How to Use AI in Cold Emails & Get 2x More Replies? – Full AI Workflow

How to start using AI in cold emails like a pro?

Share

Learn how to use AI in cold emails using tools like Clay & SheetAI in this stepwise workflow & get 2x more replies.

It’s common knowledge that cold emails are one of the best channels for organic customer acquisition. But a big reason people hold themselves back from leveraging its full potential is simple – they require extensive effort & time investment. 

Instead of spending hours reading individual LinkedIn bios or prospect websites, using AI in cold emails is your shortcut to mass personalize your outreach with just a few clicks. At Cleverviral, we’ve been doing this extensively for the last year or so, using AI to power our outreach at scale. 

Over the course of this article, we’ll show you how to use AI in cold emails for crafting persuasive messages for each prospect & get 2x more replies for each campaign. 

Let’s get started. 

Why Should You Use AI in Cold Emails?

Using AI in cold emails is the shortcut to scalability & improved performance. Given below are some of the key reasons why you should consider adding AI to your outbound workflow: 

1. Efficiency and personalization at scale

The dream of sending thousands of personalized emails that resonate with each recipient individually might have seemed far-fetched a few years ago. However, with the rapid adoption of AI in cold emails, it has turned into a tangible reality. 

According to Hunter.io, adding multiple personalization touchpoints in your emails increases response rates by a whopping 140%. This means marketers can now craft and send thousands of emails, each tailored to the recipient’s specific interests, job role, or recent achievements, with minimal effort. 

The efficiency brought about by AI-powered email tools is unmatched, and significantly reduces time & resources needed for executing large-scale campaigns. 

Sales teams can now focus on strategy and creativity, leaving the heavy lifting of personalization and deployment to AI.

2. Improved deliverability 

Ensuring that your message reaches the recipient’s primary inbox is a critical challenge when doing cold outreach. Adding AI in cold emails helps with navigating the complexities of email service providers‘ spam filters. 

By generating varied and unique email content for each campaign, AI reduces the likelihood of your emails being flagged as spam. This variety is key to maintaining high deliverability rates, as repetitive or templated content is often a red flag for spam filters.

Additionally, AI powered email technologies continuously update their understanding of spam filter criteria, adapting email content accordingly to avoid common pitfalls. 

This adaptability means that as email service providers evolve their algorithms, your cold email AI strategy evolves in tandem, ensuring the message reaches its intended destination. 

3. Data-driven strategy

In today’s data-rich environment, the ability to harness and interpret vast datasets is crucial for crafting targeted and effective email campaigns. AI in cold emails leverages advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms to uncover insights that would be impossible to glean manually.

This data-driven approach allows marketers to tailor their messages based on empirical evidence, aligning content with the recipient’s interests, needs, and behavior patterns.

4. Continuous learning

One of the most compelling reasons to integrate AI in cold emails is AI’s inherent capacity for learning and evolution. With each campaign, AI algorithms collect data on what works and what doesn’t, continuously refining their understanding of effective email marketing practices. 

This iterative learning process is invaluable, as it enables the constant enhancement of email content, structure, and delivery based on actual campaign results.

This ensures that your B2B cold email copywriting strategy delivers high-quality, high-impact emails that resonate with recipients and drive engagement.

How is AI Used in Emails?

The integration of AI in cold emails has fundamentally transformed the landscape of b2b cold email copywriting, leveraging technology to finesse every aspect of the email marketing process. Below, we delve deeper into the mechanisms through which AI revolutionizes email strategies, ensuring each communication is not just seen but also resonates.

1. Better subject lines

The power of an email often lies in its subject line. AI powered email tools have become indispensable in crafting subject lines that break through the clutter of a crowded inbox. By analyzing vast datasets from successful email campaigns, AI identifies patterns and keywords that lead to higher open rates.

This is not just about using catchy phrases; it’s about understanding the psychology of the recipient and what drives them to click open an email. AI algorithms can predict with remarkable accuracy which subject lines are most likely to engage specific segments of your audience, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of your cold email AI campaigns.

Furthermore, the dynamic learning capability of AI means that with every email sent, the system becomes smarter, refining its understanding of what works and what doesn’t. This iterative process ensures that your subject lines are continually optimized for performance, leveraging real-world data to inform future strategies.

2. Personalization at scale

In the realm of b2b cold email copywriting, personalization is the golden key to engagement. AI in cold emails takes personalization to new heights, allowing marketers to tailor messages based on a myriad of data points. From the professional milestones listed in a prospect’s LinkedIn bio to recent news articles about their company, AI harnesses this information to craft emails that speak directly to the recipient’s interests and achievements.

