9 Techniques to Write a Personalized Email that surely gets a Response

(Last Updated On: November 13, 2018)

As you walk past a store, you find your name written on a Coke bottle

Before you know, you have purchased it, just for the thrill of holding a drink with your name on it!

You open Amazon, and see a bunch of your favorite gadgets recommended to you in the home screen, screaming to click on buy!

You resist the urge this time.

You log in to Facebook and notice ad recommendations of best flight deals to your beloved holiday destination. This time though, you click on it.

Any of this sound familiar?

Do they give you a feeling of being at the center of everything – Like Jim Carrey from the Truman Show? Welcome to the era of Personalization.

The Science behind Personalization

If you are wondering why companies are making use of personalization to target and attract consumers, there is a reason for that.

Yes, behind this approach is actual science that proves how personalization makes people more receptive to what the companies have to offer.  

When people receive personalized content, it makes them feel special because of its tailored nature. As each person receives something that is unique to them, it creates a  sense of having control.

And this invokes a sense of consumer empowerment in the minds of the prospects, driving them to make a purchase decision!

Effect of Personalization in Sales Email Campaigns

The effect of personalization is not just pertinent to large brands or companies selling consumer goods. But this strategy has also been used to great effect by sales reps and marketing professionals in the B2B space; particularly while reaching out to prospects via emails.

Here are a few facts that show the impact of personalization in emails:

  • Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10% [Aberdeen]
  • A personalized email for campaigns produces 20% more sales opportunities compared with non-personalized ones [DemandGen]
  • Personalized CTAs result in a 42% higher conversion rate than generic CTAs [HubSpot]
  • 31% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase if they are offered tailored-content [BloomReach]

Personalized emails, without a doubt, are one of the most powerful ways to make a prospect respond to your mail. The question is, how much time are you going to spend personalizing your emails.

What should be the Level of Personalization in your Emails?

Ideally, you’d want to send personalized emails to every prospect; to increase the chances of getting a response.

But such a practice is not feasible.

Why so?

When you are reaching out at scale, it is not possible to write a personalized email for each one of the prospects. Imagine the amount of time it would take you to research and write emails to 100+ prospects in a day?

Is it worth spending that amount of time on every one of them?

No.

Considering different prospects bring a different amount of revenue for your business; it simply doesn’t make sense to put the same effort on each one of them.

Then, what is the solution?

Use different levels of personalization for your prospects based on the deal size they would bring in.

 

The greater the deal size; the higher the level of personalization in your emails.

levels of personalization

Different Levels of Personalization

An effective way to decide the level personalization for your email campaigns is by segmenting your prospects according to the amount of revenue they bring in to your business. That way, you know how much you should personalize for which prospect.

Deal Size

Level of Personalization

Time taken to compose emails

Small

Basic

 < 30 seconds

Medium

Semi- Personalized

   2-5 minutes

Large

Hyper-personalized

10 mins

 

The first segment makes up for prospects with a minimum deal value and a majority of your targets will fall into this category.

The level of personalization here should be very basic, with the bulk of the work done by making use of placeholders in your email templates – Eg. Using the prospect’s name, company name, designation, etc.

As you move across to prospects with a mid-size deal value; you level up the amount of personalization in the emails sent to these prospects to increase the chances of getting a response.

This is done by some amount of research, which goes beyond just their name and designation. – Eg. Mentioning Mutual connections, Common interests, Developments in their company etc.

Finally in the last segment are prospects with the highest Deal value in your target list.

They are the elephants in your list and landing them would present a big coup.

Being the Top 5% or so accounts, they are usually only a handful in number.

So when reaching out to these prospects, the emails should be crafted after extensive research and should be hyper-personalized in nature – Eg. Addressing pain points specific to the prospect’s company.

How to Personalize your Emails?

Here are the different techniques to write personalized emails for your sales campaigns:

Personalizing using the prospect’s name

Addressing a prospect by their name is the most basic form of personalization. It is a simple yet powerful strategy to use when sending out cold emails at scale.

How is it a powerful strategy, you ask?

A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language” – Dale Carnegie

The scientific reason behind this is when people hear their own name, it triggers a unique reaction in the brain, which leads to greater brain activation, making them more attentive to what you one to say.

But just because adding a name in an email is an effective strategy, you should not be adding it before the start of every sentence. You need to use it appropriately.

Tip: Use the prospect’s name in the subject line as emails with a personalized subject line have 29% higher unique open rates and 41% more unique click-through rate!

Personalize around the Buyer Personas

An easy way to take your email personalization a notch higher is to address your emails based on different buyer persona.

Here’s how you do that:

Group your prospects with similar job profiles, company size, priorities & pain points, and then craft emails with personalized content that will appeal to each group.

For eg; all VPs of Marketing of SMB companies will have similar priorities or will be experiencing similar pain points. Crafting an email on how your product can help solve the pain point/help them achieve a specific goal should appeal to all of them.

Similarly, you can craft emails to other buyer personas and send them at scale.

Note: For this technique to work effectively, you will need to have a clear understanding of the needs/pain points of your different buyer personas. A business with just a few customers may find it difficult to get this right initially. You can try different messages for different buyer persona and then choose the ones that are working.

Personalize based on Trigger Events

There are certain events which when happens, causes disruption in the businesses. And these disruptions caused open up an opportunity. Such events are called trigger events.

These events provide the sales reps with a timely opportunity to reach out to the prospects with a personalized email around the event.

Here are a few sample trigger events:

New Hires at the top of the rung: A newly appointed C-suite executive would want to prove their value and will be open to purchasing a new product as a sign of shaking things up and establishing their authority.

