From Cold to Warm: 5 Steps to Converting Cybersecurity Professionals with LinkedIn Advertising and Cold Email Outreach


Reaching cybersecurity professionals can be a daunting task for marketers. These professionals are often busy and receive numerous marketing emails and advertisements every day. In addition, they arguably may be the most skeptical audience of any target market based on their deep expertise on the harmful effects of phishing and cyberattacks by hackers. To be effective in reaching them, a combination of LinkedIn advertising and cold email outreach can be a powerful strategy.

In this article, we will provide a blueprint for marketers looking to use both LinkedIn advertising and cold email outreach to engage with cybersecurity professionals. In fact, CTG puts these into practice when we begin the promotion step of our survey-based lead generation program.  These 5 steps will walk you through what is necessary to define your target audience, create LinkedIn ads, use cold email outreach, coordinate messaging, and monitor and optimize your campaigns.

Step 1: Define Your Target Audience

The first step in any successful marketing campaign is to define your target audience. In the case of cybersecurity professionals, this can be done using LinkedIn’s targeting options. You can narrow down your audience based on factors such as job title, industry, and company size. Once you have defined your target audience, you can use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to export a list of LinkedIn profiles that match your criteria. Or, if you have a prebuilt prospect list ahead of time from your contact intelligence tool of choice (Eg. Zoominfo,, you can upload that list into the LinkedIn campaign manager to create a highly targeted audience

Step 2: Create LinkedIn Ads

Once you have your list of targeted LinkedIn profiles, the next step is to create LinkedIn ads that will reach out to this audience. One effective type of ad to consider is the single image ad. This type of ad is a static image that appears in the LinkedIn feed of the targeted audience. It can be used to promote your brand, highlight the benefits of your product or service, or encourage the audience to take a specific action such as visiting your website or signing up for a trial.  At CTG, our use case was a single image ad that would influence a targeted cybersecurity professional to respond to a sponsor’s survey.  Here is an example of one of the ads.

LinkedIn Ad example
LinkedIn Ad example

To create an effective single image ad, use eye-catching visuals and concise messaging that speaks to the needs and pain points of the cybersecurity professionals you are targeting. Be sure to include a clear call-to-action that tells the audience what you want them to do next. You can use LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager to set up and run your ads.

Pro tip: Have 5+ variations of an ad running at the same time

Did you know that an individual can only be shown an ad a limited number of times within 48 hours? To get around this, it is best to have 5 or more variations of the ad running at the same time. This will increase impressions and also aid in performance testing. It is recommended to have different images in each variation such as color and layout. Along with testing the graphic, it is also important to tweak the messaging and call to action. By changing one element of each variation you will be provided a clear idea of what resonates best with your target audience.

Step 3: Use Cold Email Outreach

In addition to LinkedIn advertising, cold email outreach can be an effective way to reach out to cybersecurity professionals. At CTG, we use a tool called Woodpecker but there are many sales automation / cold email tools on the market (eg. Salesloft, Yesware,, etc).  Once you have created your LinkedIn ads, use the list of LinkedIn profiles you exported earlier to create a targeted cold email outreach campaign. Using a tool like, you can find the email addresses of the cybersecurity professionals on your list and create a personalized email outreach campaign that complements your LinkedIn ads.  At CTG, we also have just uploaded a prebuilt prospect list that was created in collaboration with the client with their sales intelligence tool.

Pro tip: Use an email validation tool such as Zerobounce to ensure you are only using “valid” emails.  

When crafting your cold email, keep in mind that cybersecurity professionals are busy and receive a lot of marketing emails. Make sure your email stands out by using a compelling subject line and personalizing the content of the email. Address the recipient by name, and speak directly to their needs and pain points. Your email should be concise and have a clear call-to-action. At CTG, we minimize the use of links to enhance our chances of being delivered to the recipients primary inbox versus spam. Here is an example of just one of our emails in our sequence. We highly encourage you to continually A/B test.  Woodpecker has so many great resources that helped us to get educated on the “do’s” and “don’t” of cold email.  I highly encourage you to do your homework prior to starting.  You can get into hot water quickly and permanently damage your domain and your brand’s reputation if you don’t pay attention to the details.

Woodpecker Email Example
Woodpecker Email Example

Step 4: Coordinate the Messaging

To maximize the impact of your marketing campaign, it’s important to ensure that the messaging in your LinkedIn ads and cold email outreach is consistent and complementary. The messaging should be tailored to the needs and pain points of the cybersecurity professionals you are targeting, and should highlight the benefits of your product or service.

To coordinate your messaging, start by defining the key benefits of your product or service. Use these benefits as the basis for your LinkedIn ad and cold email messaging. Make sure the messaging is consistent across all of your marketing materials, and that it speaks to the specific needs and pain points of the cybersecurity professionals you are targeting. In addition, ensure both the LinkedIn ad campaign and the cold email outreach are happening in parallel to maximize brand awareness and recognition. In other words, the recipient may not engage with the LinkedIn ad however because he/she has seen it a few times, when our cold email hits his/her inbox, they will be more likely to engage with it because of the ads they have seen on LinkedIn.

Step 5: Monitor and Optimize

As with any marketing campaign, it’s important to monitor and optimize your outreach efforts over time. This will help you to identify what’s working and what’s not, and make adjustments to your messaging and targeting as needed.

On LinkedIn, you can use Campaign Manager to track the performance of your ads, and on email outreach, Woodpecker can track open and response rates. By tracking your results and making adjustments as needed, you can optimize your outreach campaign and maximize your chances of converting cybersecurity professionals into warm prospects.


Combining the power of LinkedIn advertising and cold email outreach can be an effective way to reach and convert cybersecurity professionals. By defining your target audience, creating targeted LinkedIn ads, using cold email outreach, coordinating your messaging, and monitoring and optimizing your campaign, you can create a successful outreach campaign that resonates with your target audience and helps to move them from cold leads to warm prospects.

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