How To Get Email Addresses To Cold Email (By Using Upwork)

If you’re going to be sending cold emails, you’ll need your prospect’s email addresses. There are a lot of options for how to get emails addresses or as some people call them, leads (contact info). Each with their own pros and cons., Lusha, writing a script to scrape LinkedIn, using Upwork to hire a lead generation provider, and many more.

In my experience, buying lists is a waste of money and scraping is a lot of work that requires a ton of scrubbing time. ZoomInof/Discoverorg is a premium option that most early stage startups cannot afford if you’re looking to get email addresses.

In this post, I’ll give you an overview of Upwork, how to find a lead generation provider, and how to help them find leads.

How To Use Upwork To Get Email Addresses

Upwork in my experience is the best way to source leads once you find a lead generation provider (freelancer or agency) who you work well with. What’s nice about Upwork is you can use multiple providers, the contact info they get should be up to date, and you can be extremely precise with who you target. It also provides flexibility to use it as little or as much as you need.

The challenge with Upwork is finding a reliable provider. It may take a few test sessions but if you put in the time, you’ll be able to find at least one. In my experience, providers in either India or The Philippines tend to be the most reliable. 

There are tons of lead generation providers so you’re going to need to vet them. Two things I like to do are: 1) In my job post, I’ll say “in your proposal, please write the word “Orange” so I know you read the proposal” and 2) Give a few the same lead gen test to find five to ten leads with a reasonable deadline. After that is complete, you should have a good idea of who to work with. Price wise, you may pay anywhere from 15-65 cents per lead or for each time they get an email address. Your bounce rate should be under 5%. They should agree to replace any leads that bounce. It’s hard to get direct phone numbers so if they say they can only get a company phone number, that’s fine. You may want to clarify if they can get direct phone numbers.

Early on, you’ll want to create lists for your lead gen provider with contacts based on people you’ve sourced from LinkedIn. Put them in a spreadsheet with the appropriate column headers. After you’ve worked together enough, and if they’re competent, you can skip sourcing the people from LinkedIn. You should be paying less per contact if you source the original contacts via LinkedIn.

Giving Your Upwork Freelancer Instructions on How to Get Email Addresses

The key to successful lead generation work is giving explicit instructions. If you want them to get email addresses that are on point, you need to help them out.

Example of what I’ve done is below. These instructions are for a provider I’ve worked with in the past. I sent them a list of CPG companies to source lead info for, and I like to send a duplicate list they have to check against so I only get new contacts. Each situation varies so you’ll have to customize for your needs. But remember, the more explicit your instructions, the more likely they’ll deliver what you need.

1. Please see CPG company list attached

2. No Duplicate companies right now (see list attached) You may need to provide a list of companies so they don’t get duplicates, depending on how you’re tracking it.

3. Only new companies

4. If company is small, less than 100 employees, get CEO or President

5. Please look for any titles with “Insights”

6. Only titles – VP of Marketing, Director of Marketing, Marketing Manager, Brand Manager

7. 4 contacts per company, max

8. US and Canada contacts

9. Need all info like normally, please put industry too

For your instructions, you need to be as clear as possible with the rules, especially if you’re not giving them LinkedIn profiles like I did above. Eventually you want them to find contacts without providing LinkedIn profiles to save yourself some time. Early on, it’s beneficial for you to see who your prospects are, read profiles, etc. 

You’ll want to get all the basic info, First name, last name, title, email, city, state, country. Other headers may include Lead Source, Company Size, Lead Owner.

How many leads or email addresses should I get at a time?

It depends on your budget, the companies you’re targeting, the title, the industry, etc. There’s no right or wrong answer but 200 at a time feels like a safe number.

Places to get companies/contacts for your lists 

Trade show and conference websites are great ways to find new contacts and companies to reach out to. There will often be a directory you can source from. And if companies are going to trade shows, they’ll probably have money. 

Building a list of companies based off of titles you find on Linkedin may be a little time consuming but getting the best companies with titles you’re targeting will help you save time on the backend. 

If you need to target candy and snack brands you can find a candy and snack trade show…*

When I was sourcing CPG brands, I’d go to store websites that sell CPG products and search for a brand list to send to my lead gen provider like the link below…

Getting Leads On Time

If you’re outsourcing, especially to India, you’re going to be faced with delays from time to time.  You do not want to rely on your lead generation provider to be on time with their delivery so you can do outreach, so you’ll always want to maintain some kind of surplus of leads. This gives you a cushion for inevitable delays. 

Once you have email addresses you’ll want to research your sales prospects. Check out these great posts on how to personalize your outreach and make it relevant for your prospect.

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