LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media platforms used by B2B marketers. Following are the most common ways in which the platform is used by businesses:
- Posting organic content
- Running paid ads
- Promoting and hosting events
- Engaging with others’ content (on the feed as well as in groups)
- Actively reaching out to prospects through DMs
Now, when it comes to LinkedIn outreach, many lead generation and sales professionals taste failure for many reasons such as:
- Prospects are bombarded with messages from multiple people (especially if they fall into the ICP of a varied set of industries).
- There is no trust or connection already established for the prospects to respond to a message.
- The prospect is not the decision maker or even a potential user of your products or services.
The reasons are plenty. However, even if the prospect doesn’t have a need for what you offer today, one of the key objectives of the SDR (Sales Development Representative) is to get some sort of response. And this is where PERSONALIZATION helps.
So, let us look at the 7 ways in which you can personalize your LinkedIn outreach to improve the chances of getting a response.
LinkedIn lead generation – 7 ways to personalize outreach
1. By job title and role
This is probably the simplest of all. When it comes to personalizing LinkedIn outreach, the most basic step prospects would expect is for you to know where they work and what they do at their current company.
This will help you tailor your pitch specifically to the pain points of that particular role. For instance, if you are into selling a CRM, and want to pitch that to a marketing ops manager, you can choose specific problems like the ease of maintaining data, how well your CRM fits into the prospect’s existing tech stack, how it can create a unified view of all the marketing campaigns, etc.
On the other hand, if you are sending the message to a CIO to sell IT services, talk to his/her goals such as digital transformation, reducing TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), establishing the right IT infrastructure, etc.
2. Using published content
When I say published content, I am referring to the content your prospect is publishing on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Anchoring your message around published content helps in the following ways:
- It tells the prospect that you have invested the time to go through his/her profile and done your research.
- It immediately connects with the prospect at an emotional level and encourages him/her to respond to your message.
For example, if your prospect is posting a lot about blockchain, your message could have a statement like this:
“Hi John, I see that you are posting a lot about blockchain, and I particularly loved your post on [date] explaining [post description].”
Now, if your company’s offerings are related to the content the prospect is posting, you can take this to the next level by connecting your differentiators with the content.
For instance, taking the above example, if your solutions are into the blockchain space, you could further tweak the message as below:
“Hi John, I see that you are posting a lot about blockchain, and I particularly loved your post on [date] explaining [post description]. It might be interesting for you to know that we at [your company name] help companies like [prospect company name] implement blockchain effectively.”
Here, please note that the messaging will depend on the persona, your solutions, the prospect company’s industry, etc. Also, the idea is not to use the above text as it is in your message, but rather to bring in this flavor in your outreach.
3. Activities outside work
This involves understanding what your prospects are like outside work. I am referring to their professional activities such as speaking at events, guest podcasting, blogging, authoring a book, etc.
These things most of the time define a person (if the prospect is into such activities) much more than work and hence are closer to his/her heart. So, developing a conversation around such topics is one of the best ways to get a response.
Let us look at an example.
Say, your prospect is the Chief People Officer at a large B2B SaaS firm and he delivers talks at various conferences on topics such as remote work, work-life balance, workplace productivity, etc. While reaching out to him, one of the ways in which you could start the message is:
“Hi John, I have been following some of your talks on YouTube and loved the one you delivered recently at [conference name] on the topic [topic name]. Would love to see more such from you….”
A message like the above is highly personalized, relevant, leverages emotions, and creates a ‘spark’ instantly.
4. Common personal interests
We spoke about looking at your prospect’s professional interests outside work. The next step is to look at their personal life. But a word of caution here! Make sure to not touch sensitive topics or the kind of information people would want to keep to themselves.
Some of the examples of personal activities that you can pick are:
- Involvement in social service.
- Interests in areas like music, sports, fishing (or any other hobby for that matter).
- Knowledge of a topic outside the person’s area of work.
Once you identify these interests, see if you have something in common with the prospect. If yes, try to bring those into your messages and conversations. This technique works because humans by nature crave to belong to a certain group based on traits like language, religion, hobbies, ambitions, etc. We all want to be with our ‘tribe’. So, if you share 1 or more common interests with your prospects, why not use them to your advantage?
5. Company updates
Referring to recent company updates is one of the best ways to initiate a conversation with your prospect. Do some deep research on the prospect’s company and see if there are any recent updates such as a funding round, awards and recognition, new logo acquisition, partnership announcements, etc.
As in the case of the other points, refer to those in your icebreaking message itself. This method works particularly well if you are talking directly to the CEO, founders, or senior leaders at the prospect firm.
6. Common groups or events
This is an extension of finding common interests. This is about finding out if you and the prospect are part of any common online or offline groups. Examples of such types of groups and communities include:
- Online communities on platforms such as Slack and Discord.
- Groups on other social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Meetup, etc.
- Offline groups based on common interests such as cycling, travel, food, etc.
Once you identify these groups, you know how to use them to connect better with your prospects.
Leaving a sample message here for your reference:
“Hi John, I see that you are part of the [group name] cycling group. I am an avid cycler too, and have covered over 1000 miles on my cycle. It’s great to connect with someone who has similar interests…….”
The content of the message will differ depending on the details. But you get the point here.
7. Common background
This is pretty straightforward. Did the prospect work in the same company as the one you used to work for? Did you both do schooling at the same institute? How about your areas of expertise? Is there something common there?
Leveraging a common background involves figuring out the above and using them in your messaging. You could even look for things like the prospect’s educational background to find commonalities.
That’s all I wanted to cover today!
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About the author
Naseef KPO is the Founder and CEO of Skalegrow. He comes with rich experience across multiple areas of B2B marketing including content marketing, demand generation, SEO, account-based marketing, marketing analytics, revenue attribution, marketing technology, etc. He writes thought-provoking and relevant articles on The Skalegrow Blog and his weekly LinkedIn newsletter Elevate Your Marketing.
Prior to starting Skalegrow, Naseef led large marketing teams in multi-million dollar B2B organizations where he made significant contributions to the topline growth of the business. He has also appeared on numerous podcasts where he shared his thoughts on trending marketing topics such as the application of AI in marketing, startup marketing, ABM, and B2B content marketing, just to name a few. Being the founder of Skalegrow, he is currently focusing on helping its clients stay ahead of their competition by using innovative yet practical marketing tactics.
You can connect with Naseef KPO on LinkedIn.