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How To Personalize Cold Emails With Location of a Lead Using Clay.com

Clay is an incredible lead enrichment tool. An awesome feature is the ability to customize awesome first line messages based on where a prospect is located. Here's a few tips on how to do that when using Clay!
Updated July 14, 2023
a colorful blue and green realistic earth made of clay showing north and south america, with a light blue sky background, 4k digital art
a colorful blue and green realistic earth made of clay showing north and south america, with a light blue sky background, 4k digital art

Personalization in cold email, or even just outbound messaging is now more important than ever. With all of the new tools being released what seems like everyday, many try to send tens of thousands of emails every single month and it ends up flooding a prospects inbox.

How do we stand out? How do we ensure our prospect will see our message and most importantly... reply?

Well…it’s with personalization.

Clay is an incredible tool that helps you enrich your prospects, but you really have to know how to personalize them for the tool to work well. Here's how to personalize your emails based on a leads location to send customized cold emails at scale.

Personalization not only helps with replies, but also helps with ensuring your email gets delivered and not sent to spam. We’ll dive into that a little later on. 

Why Location? 

We all know the typical personalizations we could use in an email. The first name and the company name, but the problem now is that it’s overused. Every database now offers these variables and people know the “game”. They’re not impressed anymore. 

How could we stand out? By using Geolocation personalization and to do this we’ll use the help of Clay. And as a bonus I’ll throw in how to utilize Yelp in the mix. And yes…Yelp. 

When we say Geolocation, we’re saying for you to call out where that person lives. That may sound a bit creepy at first, but remember the whole idea is to catch the attention of the prospect. Let’s walk through the journey of the prospect. First, they see an email come up on their phone. Second, they glance at the subject line and the preview line. This all happens in literally under 5 seconds. 

Rather than jumping directly into the pitch in your first sentence, what if it called out where the prospect lives. That will immediately grab their attention. Here’s an example. 

“Hey Jonathan, noticed you’re in Miami, funny enough I was just there! Such a great city.”

So rather than immediately jumping into your pitch, you’re acknowledging you did “research” on where the prospect lives and called it out. A nice icebreaker, and now you’ve increased the chances your email will get opened, thus increasing your chances of receiving a reply. 

Don't Overdo It

This can be really easy to abuse. Like if you mention it multiple times in the email, it’s simply creepy. If you say something like “I know you live in Miami”...that is a complete turn off and will get you blocked. 

Just like with everything in life, use it in moderation. It’s a simple icebreaker, meant to grab someone’s attention quickly. 

Personalize a Cold Email with a Prospects Location

Now let’s talk about how to do this in Clay. You’re going to need a few things to get this done from your lead database. We’ll need the following data points: 

  1. First Name
  2. Last Name
  3. Company Name
  4. City
  5. Knowledge on Clay’s AI Formula Generator

Step 1: Grab the data from your data source

In the image below we have the raw data cleaned up from Apollo. I deleted a lot of columns to only get the information we absolutely need. Makes it easy to organize it all and to visualize. 

Step 2: Import into Clay the csv

Click “New Table”. 

Then click “New CSV”.

And now your Clay table should look like this. 

Step 3: Cleaning up your data. 

You may have noticed that the city isn’t necessarily ready to be included in an email. We need it to be completely normalized and by normalized I mean that it looks like it was written by a human. 

We’re going to now use Clay’s AI formula generator to clean this up. There’s a few ways to go about this, but for this we’ll do an exact type of search. Meaning we’ll target the word “City” in this example.

You’re going to click the header of a new column then you should see “settings”. A new column because you won’t be able to reference the column “City” if you’re clicking on the “City” column. 

Once you click into it, you should see a light blue button that says “Use AI”. Click that button. 

You should now see the AI formula generator. 

When using the AI formula generator, it’s almost like you want to talk to it like it’s a human. I’m going to write the following: 

“If /city contains the word “city” please remove”. 

This should remove the word “City” and refresh the column with the updated text. Be sure to be exact with the text. If the word is not exact, it won’t pick up the request. 

Now your data is cleaned up! The city is now able to be used as a variable. 

Using City Variables within Cold Emails

Few examples of how to use this personalization could be in the subject line, the first line, CTA or even the PS line at the bottom of the email. 

Subject line: “Was just in Miami”

First Line: “Hey Jon, I was just in Miami this week. The beaches are amazing.”

CTA: “Btw I’m also in Miami next month, it’d be great to connect and grab lunch.” 

PS Line: “PS noticed you’re in Miami! I go every month and can’t wait to go again!”

Final Thoughts

With the number of messages that prospects are receiving today, you simply have to be creative to deserve a response. You have to make it look as if every email you send is researched and personalized. 

With the help of Clay, you’re able to do this at scale. With over 80+ data providers at your fingertips it’s never been easier to stand out from the crowd of other salespeople. 

Personalizing an email with a prospect’s city is a simple, but very effective strategy to grab their attention. Hope this was helpful and I’d love to hear how you guys are personalizing your emails! 

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Written by Jonathan Garces
Jonathan is a digital marketing expert. After sending hundreds of thousands of emails, Jonathan cracked the code on what gets somebody to reply – authenticity & transparency. Jonathan writes about his emailing experiences and has quickly became the go-to guy for learning about how to connect with your target audience.
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