Episode Eighty

How to Personalize Email Sequences at Scale

Guest: Jesus Requena, Director of Growth Marketing at Unity Technologies

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About This Episode

Some people think sales outreach is new, but it’s been going on for decades.

What once was called “lead nurturing” is now “outreach,” but both ideas are essentially the same: You want to be as personalized as possible, while maintaining scalability.

We recently interviewed Jesus Requena, Director of Growth Marketing at Unity Technologies, who talked about how distinguishing between high-touch and low-touch leads has allowed their company to scale their outreach while still maintaining a human element for the right accounts.

Here are the highlights from that interview.

How Do You Personalize at Scale?

Automated sales sequences have two types of fuel:

  1. Contact
  2. Content

Those two things fuel your communication strategy at any level. To take that fuel and turn up the volume of your outreach, you need to know exactly how to split your user base.

For some accounts, you’ll need to go one-to-one (i.e., high touch). For others, a more low-touch approach is appropriate. It’s a simple distinction, but it can make all the difference when it comes to not wasting the efforts of sales reps unnecessarily.

For example, if you’re in enterprise sales, you might have 50 accounts. Because you have fewer accounts who will require more effort, you can go deep and personalized in your approaches.

But if you’re in inside sales, you might work with hundreds of accounts. In that case, one-to-one personalization may be an inefficient use of time.

Sequences for high-touch accounts can still benefit from a template (or several), but it makes sense to give your salespeople the freedom to redo or modify parts of the templates. Even modifying 20% of the template can make a huge difference in adding personalization to the message, yet you’re not crafting an entire message from scratch. are way more open to personalization from sales.

On the other hand, you can generally fully automate outreach to low-touch accounts with a cadence based on the person’s role.

For high-touch accounts, you’ll do more phone calls up front, whereas for low-touch types you may not even make phone calls at all.

Telling a Cohesive Story

All of your touchpoints with a potential customer, across marketing and sales, tell a collective story.

Sales teams must recognize that there is a “pre-journey” that may happen before they contact accounts. This would be the result of traditional marketing before an account reaches nurturing.

Once an MQL has consumed a couple of pieces of content, there is a story being told already. Therefore, any further case studies or other types of content sales sends need to complement the content from further up in the funnel. The story shouldn’t contradict itself.

The Type of Personalized Information You Should Include

At Unity, the sales team applies three standard layers of personalization to their sequences:

  1. Day of the week
  2. Role
  3. Recipient’s industry and competitors

They include custom paragraphs depending on the day of the week, as well as information from their org data points based on personas. They customize sequences as much as they can depending on the recipient’s role.

In addition, Unity sales reps always have the freedom to add to extra personalization on high-touch accounts. All the little things they might want to include—the university the person went to, where they’re from—are in play here.

You have to be careful not to fall into extremes, though, with too little or too much personalization. Most people can sniff out a message that looks too sophisticated.

If you don’t personalize anything, it looks robotic. If you do too much, it might look overdone.

A good balance in between is essential. The intro paragraph is important here. You want to tailor it to their specific roles and add a few personal words, but you don’t want the whole email overly personalized.

Ultimately, you want your emails to feel real. You want to look authentic, sound authentic, and yet leverage technology to do it at scale.

One Last Takeaway

Get out there and do it. There is no better learning than actually going and doing it yourself. Test, try, and optimize as you go.

Jesus said it best.

“The only way to learn is to do it and do it a lot and fail quick.”

This post is based on a podcast interview with Jesus Requena from Unity Technologies. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast. If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.


About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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