There’s one trick to making a cold email feel personal — to the point where it makes the person reading it truly feel like it was written for them. Can you guess what the trick is?

Nope... I’m not talking about adding their name, company name, or other specific details to the email using merge tags. This can often make emails feel less personal and more robotic, because the phrasing can turn into something that you’d never actually say out loud, like…

“We can help Blues Brothers sell more guitars.”

Whereas, if you were talking to Blues Brothers in person, you’d just say, “We can help YOU sell more guitars.”

So then how do you make your automated emails feel like they were personally written for each individual? Let me explain.

Before writing your emails, list out your value propositions and the pain points you can solve.

The one thing that makes an automated cold email feel like it isn’t automated is if you can clearly articulate the pain that the prospect is experiencing and also demonstrate an understanding of what they want and don’t want.

Now, you might think that every individual has different pain points, which means you have to write a personal email for each individual… but you can actually achieve the same effect if you break your audience down into categories.

To help you do this, start by listing out all of the different value props that your company offers, and all of the different pain points that you can solve. Then we’ll figure out which concepts resonate with which audience.

Break up your audience into submarkets.

If you don’t have an audience built out yet, check out our post on how to find your Total Addressable Market (TAM). It will show you how to use Sona to build out a contact list of everyone you can reach in your target market.

Then, once you’ve built out your contacts, break your audience up into submarkets based on which specific pain point will resonate with which submarket the most — using factors like company size, industry, technology use, contact role, and any other category you can come up with.

The more data you have to make these categorizations, the better.

You’ll find that certain pains and value propositions are totally irrelevant to some of your audience categories, whereas other pains and value props really hit home with the right sub-audience.

For instance, a VP of Sales might be interested in the call recording functionality of your sales tool, for coaching purposes, whereas a CEO might be interested in the simplified reporting.

A company with 3 people in their sales team might be looking to automate part of their sales process, whereas a 50-person sales team might be looking for a more robust CRM to manage all of their data (you can get department size data like this from Sona).

Once you’ve figured out which concepts resonate with each audience, it’s time to write separate emails for those audiences.

Write copy that connects with each audience based on their pain and a deep understanding of their situation

When most companies send cold emails, they try to talk about as many different benefits of their product as they can, but the problem with this approach is that some of the benefits won’t apply to the specific person that’s reading your email.

And if you’re talking to them about a feature that’s not for them, they’re going to feel like the product is not for them.

So email personalization is as much about including things that resonate as it is about excluding things that don’t resonate with each particular audience category. That’s how you can make your emails feel personal without writing 500 individual emails to each contact.

Breaking up your audience into categories and asking yourself what each category cares about the most will give you 95% of the results that you’d get from writing individually customized emails — in a fraction of the time.

Follow these 6 steps to create personalized outbound campaigns

So here’s a quick summary of the above process that you can write down and refer to the next time you want to make your cold emails feel personal.

  1. List out your value propositions and the pain points you can solve
  2. Build out your audience and break it up into submarkets
  3. Figure out which pain points resonate most with each sub-audience
  4. Write copy that connects with each audience’s pain and presents a relevant value prop
  5. Remember to write copy only around the pain point or value. It’s not about you.
  6. Profit ;)

We’ve run campaigns for 250+ clients across 30+ industries and we’ve seen this work time and time again.