The Importance of Personalization in B2B Today
So, you’ve done your research, spent long hours searching for companies that could use your product, and then finally found the contact information of the top sales and marketing leaders that fit your ideal customer profile. You believe these prospects to be qualified, you’ve sent them cold emails, and now you anxiously await their responses so you can tell them all about your product.
Days go by and you haven’t received any responses to the dozens of emails that you’ve sent; it doesn’t seem to do justice since you can’t even recall how many hours you spent researching, qualifying and prospecting (which of course, is a whole other issue that I will address at another time).
If so, you are not alone - this is the case for over 90% of cold emails. This is because, staying true to their name, your emails are just that; cold.
If you want to stand out in a world where your customers are receiving dozens of these emails per week, you have to give them a good reason to respond.
You have to apply real-life lessons to your emails in order to increase your response rates. Ask yourself, if you were going to meet this person in real life, how would you prepare for this meeting? If you are anything like me, you would read up a bit on this person, know a thing or two about what they do, and try to draw on similarities to get the conversation started.
“So, I can see that you are from Ottawa - I am too! What part of the city did you grow up in?”
“Oh, so you’re a Ryerson Alumni? I am too, how did you find your experience there?”
These principles apply to cold emails as well. The goal is to make these emails less cold and to develop a connection with your prospect right off the bat.
Here are some quick stats on the effects of personalization:
- Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than ones that are not personalized.
- 66% of marketers are seeing a 1-20% improvement in their KPIs from personalization.
- Leads who are nurtured with personalized content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities.
Why does personalization have this effect? Well, there are tons of reasons why, but here are three main reasons:
It shows them that they are a fit for what you are selling.
If your email is personalized and touches on some of the pain points that your prospect may be experiencing, your prospect will feel like you took the time to research them, therefore making your product feel better suited.
Perhaps you could touch on their industry, and draw some relevant statistics that shows the need for your solution, rather than just being like, “I know that you could use xyz”
It provides for a human connection.
Humans are social beings by nature, and most of us enjoy interacting with others who share similar views. People want to feel like you took the time to learn about them before emailing them, and by doing so, it is likely that they will also see the human behind the email.
People don’t want to respond to a robot, but if they can tell that a human wrote the email and took the time to connect, your prospects will be more likely to respond.
People want to feel appreciated as an individual.
Nobody wants to be seen as a simple number on a spreadsheet, and if you send an unpersonalized email, this is exactly how people will feel. Chances are that they won’t even finish reading your email if it looks like one that you sent to one-hundred other people.
So, we have established the importance of personalizing your emails, and have presented the statistics to back it up.
Now - where to start? How can you make your emails less cold?
Here are some tips on how to make your emails more personalized without spending an hour crafting every one.
- Include their name in the subject line, ex.”Hey John!,” versus, “Hey there!.” As mentioned above, personalizing the subject line increases the likelihood that your email will be opened by 26%.
- Search them on Linkedin and see if you can find a common link to start the conversation. See if you have a mutual friend, perhaps you both went to the same university, or studied the same program. See if they live in a place that you’ve traveled to before. Any small link can help start the conversation with a personal connection.
- If they are available on Linkedin, be sure to note any recent promotions they may have gotten. I would say that you should only mention the promotion if it was within the past three months.
- Congratulate them if you can see that they have been in their role/ company for a notable amount of time - usually the benchmark for me to note this achievement is 10 years.
- Touch on relevant points in their industry. If you are emailing, for example, a SaaS company in the manufacturing industry, know a thing or two about issues that the industry is facing, and how your product can help them directly.
- This seems like a no-brainer, but be sure to mention their role and the company that they work for.
By using any of these strategies to increase your personalization, you may not be able to shoot out 100 emails in an hour, but you will certainly be putting quality above quantity.
Statistically, this strategy will give you the best chances of getting a response.