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Campaign Vision & Strategy

How others do it?

Some people think personalizing means just using a person's name and company name.
They look at the basic details, like spotting accounting software and deciding to reach out to accountants.
They send out emails like this, talking up their product. That's why their messages often get ignored, while we get meetings.


How we do it

Personalization needs context. That context lets us talk to the prospect like they're the hero of their own story. It's a great concept from Donald Miller's Building a Story Brand.
He talks about positioning yourself as the sidekick to help the hero to success. But first you need to know what context you're going to exist in.

Based on the Wu-Tang classic: ", CREAM! Get the money, dolla dolla bill y'all" The CREAM formula will help you write damn good sales campaigns.


Why are we reaching out? It can't be all about us. Our hypothesis for each campaign should choose a context.
If we're selling for a marketing agency, is the prospect hiring in marketing?
If we're selling food safety software, did we see the prospect on a food safety citation website?
If we're selling an island, did we see the prospect on a list of yacht buyers?

Having a good nose for context is one of the highest ROI sales skills you can learn. Taking a look at a client and figuring out what "context" might put their prospects into a buying mode gives you a huge leg up.
Think about it - if you start working with an educational platform like Udemy, and come up with a hypothesis that companies hiring new executives will want educational tools for them, what can you do?
Well, you can run a scrape of companies with execs who started recently (easy on Linkedin) and pitch them.
If successful, now you might start allocating the ad budget to people in that ICP. Someday, you might build a marketing landing page for leads who fit that criteria.
In this way, you can guide your company's product and marketing strategy from the small beginning of coming up with contexts that potential customers might exist in.

Example time

Let's take one of our clients, SVC. SVC is a marketing agency and they want to act as a fractional CMO to startup brands. So let's think about a few contexts their prospects could exist in. It could be startups hiring in marketing. It could be startups without a CMO. It could be startups where the CEO was recently quoted as saying they need growth help. All are possible contexts where SVC might say "those people might make good customers."


Now starts our personalized outreach. Beyond first name and company name, we can work in their context. Doing this as early as possible lets us grab their attention from the preview line and hopefully entice them to open the email.
Bridge the gap between yourself and your prospect. Relate as early as possible in a genuine, straightforward way.

Continuing with the SVC example. Let's select one context: Startups without a CMO. How might we write a relatable first line? Hey {{firstName}}, noticed {{companyName}} didn't have a CMO.


Now that we've created some interest, what are we going to do with it? We're going to educate the prospect about how we can help them. Note, we're not necessarily pitching ourselves, just showing how they might benefit from working with us.
We can do this by sharing potential results, client stories, but always tying it into what could happen for them. Think of it as showing them something to aspire to (a really cool brand doing something, a really cool result) and tying it into what could happen for them.
Example: Following the SVC thread where we're emailing startups without a CMO. We might educate by saying: Startups like are using us as their Fractional CMO, and best of all, we're helping them figure out what might be important in a future full-time CMO.


Now we're pulling it into an Ask that makes sense. What do we want the prospect to do? How can we make it an easy yes? There's a straightforward way. We can usually keep it as simple as:
"We'd love to see if {{companyName}} would benefit from this too - would you have any time next week for a quick intro?"
Notice we're not asking for full commitment and are writing this as a "exploratory" style intro, along with specific times. It's less effective to say, "Can we meet?” than it is to say, "Can we meet next week?"
In this vein, we might follow up with other ways to keep framing it as exploratory. Again, as simple as:
"Would love to introduce - do you have any time set aside next week to explore solutions that might help {{companyName}}?"
Notice the question - it's likely a question that the answer is "yes" to. Yeah, that's their entire job: exploring solutions that might help the company. We're trying to make it easy to say yes, and hopefully say yes to us. Another side of this is:
"Would love to introduce - if only to be informative for when the time is right. Would you have any time for an intro next week?"
We're trying to take the pressure off, and we're trying to pre-address objections. A lot of prospects might say, "It's not the right time, it's not our main priority, and I'm not the main contact."
We can get ahead of these in this ask with really simple examples like the one above. "Would love to introduce - would you say this is under your purview or someone else at {{companyName}}?" Example: Keep following SVC. Our ask is: Would love to introduce to see if we might help - would you have any time to have a conversation next week?

Make it simple

Referring back to Donald Miller, he talks about :
CleanShot 2023-04-19 at 11.50.30.png

Yes, we're selling to really smart CEOs. They understand a lot. But in the few seconds we have their attention, we need to make the most of it. Let's save the jargon for when our client gets on the phone with them.
So, we need to simplify what we've got. Let's take the example I've written for SVC so far (I threw in a little complexity for fun):
CleanShot 2023-04-19 at 11.55.14.png
I hate this email. Humans don't talk like that. It doesn't pass the grunt test. WTF do you do? So let's paste this into to simplify it:
CleanShot 2023-04-19 at 11.55.45.png
2 MB
Hemingway app hates our email too. I'm going to simplify it to a 5th grade reading level and try to get rid of all the highlights.
CleanShot 2023-04-19 at 11.57.30.png
1.7 MB
We got the reading level down, and made it dumb simple. It passes the grunt test. Anyone who opens now knows exactly what we do and what we want.

Finishing up

We make things simple because simple works. While we're not telling every magical thing we might do for them, we're staying relevant and straightforward, and that generates replies. Replies could be positive, but even if they're not, it'll help us iterate in the right direction. We'd rather get replies there than have someone look at an email, get confused, and delete it.
Best of all, we have an internal tool that follows these guidelines, in the copywriter tool. Answer some questions and let it do the work!
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