11 Tips to Add Personalization to Your Email Marketing Strategy

11 Tips to Add Personalization to Your Email Marketing Strategy

How to use personalization in your email marketing

Personalization of emails that you send to customers is becoming a more common tactic that people are using to connect with potential customers.

This goes beyond just making sure that your email say “Hi {first name}”. It’s about splitting people on your email list into different categories, known as segmenting. For example, male and female, UK or US residents. Repeat customs or new buyers.

In this blog post I will run through a number of tips to help you personalize and segment your email contact list.

Personalization best practice tips

Gather relevant information

The first step to personalizing your emails is finding out more about your customers. To deliver relevant content, you need to know who your customers are, and how to most effectively serve them. What’s the best way to find out this information? It’s to ask.

While you don’t want to ask for so much information that it overwhelms your recipients. You can choose a few specific questions that will help you better serve your customers.

Segment your lists

Once you’ve gathered your data, you can then divide your contacts into buckets. You can separate your contacts into a variety of segments, including demographics, customer type, and location.

For example, the emails I receive from retail stores are often tailored toward men. For retailers, it makes sense to segment their list by gender because they will receive a lot more engagement as recipients click on photos of items they could see themselves wearing.

Create quality over quantity content

Be careful of how many segments or buckets your recipients are in at any one time.

You don’t want to overwhelm your recipients with too many emails. Or overwhelm yourself by having far too many segments to efficiently manage.

Test what segments and emails your recipients respond best to in stages so you don’t spam the inbox with dozens of emails.

Be careful of the creep factor

Personalizing your emails is a wonderful strategy. However I’ve seen emails come through my inbox immediately after viewing a product. That level of automation is unsettling!

So are subject lines like, “We saw you looking…” or, “We noticed you clicked on ____.”

This level of personalization feels like your privacy is being invaded. Give some time and space between someone viewing an item and sending an email.

Don’t stop at the name

When we think of personalization in emails, a lot of us think of including our recipient’s name in the greeting of the email or subject line.

This is a great way to start the personalization or your emails. It is only one way that you can leverage to connect with your customers.

Since so many companies use this tactic in their emails, the name substitution has become common-place, and you’ll need more than your recipients’ names to truly get their attention.

Focus on behavior

One of the best ways to personalize your emails is to look at the behavior of your recipients.

Setting up automated ‘bucket’ for recipients who are heavily engaged (Hot), partially engaged (warm), or not at all engaged (cold) is a very helpful way of organizing your email campaigns and reaching those who are interested in what you have to offer.

You need to talk to different certain customers differently. Wording your email content needs to be different between the hot, warm and cold recipients.

Each type of customer will be in a different position in their buying journey. Therefore, you need tailor the email content to match their journey.

Offer product recommendations with personalization

E-commerce teams know product recommendations are great for creating up-sell opportunities or re-engaging customers.

Rather than sending mass emails that present the same three products to every customer, you can send emails tailored to each individual with truly personalized recommendations they’ll actually click to explore further.

In-email product recommendations offer a huge opportunity to create a truly personalized marketing strategy.

Product recommendations can also help you create an inclusive sense of community.

Including popular products purchased by similar customers is also a great way to encourage additional purchases.

Seeing other customers sharing images of experiences they are having with products is a different way to further entice a customer.

Experience is a huge driving factor in purchases. Will this product enhance day-to-day life? It can be hard to answer that for customers with just a product picture, but with customer-driven content, customers can see others using the product, and begin to imagine how they might apply it in their own life.

Including these types of communications in your emails can help make potential buyers feel a sense of inclusion among other shoppers like them. This gives credibility to their decision to purchase a product or service.

Remember the important moments

As customers, we want to feel like brands care about us as an individual, not just about the money we spend with them.

Another way to add personalization to your emails is by commemorating the important moments or milestones in customer life.

Just like in any relationship, remembering birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates can go a long way. Some examples of these one-off milestone emails include birthdays, loyalty program longevity, anniversary of a first online purchase, etc.

When a company sends you a deal or a gift on your birthday or anniversary, it makes you feel special or important. Because of this positive emotion, you’re more likely to click through and consider cashing in the reward. It’s called the Law of Reciprocity.

Highlight customized incentives

Incentives can drive purchases from new customers and re-engage customers who haven’t purchased from you in a while.

Many people send one-size-fits-all incentives to massive groups of their shoppers. Which may leave customers feeling less than motivated to act on every offer.

Why would a customer buy something full price if they know they’ll likely receive a coupon code soon? Also, not all customers need to be incentivized to make a purchase.

The key is finding a sweet spot that targets every consumer individually and letting them know these offers are unique to them.

Tap into which customers will buy more with an incentive, and which don’t need an incentive at all (but rather a simple email to re-engage them).

While one customer may be inclined to open, click, and ultimately make a purchase all based on a 10% discount, another may not open an email without the promise of 40% off. The trick is understanding and fulfilling the needs of each unique customer.

Use targeted CTAs

To further personalize, you can use dynamic content to customize CTAs (calls to action) for specific segments and buckets.

Using dynamic content means that content within an email will populate based on when it is opened, rather than when it is sent.

Use this opportunity to target customers with content that is specific to them in the exact moment they open it. Using “content blocks,” like widgets on a website, dynamic content can change based on user location, time of day, and more.

Imagine your customers opening an email while they are traveling and rather than seeing static images for products, they see “Products You May Like” and their availability in a store near their location. This gives you the opportunity to engage with your customers in a smart, personalized way. While also giving your customers added incentives to visit your store or your website.

Working with dynamic content is an effortless way to customize CTAs for specific audiences. It gives you the opportunity to A/B test certain content and messages to see what works best with certain audiences.

Make sure you’re sending at the right time

Last, but certainly not least, you can further personalize emails by sending messages at the best time for each individual customer.

Email is still the number one engagement channel for a reason. However, it’s a channel where customers expect to get communications and offers from brands.

But that also means customers are being bombarded with emails daily.

It’s amazing how many marketing emails go directly to trash, unopened, because they arrived at the wrong time.

If you’re not sending an email at a time that works for your customer, the likelihood of customers clicking through to your website, or even opening that email, is slim.

Mass emailing customers at a random time is no longer an acceptable option. To drive true personalization and increase conversion, you can optimize email send time for each individual.

There you have it. Our 11 Tips to add personalization to your email marketing strategy.

If you would like to find out more about how Outflash can help you with your freelance business please drop me an email. I’m more than happy to help.

Thanks for reading.


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