When people give you their email addresses, it’s like they are giving you the keys to their homes—a coveted means to communicating with them. Unfortunately, over time, too many businesses have jeopardized the email relationship with consumers by bombarding recipients with an onslaught of emails, or even worse, emails of sub-zero value.
Now, more than ever before, email marketing has become a minefield for marketers. Are you respecting local legislation regarding email opt-ins/opt-outs? Are you always providing relevant information to those who receive your emails? Have you created the right email messaging and design so that recipients don’t graze over your email or simply hit the delete button without giving it a second thought?
Indeed, marketers are walking on eggshells when it comes to email marketing.
Naturally, bland and impersonal emails no longer cut it in your competitive landscape. After all, if subscribers feel like they personally don’t matter to your business, why should your business matter to them? “I want generic and monotonous emails send to my inbox every week!” Said. No Email Recipient Ever.
In today’s consumer push for unforgettable experiences, authenticity and relevancy, personalization has become top-of-mind for many marketers. However, according to a study by Litmus, still only 21% of consumers reported that they received a memorable promotional email in the past two months.
Ditching email blasts and getting on board with personalized emails makes good business sense. Why?
The glut of stats hailing the powers of personalization go on and on.
If you’re still rinsing and repeating your email campaigns across all market segments, personas and sales readiness, it’s time to stage an intervention. Here are just some of the basics to incorporate personalization into your email campaigns.
1. Integrate your email platform
Link your email platform with your other sources of subscriber information such as website forms and self-managed subscriber settings, CRM, online store, etc. This will help you build better user profiles, which will include names, demographics, purchasing behavior, paths to conversion, etc.
The ideal is to have an interconnected system that gathers all your data in one place. This type of system is called a CDP (Customer Data Platform) and allows you to have a unified view of each of your customers by extracting data from each source, cleaning it and combining it to form a unique customer profile. This data is then automatically ready for use.
This is also what the Dialog Insight platform allows you to do to help you at this stage.
2. Segment your email lists
The more targeted your emails are, the more you will win and the more satisfied your contacts will be. Indeed, an eMarketer study shows that 39% of companies that segment their contact list see an increase in their opening rate, 28% note a decrease in the unsubscription rate and 24% observe a better placement in inboxes. That’s not insignificant!
Base yourself on your campaign objective, and then, create segments based on various criteria that are right for the products or services you are trying to sell. At a minimum, your segmented lists should be based on the stage in the buyer’s journey, interest in which specific product or service you offer, and persona. However, other specifics, like gender, location, and age may also be important. Some of your segmentation criteria will be effective on their own, and some will only work in combination with others.
To determine your personas, a detailed analysis of the motivations that lead them to choose your solution over another, their purchasing habits as well as psychographic and demographic criteria is necessary.
Then, for each email segment, map out what problem you solve for the recipients. Remember, just because you are selling Product X, you may be addressing different pain points for different personas.
3. Make sure you’re capturing the right data
It may sound obvious, but your data collection strategy is the very foundation of personalization.
Review all means by which you receive information about your leads and customers, such as contact forms, registration pages, sales reps, tradeshows, etc. Are you getting the right data? Is your email platform actually being populated with it? Do tweaks need to be made to your online collateral or do you need to revamp different processes to optimize data collection?
The steps to collect the right information about your customers and prospects are as follows:
- Determine the key data that will allow you to better personalize your communications
- Identify the best collection methods for this data, taking into account your sources of information
The goal is not to assault potential email recipients with a barrage of questions to answer to fill out every single data set, particularly if trivial and pointless. But no data equals no personalization.
In short, prioritize the quality of your data rather than the quantity, and you will have a better chance of obtaining more qualified and, above all, more loyal addresses.
4. Determine how personal you want to go
The personalization of your emails is a sign of relevance to your audience. The more relevant you are, the more likely your contacts will be to take the desired action and the more satisfied they will be.
According to an Accenture study, 75% of consumers say they are more likely to buy if they receive offers tailored to their behavior and preferences. In addition, according to eMarketer, 70% of marketers have noticed an increase in customer engagement when they send personalized communications.
There are several ways to personalize an email beyond the standard “Hello John.” Here are other ways to do it:
- Personalize the “From” address, such as an account manager, customer success representative or even the CEO
- Craft a highly creative and engaging subject line for each segment
- Use dynamic and contextual within your email body, based on triggers aligned with immediate or past behavior
- Offer recipient-centric promotions or other goodies based on preferences, interests, birthdays, etc.
- Develop customized landing pages, based on follow-through with your email content, so that recipients aren’t jarred at clear lack of content seamlessness
5. Test, test, test and then test some more
As with any digital marketing initiative, conducting long-term A/B testing can significantly help you to improve email open and click-through rates over time. Remember that just because you think you “know” your email recipients doesn’t mean that you do.
Apart from A/B testing emails, you can also take advantage of data gleaned from Google Analytics, heatmaps, and even your sales and customer service teams to gain insight into how users conduct their pre-sale research and engage with your company.
Personalization is at the heart of any email and can generate far better results for your acquisition and loyalty campaigns. The future promises to offer marketers even more advanced tools, such as predictive analytics and artificial intelligence. Will you be in on the game?