Why Personalization Cuts Straight to Opens and Replies

Businessman using smartphone to open e-mail for business contact and communication concept.

By Noah Thomas, Director of Demand Gen at Winmo

Are we living in an email blackout? Certainly, it feels as if people are becoming more difficult to reach. If you target national advertisers, you know this. In a recent poll we conducted on LinkedIn, 65% of respondents said their biggest prospecting pain point is getting ghosted.  While everyone looks for a new magic bullet of intent data or gifting, one very basic element is overlooked: connection.

Connection requires personalization, and understandably, sellers are pressed for time. Most resort to automated cadences adding someone’s first name to the beginning of an email or adding their company name to a subject line. But sellers who go the extra step of personalizing just 20% of the content of an email saw an increased open rate of 40%, and, most importantly, double the response rate, according to Salesloft research analyzing 200 million sales interactions.

How can you go that extra step and personalize 20% of your email content, without knowing your buyer?

One answer to establishing human connection might surprise you – it’s AI.

AI-based personality insights take publicly available social profiles and make a quick study of the human being, not just the prospect. They offer eerily accurate personality assessments plus suggestions for greetings, tone and demeanor.

Let’s look at a CMO whose inbox is undoubtedly inundated – the head of marketing at Subway – to see how personality insights would help a new business professional break through:

An animated image of Subway's CMO
Carrie’s DISC assessment tells us she ranks highly in Influence, rather than Dominance, Steadiness or Calculativeness.

According to her personality, a seller should lead with an informal stroke of enthusiasm rather than a formal greeting followed by cold, hard facts. A sample subject line to Carrie might look like this: “Carrie, Enabling a quantum jump in your sales conversion!” Conversations with Carrie should avoid any formal language, and instead tell a story, using phrases like ‘people will love.’

On the other hand, we have Elizabeth; a media strategist at automotive leader Jeep. The informal enthusiasm that fosters connection with Carrie might rattle Elizabeth’s steady disposition:

An animated image of Jeep's Senior Strategy Manager
Elizabeth goes by the book, and is motivated by her impact on an organization. Her DISC assessment tells us she ranks highest in Steadiness. She is Thoughtful in Approach, Risk-averse, and Calm. A seller, in her case, should focus on a solution that minimizes risk while maximizing impact to an organization, avoiding phrases like ‘there might be,’ or ‘latest technology.’

The Do’s and Don’ts advise not to rush Elizabeth or push too hard. If you’re a seller, you know some prospects require a harder push, but with personality insights, you don’t have to make it a gamble.

AI – Does It Work?

The question you might be asking yourself: does this intel really matter? And most importantly, does it work when trying to reach highly sought-after marketing budget owners?

According to research by Humantic AI, sellers using personality insights see on average:

  • 233% increase in response rate
  • 36% decrease in time to first contact
  • 6% improvement in deal conversion

We were skeptical at first too, but since rolling out personality insights to our sales organization and within contact profiles in Winmo, it’s been the most popular topic of conversation among sellers, who noted the time savings and response rates to be among the chief benefits.

Why Does It Work?

Think about it. The same subject line that might motivate your overly ambitious and risk-tolerant coworker to buy something will cause you to hit delete. On top of that, we’re living in an era of long gaps of disconnection with everyone working from home or in hybrid work models. Email automation has further depersonalized communication, and caused email fatigue with c-suite end decision-makers receiving hundreds of emails a day. Nearly 60% of people remember zero emails within 48 hours of viewing them, according to a case study by Vidyard.

Using personalization data allows sales professionals to break through all the noise and make a real connection with people on the first try.

Our team uses them. And our customers – sales teams competing for the attention of CMOs, media buyers and other high-profile brand-owners, see them as a beacon of hope in the email blackout.

If you’re getting ghosted, we would be happy to set up some time for you to put personality insights to the test, too.