Advantages of message personalisation and dynamic placeholders

byGuido Croce

To get the best open and reply rates, you need to personalise your messages for the recipient. Dynamic and static placeholders can be used to do that. So, in this post, I am going to show you a few impactful placeholders and why should you personalise your messages in the first place.

Note: the information presented is based on countless campaigns we and our customers have run.

Before I start breaking down each topic, here is the list of them for reference:

Advantages of sending personalised messages

Dynamic placeholders and how they affect a message

  • gender
  • department
  • industry
  • title
  • months in current position
  • prospect’s country
  • number of employees

Advantages of sending personalised messages

Going over the daily limit of 100 emails per mailbox and sending identical emails will trigger the spam signals of ISPs. That will reduce the inboxing rate and fewer prospects will look at your email.

The advantages of sending personalised messages under the maximum daily limit are:

  • higher inboxing and lower spam detection – since the messages are not the same, the service provider will inbox a lot more of them without triggering the spam sensors
  • messages resonate better with the prospect – dynamic messages result in higher open and reply rates because they are tailored for the recipient

You must have realised that it is, in fact, better to send personalised messages to a prospect. However, it would take too much of a salesperson’s time to send so many of those per day. So, you need a feature-rich software to automate that part of sales.

Next, I will look at how placeholders have an effect on the recipient’s reaction to the message received.


Dynamic placeholders and how they affect a message

Automated outreach messages can have two main types of placeholders, static and dynamic. Static placeholders are simple substitutions of one word/few words (e.g.: {{firstName}}). Dynamic placeholders, add another level of depth to the automation (e.g.: if the department is Sales then ‘TEXT’). They use an if-this-then-that logic to allow for message variations based on the prospect’s data points.

Let’s dive into the most common placeholders our customers use and why they have such a big impact on campaigns:

First name {{firstName}}

The first name placeholder is common in any message automation software. It is simple to use and it is the first and basic step in message personalisation.

Reasons to use it:

  • indicates that the message was ‘written’ for the particular prospect
  • everyone likes to hear or see their name; it makes them feel important

E.g.:

‘Hi {{firstName}}’

‘Therefore, I believe your company, {{firstName}}, …’

Gender {{gender}}

The gender placeholder is valuable in messages written in languages that have different pronouns based on gender. Messages written in English would not need the placeholder. But, messages in Latin or Germanic languages can use it to their benefit.

Reason to use it:

  • impresses the prospect because you are able to use the gender pronouns instead of the neutral ones

E.g.:

‘{{#if (eq gender ‘male’)}} sentence with male pronouns {{else if (eq gender ‘female’)}} sentence with female pronouns’

Department {{department}}

Department placeholders are one of the most used by our customers. That is because they show sentences based on the department of the prospect. Companies that reach out to multiple people in different departments can use it effectively.

Reasons to use it:

  • departments have different objectives
  • different departments may use various lingo
  • so, messages that resonate with their department will stand out

E.g.:

‘{{#if (eq department ‘sales’)}} sentence with sales objective {{else if (eq department ‘general management’)}} sentence with ROI objective’

Industry {{companyId.industry}}

As a company, you are likely to be targeting different industries with your cold messages. Here is where the industry placeholder comes in. If you are targeting the same industry then the placeholder is not needed.

Reasons to use it:

  • impresses the prospect by showing that your product focuses on their industry
  • connecting the message arguments to their industry makes you more relatable

E.g.:

‘We have spoken to companies in the {{companyId.industry}} industry and their problems are…’

Title {{title}}

The title placeholder is another way to personalise the message. Decision makers are proud of their position and will feel important because you took the time to research and include it in the message.

Reasons to use it:

  • recognizing their seniority in the company
  • making them feel knowledgeable about a field

E.g.:

‘As a {{title}} you understand these challenges…’

Months in current position {{monthsInCurrentPosition}}

The months in current position placeholder is valuable paired with the title placeholder. They allow you to show recognition for their hard work and seniority. If, for some reason, you are targeting prospects with under 12 months in the position, then I do not recommend using the placeholder.

Reasons to use it:

  • use more complicated lingo to resonate with them
  • mention their expertise to make them feel appreciated

E.g.:

‘as a {{title}} with {{monthsInCurrentPosition}} months of experience you understand these challenges’

Prospect’s country {{locationCountryCode}}

If you are targeting the same country, then the prospect’s country placeholder will not be of much use. However, if you are an international company, then acknowledging the prospect’s country when reaching out can make a positive impression.

Reasons to use it:

  • adequate messaging mindful of cultural differences
  • language terms included to relate to the prospect better (e.g.: a farewell)

E.g.:

‘(targeting German market) ‘message in english’. Vielen danke, {{signature}}’

Number of employees {{companyId.size}}

The number of employees placeholder will generally only be used if you are targeting different company sizes. It allows you to tailor your message to adapt to each of their expectations.

Reasons to use it:

  • adequate messaging to bigger companies with different problems
  • can be used to make the number of employees stand out in a good way 

E.g.:

‘As a big company with {{companyId.size}} employees you require complex solutions for your x complicated problem’


Conclusion

Dynamic placeholders are powerful tools to supercharge your campaigns. Hopefully, in this post, I have provided you with some ideas to use impactful placeholders in your messages. Here are the key takeaways from this post:

Advantages of sending personalised messages

  • higher inboxing and lower spam detection
  • messages resonate better with the prospect

Dynamic placeholders and how they affect a message

  • gender – useful to use gendered pronouns in languages where they exist
  • department – important to differentiate between different department objectives
  • industry – relevant to connect to an industry’s problems
  • title – helpful to recognize their seniority in the company
  • months in current position – a good complement to the ‘title’ placeholder
  • prospect’s country – valuable to adapt the words used to the culture
  • number of employees – a way to address bigger/smaller companies based on their respective goals


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