We recently noticed that Cleverly.co is running Google ads specifically targeting FunnelProfit. Normally, we just chalk these things up to competitors “doing their thing” and take it as a mild compliment.

But Cleverly is claiming that their LinkedIn services are a comparable alternative to FunnelProfit’s. This is simply not true. It’s a misleading apples-to-oranges comparison.

Here’s Cleverly’s ad targeting our potential clients:

Cleverly Google ad targeting FunnelProfit

While we dispute their use of “Predictably Get LinkedIn Leads” in their ad given some of the public reviews (see below), that’s not the real reason for this post.

Here are the fundamental differences in LinkedIn approach between FunnelProfit vs. Cleverly:

#1 We Don’t Spam People From Your LinkedIn Account

In fact, we don’t use Cleverly’s invite -> connect -> send sales pitch message sequence at all.

Why? Because it doesn’t work anymore for most businesses. We stopped doing this in 2018 because 1) the results didn’t make sense for our type of clients, and 2) decision makers on LinkedIn are overwhelmed with spam messages.

#2 We Don’t Use Robots for LinkedIn Connection Invites and Messages

Cleverly gets business by charging very low prices and using automation to send connection invites and messages. The problem is there are limits to the LinkedIn advanced filters, including the ones available through LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator and API. This means a large portion of the people who get invited and messaged by the robot will be the wrong people.

At FunnelProfit we use real human account managers who review each person’s profile before a connection invite is sent. This means your network will include a much higher percentage of relevant decision makers.

Our clients prefer quality over quantity on LinkedIn, assuming the quantity is roughly equivalent. Fully automated campaigns cannot deliver the quality level our clients expect.

If you’re considering a fully-automated approach, think hard about whether your product or service is one-size-fits-all and “churn and burn” tactics work in your market. If not, then stay away!

#3 We Focus on Delivering Personalized Value

What do you think is the difference between these two messages from a response standpoint?

MESSAGE A

“Hi [name], thanks for connecting. I am an expert in [your value prop]. We have [number] of satisfied clients in your [industry]. Would you be interested in setting up a short call? If so, here’s my calendar link [link].”

MESSAGE B

“Hi [name], thanks for connecting. I saw you’re [personal interest]. I thought you might find this interesting [relevant link]. Hope you have a great week.”

The differences are personalization and delivering value. This can’t be automated.

#4 We Drive Inbound Leads NOT Outbound Leads

We focus on inbound marketing and lead generation on LinkedIn, using two approaches (click to learn more):

We focus on inbound LinkedIn marketing because outbound lead generation is pretty much dead on LinkedIn for our type of clients.

Outbound lead generation numbers don’t work anymore unless your product or service is one-size-fits-all and you have a huge potential market.

Here’s why:

  • There are a million copycat “lead generation agencies” out there all spamming their clients’ LinkedIn connections with similar message campaigns. It’s tough to stand out from the crowd if you copycat every other agency out there and don’t invest in advanced copywriting and personalization.
  • As a result of this spamfest, positive response rates to outbound LinkedIn messages have dropped from 8-12% five years ago to less than 1% on average. That’s less than 1% of people who will end up booking a discovery call. If you target corporate executives you’re looking at 0.5% or even 0.2% invite-to-discovery call rate. Decision makers have tuned out this LinkedIn message spam.
  • The LinkedIn target niches for most of our clients are quite small — under 5,000 ideal prospects. The market gets smaller the more specialized and higher value your offering is. It makes no sense to auto-spam 1,000 people if that’s your entire market and each customer could be worth $50k-plus. It’s easy to burn through your entire target list in a couple months unless you have a huge one-size-fits-all market.
  • Scaling is tough on LinkedIn. LinkedIn limits connection requests to 80-ish per day in Sales Navigator. With back end API access you can send a lot more messages.
  • If you ramp up message counts to drive more leads and you get too many negative responses, LinkedIn will stop you from messaging. You will need to enter the prospect’s email just to send an invite. This completely kills your outbound LinkedIn lead generation strategy.

#5 We Put Our Client’s Reputation First

Our number one goal is to increase the reputation, credibility, authority and brand strength of our clients. We are 100% committed to “doing no harm”. Spamming new LinkedIn connections is the opposite of this.

This is not necessarily a condemnation of Cleverly, as much as the automated tactics their business is built on.

Cleverly has a number of nice case studies on their site, and many positive reviews. But that’s not the whole story. We suggest you check out the reviews and comments from other credible sources like the ones below. This will help you make an informed decision.

Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/sales/comments/engdqh/looking_for_reviews_of_cleverlyco_seems_sketchy/

Trust Mamma
https://www.mamma.com/us/cleverly-co

Clutch
https://clutch.co/profile/cleverly

Trustpilot
https://www.trustpilot.com/review/cleverly.co
NOTE: Trustpilot is not an independent review platform — it’s a reputation management tool paid for by the company being reviewed. 95% of these reviews lack detail on the type of product/service Cleverly was used for. The great majority are positive reviews, but none have the “Verified” stamp from Trustpilot that shows the reviewer actually bought Cleverly’s service.

Bottom Line: FunnelProfit vs. Cleverly

If you want low cost automated “churn and burn” outbound LinkedIn message campaigns, AND you have a huge potential market, your product/service is one-size-fits-all, AND you’re willing to risk harming your business reputation, then we suggest going ahead with Cleverly. That’s the same for any similar automated LinkedIn service. If that’s what you’re looking for then FunnelProfit is not a fit for you.

If you want a B2B marketing partner who cares about your brand and helps you build a solid inbound marketing platform on LinkedIn, then we invite you to schedule a call with us here.