A Note on Personalization

Remember, there’s a difference between somewhat personalized messages (which see the same response rates as impersonal messages), and highly personalized messages. Go deep with your outreach. We recommend 1-2 details unique to the prospect in your opening paragraph. Then dedicate a full paragraph to what you know about their work and how you believe their skills and experience would make a terrific fit for your company. That full paragraph is an essential best practice for connecting with highly sought-after talent (diversity candidates or leadership roles, for example), or talent pools in which there are only a small handful of people that are qualified for the job.

Experimenting with Personalization at Scale with Tokens

Because each prospect—or each prospect pool—will have their own “sweet spot,” sourcers should experiment with and test tokens at scale. Some questions worth asking: Do {{company}} tokens or {{title}} tokens get better response rates? Is it better to mention prospects’ current company or your company? Does the {{school}} token work better for recent grads versus experienced talent? Do more tokens earn more responses? Or are there diminishing after returns after a certain point?

Introducing the {{reason}} Token

The {{reason}} token is a concept unique to Gem’s platform that allows recruiters to personalize the motivation for reaching out to each prospect while on their LinkedIn profile (i.e. “I’m reaching out because I see you worked at [Company X] for four years; and it looks like you have rare industry expertise for an opportunity that just came up here”). This variable is then inserted into respective prospects’ messages when sequences are sent in batch.

Use Reason Tokens and Test Other Token Types

We’ve already recommended using personalization tokens in subject lines; the effectiveness of {{reason}} tokens in message copy confirms the overall power of personalization. Indeed, a study of nearly 8,000 recruiting emails showed highly personalized messages outperforming both somewhat personalized and impersonal outreach. Highly personalized messages saw a 73% engagement rate, while reply rates for somewhat personalized outreach were no better than reply rates for outreach that wasn’t personalized at all. So experimenting with personalization—both at scale with tokens and in a more focused way for highly sought-after talent—may deliver terrific ROI.

Learn more content best practices in our Definitive Guide to Email Outreach

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