Lemlist vs Smartlead: Cold Email Tools Face-off 2024

Last Updated on
May 23, 2024
Jason Gong
App automation expert

This article dives into comparing lemlist and Smartlead to help you decide which cold outreach tool is the best fit for your needs, offering a detailed analysis of their features.

The goal is to aid in selecting the ideal tool by breaking down how each performs in cold outreach, although both offer more than just outreach capabilities.

As someone who's explored numerous sales and marketing tools, I bring firsthand insights into how these platforms stack up against each other.

lemlist Smartlead
Campaign Creation Designs complex campaigns, supports multiple platforms Simple setup, unlimited rotating emails
Deliverability Email warming service, spam avoidance tips Unlimited warming, automated rate limits
Personalization Dynamic variables, liquid syntax for tailored emails Unlimited custom fields for deep personalization
AI Generates campaigns with basic AI commands Uses AI for personalized emails based on set data
Native Enrichment Basic lead info, some manual enrichment required Integration with Clay for advanced lead data
Social Automation LinkedIn automation via browser extension Social outreach on SMS, Twitter, WhatsApp

Campaign Creation: Complexity or Simplicity?

For sales teams needing to craft complex, multi-branch campaigns, lemlist's visual sandbox environment is superior to Smartlead's simpler, linear sequence structure.

Complex campaign branching in lemlist's intuitive interface

However, if your strategy involves a straightforward, set-and-forget approach, Smartlead's unlimited auto-rotating email accounts could be more beneficial for managing large-scale campaigns. While lemlist also supports multiple communication platforms, including LinkedIn, which Smartlead does not explicitly showcase, giving it an edge in omni-channel outreach.

Enhancing the personalization of your sequences can improve open and response rates, which is where Bardeen steps in. By enriching lead data using the AI Agent, Bardeen helps you create more targeted and effective campaigns.

If the ability to design intricate sequences with conditional logic is a priority, lemlist has the advantage. For businesses that prioritize simplicity and high-volume outreach without the need for complex sequences, Smartlead's approach may be more appropriate.


Visual campaign building with lemlist's Sequences feature.

Lemlist's Sequences feature offers a sandbox environment that enables users to design and execute sophisticated email and messaging campaigns. With support for multiple platforms, such as LinkedIn, you can reach your sales leads through various channels.

  • Visual Campaign Creation: Design complex sequences with ease using a visual editor.
  • Multi-Platform Support: Incorporate LinkedIn messages alongside emails in your campaigns.
  • Branching Conditions: Set up conditional paths to customize the flow based on recipient actions.
  • Sequential Actions: Organize your tasks and messages to follow logical steps.

Reddit feedback highlights the strategic use of lemlist for personalized cold emailing campaigns, with users appreciating the tool's capabilities.

👍 "We will be using this email list in our email blaster (LemList), and I will get to what you can do with those additional contact forms a bit further on." - r/Emailmarketing


Setting up an email sequence with Smartlead's campaign creation tool.

Smartlead's Sequences offers a straightforward way to set up campaigns for reaching out to sales leads. With a linear and simple interface, it lacks complex branching but provides a functional space to create and manage email sequences. The standout feature is the unlimited auto-rotating email accounts, which can be particularly useful for large campaigns.

  • Simple and Linear Sequences: Easy to set up without the complexity of branches or forks.
  • Unlimited Auto-Rotating Email Accounts: Rotate through different email accounts to increase deliverability and avoid spam filters.
  • Email and Manual Follow-Ups: Schedule automatic emails and set reminders for manual outreach tasks.
  • Variables for Personalization: Insert variables like {{first_name}} or {{company_name}} to personalize emails.
👍 "So i prefer Smartlead.ai to instantly. It’s better for warmup, everything else in between in my opinion." - r/Emailmarketing
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Deliverability - Avoiding Spam Filters and Improving Inbox Reach

For email deliverability, Smartlead takes the lead with unlimited mailbox warmups and the ability to auto-rotate email accounts, which are significant for spam avoidance and maintaining a healthy sending reputation.

Smartlead's dashboard showing email warming and inbox vs spam metrics

Its built-in rate limit controls for email warm-ups ensure you don't hit spam filters, but the absence of email accuracy checking means you might need an additional tool or service for verifying email addresses. While lemlist requires a separate subscription for lemwarm, Smartlead's all-in-one approach could be more cost-effective and streamlined for users focused on deliverability.

If your campaign's success hinges on email deliverability, Smartlead's comprehensive features could save you time and effort. However, remember that personalizing your outreach can further improve open and response rates, and Bardeen can automate these tasks to enhance your overall strategy.


Configurable sending limits to maintain email deliverability in lemlist.

Lemlist's deliverability features help you make sure your emails actually get to people's inboxes. They've got a separate product, called lemwarm, which is all about making sure your emails are warmed up and ready to go. It's a full-on service, but you need to pay extra for it.

