In the world of email marketing, there’s a lot to be said about personalizing emails. This can be a very time consuming task but the benefits can be significant and measurable.
This recent article published at ifbyphone.com sheds some light on this practice:
Bridging the Email Marketing Gap Through Personalization
October 7th, 2014
While there seems to be a never-ending list of best practices to enhance your email marketing, we’ve rounded up 5 key tips and tricks to underline the importance of personalizing your message. We’ll also touch on a critical blind spot businesses have when tracking the engagement of their email campaigns.
The below suggestions can all be implemented a la carte, but when taken advantage of in tandem can lead to even stronger results for your business.
1. Be a Friendly Sender.
Email senders can greatly influence a recipient’s likelihood to click “open.” While people typically expect messages about transactional or billing information to come from a company directly, one opportunity for increasing engagement for promotional or nurturing campaigns comes through the personalization of the sender. MarketingSherpa, when taking a personalized approach and having their message come from a human being, saw a 137% increase in the open rate for an email campaign they conducted to acquire webinar attendees. When pushing a campaign intended to drive action, try sending your message from a personal sender and track the impact.
2. Send One-to-One Emails.
What feels more personalized: an email that leads with “Hi there,” or an email that starts with “Hi Katherine”? When it makes sense, taking that extra step as a business to add a personal touch to your customer communication can be the difference between making the sale or not. In an era when people have extreme levels of customization on everything from M&Ms to shoes, they’ve come to expect it standard in the simplest of places (like emails).
3. Engage People With the Subject Line and Preview Text.
Make sure you are dedicating time and focus to your subject line. This is the very first thing recipients see in your communication to them and taking time to generate an engaging subject line that catches attention will be worth your while. Get creative!
And don’t forget about the preview text. In most email inboxes these days you see the subject line followed by a little snippet (preview) of the email content. If you’re building emails with a program that allows you to fully customize the preview text without it showing up in your email – great! If not, don’t worry. Preview text defaults to pulling the first line of text from the body of your email. Just make sure you are leading your email with strong content that will further help draw people into opening your message.
4. Segment Email Distribution Lists.
It seems simple to do this, yet many businesses still disseminate the same messaging to their entire customer base and are not actively taking the time to evaluate which people should be receiving which message. Not every customer turns to or engages with your emails for the same reason: one may be a current customer, another signed up to receive your newsletter, or others may no longer open the emails with the same level of frequency. Targeting different groups with customized campaigns will increase relevancy for your customers and prompt them to take appropriate action with your business.
5. Utilize Triggered Emails.
A more advanced way to drive personalization in your email marketing campaigns is to send emails that are triggered based on action (or perhaps lack of action) taken by your customers. If a visitor on your site downloaded a white paper it can automatically trigger a follow up email with a thank you and additional call-to-actions. Maybe a customer placed a few items in their shopping cart on your site yet didn’t make a purchase; triggering an email to let them know those items are still there could lead to a sale. By receiving these triggered emails, your brand and your message remain top of mind with your customers or potential customers. Talk about personalization.
In order to both maintain and grow personalization in your email marketing, make sure you are accurately measuring the results of your campaigns. It is essential, allowing you to understand which tactics and messages are working or not working with your email recipients, and should include both online and offline conversion metrics. Analyzing open rates and clicks from the email can only take you so far. What about the customers who are calling your business, how are you tracking them? Make sure to include a click-to-call number in your email and that you have a prominent phone number on the landing page people click through to. Call tracking enables you to gain a deeper insight into which email campaigns are driving calls to your business that traditional analysis just can’t do for you.