This level of personalization at scale was once beyond the reach of even the most diligent marketer. 

However, AI powered email platforms now make it possible to create hundreds or even thousands of unique, personalized emails in the time it would take to manually write a handful. The significance of this cannot be overstated; by making each recipient feel uniquely acknowledged, AI significantly increases the likelihood of engagement and response.

3. Content optimization

The content of your email can make or break the potential for engagement. AI in cold emails excels in optimizing this content to ensure maximum impact. By testing different variations of email content and analyzing recipient responses, AI identifies the most effective messaging strategies. This process of A/B testing, carried out on a scale and speed unattainable by human marketers, allows for the rapid iteration and refinement of email content.

Content optimization also extends to the tone, length, and formatting of emails, with AI providing insights into how these factors influence engagement rates. As a result, AI powered email platforms empower marketers to tailor their content not just to the preferences of their audience but also to the nuances of individual recipient behavior.

4. Creating personalized email templates

The foundation of any effective email campaign is a solid template that can be easily customized. Here, AI in cold emails shines by generating templates that are not only engaging but also designed for personalization.

These AI-created templates provide a structured yet flexible framework, ensuring consistency in communication while allowing for the individual tailoring of each message.

The beauty of AI-powered email templates lies in their ability to evolve. Based on continuous feedback and performance data, AI refines these templates to enhance their effectiveness over time. This means that with each campaign, your base for personalization becomes stronger, more resonant, and more likely to convert.

5. Market research

Before the first word of an email is written, understanding your audience is crucial. AI in cold emails plays a pivotal role in conducting in-depth market research, offering insights into the current landscape of your target audience’s industry.

This isn’t just about identifying trends; it’s about understanding the challenges, needs, and opportunities specific to your audience, ensuring that your message addresses these points directly.

AI powered email platforms can sift through vast amounts of data from various sources, including social media, industry reports, and news articles, to gather actionable insights. 

This comprehensive approach to market research ensures that your cold email AI strategy is informed, relevant, and timely, significantly increasing its effectiveness.

Method 1: Leveraging AI in Cold Emails With Clay: Stepwise Workflow 

YouTube video

When it comes to using AI in cold emails, Clay is your #1 solution to automate the B2B cold email copywriting process at scale. 

Given below are 3 approaches you can use to craft highly-personalized cold emails at scale with Clay: 

Option 1: Using LinkedIn Bio Personalization 

The first option to use AI in cold emails involves using the prospect’s LinkedIn bio to craft a personalized email. 

Here’s how to get started: 

Step 1: Setup the table & Enrich Data

The first step to use AI in cold emails requires you to set up the Clay table and then click on the ‘Enrich Data’ tab on the extreme right column.

Once you do that, search for “OpenAI” & then select “Complete Prompt” as Clay asks you to add your OpenAI API key to start running the prompt. 

Step 2: Write the prompt 

To effectively use AI in cold email workflows, it’s important to spend some time writing a good prompt – simply because the better prompts you write, the better quality of personalized emails you can generate. 

A basic rule of thumb is to write prompts like you’re explaining to a fifth grader & must specify every detail. 

When it comes to Clay, your prompt should: 

  • Describe your requirements & what inputs you want to base your information on 
  • Describe the output format that you want (including length, writing style & tonality etc.) 
  • Describe the information available to you and how it can be used to generate the desired output. 

Step 3: Personalize using LinkedIn bio 

In the 3rd step, we’ll focus on personalization with AI in cold emails. We’ll write a sentence (or first line) about each prospect’s job responsibilities using their LinkedIn bio. 

To do this, here’s an example prompt that you can use: 

“Tell me the job responsibilities/day-to-day tasks for the person’s role based on the following input: 

Here is the input: /LinkedIn Bio

Now write a one sentence description of their job in under 15 words. Start each sentence using: “I noticed your LinkedIn profile and it seems like you’re responsible for……” 

Based on this, a sample result generated with the prompt would read: 

“Hi {{firstName}}, I noticed your LinkedIn profile and it seems like you’re responsible for managing outbound sales for enterprise tech companies.”

Now while there’s scope for refining it further, this is a good start! 

Using AI in cold emails also leads to better deliverability rates. Even before the Gmail spam update late last year, ESPs have started cracking down on people who send bulk, non-personalized emails. 

If they see you simply changing a few elements & templating the rest of your message, there’s a high probability of the email getting blacklisted. 

