Personalizing Cold Email Outreach at Scale with RelSci Contact Data

Success rates for cold email outreach are often lackluster. According to Hubspot, the average open rate for cold emails across all industries is 32%. Their biggest tip on increasing that percentage is personalization: tailoring your outreach so that it’s unique to the prospect you’re emailing. This makes perfect sense; wouldn’t you be more likely to open an email if it was tailored to you? Mentioning a target’s alma mater or a cause they’re passionate about makes a cold email seem warm. Personalizing outreach is relatively straightforward for a one-off target, but more challenging to do well at scale. Today we’ll walk through how to personalize your cold email outreach at scale using RelSci’s contact data offering.

Here at RelSci, we believe that there is no better method to get in front of a prospect, decision maker, or target than a warm introduction. As a result, many tools in the platform, including Path Finder, Discovery, and Visit a City, highlight how your network can introduce you to key individuals. However, there will likely be times when you or your organization will not have a feasible introduction point. Maybe you don’t have any connections into a certain industry or location, or you’ve already over-leveraged a relationship for other warm introductions. In these situations, you’ll still be relying on cold email outreach.

RelSci incorporated Contact Data into the system over a year ago to address situations where a warm introduction just isn’t feasible. Within RelSci, emails and phone numbers are integrated into deep profiles. By using RelSci for contact data instead of an alternative provider like ZoomInfo or, you can contact those decision makers or prospects via cold outreach while leveraging RelSci’s specific data to personalize your email templates. Below we will walk you through the process of creating a specific and warm mail merge from start to finish. We’ll illustrate the process with an example of targeting individuals from a top tier target list that attended Villanova University, and then personalizing the outbound email by referencing that school, but any data field available within RelSci can be used to personalize your outreach.

Generating a Specific & Personalized List  

In this example, we’ll assume you already have a prospect list loaded into RelSci. If you do not yet have a list loaded in, check out why it’s important and how to go about doing it.  Once you have your list, Open up Power Search (People) and type the name of the list in the “Appears On” field (for lists of individuals) or the “who are at” field (for lists of companies).

cold email outreach - power search step 1

Then type in a field you want to drill down by. In this example, we choose to target alumni from Villanova University by typing it into the “Education” field.

Click Search to generate your list of results. In our test example, there are 107 profiled individuals who both (a) work at a company on our target list, and (b) attended Villanova University.

cold email outreach - power search step 2

Next, select Report and select “CSV” for the report type, and ensure the “Contact Data” is selected. RelSci’s contact data offering uses a credits system in which users can purchase credit packages and then use those credits to “unlock” individual records. When exporting contact data, you can choose to include only previously unlocked records or all records.

cold email outreach - power search step 3

Click Download and open the file. The spreadsheet will contain all of the data you will need to personalize your cold email outreach , whether you send your emails via your favorite automation software like Outreach, or using a mail merge in Microsoft Word. In this example, we will use the mail merge option.

Building and Sending Your Cold Email Outreach

To prepare the file for the mail merge we will need to slightly edit the spreadsheet to divide each target’s name into First, Middle, and Last Name components. First, insert four new columns in between the “Name” column and the ‘Role 1” column. This can be done by highlighting the “Role 1” column, right clicking, and selecting “Insert”.

cold email outreach - building your mail merge 1

Then highlight the “Name” column and select the “Text to Columns” option, which is located under the “Data” tab.

cold email outreach - building your mail merge 2

Select “Delimited” and click “Next”. Then select only the “Space” option underneath “Delimiters” and click “Finish”.

This will separate the “Name” column into multiple columns based on the number of spaces contained in the name. After this is done highlight all of the columns with name information except the one containing the First Name, we will need that for our mail merge. Once you’ve highlighted them right click and select “Delete”.

cold email outreach - building your mail merge 3

Once this is done click “File” and select “Save As”. Make sure to save the file as an “Excel Workbook”, this can be changed under “Save as type”.

cold email outreach - building your mail merge 4

Next, open up Microsoft Word and select the “Mailings” tab. Then select “Start Mail Merge” and select “E-mail Messages” from the drop down.

cold email outreach - sending your mail merge 1

Then copy and paste your favorite email template into the document or create a new template. Be sure to personalize the email with the information you exported from RelSci. For our example targeting Villanova alumni, we might include a post script of “Go Wildcats!” which is Villanova University’s mascot.

cold email outreach - sending your mail merge 2

Once the template is finished click “Select Recipients” under the “Mailings” tab and click “Use Existing List”. Select the file you created and click “Open”.

The next step is to make sure we address the email appropriately. Click next to your email’s salutation and then select “Insert Merge Field” and select “Name”.

cold email outreach - sending your mail merge 3

Once that is complete (Tip: You can preview the results by selecting the ‘Preview’ button) select the “Finish & Merge” icon. In the “To” drop down select the “Contact Data – Email” field. Then fill out the “Subject line” and select “OK”. This will finish the mail merge and send that personalized email to everyone in the file.

cold email outreach - sending your mail merge 4

Learn More

Combining contact data with information available on RelSci profiles enables you to personalize cold email outreach and make it seem more personal. To learn more about Relsci’s contact data offering, reach out to your account manager today. New to RelSci and curious whether contact data is right for you? Request a demo to speak with one of our sales representatives.