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Basics of Google search operators
Version 21.2.3

Basics of Google search operators

Eric Nowoslawski
9
 min.

Basics use and application of Google Search Operators

The Clay Google Search Integration allows for the most amount of creativity out of all the integrations. With the use of Google, essentially, you are able to build your own database from scratch.

  • Want to see if a pricing page mentions “free trial” or “enterprise?” Google can do that.
  • Want to see what the top restaurant in a prospect’s location is? Google can do that.
  • Want to see if a website has an integrations page? Google can do that.

Google gives you access to the largest database in the world. No one is crawling, organizing, and giving access to so much data. Clay can give you access to this data in two ways. First, you can use Google to create a list of websites that match your needs Second, you can use Google to quickly research websites to see if they mention keywords or have any particular types of pages.

In order to turn Google into a spear rather than a fire hose, we can use Google Search Operators to refine our search. Google Search Operators are essentially functions that you can add to your search to tell Google to search in different ways

Here are the basic search operators that everyone should know about and some examples of how to use them.

Search Only a Specific Site

Operator → Site:

Background: This operator narrows your search from the whole internet to one specific site. A great example for this is if you are looking for someone’s LinkedIn profile and you only want to scan LinkedIn.

Example: You could enter site:linkedin.com Eric Nowoslawski Clay and my profile would be the first result.

In this operator I’m telling Google, “Give me only results that are listed on this website and have these keywords.

Note: when setting this up, use the Clay integration “Normalize a URL” and make the domain bare as https or www. seems to mess up the search quite a bit in my personal testing.

Search Only a Specific Keyword or Phrase

Operator → “search text

Background: Quotations“” are used when you need an exact match of a keyword and if the keywords are not found, you don’t want to see the result. Note: you can use double quotes “”example”” to include synonyms of your search as well.

Example: An example to use this with is if you are searching for things on Google that must be true. This is great for scanning websites to see if they mention certain keywords.

Let’s say you want a list of websites that mention “direct to consumer,” you could add a source to a Clay table, choose Google and insert in your search “direct to consumer.” This will get you 300 max results of websites that mention this. Note: it’s 300 max results because of a Google limitation, not a Clay limitation. Try different keywords and searches in multiple source inputs to find more websites!

Other than being used as a Source, this can also be used as an Integration!

Say you want to score a list of Ecommerce stores and sort the ones that are wholesalers versus direct distributors. We can use the below search operator to scan all of the pages easily within Clay. Add the Google Search Integration to a table that you have websites present. Enter the following.

site:domain.com “wholesale”

In this operator, we are saying to Google, search only this specific website I told you for a page that mentions Wholesale and bring that back to me. This is a phenomenal way to automate scoring companies to see if they are a good fit for your offer.

Search a Group of Keywords or Phrases

Operator → ()

Background: Parentheses are used to group searches together so that you don’t mix the possible results.

Example: If you want to search for sales development representatives that cold call in the United states you would use (sales development representative AND cold call) United states.

The parentheses separate the search terms so that Google doesn’t think you are looking for just cold call United states as one term.

Use Boolean Search Operators

Operators → “OR”, “AND”, “-”

Background: These operators help refine your search. OR means you can have two searches and it doesn’t matter if one or the other is present. Ex. Sales Development Representative OR Business Development Representative.

AND is similar but means that both need to be present for Google to give you a result. Ex. Sales Development representative AND Cold calling.

  • is one of my favorites because it excludes searches you don’t want. I often use this to exclude blog links or news about a company. Ex. “remote work” careers -blog -about us

Example: Let’s say you wanted to create a source in Clay that would bring you back results of decision makers that have their personal email address listed on their LinkedIn profile. We could combine many search terms together to find a broad list. Note: I will be using parentheses in this search as that is the best way to tell Google this makes sense. That is covered in the next paragraph.

site:linkedin.com (Owner OR Founder OR President) AND (gmail.com OR yahoo.com OR hotmail.com)

Here we are telling Google, search only LinkedIn for results that include Owner, Founder or President (because we are ok with all 3) but the only time I want you to return a result is if also you find gmail.com, yahoo.com, hotmail.com.

Use a Wildcard Search

Operator → *

Background: The asterisk * is the wildcard search in Google. This is really great when searching for counts of things. Jordan Crawford famously did this when looking for the count of subscribers on a company’s email list.

Example: You could say -  join * subscribers on our email list and Google will return anything that matches that criteria without you having to input all of the numbers.

Another way to think about this one is to use it when you have an exact phrase that you want to look up but there’s a piece to that phrase that is variable. Looking for counts of numbers like the above example is a good use case. Think also if you wanted to find a snippet of how many customers an ecommerce store has, you could use the search below.

site:domain.com “* orders shipped”

Here I’m telling Google, find me anything on this website that mentions XXXX orders shipped. It will take that as wildcard and return back the results.

If you aren’t looking for counts of something, another way to think about this one is if you are looking for a situation where someone might say multiple things about themselves that are still relevant to you.

Let’s say you are selling to business coaches. Doesn’t matter who they sell to, you just want to make sure you sell to them. You could use the search below to scan their website and know they are actively coaching people.

site:domain.com “helping * leaders”

I am telling Google, search this domain to find if they have any reference to this phrase. I don’t care if it says “helping business leaders,” “helping marketing leaders,” or “helping sales leaders.” I just want to know that they help some leader. Add AND/OR and Parentheses to expand this search!

Find Related Websites to a Domain

Operator → Related:

Background: This is a great operator to find competitors of companies. Note that this is just Google saying that they are competitors.

You can enter related:apple.com and Microsoft will come up first.

Often times, I find this to be ok at finding company competitors. If you use this, I would mention in my outreach that the company that is related to them is ranking near them on Google so that if you are off base a little it still makes sense.

A sneaky way I’m thinking about using this is to combine two searches together and play the competitor search against the prospect.

Example: Let’s say you want to compare two companies side by side for their commitment to corporate culture.