  • Email warming: Lemwarm, a dedicated feature for improving email deliverability.
  • Spam avoidance: Tips and settings to prevent emails from landing in the spam folder.
  • Rate limits: Adjustable limits to control how many emails you send, helping to avoid red flags.
  • Multiple mailboxes: Support for connecting and managing several email addresses.

Reddit users have shared their tactics for keeping emails out of spam folders, including correct DNS settings and avoiding certain tracking features.

🤔 "Be sure that DMARK/SPF/DKIM are working. Disable 'open tracking' and 'link tracking'" - r/agency


Smartlead's deliverability features including email warming and spam avoidance metrics.

Smartlead tackles deliverability issues head-on with a robust set of tools designed to keep your emails out of spam folders and in front of your prospects. By using unlimited mailbox warmups and rotating email accounts, Smartlead improves your chances of reaching your target audience effectively.

  • Unlimited Email Warming: Warm up your email accounts to improve deliverability.
  • Automated Rate Limits: Smartlead automatically sets rate limits to maintain email health.
  • Multiple Mailboxes: Manage and warm up several email accounts simultaneously.
  • Spam Avoidance: Detailed analytics to reduce the chances of landing in the spam folder.

On Reddit, users appreciate Smartlead for its email warming capabilities and overall functionality:

👍 "So i prefer Smartlead.ai to instantly. It’s better for warmup, everything else in between in my opinion." - r/Emailmarketing
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Personalization - Tailoring Emails for Increased Engagement

When comparing lemlist and Smartlead for email personalization, Smartlead takes the lead with its ability to support unlimited custom fields for each lead.

Smartlead's interface for mapping unlimited custom fields

This allows for more granular and diverse personalization options beyond the basic fields like name and company. lemlist, however, offers liquid syntax for conditionals and current date variables, which is useful for dynamic content but may not match Smartlead's depth in customization.

To further personalize outreach, you can leverage Bardeen to enrich lead data and create tailored messages using AI integrations.

In essence, for those who prioritize extensive customization, Smartlead's flexibility with custom fields could provide a more tailored approach to lead engagement than lemlist's basic dynamic variables and liquid syntax capabilities.


Personalization options in lemlist Sequences with custom variables and liquid syntax.

Personalizing emails in lemlist's Sequences is straightforward. You can add dynamic variables and use liquid syntax for conditionals and fallbacks. This makes your emails feel more tailored to each lead, which can help improve your engagement rates.

  • Dynamic variables: Easily insert basic fields like first name, last name, and company name.
  • Conditional content: Use liquid syntax to create conditionals in your emails. This means you can show different content based on specific criteria.
  • Fallback values: Set default text for when a lead's information is missing. This helps keep your emails complete and professional.
  • Current date insertion: Automatically add the current date to your emails for a timely touch.


Mapping custom fields to personalize emails for each lead.

Smartlead's personalization feature within Sequences allows you to connect with your sales leads on a more personal level. By utilizing unlimited custom fields, you can ensure that each email you send is tailored specifically to the recipient, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

  • Unlimited Custom Fields: Add any number of custom fields to tailor messages to individual leads.
  • Lead-specific Customization: Personalize emails with details like name, job description, company, and more.
  • Easy Mapping: Quickly map CSV columns to campaign variables for efficient setup.
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AI - Crafting Tailored Campaigns with Intelligence

lemlist has the upper hand with its AI capabilities, allowing for the creation of entire campaigns.

Campaign creation with AI in lemlist

In contrast, Smartlead relies on hardcoded custom column values, lacking the sophistication for AI-generated content. The flexibility of lemlist's AI tools enables users to tailor their messaging with greater depth and creativity, using AI to craft full sentences based on custom signals for each lead.

For those aiming to enhance personalization and efficiency in their outreach, lemlist is the preferred choice. To take your personalization a step further, integrate Bardeen to enrich lead data with additional context like social activity and company info, creating even more compelling sequences.


AI-generated campaign creation prompt in lemlist Sequences.

When using lemlist Sequences, the AI feature is designed to help you quickly generate entire campaigns based on a few inputs. While the AI offers basic commands, it lacks extensive customization options for individual emails or messages. However, it can still be a helpful starting point for building your campaign.

  • AI-Generated Campaigns: Leverage AI to craft full campaigns with minimal input.
  • Basic AI Commands: Use a set of basic commands to automate email and message creation.
  • Limited Customization: While useful, AI does not allow for deep customization of content on an individual level.


lemlist's Sequences feature with AI integration doesn't write full sentences for you, but it does use AI to personalize emails based on hard-coded custom column values for each lead. This means you can set specific data for your contacts and the AI will insert that information into your emails to make them feel more tailored and personal.

