How To Personalize Your Email Campaign Effectively
Customers today are accustomed to expecting personalized service, both online and offline. Email marketing has been the channel with the highest ROI consistently, so personalizing email campaigns for better results is a no-brainer. Let us look at how this can be achieved effectively.
Have you ever had to explain to a salesperson what it is that you are looking for? Spending valuable time on carefully outlining the minutest detail so that they can find the product. If not, you would have to go through the entire process again at some other shop. Those were the days of brick and mortar shops. An activity which had taken the form of a family event. Things were planned weeks in advance to carve time out to shop. The landscape has changed now.
Due to the penetration of the Internet and the rapid adoption of mobile devices) in less than a decade’s time, there is a marked change in the shopping paradigm. Today, shopping begins on a digital platform for about 87% of shoppers. Even while visiting a physical store around 71% of the consumers will bring out their mobile devices to search for the product to read reviews and compare pricing. These shoppers favor brands that put efforts into establishing a relationship with them. 1 to 1 personalization efforts that spread across digital and physical, pay huge dividends to brands.
Emailers (email marketing) play a big role in creating those long-lasting bonds between a consumer and the Brand. Email marketing, in 2018, had an ROI of 4400%. This is reflective of the fact that more than 80% of shoppers prefer receiving any type of communications from marketers via email. It then becomes imperative to make emailers as personal as possible. Personalized emails have higher open rates and drive more transactions. Approximately 74% of marketers vouch that a personalized emailer increases customer engagement.
Here is a list of things you can do to make your emailer work wonders:
1. Dynamic Content
Consumers, in today’s media landscape, prefer more personalized experiences due to heavy bombardment of information and a desire for control. Dynamic content, also known as ‘adaptive’ or ‘real-time’ content, provides customers with information that is tailored to their requirements based on pre-determined data sets such as key target segments and demographics.
This makes it easy for marketers to engage at a personal level with their targeted consumers. So, instead of working on varied email content, a marketer sends out one email which is then automatically adapted to predetermined segments. This increases trust in the consumers as it creates a sense of connection between them and the marketer.
Source: Campaign Monitor
2. Personalized Subject Line
We have all learned intuitively to judge an email, if the sender is unknown, based on its subject line. Even in our professional space, we tend to ignore the emails with ambiguous subject lines and either move them into spam or delete them. This has only been proved right by the recent surveys which suggest that about 69% of the recipients report an email as spam based on the subject line. Thus, it becomes very important to add a bit of personal touch to the emails you are sending out. Look at the following example:
Source: Campaign Monitor
3. Who is it from?
Studies have shown that having a trusted sender's name in the emails increases the chance of them being opened. Then it becomes extremely important to have a consistent name and email address. In most cases, it is the name of the brand the consumer has interacted with in the past, or the name of the service he has registered for. While fixing a name for your email communication, you can consider the following:
Avoid using free webmail addresses
No-reply addresses never work – If a consumer is not able to communicate with you via email, you may turn up in the spam section of their inbox.
Valid email addresses allow service providers like Gmail to categorize mailers coming from you.
Make sure your email address is the same as the sender’s name
Do an A/B testing of your emails on various devices
4. Personalization Tags
Personalization tags are a big part of the dynamic content. They help a marketer in tailoring the message w.r.t. the recipient. For this, however, the marketer must have all the data of the recipient. This is done via the subscriber list which is generated when a consumer fills up the form to subscribe for a newsletter or any other service from the marketer.
For example, when a retailer sends out an emailer to a recipient using an automation service provider like Campaign Monitor, they dynamically change the tags to showcase relevant information for the recipient.
When the email is received in the recipient’s inbox, it appears as:
Source: Campaign Monitor
Personalization tags can be used at several checkpoints such as subject lines, Sender’s name and address, email content, etc.
5. Custom Imagery and Video
Just like any other communication, the visual content of an emailer is as important. It helps in making the content more engaging, impactful and increases chances of a reader turning into a consumer.
