How To Personalize Emails Using 5 Different Data Triggers
Why personalization has created so much buzz in the sales world?

Times have changed.The supply became infinite and buyers have plenty of choices which makes them much more selective. Communication channels have become diversified and easily accessible, so did the technology we use as salespeople.
As a result, buyers are literally overwhelmed with the number of messages and calls they receive every single day.

Personalization came to the rescue when we started to feel that the old approach to starting conversations online no longer works.

Personalization became a solution that addresses a STRONG need to go the extra mile to grab the attention of our buyers.

To show them that we know with whom and what we're talking about.

To prove that we understand their challenges (or at least trying to gain a better understanding).

To let them be participants of the mutually-beneficial 2-sided conversation, not victims of another self-centric sales pitch.

And the last and most important — to make them feel SPECIAL.

Everyone likes it.

Talking to sales professionals and leaders, I noticed a huge shift of perspective from copy/paste mass-emailing to a personalized outreach.

Quality over quantity approach as we like to call it.

That's why I decided to create a handy and brief resource for sales professionals who are on the path of embodying personalization.

For those willing to experiment with different data triggers to initiate a meaningful connection.

Considering all the available data about your prospect and her company, I ended up diving it into 5 different groups:

Let's go through each of them to learn how they can help you start more conversations.

P.S. all examples did not include calls to action. The idea was to show how you can personalize your opening line and naturally align it with your value proposition.

  • Content-based personalization
What data to look for: self-authored content, consumed content, content that highlights your prospect, for example:"15 Top Sales Influencers to Follow in 2020"

Content is the new gold of 2020. According to Omnicore's statistics, 3 million LinkedIn users share content on a weekly basis. Imagine how many people consume this content every single day.

There is a high chance that your prospect is part of either one or both groups — active content producers or active content consumers. In any case, content acts as an effective touchpoint that facilitates building a meaningful connection.

Here are some examples of how you can use it to personalize your email:

1. Hey Christine,

Read your comments on Josh Braun's post, a great read, both the post and your comments really resonated with me.

Completely agree with the importance of conveying the right message to the prospect, if the message is right, then the prospect will be interested.

On the note of conveying the right message, here at Company XYZ, we help sales leaders by bringing to life the key moments within their team's sales conversations where revenue is won and lost.

2. Hey Tom,

Reading your latest article about how your team operated during the COVID outbreak, I couldn't be more impressed. Your dedication to people and the ability to quickly adjust your production to the high demand are highly appreciated!

Working with medical tech companies at Company XYZ, we also made our mission to drive the growth of the healthcare industry.

  • Personality-based personalization
What data to look for: personal goals, mission, motto, hobbies

People love to talk about themselves and hear when someone recognizes their goals and accomplishments.

That's why diving deeper into what motivates your prospect wake up early every morning, what makes her feel happy and fulfilled — it's a great way to connect with her on a human level.

1. Hi Julie,

Your passion for traveling and cooking made me stop by your profile. The funny fact is that my love for cooking brought me to start my career in sales (but that's another story).

Prospecting, as well as cooking, requires creativity, open-mindedness, and adaptation to the preferences of your guests / potential customers. That's why at Company XYZ we focus on humanizing your outreach, eliminating the pain of getting too many "NOs" from prospects.

2. Hey Jacob,

Love your motto: "Always be humble, hungry and the hardest working person in the room." It aligns so well with almost every person who wants to make a difference.

Talking to sales leaders, it seems that the term "hard work" is not always equal to "productive work". On that note, our productivity software helps tech sales teams focus on the right tasks. By having full visibility into your day-to-day activities, your team will be able to automate manual tasks, prioritize goals, and plan their time better.

  • Personalization based on Professional Experience and Achievements
What data to look for: responsibilities, key priorities, challenges, general experience, main achievements, courses/programs/events attended

Your prospects spend a minimum of 24% of their time at work. Following their main responsibilities, they work hard to achieve their goals, facing professional challenges along the way.

If you can align any of this information with the value of your solution, it can be a great ice-breaker for your email.

1. Hey Tom,

As a leader with 15+ years of experience in scaling sales teams, you've likely had experience with making bad hiring decisions.

Did you know that the cost of them goes up to 50–75% of the individual annual salary?

To help startups eliminate such risks, we built a solution that predicts the likelihood of sales success for every new member of your team.

2. Hey Amy,

It looks like you're on a mission to provide your Account Executives with prospective leads from the west-coast mid-market segment.

Many SDR managers who work with the same market have mentioned that balancing quality and quantity is their key prospecting challenge. Our SaaS solution enables sales teams to personalize at scale by instantly collecting 3 data points for every prospect. As a result, you know your prospect even before opening her LinkedIn profile.

  • Solution-based personalization
What data to look for: industry and solution specifics, clients, competitors

Nothing could annoy prospects more as messages that have nothing to do with them personally or their business.

Lack of research is the #1 problem why so many cold emails are considered irrelevant. Knowing the prospect's industry as well as understanding her product or service at a high level is what also can help you stand out.

Here are a couple of examples that prove that you DID your research:

1. Hi Jonathan,

Came across your website and saw that you work with both startups and enterprise clients, helping them make the right hiring decision.

What is the #1 thing that helps your sales team effectively engage both types of companies in a conversation?

Many HR tech companies managed to X5 their conversion by shifting from "here is our list of benefits, let's talk" approach to personalization.

2. Hi Jonathan,

It seems that Company XYZ has an impressive history of disrupting a medical tech field. 400 projects look like great proof!

Maximizing partner relations and the ability to sell more products have recently become the key goals for most medical device manufacturers. Our automation products and embedded systems are designed to help companies like Company XYZ meet these targets and continuously innovate.

3. Hi Brittany,

Your focus on learning and development has grabbed my attention when browsing your website.

Based on the discussions I had with companies like Company XYZ, onboarding sales representatives is the #1 challenge. Our digital adoption platform enhances knowledge retention for your new employees, providing interactive real-time training.

  • Personalization based on Company Updates
What data to look for: hiring information, announcements of new partnerships or latest product releases, awards, company anniversary, listing information etc.

You can easily find all the above-mentioned information by checking your prospect's LinkedIn company page, website, or some other dedicated resources like Crunchbase, AngelList, Glassdoor.

Why not use it to start a conversation? It will not always be a game-changing step, but the least you can do is show that you know what's going on within their organization and thereby gain some trust.

1. Hi Melinda,

It looks like your summer internship program started a month ago. Hope everything goes smoothly in a remote environment!

From conversations with companies like Company XYZ, one challenge that 8 out of 10 teams face is onboarding sales representatives. Our digital adoption platform helps increase the productivity of your new hires with real-time training, eliminating any confusion from day 1.

2. Hey Susan,

Congrats on being named among the Best Software Companies on the G2's list. Your team should be proud of such results of your hard work!

One of the key priorities that we recently heard about from companies like yours is implementing an employee recognition program. To prevent your business from losing its best talents, our real-time cheers system makes your people feel appreciated by their peers and managers.

Let's wrap it up:

There are so many different ways to personalize your messages. Regardless of which particular data trigger you decide to use, what really matters is building relationships early on. This is what sets you apart.

Besides the personalization itself, it's also important to smoothly align it with the value proposition. This way the personalization part does not look taken out of context and can positively influence your response rate.

Hope you can use these examples as inspiration for your future outreach!