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Sales Prospecting Emails: How Much Personalization Counts As Too Much?

Personalized email messaging treats prospects like humans and not merely names on a mailing list. As such, the benefits of personalization in your email marketing campaigns are many.

Individualized or persona-based emails (aka personalized emails) are critical in attracting target audiences and increasing sales. Today’s consumers expect more than one-size-fits-all email blasts. Instead, marketers are now leveraging personalization in emails to make them feel individualized and add value to the message. As consumers expect more persona-based emails, failure to personalize your emails is now bad for business.

Personalized email messaging treats prospects like humans and not merely names on a mailing list. As such, the benefits of personalization in your email marketing campaigns are many. Essentially, relevant marketing messaging leads to higher lead conversions and sales rates across all industries.

Statistics support this with personalized email subject lines having 50% higher open rates. Additionally, 72% of consumers report that they only engage with personalized messaging. According to Campaign Monitor, marketers report a whopping 760% increase in email revenue from segmented and personalized campaigns.

However, too much personalization with prospecting emails has a point of diminishing returns. It’s where target customers and subscribers find highly personalized email messaging uncanny, disturbing, and bordering on infringing on their privacy. Hence, marketers should be strategic when using email personalization.

This article discusses the thin line between optimizing buyer persona messaging and writing ultra-personalized emails that creep out target prospects and subscribers.

What Counts as Email Personalization?

A decade ago, receiving a sales email with your name was impressive. Today, however, that no longer constitutes email personalization, and sellers must do more to create rapport with buyers by making them feel like they are receiving a message custom-made just for them.

Some examples of email personalization that salespeople leverage include writing emails that are:

  • Unique to the individual (attended the same school or know people in common)
  • Aligned to a buyer’s unique challenges as positioned by specific knowledge of their pain points
  • Company- or account-based
  • Persona-based – positioned by buyer role
  • Sale stage-based – positioned by where a buyer is in the sales cycle


Excellent data sources for personalization purposes are social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, where people actively publish personal information for public consumption. Social media is an excellent source of information on things that people are excited or passionate about, whether it is rooting for their favorite team in the Super Bowl or thoughts on retail shopping experiences.

Drawing the Line between Productivity and Personalization

Today, most marketing and selling personnel don’t use templates alone when crafting email messages. They like to personalize their messaging based on what they learned from their research on the target prospects and the company where they work.

You can still use templates to automate your email prospecting if you are looking to speed up your sales cycles while still incorporating personalization and research. Although the structure will not change a lot from one prospect to the next, the content changes dramatically – which is the key to great prospecting and achieving the balance between productivity and personalization.

However, never send out prospecting emails unless you have a good reason to reach out. Find and utilize trigger events to your advantage and use them as the basis of your outreach. A trigger event refers to any occurrence that creates openings for sales opportunities such as new sales executives, new job or role, customer announcements, company expansion or relocation, and new product or service announcements.

Before you reach out to prospects or work any leads, ensure you know why you target the company and what you can help them solve.

Finding the Balance between writing ultra-Personalized Prospecting Emails and Optimizing Buyer Persona Messaging

Despite the increased effectiveness of email personalization on marketing communication and lead conversion, sellers should be conscious of privacy. Ultra-personalized prospecting emails can cause some prospects to tune out. Therefore, it’s best to find a balance between email personalization and optimizing buyer persona messaging.

Using subtle ways to tailor your content and messaging to prospects comes across as helpful. However, only use personalization to engage prospects and buyers and tell them more about your brand and offerings, and not more about themselves.

Creating your company’s buyer persona is critical to tailoring your marketing strategy and email messaging to connect with the right audience with the right value and at the right time. It allows you to solve their problems and cater to their needs effectively.

A buyer persona is your ideal customer. It’s a group of people with similar traits and looking for the products or services you offer (or would be best served by them). Additionally, they would be willing to purchase after engaging with your content, offer, or other marketing material.

Where is the Diminishing Return Point on the Email Personalization Time You Invest?

When you personalize all the emails you send out, it becomes overwhelming because of the time spent researching prospects and their companies to come up with relevant information to use. As such, you need to find a balance where your personalization efforts and performance intersect.

A SalesLoft study found out that there exists an opportunity where sales teams can drive competitive differentiation in email marketing campaigns by writing moderately personalized messages. In the study, a mere 20% email content personalization saw an increased open rate of over 40% on average while reply rates increased by 112%.

The study proved the existence of a point of diminishing returns on the email personalization time you invest. Hence, spending inordinate amounts of time personalizing prospecting emails has no bearing on the rewards. You also risk losing your fundamental talking points and the chance to communicate your offering’s value.

Another SalesLoft study showed that three and a half to five minutes was the optimal return on the time that sellers need to spend on personalization, with any additional time spent becoming a wasted effort.

Over to You

Sales email personalization consistently delivers positive outcomes. However, sales teams must balance the personalization level they use with the time they spend (productivity) and optimizing buyer persona messaging. What’s more, successful email messaging is tied to content delivery and optics concerning companies’ collection of customer data.

Regie can help you create highly optimized and successful sales campaigns. Our revolutionary regie software has done the work to collect, test, and evaluate the effectiveness of 1.8 billion sales activities across hundreds of thousands of campaigns to make the best recommendations for your buyer. It can also automatically create custom-made sales campaigns with compelling messaging, tone, and activities to suit your target prospects. regie will then make it easy to upload the sales campaign into an engagement platform of your choice.

Contact us or schedule a meeting today.

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