  • Personalization: Uses custom column values for each lead.
  • AI Integration: Automatically applies these values to personalize emails.
  • Custom Signals: Lets you define and use unique data points for personalization.
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Native Enrichment - Analyzing Lead Information Depth

Smartlead's lack of direct native lead enrichment is a clear disadvantage when compared to lemlist's basic native capabilities.

Smartlead offers integration with Clay for lead enrichment

However, Smartlead mitigates this by providing integration with Clay, which can potentially offer more advanced enrichment than lemlist's built-in features. Users looking for more in-depth information about their leads might benefit from the additional steps needed to integrate with Clay.

To further enhance lead data, consider leveraging Bardeen to automate the search for additional information on platforms like LinkedIn and company websites.

Overall, lemlist may be better for users seeking simplicity in lead enrichment, while Smartlead, combined with Clay, could serve well for those needing deeper insights.


Detailed lead enrichment information in lemlist.

Lemlist's Sequences feature includes Native Enrichment, which provides fundamental data about your leads. However, it's important to note that the level of detail and the freshness of data may not be as comprehensive as specialized tools in the market.

  • Basic lead enrichment: Offers essential information on leads, such as job title and company.
  • Limited data detail: Compared to specialized tools, the information may lack depth and timeliness.
  • Lead import options: Includes CSV, LinkedIn, and CRM import functionalities.
  • Manual enrichment: Users can find emails and push leads to campaigns manually.


Integration options including Clay for lead enrichment in Smartlead.

Smartlead's Sequences feature does not come with native lead enrichment, but it does offer a solid integration with Clay. This partnership allows you to enrich your leads effectively as part of your sales engagement campaigns. Here's how you benefit from integrating Smartlead with Clay:

  • Lead Enrichment: Connect with Clay to get additional lead data.
  • Buyer Signals: Combine Smartlead's sequences with enriched data to understand your leads better.
  • Integration Simplicity: Easy setup to link Smartlead with Clay and enhance your campaign's effectiveness.
  • Personalized Campaigns: Use enriched data to create more targeted and personalized outreach sequences.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Make informed decisions on how to approach leads based on the enriched information.
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Social Automation - Expand your reach and connect with leads

For social automation, lemlist has the upper hand with its LinkedIn automation capabilities, which is a key platform for many professionals.

Integrate LinkedIn into your sales sequences with lemlist

Smartlead, while lacking in LinkedIn outreach, offers messaging via SMS, Twitter, and WhatsApp, which might be beneficial if your audience is more active on those platforms.

When it comes to deciding between the two, consider where your target audience is more likely to engage. If LinkedIn is your primary channel for professional networking and lead generation, lemlist is the clear choice.

For a more diverse social media outreach or if you are targeting markets where platforms like WhatsApp are dominant, Smartlead could be more suitable. And if you're looking to extract info from social platforms or automate social tasks, Bardeen is rolling out features that might help.


LinkedIn social automation steps in lemlist Sequences.

Lemlist's Sequences feature also integrates social automation, particularly for LinkedIn, through a straightforward browser extension. This allows you to perform actions such as sending connection requests and messages directly from your own LinkedIn account, ensuring a more personal touch to your outreach efforts.

Key features of social automation:

  • Local LinkedIn Automation: Actions are performed through a browser extension, creating a more authentic interaction.
  • Connection Requests: Send LinkedIn invitations to potential leads to grow your network.
  • Post Engagement: Interact with posts to increase visibility and engagement with your brand.
  • LinkedIn Messaging: Automate the process of sending personalized messages to your contacts.


Visual sequence builder for social automation in Smartlead.

Smartlead's Sequences feature for social automation stands out for its ability to reach out to leads through multiple social channels such as SMS, Twitter, and WhatsApp. While LinkedIn outreach isn't supported, the tool compensates with robust options for other popular platforms.

  • Social Channel Variety: Engage leads via SMS, Twitter, and WhatsApp.
  • Manual Steps: Incorporate actions like 'Connection Request' or 'Call the lead'.
  • Wait Periods: Set delays between actions to simulate natural engagement.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Drag and drop sequence creation for easy campaign management.
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Which is Best for Cold Outreach: Lemlist or Smartlead?

Choosing between Lemlist and Smartlead depends on your campaign needs. Lemlist excels with its visual campaign builder and multi-platform support, making it ideal for complex, personalized campaigns. Its visual editor and conditional paths allow for sophisticated sequences that can adapt based on recipient actions, offering a tailored approach for each lead.

Smartlead, on the other hand, shines with its straightforward setup and the unique feature of unlimited auto-rotating email accounts, which can significantly boost deliverability for large campaigns. Its simplicity and efficiency make it a strong contender for users who prioritize a set-and-forget approach to cold outreach.

If you need to craft detailed, multi-step campaigns with a personal touch, Lemlist is the better choice. However, for high-volume outreach with a focus on deliverability and simplicity, Smartlead's streamlined process and auto-rotating accounts offer a compelling advantage.