J2 Design is a creative agency based out of Philadelphia. They specialize in building inspiring brands for mission driven organizations.

"Hello Outbound helped us expand our growth pipeline outside of referrals. At J2, we have a pretty specific niche that we work in, and their team has nailed our targeting. In our first 6 months, we had 3 solid opportunities and one closed deal. That's huge, because one new client covers more than our cost for the year."  - Kelly Jennings, Studio Director


Like many agencies, J2 relied mainly on referrals to find new clients. They had spent years building relationships and doing great work locally, but their pipeline was drying up. With no in-house sales team and high customer LTVs (meaning long sales cycles), they needed a scalable growth solution that would stay true to their brand and vision.

Challenge #1

Build targeted contact lists that matched J2's mission driven / non profit company persona, and reproduce the lists every month.

Solution: Identify Data Signals

Think of Data Signals as the event or "trigger" that indicates a prospect would be in need of an agency's services. We use these signals to build lists that not only fit an ideal customer profile, but also show some indication of intent or stage.

For J2, we scraped job posting boards for companies looking for Marketing help. We also identified heads of marketing hired within the last year. Lastly, we found non profits who had recently received funding over a certain amount.

After establishing our relevant Signals, we went through multiple review sessions with J2 to narrow down the specific types and sizes of non profits they wanted to target.

Challenge #2

Create email and LinkedIn messaging that reflected the creative but professional tone of their Founder, and portrayed their value as an agency partner without overselling and tainting the brand.

Solution: Copy & Positioning Workshop

We started out with an in-depth discovery session to identify the top pain points of J2's clients. Then we dove into what sets J2 apart, and how they uniquely solve those pains. Our team landed on three distinct angles that positioned J2 as expert designers, brand unifiers, and finally storytellers for the non profit niche.

Our copywriters used this alignment workshop plus the 1-1 conversations they had with the co-founders to create authentic and highly relevant messaging sequences that were delivered over email and LinkedIn.

Challenge #3

Automate outreach campaigns and workflows so that the J2 team just has to focus on closing the deal, and continue to improve meeting quality overtime.

Solution: Iterate and ramp up

Testing is at the core of our process. Over the course of a few months, we launched 5 different scripts, each with their own pitch, and ran campaigns targeted at different sub-verticals within the mission driven category.

We also tracked Qualified/Unqualified meetings as they happened to make sure the calls were relevant, worthwhile and would lead to real business.  

After learning which messaging and company segments performed the best, our team ramped up automated sending volume, and worked with J2 on internal processes for handling the influx of meetings requests (lead tracking, CRMs, inbox management).


An example of one of the core campaigns we developed was targeted at Heads of Marketing and Communications at mid-sized Non Profits, who were hired within the last year. This included touch points on both email and LinkedIn. Here are the campaign results:

Contacted Open Rate Reply Rate Qualified Meetings
244 62.5% 21.4% 3

Another successful campaign was targeted at Executive Directors at Non Profits who were actively hiring for marketing and communications positions. Here are those results:

Contacted Open Rate Reply Rate Qualified Meetings
355 45% 13.5% 2


J2 has been with us for over a year now and continues to have great meetings within their niche market. After closing a high LTV client, they decided to expand our outreach to a second branch of their business, and had warm responses within the first two weeks.

"We recently grew the relationship to include our sister company Exit Design. We're already booking great meetings for Exit...we almost have more responses than we can handle!" - Kelly Jennings, Studio Director