Imagine opening your inbox to see it flooded with generic cold emails. Chances are, you’ll ignore most, if not all, of them. That's the reality for recipients of cold emails without personalization.

A McKinsey report found that companies and marketers who use personalization earn 40% more revenue than their competitors. Long story short, personalization is a no-brainer for successful cold email campaigns.

Of course, when personalization is mentioned, you instantly think of using recipients' names. But that’s just the starting point. Personalization is about providing hyper-relevant, tailored experiences that compel action.

This article will cover seven proven tips to captivate your audience and elevate your cold email metrics through strategic personalization. Let's get into it.

Effects of Personalization on Cold Email Metrics

Quickmail Readability Metrics Image

Inboxes today are a battlefield. Every day, countless cold emails fight for the attention of their target audience. So, how can you make yours cut through the noise to capture attention? The answer is personalization.

Think about cold emails you've received that actually caught your attention and prompted you to engage. Odds are they feel tailored specifically to you, your interests, or your recent behaviors.

That's the power of personalization. It transforms your emails from generic broadcasts into thoughtful 1-on-1 conversations. When done right, the results can be staggering for your cold email metrics. Let's see a few.

  1. Open Rates: Personalizing your cold email subject lines, preview texts, and openers increases their chance of being opened. Case in point, Yes Lifecycle Marketing says personalized subject lines can increase open rates by 50%.

  2. Response Rates: Once opened, personalized emails continue to captivate thanks to tailored messaging that directly speaks to the recipient's pain points. Recipients are more likely to respond when you've done your research to understand their needs.

  3. Engagement & Conversion: Personalization keeps the momentum going. Studies show that personalization tactics like tailored CTAs and segmented offers drive click-throughs by up to 41%. When you consistently get good engagement, conversion becomes a natural next step.

  4. Unsubscribe rate: Nobody enjoys generic emails cluttering their inbox. When recipients feel like you're genuinely trying to connect rather than blast them with robotic messages, they're less likely to hit unsubscribe.

The bottom line? Personalization is a critical part of powering up every aspect of your cold email campaigns. It's all about making your recipients feel seen, heard, and valued – not treating them like faceless names on a spreadsheet.

Cold Email Personalization Tips

Cold email personalization is the surest way to stand out in crowded inboxes and build real connections with prospects. But remember, it's not just about using names.

True personalization requires strategy and skill. Here are seven tips on personalization to help you get better cold email metrics.

1. Segment Your Emails

The foundation of personalization is segmentation. It is a process of taking an email list and then breaking it down into a smaller specific group that carries shared interests.

Think of it this way: would you send the same message to a CEO as you would to an entry-level employee? Most likely not. For CEOs, you might focus on high-level benefits and ROI, whereas for entry-level employees, you might emphasize skill development and career growth.

In practice, you can segment your email list in several ways. Consider the table below to get a sense of how you can approach this:

Segmentation CategoriesCustomer Data
DemographicsName, occupation, time in role, education, etc.
FirmographicsIndustry, company size, geographic location, customer base, etc.
TechnographicsBuying behaviors, affiliations, technologies used, etc.
Chronographic dataMergers, acquisitions, IPOs, new jobs, change of company addresses, etc.

The more segments you create, the more relevant you can make for each cold email campaign.

2. Personalize the Email with Unique Icebreakers

A personalized icebreaker can make a world of difference for your cold email outreach. It makes your messages instantly relatable and engaging to recipients.

You can use icebreakers in several effective ways, such as:

  1. Bringing up a mutual connection with recipients

  2. Mentioning interests you share with recipients (like hobbies)

  3. Remarking on recipients’ company news, initiatives, content assets, etc.

These ice-breakers give a chance to warm up to potential customers. They add a more personal touch and show that you have done your homework. Now, let’s look at some examples.

  • "I noticed you're connected with John Smith on LinkedIn – small world, huh?" (Mutual connections)

  • "Sarah at [Company Name] mentioned you might be interested in..." (Mutual connections)

  • "Did you see Peter's insightful post about [industry topic]?" (Shared interest)

  • "I noticed [Prospect's company] recently launched a new product…" (Company news)

3. Go Above & Beyond in Personalization

Using recipients’ names is personalization 101. It’s barely scratching the surface. If your cold emails aren’t relevant to your audience, using their names won’t matter.

To really deliver on personalization, you need to go beyond names and address key aspects like job title, company name, location, and pain points wherever possible.

Read their recent social posts or company updates so that your message is highly personalized to their needs, priorities, and goals. Let them feel you truly understand their specific situation. When they see that you know what you're talking about, more likely than not, they will believe and consider you credible.

4. Don't Go Overboard on Personalization

There’s a fine line between personalization and being creepy. Being too personal or using gimmicks in your cold emails can backfire spectacularly.

Imagine getting a cold email that mentions your recent vacations or birthday celebrations. You’d definitely feel spooked. And so would your recipients.

Including relevant professional information (such as industry awards) in your cold emails is fair game. However, referencing private details of their personal life outside of work can be a big flag. Some of these details include: 

  • Family members

  • Home addresses

  • Personal relationships

  • etc.

5. Customize Call-to-Actions

Your call-to-action (CTA) is the backbone of your cold email. It's what drives your recipient to take action. Ignoring your CTA or settling for a generic one is a recipe for losing engagement and conversions.

