How to Create Personalized Emails for Your Prospecting

You’ve probably heard this advice before: personalized emails are one of the best ways to generate more leads. But how do you know if yours are personal enough? And how do you adapt them to your marketing outreach? Consider the following factors for fine-tuning your approach.

Say “You” More Often

You may have seen plenty of marketing emails that start by addressing the lead directly (“Hi Jill”), but then fall into the trap of sounding disconnected and generic, or heavy on the self-promotion.

If you take this approach, it can backfire.

Leads don’t really care about what you do — they care about what you can do for them. This is especially true when those leads have never heard of you before. And nothing may send your message to the trash bin faster than a grandiose claim, notes a fellow marketer on Forbes.

Instead, use “you” more often. Make your message specific to them and what they’re going through. Talk about industry news that may affect them. Discuss common pain points they may be facing. Then you can tie it all back briefly to how your team can help, and offer a call to action.

Note: You can still personalize automated email campaigns that go out to hundreds of contacts by properly segmenting your database.

Write Shorter Emails

Most people don’t have time to read long emails. Plus, messages that don’t get to the point are easier to ignore, or may simply confuse your leads who are trying to skim through them. So when you’re drafting your next personalized emails, keep them short and sweet.

Email length also depends on what type of message you’re sending. The first ones that leads open from you should ideally be navigational, asking who the best people are to talk to about a particular service of theirs that relates back to your business. These emails can be very short, as little as one or two sentences. Follow-up emails are generally the same length, and meant to invite leads to have a call. Content emails can be a little longer — think three to six sentences at most — and should educate leads who aren’t yet ready to have a sales discussion.

Keep Questions to a Minimum

It may be tempting to pepper your emails with questions because you’re hoping at least one of them will resonate with your target audience. But that can actually become distracting to your leads, and most won’t know you well enough to see the value in filling out what essentially looks like a survey.

Instead, personalized emails do well to stick to one question. Even two may be fine, as long as it doesn’t matter which of them your leads answer, and that they both reinforce the purpose of your message.

Example: Hi John, it’s been our experience that most customer service training is great for [x], but not for [y]. Have you seen the same issues? If so, when’s a good time this week to talk more about them?

Mind Your Marketing Lingo

We’re not saying that marketing lingo is bad. What we are saying is that it may not lend itself well to personalized emails because it tends to promote, rather than invite, conversation.

Consider the following examples:


Hi Jill,

Trainers are quitting in droves! Why? The problems they’ve seen when it comes to [x]. Nearly [y] percent of those surveyed gave the same reasons, according to [source], and it’s not something that’s going away anytime soon. If you’re in the same boat, we need to talk. When’s a good time this week for a call?


Hi Jill,

I’m curious if your team’s been experiencing problems with their training when it comes to [x]. I ask because we’ve heard the same reason from others locally, and I wanted to make sure your [company] is aware of the options that are available to manage them. Are you free for a quick call to talk about them?

Have an Individual’s Name as Your Sender

Emails that come from your business development or sales rep — with their name listed as the sender — encourage leads to open them even if they don’t know about your company. This is because personalized emails come from individuals. Seeing “John Smith” in the sender tag is much more encouraging than “ABC Corp.” — or, worse, just an email address with no name at all.

Even if your rep attached to the email isn’t actually the person sending it because you’re relying on email automation, you still want the message to sound like them. That way, when leads do respond, the handoff to that person on your team is practically seamless.

Would you like additional guidance on crafting your own personalized outreach? Or maybe you have questions when it comes to email automation? Either way, we’d love to hear from you. Click the link below to schedule some time for a free lead nurturing consultation.

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