If you’re familiar with marketing automation, you’ve probably been told that it’s more effective when you personalize your emails. At first, this may seem like a contradiction. Can a mass email that you’re sending to thousands of leads really be that personal? The answer is yes it can, but with an important caveat: it’s only as personal as your contact database allows it to be. Here’s what we mean by that, and what you can do to yours to make personalized emails worth your time.
Segmentation Is Key
Personalization in email really comes down to how granular you segment your contacts. We’ve talked before about basic segmentation that you’ll want to have in any sort of email marketing platform or customer relationship management (CRM) tool. At a minimum, this helps you keep track of leads who are engaged, those who aren’t, those you’re following up with, and those who no longer want to be contacted.
It’s also a good idea to try and segment your audience even further to reflect individual products that you offer, your leads’ specific industries, or other factors that are relevant to your outreach. Maybe you want to send a targeted message to mid-level supervisors, and another to members of the C-Suite. Maybe you’re contacting leads in healthcare, as well as manufacturing. If you want these groups to engage with your outreach and respond, your chances are better if your emails use language and topics that are tailored to each.
But segmentation doesn’t end there.
Landing Page Triggers
Let’s say that you have a landing page that offers specific information or a piece of downloadable content (e.g., a lead magnet) that your leads can use. You can set up a unique email sequence that will be triggered once that information is accessed.
When it comes to lead magnets like ebooks, checklists, and white papers, you can include a customized form that leads must fill out that can help you segment them even further in your contact database — by confirming what level of management they are, for instance, or the reason why they want to download your material.
As HubSpot notes, these types of page triggers and email sequences for your leads will ultimately tie into their buyer’s journeys — in other words, the steps you’ve laid out for leads to take in order to become new customers. How? These landing pages can include calls to action that you want your leads to perform, based on whether they found your website through organic SEO, or were directed to it from an email marketing campaign.
Prompting leads to tell you more about themselves will allow you to better segment your future marketing. This might sound like a B2C strategy, but plenty of it can be applied and executed well in the B2B world.
All right, you might say, this is all well and good with an established email list of contacts. But what about managing cold leads?
Glad you asked!
Where Segmentation Fits in Your Prospecting
We’ve talked before about how we find and verify new email addresses using Prospecto, as well as the series of emails (onboards, follow-ups, and content) that work well for nurturing those leads toward conversations.
While most of that messaging is brief and high level, that doesn’t mean that you can’t slowly integrate more segmented content into your outreach for leads who consistently open your emails. Similar to above, the majority of the segmentation that we see at this stage of new business development is based on industry.
As leads receive personalized content and follow-up emails, your business development reps can then take the few from the many who deserve individual outreach tailored to them and their companies. We’re talking about those leads who respond directly, or who consistently open your emails and click through to your website. While this BDR outreach is often another level of personalized email, even phone calls at this stage might be the moves that finally get these warm leads to respond.
Those who agree to calls can then be vetted to determine whether they’re ready for Sales, or still appropriate to keep under Marketing until the time is right.
Additional Factors To Keep in Mind
While we’ve covered the main points above, here are some factors that are also important when creating personalized email.
Be mindful of your email sender. There’s some debate as to whether emails sent by individuals elicit better engagement rates than emails sent by companies. This could be because individual names automatically make emails look more like direct exchanges and less like generic marketing promotions. Even the tell-tale signs of automation (unsubscribe options in email footers) may not change this, presumably because signature lines include points of contact, telephone numbers, and physical addresses to associate with these messages.
It may be worth your time to send emails from both individual representatives at your company and the company itself to see which has more pull.
Use a full name as your sender, not just an email address. Ever see a sender name in your inbox that was basically “[email protected][company].com”? Did it seem careless or suspicious that it wasn’t their full name? That’s the vibe most people would have if your marketing emails did the same, and leads who have never heard from you before will probably err on the side of caution and assume you’re sending them a spammy email.
Remember first names and “you.” You probably already auto-fill a lead’s first name at the beginning of any marketing email, but it’s still worth noting that this is important. (These auto-fill features may be referred to as merge variables or personalization tokens, depending on your automation provider.) You may even try auto-filling leads’ first names in email subject lines periodically to test how they influence clicks and responses.
Regardless of how often you address your leads by name, make sure that the focus of your emails are always on them, as if you’re having direct conversations. That means saying “you” a lot, and including their services as part of your discussion.
Building Your Customer Personas
Personalized email and segmentation can have an exponential improvement on your new business development. Not only will you encourage more direct engagement from your leads, you’ll be able to develop customer personas that will aid you in refining your future campaigns. Personas are representations of your ideal customers, developed by collecting and analyzing a high level of customer data. And what better place to get more of that data than with the methods outlined above?
Do You Need Help With Personalized Email and Segmentation?
It can sometimes feel overwhelming when you have to manage the maintenance for a contact database on top of the emails they require. You might also wonder what changes you need to make to your website to encourage leads to visit specific landing pages, or develop the lead magnets you’ll want them to download once they do. Then there’s keywords, website design, CRM management, and the series of emails you’ll need to develop.
If this sounds like a lot to keep track of, let’s talk about making it easier for you!
When you’re ready, click the link below to schedule a free consultation.