We would add a Google Integration to search the prospect company’s site for a corporate culture commitment. Search below.

site:domain.com “corporate culture commitment”

Then we can filter Clay by companies that do not have a page that mentions corporate culture commitment because there would be no results.

Next we can set up a second Google Search Integration to scan for companies similar to our prospects and see if they have the page. Search below.

related:domain.com “corporate culture commitment”

A great advantage here is you are using Google to stack your deck. If you had only found one competitor and search for your keywords, the odds could be slim that you find a page. But now you are searching for all related sites and have a much higher chance of success.

Now if you sell something around corporate culture commitment, you can say something like.

“Hey Prospect, I was doing some competitive research on your company and found that your competitor mentions Corporate Culture commitment but you don’t. Is this a focus for the upcoming Quarter?”

Find Keywords Within a URL

Operator → Inurl:

Background: This is a great operator when you are looking for a page of a website that will be strung into the URL. I often times scrape Yelp.com for top restaurants and to ensure I’m getting a business profile, I will use the operator site:yelp.com

inurl:biz to ensure I’m only seeing yelp business profiles. The same can be done with LinkedIn if you say inurl:company you will only get company profiles back.

Example: Let’s say you want to score a company to see if they have an integrations page. Your search would look like this.

site:domain.com inurl:integrations

This is telling Google, I want to search just this one domains for a url that says integrations in it as well.

Find Keywords Within the Page Text

Operator → intext:

Background: This operator will scan the actual page of a website and see if the text matches your search. Great for scanning companies to see if they are a match for you.

Example: Let’s say you had a list of ecommerce companies but only wanted to target wholesalers. Intext:wholesale will let you know which ones mention that they wholesale their products.

The main difference between using this operator vs. just putting quotes around a keyword is that this is searching only the text of the page. Not the URL, not the cache, not the SEO description, just the text on the page.

Find Multiple Keywords That Must Be in a Page Text

Operator → Allintext:

Background: This operator is similar to intext: with the key difference that every word in the operator must be included in the text. Great for searching a phrase or multiple keywords.

Example: I like adding this one in as it is useful for when a whole search is necessary on the website. If I want to know if a company mentions “upload a CSV,” intext: may get me results that only say Upload or only say CSV. allintext: fixes that problem for me.

Great for when you have searches that require every word to be in the phrase.

Find Results Between Two Dates

Operator → #..#

Background: This operator allows you to search for results that have happened between a certain time. Say you want to scrape Glassdoor for bad interview experiences but only want from 2021 to 2022.

Example: Your search would look like - site:glassdoor.com “terrible interview” 2021..2022 - and you will get results that say terrible interviews that were posted between 2021 and 2022.

Find Results Around A Keyword

Operator → Around(X)

Background: This operator allows you to define other words that you want to be associated with your search but they need to be within so many words of my keyword. Think of phrases that often times don’t come up together as a keyword search but are important when searching for things together.

This is great for finding information about processes. Let’s say you are looking for a crypto company that can handle fiat money transfers. A search for “crypto fiat money transfers” would leave out results that say “we are crypto company that accepts fiat money transfers.”

Example: You can use this search operator to expand your search for this use case.

site:domain.com crypto Around (10) fiat money transfer

Here I’m telling Google to check a website to see if they mention crypto and within 10 words of that word, fiat money transfer also shows up.

Find Results From a News Source

Operator → Source:

Background: This will return search results for your given keywords within articles written by sources on Google News. I have tried some experimenting and it seems you can string multiple searches together.

Highly useful if you are looking for recent news that mentions keywords and you want to ensure the only results you get back are actually news articles from a media outlet and not just blogs from the company.

Example: source:(yahoo.com OR techchrunch.com) salesforce after may 2022

This will return searches for Salesforce on Yahoo news and Techcrunch after May 2022. Note: Whichever outlet Google thinks is more relevant will show up at the top.

This is great for scanning articles to look for mentions of keywords that you can put into your outreach.

“Hey Salesforce VP, I was just reading the recent article about {{keyword}} and I thought I may be able to help you solve a problem over there.

Here’s the link I was viewing:{{insert the link so they know you actually did your homework}}”

Leverage Google Autocomplete

Operator → _

Background: What this operator does is act as a wildcard for Google autocomplete. This is great for when you want to do a search and let Google take the wheel.

Example: A good use case is when finding competitors of a company. The search would look like

Company Name vs. _

This will tell Google that you want to see results filled in with whatever autocomplete it will generate.

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I like to say, “Open AI is wildly powerful but it’s like a five year old at a bowling alley. On their own, the odds of getting a strike are zero. With bumpers, bowling ball ramp and some heavy direction, they can get a strike every time.”

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Mar 2023

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In this campaign, we were selling sales engagement tools to marketing leaders in American B2B companies with under 100 employees. At a high level, we started with just a broad list of prospects’ names and emails from Apollo. From there, we used Clay to sort prospects into the following buckets: management consulting, recruiting, or financial services.

Mar 2023

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Nailing your outbound sales and prospecting process can help you generate leads, acquire customers, and drive revenue growth. In this guide, we’ll share a step-by-step approach to troubleshooting each stage of your outbound sales campaign—whether you’re a new sales professional or a seasoned team leader.

We’ll cover how to check early campaigns, identify quality prospects, analyze insights from metrics, double down on well-performing sequences, and more, with detailed examples from our own experiences. You can use the table of contents to easily navigate to the areas that are most relevant to you.

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Mar 2023
Mar 2023
Mar 2023

Merge Column

Clay Team

Blog

Get access to our community's favorite templates. Clay gives your prospecting superpowers! 🧙

Blog

Get access to our community's favorite templates. Clay gives your prospecting superpowers! 🧙

Up next!

Updates on feature releases, product improvements, and our roadmap as we keep molding Clay.

← Back to all posts
November 30, 2022
Basics of Google search operators
Version 21.2.3

Basics of Google search operators

Eric Nowoslawski

Basics use and application of Google Search Operators

The Clay Google Search Integration allows for the most amount of creativity out of all the integrations. With the use of Google, essentially, you are able to build your own database from scratch.

