Email Personalization Mistakes: What Not to Do

Created On:
November 14, 2023
Updated On:
May 3, 2024
email outreach automation mistakes

Automation should make email outreach easy, bringing in great results with less effort. However, at the Smartlead community on Slack, we often hear implementing automation has deteriorated cold email performance. On inspection, it’s primarily silly automation mistakes—rectifiable but annoying. 

If you think email automation isn’t for you, chances are you’re making the common email outreach automation mistakes. 

Some businesses achieved up to 61% positive reply rate using Smartlead’s email automation features. If you fail to see desired results with outreach email automation, it’s probably because of the common mistakes. 

Let’s dive in. 

Most Common Email Outreach Automation Mistakes

Here are four of the most common email outreach automation mistakes. 

Mistake 1: Sending Frequent Follow-Ups

Automation has made sending follow-up emails easy. However, sending too many follow-ups can create a bad image and ruin any chances of conversion. 

Create a strategic timeline to follow up on cold emails effectively. After the initial email, send follow-up emails at healthy intervals only, as shown in below image: 

COld email follow ups intervals

After the seventh follow-up, send emails monthly with engaging content. Always stop sending emails when the recipient expresses disinterest in receiving your emails. 

Mistake 2: Send AI-Generated Cold Emails

While leveraging AI for email content creation is a time-saving approach, it fails to create an emotional connection with recipients. 

AI-generated emails lack personalization, leaving recipients feeling like mere names on a list. On top of that, AI content doesn’t align with your brand's tone and voice. Sending emails with AI content can appear robotic and disconnected from your brand identity.

The best method to tackle this is to edit the AI-generated emails. Personalize them according to the prospect’s needs. Remember, personalized communication is the key to engaging audiences effectively. 

Mistake 3: Lack of Behavior-Based Sub-Sequences

Email marketers often automate follow-ups but tend to overlook behavior-based sequences. These sequences enable tailored responses based on recipient actions. Without these sub-sequences, cold email marketers fail to make the most of email automation. 

The AI can use these triggers to identify specific behaviors, such as positive responses or expressed interest, and send replies from tailored, previously set sub-sequences. For example, a positive response can trigger a sub-sequence that will nurture leads further down the sales funnel. Similarly, if a lead expresses interest but isn't ready to purchase, another sub-sequence re-engages or provides additional information, boosting conversion chances. 

AI-based cold email tools like Smartlead let you create such behavior-based sub-sequences creation and management. This approach maximizes email campaign effectiveness and improves lead conversion results.

Mistake 4: Targeting Unsegment Lead List

While automation plays a crucial role in streamlining cold email marketing, relying on AI for every step can have negative effects on your campaign's performance. One of the most common automation mistakes is sending a single email to everyone on the lead list.

The decision on how to segment the list and the criteria used for segmentation should be decided by you.

Segmentation involves categorizing subscribers based on various criteria, including interests, behavior, and location. This human touch ensures that your emails resonate with your audience, ultimately leading to improved engagement rates.

Whether you choose to segment your subscribers based on browsing behavior, customer type, geographic location, sign-up date, or specific interests, the precision of your segmentation directly correlates with the likelihood of eliciting positive responses from your recipients.

Mistake 5: Single Channel Outreach

Email outreach means sending cold emails to potential customers trying to initiate a conversation with them. According to the stats, the average cold email open rate is 23.9%. It means if you send 100 cold emails, only 23 of them will likely be read by your target leads. 

This is where multi-channel outreach becomes crucial in cold email marketing. There are many tools like Smartlead in the market with which you can reach out to a cold prospect from multiple channels. For example, you’ve sent an email to a prospect. After two follow-ups, if you don’t get any response, you can send a connection request on LinkedIn or send a text on WhatsApp. 

In 2023, if you are using an AI-based email outreach tool but only doing single-channel outreach, you are definitely missing out a lot. 

Final Thoughts

Cold email marketing is challenging, especially for SaaS businesses. From creating an email list to pitching the product with sounding sales-y, it’s a tedious process.

To streamline your efforts and make your life a little easier, use AI-based cold email software with cool automation features. 

With features like behavior-based sub-sequences and multi-channel marketing, you can easily automate the entire process with little effort. 

Not to forget that many businesses are earning a fortune with email automation.

Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself.

See what people are saying about us:


What is a common mistake in email marketing automation?

A common mistake in email marketing automation is relying too heavily on a one-size-fits-all approach. Failing to personalize content and neglecting behavior-based triggers can lead to disengagement. Effective automation requires thoughtful segmentation, personalized messaging, and utilizing triggers to create dynamic, responsive email campaigns, tailored to individual recipient actions and preferences.

How do you automate emails for outreach?

To automate outreach emails, use a cold email marketing platform with automation features such as Smartlead. Create a lead list in CSV format, upload it in the cold email tool, create email campaigns, and set email sequences based on user actions. Ensure your content remains relevant and engaging. Then, schedule the emails keeping in mind the recipient’s convenient hours. Next, regularly analyze performance metrics and adjust your automated sequences for optimal effectiveness.

How effective is email automation?

Email automation is highly effective for streamlining and scaling marketing efforts. It reduces manual tasks, ensures timely and personalized communication, and enables targeted follow-ups. Automation enhances efficiency, increases engagement, and contributes to better lead nurturing. However, its success depends on thoughtful strategy and relevant content, ensuring it aligns with recipient preferences for optimal results.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Author’s Details

Rajnish Das

Rajnish Das is an in-house writer at SmartWriter and SmartLead. She writes product-oriented, data-driven content for B2B SaaS audiences and educates them on marketing and sales topics. Her expertise includes outbound marketing techniques like cold emailing and LinkedIn outreach.