In fact, studies show that personalized CTAs can result in a 42% higher conversion rate compared to impersonal ones. So instead of a generic "Click here," customize your CTA based on your segment's unique motivations.

Perhaps sales teams respond best to "schedule a free demo to see how we can help," while marketers prefer "download our guide for tailored insights." Test different CTAs for different segments and personalize them with names, job titles, or companies for maximum impact.

6. Provide Social Proof Relevant to Your Customer

People trust recommendations and proof from others in their shoes. But there’s a golden rule: make sure it's relevant to your recipients.

To get it right, customize social proof elements like testimonials, customer stories, and case studies for recipients. For instance, you can highlight success stories from companies similar to theirs or testimonials from satisfied clients in their industry.

You may also consider adding user-generated visuals like review screenshots to add further validation. However, don’t go overboard with adding visuals to your email, as that can hurt your email deliverability more than it can help.

7. Use Personalized Follow-Ups Along with the Initial Emails

a follow up campaign in quickmail showing email and linkedin steps

Personalization can't stop after the first email. Most marketers understand the importance of personalizing the first cold email, but what about the follow-ups?

All too often, follow-up emails to the initial message are generic and impersonal, doing nothing to further a conversation from the original message. But guess what? Personal, human follow-ups are as important as—if not more—the first.

Use new personalization angles in each follow-up:

  • Appreciate their past email opens or clicks

  • Congratulate them on major company milestones

  • Acknowledge your recipients’ shares on social media

Using personalization through your cold email lifecycle keeps your brand feeling fresh rather than automated.

What Tools Can Help You Enhance Personalization in Your Cold Emails?

Mastering personalization at scale requires tools and technology. Here are some of the leading personalization tools to consider integrating when it comes to including personalization in cold email campaigns:

Key FunctionsOur Pick
Cold Email PersonalizationQuickMail lets you easily build hyper-personalized emails at scale with dynamic tags, custom fields, liquid snippets, and more.
AnalyticsQuickMail helps monitor your cold email metrics like opens, replies, engagement, conversion, and bounces.
Prospect ResearchLinkedIn Sales Navigator unearths deep insights into prospects' work history, shared connections, and interests to forge personalized icebreakers.
Data helps you enrich your contact database with professional insights, including personalized messaging to roles, locations, interests, and social profiles.
Personal VideosLoom makes it easy to record personalized video messages addressing each recipient while sharing your screen and/or webcam camera.

For a complete list of our recommended software for your cold email campaigns, check out this guide.

Using Behavioral Data for Personalized Outreach

Smart marketers know cold emails work best when real-time behavioral data is used to fuel personalization.

How so? By tracking every interaction the recipient makes with your brand—be that website visits, content read or viewed, or email engagement—you reveal detail that gives you insight in turn guiding you on when to reach and how to reach out.

To support this, a study from McKinsey found that companies that leverage behavioral insights outperform their peers by 85% in sales growth and over 25% in gross margin.

In practice, extracting insights from behavioral data can feel overwhelming. Thankfully, there are automation tools that can help you with this. These include tools like: 

  1. QuickMail

  2. HubSpot

  3. Marketo

  4. Salesforce 

These platforms collect and analyze your data at scale to provide valuable insights into prospect behavior.

For example, did most recipients open and click through one of your emails about a particular product or service? That's your cue to capitalize on their interest by sending follow-up emails on that topic while it's top of mind.

Or perhaps your data shows that prospects have been consuming your thought leadership content on a specific challenge. That's a signal that they will have started identifying that they have a problem to solve, so don't lead off your outreach with a hard sell.

Instead, acknowledge their pain point and position yourself as a trusted advisor by sharing guides or resources to aid their journey. The more intimately you understand each prospect's behaviors, the better you can adapt your cold emails to focus on what matters most to them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are personalized emails more effective?

Absolutely. Studies show personalized emails generate up to 6 times better transaction rates compared to non-personalized ones. When recipients feel valued and understood, they're more likely to engage.

How do you measure the effectiveness of personalization?

Closely track your cold email metrics like open rates, click-through rates, reply rates, and conversion rates.

Higher numbers across these metrics show that your personalization is hitting the mark. You can also A/B test various personalized emails to determine which approaches work best.

What is the response rate of personalized emails?

While it varies by industry, the average response rate for highly personalized cold emails hovers between 15% and 20% compared to just 1% to 5% for generic email blasts.

By how much does personalizing your email improve click-through rates?

Personalization can significantly boost click-through rates by making your emails more relevant and engaging. Statistics vary, but some studies report increases of up to 14%.

Can adding videos to your email increase click rates?

Yes, it can. Research shows that using videos can increase click-through rates by up to 300%. However, ensure they're short, relevant, and mobile-friendly to avoid hurting your deliverability.

How do you scale a personalized cold email campaign?

Cold email automation tools like QuickMail can help you personalize emails at scale. They use merge tags and pre-built templates to personalize greetings, CTAs, and content based on recipient data.

Ready to Boost Your Cold Email Metrics Through Personalization?

Cold Email Metrics Through Personalization sample

Personalization is the difference between a cold email that receives an indifferent glance and one that captivates your audience.

Having gotten personalization tips to drive superior email metrics, it's time to take action using a dedicated partner.

QuickMail is here to support you every step of the way. We offer cutting-edge tools, expert guides, and intuitive software to help you create personalized cold email experiences at scale.

Ready to get exceptional metrics for your cold email campaigns? 

Start your free QuickMail trial today!