  • Want to see if a pricing page mentions “free trial” or “enterprise?” Google can do that.
  • Want to see what the top restaurant in a prospect’s location is? Google can do that.
  • Want to see if a website has an integrations page? Google can do that.

Google gives you access to the largest database in the world. No one is crawling, organizing, and giving access to so much data. Clay can give you access to this data in two ways. First, you can use Google to create a list of websites that match your needs Second, you can use Google to quickly research websites to see if they mention keywords or have any particular types of pages.

In order to turn Google into a spear rather than a fire hose, we can use Google Search Operators to refine our search. Google Search Operators are essentially functions that you can add to your search to tell Google to search in different ways

Here are the basic search operators that everyone should know about and some examples of how to use them.

Search Only a Specific Site

Operator → Site:

Background: This operator narrows your search from the whole internet to one specific site. A great example for this is if you are looking for someone’s LinkedIn profile and you only want to scan LinkedIn.

Example: You could enter site:linkedin.com Eric Nowoslawski Clay and my profile would be the first result.

In this operator I’m telling Google, “Give me only results that are listed on this website and have these keywords.

Note: when setting this up, use the Clay integration “Normalize a URL” and make the domain bare as https or www. seems to mess up the search quite a bit in my personal testing.

Search Only a Specific Keyword or Phrase

Operator → “search text

Background: Quotations“” are used when you need an exact match of a keyword and if the keywords are not found, you don’t want to see the result. Note: you can use double quotes “”example”” to include synonyms of your search as well.

Example: An example to use this with is if you are searching for things on Google that must be true. This is great for scanning websites to see if they mention certain keywords.

Let’s say you want a list of websites that mention “direct to consumer,” you could add a source to a Clay table, choose Google and insert in your search “direct to consumer.” This will get you 300 max results of websites that mention this. Note: it’s 300 max results because of a Google limitation, not a Clay limitation. Try different keywords and searches in multiple source inputs to find more websites!

Other than being used as a Source, this can also be used as an Integration!

Say you want to score a list of Ecommerce stores and sort the ones that are wholesalers versus direct distributors. We can use the below search operator to scan all of the pages easily within Clay. Add the Google Search Integration to a table that you have websites present. Enter the following.

site:domain.com “wholesale”

In this operator, we are saying to Google, search only this specific website I told you for a page that mentions Wholesale and bring that back to me. This is a phenomenal way to automate scoring companies to see if they are a good fit for your offer.

Search a Group of Keywords or Phrases

Operator → ()

Background: Parentheses are used to group searches together so that you don’t mix the possible results.

Example: If you want to search for sales development representatives that cold call in the United states you would use (sales development representative AND cold call) United states.

The parentheses separate the search terms so that Google doesn’t think you are looking for just cold call United states as one term.

Use Boolean Search Operators

Operators → “OR”, “AND”, “-”

Background: These operators help refine your search. OR means you can have two searches and it doesn’t matter if one or the other is present. Ex. Sales Development Representative OR Business Development Representative.

AND is similar but means that both need to be present for Google to give you a result. Ex. Sales Development representative AND Cold calling.

  • is one of my favorites because it excludes searches you don’t want. I often use this to exclude blog links or news about a company. Ex. “remote work” careers -blog -about us

Example: Let’s say you wanted to create a source in Clay that would bring you back results of decision makers that have their personal email address listed on their LinkedIn profile. We could combine many search terms together to find a broad list. Note: I will be using parentheses in this search as that is the best way to tell Google this makes sense. That is covered in the next paragraph.

site:linkedin.com (Owner OR Founder OR President) AND (gmail.com OR yahoo.com OR hotmail.com)

Here we are telling Google, search only LinkedIn for results that include Owner, Founder or President (because we are ok with all 3) but the only time I want you to return a result is if also you find gmail.com, yahoo.com, hotmail.com.

Use a Wildcard Search

Operator → *

Background: The asterisk * is the wildcard search in Google. This is really great when searching for counts of things. Jordan Crawford famously did this when looking for the count of subscribers on a company’s email list.

Example: You could say -  join * subscribers on our email list and Google will return anything that matches that criteria without you having to input all of the numbers.

Another way to think about this one is to use it when you have an exact phrase that you want to look up but there’s a piece to that phrase that is variable. Looking for counts of numbers like the above example is a good use case. Think also if you wanted to find a snippet of how many customers an ecommerce store has, you could use the search below.

site:domain.com “* orders shipped”

Here I’m telling Google, find me anything on this website that mentions XXXX orders shipped. It will take that as wildcard and return back the results.

If you aren’t looking for counts of something, another way to think about this one is if you are looking for a situation where someone might say multiple things about themselves that are still relevant to you.

Let’s say you are selling to business coaches. Doesn’t matter who they sell to, you just want to make sure you sell to them. You could use the search below to scan their website and know they are actively coaching people.

site:domain.com “helping * leaders”

I am telling Google, search this domain to find if they have any reference to this phrase. I don’t care if it says “helping business leaders,” “helping marketing leaders,” or “helping sales leaders.” I just want to know that they help some leader. Add AND/OR and Parentheses to expand this search!

Find Related Websites to a Domain

Operator → Related:

Background: This is a great operator to find competitors of companies. Note that this is just Google saying that they are competitors.

You can enter related:apple.com and Microsoft will come up first.

Often times, I find this to be ok at finding company competitors. If you use this, I would mention in my outreach that the company that is related to them is ranking near them on Google so that if you are off base a little it still makes sense.

A sneaky way I’m thinking about using this is to combine two searches together and play the competitor search against the prospect.

Example: Let’s say you want to compare two companies side by side for their commitment to corporate culture.

We would add a Google Integration to search the prospect company’s site for a corporate culture commitment. Search below.

site:domain.com “corporate culture commitment”

Then we can filter Clay by companies that do not have a page that mentions corporate culture commitment because there would be no results.

