Email Personalization That Sells


Sending out generic, mass emails might appear at first to be the quickest, most efficient way to approach your cold email outreach. But as you probably already know, this strategy stands little chance of capturing anyone’s interest and will most likely end up in their recycle bin. Sending prospective clients personalized emails is a much surer way to convince them to give you an opportunity to sell to them.

Some companies try to save time and fake their way through the personalization process by including vague details that could easily apply to many different people. For example: “I noticed that your company has been hiring recently, and I think my product could help improve your hiring process and save you money in the long-run.”

The simple truth of the matter is that people see through this type of lazy personalization, and it doesn’t give you any better chance of attracting new clients than a standard form email does. In fact, it might hurt your chances even more than a cold email that makes no attempt at personalization at all, because it has the potential to come off as a bit dishonest. Taking the time to actually personalize a different cold email pitch for each lead is by far the best option if you want your outreach to generate responses.

But, creating personalization at scale is difficult and time-consuming, no matter how effective it may be. There’s so many different types of clients and so many possible approaches to personalized outreach that determining where to start or how to proceed probably feels overwhelming. So, let’s talk about how you can form the best plan of attack to personalize your cold emails to successfully reach as many prospects as possible.

SaaS companies face their own unique set of marketing challenges. Selling a subscription model is a bit different than traditional selling because it’s less about making a one-time sale and more about building a long-term relationship with the customer. This means marketing should primarily focus on the user and their experience. The goal is not only to convince people to use the service, but also to keep using the service in order to ensure a steady source of revenue. 

Customers are attracted to (and many expect) a personalized user experience. According to a survey conducted by Epsilon, 90% of respondents feel that personalized content is an appealing quality in a business, and 80% are more likely to do business with a company that offers a personalized experience. To stay competitive, personalized marketing should play an important role in every subscription-based service’s outreach strategy.

Define Your Audience

First, it’s important to clearly define the different audiences you want to reach. This will allow you to divide your personalization strategy into manageable chunks and create an efficiently structured process as you move forward. This decision can ultimately be broken down into three categories for consideration:

  • Demographics take into account factors such as age, gender, income, or profession.
  • Firmographics prioritize B2B considerations like company size, annual revenue, or product type.
  • Finally, Psychographics focus on the psychological factors of the individual person you are selling to, such as attitude, beliefs, or interests.

Multiple categories in combination will act as a road map for personalization and make it much easier to narrow down your strategy to the individual customer level.

Despite often being overlooked, psychographic information is especially important when personalizing content because it provides insight into the unique motivations and priorities of specific prospects. Your ability to draw parallels between a prospect’s values and your own is often what makes them feel that your email is worth their time and that working with you would be a good fit.

Start With a Premise

Once you have pinpointed and defined exactly who you want to reach, you need to come up with a premise on which to base each personalized pitch. One of the best ways to ensure your cold emails are successful is to start by establishing an initial connection with a prospect. It’s important to find common ground and show the prospect that they are not just a box to check off on a list of leads, but a potential client that you take real interest in. This tactic has a much better chance of catching their attention than simply launching straight into a cold sales pitch does, because it communicates your reason for reaching out to them in the first place.

There are many ways to create an effective premise, but here are a few examples:

Use the prospect’s content

You can engage with the prospect’s own content and begin your email by expressing your interest in a topic they care about. For example, you might read a prospect’s blog post, and then mention in your email that you found it interesting or enlightening and that it made you want to reach out to them. Make sure the content you choose to engage with is somehow relevant to your sales pitch, however, so that you can springboard the connection you make into discussing the product you have to offer.

Use content the prospect is interested in

Paying attention to the type of content a prospect is interested in will not only allow you to link your product to their particular niche, but also inform the way you should write your own content to cater to their needs and preferences.

Say you are looking at a prospect’s social media and you notice that they have liked or commented on an article about solving a problem or challenge that your product can address. This gives you a convenient starting point from which to segue into the exact way that your product could benefit that prospect personally.

In general, finding and targeting a problem that a prospective client is looking to solve and that your product can alleviate is the most effective way to get their attention. Honing in on your product’s benefit for that prospect specifically rather than plugging your product’s features more broadly shows the prospect once again that you are paying attention to them and have their individual interests in mind.

Use self-attributed information

The final, and usually most reliable, way to personalize a cold email is to make use of any information your prospects have provided about themselves. This information could be found on their LinkedIn profile or in a social media bio, for example. Basing your personalized pitch on that information will prove to the prospect that you’ve taken the time and interest to do your homework. It’s also one of the best ways to be certain that your email is relevant to them because the details you are referencing come straight from the source.

The way a prospective client describes their values and their work is the way they have intentionally chosen to represent themselves, so you can be confident that they will respond well to an email that works in those self-attributed characteristics. Once again, find a way to link those professional traits to your product and leverage that link into a sale.

Just like when defining your audience, the most effective cold emails use more than one of these strategies in combination to form the strongest initial connection possible. The best connections are those that focus on the prospect and why you see value in working with them, rather than on yourself and how amazing your product is.

Keep It Structured

Now that you have narrowed down your target audience and determined the best premise on which to base each individual outreach, you can turn that information into a clearly structured format. Having a few guiding principles in place will keep the process organized while still allowing for detailed customization. The basic outline of your cold email should consist of three main parts:

  1. Premise: This section is where you hook the prospect’s attention by establishing a connection with their professional identity, and provide context around why you want their business in the first place.
  2. Body: This section is your opportunity to segue your premise into your pitch. The body of your email should concisely tell the prospect how your product could benefit them and why you believe that doing business together would be in their best interest.
  3. Call To Action: This section is where you invite the prospect to engage further by scheduling a time to talk in more detail about what your company and your product has to offer.

The two biggest questions your prospects will have when they open your cold email is who you are and what you want from them. Following the structure above is the quickest and most effective way to communicate the answers to these questions in a personalized manner. Remember, the ultimate goal is customization, so make sure you are using this format as a general guide and not accidentally veering towards a glorified form email.

Adding Video Personalization

Though emails and phone calls have long been the standard method of cold selling, video content has now come to dominate our society, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t take advantage of the ways it can benefit your cold marketing. Including a personalized video in your pitch has even more potential to impress clients than just an email, and it shows that you went to even greater effort on the client’s behalf.

There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that video is the most effective sales tool available to us: Experts have discovered that our brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than written information. Obviously, this translates into a much higher chance that your message will get through to your potential customers. Additionally, 95% of people absorb information best when they can see it and hear it. That statistic alone should be reason enough to pay attention to the value of video in your cold marketing strategy.

Video Personalization At Scale

Traditionally, personalized videos are much more difficult to produce at scale than personalized emails. Recording a video is more complicated and time-consuming than writing an email, and usually it’s just not practical to rely on videos for all of your cold pitches. That’s where Deep Word comes in: You can simply upload a short video of yourself along with your written personalized scripts, and Deep Word will automatically generate and personalize a video for each of your potential clients. You can even integrate your contact list directly from your CRM and use merge tags to automatically customize videos based on the relevant contact information.

If your cold emails have been failing to connect with potential clients as well as you hoped they would, this option will allow you to add an authentic personal touch without sinking all of your time into recording multiple videos.

You can see the value of Deep Word’s API & CRM integrations for yourself with this interactive demo. You will submit some of your info by filling out a simple form, and then receive a personalized video that is automatically generated via Deep Word’s servers. If you combine Deep Word’s automated video customization with the tips outlined above, you will be on your way to attracting more business than ever with your cold emails.

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