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How To Personalize Cold Emails At Scale? (With Examples)

18 min read
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In this day and age, it is absolutely necessary to send personalized cold emails! The #1 reason most sales reps don’t write personalized emails is probably that it takes too much time. But thank god cold email software exists that can help you send personalized emails at scale. 

Cold email personalization is the glue that holds everything together. Let’s face it, prospects are bombarded with emails day in and day out. So yes, you are competing for their attention. And in order to stand out, you need to leverage the power of personalization to increase open and reply rates. 

Also remember that because you are emailing strangers, cold emailing especially relies on personalization to build trust. 

If that means spending an extra few hours researching prospects, then so be it. Don’t forget to send follow-up emails as they are a must for cold email campaigns. In the end, you will see successful cold email campaigns.

In this blog, you will learn how to personalize cold emails that will allow you to stand out from the crowd and boost reply rates. 

But first, let us understand the importance of cold email personalization. 

Why Is Cold Email Personalization Important? 

One of the reasons your cold emails aren’t working is that you aren’t personalizing them enough! Many opt for fake or surface-level personalization such as using {{first name}} or {{company name}}. Here’s the deal, most of your competitors are also using these same custom fields, so you need to step it up! 

When you personalize your cold emails, it shows prospects that you have taken the time to research them. It shows initiative on your part, and prospects respond to that. 

When a prospect sees an element of personalization, they are more likely to open, read it, and even reply to it. So yes, personalization increases all these engagement metrics! 

Let’s not forget, personalized emails are known to have high deliverability as well. Yes, email personalization can play a part in your emails being delivered to the right inbox. Email Service Providers (ESPs) tend to flag identical emails sent at scale. But with each email personalized to the prospect, you can safely assume your emails are landing in their primary inbox. 

By the way, there are varying degrees of personalization that are assigned to each prospect—something we will in the next section.

Also Read: Best Email Personalization Tools to Boost Engagement in 2024 

How Can I Personalize Cold Emails At Scale? 

Now the natural question that’s propped up in your mind is—how can I personalize each and every email in my campaign? Won’t that take me hours?

The answer is no. 

Cold emailing tools exist for this very reason—for you to be able to send personalized emails at scale using something known as ‘Mail Merge’. 

The mail merge method entails extracting data from a database or spreadsheet and inserting it into pieces of content, in this case, cold emails. The data extracted is stored in ‘merge tags’ (custom fields) and is reflected across any content where the ‘tag’ is inserted. 

merge tags
Merge tags example in Saleshandy

For example, if you upload a CSV file to a cold emailing tool with custom fields containing first names, job titles, city, and salary—when you insert merge tags in your email content {{First Name}}, {{Job Title}}, it will reflect the data that corresponds with the prospect.

Also read: How to Do Mail Merge in Outlook to Send Personalized Emails?

This is the easiest and fastest way to personalize emails at scale. Ensure the data you enter into your spreadsheet is written properly and without syntax errors.  

Remember how I mentioned that there are different types of personalization? Let’s look into that because putting in the same effort for each prospect is not possible. 

Different Levels Of Personalization 

The different levels of personalization are based on the amount of revenue they will bring you. We recommend segmenting your prospect list accordingly. In fact, research has shown segmenting your campaign leads can increase your revenue by 760%!

Here’s how you can segment based on different levels: 

levels of email personalization
  1. Level 1 – Small Deal Size – Basic Personalization 

These are prospects that will bring in the lowest amount of revenue. Only use basic level personalization for your outreach like using their first name, company name, job title, city, industry, etc. These emails should take you less than a minute to compose. 

  1. Level 2 – Medium Deal Size – Semi-Personalization 

This segment is connected with mid-sized deals. You can increase your level of personalization by using mutual connections, recent achievements/development in their company, mutual interests, etc. Try to spend 3-5 minutes composing these emails. 

  1. Level 3 – Large Deal Size – Hypersonalization 

These deals have the highest value i.e. these prospects bring in the highest amount of revenue. These are the prospects you need to hyper-personalize your emails for by addressing specific pain points after conducting in-depth research. Keep in mind, many prospects probably aren’t going to make this segment. 

Saleshandy allows users to create designated prospect lists for better segmentation. All prospect email addresses are validated to avoid high bounce rates. By the way, if you use Saleshandy’s Chrome extension, Saleshandy Connect, you can extract the email addresses of professionals via LinkedIn and directly add them to a sequence or prospect list. Merge tags are available as well with up to 30 custom fields to personalize emails at scale. 

