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How personalized images & GIFs can improve your response rates [+ templates]

Image and GIF personalization, 10 outreach templates, Cover image

In today’s crowded Inboxes, the struggle to get a response is real. 

Whether you are reaching out via LinkedIn or email, it has never been easier to get in touch with someone. It’s just that now, standing out in the sea of messages has become an art to be mastered. 

There are many reasons why your ideal lead is not replying. However, each solution to this problem starts with catching their attention. One of the approaches that might not be as popular (yet!) with sales reps, but that showed itself pretty effective is including personalized GIFs and Images into your outreach routine. 

But before you say that personalized GIFs and Images seem unprofessional or that they exceed too much work, let me tell you that I too was skeptical in the beginning. I came across several personalized GIFs our Sales Team uses in their outreach campaigns, and thought to myself - this looks kind of weird. 

However, not until I saw their response rates that went up by 63% and experimented with some outreach campaigns of my own, did I realize the power of personalized GIFs and Images

That’s why I decided to share tips and tricks picked up by talking to sales reps that scaled up Skylead and following top industry professionals on and off LinkedIn. 

In this blog, we’ll touch upon: 

  • How to prepare for outreach to increase your response rates;
  • Why personalized GIFs and Images make people reply to your message;
  • Dos and Don’ts when including personalized Images & GIFs;
  • 10 templates of personalized Images & GIFs that helped level up our Sales Team’s response rates. 

Poor targeting equals poor response rates 

Yes, we’ve gathered here to talk about how to increase your response rates by implementing personalized GIFs & Images into your outreach routine. However, there is one thing that we cannot stress enough. The absolute prerequisite to skyrocketing the number of your replies, Her Majesty - the Targeting. 

You can have the best copy in the world and be the most skilled sales rep that ever walked this Earth, but if you are talking to the wrong person, not much can be done. Yes, there is always a way to ask to be redirected to someone else, but why waste resources? Put some time into LinkedIn prospecting and coming up with a quality outreach plan (messages, channels, segmentation strategy, Images & GIFs), and then just focus on closing the deal. 

Good sales reps have a clear understanding of who they want to reach out to and they handpick leads even when using a sales engagement platform to make their lives easier (‘cause, why not? We do live in the 21st century, after all). You would be surprised how many sales reps don’t reach their quotas just because they feel lazy to put some time into quality targeting. It’s quite a shame, especially because LinkedIn offers lots of options to find different profiles for those who think strategically. 

  • Target leads that attended a LinkedIn event of your interest;
  • Use the LinkedIn poll to survey your ideal prospects and then reach out to your target group;
  • Connect with LinkedIn members that commented or engaged with a certain LinkedIn post;
  • Join a LinkedIn group to make meaningful connections and eventually reach out to other members. Choose a community where your target audience gathers for this approach to work. The more specific the niche, the better the result; 
  • Sign up for Sales Navigator and take full advantage of its advanced filtering options;
  • Apply Sales Navigator hacks that only top-notch industry professionals use when targeting leads.

Why personalized GIFs and images work

They’re eye-catching

GIFs, images, and even vector graphics especially if personalized, are more interesting, dynamic, and eye-catching in comparison to static text. The studies have shown that the average person sees over 5000 marketing messages per day. This number goes up when it comes to decision-makers and top-level managers. Therefore, your message has about 8 seconds to capture your lead’s attention. That’s why, when the lead opens your message, even if initially they didn’t want to reply back, receiving a personalized GIF or Image will stick their minds. Consequently, the chances of getting a response are increasing.

You show extra effort 

Some leads that receive a personalized GIF or Image respond just because they recognize the effort you put into your outreach. And we know that in sales, sometimes all you need is that one response to spiral up the conversation in the right direction. 

They don’t come off as salesy 

Instead of sending a reminder message or trying to sell straight off the bat (which is always a big no-no), going with a personalized GIF or Image seems more low-key, yet far more effective for you lead generation on LinkedIn (or off). It might even make your lead laugh a little bit! And that’s always memorable. 

What to pay attention to 

  • Using humor in your outreach is always a good idea. This applies to personalized GIFs and Images as well. However, before making a joke do your research. Consider each person’s unique cultural background, and avoid anything you even have the smallest doubt might conflict with it. 
  • Don’t use GIFs or Images that make fun of your or your lead’s competition. It’s just a sign of bad sportsmanship and never comes off well. 
  • Keep it short and to the point.
  • Be prepared that not everyone will appreciate it. Sending personalized GIFs and Images can be a two-edged sword. But - If you don't take risks, you don't drink champagne.
  • Know when to stop. If the first doesn’t work and you don’t get a response, don’t send another personalized GIF or Image. Go with a backup plan. 
  • A/B test different personalized GIFs or Images to get a response that you wish for. 

How to make a personalized GIF or image? 

There are two ways to personalize a GIF or Image - manually or through a sales engagement platform. 

I and our Sales Team use Skylead’s native Image & GIF hyper-personalization feature. However, you can do it manually with any other tool you feel comfortable with. 

