The unfair advantage of data and automation

The unfair advantage of data and automation

May 25, 2018

Data, personalization, and automation have long been terms most commonly used by enterprise or tech companies. Until recently, it was incredibly rare to find smaller teams that were able to leverage data as effectively as more resource-rich companies.

Today, we’ll look at two small (but mighty) companies who have tackled some of their hardest scaling problems by combining data and automation. Specifically, we’ll look at how they are leveraging Clearbit Enrichment and Zapier to improve their respective workflows.

Doing more with less

We'll start with Urban Us, an urban tech venture fund whose goal is to improve the fundamental ways cities operate with technology. Their companies, like Cohort 4 below, target transportation, environment, and various other areas.


As a niche, but well-known venture fund, Urban Us sees a lot of inbound interest. However, as that volume grew, sorting and prioritizing became a real problem. They simply couldn’t engage with everyone, but also couldn’t afford to have great companies and deals falling through the cracks.

"As a small team trying to build in a non-existent sector, a lot of what we’re doing is network building and community building. You want to figure out who is in your network, what they’re working on, where they’re coming from. Doing this manually is very costly.
— Stonly Baptiste, Partner @ Urban Us

Stonly decided to solve this problem by Enriching every inbound lead with Clearbit, then sending all that new data to their CRM (Streak) via a simple Zapier template, called a zap.

This gave them all the data they needed to decide if a lead was high-value right within their existing workflow. The entire setup took a few minutes and required no coding.

Not familiar with Zapier? It allows for robust automation and integrates with 1,000+ tools, like CRMs, email apps, database tools, and more. Their integration with Clearbit lets you push Enriched user and company profiles into any of the connected tools.

Urban Us took automation further with Zapier by using it to collect links in Slack for their newsletter. They also found new ways of leveraging Clearbit data, like sending invites for their events based on the contact’s location.

Know your users better

Next let’s look at Heavybit, a program that helps developer focused companies take their products to market. Through videos, podcasts, and community events, they’ve built an expansive network of developer-focused founders, operators, and investors.


One method of interaction with their community is via their large subscriber list where they share talks, podcasts, and upcoming events. In order to better share relevant information to their subscribers, Heavybit sought additional information on who their subscribers are:

“Our mailing list was an email and a name. When we were trying to decide who to email our events and content to, we received a lot of unsubscribes. Asking for more information was high-friction, but essential to seeing better engagement.”
— Ted Carstensen, Content Marketing Manager @ Heavybit

Using Clearbit to Enrich their existing subscriber list, Ted gathered data like company size and employment role, enabling him to better segment his mailing list and improve engagement. Heavybit now gives each of their subscribers the attention and benefits they already provided, but without the manual work.

To make the experience even smoother for new subscribers, Heavybit uses Clearbit data to Enrich the email of each new signup. Clearbit now provides Heavybit with job role information, a form field that they once needed to ask for. Subscribers start receiving only the most relevant information from Heavybit after opting in for email.

Heavybit was also motivated by their initial results to see where else Clearbit data could improve their workflow. They activated two additional Zaps, the first being one that enriched new event registrants:

They used to spend time digging into registrants manually, but this zap automated that process. Now they can more easily understand whether an event will be successful and who to follow up with, using Clearbit data.

The second Zap, listed below, was an experiment to improve another content channel: Twitter. It uses Clearbit to match email address to Twitter handles and their respective follower counts:

By using Clearbit to examine the Twitter accounts of new subscribers, Heavybit could see who had large networks that they would want to connect with on that platform. With Zapier, they were able to identify Twitter influencers within their email list, and use that data to spark conversations that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

Using data wherever you can

Using data in your organization can empower your employees to be even better at what they already excel at doing. Tasks that were formally manual can be automated through Zapier, and time-intensive tasks like personalization and targeting are simplified with Clearbit data.

You can start by removing the manual aspect of tasks like researching signups, and eventually automate some tasks altogether, like engaging your users with a strong Twitter presence.

Get started on a free Clearbit account to add 100+ data points on any email address or domain, and use Zapier to integrate with 1,000+ tools, including yours — all in a few minutes.

What is sales automation? 5 ways to boost revenue

Salesby Emily Pick on May 31, 2023

Sales automation can streamline the sales pipeline, from lead generation to closing a sale. Learn how it works and how it can benefit your sales process

11 cold prospecting email templates to improve response rate

Salesby Clearbit Team on February 23, 2023

Cold prospecting email templates are a powerful way to engage with prospects. Use these effective cold email templates to get your sales campaigns off to a great start.

The Standard in B2B Data

Now reinvented with Artificial Intelligence—Clearbit is the first AI Native Data Provider. Enrich your records, reveal buying intent, and connect with your ideal customers.