9 Ways To Personalize Cold Emails 

Personalizing your cold email can be the difference between getting a reply and not. Recipients have higher standards than they ever did before. Using only their First and Last Name to personalize is an outdated technique, recipients are expecting more. These 9 email personalization techniques will especially garner the attention of your recipients. 

Mention Where You Found Them 

Mention in your introductory line where you found the prospect. This is a simple yet effective way to show you haven’t just extracted their email address for your outreach campaign. It shows initiative and effort. 

Example

Loved your blog {{First Name}}!

Hey there, {{First Name}} I recently read your blog piece on {{topic}} and I found it to be very insightful. I have to say the blog was thoroughly researched, I especially loved learning about {{mention something you learned}}.

Personalize Around Buyer Personas

To personalize using buyer personas, group or segment your prospects with similar goals, pain points, job profiles, company size, or industry. Then craft emails with personalized email content that will resonate with each group. 

For example, all the Marketing Managers of SaaS companies will have similar goals or have the same pain points in relation to your product or service. Crafting an email about how your product or service can help reach their goals or solve the pain points will catch their attention. 

Example

{{First Name}}, boost your marketing campaigns’ ROI!

Hello {{First Name}}, How are you doing today? As a fellow marketing professional, I understand the challenges that come with running successful marketing campaigns, especially when it comes to achieving a high return on investment (ROI). After researching your company's current marketing strategies, I noticed that your email marketing campaigns have a lower-than-average open rate. I understand how frustrating this can be, and I believe I have a solution that could help improve your results.

Note: For this method to work, you must have a thorough understanding of your buyer personas’ needs/pain points. If you’re just starting out, you might not get this right—so try A/B testing to gain clarity on what’s working. 

Use Trigger Events

Trigger events are great opportunities for businesses! Whenever there is a trigger event in your business, sales reps can reach out to prospects with a personalized cold email about that particular event. 

A few examples of trigger events include a new product/service launch, expansion or relocation, merger or acquisition, funding, industry events, awards, a new hire in the top post, and a move from their competitor.

Example

Congrats on the funding {{First Name}}!

Hello there {{First Name}}, I wanted to take a moment to congratulate you and your team on the recent news of your company's successful funding round. As a fellow business professional, I understand the challenges and opportunities that come with growth and expansion. With this new funding, I'm sure your company is poised for even greater success in the future. I'm reaching out to you because I believe our companies may have some synergy and could benefit from a potential partnership.

Use Pain Points Or Goals

Finding out a prospect’s pain points may require in-depth research, which is why you should reserve it for large deal size prospects. Alternatively, you can mention a specific goal that you have come to know, you can use it to explain how your product or service can help in achieving it. The email content will be tailored for each prospect. 

By using pain points or goals your email works because it shows you understand their needs and challenges. The email content is also highly relevant, and can often trigger an emotional response (most pain points are tied to emotional experiences such as frustration, anxiety, or fear). 

Example

Increase your ROI by 500%!

Greetings {{First Name}}, I understand that one of your key goals is to [Goal]. As a fellow [industry/sector], I know how challenging it can be to achieve your business objectives. That's why I wanted to reach out and share with you how [Your Product/Service] can help you achieve this goal. At [Your Company Name], we specialize in [brief description of your product/service]. Our solution has been designed to address the specific needs of businesses like yours and help them achieve their goals more efficiently and effectively.

Use Competitors 

When reaching out to prospects, mentioning that their competitors are already using your product or service can be a persuasive tactic to build credibility and demonstrate the value of what you offer. 

Only use this method to personalize if their competitors are indeed using your product. This can be thought of as using social proof to persuade prospects to use your product. You can also include testimonials or reviews from those very competitors for an extra push.

Tell them how using your product will give them a competitive edge over their competitors that are already utilizing it. As a result, they will be able to stand out in the industry and recognize the value of what you have to give.

Example

{{First Name}}, did you hear about {{Competitors name}}?

Hi there {{First Name}}, I recently came across your company and was impressed by your innovative approach to [industry/sector]. As someone passionate about helping businesses like yours succeed, I wanted to reach out and introduce you to our solution. As you may know, many of your competitors have already adopted our solution and are seeing incredible results. For example, [Competitor A] has increased their revenue by 30% in the past year thanks to our product. Similarly, [Competitor B] has been able to streamline its operations and cut costs by 20% since implementing our solution.

Compliments or Praise

Giving compliments or praising prospects is a great way to build relationships. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like to be praised? Plus, it doesn’t cost you anything extra and can bring outstanding results. 

