When we start writing — everything from blog posts to customer stories to email cadences — it’s helpful to begin with an outline or roadmap of our story. In most cases, the words come easier when we have a general idea of what we want to convey to the reader.
So what does this have to do with personalized sales email content? Well, speaking of roadmaps, Mad Libs aren’t only useful for bored kids on long car rides — you can also use the concept as a blueprint for writing personalized sales emails.
A Fill-in-the-Blank Layout for Personalized Messaging
Think of it like this — you frame out what you want the meat of your message to convey, and then you fill in a few predetermined blanks with very specific data that is personalized and relevant to an individual sales prospect. Pretty seamlessly, you’ve created content that is just slightly different enough to grasp the attention of your sales prospect.
Instead of blanks fields for adjectives, adverbs and nouns, pick a few content sources that are relevant or important to you and your sales prospect. We’ve tested a lot of things like blog posts, case studies, funding announcements, recent awards, press releases, etc. — they’re all equally effective in grabbing the attention of the reader.
You should also go ahead and collect the data for more than one type of content so that different nuggets can be used throughout your cadence to send multiple personalized emails to the same prospect.
Once you know what kind of data you need (again, probably a few different types of content for each step in your email flow!), you can build a process to quickly and cheaply gather the data.
Getting and Using the Data
We’ve done this through Upwork (easy to set up, but can be difficult to ensure quality), mTurk (cheap, but you can’t control the speed at which the work is completed), and through our own network of cloud workers (most effective because they’re dependable and familiar with what we’re looking for).
If you’re just getting started, you can easily set the work up in a Google sheet — here’s an example of a framework that we’ve used before. It’s super easy for workers to follow, and pretty simple to use the results from the research as custom fields in your messaging.
One of the things we like about using the Mad Libs approach for personalization is that most of the content can be focused on company data, which is significantly easier to research and find than personal data. It makes the backend of the data gathering process that much more straightforward and simplified — plus, you can work with content types that are relevant to almost everyone, which brings us to our next point…
The Mad Libs idea is similar to the one-at-a-time approach that we dug into in a previous post, but it’s slightly more scaleable in the sense that your base message stays the same across the board…you’re just adding/changing a few details with the data in your custom fields.
It may not be the most highly-targeted, highly-personalized of the options we’ve presented, but it does the trick in that you’ll see some pretty significant gains without having to do a complete 180 transformation to your current process.
Let us know if you give it try, or if you’ve thought of other ways to approach personalized content.