Why does email personalization take so long?

The art of personalizing an email is a big challenge for sales teams in the information age. According to Twilio’s State of Personalization Report, more than half of consumers are likely to purchase if offered a personalized experience. So it only seems like you’ll increase your chances of getting consumers by taking the personalized approach. The exercise comes with a few hurdles along the way.

If you’ve ever asked ChatGPT to write you an email, you’ll know the experience I’m talking about. You’ll have to know some pretty sophisticated ways to prompt ChatGPT to include a first and last name, plus some additional key note about the prospect you are writing to. I’d say ideally you can generate a decent template using the service. You’ll want to include the industry you might be selling into including some titles too.

Further, you can use additional tools like Outreach to enhance the template that you created using their feature called snippets. Snippets offer a pre-canned statement including personalization token which can do yet another service for you. Typically, snippets might be about a specific offer you wish to push to certain contacts or a new case study that directly relates to a prospect in a similar industry. But what happens if Outreach’s data is out of date? What happens if there’s a syncing error between your CRM and Outreach when the email is set to fire off? What happens if another person at your company incorrectly updates the contact in your CRM before the email sends? There’s an endless number of data issues that can occur before an email is sent that throws off personalization. This is just one of the hurdles you have to overcome. You better have some good enrichment to clear these types of errors. Hopefully your ops and data teams are knowledgeable enough to set daily clean jobs and integrate effectively.

Okay you’ve got a template. You have some personalized snippets to go along with your email. Great, the first email is ready to send off. This only took 30 minutes, hooray.  Oh wait, let me check to make sure the titles for the contacts I’m sending to are accurate. Where did I get the data from when creating my contact? It was probably Linkedin. Let me go check the title from linkedin and make sure it matches. Tools such as LeadIQ, Zoominfo, HG Insights, and Lusha all over these services at a cost.Again, this can be avoided typically if you have a well oiled ops team who take enrichment very seriously but not every ops team is created or valued equally. Tools such as LeadIQ, Zoominfo, HG Insights, and Lusha all over these services at a cost.

Great, the first email for the e-commerce industry you want to send is ready. Now I have to get some follow-up emails created to make sure I stay top of mind with my prospects. Should I go back to ChatGPT? You know what, I’ll write a 150 word or less statement instead. This saves me from having to write another prompt. Don’t forget to use snippets and personalization tokens in your emails. Oh wait, what was the name of that field we used for whether someone has visited the website or not? This happens all the time. You’ll need to review the names of the fields that you want to use in your follow-up. This can take minutes to figure out in some cases. Maybe you just send a slack message off to a colleague or your ops team to help you remember. You go ahead and start working on the 3rd follow up message while you wait for a response and it’s now been close to an hour.

You start to see the trend of how long creating a handful of emails will take. Then look at how much personalization you are actually doing. Is it 10% or maybe 20% of the email? Based on what I’ve seen these sequences and emails can take half a day to create, setup, and then test. If you mess up one item, you’ll bet the lead is going to call you out on it and your first impression has been ruined.

Why not use a tool that will create personalized templates on the fly. With TotalSDRs custom styles, they allow you the ability to create custom emails for whatever touch in the sequence you are in. Think about how much time you can save using a tool that personalizes every step in the outreach process. There’s even a custom style for break-up emails that you can send at the end of your cadence or sequence.

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