Our awesome guest post this week is from Ash Salleh. Ash is the Director of SEO at Campaign Monitor, where he works closely with content, copy, and analytics teams to improve site-wide optimization. Prior to his time at Campaign Monitor, he also provided SEO and digital marketing expertise at Zappos and Axiata Digital.
In this era of automation and hyperconnectivity, there’s no doubt that our lives as consumers are easier than ever before. Although, that’s not to say that these technological advances don’t have their downsides.
Technology robs us of valuable human interactions. You can order food, go shopping, and even transact with your bank without ever getting off your couch or leaving your house.
This severe lack of personal connection is the reason why the vast majority of today’s consumers prefer brands that provide personalized experiences. It also means that if you want your target audience to notice your brand, you need to personalize your engagement with them.
There are a variety of areas where you can apply personalization tactics. However, if it’s maximum engagement and revenue you’re after, then it might be beneficial to focus your personalization efforts on email marketing.
Here are three email personalization strategies that can help you achieve all these goals (and more).
Strategy 1: Optimize your email subscription forms.
At the core of your personalization efforts is a wide range of customer data. For your personalization to be a success, you’ll need to make the most out of the customer information you have at your disposal.
Consider optimizing your signup forms if you don’t have a ton of customer information to work with. Add extra fields to your forms so you can gather more information about your subscribers, which will help you personalize your messages.
The details you ask for will depend on what type of product or service you sell. For example, if you run an e-commerce shoe store, you can include fields where subscribers can input their shoe size and gender.
If, on the other hand, your brand works in travel and hospitality, you can ask subscribers where they’re located. This information will help you send targeted offers to subscribers based on their location.
Strategy 2: Choose your email marketing service wisely.
Email service providers (ESPs) are a dime a dozen, but that doesn’t mean they’re all created equal. Some have much more advanced personalization features than others, so it’s important to choose the best one for your brand.
Whether your brand is a startup taking its first foray into email marketing or an established business looking to change providers, here are some features to consider.
Personalization would be virtually impossible without segmentation, so it’s critical that your ESP is up to the task. You need to use an ESP that enables you to easily segment your list based on various data points so that you can send targeted emails to each of your subscribers.
Use an ESP that has a vast selection of pre-designed, mobile-responsive email templates. These templates make it easy for you to design an email, duplicate it, and then just swap out or edit certain fields depending on which segment you are sending to.
Your brand most likely already uses various digital tools or software in the course of its operations. It’s crucial that you choose an ESP that can integrate with the tools you already use because they contain a treasure trove of customer information that you can use for personalization.
Through automation, you can set up various emails that your ESP automatically sends to subscribers when they meet specific triggers. This ensures that your subscribers receive relevant messages at exactly the right time.
Your holiday emails are some of the easiest emails to automate. You can set up the workflows for all your holiday emails at the beginning of the year and your ESP will take care of the rest. All you have to do is wait for the revenue to come pouring in. What a breeze, right?
Strategy 3: Personalize your emails
Take advantage of your new ESP and craft relevant, personalized messages that your subscribers will take interest in. Using your ESP, you can personalize the following email elements:
- From name - Edit the from name so that it contains the name (and photo) of an actual person within your company. This makes your message more appealing to open and also fosters trust.
- Subject line - You can also use the subscriber’s first name in the subject line. Best practices also dictate that the first name is closer to the beginning of the subject line rather than the end.
- Body copy - You can also address your subscriber in the body of your message. Add your subscriber’s first name in the actual copy of your email. In place of a generic, “Hi there!”, instead use something like, “Hi there, Amy!”.
- Images - Leverage dynamic content and include images in your email that change depending on the subscriber. For example, if you manage a fashion brand and you’re sending gender-specific offers, you can use dynamic images so both your male and female subscribers see images that are relevant to each of them.
When it comes to email personalization, there is no one-size-fits-all solution that applies to everyone. Each brand is different, which means each solution will also vary. Don’t be afraid to experiment with how you personalize your messages in order to find the techniques that work for your brand.
When you take your email personalization strategies to the next level, you’ll see a marked improvement in your customer engagement, conversion rates, and of course, your overall ROI.
Begin your journey to personalization by following the advice mentioned in this blog. Don’t worry if you don’t have the resources or manpower to implement each and every strategy. Start with what you can and ramp up your efforts once you realize clear results.
You can also compare your results and see how your emails stack up to others in your niche by using the latest email marketing benchmarks as your guide.