Personalized Outreach at Scale. Part 3: Top 5 tools for image personalization
Personalization has long become an integral part of any buyer journey. From tailored recommendations on Netflix or Amazon to targeted email marketing campaigns, it allows brands to connect with prospects one on one and create appealing, engaging experiences.
When it comes to B2B sales, and specifically prospecting outreach, variables or merge fields remain the most popular personalization elements. However, considering how crowded the prospects’ inboxes are, relying on variables alone won’t cut it.
In this guide, I’d like to share some of the tools you can use to adopt image personalization at scale in your outreach campaigns (along with the pros 🤩 and cons 😖 of each option).
Let's dive in 🐟🌊
5 tools to create personalized images for your outreach campaigns
Using personalized images can help you generate 2X replies with your outreach campaigns. However, most sales engagement platforms offer this type of personalization off the shelf. And the ones that do aren’t always as reliable or feature-rich.
This is where dedicated image personalization tools come in handy. Here are some of my top picks that you should consider.
BannerBear offers an API for automated image generation that potentially can help you easily create thousands of images for your campaigns.
Here’s how it works. First, you will need to create an image blueprint with the placeholders that you want to personalize with Images, Text, Chart bars, Star ratings, etc. Here’s an example of how the blueprint might look like:
Next, you can connect any app, e.g. a CRM, sales engagement platform, or Google Spreadsheets, using their native Zapier integration. And that's it! BannerBear will grab the required fields and use them to replace the placeholders on your blueprint. Here’s how the final result might look like:
Pricing: from $29/month
- Zapier and Airtable for no-code integrations with other tools in your sales stack
- Tons of ready-to-use templates make it easy to start a new project
- Allows to create personalized videos at scale as well
- It’s primarily a marketing tool and not designed for sales teams
- The product is pretty new and might not be as reliable as other tools
Hyperise another awesome service that I can recommend for your image personalization efforts. Unlike BannerBear, it’s specifically built for sales and sales development teams. As a result, there are tons of useful features you can use, e.g. website personalization, personalized videos, and of course, personalized images.
By the way, here’s how I see their main page when I visit the Hyperise website.
As you can see, they used our Company Logo, Company Name, and Company Domain to tailor the experience specifically to the visitors from Reply. Pretty awesome, right? 😎
There’s one more reason why you should consider Hyperise over other platforms listed here: there is a native integration with Reply 🤝, which makes it super-easy to get started from scratch.
Pricing: from $49/month
- Native Reply integration and hundreds of other integrations including Zapier
- You can also create personalized videos at scale
- Extra tools for advanced users: personalized ads, chatbots, direct mail outreach, etc.
- Provides consulting services to help with an image template
- The Starter pricing plan is limited to 1,000 impressions (but you can add more for an extra cost)
- The interface isn’t always intuitive
Nexweave is a new product on the market, built by the team behind TexAu - a popular growth hacking platform that helps automate lead generation tasks across social media and community websites, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Quora.
The platform works similar to the other tools mentioned above: you design an image template and insert variables. After that, you can create a Nexweave campaign: upload the CSV file with the required variables and the software will generate hundreds or thousands of images for your personalized sales outreach.
Pricing: Freemium, paid plans start at $49/month
- Freemium option available
- Zapier integration
- You can also create personalized videos at scale
- Focused primarily on video content, limited functionality for image personalization
- The product is pretty new, although backed by a well-established company
PicSnippets helps companies increase their conversions and have better relationships with their customers and followers by adding personalized images to your existing email, text, messenger, and sales campaigns.
Although the tool is very easy to use with its drag and drop editor and a library of 100+ templates, it lacks functionality compared to the other tools on the list.
Pricing: paid plans start at $20/month
- Numerous integrations, including Zapier
- 100+ ready-to-use templates
- Affordable pricing
- No personalized videos at scale functionality
- Limited image personalization options (text only)
Although Dogpatch Advisors is not a tool, it would be just wrong to exclude it from this list. After all, they have been among the pioneers of advanced personalization, having invented the visual prospecting approach a few years ago.
Dogpatch Advisors is a research and advisory firm located in San Francisco that helps other companies (especially, in B2B and SaaS market) build and scale their lead generation, prospecting, and sales development processes.
So if you don’t want to experiment with any of the listed tools, you can seek professional guidance and hire a dedicated marketing consultant.
- Professional consultancy
- An innovative approach to visual prospecting and personalization at scale
- Unknown (but most surely a very high) price
- Potential outsourcing hurdles
Our choice - automating image personalization with a custom script
Back in 2017, when we first started experimenting with image personalization, we couldn’t find a perfect solution to fit our needs. As a result, the easiest and fastest way for us to have the project running was just to build a custom script from scratch.
If you’re looking for maximum flexibility and have specific needs, you can take the same approach. Just talk to your developers (or hire a freelancer) and ask them to create a script that will do exactly what you need.
How does that custom script work?
Here’s a typical workflow:
- The script connects to Google Spreadsheets,
- grabs the required fields like Company Name, Website, Email, First Name, etc.,
- generates an image based on the provided blueprint,
- saves it to cloud storage,
- and moves on to the next one unless there are additional rows in a spreadsheet (see the diagram below).
All in all, this is by far the only approach that allows you to make your workflows as complex as you want and tailor them to your needs.
For example, you can send API calls to a lead generation and data enrichment services to get additional data points, call Clearbit logo API to get the company's logo, analyze its primary colors using additional 3rd party libraries and even save prospects to your sales engagement platform in order to fully automate the process. The only limit is your imagination, I'd say 🙂
Pricing: from $0 to ∞
- It's a sustainable approach: you can build the script once and use as long as you need to
- You can precisely adjust the image blueprint as you see fit and A/B test it
- You can also use additional datapoints or fields that other services don’t not provide at all.
- It might take additional resources from your development team or a freelancer
- You will need to support the infrastructure in the long run
- There’s always a chance that something won't work as you expected (e.g. the storage is full of old images, 3rd part libraries aren't accessible, etc.)
Regardless of the tool or approach you choose, personalization should be a cornerstone of your outbound strategy. It can make your outreach humane and warm, allowing you to treat each one of your prospects as a person, not just another CSV row or CRM contact, even if you’re using automation platforms to scale your efforts.
Talking specifically about personalized images, it’s also a great tactic to get creative and grab the prospect’s attention with catchy visuals. You can complement these tools with quality graphic design software to really wow your target audience.
Give it a try and you will be amazed by the results ⚡️
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