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Customize Email First Lines Based on LinkedIn Posts With Clay

Sending cold emails is hard enough as it is to get a proper response. So how do you increase that? Personalization! Here's how to use Clay.com to combine LinkedIn post information into a cold email.
Updated September 4, 2023

Imagine receiving an email that mentions one of your LinkedIn posts. Wouldn’t it make you feel seen and valued? You probably wouldn’t think it’s automated either.

Personalized email is a great method to connect with people. It catches attention. It builds meaningful connections. It increases engagement.

But here’s the challenge - writing effective first lines can be extremely time-consuming. You need to invest time scouring someone’s LinkedIn bio or a company’s description. That’s a lot of work, right? Doing this manually at scale is also a horrible allocation of your precious time.

Thankfully, there’s a way to automate the entire process. 

In this guide, I'll show you how to personalize the first line of an email based on LinkedIn posts using Clay. So, grab a coffee and let’s go!

Why You Should Use Clay to Customize Email First Lines

Clay is a powerful tool that helps you quickly mass-personalize your emails. 

Gone are the old days of spending hours reading company bios or LinkedIn posts. You can just tell Clay to fetch the posts and insert them into your first lines. How convenient is that!

Clay is not just limited to crafting email first lines. You can also use the tool to build meaningful connections with other people on your social media. For me, it’s the best platform to reach out to a colleague, a potential client,or a project collaborator. 

So, instead of sending out generic emails, Clay helps you craft an email that leads to meaningful conversations, a long-term partnership, or hopefully a business deal. 

If you’re a business owner looking for ways to increase your leads, this app could be a game-changer.

Steps to Customize Your Email First Lines Based on LinkedIn Posts

Step 1: Set Up Your Table on Clay

Creating a table on Clay is very easy. 

Log into your Clay account. On your dashboard, click ‘New Table.’

At first, Clay will initially provide you a table with three columns - Name, Email, and LinkedIn Profile. You can add more columns, edit them, and fill them with data as you want. You can also import a CSV file.

For now, let’s just create a simple table with the customer’s name, email address, and LinkedIn profile.

Step 2: Enrich Recent LinkedIn Posts

Let’s now enrich our table with our contact’s latest LinkedIn posts.

On the table, click ‘+’ symbol > Enrich Data.

Here, we wanted Clay to fetch the most recent posts from our contact’s LinkedIn account.

A pop-up window opens on the right side. Under the ‘Enrichments’ tab, choose ‘Find Recent LinkedIn Posts for User.’ You can also type the keywords on the search bar to quickly find it.

Next, let’s set up the input. Under the ‘LinkedIn Profile’ dropdown menu, choose  ‘LinkedIn Profile.’ Then, click ‘Continue to Add Fields.’

Let’s add another column to display the actual LinkedIn posts. All you need to do is to choose ‘Post’ by toggling the switch button, as shown below.

Finally, click ‘Run 1 rows in this view’ to show the results. 

You should now see two new columns added to your table -  the ‘Find Recent LinkedIn Posts for User’ and ‘Posts’ columns.

Step 3: Write An Effective AI ChatGPT Prompt

The AI prompt is the heart of the customization process. 

I honestly find this part a bit tricky. That’s because it requires a good prompt to produce the best texts for your email. You don’t want to send a long, robotic email to your customers, aren’t you? It certainly is a big turn-off.

The golden rule is to make your prompt as detailed as possible. It’s like giving specific instruction to a fifth grader. 

In this tutorial, it actually took me a few attempts to finally produce a better email. 

Here’s how to do it.

Once again, click the ‘Add Column’ on your table and choose ‘Enrich Data.’ Under the ‘Enrichments’ tab, select ‘Use AI (ChatGPT).

This is where the fun part begins.

On the provided text box, type your AI prompt.

In your first attempt, you might not get the best results yet. Don’t worry. Writing a good prompt is a skill that you can learn. Just remember these tips:

  • Be specific about what you want to happen. For example, you want AI to write an email about your contact’s recent LinkedIn posts. 
  • Specify your inputs. It could be the contact’s name, posts, or email. For example, you can tell AI ‘This is the contact’s name: /[input].’ The purpose of inserting ‘/’ is for Clay to fetch the user’s data.
  • Make sure to describe the output that you want. For example, you can tell AI to make the email casual and friendly. You can also be specific about the word count. 

Once you’re satisfied, click ‘Continue to Add Fields.’ Then, run the first row.

You should now see a new column on your table with the AI-generated text.

Step 4: Improve AI-Generated Email and Finalize

As I’ve mentioned, your first output will not be perfect. So don’t be afraid to experiment with the prompt until you get a good result.

In this example, my final AI prompt is:

‘Pretend that you are a sales professional. First, I want you to write a warm email regarding the client's recent LinkedIn post to make it personal. Follow this up by introducing your company's digital marketing services and how it might help the client. Please make it short, around 100 - 150 words. Use a friendly, casual tone when writing the email. Please personalize the email subject based on their Linkedin post. 

The client's name is this: / [insert Name]

The LinkedIn post is this: / [insert Posts]

Here’s the AI-generated email:

Subject: Cheers to Gold Penguin's 2nd Birthday and Onward Success! 

Dear Justin, 

I recently came across your LinkedIn post celebrating Gold Penguin's 2nd anniversary and your astounding track record with blog visitors. Kudos on the significant milestone! Considering the impressive stats, it appears you have a hang on the conventional marketing strategies. This makes me think about how much more you could achieve with our digital marketing services at ABC Company. Our personalized strategies could help Gold Penguin further attract global audiences and enhance your online presence, possibly even crossing that elusive complete global presence! I would love to discuss how we can contribute to your exciting journey ahead. Let's catch up? 

Cheers, [Your Name]

Tips to Create Compelling Email First Lines

Writing a compelling first line is not easy. While AI is here to help us write faster, creating an AI prompt can also be just as challenging.

But I’m a believer in the saying ‘practice makes perfect.’ So, don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and tones of writing.

You can also apply these tips which I find very helpful in creating personalized emails:

  • Don’t make your email too formal. Instead, try to use a casual, friendly tone to make your recipient feel comfortable.
  • Show your recipient that you’re interested in what they do. In this tutorial, we’ve shown you how to use your contact’s LinkedIn posts to add a personal touch to your email.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Everyone’s busy. And trust me, no one has the time to read a long, boring email. An email about 50 - 150 words should suffice. 
  • Be genuine. Asking for AI’s helping hand doesn’t mean you can’t be genuine to your recipient. Make sure your email doesn’t sound like you’re pitching. Keep it relevant and friendly.

What’s Next?

Clay has tons of amazing features you can use to build your leads. For example, you can use the app to create automated follow-up emails. You can even use it to find key decision makers at a company or personalize an email based on where a prospect lives.

Hopefully, you’ve found this app helpful in creating deeper connections with your target audience! Drop a comment if you have any questions!

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Written by Christy Cañete
Christy Cañete is a software engineer who's passionate about front-end web design. Not only can she code, but she writes too! She loves breaking down technical topics into super easy tutorials. If you're looking to learn without the jargon, she's your go-to.
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