Lack of personalization is one of the worst mistakes you can make when devising your email campaign. Some 39% of marketers do not personalize their emails, while a segmented and well-personalized email letter can increase a company’s revenue by up to 760%.
Without a shadow of a doubt, you have to personalize your email messages based on the peculiarities of your business, customer base, and technical capabilities. But it’s easier said than done. Email personalization requires creativity, tech savviness, and – most importantly – the ability to interpret miscellaneous data into a single coherent message.
So how do you turn your email newsletter into a marketing weapon?
Read on to learn about the most profitable email personalization strategies in 2022.
Three Qualities of a Successful Email
The design of your message may differ dramatically depending on the purpose and target audience, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that any email letter should be the following:
- Relevant: engaging subscribers with your content is only possible if the content is relevant. Unrelated messages confuse, irritate, decrease loyalty, and damage a brand in every possible way.
- Personal: the amount of personal information used in emails correlates with the open and conversion rates.
- Anticipated: the right timing is paramount. A welcoming email letter will work best if sent shortly after registration. A delay may irritate the recipient (Is this a joke?! It’s been two weeks since my birthday!).
Three in four customers expect personalization and get frustrated when they don’t get it; a telltale sign email personalization is the only way you can remain competitive in today’s digital market.
1. Segmenting Customers Into Interest Groups
Your newsletter isn’t the only touchpoint with your customers. As leads interact with your brand – complete quizzes, fill out website forms, etc. – they leave personal information that you can use to customize your message visually and contextually.
For in-depth personalization, you have to segment your audience first. Consider the following criteria when dividing your customers into groups:
- Demographics: location, age, gender, income, education, race, ethnicity, marital status, employment, and every other bit of information you have can be used to personalize your message. For example, for game consoles, it would be reasonable to target adults 16-44; for luxury products – customers with high earnings; for lingerie – women of all ages.
- Imagine messaging your customers at night. You would lose 90% of them in a blink and irritate the remaining 10%. On the contrary, sending emails in the morning hours of a weekday will likely grant you the highest conversion rate.
- Purchase history: You can personalize emails based on the recent activity of your customers. Use the collected information – time of the previous purchase, amount of money spent, the feedback left, etc. – to make your message relevant.
- For example, if your product expires in six months, ask your customers to stay with the brand and entice them with a discount or special offer.
- Hardware and software: different devices, operating systems, and browsers require a different approach to the design of email letters. At the very least, ensure your message looks equally good in the most popular mobile and desktop browsers.
- Engagement level: those engaging a lot might be interested in frequent updates, while some customers may appreciate you not bothering them with insignificant outreach.
- Stage in the sales funnel: convincing cart abandoners to change their mind requires a different message than welcoming new clients. Considering the sales cycle stage is crucial when crafting your message.
Segmentation is the backbone of personalization. It increases the email open rate by 14%, doubles the number of clicks in emails, and reduces the bounce rate by 5% on average, helping marketers execute outcome-driven email strategies.
2. Personalizing as Much as Possible
With over 306 billion emails sent and received daily, you must go the extra mile to make your emails visible. The more personal the message is, the more likely it will attract your target user’s attention.
Here are some personalization tricks you can use:
- Address the recipient by name: it’s no secret that our brains involuntarily respond to the sound of our names, even if we are in a vegetative state. Nothing affects customers as much as when they hear their name. But don’t overuse it; a message may seem auto-generated and/or insincere.
- Send emails from a real person: one of HubSpot’s recent research studies has shown that emails from a real person or a combination of a person and company – not just the company – get more clicks. So next time you’re trying to get your clients’ attention in the inbox, try sending it out from the CEO or other relevant team members. And if you are not sure whether this method will work for you, just conduct your A/B tests.
- Optimize the subject line: no one likes long, unclear, overwhelming sentences. Limiting your subject line to the customer’s name, mentioning exclusivity, and giving them a quick glimpse of what this email is all about is always best practice.
- Personalize images: wouldn’t you be excited to receive a tailor-made email that includes a photo you can relate to, with some personal details? This way of outreach is hard to automate, but it can dramatically increase email performance if done at the right time.
- Flaunt your brand logo: using Google’s Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI), you can attach your brand’s logo to emails, allowing users to identify you from the mounts of messages they receive. Here’s how you can implement BIMI.
Look at the image below – the email letter with a branded logo (italki’s logo) looks better than the one with the ‘i’ letter, even though the difference may seem insignificant at first glance. In this case, the branded logo helps to recognize italki from hundreds of other senders.
- Use behavior-based emails: an email responding to how your customers interact with your brand is one of the best ways to convert. You can strike them with a relevant message tailored to their needs and wants, whether they’re high-intent leads, new customers, inactive subscribers, or cart abandoners.
- Use dynamic content: dynamic content enables automatic data updates as the user opens the email letter. Whether a countdown, the number of products left, or the location of a shipment, dynamic information will update when the customer opens the letter.
- Celebrate milestones: in addition to celebrating your customers’ milestones (birthdays, anniversaries, completion of courses, accumulating a total of points, etc.), you can also celebrate your company’s achievements. Most customers love special offers, discounts, and perks regardless of the occasion.
3. Go Beyond Conventional Email Personalization
Email personalization isn’t only limited to writing a compelling message that allows you to zoom out and see how you can improve by leveraging your marketing technologies and data.
Here is what you can do to enhance email personalization beyond what most marketers do:
- Map the customer journey for every group of customers: from awareness to consideration to purchase to retention to advocacy; each customer journey stage requires a unique message. A detailed customer journey map will help you understand what every group of recipients needs.
- Gather more data with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML): AI and ML will help you automate and scale, bringing miscellaneous data into one place and making it work for a single goal. As Moore’s Law holds year by year, the capabilities of AI and ML will increase dramatically over time. AI-powered data analysis, predictive modeling, and unification allow you to automate and scale what would previously take hours and days of manual labor.
- Use responsive email templates: designing an email from A to Z may be too costly, but not if you already have a few dozen ready-made email templates. Responsive templates look good on all devices and allow plugging in your branded content with a few clicks, saving you tons of resources.
Lastly, don’t forget to regularly update your strategies based on newly acquired information and technological progress.
Email personalization encompasses much more than writing a message. It starts with collecting data and heavily depends on the quality of segmentation, customer analysis, and automation capabilities.
The good news is that you can heighten your knowledge of email and omnichannel marketing firsthand from the best in the industry at MailCon 2023 in Las Vegas. Until we announce more details about our upcoming event, stay tuned for updates on our upcoming events, news, trends, and strategies.