logo
7 ways to get Cold Email Personalization right [With Examples]

7 ways to get Cold Email Personalization right [With Examples]

Table of contents

Cold Email Personalization | Breakcold

Introduction: should you personalize your cold emails?

My answer is simple: yes.

But it's actually more complicated as:

  • some top performers personalize their cold emails.
  • some top performers don't personalize their cold emails.

Cold Email Personalization Results | Breakcold

Why is there a difference? Because it depends on many parameters, notably:

  • your copywriting
  • the quality of your targeting
  • the quality of your offer

Depending on the industry, if you offer a service or a product, you will need to personalize your cold emails or not.

Cold Email Personalization Offer Copywriting Targeting | Breakcold

It's a ROI choice

Do you know your Cold Email Personalization ROI? I bet you don't.

When it comes to personalizing your cold emails, you need to consider if it's worth your time, energy & money.

Do you need to hire someone to personalize your cold emails? (Money)

Do you need to spend 4 hours per 300 prospects to come up with personalized emails? (Time & Energy).

Let's make an example of a cold email personalization comparison.

Personalized cold email ROI

  • your offer cost: $1000
  • cold emails sent: 1000
  • cold email cost (softwares): $100
  • cold email personalization cost (virtual assistant at $25/h): $500
  • open rate because of personalization: 78%
  • reply rate because of personalization: 38%
  • average booking rate: 33%
  • average closing rate: 40%

Out of 1000 emails sent, you'll close about 39 clients for a total value of $39,000.

Your personalized cold email ROI is $65. For every $1 spent, you'll make $65 dollars.

Cold Email Personalization ROI | Breakcold

Non-personalized cold email ROI

  • your offer cost: $1000
  • cold email cost (softwares): $100
  • cold email personalization cost (virtual assistant at $15/h): $0
  • cold emails sent: 1000
  • open rate because of non-personalization: 55%
  • reply rate because of non-personalization: 7%
  • average booking rate: 33%
  • average closing rate: 40%

Out of 1000 emails sent, you'll close about 5 clients for a total value of $5,000.

Your non-personalized cold email ROI is $50. For every $1 spent, you'll make $50 dollars.

Cold Email Personalization ROI for SaaS 2 | Breakcold

With this very basic example, we can see that personalizing cold emails can improve your results but comes at a cost.

We tried to use realistic data.

Service business vs SaaS companies

In our above example, we used an offer that brought home $1000 per sale. Let's assume here that it's not a recurring contract and that they will be no retention regardless of the offer being related to a service business or a SaaS company.

With our example, the cold email personalization ROI is interesting because $1000 is a high price. When it comes to service businesses (agencies, consulting firms, etc) offers are always in the $1,000-$20,000 range.

But imagine you have a SaaS company with subscription plans of $19/month, you won't benefit from personalizing your cold emails.

This is what the results would look like by just replacing the $1000 offer by the $19/month one. In this example let's assume retention is for 12 month so the total annual contract value is $228.

If cold emails are personalized:

  • Out of 1000 emails sent, you'll close about 5 clients for a total value of $1,1140.
  • For every $1 spent, you'll make $11,4 dollars.

Cold Email Personalization ROI 2 | Breakcold

If cold emails are not personalized:

  • Out of 1000 emails sent, you'll close about 39 clients for a total value of $8,892.
  • For every $1 spent, you'll make $14,82 dollars.

Cold Email Personalization for SaaS | Breakcold

The leverage brought by personalization is higher if you have a service business than if you have a SaaS product. In that particular case, you'd better send a large volume of non-personalized emails or semi-personalized ones rather taking the time to personalize your cold emails.

You need to think about your Total Addressable Market (TAM)

You will be forced to personalize your cold emails if you TAM is low.

Let's take 2 examples.

First scenario:

  • you have a high paying offer of $20,000 one time
  • your total addressable market is 5000 people
  • if you decide to be agressive with cold emails, you'll saturate your target audience in 1 to 3 months.

Conclusion: considering your pricing, you'd be better off personalizing each email to convert as many prospects as possible into paying customers

Second scenario:

  • you have a subscription plan of $49 per month
  • your total addressable market is 1,000,000 people
  • depending on how many emails you send per month, it will take you months, maybe years to saturate your target audience
  • they will not even remember you by the time you re-initiate your campaign from the beginning

Conclusion: in that case, you should go for volume and send many non-personalized or semi-personalized cold emails.

How to personalize your cold emails

There are many layer of personalization when it comes to cold emailing.

Personalization layer 1: hyper-personalization

This is by far the most time consuming but also the most rewarding personalization process when it comes to cold email.

This is how I personally do it.

1: I aggregate my prospects posts on LinkedIn & Twitter into one place

Breakcold allows me to regroup my prospects activities on social media. I tend to like and comment the posts before as well.

Cold Email Personalization LinkedIn News | Breakcold

2: I look at what prospects shared and craft a first line

I spend about 1 or 2 minutes looking at what my prospects are sharing on social media, then I write a hyper-personalize cold email first line.

3: I insert this line my cold email sequence first step

Once the line has been written, it will automatically populate the first line in my cold email sequence.

Personalization layer 2: prospect segmentation

From my experience, this is the best way to send cold emails at scale while still personalizing your cold emails.

So what is prospect segmentation?

It basically means that your prospects are so well separated that you can craft a generic yet personalized email for different specific audiences.

For example, you can craft a generic personalized email for Fintech Startups in New York. There might be 50 startups like this, not 1000 but your message will resonate for all of them without you personalizing each email.

Cold Email Personalization Prospecting list segementation | Breakcold

Personalization layer 3: creative variables

One good move that you can make is to come up with creative variables that will be so specific that prospects will be obliged to think that the cold email they received was tailored to them.

For example:

  • you can use the name of one of their employee name as a variable
  • you prepare a CSV where the employee name is different for each prospect
  • when sending your campaign, each email will use a different variable

Cold Email Personalization Creative Variables | Breakcold

Personalization layer 4: smart PS lines

Smart PS lines use some variables to trick prospects mind into thinking that the cold emails were tailored to them.

A classic example is to use the location of your prospect like below.

Cold Email Personalization PS Lines | Breakcold

Personalization layer 5: images

Images, memes in particular are great ways to add some layer of personalization. You can craft a unique image for each prospect or build a generic one for a specific segment of your buyer persona.

Personalization layer 6: videos

The current trend is to send loom videos to prospects. It takes time to register one video per prospect but some softwares like Widevo allow you to make this at scale.

Cold Email Personalization Widevo | Breakcold

Personalization layer 7: AI first lines

Ai first lines are email opening lines generated by AI, here's an easy process to use them.

1°) Select how many prospects you want with Breakcold

2°) Generate the first lines with the auto-mode

3°) Take 1 hour to review 200 prospects and pick your favorite line out of the 4 generated

Cold Email Personalization Order of First Lines | Breakcold

4°) Use the icebreaker as a variable in your sequence

Cold Email Personalization Custom Variables | Breakcold

Other questions about cold email personalization

This is a selection of questions I received the most frequently during demo calls of Breakcold.

How can I write personalized cold emails?

You can write personalized cold emails by:

  • listening to podcast about your prospects
  • reading blogposts they wrote
  • looking at their LinkedIn or Twitter profile
  • watching YouTube videos your prospects made

Should I use opening lines made by AI?

Long story short, AI first lines are only useful if you're doing cold emailing at scale in my opinion and that your total addressable market is very large.

They will ne be as performing as hand-written first lines but you can save so much time on adding a personalization layer to your cold emails that it's worth doing.

Try Breakcold!

Ready to personalize your Cold Emails?