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Mastering the art of sales email personalization

June 8, 2023
Dan Morgese

Dan Morgese

Director, Content Strategy and Research

A measly 3%. 

That’s the percentage of sellers who say they’re currently happy with their email response rates.

In March of 2023, we surveyed more than 600 sales professionals to understand their biggest challenges when it comes to sales engagement and the results were eye-opening. 

Both sellers and buyers agree, personalization is the most impactful way to increase response rates. In fact, according to McKinsey, organizations nailing personalization reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50%, lift revenues by 5% to 15%, and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10% to 30%. 

Okay. So we know personalization is important, but our data shows sellers’’ current efforts are extraordinarily time-consuming and producing lackluster results. 

Reps spend an average of 12 hours each week customizing pre-written templates or writing emails from scratch, yet 91% of buyers feel the emails they receive today aren’t personalized. 

So where’s the disconnect?

One-size-fits-many templates, incomplete data, and “spray and pray” prospecting approaches are falling flat. In todays digital world, buyers expect more. 

Reaching them is easy, but to get them to engage…well that’s a different story. 

Here are four approaches you should be using to increase your response rates and standout from the competition:

1. Add a personal touch with individual-based emails

The most personal (and arguably labor-intensive) approach, individual-based emails involve crafting a one-off message for a specific contact. This means doing your research on the individual to get a deeper understanding of what matters most to them. 

One invaluable resource for gathering this information is LinkedIn. It offers a treasure trove of insights that sales reps can leverage to create highly personalized sales emails. By delving into a prospect’s LinkedIn profile and engagement, sales reps can uncover a wealth of information about their professional background, achievements, and even personal interests. This knowledge allows you to establish a genuine connection with the prospect, demonstrating you have taken the time to understand their unique needs and built rapport.

In your subject line or first sentence weave in what you’ve learned to show your buyer that this email was crafted specifically for them

2. Show an intimate understanding of their business with a company-based approach

By researching and incorporating relevant company information into their email outreach, sales reps can demonstrate their dedication and understanding of the prospect’s business. 

Visit the prospect’s company website, which often contains news updates, press releases, and blog posts that shed light on recent developments, product launches, or major milestones. 

Additionally, industry-specific news outlets, business publications, and social media platforms can provide insights into industry trends, market shifts, and even individual achievements within the company. Armed with this knowledge, sales reps can craft personalized emails that showcase their expertise and offer solutions tailored to the prospect’s current business landscape.

3. Leverage social proof with industry-based personalization

Selling into specific industries or verticals? Leverage your learnings of challenges and what resonated with existing customers in your cold outreach to these specific buyers. 

Include specific examples or case studies that resonate with your prospect’s industry or pain points. By showcasing how your product or service has benefited similar businesses, you provide tangible evidence of the value you can offer. This approach adds credibility and increases the likelihood of a positive response.

Additionally, social proof, such as testimonials, reviews, or endorsements from satisfied customers, can be a powerful tool in email personalization. Including snippets of positive feedback or success stories in your emails builds trust and credibility. It reassures prospects that others have had a positive experience with your offering, making it more compelling for them to consider.

4. Increase conversion through activity-based outreach 

In today’s digital age, sales reps have the advantage of accessing valuable intent signals that reveal a prospect’s interests and engagement with marketing materials. Leveraging these signals can be a game-changer in personalizing sales emails. 

For instance, if a prospect has downloaded a specific whitepaper or eBook from your company’s website, reference that content in your email to demonstrate that you’re aware of their areas of interest and can provide further insights or solutions. Similarly, if a prospect has recently attended a webinar or industry event hosted by your company, acknowledge their participation and highlight how your product or service can build upon the knowledge gained from that event. 

By tailoring your emails based on these intent signals, you not only establish a deeper connection with the prospect but also position yourself as a valuable resource who understands their needs and can provide relevant solutions. You can now establish yourself as a subject matter expert who can orchestrate their education throughout the buyer’s journey. 

Introducing Gong Engage, powering personalization at scale

Until recently, most of these personalization approaches above required manual effort and extensive research on behalf of the seller. 

Generative AI has ushered in a new era for B2B sales. 78% of reps tell us they would like some AI to personalize their outreach for them in 2023 and beyond. While this will require a new set of skills including tool proficiency and AI prompt engineering, these technologies are positioned to significantly decrease the time teams spend on researching and developing their outreach.  

Gong’s latest release, Gong Engage, enables personalization at scale with deeper-domain expertise than ever before. Now every revenue team within an organization can craft high-quality, personalized emails in seconds with generative AI, prioritize what deals to focus on, and automatically generate accurate call briefs, outcomes, and action items. 


Check it out for yourself.

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