How to personalize emails for sales

Posted August 28, 2017

Today, most marketers understand that email is an efficient tactic for reaching customers. It's not enough to just email blast unsuspecting clients, though! Instead, you have to take the time to personalize emails and develop a "quality over quantity" approach. Read on.

Not Enough Time In The Day For Personalization?

Most marketers love to hyper-personalize but don't feel like they have enough time in the day to get it done. Unfortunately, mass email marketing doesn't do anything but waste your marketing budget and make it almost impossible to connect efficiently with consumers.

From a customer's point of view, they're simply not interested in talking to you until you know about their business, understand their pain points and know what they want.

In email, there's a real risk of diminishing returns. At Outreach, we experienced this. We went too far into personalization and put in an hour and a half each day for SDRs to do research on hyper-personalized emails and got really good at writing them. Unfortunately, since we were spending so much time writing emails, our productivity slid off the map, which softened our pipeline.

While personalization seems like a smart idea, many people get it wrong because they can't do it fast enough. If you can personalize email faster, you can capture things that will put you on the cutting edge. That's a challenge that many people don't get: time-based personalization is more essential than personalization in general.

5 Tips For Better Personalization

Personalization is changing with the rest of the digital marketing atmosphere. Here's how to get it right:


Today, it's stupidly simple to find out where someone went to school, was born or what teams they support in the big game.

Do not lead with these things.

Not only do they make people not want to engage with you, but they seem cheap and spammy, which is the opposite of the approach you want to take with your emails.

Instead of leading with personalization from the social atmosphere, we recommend you close with another type of personalization. At the end of your message, sign off by making a subtle reference to the personalization. If you lead with it, you haven't earned it yet.


VPs of sales, no matter what type of company, have some very specific talking points. These things will apply to all the interactions of a various persona. Fortunately, personalizing to the persona is a smart way to personalize your emails while also making them more time-efficient.

Don't waste your time going to LinkedIn and mining for details - personalize to the persona instead. This means finding a group of people with similar priorities, job descriptions, pain points and concerns, and personalizing to the group rather than individuals within it. In addition to saving you time, this will also help make your outbound emails automatable and free you up to focus more on your follow-up communications.


People hate meetings. Ask for a meeting and you'll drive away a large number of your potential replies. Instead of asking for a meeting, offer the opportunity to "talk to an expert." It serves the same purpose, but it's more efficient at starting a conversation and limiting a person's gut instinct to run.


Sometimes, when you start with outbound, people don't know they have a problem. As such, telling a customer the story about why there's a problem and what the solution is can be integral to a more successful exchange.


If you spend ten seconds on the first email, spend ten minutes on the follow-up email. Too many people waste too much time personalizing the heck out of their first emails. This doesn't make sense, though. All you want from a first email is a response.

Even if it's not a great response, you just want a response. Once you've gotten this, you can focus on crafting a fantastic and highly personalized follow-up email that starts developing a relationship.


Personalizing emails is critical, but the tactics are changing. Fortunately, simple things like personalizing on the persona, abandoning the requirement to hyper-personalize, personalizing on three points only (name, problem and a piece of content that relates to the problem) and spending more time on the follow-up emails than you do on the initial emails can make a massive impact on the success rate of your email campaigns.

By identifying your customers' problems correctly and helping them find a solution, you can make your outbound emails more successful than they've ever been before. While it's easy to scratch the surface with personalization, these smart and technology-driven personalization approaches make it easy for brands and companies to personalize more intelligently and ensure the personalization they are doing is ideal not only for their clients, but for the health and wellbeing of their funnel and productivity as a whole.


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