I receive at least 3-4 emails a day selling me some kind of SEO (search engine optimisation) service offering to get me to the first page on google or to climb the dizzy heights of page rankings. Now, that part is fine, but what makes me instantly delete these is the vague lack of personalisation that goes into them. They start with Hi, or Hello, and then go straight into a generic email about what they do. A copy and paste effort that never gets opened.
No doubt it's the very same email that goes out to another 500 people like me. My reaction is always the same: I just reach for the trash button or flag them as spam or just delete them on the spot for annoyingly interrupting my day.
There is no effort on their part to research my name, my organisation or appeal to some of the challenges or problems I may be experiencing in my business. Despite the fact they may even have a solution I want, through their product or service. This method is what is called the scatter gun or spaghetti approach - throw out as many bullets or strings of spaghetti at a target in order that something may land or stick. It is a total waste of their time and mine.
So, that brings me to this question of should you personalise your message and at what stage of the sales process?
To answer this honestly, some assumptions have to be made.
Next - what size group are you targeting with your message?
If it's a large list, and this is the first outreach to them, you may not have the luxury of researching all the targets.
You may have to break the list up into sectors or personas and have templates based on those filters with a message that appeals to their pain points as a group. Once you have engagement from them you can then personalise in the next message/follow up.
If it's a smaller more targeted list then you should be able to research the industry trends, company news and LinkedIn profiles, then personalise your message towards the decision maker.
When emailing or reaching out via social media, the advice is to personalise and tailor your message. Human nature tends to get the better of us when something that is relevant or individually tailored is sent; you're naturally curious to know what is it about, and more inclined to open it. When you are writing your subject lines and want your email to be opened, read and even responded to, it has to strike a chord with the reader. There has to be a hook. You have to demonstrate that you understand them and their business, and can offer a better future alternative with your dynamic product or service.
According to Constant Contact the open rate on first time emails is 18.26%, so if you are getting one in six emails opened you are doing better than average. But who wants to be average, right?
One thing is for sure, email is a very crowded environment and you have to stand out from the noise, clutter and spam of a busy executives inbox to get their attention.
If you're going to the effort of reaching out to them in the first place and you're not having much luck with the generic approach, do yourself a favour and decide maybe it's time to get personal.