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How do you decide how many prospects you put in a automated sequence and how many to personalize on?

Been struggling with striking a balance between personalization and Automation, Any tips on how to go about it?


Say you've got 200 odd accounts to go after, titles : sales leaders : this could include sales operations, sales development, VPs, directors.


and marketing leaders : VPs of Marketing, Demand gen etc.


How would you strategize this?

๐Ÿ’Œ Cold Emailing
12
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
I only use automation if it's some stupid list that I'm checking the box on to avoid getting yelled at. Otherwise, I personalize everything.
BigMeech
WR Officer
+11
Coors Light Advocate
Yup. I personalize the marketing invites or other spam shit I am supposed to send, and my actual prospecting emails are all custom.

In my territory, Quality>Quantity
Sdrsstayhome
Contributor
+1
SDR
Gotcha, what's your non-negotiable number for personalized emails in a day?


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Sdrsstayhome
Contributor
+1
SDR
hehe, interesting! and how many personalized emails can you crank out in a day, would appreciate any tips on this. thank you
BigMeech
WR Officer
+11
Coors Light Advocate
I can probably do 15-20 an hour. I do all my research before hand, so I know exactly why I am reaching out to someone.ย 

I have also been at my current company for 5 years, so I have our value prop memorized for most titles, use cases, and business pains.ย 
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poweredbycaffeine
Politicker
+7
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
Does your tool allow you to personalize the first line of a message before you send out the entire sequence? HubSpot Sequences lets our reps do that, and they typically only personalize that first message--might be a nice way for you to play in both worlds.
Sdrsstayhome
Contributor
+1
SDR
interesting! first-line as in, you've already got your value prop templated, but all you have to do now is check their LinkedIn for any blurbs. did I get that right?

poweredbycaffeine
Politicker
+7
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
You're correct! Find that little nugget and add it into the first message of that first email in the sequence.
Drewschoice
Good Citizen
Sales development representstive
Thanks for this one, I didn't know yet!


@Nickos3003, this could be very beneficial for us!
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
Only use automation for the accounts and contacts you donโ€™t really care about.ย 
Sdrsstayhome
Contributor
+1
SDR
Gotcha,ย  and do you also have separate sequences based on different personas, or do you recommend a generic sequence?
moneybadger
Head of Growth
Generic means less time involved and less conversion rate. Personalization (based on different personas for instance) is about more time but a cooler outcome. Eventually, you A/B test 2 approaches and then you can compare - how many CTAs (for a month/week) every approach gives you.
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
Oh this is a tough one. I chose to do it with mid level prospects. However, if c level answered me and started ghosting me then they join the sequences.ย 
Sdrsstayhome
Contributor
+1
SDR
Interesting, so mid-level prospects enter a generic sequence, or do you have these sequences segmented based on persona or industry?ย 
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
Well i crrate a sequense as I go but yea definetly per industry and each touch is has like links to our company's blogs related to that
BCD
Politicker
+6
BDR
Anything over 20% customization gets so little return
Sdrsstayhome
Contributor
+1
SDR
True that!
moneybadger
Head of Growth
you mean there's no point in spending too much time on personalization?
Telehealth_2the_Moon
Notable Contributor
+12
Director of Business Development
I'll usually do a combination. A wide net of automation and then high priority folks get the personal touch.

Regarding automation, many people get carried away with the auto-personalization features [FirstName], [State], etc. It sucks but unless your CRM or other service for the sequencing is perfect (lol right?) you're going to have some trashy emails going out. Keep it simple and view your automatic emails as a very loose net to just make sure easy ones don't slip by.ย 

When it comes to how you evaluate your own personal work, I wouldn't really consider these part of your volume.
letsgo
Good Citizen
Strategic AE
I usually go 2-4 prospects from a company per sequence with 2-3 different emails in the a/b/c testing.

moneybadger
Head of Growth
I am doing the following: first, I categorize leads to make a personal touch. For example, we sell registration & payment software for afterschool activities providers. We are exploring each website to group them. Leads that use competitors' software would get a mention of the name of software they currently use. Others don't use anything - it's a different group. Others use forms as registration and they get an email where we exactly mention them using the forms.
JayCalc
Good Citizen
VP of Sales
Really depends on the service or product. I think there is something to be said about heavy personalization versus 'automated' emails, but when it comes down to it we'd have to define 'personalization.'

Is that the hubspot definition where there are tokens for first name, company, specific stats on their company or is it seeing their favorite car is an R8 and you can connect with that. We've tested successful 'templates' with more personalization and they didn't do any better and in sometimes worse. With the additional time and lack of scale it didn't make sense. If you've identified what's resonating with your audience and targeting the right people (also an issue I've run into) personalization IMHO is a little less important for sequences.


We also really had to find the final number we were targeting for end of year and true conversion numbers. We had to test early on and only track MQLs, SQLs, and Opportunities from outbound only (we receive leads from referral partners and inbound paid search).

Once you have those conversion numbers you can work your way back into how many you need pumped through a proven out sequence.
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