Step 4: Generate an AI-powered email 

The previous step covered how to use AI in cold emails for personalization. But the real superpower of a tool like Clay lies in its ability to generate personalized, unique emails at scale. 

Following the logic from step 3, here’s an example of a prompt that’ll help you write a full email to prospects: 

“Write a conversational, short email of up to 50-70 words, including the /First Name, /Company Name and /Company Description. Make sure the email follows a template or structure similar to this: 

Hi {{firstName}}, I noticed that your company focuses on solving retention-related problems for eCommerce brands. I’m curious to know how your sales team is adding new prospects to your sales pipeline. Would it be helpful having someone to manage this for you using organic-only channels?”

Now while this is again a very basic prompt, using tools like OpenAI & Clay can hugely streamline your B2B cold email copywriting process. In a few clicks, you can integrate various tools & components and start personalizing parts of or even full emails. 

You can also generate prospecting ideas & implement them in your outreach strategy, thereby increasing sales & conversions. 

Option 2: Using recent company news or media mentions

YouTube video

The next option to personalize your emails is to use a recent company news or media mention about the prospect’s organization. 

Here’s how you can leverage this insight to write AI-powered emails: 

Step 1: Import List of Companies

To start off, add a new table on Clay, and then at the bottom of the page, click ‘Import Data’ to upload your CSV file. Make sure your list contains the following: 

  • Company name
  • Site domain 

Now if you don’t have the site domain, just add a new enrichment by choosing ‘Get Domain from Company Name’. Once you do that, you’ll see the website URLs of companies on your list in a separate column, 

Step 2: Enrich the data 

To add AI in cold emails using this method, we’ll need to fetch the most recent news article about the companies you’re reaching out to. This is where further enriching the data makes sense. 

Once the pop-up window appears, search for the ‘Find Most Recent News by Domain’ option under the ‘Actions’ tab & then click on it. 

Step 3: Set up the inputs & categories 

The next step to include AI in your cold emails requires you to set up the inputs. To do this, choose the column with the list of company domains. 

Now you can add categories to filter your search & only add information that you really need. This is important because too much data can also cause the cells to reach their size limit, and you don’t want that happening. 

So, let’s say you want to know about the company’s new JVs, expansion or even getting a new investment. To do this, click the ‘News Categories’ drop-down menu and choose the following:

  • Company launches a new partnership
  • Company acquires other company 
  • Company makes investment into another company

Note: You can also choose from the 20+ options in this menu. You can add more of them or deselect a few to fine-tune your search further. 

Step 4: Choose what data to display 

The next step to utilize AI in cold emails under the second personalization method involves choosing what data to add to your table. 

Here, you can add the following data points to your table: 

  • Title
  • Found At
  • URL

Simply toggle on these items under the ‘Events’ section. It must be noted that the ‘News Found Date’ is optional, but it can really help you look for the most recent events. 

Now depending on your goal, you might want to add a specific date. When you do this, Clay will give you news articles more recent than the date you’ve previously entered.

In addition, you can even add relative data, which allows Clay to fetch news articles from say a few weeks ago. Once you’re satisfied with the options at your disposal, simply click ‘Save and Run’ to see queries running on your Clay table. 

Step 5: Verify the results 

Once you’ve completed the previous step, you’ll see new columns being added to your table. These are usually around the date, event title and a link to the particular event. 

Now, you can tweak these options further (to improve your search), while Clay automatically sources all the information you’d need to personalize your emails. 

After the above steps are completed, you can go on to find the decision-makers’ data using LinkedIn inside Clay itself. In the next personalization method, we’ll see how you can personalize the emails based on specific tools or technologies in their stack. 

Option 3: Using technographic data 

Another option to personalize your emails at scale is by using information about the prospect’s technology stack and other technographic data.

This type of data can offer valuable insights into the kind of technologies a company uses to manage their operations & serve customers. Based on this information, you can then craft a pitch referencing those tools or technologies in your emails. 

We recently wrote about this, so you can easily go and check out the detailed article here.

So these were the 3 approaches you could leverage to add some level of personalization with AI in cold emails. Simply choose one of those, depending on the use case that fits your prospects, and you’ll be able to write highly personalized emails at scale in half the time you’d spend on doing it manually. 

Method 2: Using SheetAI  

In case you don’t want to use Clay, another alternative to leverage AI in cold emails is to use a sales email generator. 

These tools are quite a handful, especially when you’re crafting cold emails for a large audience. 

Now you could use AI sales email generator tools like Copy.ai, Smartwriter.ai or Anyword (and they’re all amazing tools in their own right) – but at Cleverviral we prefer writing cold emails at scale for a large audience. 

