As a marketer, you might think that you can spot a templated email, but you'd be surprised!

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A few months back, I received the following message with the subject line "Kerry, I hope you remember me from my glowing iTunes Review:"

Hi Kerry!

To say that I love Marketing Smarts would be an understatement. I just finished listening to the episode with Chris Brogan on content and email marketing, and I particularly loved the episode with Jay Baer on the trends he discovered from 27 Social Pros interviews. I think these are the best of all the episodes I've listened to so far :)

I don't usually review podcasts, but I was forced to leave one after listening to the Chris Brogan episode. I just wanted you to know that there are a lot of people like me who tune into Marketing Smarts every week just to see if any new episodes have been released yet, and to re-listen to random ones :)

Also, do you take suggestions for episode topics or interviewees?

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this :)




Adithya Murali (who goes by "Adi") is an inbound marketer at SEO and Internet marketing firm TechWyse. My "Spider Sense" started tingling when I saw the "content marketer" designation below Adi's signature, but up until then the email read like any of the listener emails I receive: highly personalized and demonstrating a genuine interest in my podcast content. He'd even listed Marketing Smarts as No. 1 on his list of best marketing podcasts. (Awww!)

Which prompted this question: Was this email generated from a template? And, if so, how had the sender managed to incorporate so much personalized information?

As was the case with the email I'd received, some simple processes and easily available tools can help you to streamline the email personalization process. That personalized approach will also help you with content promotion and sales outreach.

I invited Adi to Marketing Smarts to share his secrets—tools, tips, and tactics—for creating highly personalized emails at scale.

Here are just a few highlights from my conversation with Adi:

Forget about open rates. Don't even measure them (07:02): "I do get a lot of replies. Upwards of 50%... I don't concentrate a lot on open rates because...the subject line can be really good, it can be a click bait. But the purpose of the email is to get somebody to perform some action. I don't track open rates because I don't think there's any purpose of doing that. I just track replies.

Time spent setting up a few tools and templates will pay huge dividends (08:49): "I do almost all my outreach through Google Sheets...that are freely available on the web. You can just make a copy of them and use them as you like for free....

"Email personalization 101 is reaching out to the right person. This is where many marketers go wrong. You can easily collect a list of websites or bloggers. Heck, you can buy a list on Fiver, but if you send emails to addresses, don't expect replies."

If you're a tools and productivity enthusiast, be sure to check out Adi's favorite tools for email personalization and content promotion: 

Mail merge is back, and it's better than ever (14:04): "For outreach, crafting the email, I follow a secret 1-2-3-punch tactic. I first send them a nonsalesy, nonpitch email, then a tweet about their content or a content piece they've published in the past, and then I send them the ask. This is all about scalability, so I scale this too.

"I use sheet apps for these, too... Courtesy to my friend, well-known blogger Amit Agarwal. He created these sheet apps. One of them can tweet out to a list of Twitter IDs. You just need to enter a Twitter username and the tweet text, and this tool will send out tweets for you on autopilot.... He also created a nifty Google Sheets add-on called Mail Merge with Attachments.

"In this sheet you can have a number of columns for listing different data points. You can have a list of location details, a list of email addresses, a list of names, a list of tailored comments we have on their blogs and such...and mail merge populates the data from this spreadsheet into these emails."

To learn more, visit or follow Adi on Twitter @AdithyaMurali.

Adi and I talked about much more, including replying at scale, personalization for B2B companies, and more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

Music credit: Noam Weinstein.

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