December 19, 2023

How to Ditch “Spray and Pray” for Personalized Sales Emails

How to Ditch “Spray and Pray” for Personalized Sales Emails | Mixmax

If you’re caught in the endless cycle of spray and pray emailing where you just send the same message to a huge audience and pray to the email overlords that it’ll work, you’ve come to the right place.

Sending mass generic messages leads to missed opportunities, and if we’re being honest, it feels hella impersonal.

We know from experience that those types of emails just end up being deleted without ever being read. The other option is your recipient unsubscribes from your emails forever, or tells you, in no uncertain terms, to stfu.

None of these actions are ideal.

So how do you ditch the spray and pray method for a more personalized approach?

This blog post covers it all.

What is spray and pray in sales?

In simple terms, “spray and pray” is a sales technique where the same, generic message is blasted out to a large group of people. This method often leads to low engagement and poor conversion rates because it lacks personalization and relevance.

Example of a spray and pray email

A spray-and-pray email involves a salesperson (or team) creating an email that isn’t tailored to the specific recipient or persona and is sent to the masses, hoping to get a response.

Here’s an example of an email that lacks personalization and relevance (and that focuses solely on their product vs. the prospect):

Click here for the revised version of this email

Consequences of generic mass messaging for sales teams and businesses

Spray and pray tactics can significantly hurt a sales team's performance. It often results in low response rates and can damage the company’s reputation as it makes prospects and customers feel like they’re just another number. 

Here’s the real impact of these tactics (and why custom messaging is key).

Decreased sales efficiency

Generic mass messaging often leads to a lower sales conversion rate. Sales teams using these tactics may experience a significant amount of time and effort going into leads that do not convert, as the messaging does not resonate with the specific needs or interests of potential customers.

Increased sales cycle length

Personalized communication can significantly reduce the length of the sales cycle. For instance, Salesforce reported that high-performing sales teams use three times the amount of sales intelligence tools, which are essential for personalizing sales approaches, compared to underperforming teams.

This indicates that generic approaches, lacking in personalization and sales intelligence, likely contribute to longer sales cycles.

Impact on Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

The effectiveness of sales strategies is often measured by the customer acquisition cost. Generic mass messaging can lead to higher CAC due to lower conversion rates and inefficiencies in targeting the right prospects. Personalized approaches, on the other hand, can lead to a more efficient use of resources and lower CAC.

Reputation and trust

In the long run, generic spray and pray messaging can damage a company's reputation and the trust customers have in the brand. The Edelman Trust Barometer consistently shows that trust is a critical factor in customer decision-making, and impersonal sales tactics can destroy this trust over time.

Why personalization matters

Personalization in sales isn't just a fad; it's a strategy backed by solid results. 

When sales messages are tailored to address the specific needs and interests of each prospect, it naturally leads to more meaningful engagement. Think about receiving a sales pitch that speaks directly to your unique challenges and offers solutions that seem tailor-made for you. This approach is likely to grab your attention and make you feel valued as a potential customer.

The impact of personalization can be seen in conversion rates. Prospects are more likely to respond positively to messages that resonate with their personal or business needs.

For example, a B2B company might find that personalized emails discussing industry-specific challenges and solutions have a higher open and response rate compared to generic sales emails.

Related post: Outbound Sales Sequence Guide: Lead Targeting, Personalization & Follow-Ups


Relevant and personalized sales email frameworks & examples

If you want to personalize your sales emails (and we don’t mean simply including the person’s first name in the subject line and calling it a day), you have to do some research first.

There’s no way around it.

Here’s a basic cold email framework designed to boost engagement:

  • Observation
  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Ask

"Hey {Name},

Looks like {relevant observation}.

In most cases, that can mean {problem/pain points}.

{Your Company/Product} helps solve that by:

  • Value
  • Value

Mind if I send you a {relevant piece of information}?"

Here are concrete examples of personalized sales emails:

Mixmax’s in-email Polls feature

Mixmax’s AI Compose feature helps draft personalized sales emails

Quick & dirty tips to avoid spray and pray messaging

Here are some easy tips to ditch spray and pray and draft relevant messages instead:

  • If you must send mass emails, segment your recipients by industry, persona, use case, job role, company size, engagement level—whatever makes the most sense for your business.
  • Research any recent (and relevant) news about the company and use that info in your outreach.
  • Reference something specific (like a project they’re working on or a new company initiative) to show them you’ve done your homework.
  • Leverage social media to gain insights about your prospects (recent posts, etc.) and use that information.
  • If you’ve had past interactions with your recipient, mention something from those conversations. This shows continuity.


How to personalize sales emails in a sequence

Gone are the days of spray and pray, yes. But it’s easier said than done. Especially if you’re setting up automatic email sequences.

If you’re using Mixmax’s sales engagement platform, though, you’re all set for email personalization, even within your sequences.

Here’s how.

Edit individual emails in a sequence

With Mixmax, you can customize emails in a sequence for each individual recipient. Whether you just want to tweak the opening line with a relevant observation or customize the call to action, it’s all possible within the Sequence Editor.

