EMAIL PERSONALIZATION TECHNIQUES EVERY MARKETER SHOULD KNOW
In light of all the technological advances we’ve had over the years, it is surprising that the best marketing channel today is still email marketing. Sending messages via email is as old school as it gets. But, based on marketing research and studies, customers still prefer communicating with brands through email.
Don’t believe us? Let’s talk numbers then. There were 269 billion emails sent and received daily in 2017 alone. 99% of people check their email every day. Based on research conducted by Campaign Monitor, people are 6x more likely to click-through an email marketing campaign message than one they saw in a tweet. According to MarketingSherpa, 72% of people prefer to get promotional content through their email than any other channel. In fact, email is 40 times more effective at gaining new customers than Twitter or Facebook.
Here’s one more interesting fact: email marketing is known to produce a 3,800% ROIwhich is an average earning of $38 for every $1 spent. Obviously, any company that wants to make its mark in the market will need to spend quite a bit of time on email marketing.
Of course, sending email after email to potential and new customers about your products and/or services isn’t going to do you a lot of good. If you really want to make a great, lasting impression, then you need to make it personal.
What do we mean by “making it personal?” Consumers these days want to be seen as individuals. A one-size-fits-all message isn’t going to get you more sales. Personalized emails, on the other hand, make customers feel special and relevant. In fact, email personalization can drive transaction rates 6x higher according to the study conducted by Experian Marketing Services.
What is Email Personalization?
So, email personalization. What is it? In email marketing, personalization is when an email campaign is targeted to a specific subscriber by using the data and information you’ve gathered about him/her. This information could be their last name, where they live, what product/s they frequently buy, or any other kind of customer data.
There are several ways you can implement email personalization. The simplest tactic would be to include the subscriber’s name in the subject line. While simple, this type of personalization can actually make your email 26% more likely to be opened by the recipient. More advanced tactics may include tailoring the content of the email according to the subscriber’s location, gender, or any other information you’ve gathered about him/her.
Benefits of Email Personalization
With email personalization, your emails will stand out among all the hundreds of others that people receive. It increases the likelihood of your email being opened AND clicked on. More importantly, it improves customer experience because they receive highly relevant information at the right time. Sounds great, right? Well, that’s not all.
- Increases ROI. Personalized email campaigns can boost your revenue by 5 to 15%.
- Improves sender reputation. The higher engagement caused by personalized emails will decrease the number of spam complaints about your email. It will also lower your unsubscribe rate. These two can improve email deliverability which has an impact on your sender reputation.
- Makes users more likely to share personal data. According to a study conducted by Accenture, 83% of consumers are happy to share their data if brands will use it for personalization of their emails. This ensures they receive highly relevant and timely emails instead of just spam content. In addition, it provides brands with an opportunity to be transparent about their marketing methods, specifically the way they will be utilizing their information. This increases the consumers’ trust in the brand, further boosting the likelihood that your emails will be opened in the future.
- Meets consumers’ expectations. As we’ve already mentioned, asking for personal data requires the company to be upfront about how they’ll be using the information. Naturally, they will expect to receive a customized email that is relevant to their needs and wants. When they do receive one, the consumer’s expectation is met and their trust in the brand feels warranted, thereby increasing their customer experience. If you fail to send them a personalized email, this can cause them to feel frustrated and question the trust that they have placed on you.
What is Personalized email?
We’ve already mentioned that the simplest tactic utilized in email personalization is including the subscriber’s first name in the subject line. Obviously, there’s more to creating a personalized email than just that. Which is why we thought it would be beneficial if we establish the elements of a personalized email.
When it comes to making something more personalized, the keyword is always relevance. You want to establish a connection with the recipient. You can’t do that if your email can’t capture their attention away from the hundreds of emails cluttering their inbox. Now, most marketers already address their emails using the recipient’s first name in the inbox. So, how do you make yours stand out among all the rest? You provide them with relevant content. What’s in your email should have a direct impact on your reader if you want to increase your chances of being read instead of being ignored. For example, an email about your promo on cat supplies would be irrelevant to a dog owner. But sending the same email to a cat owner would most likely result in a sale.