A move from the competitor: Developments in your prospect’s rival company may prompt them to get up to the task by equipping themselves with new software to match their competitors.

New Round of funding: A company that has secured a new round of funding would be willing to loosen their purse strings and invest in new software.

Personalizing your email around a trigger event is an effective strategy because you are reaching out to the prospects at a time when they most likely have a need for your business/service.

Tip: Use a tool like Owler or Google Alerts that notifies you of any trigger events. The key to making the most out of it is, to act quick as they are time bound and being late means you lose out the edge.

Personalized Email with a Compliment

Giving a compliment is a surefire way to build a good relationship with your prospects.

Studies have shown that receiving a compliment triggers the same reaction in our brain as receiving money.

When your prospect reads your mail that showers praise on them, they immediately take a liking to you and will be more interested in what you have to say.

Few examples:

Winning an Award: If your prospect has won any recognition in their field recently, that can be used in the email

Blogs, Seminars etc: Has your prospect published an article or given a seminar that you found to be of value? Let them know that you enjoyed it.

A leader in their field: If your prospect is a leader in their domain, drop a mail stating your admiration for them.

Personalize around Prospects’ Interests

Nothing lights up people like more than things that they like and hold close to their heart.

What better way to personalize your emails than by highlighting those things!

But then how do you know what the prospect is interested in?

Simple, use the power of social media. Browsing through your prospect’s social media profiles can help you know about their interests. Look for frequent mentions, comments, and posts which can help you identify what they are fond of – they could be anything like a sports team, movie character, favorite places, etc…

When you mention something that your prospect likes, it achieves two things:

  • It brings a smile on their face &
  • It shows that you have taken an effort to learn about them

This helps in making a great first impression and that helps in building a good rapport with your prospects.

Tip: Sometimes, even mentioning things that they dislike could work as research shows that people bond on things that they mutually dislike more so than on things that they like!

Personalizing around their Existing Technology

Writing personalized emails around a prospect’s website can be taken to the next level by digging a little deeper into what software they have in place at present.

There are many tools like Datanyze, Builtwith etc. that lists all the tools and software used in the prospect’s website.

This gives a fair picture of the prospect’s current requirements and priorities. You could even learn if they are currently using any tools similar to your product.

For example, knowing if your prospect is using a competitor’s product will help you tweak your emails around the lines of how you can be a better fit compared with the product they are using presently.

Personalizing emails around a company’s existing technological stack can also give you a different angle to present your product.

How so?

Your prospect might be using the same tools as a majority of your existing customer base. By mentioning that in your mail, you bring a sense of familiarity with your tool to alleviate a natural hesitation that they might have towards any new tool.

Personalize with a Relevant Visual Representation

A great way to personalize emails is by including a relevant graphic representation such as an image or a short video.

Visual representations rarely go unnoticed and instantly grabs the attention of the recipients.

Why are they powerful?

a) Makes communication effective:

Communication is much easier when done in the form of visuals. In fact, our brains can process visual images at 1/10 of a second. By including an image, the prospects can instantly grasp your product compared with a text paragraph.

b) Gives a human touch:

If there is one thing that emails lack, it is that human touch. Sure, you can personalize as much as you want; but it does not come close to the experience of an actual interaction  – Adding relevant visual content such as a video of someone from your company addressing the prospect can give a sense of interaction, adding prominence to your message.

Personalize by Highlighting a Mutual Connection

One of the reasons why cold emails go unanswered is, the disconnect between you and your prospect; and mutual connections help bridge that gap.

Mentioning a mutual connection is a great way to make an instant connect and garner trust from your prospects.

When you mention someone/ something that is mutual between you and your prospect, you are no longer a stranger to them and your cold email does not feel cold anymore. Bringing up a common connection also helps you to easily identify and connect with you. Because, psychologically, we trust people who are similar to us in some way.

As your prospect can relate to the mail, they are more likely to respond.

How do you find a Mutual connection?

Social media to your rescue again – A simple surfing of your prospect’s profiles will help you identify a mutual connection that you can mention in your email:

Some Mutual connections to use in your emails:

  • You could both know the same person
  • You could come from the same town or high school
  • You could both be a part of the same Facebook or LinkedIn group
  • You could have attended the same conference, seminar etc.

Hyper-personalize with Highly Specific Pain Points

One of the most powerful ways of personalizing cold emails is, by addressing a pain point specific that individual prospect and providing a solution for it.   

Unlike other ways of personalizing we have seen so far, this is cannot be done at scale.

These emails require maximum research and preparation to ensure that the message is tailored precisely to make it as relevant as possible to a particular prospect.

And that precisely the reason why this cannot be done at scale. It only makes sense to use this with prospects with high-value deals, who make up for the top 5% or so, of the total accounts.

When crafting your mail, highlight why you exactly you chose to reach out to them by briefing about their company size, its goals, the role of the prospect, recent developments in the company etc. to show them that you have been paying attention to the prospect and their business and understand their needs.

Address their pain points and walk through how your product will fix their existing problems – Back up your claims with case studies, social proofs, insights etc.

Do not talk about the features of your product; Instead, show them the benefit that they will derive by using your product.

You could even take your mail to the next level, by creating customized pages, video snippets etc. where you present a quick demonstration on how you can help the prospect.   

Conclusion

In the sea of emails that get exchanged every day, a personalized email is like sending a hand-crafted note enclosed in a glass bottle. The moment your prospect sees the mail, they know it has been specifically addressed to them and that will increase your chance of getting a reply from the prospect significantly.  

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