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Should you bother personalizing cold email??



There is a war raging on LinkedIn. Sales Gurus can’t seem to agree on whether or not cold email needs to be personalized. One camp believes if it’s not personalised no one will read it. The other camp believes personalization is a waste of time and you should instead get really good at describing business problems and how you solve them.


We believe there is a middle ground. For Tier One target accounts that are prospected to alot, you’re probably going to want to deploy personalisation. After all, it’s worth the extra effort to break into these accounts.


There are endless opportunities for personalisation from low value such as the school they went to or a sport team they follow, through to high value such as a role they previously held or a piece of content they created relevant to the problem you solve.


It’s handy to think about personalisation using the following quadrant.





The best personalisation is both highly unique to the individual (i.e it wouldn’t apply to thousands of other people) and is highly relevant (the personalisation can be tied back to a problem that you solve). If you can’t find something that is both relevant and unique then maximize for one or the other. Don’t use personalisation that is both non-relevant and non unique (try harder).


Some examples of effective personalisation are shown below:


Sweet Spot Example -


Hi John, just finished listening to your episode of the Inside Sales Podcast with Josh Braun. I noticed at 3:24 you spoke about how important making cold calls is even when seeing a low connect rate. Wondered if you’d be open to hearing about how we helped ACME Corp achieve 27% connect rates on cold calls last quarter?


Useable Example (high uniqueness)


Hi John, Noticed on your profile pic that you do Ironmans. Ran a quick search on Strava and found you there (I’m thinking about finally committing to a 70.3 myself). On a side note, as the Head of Sales Dev at Acme, are your reps struggling to get prospects on the phone? We helped XYX Corp achieve 27% connect rates on cold calls last quarter. This have any relevance for you right now? If not no worries, I’ll be following your training on Strava for the upcoming season.


Useable Example (High Relevance)


Hi John, noticed you were a BDR in a previous life. I’m sure you went through the torture of making 30-50 dials for just one live conversation. Is this something your SDR team is struggling with currently? We helped XYX Corp achieve 27% connect rates on cold calls last quarter. This have any relevance for you right now?


Focus on Pain not Features

No one cares about what your product does, they care about the problems it solves. More specifically, the problems it solves that are relevant to them. So all of your messaging should be focused on the pain you alleviate, referencing who you’ve done it for and what the outcome was.


That’s what business executives care about. They’re hired to make the organization successful. The way they do that is to fix the problems and remove the barriers that are stopping the organization from achieving its goals.


Here’s a simple framework you can use to make sure your messaging is focused on pain and not features:


Does my message include:





If you can tick all three boxes then your message is on the right track. This is applicable across all messaging channels, phone, email, LinkedIn and direct mail.




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