Which is why we use SheetAI, a ChatGPT cold email writing assistant that lets you craft super-personalized emails inside Google Sheets itself. 

Here’s how you can use it: 

Step 1: Organize Your data in Google Sheets

The first step to use AI in cold emails inside Google Sheets is to lay out your data properly. Make sure to compile the list with relevant fields such as first name, last name, organization, meta title and description alongside other information such as their job title and LinkedIn URL + bio. 

This step is extremely important, since it helps you pick up elements to personalize the message & stand out in your prospect’s inbox. 

Step 2: Setting up SheetAI

SheetAI is what you need to transform your prospecting data into AI cold email personalizations. In order to set up SheetAI, here’s what you need to do: 

  • Sign up to login with your email to begin setup
  •  Add the Google Chrome extension to your browser 
  • And then to Google Sheets in order to convert your spreadsheet data into useful personalization elements. 

Step 3: Activate SheetAI

Post-installation, activate SheetAI through the Google Sheets add-ons menu. Selecting SheetAI unveils a sidebar, preparing your workspace for AI in cold emails generation.

Step 4: Craft your emails 

To add AI in cold emails, simply start by crafting the email directly on the spreadsheet. In a new column titled: “Personalized Email”, initiate the function by using =SheetAI in a cell. 

The next step is to specify and tell ChatGPT the exact output you’re looking for. 

So for example, if the LinkedIn bio of a prospect is given in one of the columns, you’ll refer to it saying: 

“Generate a short email that starts with ‘I noticed your LinkedIn profile & it seems that you’re…..” followed by a quick summary of their professional experience. After that, end the sentence with ‘it made sense that I reach out to you directly. After this, add a line that says: ‘I’m {{Name}} from {{CompanyName}}, where we help companies like yours grow sales by 200%. The likes of {{CompanyName1}} & {{Company2}} have already benefited from our methods. Is that something of interest to you?’

Make sure the output is no more than 100 words & has a conversational tone, just like how real people talk.” 

While you write the prompt, make sure each command is tied to the specific data point you want to refer to in your sheet, such as the LinkedIn bio, prospect’s first name or even company name.

Step 5: Iteration and enhancement

Initial outputs from SheetAI may need adjustments. Scrutinize the AI-powered cold email copy for its pertinence and personalized feel. You can modify the input further to get even more specific inputs using ChatGPT and SheetAI. 

When you follow the above steps, it becomes easier to generate high-quality prospecting emails at scale. Even if you don’t use Clay, the likes of SheetAI will be more than handy when it comes to implementing AI in cold emails. 

Wrapping Up!

AI in cold emails is not just a trend; it’s a game-changer for b2b cold email copywriting. By harnessing the power of AI tools and automation platforms like Clay, crafting personalized, resonant cold emails at scale has never been easier. 

At Cleverviral, our AI powered cold outreach solutions are designed to inject more sales leads and revenue into your pipeline with cutting-edge technology & strategies. 

If you’re a B2B business looking to revitalize your cold email efforts with AI, reach out to us on [email protected]  or fill out the form on our website. 

Until then, happy prospecting!! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why use AI in cold emails?

Using AI in cold emails enhances efficiency and personalization, allowing for the crafting of messages that resonate on an individual level. AI-powered emails automate the process of personalizing content, ensuring each recipient feels directly addressed, which can significantly improve open and response rates.

The strategic application of AI cold email techniques enables senders to analyze vast amounts of data to tailor messages, predict recipient behavior, and optimize sending times.

This not only saves time and resources but also elevates the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns, making them more relevant and engaging to the audience.

What are some useful AI sales email generator tools that I can use?

You can use the likes of Copy.ai, Smartwriter.ai, Lyne.ai or even ChatGPT to craft highly-persuasive, unique emails for prospects at scale. Each of these AI cold email generators use prompts to give you the desired output.

As a result, it’s important that you focus on fine-tuning your instruction as much as possible.

Table of contents

About the Author

Manan

Manan is a B2B copywriter & content strategist at Cleverviral. A content marketer and writer for 5+ years, he has written for our clients like Forms On Fire, Wigzo and Lenovo for their email and other content-related operations.Get in touch with him at: [email protected]

You may also like

Join Cleverviral’s newsletter!

Want more such insights in your inbox? 



Let’s talk and understand your needs together?

Short on time? Let us get back to you.



Join Cleverviral's Newsletter

Get weekly updates on the newest stories, posts, and case studies right in your mailboxes.