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Personalized Outreach at Scale. Part 1: Personalized Landing Pages

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Five years ago, when I started my first job as an SDR, all I knew was that I needed to find prospects and their email addresses – somehow, somewhere – and pitch our product to them.

Within the very first months at the job, I learned a lot: how to come up with effective email templates, A/B test subject lines and Call-to-Actions, build automated sequences, run complex campaigns, and so on. As a result, soon I was able to create pretty effective templates and sequences that would generate enough positive responses to regularly reach my quota.

Everything changed a couple of years later. Sales Engagement Platforms (SEPs) were gaining momentum until one day they became the backbone of almost every B2B sales organization.

Eventually, emails like “Hi {FirstName}, let’s talk about how we can help you” (of course I’m exaggerating, but you get the point 🙂) lost their effectiveness and reply rates hit the bottom. 

At the same time, more B2B sales and sales development leaders started talking about personalization at scale and how sales engagement platforms can help make your outreach effective again.

Luckily, here at Reply, we had a pretty solid foundation for our sales engagement experiments – our own SEP – so I only had to learn more about personalization best practices to make it work. So, I read tons of relevant ebooks, blogs, watched hundreds of hours of webinars and YouTube videos, and spent days brainstorming ideas with the team. 

This helped us come up with a solid sales engagement framework that has proven to be very effective. So, I’ve decided to share some of our key findings with you in a series of blog posts.

First off, I’d love to talk about one of the first tactics we’ve implemented in your sales engagement strategy – personalized landing pages – i.e. customizing our website for every single prospect we engage with to make our outreach more personalized and efficient.

Getting started

Imagine that you have a list of potential customers you want to engage using Reply.io. What’s next? 

Of course, you will need to create a sequence of automated and manual touchpoints and try to convince the prospect to buy your product or service, describing its benefits at each step. 

In most cases, you would also provide a link to your website along with your pitch, so a potential buyer can click it and see for themselves if a product is a good fit for their business.

Our idea was to drive leads to a dedicated landing page that had a personal touch – for example, a person’s name on it – to make it feel more relevant and appealing.

Let’s look at an example. Here’s an outreach email containing a link to our landing page.

outreach email example

When a prospect clicks the highlighted link, it takes them to our website, so they can learn more about Reply.

Reply.io main page

As you can see, the website looks pretty good – clean, professional, with snappy copy and visuals (and that matters a lot, according to the data on conversion rates optimization!). But it’s just a regular website – no bells and whistles.

As I mentioned, the goal was to make our website feel unique to every prospect in our sequence, so we had to go 1 step further. 

And after a few iterations here’s what we’ve come up with:

personalized reply.io landing page

When a prospect clicks a link, they get instantly redirected to a custom landing page that contains 4 personalized Variables:

  • First Name
  • Company Name
  • Email Address
  • Department
4 personalized variables

There are several reasons why this landing page is better than the original variant:

  1. The prospect’s name and company name instantly catch attention.
  2. Using their department name and how exactly Reply can be used in their particular case spurs interest.
  3. The auto-filled email address serves as a trigger to sign up for a trial even without typing the email address. Moreover, the address will be automatically added to the sign-up form once they click “Try for free” – one less friction point on their way to conversion!
Reply.io sign up

Pretty cool, right? 😎

And the best part is that this simple yet powerful personalization tactic helped us generate lots of additional trial sign-ups! Even if some of them were from our fellow SDRs, curious to see how it works (and maybe even steal the idea 🙂).

From idea to implementation

Now, let’s talk about the implementation. To bring this idea to life and create adaptable, personalized landing pages for your outreach, follow this three-step framework:

1. Sketch the idea

First of all, you’ll need to choose the landing page you will be using for this experiment and pick several of its elements to personalize with variables.

To make the right choice, ask yourself what would you want to see on the page if you were the prospect? What information should it provide? Would it look appealing and interesting to you? 

It always helps to get an outside point of view so make sure to share your idea with colleagues and brainstorm ways to make it better together.

Once your landing page draft is ready, define the landing page elements you will personalize with variables. You can use the same variables you’re already using in your emails within your Reply sequences. These include First Name, Company, Email, Title, Department, City, Country, etc.

2. Modify link in Reply’s Template

As your next step, simply add the chosen parameters to the URL in your email using Reply template editor.

Modify link in Reply’s Template

For example, if a regular URL is https://reply.io/outreach-automation, its personalized version should look like this:

https://reply.io/outreach-automation?firstName={FirstName}&email={Email}&company={Company}&department={Department}

As you can see we’ve used default Reply variables like FirstName, Email, Company, and Department to the address. So, before sending the email, the system will dynamically change the variables to the corresponding info from the contact’s profile for every single prospect in a sequence.

Important: make sure that all prospects on your list have the required information for variables that you use to personalize your landing page. You don’t want to send your prospect a link to the landing page with blank spaces instead of personalized elements, do you?

3. Slightly modify the code on your website

Lastly, ask your dev team to slightly modify the code on the landing page you want to personalize. You need to let your website know that you will be using some custom URL Query parameters so it can read them and represent data on a landing page accordingly.

landing page code

As a result, the final URL should look like this:

https://yourdomain.com/personalized-page?{queryName1}={Variabl1}&{queryName2}={Variable2}&{queryName3}={Variable3}

Bottom Line

As you can see, this personalization tactic is relatively easy to implement and usually takes just a few days to build (from idea to a prototype and the actual implementation). 

For me personally, the hardest part here was to design the landing page itself and decide which personalization variables to use: it’s not enough to have a personalized page, it should be relevant and make your prospects say Woah!

woah

If you manage to do that, prepare to get some amazing results! For example, our SDR team has achieved two major benefits by using personalized landing pages:

  1. Higher reply rate compared to the control sequence (a sequence without a personalized link) – many prospects were intrigued by this approach and asked whether we use Reply.io to implement it. As a result, we were able to start meaningful conversations with high-quality prospects.
  2. Increased number of sign-ups to our product – pre-filling part of the sign-up form fields with variables like Email and Name made it easier for prospects to create a trial account.

That’s it! Hope you’ll find a good application for this tactic.

P.S. We will share more tactics on how to make personalized and warm outreach at scale soon, so stay tuned 📻

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