Sales Objectives

4 Ways You Can Personalize Sales Emails at Scale

Theory & strategy, meet tactics and execution. Read to find out the biggest key to unlocking personalization!

“Personalization at scale..” 

It’s a phrase that get’s thrown around quite a bit in the world of digital & inside sales. 

For virtually every single provider of a Sales Engagement Platform, it’s touted as a major selling point.

To be fair, it’s not wrong! 

It’s just that while there’s plenty of commentary that’s quick to underline the importance of personalization, most are slow to prescribe exactly how to do it.

So, if you’ve been wondering personalization at scale ACTUALLY means –  or if you want to know how exactly to do it – you’re in the right spot! 

Let’s begin. 


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Balancing Manual Effort and Automation

Personalization at scale is really just a way of describing the intended usage of Sales Engagement tools.

In theory, SEP providers aim to remove time-draining tasks from the sales rep’s workday so they can reinvest time into meaninful, revenue-generating activities.

Simply put, the goal is to shift reps from working with entirely manual processes with no automation to a perfect balance of automation with just the right amount of personal touch. 

Unfortunately, Sales Engagement Platforms are misused when the pendulum swings entirely from all manual with no automation to all automation with no human element. 

And then SEP’s get blamed!

If you’re a visual person, consider two ends of a spectrum.

  • On one end, you have 100% customization & personalization and every single outbound sales email is sent manually
  • On the other end, you have 0% customization and every single email is automated
outbound b2b prospecting

Here’s the issue:

  • If you’re 100% custom / manual.. you’re probably wasting time and not getting enough activities cranked out. 
  • If you’re 100% automated.. your messaging is probably not resonating with prospects and your conversions will drop

Of course, neither outcome is desired here!

The point we’re getting to is that balance is key. 

If you can maintain a rate of about 80-90% automation with 10-20% personalization, you should arrive at a healthy balance of quality and quantity. 

With this goal in mind, let’s next establish what counts and doesn’t count as personalization. 

Misconceptions About Personalization

Before we continue, there’s a very common misconception we need to clear up relating to {{dynamic_tags}}. 

We can start by agreeing that the ability to use dynamic tags like {{first_name}} is a standard feature feature of nearly every automation out there. 

It’s like having air conditioning in a new car. 

Here’s the thing. 

Smart (all) buyers skimming emails can generally tell if an email had any thought put into it. And they can also tell if their name just happened to populate a {{first_name}} field.

Case in point in the email below were a sales rep from a competitor reaches out 😬 (names & identity omitted).

Take a look at the area highlighted in red. 

The point is this..

It’s 2020. 

Nobody is falling for, “{{first_name}}, it has to be worth a look right?” If this is sounds harsh, just realize this is constructive feedback. 

Moving forward, just keep this in mind. Tags like {{first_name}}, {{company}}, etc DO NOT count as personalization. 

To be fair, they are essential and should be used. 

But please, just don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re personalizing a message just because software pre-filled a template for you. These are designed and intended to automate what we call a time-draining or repetitive task.

Length disclaimer aside, let’s get to the good part. 

🔑🔓 The Key To Scalable Personalization - Make It Real, and Repeatable!

Oftentimes, reps set out with great intentions to personalize all their emails. 

They log into their SEP of choice, script a sequence, add contacts, and then proceed to rack their brains for ways to personalize their emails. 

It ends up being time-consuming, draining, and ultimately – not scalable or repeatable

Counterintuitive, right? 

Instead, we’re going focus on personalization with triggers and easily accessible information. 

From a tactical level, we encourage you to list write prompts in your SEP with [Brackets like this]. 

4 Ways To Personalize At Scale

For a quick, guided walkthrough of the tactics behind this, visit our playbook page, How To Write Sales Emails That Convert. We also cover account segmentation and list-building in How to Build Target Account Lists with LinkedIn Sales Navigator. 

You’ll also find it helpful to have the FoxBound Persona Worksheet handy when it comes time to execute your outreach. 

(Sidenote: These examples are screenshots taken from our own team’s account of FoxBound Pursuit)

1) Funding or Equity Event

This one is much easier and more relevant if you’ve narrowed your focus to recently funded companies. 

  • [Site] = you should be able to find the site name for the press release in less than 30 seconds
  • [Persona]: prefill with the segmented title you’re looking to engage
  • [Industry]: swap out some sort of shorthand term instead e.g. “tech companies” instead of “Computer Software]”
  • achieve [Results]: something like “accelerate innovation” 
Personalization at Scale
2) Hiring

You can probably find target companies with job profiles in the department you support. The idea is to show research has been done that a bot can’t exactly do and start a casual business conversation. 

3) Competitive

Sometimes, you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelette. 

4) Experience

Here’s the easiest one! If the prospect has a LinkedIn account, then they should have relevant experience to reference. And guess what? This helps you be a more authentic human being, faster.


Takeaway: Moving forward, ask yourself how much of your message is about you vs. about your buyer. 

People want to talk about themselves, not you, so make sure you’re messaging isn’t too pitchy. 

Instead, lead with a more curiosity-driven & insight-led approach. Do your research up front to develop a messaging framework that sounds like, “I noticed on [job board] that {{company}} is expanding the sales team in [area 1] and [area 2].” instead of, “I’m reaching out introduce how we help growing sales teams.”

One More Actionable Tip: When drafting your emails, highlight the buyer-centric messaging in one color and seller-centric in another. Keep shaping your messaging until the weight is shifted towards your prospect.

Next Steps

If you need to add a new Sales Engagement Platform to your stack, take FoxBound for a spin. Pursuit will allow you to accomplish everything pictured above and in the recommended exercises. 

Zach Sergio

Zach Sergio


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January 16th, 2020

Zach Sergio

Zach Sergio


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