Next we can set up a second Google Search Integration to scan for companies similar to our prospects and see if they have the page. Search below.

related:domain.com “corporate culture commitment”

A great advantage here is you are using Google to stack your deck. If you had only found one competitor and search for your keywords, the odds could be slim that you find a page. But now you are searching for all related sites and have a much higher chance of success.

Now if you sell something around corporate culture commitment, you can say something like.

“Hey Prospect, I was doing some competitive research on your company and found that your competitor mentions Corporate Culture commitment but you don’t. Is this a focus for the upcoming Quarter?”

Find Keywords Within a URL

Operator → Inurl:

Background: This is a great operator when you are looking for a page of a website that will be strung into the URL. I often times scrape Yelp.com for top restaurants and to ensure I’m getting a business profile, I will use the operator site:yelp.com

inurl:biz to ensure I’m only seeing yelp business profiles. The same can be done with LinkedIn if you say inurl:company you will only get company profiles back.

Example: Let’s say you want to score a company to see if they have an integrations page. Your search would look like this.

site:domain.com inurl:integrations

This is telling Google, I want to search just this one domains for a url that says integrations in it as well.

Find Keywords Within the Page Text

Operator → intext:

Background: This operator will scan the actual page of a website and see if the text matches your search. Great for scanning companies to see if they are a match for you.

Example: Let’s say you had a list of ecommerce companies but only wanted to target wholesalers. Intext:wholesale will let you know which ones mention that they wholesale their products.

The main difference between using this operator vs. just putting quotes around a keyword is that this is searching only the text of the page. Not the URL, not the cache, not the SEO description, just the text on the page.

Find Multiple Keywords That Must Be in a Page Text

Operator → Allintext:

Background: This operator is similar to intext: with the key difference that every word in the operator must be included in the text. Great for searching a phrase or multiple keywords.

Example: I like adding this one in as it is useful for when a whole search is necessary on the website. If I want to know if a company mentions “upload a CSV,” intext: may get me results that only say Upload or only say CSV. allintext: fixes that problem for me.

Great for when you have searches that require every word to be in the phrase.

Find Results Between Two Dates

Operator → #..#

Background: This operator allows you to search for results that have happened between a certain time. Say you want to scrape Glassdoor for bad interview experiences but only want from 2021 to 2022.

Example: Your search would look like - site:glassdoor.com “terrible interview” 2021..2022 - and you will get results that say terrible interviews that were posted between 2021 and 2022.

Find Results Around A Keyword

Operator → Around(X)

Background: This operator allows you to define other words that you want to be associated with your search but they need to be within so many words of my keyword. Think of phrases that often times don’t come up together as a keyword search but are important when searching for things together.

This is great for finding information about processes. Let’s say you are looking for a crypto company that can handle fiat money transfers. A search for “crypto fiat money transfers” would leave out results that say “we are crypto company that accepts fiat money transfers.”

Example: You can use this search operator to expand your search for this use case.

site:domain.com crypto Around (10) fiat money transfer

Here I’m telling Google to check a website to see if they mention crypto and within 10 words of that word, fiat money transfer also shows up.

Find Results From a News Source

Operator → Source:

Background: This will return search results for your given keywords within articles written by sources on Google News. I have tried some experimenting and it seems you can string multiple searches together.

Highly useful if you are looking for recent news that mentions keywords and you want to ensure the only results you get back are actually news articles from a media outlet and not just blogs from the company.

Example: source:(yahoo.com OR techchrunch.com) salesforce after may 2022

This will return searches for Salesforce on Yahoo news and Techcrunch after May 2022. Note: Whichever outlet Google thinks is more relevant will show up at the top.

This is great for scanning articles to look for mentions of keywords that you can put into your outreach.

“Hey Salesforce VP, I was just reading the recent article about {{keyword}} and I thought I may be able to help you solve a problem over there.

Here’s the link I was viewing:{{insert the link so they know you actually did your homework}}”

Leverage Google Autocomplete

Operator → _

Background: What this operator does is act as a wildcard for Google autocomplete. This is great for when you want to do a search and let Google take the wheel.

Example: A good use case is when finding competitors of a company. The search would look like

Company Name vs. _

This will tell Google that you want to see results filled in with whatever autocomplete it will generate.

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Mar 2023

How IntroCRM cut its prospecting data budget by 65% and built better lead lists lists with Clay

My company, IntroCRM, is a fractional sales agency that helps small sales teams excel with email deliverability, list building, and messaging. Clay is a critical part of how we help our customers generate, qualify, and book time with leads. In this blog post, I’m going to describe our life before Clay, why and how we use it today, and show you an example of a creative prospecting campaign that we ran for a client.

Mar 2023

Automate 6 cold email campaigns in a single Clay workflow

Clay Team

In this post, we’ll go over how we automated six different outbound cold email campaigns using a single Clay table. Follow along step-by-step in our video.

In this campaign, we were selling sales engagement tools to marketing leaders in American B2B companies with under 100 employees. At a high level, we started with just a broad list of prospects’ names and emails from Apollo. From there, we used Clay to sort prospects into the following buckets: management consulting, recruiting, or financial services.

Mar 2023

Troubleshooting outbound sales and prospecting: a comprehensive guide

Stefan Kollenberg

Nailing your outbound sales and prospecting process can help you generate leads, acquire customers, and drive revenue growth. In this guide, we’ll share a step-by-step approach to troubleshooting each stage of your outbound sales campaign—whether you’re a new sales professional or a seasoned team leader.

We’ll cover how to check early campaigns, identify quality prospects, analyze insights from metrics, double down on well-performing sequences, and more, with detailed examples from our own experiences. You can use the table of contents to easily navigate to the areas that are most relevant to you.

Feb 2023

B2B Sales Prospecting: 15 Strategies to Drive More Conversions

Clay Team

When it comes to B2B sales, one of the biggest challenges is identifying potential customers and transforming them into qualified leads. However, by utilizing effective sales prospecting methods and tools, you can achieve more conversions and grow your business. In this ultimate guide to B2B sales prospecting, we'll delve into the most effective techniques, tools, and strategies to help you generate more quality leads, build a strong sales pipeline, and close more deals.

