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Outbound sales tactics

Personalized cold emails made easy - 6 step formula & examples

March 22, 2021

Pedro Guimaraes

Email is one of the most powerful growth engines for any B2B SaaS trying to ramp up sales.

However, not many companies get it right.

Part of the reason is that sales teams end up focusing on lead volume instead of quality leads and email personalization. We found that quality always trumps quantity. A lower volume of emails with higher personalization brings more qualified opportunities.

In this article, we will show how to write great cold emails, without having to spend 1 hour on every single email. We’ll show you a framework to help you find and connect with potential customers in a highly personalized and scalable way 🚀.

Not convinced yet?

Understanding the importance of personalized cold emails - examples

How many emails do you receive in your inbox? Lots of them. How many do you read and respond to? Not many. It’s hard to stand out in today’s noisy environment.

If you want to schedule dozens of qualified leads per SDR, you need a formula to repeatedly stand out from the crowd. A formula that makes replies like these (👇) feel normal in your day-to-day life.

cold email personalization

So what’s the secret to being the first one in months deserving a reply? 👀

Our research says the secret for successful outbound sales lies in 3 main factors:

  1. Targeted relevance  
  2. Outstanding personalization  
  3. Scalability

Don’t worry. We’ll show you how it works - all secrets uncovered.

Hot to use cold email personalization to improve engagement

Amplemarket customer Startup Hypeman developed a framework for personal and compelling cold email templates. The process is divided into 6 steps:

  1. Personalization with good reason  
  2. Natural segue & did my homework  
  3. Problem  
  4. Approach and solution  
  5. Proof  
  6. Intent-Gauging Call to Action (CTA)

In one sequence, Startup Hypeman achieved a 91% open rate and 20% reply rate, including one customer who was so impressed they posted about it on Linkedin.

cold email personalization

1. Personalization with good reason (be relevant)

Rule #1: Don’t start by presenting yourself.

Starting your emails with a great first sentence is crucial. Prospects will pay attention to your email if you hook them quickly, if you don’t, they will miss the point and archive your email.

The goal is to grab their attention with something specific you know about all prospects. These data points are everywhere, all you need is to connect the dots.

For instance, grab the attention of VPs by mentioning they recently changed jobs. This shows them you have a reason for reaching out. This type of information is usually one of the strongest buying intent signals that someone is looking to shake things up internally.

Examples of great attention grabbers:

 “Hi {{first_name}}, I was doing a bit of research on {{company_name}} and saw that you have just recently joined (...)”    

“Hi {{first_name}}, I saw you commented on {{original_poster}}’s LinkedIn post (…)”

2. Natural segue & did my homework

To make sure you have their attention, show them you did your research carefully.

Transition and connect the hook you used in the first sentence with the problem you are trying to solve. Don’t forget to create an intriguing message and make it all about them.

Examples of great connectors:

 “Is this change of jobs also an opportunity to review your tech stack?”    

“I completely agree with what {{original_poster}} mentioned about the fact that {{topic}}. I would even add that at {your_company}}, we solved that challenge. (...)”

3. Problem

Now, that you have the prospect’s attention, make sure your message is compelling by mentioning a problem they care about.

Keep in mind that not everyone in your audience cares about problems in the same way. For instance, C-level executives have different problems than middle managers or individual contributors.  

Use this knowledge to adapt your message accordingly. The same can also be true for different industries, managers at different locations, etc.

👉 Read this article to see how you can do this with if/then statements in cold emails.

4. Approach and solution

Segue with a clear and concise value proposition. Leave the details for the call if the prospect is interested in a specific issue.

This is an example of how we present Amplemarket to some of our prospects:

 “At Amplemarket we combine world-class prospecting software (think zoominfo+lusha+leadiq combined) and multi-channel outreach (email and Linkedin) all in a single place to help gain precious time back so they can double their quota.”

5. Proof (optional)

Social proof has a positive impact on your conversion rates. One of the easiest ways to do it is to show relevant examples of existing customers. Example:

 “Just wanted to tell you that we already have several companies like Deel, MoveWorks, and H1 using the product and with really positive results (sales reps spend on average 2x more time on the phone closing deals instead of doing pre-call email and are able to reach out to 3x more leads)”

6. Intent-Gauging Call To Action (CTA)

Finish your emails with one simple call to action. The “secret” is to always A/B test different calls to action. Sometimes a simple question like "What do you think?" or “Does this sound interesting to you?” works better than trying to immediately schedule a call. Or vice versa.