As far as Images and GIFs are concerned, we simply download them from the internet or from Giphy, for instance. More creative ones take their own photos or mini videos that turn into GIFs on Ezgif (super-easy, btw) and then personalize them to fit their leads (and needs). 

If you’re using Skylead for your outreach, this is how including a personalized GIF or Image looks on LinkedIn and in an email. 

LinkedIn message

A personalized GIF or Image shows as a link with a preview. That way your lead is more likely to click on it, as people tend not to open these kinds of files otherwise. 

Email message

A personalized GIF or Image is fully embedded in the body of the email and it shows as represented below.

10 templates of personalized images & GIFs

Send a personalized Image to your lead to invite them for a zoom chat. 

Hello Amie, 

Thank you for adding me to your network! 

I saw that you’re a Head of Marketing at Edge Project. I help B2B companies generate more leads through deep personalization on LinkedIn. 

Let’s jump on a Zoom call sometime this week?

Personalized Image Call-to-Action Zoom Call Example

Example #2 Conversation starter 

Thank your lead for accepting your Connection Request. This can be an excellent conversation starter. Adding a message copy is optional, as this personalized GIF speaks for itself. 

Personalized Gif Conversation Starter Glad to Connect Example

Example #3 Humanize your pitch

People want to talk to real people not company pages anymore. This is the number one concept ​​of social selling. Yes, LinkedIn has account profiles as well, but outreach should always be done by people who work in these companies and should represent the personification of that brand. Showing your face in the outreach improves response rates.

Personalized Image Example Sales Pitch

Example #4 Overcome common sales objections in a humorous way 

One of the most common objection handling situations is I already have a solution. If you don’t know how to approach it, break the tension with a humorous personalized GIF or Image, and then take it from there. 

Personalized Image Overcome Sales Objections Example

Example #5 Ask for something 

Asking complete strangers to fill out a survey or give your their feedback (or anything for that matter) is a really arduous task, as they don’t owe you anything. The truth is, no one owes you anything. However, feedback and surveys help you and your business grow. Always be listening to your customers, right? Here’s a fun way to get a response.

Hello Iris, 

Thank you for attending my webinar “Content Marketing For Niche Markets”. 

Quick question - what were the most valuable lectures for you? Is there anything you found redundant for your niche in particular? 

Personalized Image Ask For Feedback Example

Example #6 Make your email invite more casual 

There are so many different professional communities and popping a link to your lead to join yours is not enough anymore. You can always lighten up your message with a personalized GIF and make your lead click on the link to at least check it out for a start. It will definitely draw attention among others who just write something like Join my community here {{link}}. 

Hello Marie, 

I saw that you are Head of Sales at FlyProject. I have this community dedicated to the sales industry that I would love you to join.

We discuss - cold outreach, growth tactics, and anything sales-related. 

Here’s the link

Hyper Personalized GIF Join Community Example

Example #7 Make them ask you for more information

Experiment. Play with your outreach. You will only know if you try. Yes, some might say that this message should maybe give more information about the event itself. However, have in mind that nowadays everyone checks out you and your company on LinkedIn before replying to any sort of message either way. 

Hey Helen, 

Wanna join my…

Personalized Gif Event Invite Example

Example #8 Pinpoint a problem that you offer a solution to 

You can make an industry-related joke and strengthen it with a personalized GIF so that your offer doesn’t seem too salesy. 

Hey Jeremy,

What does the SEO professional see when they see twins?

Duplicated content.

Jokes aside, every business needs an SEO touch-up, and I just might be your girl! 

Personalized GIF Offer of Service Example

Example #9 Illustrate your end-goal in a non-salesy manner 

As mentioned above, GIFs and Images in outreach can be an excellent alternative to a salesy message. Or, at least, then can soften it a bit. 

Hello James, 

I don’t know if you’ve heard the news, but JKL Transportation & Logistics has a truck shipment that currently offers the highest number of destinations around the world. 

Since you expressed some concerns regarding truck shipment in David Jones’ post, I just wanted to offer help and clarification regarding some issues. I truly believe that E-jewel can benefit from it! 

Let me know what you think! 

Image personalization with logos example

Example #10 Pump up your lead’s enthusiasm

Booking a call or scheduling an appointment should not be taken for granted! Not only did you work hard for it, but it is equally important to keep your lead pumped for it as well! Replying simply with Ok, it’s a deal can be substituted with something like this. It will keep your lead excited as well and eager to hear what you have to say! 

Alright, Danny! 

It’s a date! Monday, at 3 pm. 

Let it rain meme

To sum up

Yes, the struggle to get a response is real but pretty overcomeable with the willingness to think outside the box.

‘Cause, what would you rather - work hard and book less or work smart and book more? 

The way you do your outreach directly mirrors the way you do your business. People recognize that. Putting extra effort into addressing your leads communicates that you are the person who always strives to deliver more than expected. And who wouldn’t want to work with someone like that?

Speaking of, you know who also strives to deliver more than expected? Skylead. Sign up for a 7-day free trial, and see it for yourself! 

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