Feb 2023

How To Create Your Own Sales Prospect List in Minutes

Clay Team

Sales prospecting efforts can be a time-consuming and challenging task for any business. Finding the right prospects and gathering the necessary information to approach them can often feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. You may spend hours scouring various sources such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and company websites, only to come up with a fragmented and incomplete picture of your potential customers. The process of aggregating this information and organizing it into a usable format can take even more time and effort. However, what if we told you that you could create a sales prospecting list in just a few minutes? With Clay, an in-depth  sales prospecting tool, you can quickly and easily import prospects from multiple sources and enrich them with valuable information. You can also export this data to your preferred platform such as a CRM, saving you time and allowing you to focus on what you do best - closing deals!

Feb 2023

How To Get More Customers By Using Outbound Sales - A Complete Guide

Clay Team

In today's fast-paced and highly competitive business landscape, it's more important than ever to have a solid sales strategy in place. While inbound sales and social media marketing can be effective in attracting potential customers, outbound sales is still a crucial component of any successful sales plan. Outbound sales refers to the process of actively reaching out to potential customers through methods such as cold calling, email marketing, and cold outreach. In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of outbound sales, the types of businesses that can benefit from it, and how to execute a successful outbound sales strategy.

Feb 2023

Cold Email Copywriting Frameworks for Private Equity Firms in 2023

Clay Team

Private equity firms often seek out new investment opportunities and are always on the lookout for promising startups. In this blog post, our expert Eric Nowoslawski provides his tips and frameworks for launching successful lead generation strategies using cold email campaigns to target potential customers and qualified leads. The topics covered in this post include: the critical importance of the subject line, personalizing your cold email approach, focusing on getting a response instead of a sale, including a compelling call-to-action (CTA), emphasizing what your firm enables, keeping your emails short and sweet, limiting follow-up emails, defining your investment offer and marketing strategy, and utilizing cold email templates.

Feb 2023

Cold Email Copywriting Frameworks for VC Firms in 2023

Clay Team

Lead generation is a crucial aspect of sales and marketing for venture capital firms. In this blog post, our expert Eric Nowoslawski shares his tips and frameworks for lead generation through cold emails. By following his strategies, you can secure new investment opportunities, generate high-quality leads, and reach your target audience effectively. This post covers topics such as the importance of personalization in cold emails, the role of a clear call-to-action (CTA), defining your value proposition and marketing angle, and tips for crafting an effective cold email sequence.

Feb 2023

Cold Email Copywriting Frameworks for Recruiting Agencies in 2023

Clay Team

As a recruiter, having a well-rounded lead generation strategy is essential for reaching potential job candidates and securing new clients. In this post, we will go into detail about the key elements that can help optimize your lead generation and increase the chances of making a sale. The topics covered will include lead generation through cold email outreach, leveraging social media, the importance of having a sales team, creating landing pages, lead scoring, lead generation tools, and much more.

Feb 2023

Cold Email Copywriting Frameworks for Marketing Agencies in 2023

Clay Team

Cold emails are a crucial component of lead generation for marketing agencies looking to expand their customer base and drive sales growth. In this post, we will highlight the key elements of a successful cold email marketing strategy, including optimizing subject lines, utilizing personalized email templates, and measuring metrics for lead generation optimization.

Feb 2023

Cold Email Copywriting Frameworks for SAAS Companies in 2023

Clay Team

Cold emails are a crucial aspect of a successful b2b sales and lead generation strategy for SAAS Companies. In this blog post, our expert Eric Nowoslawski shares his tips and techniques for crafting personalized and effective cold emails that can generate new customers through a cold email outreach. Key topics discussed include optimizing cold email subject lines for better open rates, crafting compelling email body and email signature, tracking metrics, and identifying pain points to drive lead conversion.

Feb 2023

11 AI Prompts to Automate Your Prospecting Research

Eric Nowoslawski

Open AI has taken the world by storm with their generative image and text capabilities. The use cases in Sales and Marketing seems almost infinite. From coming up with ideas, writing customer facing copywriting, and automating customer support, every business can leverage AI in some way to boost their productivity.

The ‘job to be done’ for us is to prompt AI correctly to give better answers than what a person could write on their own.

I like to say, “Open AI is wildly powerful but it’s like a five year old at a bowling alley. On their own, the odds of getting a strike are zero. With bumpers, bowling ball ramp and some heavy direction, they can get a strike every time.”

When creating your own prompts, remember to be specific and feed as many details and examples into the data as you can.

Feb 2023

A 7 Step How-To Guide: Successful Outbound Sales Campaigns

With love from the Clay team

Why should you do outbound sales?

You need to prove/disprove your hypothesis about the market.

Outbound sales is beneficial if you have hypotheses but need more certainty about who must have your product and why. It enables you to quickly create, test, and validate these hypotheses with real potential customers.

You get more control than you would with marketing.

Marketing allows you to get content in front of groups of people, but you have far less control over the exact people who will see it. In contrast, outbound sales allows you to pick the specific people that you want to target. This level of control removes the uncertainty of "did the people I want to test this with actually see my message?"

Feb 2023

Cold Email Copywriting Frameworks and Best Practices for 2023

Eric Nowoslawski

Cold emails are one of your most powerful tools for landing new customers, but a few factors can determine whether your messages get trashed or earn replies. In this blog post, we take a look at cold email copywriting tips and frameworks from our resident expert Eric Nowoslawski, who has helped companies with cold email and outbound marketing. We'll cover what to keep in mind before you start an email sequence, how to write your offer and marketing angles, a framework for an effective initial cold email, and how to structure a complete cold email sequence.

