Econsultancy – To use or not to use personalisation in email marketing
I came across a controversial article that caught my attention the other day. It was a statement. “People hate email that names them.”
The intended focus of the article was to suggest to startups that they shouldn’t be starting their emails with Dear [Name] because a study by the Fox School of Business had apparently found that 95% of people responded negatively to emails that greeted them.
Once I tracked down the research the article was derived from, my interpretation of the work by Fox is that the real underlying point behind it is really this:
“If you just keep pushing sales emails to people without giving them any real value, then you’re going to turn them off.”
Well, no real surprise there. I’m pretty sure we all get annoyed with this approach – particularly with companies with whom we have a new relationship with (or worse, no relationship at all). This I would suggest is regardless of whether personalisation is used or not! Not a great technique if you’re trying to run to promote engagement through your email marketing.
These are my suggestions on how to think about personalisation:
People I know well
Certainly on a long term relationship I’d recommend personalising where possible – and sometimes, dependent upon the type of communication I’d occasionally also look to use in the subject line to help cut through clutter.
People I don’t know so well
Short term relationship, or particularly on data you’ve rented, I’d err on the side of caution, as I feel it can certainly cause offense…’where the hell did you get my details?!’.
But how do I know if it’s a good idea?
As with all things email, successful use of personalisation depends upon your audience and your type of communication, and the only thing that will determine how well it works is to test. I’ve seen huge uplift in action or response rates in segments using personalisation compared to those which don’t in the past, with negligible increase in complaints or unsubscribes.
Want to check out the who’s who and what’s what of email marketing?
Read The Buzz.
Other post by this Author