] Okay, I got it. So how do I go about finding hot leads for business?

– [Jack] So there’s two kinds of signals that you need to pay attention to in order to find hot leads. The first signal is events and the second is attributes. So an event is exactly what you think it would be. It’s, they’ve just gone through a round of fundraising, they’re currently hiring a position, they’ve experienced a PR disaster, or they just launched a new ad campaign. Things like that, that happen once, that you can track. Attributes are a little different. These are characteristics of a company like the size, revenue, location, technology they’re using. It could be unique monthly visits on a website, it could be podcast downloads, things like that.

– [Jeremy] From my experience it sounds like most of the tools around database or prospect search are built around attributes not events. Would you say so?

– [Jack] I would agree. I would say so, because honestly events are just harder to gather and to keep up to date for these databases. But if you can use both events and attributes when you build your list, you’re just going to set yourself up for a better chance of success.

– [Jeremy] Can you work us through an example? Let’s say I’m sending HR software to tech companies to help with the employee retention problem for example.

– [Jack] Sure, so in this example I would start by identifying the companies to target. And I’d probably begin with attributes because that’s the easiest. So let’s say based on your customer list we’ve determined that your absolute best accounts are in the tech industry, they have between 50 and 200 employees, and most people would stop here. But that doesn’t by any means make this a hot list yet.

– [Jeremy] Okay, so let’s make this a hot list, Jack. How would you go about it?

– [Jack] A couple different ways. Let’s zoom in on three for right now. We’ve already got a list of companies in the tech industry of a certain size. Now instead of just sending a message to all of the HR execs at those companies let’s instead look at companies that only have one HR person in the department. That might signal that this individual is dealing with all of the HR-related issues at the company, and so they’d probably be more open to seeing how a tool would help them at their job. So let’s take this two more steps further. Next I would look for companies that are currently hiring because this tells me that they’ve got a need right now to a, hire employees, and b, to keep them around longer unless they want to lose a ton of money with that hire. And finally I would identify companies with poor Glassdoor ratings, which probably tells us that if the companies aren’t happy, they’re leaving bad reviews, there’s probably some turn issues going on at that company right now. So that’s how I would start. From just tech industry, certain size and HR exec, and take that into a hot list.

– [Jeremy] It’s easy to imagine where to go to find Glassdoor ratings, but what about the other events? Do you have a go-to place for finding them?

– [Jack] Yeah, we have in the show notes some more details on how to find events and what you should be tracking, but here’s three for right now. First you can set up a Google alert that will tell you an event that you might want to track. So let’s say you run a PR agency. You can use a Google alert to help you identify companies that just got bad press, using a few keywords. Next you can use to see which companies are currently hiring. And finally is a really good resource for seeing who just picked up funding.

– [Jeremy] Sounds cool. I think I understand what it takes to build a hot list now but before we end the show, can you give us some direction on how to find the right attributes and events that will make a hot list for my business?

– [Jack] Yes, so start with your current customers. Put them in a spreadsheet and make a column for each attribute and event you can think to track. So you’d want to find out their size, tools that they’re using, what industry they’re in, and maybe what events were going on when they first contacted you or started a conversation about purchasing. So you might want to know is, did they they just get funded? Did they just bring on a bunch of new employees? Did they switch to your tool after using an inferior technology? When you see your customer list through these questions, through these attributes and events, you’ll start to see patterns that’ll help you identify your next hundred customers that would be really eager to talk to you.

– [Jeremy] Awesome. And if you want more ideas and inspiration for building a hot list for your business check out the show notes at That’s it for today. Thanks, Jack.

– [Jack] Yeah, you bet. Awesome, Jeremy.


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