Example of a GREAT Cold Email:

How to Leverage a Hobby: Cooking

cold email personalization

👉 Curious to know how we find relevant prospects and craft personalized messages like these? Check out the tool powering our success here.

Leveraging AI for cold email personalization

With advancements in technology, cold email personalization AI tools are revolutionizing the way sales teams approach email outreach.

AI can analyze vast amounts of data to suggest highly personalized email content, making the process of personalizing cold emails not just effective but also far more efficient.

For example, Amplemarket's Amplemarket’s GPT-powered copywriter allows you to create the impact of really hyper-personalized copy in just one click.

  • Users are able to leverage tailor-made hooks based on individual prospect information.
  • The seller’s value proposition is automatically weaved into the messaging in a way that’s intuitive and natural.
  • Users can even customize the tone of voice and the message length. It’s possible to use the tone of voice settings create messages in multiple languages, humorous personas, styles, etc. according to what might be relevant for a particular lead or for a particular campaign approach.
Amplemarket makes it easy for sellers to create highly personalized cold messages in seconds!

Crafting personalized first Lines for effective cold emails

The first line of your cold email can make or break your engagement rates.

Crafting personalized first lines for cold emails involves using insights gleaned from your prospect's digital footprint. It's about making a connection from the very beginning, showing that you're not just sending a generic email blast. W

Here are some of our to personalize your opening lines for a higher response rates:

  • Reference a recent achievement or news about the prospect’s company. (E.g. "Congratulations on your promotion to {{job_title}}!")
  • Use dynamic fields to address recipients directly. (E.g. "How's Q1 going for {{company_name}}, {{first_name}}?"")
  • Skip the small talk and speak directly to your prospect's pain-point. (E.g. "What are you doing to safeguard your deliverability in 2024, {{first_name}}?")
  • Ask a thought-provoking or open-ended question to encourage a response. (E.g. "How many hours are you wasting on manual email replies per week?")
  • Leverage risk-aversion or FOMO to add urgency. (E.g. "Time to stop losing winnable deals, {{first_name}}.)

The power of personalized images in cold email outreach

Incorporating personalized images can significantly increase the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

Visuals, when tailored to the recipient's interests or industry, can grab attention, encourage responses, and overall feed a more memorable engagement experience.

Here are some of our tips to leverage images effectively:

  • Include images or memes related to the prospect’s industry or interests.
  • Consider using tools that allow for cold email personalized images, such as dynamic image insertion based on recipient data.
  • Take care not to let your images interfere with your deliverability! If you notice emails bouncing, consider removing images until your delivery rates recover.

Best practices for personalizing cold email outreach in 2024

Staying ahead in the competitive field of cold emailing means constantly adapting to the latest trends and best practices to make sure you stand out.

Here are some best practices to keep your cold email at the top of its game throughout 2024:

  • Make your personalization data-driven: Regularly cleanse and update your prospect database to ensure accuracy, and use segmentation to tailor your emails based on industry, role, or previous interactions.
  • Integrating AI and Machine Learning: Employ AI-driven tools for advanced content generation and analytics, which can suggest the most effective content and timing for your emails.
  • Enhance your personalized content creation: Beyond using the prospect's name, dive into creating content that resonates more deeply with their specific position. Reference recent industry trends, news, and insights that directly address the challenges unique to their business or role.
  • Utilize dynamic content: Use dynamic content that changes based on the recipient's profile or behavior (such as LinkedIn posts or engagement) to create templates you can reuse at scale.
  • Use behavioral triggers for inbound flows: Set up behavioral triggers in your CRM or engagement tools to send personalized follow-ups based on actions like website visits, social interactions, or content downloads.
  • Test and optimize: Keep testing different aspects of your emails, including subject lines, email copy, and call-to-actions. Analyze results to understand what resonates best with different segments of your audience.

Wrapping Up…

In this article, we’ve given you a framework to help you better personalize your cold emails at scale.

We hope it helps the same way it has been helping our SDRs to schedule about 50 opportunities a month. We're constantly testing new hypotheses to see what works for outbound sales and regularly share the insights with thousands of sales & marketing leaders.

Subscribe to our newsletter below to get monthly updates on our latest findings. 👇

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