Studies have shown that humans remember the visual much more than any other part of the communication. Thus, a brand which deploys visual content effectively has a higher brand awareness level than the other. Visual content can be of the following types:
Images can be personalized basis the interest/demographics of the recipient or as per the seasonality of the brand’s offering.
Videos, in today’s digital world, have become a popular tool to pull in receptive eyes. Along with the popular video hosting sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and the likes, marketers have started embedding the videos in the emailers. An email with a video has an increased open rate of about 6%.
Videos present a myriad of possibilities for the marketer. From an introduction video to behind-the-scene video and sneak peeks – all these types of videos can increase customer engagement.
6. Dynamic Offers
Emailers with dynamic content have an improved engagement rate. According to research by the Aberdeen Group, emailers that are personalized, to a specific recipient, have an increased CTR of approx. 14% and see improvement in the conversion rates by over 10%.
Marketers can employ a dynamic content strategy for endless possibilities. Dynamic offers can be clubbed with the abandoned cart emails or with the end of season clearance emails.
A consumer is with a barrage of emailers every day. It becomes near impossible for them to go through each one of them. This, over time, increases the chance of them losing interest in the emails sent out by you and then slowly stop engaging with them. Marketers lose around 25% of their email list every year owing to attrition.
It does then hold great value to a marketer to re-engage with their inactive subscribers. This can be done in various ways, as shown below:
8. Product Recommendations
56% of consumers return Based on your consumers’ purchase and/or browsing history on your website, a relevant and personalized recommendation can be made via dynamic emailers. Studies have shown that these emailers are valuable for upselling and cross-selling scenarios and also help in abandoned cart situations. According to research, to a website which offers them personalized recommendations. This, in turn, helps in increasing the CTR by approx. 300%. Take, for example, Heirlume, a jewelry retailer witnessed a 9% rise in open rates when they started recommending products to their consumers in the emailers.
Another big part of product recommendation emailers is to know when to send them. Now, as per various studies done, there are two key times:
- Right after the purchase introducing him to things like an extended warranty on the same product etc.
- When a consumer abandons a cart, an emailer can be sent to them along with a list of products that might make their day.
The more personalize these emailers are the more relevant they become for the consumers. Thereby, increasing the engagement rates.
9. Behavioral Segmentation
It is commonplace knowledge in this booming digital universe that the more you are aware of your consumers’ behavior, the better are your chances of interacting with them and staying on top of their mind. Knowing them in detail will help you in reaching out to them and prompting them to convert. With customized emailers, marketers can tap into this data and create effective campaigns to grow their businesses.
14% higher open rate Behavioral segmentation is one such process that allows marketers to bucket their TG on the basis of actions they take. Email campaigns that are based on segmentation have a than the unsegmented ones. Different behaviors call for different marketing tactics.
One way of segmenting users is based on the User Status, as following:
Take a look at this emailer from Alignable to one of their regular users, who might be willing to upgrade:
10. Personalized Landing Pages
You have done all the things up till now to get a prospective consumer to open the emailer you have sent across. You have a near-perfect emailer (nothing is perfect), you got the consumer to open it and then click on it but then the consumer lands on a page where he doesn’t find anything of interest to him. Well, you have lost him/her. This is where personalized landing pages come in picture. There are 3 questions you must keep in mind to design a landing page:
- What is the goal?
Who am I competing against?
Who is my audience?
From where did they land on my page?
Great landing pages are crisp, clear and uncluttered. They provide high-quality content to their consumers which inspires trust and confidence. Look at the following example from Neil Patel, where the landing page is customized based on location.
If you are a thriving business or a new one trying to carve a niche out for yourself, emailers are the key to your consumers’ heart. If employed correctly, emailers can help you build a lasting relationship with your consumer whilst allowing you to offer great service. Personalize your emails w.r.t. subject lines, content, and product recommendations. Perform a test, then reassess and analyze how you can improve upon them.
This is the core of email marketing. Just remember, there is no one sacrosanct way. It is all about experimenting with different tools and strategies to figure out what’s working best for your business.