Here are a few things you can complement or praise prospects on: Winning an award, published a blog, hosted a seminar/webinar, a leader in their field, their social media presence, LinkedIn post, their company achievements, their role, etc. 

Remember, your compliments/praises should be genuine and specific to the prospect or company you’re reaching out to. Avoid generic compliments that could apply to anyone, as these can come across as insincere. Always keep it professional. 

Example

Impressed by {{Company Name}}’s Achivements

Hey there {{First Name}}, I hope you are having a great week. I recently came across your company’s LinkedIn post about your new product launch and wanted to congratulate you! I am sure your team must be working hard to develop an innovative solution that will make a real difference in the [industry/sector] space.

Mutual Connections 

By mentioning a mutual connection, the barrier of being a stranger will go away. This is a great way to gain trust and make an instant connection with your prospects. 

Finding a mutual connection shouldn’t be that hard, especially in the digital age we live in today. Go to their LinkedIn profile or other social media platforms to identify a mutual connection to mention in your email. 

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

Example

Introduction from {{Mutual connection’s name}}

Hey there, {{First Name}} I hope this email finds you well. My name is [Your Name], and I was recently introduced to your company by [Mutual Connection's Name], who spoke very highly of you. As someone who is also passionate about [industry/sector], I was impressed by the work that your company is doing in [specific area of focus]. I believe that our companies share a similar vision and could potentially collaborate to achieve our shared goals.

Their Interests 

An excellent way to garner the attention of your prospects is to personalize by mentioning topics they are interested in. This will definitely increase your chances of getting a response and engagement. 

It is quite simple to find out their interests, all you need to do is use social media channels. See what they like and comment on. You could find food preferences, TV shows they watch, the music they listen to, etc. 

Use this information as a conversation starter, especially in your subject line or preheader text. This will help you build an immediate connection with your prospect. 

This technique is slightly tricky, as it is important to strike a balance between being personal and being too invasive or creepy. Try to only reference information that is publicly available or something the prospect has provided to you directly. 

Example

{{First Name}}, fellow {{name of TV show}} fan here!

Greetings {{First Name}}, I recently came across your profile and noticed that you are a fan of [TV show]. I have to say, I am a big fan myself! I love the way the show blends humor and drama, and I always look forward to new episodes. As a fellow fan of the show, I thought you might be interested in our new product/service that [briefly describe the product/service and how it relates to the prospect's interests].

Around Their Existing Technology 

Find out what software or tools your prospects are currently using. You can use tools like BuiltWith or Datanyze to show you the technologies a company is using on its website. And yes, this is also a tactful way to check if they are using your competitor’s product. 

Not only is this a great way to personalize, but it also helps give you an idea of what their current requirements are, and if they are using any similar tools to the solution you are offering. This can help you plug in your product in a seamless way. 

With this information, you can compare your value proposition, and showcase why you are better. You can also showcase how their current tech stack can be complemented by your product. 

Example

Enhance your workflow with {{Product name}}

Hey there, {{First Name}} I came across your company and noticed that you are currently using [technology] for [specific use case]. As someone who has worked with similar technologies in the past, I understand the challenges that can come with implementing and optimizing these tools. That's why I wanted to introduce you to our product/service, which seamlessly integrates with [technology] to enhance its capabilities and provide additional value. Our solution is designed to [briefly describe how your product/service can benefit their specific use case].

FAQs

  1. What is the difference between email segmentation and personalization?

Email segmentation is about dividing your audience into smaller groups based on shared characteristics or demographics, while email personalization is about personalizing the content of your message to individual recipients based on their unique characteristics.

  1. How to personalize emails at scale? 

One way to personalize emails at scale is by using mail merge tags. Mail merge tags allow you to insert personalized information into the email, such as the recipient’s name or company, by pulling the data from a spreadsheet or database. This can be done manually or by using cold emailing tools, such as SalesHandy, which has a mail merge tag functionality to help you personalize emails at scale.

  1. How to find email personalization opportunities? 

There are a couple of ways to do this: check out their LinkedIn profile, look at their Twitter feed, find company updates on their website, official company social media page, use Sales intelligence tools, or you can ask your prospect directly. 

Conclusion 

Personalized cold emails are opened 82% more than generic or canned emails. With so many senders competing for our attention in our inboxes, impersonal emails have no place in our inboxes anymore! 

Always personalize your cold emails to receive higher open and reply rates. When personalization is used effectively you can expect to see higher conversion rates. Prospects are more likely to be receptive to personalized emails as it shows you have taken the time and effort to do your homework on them. 

Good luck! 👍

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