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Balancing email personalization and cold email at scale

There is a constant debate in the email marketing industry about the use of email personalization. Some people in the cold outreach industry think it is the most important part of your strategy, others see success with no personalization, and some prefer to do personalization via segmentation.


As you prepare to launch your cold email campaigns you may be asking yourself a couple of questions about email personalization. How personalized should I make my emails? Should I personalize the whole email? Should I spend 10 hours on prospects’ LinkedIn pages to write the perfect complementary first line? Should I use an AI tool to write them for me? Should I personalize my emails at all?


Cold emailing is an art if you do it correctly, at scale, you have the opportunity to build new relationships that can lead to incredible opportunities, partnerships, and deals. Do it incorrectly and you’ll find you’ve wasted time, money, and your emails are in the spam box or bounce right back at you.


The different levels of personalization


Firstly, all your cold emails need some degree of personalization, using the prospect's name, mentioning their company and department and most importantly your emails have to be relevant to them.


We definitely do not suggest doing no personalization what so ever. Sure this will be the easiest way for you to reach out to 10,000 prospects a month but you will likely not have much success. A lack of attention to detail to your prospects comes across as insulting and you’ll be rewarded with being marked as spam and frankly, you wouldn’t deserve a response.


Sales Development reps sometimes think it’s a great idea to build a hyper-specific contact list and over-personalize each email to try and wow the prospects with their attention to detail, all in the hopes of booking a meeting. There are two problems here:

  • Frankly, the recipients simply don’t care that much that you personalized it as much as possible, if it is a good product that would benefit them they will bite.

  • The second issue is that it is just inefficient and you won’t be able to scale volume. This becomes a problem when your company’s growth and revenue goals seem harder and harder to attain.


Remember that as a whole you want to keep your emails short and sweet, concisely displaying the value your company can provide to improve your prospects' life. Your goal should be to develop campaign strategies to sustainably personalize emails, generate interest in your offering and do it at scale.


How to effectively personalize at scale


Why are we talking about personalization at scale? From our experience, personalization shows your prospects you are genuinely interested in them and that you are not just blasting emails to everyone and their mothers. You show that you are reaching out because you can genuinely provide value to them. How do you effectively do this at scale to bring in more meetings than you currently are? There are a couple of different strategies you can use to be successful at personalizing outreach campaigns:


1. Campaign segmentation

  1. In this strategy, you build multiple campaigns around your offer and you can segment them in different ways.

    1. The first would be by geography, group your contact lists by metropolitan areas, and make a funny comment about the local professional sports team or something relevant to the area.

    2. The second would be to segment your lists by title, cater each campaign to what your prospect's seniority is and cater your offer to the daily or top-of-mind issues they deal with

    3. Thirdly, segment your prospects by industry or company type, pivot your offer in each campaign to the relevancy of how you can support them in that industry, and/or mention something currently happening in the industry. E.i a current event and how your solution would help.


2. AI-Generated first lines

  1. AI applications are talked about more and more these days, and a.i first line tools have made a lot of progress in the past few years. This solution is going to be most efficient in personalizing your emails. There are numerous tools that can do this, we suggest doing your due diligence, our favorite is Icepick.io

  2. The key to using AI-generated first lines is to follow a clear structure in your email copy, keep it short. You can follow the CCC structure (Compliment, Case Study, Call-to-action)


Brief emails are always more effective and adding personalization will only increase the likelihood of garnering responses, more meetings, and more opportunities to close deals. Do not be afraid to test multiple variations of personalization, see what doesn’t work, rework your campaigns until it does and then go full steam.


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