Feb 2023

21 Tips for Keeping Cold Emails Out Of Spam in 2023

Eric Nowoslawski

Mastering the art of sending relevant and effective cold emails is crucial for any sales team that wants to convert new customers. The email deliverability landscape, however, can be overwhelming, with hundreds of strategies to consider amidst a constantly changing set of rules and red flags. In this post, we'll share our 21 best tips to help you land cold emails in prospects’ inboxes and acquire customers in 2023. Our guide includes mastering the basics, like setting up essential authentications, cleaning lists, and following sending limits, as well as creative techniques like how to use personalizations and spin taxes. No matter what the tip is, our overall philosophy is simple: whatever spammers do, try to do the opposite. 

Feb 2023

How to Use OpenAI To Write the Perfect Cold Email from Scratch

Eric Nowoslawski

Effective cold emails are critical for any business, but they’ve been extremely time-consuming to write—until now. Instead of spending hours reading LinkedIn bios and company websites, you can use OpenAI with Clay to quickly mass personalize your email outreach with the click of a few buttons. In this post, we’ll show you how to use OpenAI to write personalized outreach emails from scratch based on someone’s LinkedIn bio, company description, and more.

Jan 2023

How to Use Formulas in Clay

Eric Nowoslawski

When building a Clay table, the sources, integrations, and CRM plugins can accomplish the goals of most users. Sometimes, there is a need for some data merging, splitting, or otherwise clean up that is needed in your table. This is where you can use Formulas to accomplish your goals!

In this blog, we are going to first go over how to think about formulas using the AI formula generator and then we will go over common formulas that you can write yourself in your Clay table.

Jan 2023

Optimize your Credit Usage in Clay

Eric Nowoslawski

Clay is a spreadsheet that fills itself with data from many data providers across the internet. We partner with data providers on your behalf to bring lots of different data sources — like job listings, tech stacks, news and more — into your workflows.

In this blog, we will go over a couple of functions in Clay that can will help you optimize your credit usage in Clay. There are many ways to optimize credit usage in Clay that the team has built into the product that we will go over in this blog. We will cover formulas that optimize your workflows and some features that are often overlooked that can help keep your credit usage down.

Here are 3 ways to optimize your Clay credit usage

Nov 2022

Basics of Google search operators

Eric Nowoslawski

Getting started with Google's Search Operator to creatively find new leads

Sep 2022

Lead scoring in Clay

Varun Anand

Welcome to the second post in our series on how to use formulas in Clay!  We’re going to walk you through prioritizing your lead list using scoring formulas in Clay 🌶️

Aug 2022

Formulas in Clay: conditional statements, waterfalling data and qualifying leads

Varun Anand

Ever wanted to learn formulas in Clay but didn't know where to start? Join the club. Just kidding. Read this and you'll be well on your way to mastering the basics of formulas.

Jun 2022

How to prioritize your waitlist

Matt Maiale

If you’re an early stage startup, you’ve probably built a waitlist (or are considering one). And for most startups, it makes a lot of sense.

Nov 2021

🧙‍♀️ The many lives of spreadsheets

With love from the Clay team

Ever wondered how many people use spreadsheets? Some estimates say around 800 million people use Microsoft Excel, and another 160–180 million use Google Sheets. Not bad for a tool that started as a basic visual calculator.

Mar 2023
Mar 2023
Mar 2023

Merge Column

Clay Team
Mar 2023
Mar 2023

GPT-4

Clay Team
Mar 2023

Scrape Website

Clay Team
Mar 2023
Feb 2023
Feb 2023

Find A User's Recent LinkedIn Posts

Clay Team

We hope you're having a wonderful Valentine's Day! On a day filled with love and joy, we thought we'd give you something close to our hearts- new Clay features 💝

Get ready to fall in love 👇

Jan 2023

Get Mobile Phone Number

What's new at Clay

Hey friend,

New Year, new features! 🎊 We've been working hard on building out new integrations to give your teams superpowers for 2023.

We're also super pumped to announce that we've been selected as a finalist for the Golden Kitty Awards! We would love your help by upvoting us here.

Now for the good stuff!! 👇

Aug 2022

Using Google As A Source

Matt Maiale

As you're getting ready for your wonderful Labor Day Weekend break, we're pumped to share some exciting updates to our sources and integrations within Clay 🧚

Aug 2022

Salesforce Integration

Matt Maiale

We hope you're staying cool with your Birkenstocks, bucket hats, and wonderful office AC. We're so pumped to share some new features and updates from Clay.

Dec 2021

Closing out the year with Clay

With love from the Clay team

As we wish this year farewell, we're excited to share some of the bells, whistles, and magic the Clay team is building for you. We're forever in awe of each of you, and can't to see all you'll build in the new year 🎊

Nov 2021

New features, documentation series, and sneak peeks of Clay!

With love from the Clay team

As we get closer to releasing Clay to a larger community, we're excited to share some new features and improvements with you 🤩. With some big features right around the corner, this month we're focused on making all of your interactions in Clay, big and small, absolutely delightful. Check out some of our recent updates:

Oct 2021

Life is getting easier with Clay

With love from the Clay team

We have a couple of new features up our sleeve, but before sharing those with you we are laser focused on making your time in Clay a little more magical - from duplicating tables, to smoother keyboard interactions, record counts and more.

Sep 2021

HTTP API

Matt Maiale

In Clay 2.0, you can now source leads directly from Linkedin within the table. Our 'Clay Find People' source takes queries such as location, title, company, experience, skills, and more to search LinkedIn and add matches to your table.

Sep 2021

Introducing Clay's New Interface

With love from the Clay team

While we'll be migrating all of our users over the fall, we're jazzed to be currently onboarding teams that have ✨ a waitlist to enrich and prioritize✨. This use case is ideal for those with a product in beta, whose signups are feeling unruly (don't be shy if that's you - that was us, too).

Jul 2021

Join our Clay 2.0 beta

With love from the Clay team

We are looking for users interested in testing our revamped UI! We've been teasing our revamped UI and are excited to get you in as soon as humanly possible 🏃.

This month we're prioritizing waitlists in the new UI. You would be a great fit for our beta if you need to better understand people and prioritize sign ups. Shoot us over a note if this sounds like you!

