“Being imperfect is actually very important!”
Personalised email marketing experiences are something marketers can’t stop talking about, with 77% agreeing that it’s vital to staying competitive in the market today. Yet, email personalisation is still something that 70% of brands are failing to do.
So how can companies use personalised email marketing to bridge the gap between them and their audience? I spoke with Guillaume Moubeche, Founder and CEO of personalised email outreach company Lemlist, to explore what a truly personalised email marketing experience looks like, and how personalisation can be implemented throughout the sales funnel.
He starts off by telling me who Lemlist are and what they do.
“Lemlist is a sales automation platform that allows sales team to get more replies to their cold emails,” he says. “We’re automating email outreach, and we’re able to add extra layers of personalisation such as dynamic videos and dynamic landing pages so sales people can book more meetings.”
Lemlist’s offering is a lucrative one: personalised emails deliver six times higher transaction rates than non-personalised ones. But knowing that doesn’t make crafting personalised emails any easier. According to SmartInsights, 59% of marketers are failing to personalise at scale. I ask Guillame for some tips on personalising emails.
“Well, we all receive tons of spam emails every week, so the primary goal for marketers is to stand out,” he explains. “This is where image and video personalisation can really help.”
The email copy is also incredibly important for achieving that all-important personalisation. And this is where being human will make your emails stand out from the crowd.
“Being imperfect is actually very important!” Guillaume says. “Most people ask the marketing team to write copy for sales emails, but that makes it sound like a marketing message when sales is all about building relationships. So, what I always advise is to make the email about the person they are reaching out to – not about them.
“In my emails, for example, I will mention something about their work that I admire – everyone like a compliment! – and ask if they’d be free for a coffee or lunch to discuss growth tips and processes. It works much better like that because, in B2B, everything is built on trust so you need to build that relationship first and bring value to that person before you can discover whether they are a good fit for your product or service.
“You can personalise on so many different levels,” Guillaume notes. At Lemlist, we’ve identified five or six different levels.
“The first level would be a very basic level of personalisation, such as adding someone’s first name or the company they work for.
“The second level is more industry-based, whereby you’ve spent some time studying the industry so you can talk about a relevant topic for the person you’re reaching out to,” he added.
“The third is a bit more personalised than these too, and is more account-based. For example, if you’re targeting L’Oreal or another cosmetics company, you’re going to mention something about cosmetics, maybe even mentioning one of their competitors.
“At level four it’s a lot more personalised on the individual level,” Guillaume explains. “I’ll check out their LinkedIn profile, what they’ve done in their career, where they went to school, check out an article they wrote recently then personalise email communications based on that.
“And then level five is where we start sending images or videos. Videos are incredibly effective, because you can show them exactly who you are rather than just trying to show this through the text in an email. This can still be industry or account-based, but it’s you talking to them directly so you can make it super-personal, funny and engaging. They feel like they’re getting to know you, and that’s your hook – your way to build that relationship.”
“On LinkedIn, our goal is to really provide value”
This level of personalisation doesn’t stop with emails, either. With 14,000 followers, Guillame is something of an influencer on LinkedIn. I ask about how he brings this level of personalisation to that platform too.
“On LinkedIn, our goal is to really provide value,” he explains. “Something that works really well is sending anyone who signs up to Lemlist a LinkedIn connection from my personal profile, the logic being that if they’re interested in Lemlist I can bring them value with the content I share. So I create content that’s focused around topics that group is interested in, but make sure my posts aren’t too pushy or too salesy. I’m just trying to bring value and share our story on LinkedIn to keep that relationship going.”
The examples Guillaume gives are very effective (Lemlist has been around since just 2018 but he tells me they already have 8,000+ clients using this method, in addition to a large, engaged online community) but understandably this vigorous approach takes a lot of time – and the biggest obstacle marketers’ face when trying to implement personalisation is lack of time. So we gathered together a few tips for time-poor marketing teams wanting to make sure their communication is personalised.