Aside from being relevant, your email to your subscribers needs to be timely. What does that mean? Obviously, you’ve already gathered a lot of information about your recipients. This allows you to gain insight into what your customers need at a particular time.
Let us show you what we mean. Let’s say a customer searches for a certain product or even just a topic on your website. With this information, you already know what your customer needs at this stage so sending an email at this point would likely result in the customer opening your email and clicking your link. Another example would be an email about Christmas tree sales right after Thanksgiving.
Comes from a person
Everyone loves a human connection. An email written by a real person is more likely to be trusted and relatable to the recipient. Based on a test conducted by Hubspot, they discovered that an email from a person in their marketing team had a higher click-through rate than one that was from the company.
What to personalize in emails?
Now that we know the main elements of a personalized email, the next step is to figure out what tactics to use to personalize our email campaigns. There are plenty of tactics you can utilize for email personalization, ranging from simple to the more advanced. We discuss the most useful practices utilized by experienced marketers below:
The most important step to personalizing your email campaigns is to gather all relevant information about your customers. If you want to make your highly relevant content, you’ll need to know who your customers are, what they are interested in, and how you can best serve them. To find out all this information, you’re going to need to ask questions. And not just any questions, you need to ask the right ones.
It’s important that you don’t overwhelm your users with too many questions. Which means you need to ask only questions that can give you insightful data that you can use. For example, you can ask them their main reason for visiting your website.
Segment your mailing list
Segmenting your email list is a well-known practice in email marketing. But in case you aren’t familiar with the term, this is the practice of dividing the subscribers on your list into different groups according to certain classifications. For example, you may divide your subscribers into groups based on location, gender, age, or preferences. The best way to segment your list will depend on the type of business that you are running. For example, for a clothing retail business, it would be great if you could segment your list according to gender. Your male subscribers most likely won’t be interested in receiving information on female clothing.
As we’ve previously mentioned, a personal touch increases the consumers’ trust in the brand. Using names can create that human connection. And we’re not just talking about including the recipient’s name in the subject line. That’s just enough to catch their attention. To increase the likelihood of people opening your email, you can personalize the name on the “from” line. Having an email sent by a real individual is more likely to be clicked. It also generates positive reactions from consumers because your business becomes more personal to them, less automated.
Send triggered emails based on behavior
One of the best ways to practice email personalization is to focus on behavior. Your customers’ behaviors can help you create relevant and timely emails. For example, you can send a timely email regarding the reactivation of a subscriber’s membership or a birthday email. You can even send an email about an abandoned shopping cart. These types of emails can give your customers the feeling that you care about them. It gives them that friendly, cozy feeling we all love getting from our favorite brands. If that isn’t enough to convince you, here’s an interesting fact: triggered emails have a 152% higher open rate. To be able to send emails based on your users’ actions, you will need to utilize marketing automation software.
Allow subscribers to take control
There’s nothing more frustrating than receiving promotional emails you didn’t want and not getting the ones that you’ve been looking for. Instead of letting your subscribers be on the receiving end of your decisions, why don’t you put them on the driver’s seat? Let them be the ones to choose what types of emails they want to receive. Not only does this increase the relevancy of the emails your subscribers will be receiving, but it also lowers the number of people unsubscribing to your newsletters.
Email marketing is a proven method for boosting the revenue of businesses as well as increasing customer loyalty. Email personalization can help you not only reach your customers but add value to their experience as well. There are numerous ways that you can personalize the emails your company sends out. And what you choose would depend on how well it would suit your business. One thing you need to keep in mind is this – if you want to be effective in personalizing your email campaigns, there’s only one thing you need to do: gather all the information you can about potential and current customers.