Add manual emails to your sequence

Adding a manual email to your sequence is like a pause in the automation to allow for manual intervention. To give you time to craft a highly personalized email at a specific stage.

Think about addressing their specific needs, or even mentioning a specific observation that’s relevant to your outreach (i.e., that LinkedIn post they published that referenced a pain). It's all about making that human connection that mass, automated emails just can't match.

Mixmax’s manual email stage in a sequence

Use LinkedIn and CRM data

LinkedIn Sales Navigator and a CRM like Salesforce contain so much useful information about your prospects and customers. And if you’re not using that information to a) properly research who you’re contacting and b) extract that info to use in your outreach, then you’re doing it wrong.

Here’s the type of data you can extract from each of those platforms.

LinkedIn data

Professional background and experience: You can see a prospect's current role, work history, and professional milestones. This helps in understanding their career trajectory and areas of expertise.

Recent activity: Viewing a prospect’s recent posts on LinkedIn can provide insights into their current interests, industry trends they are following, or challenges they are vocal about.

Mutual connections: Knowing mutual connections can be a great conversation starter and can also be used for getting introductions or testimonials.

Educational background: This includes their alma mater and other educational details, which can sometimes create a personal connection, especially if you share a similar background.

Groups and interests: Knowing what LinkedIn groups they are part of or interests they have can give you clues about their professional interests and priorities.


Customer interaction history: Salesforce records previous interactions with your company, providing context for your outreach and helping to avoid repeating information.

Purchase history and preferences: Understanding what products or services they have previously shown interest in or purchased can guide your recommendations.

Customer status: Whether they are a new lead, a long-time customer, or somewhere in between, tailoring your message accordingly can make it more relevant.

Company information: Details about their company like size, industry, and location can help in understanding their business environment and potential needs.

Personalized notes: Any personal notes or details that have been recorded in previous interactions, such as preferences in communication style or specific pain points.

Once you’ve combed through your prospect’s or customer’s data, you can plug those relevant bits of information into your sales email sequences.

Fun fact: If you’re planning on sending individual emails from your Gmail inbox, you can use the Mixmax Sidebar that automatically pulls data from both LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Salesforce. So, while you're drafting your email, you can easily glance at your sidebar and get valuable insights about your recipient.


Watch this outbound sequencing masterclass with Florin Tatulea and Jack Wauson to learn more about how to segment your audience and personalize emails in a sequence

Use generative AI (the right way)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is shaking things up in the world of email personalization. Think of it as having a smart assistant who knows just what to say and how to say it. Now, imagine you could access this kind of help without juggling between different apps (like your sales engagement platform and ChatGPT, for example).

This is exactly what Mixmax's AI Compose feature offers. It's neatly integrated into the Sequence Editor, making it super handy for sales teams to craft emails that hit the right note with each recipient. 

But it's not just about whipping up new content. This tool is also great for tweaking your existing emails. Let's say you've got an email draft that's a bit too long or not quite friendly enough. Just pop it into AI Compose and ask it to trim it down, dial up the friendliness factor—whatever you need. 

Mixmax’s AI Compose feature

Importance of monitoring and adjusting your strategy

Regularly reviewing and adjusting your sales strategy is a must if you want to steer clear of spray and pray and increase engagement. 

Here’s what you should be looking out for.

  • Open rates: When you send out emails, seeing how many are actually being opened can tell you a lot about whether your subject lines and/or opening lines are catching attention. If your open rates are low, it might be time to try out some new ones.
  • Response rates: If your response rate is lower than you'd like, it might mean you need to tweak your message. Maybe it’s not resonating with your audience, or perhaps it's not clear enough, or maybe there’s no relevance or value in it. Play around with different approaches to see what strikes a chord.
  • Conversion rates: This is the big one – are your efforts bearing fruit? A conversion might be a sale, a booked meeting, or another key action that moves a prospect further down the sales funnel. If conversions are low, it's time to dig deeper. Maybe your call to action isn’t strong enough, or maybe the message isn’t as compelling as it could be.

If you’re using Mixmax, you can track emails and monitor engagement with reporting and insights.

Key takeaways

Here are the key takeaways from this post that will help you ditch the spray and pray sales method for more engaging personalized messaging.

  • Understand your audience: Know exactly who you're talking to before crafting sales emails.
  • Segment your list: Divide your audience into segments based on factors like industry, job role, or interests to tailor your messaging.
  • Leverage the right tools: Use sales tools like Mixmax’s sales engagement platform that prioritizes personalized sales outreach.
  • Use LinkedIn and CRM data: Gather insights from LinkedIn Sales Navigator and CRM systems like Salesforce to add a personal touch to your emails.
  • Build relationships: Focus on meaningful connections with your audience, beyond just sending out generic mass emails.
  • Regularly review your sales strategy: Continually monitor and refine your email strategy based on engagement metrics like open and response rates.

You deserve a spike in replies, meetings booked, and deals won.

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