Using Scraping & Virtual Assistants to Create a Massive Lead Pipeline

This session is titled Using Scraping & Virtual Assistants to Create a Huge Lead Pipeline by the VP of Growth of Storefront, Matt Ellsworth.


  • Storefront was able to do +1,000 plus stores since November 2012.
  • $40 Million Dollars in Sales.
  • Followed the Predictable Revenue model (50-100 emails per day).

Everything to do before your Outreach

Make sure you build out your research process; and know it well! Know what a good lead looks like, etc.

Scraping Data without Engineering

The first thing you do is go to and download the data browser. Then take tutorials on it.

Scraping Data: Targeting

At Storefront we went after boutiques on Yelp in LA, SF (any top retail city). We would send personalized emails with set templates. We’d input personalized links and wording based on their location, and crushed open rates/clicks with personalization.

  • This helps you tackle a large dataset.
  • Structured and categorized.
  • Repeatable data that refreshes.
  • Use data to personalize the message (e.g. latest press mention on Crunchbase).

Scraping Data: Puzzle Piece

  • Look for name, title, and contact information (if you can get it).
  • These combos: Name + Company, Name + Website.
  • Pattern Matching ( e.g.

Building Out a Research Process!

We don’t have time to research all emails and names once we have the business.

How to find Emails?

  • Try Rapportive, Toofr, Stacklead.
  • Outsourcing: It only costs $3.50 per hour!/ $7 Manager.

Research Process:

  • Do a pay-attention-to-detail test. For example, “Put Bluh, Bluh shots, fired in the subject line.” If they don’t do this in the subject line, you know you can move on to the next application as they’re aren’t paying attention.
  • Make sure to do skype interviews for English skills and review. If they are going to continue to work for you for a long period of time, put them through a similar screening process that you already do with full time hires.
  • *Sales Hack: Get samples of previous work (FREE LEADS).


  • Hire 3 people at the same time and give them all the same data (to find the best).
  • Test for efficiency, communication, and accuracy.
  • Look for a leader to promote (the best out of the 3!).

Scaling the Team: Unit Costs

  • In a spreadsheet, track: time spent researching, leads created per hour, and unit costs.
  • Use this data as a benchmark for future hires. If your typical blast is 100 emails in office, do the same to gage how well they’re doing. Start tracking so you can make standards for future hires.
  • Hire up to meet sales demands.


  • Teach the research team how to scrape.
  • Train them on the entire process of gathering data and researching (so they can build their skills).
  • Have the team send the email templates for your sales reps and load them into your CRM.

Matt Ellsworth is former VP of Growth at Storefront, the Airbnb for Retail Spaces. Matt is currently Distro Partner at 500 Startups and Founder at Ellsworthy.

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