It’s safe to say the goal of every marketer is this: connect with your customers in a way that promotes customer loyalty and increases sales.
In the digital marketing realm, there are several ways to reach out to customers, but studies continue to show that email marketing is the most effective digital marketing method, and it has the highest ROI.
So, that makes it simple, right? You’ll just send out a couple of emails to your subscribers each week and wait for the customers to come marching through the door.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t typically work out that way. While email marketing is one of the most popular marketing methods, and while there are plenty of tools to help facilitate successful email marketing, there is still a science to getting email marketing right.
This post will focus on one of the most important aspects of hitting the nail on the head when it comes to email marketing: personalization.
After all, 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement, and personalized email messages boost click-through rates by an average of 14%, and improve conversions by 10%.
Today, we’re sharing three steps for personalizing emails to maximize engagement from your subscribers.
Step #1: Create Your Personalization Strategy
When you think of personalization, the first thing that comes to mind may be including your subscriber’s name in the email. While this is definitely an integral part of personalization, it’s not the only part of personalization, or even the most important. As you create your personalization strategy, here are some unique ways you can personalize your content.
- Behavioral - With the help of an email marketing provider, you can collect telling behavioral data about your customers, and schedule personalized messages to send based on behavioral triggers. For example, if a customer purchases from a previous promotion, you can send them relevant follow-up information.
- Weather - Another way to personalize messages is to send tailored content based on your subscriber’s local weather. For example, when there is a giant rainstorm in a given location, Timberland sends emails that promote its rain apparel, complete with a personalized weather report.
- Location - Use your subscriber’s location to send out relevant emails, no matter where they live. For example, are you having a pop-up sale on flights from Sydney? Don’t send that email to everyone; just your customers in Sydney.
- Name - It’s fun to personalize an email with a name, but it’s even more fun to add a unique spin on the tactic to make sure the name stands out. For example, The Feed uses the subscriber’s first name, and puts it in a fun, eye-catching color.
Remember you can leverage consumer data to send personalized messages that resonate with your subscribers on several levels.
Step #2: Review each Part of your Email
Did you know that personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates? If you’re looking for similar results, then it’s important to approach your email content with a fine-toothed comb. Here are some ways you can personalize each part of your email.
- Subject Line– Check that the personalization makes sense in context of the subject line. Additionally, review your grammar, optimize your subject line for length, and don’t forget to set up default text in case you don’t have the subscriber’s name on file.
- Preheader – The preheader text is a short summary that follows the subject line when opened on a mobile device. Since the number of emails that are opened on mobile devices has grown by 30% in recent years, it’s essential that your preheader text is on point. For best results, consider personalizing your preheader text and making sure it’s the correct length.
- Header – If you are using a different font for your header personalization, make sure it matches the rest of the email. Additionally, you can use Litmus for testing to ensure it resonates with the right crowd.
- Body - Feel free to use advanced personalization like dynamic content in your body text. Take the time to test multiple variations, check for grammar and spelling, and use your copywriting skills to woo various subscriber audiences.
- Call-To-Action - Your call to action should be clear, easy-to-find, and should link to the right place. When it comes to personalization, include tracking links to help you determine whether or not your message was effective.
Your subscribers aren’t going to read a novel, so it’s up to you to write a grammatically correct, concise message, and only include the personalized points that speak to your target audience.
Step #3: Don’t Forget These Vital Steps
The last step to personalizing your emails involves being familiar with the capabilities of your email service provider, and using all the right tools to make personalization easier. Here are 6 final steps you should take before hitting “send.”
- Check Data Fields - Your personalization is only as good as your data, so double-check that your data fields are correct. After all, you don’t want to send your subscriber, “Nanette,” an email that says “Dear Name.”
- Include Fallbacks - Thankfully, there is a way to account for data fields that might not be populated. Fallback content is content that applies to all your subscribers and takes the place of any missing data. For example, if you don’t have Nanette’s name, you can include a fallback that would say something like “Hello Friend.”
- Optimize your Send Time - Another part of reaching subscribers is sending emails at the time they are most likely to open. It can be different for different audiences. Your email service provider will analyze your audience and find an optimal send time for you.
- Design Review - Take the time to test multiple name lengths, special characters, and the visual alignment and clarity of your images, copy, and headers.
- Create an A/B Test - Send one email with personalization and another without. Then, review the results for yourself.
- Ensure it’s Responsive - You never know if your subscribers will open your email on a desktop or a mobile device. Check if it looks good on both.
Each of these steps will help you create an engaging, eye–catching, and personal email that feels like it was written for each and every individual subscriber.
Personalize Emails and Watch the Results
Email marketing is the most proven and results–oriented digital marketing method. However, personalization involves much more than adding your subscriber’s name to a list.
Before you send out each email, take a look at the checklist above and follow each of the steps. You’ll be glad you did, especially when you start seeing positive results.