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Mar 2023

How IntroCRM cut its prospecting data budget by 65% and built better lead lists lists with Clay

My company, IntroCRM, is a fractional sales agency that helps small sales teams excel with email deliverability, list building, and messaging. Clay is a critical part of how we help our customers generate, qualify, and book time with leads. In this blog post, I’m going to describe our life before Clay, why and how we use it today, and show you an example of a creative prospecting campaign that we ran for a client.

Mar 2023

Automate 6 cold email campaigns in a single Clay workflow

Clay Team

In this post, we’ll go over how we automated six different outbound cold email campaigns using a single Clay table. Follow along step-by-step in our video.

In this campaign, we were selling sales engagement tools to marketing leaders in American B2B companies with under 100 employees. At a high level, we started with just a broad list of prospects’ names and emails from Apollo. From there, we used Clay to sort prospects into the following buckets: management consulting, recruiting, or financial services.

Mar 2023

Troubleshooting outbound sales and prospecting: a comprehensive guide

Stefan Kollenberg

Nailing your outbound sales and prospecting process can help you generate leads, acquire customers, and drive revenue growth. In this guide, we’ll share a step-by-step approach to troubleshooting each stage of your outbound sales campaign—whether you’re a new sales professional or a seasoned team leader.

We’ll cover how to check early campaigns, identify quality prospects, analyze insights from metrics, double down on well-performing sequences, and more, with detailed examples from our own experiences. You can use the table of contents to easily navigate to the areas that are most relevant to you.

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Mar 2023
Mar 2023
Mar 2023

Merge Column

Clay Team

Basics of Google search operators

November 30, 2022
Eric Nowoslawski

Getting started with Google's Search Operator to creatively find new leads

Basics use and application of Google Search Operators

The Clay Google Search Integration allows for the most amount of creativity out of all the integrations. With the use of Google, essentially, you are able to build your own database from scratch.

  • Want to see if a pricing page mentions “free trial” or “enterprise?” Google can do that.
  • Want to see what the top restaurant in a prospect’s location is? Google can do that.
  • Want to see if a website has an integrations page? Google can do that.

Google gives you access to the largest database in the world. No one is crawling, organizing, and giving access to so much data. Clay can give you access to this data in two ways. First, you can use Google to create a list of websites that match your needs Second, you can use Google to quickly research websites to see if they mention keywords or have any particular types of pages.

In order to turn Google into a spear rather than a fire hose, we can use Google Search Operators to refine our search. Google Search Operators are essentially functions that you can add to your search to tell Google to search in different ways

Here are the basic search operators that everyone should know about and some examples of how to use them.

Search Only a Specific Site

Operator → Site:

Background: This operator narrows your search from the whole internet to one specific site. A great example for this is if you are looking for someone’s LinkedIn profile and you only want to scan LinkedIn.

Example: You could enter site:linkedin.com Eric Nowoslawski Clay and my profile would be the first result.

In this operator I’m telling Google, “Give me only results that are listed on this website and have these keywords.

Note: when setting this up, use the Clay integration “Normalize a URL” and make the domain bare as https or www. seems to mess up the search quite a bit in my personal testing.

Search Only a Specific Keyword or Phrase

Operator → “search text

Background: Quotations“” are used when you need an exact match of a keyword and if the keywords are not found, you don’t want to see the result. Note: you can use double quotes “”example”” to include synonyms of your search as well.

Example: An example to use this with is if you are searching for things on Google that must be true. This is great for scanning websites to see if they mention certain keywords.

Let’s say you want a list of websites that mention “direct to consumer,” you could add a source to a Clay table, choose Google and insert in your search “direct to consumer.” This will get you 300 max results of websites that mention this. Note: it’s 300 max results because of a Google limitation, not a Clay limitation. Try different keywords and searches in multiple source inputs to find more websites!

Other than being used as a Source, this can also be used as an Integration!

Say you want to score a list of Ecommerce stores and sort the ones that are wholesalers versus direct distributors. We can use the below search operator to scan all of the pages easily within Clay. Add the Google Search Integration to a table that you have websites present. Enter the following.

site:domain.com “wholesale”

In this operator, we are saying to Google, search only this specific website I told you for a page that mentions Wholesale and bring that back to me. This is a phenomenal way to automate scoring companies to see if they are a good fit for your offer.

Search a Group of Keywords or Phrases

Operator → ()

Background: Parentheses are used to group searches together so that you don’t mix the possible results.

Example: If you want to search for sales development representatives that cold call in the United states you would use (sales development representative AND cold call) United states.

The parentheses separate the search terms so that Google doesn’t think you are looking for just cold call United states as one term.

Use Boolean Search Operators

Operators → “OR”, “AND”, “-”

Background: These operators help refine your search. OR means you can have two searches and it doesn’t matter if one or the other is present. Ex. Sales Development Representative OR Business Development Representative.

AND is similar but means that both need to be present for Google to give you a result. Ex. Sales Development representative AND Cold calling.

  • is one of my favorites because it excludes searches you don’t want. I often use this to exclude blog links or news about a company. Ex. “remote work” careers -blog -about us

Example: Let’s say you wanted to create a source in Clay that would bring you back results of decision makers that have their personal email address listed on their LinkedIn profile. We could combine many search terms together to find a broad list. Note: I will be using parentheses in this search as that is the best way to tell Google this makes sense. That is covered in the next paragraph.

site:linkedin.com (Owner OR Founder OR President) AND (gmail.com OR yahoo.com OR hotmail.com)

Here we are telling Google, search only LinkedIn for results that include Owner, Founder or President (because we are ok with all 3) but the only time I want you to return a result is if also you find gmail.com, yahoo.com, hotmail.com.

Use a Wildcard Search

Operator → *

Background: The asterisk * is the wildcard search in Google. This is really great when searching for counts of things. Jordan Crawford famously did this when looking for the count of subscribers on a company’s email list.

Example: You could say -  join * subscribers on our email list and Google will return anything that matches that criteria without you having to input all of the numbers.