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Frequently asked questions

General Questions

What is Smartlead's cold email outreach software?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Smartlead's cold email outreach tool helps businesses scale their outreach efforts seamlessly. With unlimited mailboxes, fully automated email warmup functionality, a multi-channel infrastructure, and a user-friendly unibox, it empowers users to manage their entire revenue cycle in one place. Whether you're looking to streamline cold email campaigns with automated email warmups, personalization fields, automated mailbox rotation, easy integrations, and spintax, improve productivity, or enhance scalability with subsequences based on lead’s intentions, automated replies, and full white-label experience, our cold email tool implifies it in a single solution.

How does the "unlimited mailboxes" feature benefit me?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Our "unlimited mailboxes" feature allows you to expand your email communications without restrictions imposed by a mailbox limit. This means you won't be constrained by artificial caps on the number of mailboxes you can connect and use. This feature makes Smartlead the best cold email software and empowers you to reach a wider audience, engage with more potential customers, and manage diverse email campaigns effectively.

What do you mean by "unibox to handle your entire revenue cycle"?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

The "unibox" is one of the unique features of Smartlead cold email outreach tool, and it's a game-changer when it comes to managing your revenue cycle. The master inbox or the unibox consolidates all your outreach channels, responses, sales follow-ups, and conversions into one centralized, user-friendly mailbox.

With the "unibox," you gain the ability to:
1. Focus on closing deals: You can now say goodbye to the hassle of logging into multiple mailboxes to search for replies. The "unibox" streamlines your sales communication, allowing you to focus on what matters most—closing deals.

2. Centralized lead management: All your leads are managed from one central location, simplifying lead tracking and response management. This ensures you take advantage of every opportunity and efficiently engage with your prospects.

3. Maintain context: The "unibox" provides a 360-degree view of all your customer messages, allowing you to maintain context and deliver more personalized and effective responses.

How does Smartlead ensure my emails don't land in the spam folder?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Smartlead, the best cold email marketing tool, ensures your emails reach the intended recipients' primary inbox rather than the spam folder. 

Here's how it works:
1. Our "unlimited warmups" feature is designed to build and maintain a healthy sending reputation for your cold email outreach. Instead of sending a large volume of emails all at once, which can trigger spam filters, we gradually ramp up your sending volume. This gradual approach, combined with positive email interactions, helps boost your email deliverability rates.

2. We deploy high-deliverability IP servers specific to each campaign. 

3. The ‘Warmup’ feature replicates humanized email sending patterns, spintax, and smart replies.
4. By establishing a positive sender reputation and gradually increasing the number of sent emails, Smartlead minimizes the risk of your emails being flagged as spam. This way, you can be confident that your messages will consistently land in the primary inbox, increasing the likelihood of engagement and successful communication with your recipients.

Can I integrate Smartlead with other tools I'm using?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Certainly, Smartlead is designed for seamless integration with a wide range of tools and platforms. Smartlead offers integration with HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, Clay, Listkit, and more. You can leverage webhooks and APIs to integrate the tools you use. Try Now!

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

What type of businesses sees the most success with Smartlead?

No, there are no limitations on the number of channels you can utilize with Smartlead. Our multi-channel infrastructure is designed to be limitless, allowing you to reach potential customers through multiple avenues without constraints.

This flexibility empowers you to diversify your cold email outreach efforts, connect with your audience through various communication channels, and increase your chances of conversion. Whether email, social media, SMS, or other communication methods, Smartlead's multi-channel capabilities ensure you can choose the channels that best align with your outreach strategy and business goals. This way, you can engage with your prospects effectively and maximize the impact of your email outreach.

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Do you provide me with lead sources?

Smartlead distinguishes itself from other cold email outreach software by focusing on limitless scalability and seamless integration. While many similar tools restrict your outreach capabilities, Smartlead offers a different approach.

Here's what makes us uniquely the best cold email software:

1. Unlimited Mailboxes: In contrast to platforms that limit mailbox usage, Smartlead provides unlimited mailboxes. This means you can expand your outreach without any arbitrary constraints.

2. Unique IP Servers: Smartlead offers unique IP servers for every campaign it sends out. 

3. Sender Reputation Protection: Smartlead protects your sender reputation by auto-moving emails from spam folders to the primary inbox. This tool uses unique identifiers to cloak all warmup emails from being recognized by automation parsers. 

4. Automated Warmup: Smartlead’s warmup functionality enhances your sender reputation and improves email deliverability by maintaining humanized email sending patterns and ramping up the sending volume. 

5. Multi-Channel Emphasis: Smartlead places a strong emphasis on multi-channel outreach. You can reach your prospects where they are with the LinkedIn outreach feature.   With Smartlead’s cold email automation software, you're always one step ahead in your outreach efforts, enjoying the freedom to scale your initiatives and seamlessly integrate with other tools—all while maintaining a focus on maximizing the impact of your outreach.

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

How secure is my data with Smartlead?

Ensuring the security of your data is Smartlead's utmost priority. We implement robust encryption methods and stringent security measures to guarantee the continuous protection of your information. Your data's safety is paramount to us, and we are always dedicated to upholding the highest standards of security.

How can I get started with Smartlead?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Getting started with Smartlead is straightforward! Just head over to our sign-up page and follow our easy step-by-step guide. If you ever have any questions or need assistance, our round-the-clock support team is ready to help, standing by to provide you with any assistance you may require. Sign Up Now!

How can I reach the Smartlead team?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

We're here to assist you! You can easily get in touch with our dedicated support team on chat. We strive to provide a response within 24 hours to address any inquiries or concerns you may have.

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