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Belkins Help Center Email Deliverability

5 Unique And Creative Email Personalizations to Increase your Response Rate

With people’s inboxes getting increasingly saturated, creating personalized email campaigns that communicate with a recipient like a person rather than just another number is key for a campaign to gain traction.

This is highlighted by the fact that personalized emails have a 41% higher goal conversion rate than generic blasts.

Creating engaging email templates is all about standing out. As more companies realize the importance of personalization and start incorporating it into their email copy, the less effective it will become.

Prospects will eventually go blind to the most basic personalizations such as including their name and their company. By going one step further with the creation of your personalizations, you can craft email campaigns that do not get lost in the noise

But how can you produce creatively personalized emails while still having a speedy sales process, free getting bogged down in data mining and extreme segmentation? To get you started with thinking about this, here are 5 examples of unusual email personalizations that can work at a relative scale.

1. The “Coffee Shop Meet” Approach

If your email marketing campaign is centered around booking face-to-face meetings with prospects, you could suggest meeting at a coffee shop near them.  People do it all the time on Twitter, sliding into DMs and “shooting their shot”; so why not with emailing a prospect too? 

This type of personalization appeals to their preference to “buy local”, while also showing that you have taken the time to research their company properly as you know their location. 

What type of campaign is this suitable for?

The best time to use this approach for email campaigns is when you’re targeting local businesses and are looking to book a face-to-face meeting with them. It works because it’s intriguing and can hook the reader’s attention within the first few lines. 

What data do you need for this type of personalization?

Just find a coffee shop or suitable meeting area that is close to the prospect’s place of business, preferably less than a 5-minute walk away. If you’re not too familiar with the area, you could always check out Google Maps. Take note of the name and address of the meeting place and save it in a separate column of your email list spreadsheet.

Example 

Hey {{person’s name}}, If you'd like to discuss this further, we could meet at {{nearby meeting place}} just around the corner from you. 

2. The “Practice What You Preach” Approach

This personalization strategy involves finding a quote that the prospect has put out and using it to make a connection to your offering. Usually, prospects make statements or drop quotes about their business on social media, in an interview, at a conference, or on their website. 

The key is to find a way to connect that statement back to why you’re reaching out to them. Though a bit challenging to scale, the personalization is incredibly powerful when executed properly because it appeals to their psychological need to avoid inconsistency between their statements and their actions.

Because it can be difficult to scale this email personalization, it’s best to use it in instances where the prospects put out a lot of content or are thought leaders in their industry. This way, you have a steady source of information and quotes that you can use for your email campaigns. 

What type of campaign is this suitable for?

The “practice what you preach” personalization is best suited for campaigns that aim to establish a connection with prospects who are industry thought leaders. Professionals, business leaders, and regular speakers at events make for an ideal target audience for these email campaigns. By going the extra mile with this level of personalization is one of the most effective ways to get their attention. 

What data do you need for this personalization?

You need to do some quality research to find something your prospect has said, preferably recently. Take note of the date it was posted and on what platform, then find a way to tie it to what you’re offering. Check their social media pages, or recent interviews or guest posts, or any other suitable online medium. 

Example 

“I saw that you said {{what they said}} in your {{where you saw it}}. I couldn't agree more, which is why {{ links with your offering}}”

3. The Honest Name Drop Approach 

Sometimes it’s best to just be direct. Unfortunately, name dropping a prospect’s colleague in a cold outreach email isn't as effective as it used to be. Many email recipients now look at such tactics with skepticism. That doesn't mean it won’t work. 

All you need is to creative spin on it and be straight up honest about your intentions. Rather than trying to infer that you already know the prospect’s colleague, you could simply recommend that a relevant colleague will also be a part of the conversation.

Let’s say you want to offer a free trial of your payroll software to the finance director of a company. You could suggest that the IT director of the company or some other senior manager be included in the dialogue. 

Done properly, the honest name drop personalization can provide a trifecta of effects: 

  1. It shows that you took the time to research your prospect
  2. It shows that you understand who will most benefit from what you’re offering, and
  3. It shows that you appreciate the need to collaborate with your prospect and work closely with their organization.

What type of campaign is this suitable for?

The best time to use this personalization is when you’re trying to reach a large organization with several decision-makers. By suggesting to include all these key stakeholders in the discussion, 

What data do you need for this personalization?

You will need to properly research the company and take note of the relevant decision-makers. Sometimes companies list these names and roles on their website. Other times, you might need to search deeper, perhaps on their Linkedin page. 

Example 

“If this piques your interest, I’d love to schedule a quick  phone call with you and {{relevant colleague’s name}} who might also be interested in what we have to discuss.”

4. The Book Recommendation Approach

Outreach emails should always revolve around value proposition — ideally through a simple, inexpensive solution to their current challenges. If you’ve built your email list around identifying a particular problem, you can offer your prospects a book or other helpful materials that can help them address the problem. 

The idea here is to provide the prospect with an affordable solution (or at least the start of one), which then allows you to create a personal connection with them. 

If the prospect does find the answers they need in the book or materials that you recommended, but still wants more help, they’ll happily turn to you. 

Important note — Make sure you have actually read the book before recommending it, and that it is relevant to the prospects’ identified problem. Use excerpts from the book where necessary to drive home your point. 

What type of campaign is this suitable for?

This personalization is best suited for email campaigns that aim to establish personal connections with prospects through problem-solving. 

What data do you need for this personalization?

You’ll need to fully identify the problem and work out a step by step on how the book you’re recommending can solve it. 

Example

This {{problem signifier}} suggests to me that you might be looking for help with {{the identified problem }}. May I recommend {{book}}. It perfectly captures {{what their problem is}} and contains a nice introductory guide on how to solve it.

5. The “Local Hero” Recommendation Approach 

Today’s prospects want to see that you truly understand their pain points and that you genuinely want to help them, instead of just selling them your products or service. 

One way of demonstrating this is by recommending super helpful alternatives to what you offer. For instance, if you’re a big digital marketing agency, but the prospect cannot afford your services, you could recommend the services of a local freelancer instead. 

This may seem counterintuitive, but at the end of the day, it still counts as providing value for your prospects. 

Not everyone on your mailing list will be able to afford what you offer and some may be looking for something slightly different. Recommending alternative services to them can help build a relationship now that you could leverage in the future. 

What type of campaign is this suitable for?

Email sales campaigns where your services have direct alternatives, but will not directly impact your business bottom line.

What data do you need for this personalization?

Segmenting your prospects by location is a good place to start. For each location find relevant alternative services that you could easily recommend. Ideally, you should recommend people that you’ve worked within the past and you can vouch for the quality of their services. 

Example 

If this is out of your budget, I’m happy to recommend a couple of freelancers in {{prospect’s location}} who offer a similar service. These are {{freelancer 1}} and {freelancer 2}}; I have worked with them and I know they can get the job done within your current budget. 

Final Thoughts

Achieving success with cold email outreach is all about showing your prospects that you’re out to provide value, the kind that isn't offered by your competitors. Personalization is one of the best ways to achieve this. 

However, remember to make it as unique and as creative as possible — something that would both wow your prospects and encourages them to take action. 

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