Another way to think about this one is to use it when you have an exact phrase that you want to look up but there’s a piece to that phrase that is variable. Looking for counts of numbers like the above example is a good use case. Think also if you wanted to find a snippet of how many customers an ecommerce store has, you could use the search below.

site:domain.com “* orders shipped”

Here I’m telling Google, find me anything on this website that mentions XXXX orders shipped. It will take that as wildcard and return back the results.

If you aren’t looking for counts of something, another way to think about this one is if you are looking for a situation where someone might say multiple things about themselves that are still relevant to you.

Let’s say you are selling to business coaches. Doesn’t matter who they sell to, you just want to make sure you sell to them. You could use the search below to scan their website and know they are actively coaching people.

site:domain.com “helping * leaders”

I am telling Google, search this domain to find if they have any reference to this phrase. I don’t care if it says “helping business leaders,” “helping marketing leaders,” or “helping sales leaders.” I just want to know that they help some leader. Add AND/OR and Parentheses to expand this search!

Find Related Websites to a Domain

Operator → Related:

Background: This is a great operator to find competitors of companies. Note that this is just Google saying that they are competitors.

You can enter related:apple.com and Microsoft will come up first.

Often times, I find this to be ok at finding company competitors. If you use this, I would mention in my outreach that the company that is related to them is ranking near them on Google so that if you are off base a little it still makes sense.

A sneaky way I’m thinking about using this is to combine two searches together and play the competitor search against the prospect.

Example: Let’s say you want to compare two companies side by side for their commitment to corporate culture.

We would add a Google Integration to search the prospect company’s site for a corporate culture commitment. Search below.

site:domain.com “corporate culture commitment”

Then we can filter Clay by companies that do not have a page that mentions corporate culture commitment because there would be no results.

Next we can set up a second Google Search Integration to scan for companies similar to our prospects and see if they have the page. Search below.

related:domain.com “corporate culture commitment”

A great advantage here is you are using Google to stack your deck. If you had only found one competitor and search for your keywords, the odds could be slim that you find a page. But now you are searching for all related sites and have a much higher chance of success.

Now if you sell something around corporate culture commitment, you can say something like.

“Hey Prospect, I was doing some competitive research on your company and found that your competitor mentions Corporate Culture commitment but you don’t. Is this a focus for the upcoming Quarter?”

Find Keywords Within a URL

Operator → Inurl:

Background: This is a great operator when you are looking for a page of a website that will be strung into the URL. I often times scrape Yelp.com for top restaurants and to ensure I’m getting a business profile, I will use the operator site:yelp.com

inurl:biz to ensure I’m only seeing yelp business profiles. The same can be done with LinkedIn if you say inurl:company you will only get company profiles back.

Example: Let’s say you want to score a company to see if they have an integrations page. Your search would look like this.

site:domain.com inurl:integrations

This is telling Google, I want to search just this one domains for a url that says integrations in it as well.

Find Keywords Within the Page Text

Operator → intext:

Background: This operator will scan the actual page of a website and see if the text matches your search. Great for scanning companies to see if they are a match for you.

Example: Let’s say you had a list of ecommerce companies but only wanted to target wholesalers. Intext:wholesale will let you know which ones mention that they wholesale their products.

The main difference between using this operator vs. just putting quotes around a keyword is that this is searching only the text of the page. Not the URL, not the cache, not the SEO description, just the text on the page.

Find Multiple Keywords That Must Be in a Page Text

Operator → Allintext:

Background: This operator is similar to intext: with the key difference that every word in the operator must be included in the text. Great for searching a phrase or multiple keywords.

Example: I like adding this one in as it is useful for when a whole search is necessary on the website. If I want to know if a company mentions “upload a CSV,” intext: may get me results that only say Upload or only say CSV. allintext: fixes that problem for me.

Great for when you have searches that require every word to be in the phrase.

Find Results Between Two Dates

Operator → #..#

Background: This operator allows you to search for results that have happened between a certain time. Say you want to scrape Glassdoor for bad interview experiences but only want from 2021 to 2022.

Example: Your search would look like - site:glassdoor.com “terrible interview” 2021..2022 - and you will get results that say terrible interviews that were posted between 2021 and 2022.

Find Results Around A Keyword

Operator → Around(X)

Background: This operator allows you to define other words that you want to be associated with your search but they need to be within so many words of my keyword. Think of phrases that often times don’t come up together as a keyword search but are important when searching for things together.

This is great for finding information about processes. Let’s say you are looking for a crypto company that can handle fiat money transfers. A search for “crypto fiat money transfers” would leave out results that say “we are crypto company that accepts fiat money transfers.”

Example: You can use this search operator to expand your search for this use case.

site:domain.com crypto Around (10) fiat money transfer

Here I’m telling Google to check a website to see if they mention crypto and within 10 words of that word, fiat money transfer also shows up.

Find Results From a News Source

Operator → Source:

Background: This will return search results for your given keywords within articles written by sources on Google News. I have tried some experimenting and it seems you can string multiple searches together.

Highly useful if you are looking for recent news that mentions keywords and you want to ensure the only results you get back are actually news articles from a media outlet and not just blogs from the company.

Example: source:(yahoo.com OR techchrunch.com) salesforce after may 2022

This will return searches for Salesforce on Yahoo news and Techcrunch after May 2022. Note: Whichever outlet Google thinks is more relevant will show up at the top.

This is great for scanning articles to look for mentions of keywords that you can put into your outreach.

“Hey Salesforce VP, I was just reading the recent article about {{keyword}} and I thought I may be able to help you solve a problem over there.

Here’s the link I was viewing:{{insert the link so they know you actually did your homework}}”

Leverage Google Autocomplete

Operator → _

Background: What this operator does is act as a wildcard for Google autocomplete. This is great for when you want to do a search and let Google take the wheel.

Example: A good use case is when finding competitors of a company. The search would look like

Company Name vs. _

This will tell Google that you want to see results filled in with whatever autocomplete it will generate.

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