Email Marketing Personalization: 9 Ways to Make Email All About Them
It’s the age of engagement. People are immersed in social media, building their own personal brands online, and expecting extremely relevant, meaningful marketing from the companies they hear from.
As a Hubspot blog post said recently, “The next wave of inbound marketing genius is personalization.”
Now it’s personal. Very.
However, personalization means more than a name, although that first name can go a long way to help. Beyond the “Dear Name” in your salutation, consider the message itself, the timing of it, who it comes from and more. All of these are components of personalized email marketing… and all of these can help build trust with your subscribers, and work towards strengthening their relationship with you and loyalty to you.
Below are nine ways to build a more personalized email marketing program. Some you might not have considered… but should:
- Get a name—Upon signup, ask for a first name, at the very least. Of course, you want to keep the information you ask for to a minimum so people don’t click away, unwilling to hand over too much data. But that name will help you get personal.
- Use that name—This is personalization at its most basic: Use that first name in your salutation, as a “Dear John”. Then use it elsewhere in your email too, maybe in the body text one or two times. That will get noticed! It’s almost expected too, as print pieces use variable printing that delivers highly personalized direct mail using the recipient’s first name.
- Give them a choice—You can be more personal when you deliver the email they want, when they want. Offer a preference center to help you deliver personalized messages with the content and frequency each subscriber chooses for themselves.
- Segment your subscribers—Upon signup and whenever you can thereafter, segment and refine your lists and audiences, so the messages you deliver are relevant to specific customer groups rather than generic for the whole list. If your email marketing program is still pretty basic, you likely won’t be able to collect and use the kind of data that leads to sophisticated, specific messaging, but you can still do something to make your emails seem more relevant, and therefore personal, even if you’re only collecting ZIP codes.
- Use a welcome email—The welcome email can be a powerful email marketing tool, right away reassuring people that they did the right thing in subscribing (thereby avoiding possible “buyer’s remorse”) and beginning the relationship building that will eventually lead to the long-term loyalty you ultimately seek.
- Use your name—OK, maybe not your name per se, but somebody’s real name. Getting personal is a two-way street. Using a real person’s name in your From address, and signing those email messages with real names, job titles and even contact information will take your emails from boringly bland to powerfully personal.
- That applies to the From email address too—Make the From/Reply To a real email address too, not a donotreply@ or sales@ or some other generic, impersonal email address.
- Let them reply—Let people respond to the email they receive from you rather than go to a website or make a phone call. That takes your email marketing to a whole new level, a level at which you’re not only pretending to be more personal, real and easy to engage with… you’re actually being personal, real and easy to engage with.
- Make it automatic—Utilize automated emails to keep delivering content relevant to your audience in a personal way, meaning with targeted, relevant messages. Determine your segments, and develop a content strategy that works for each. Set it up and let it go to work for you, for personalized email with very little effort.
Using techniques like these to personalize email and deepen engagement means email marketing will continue to thrive and be an indispensable marketing tool for your business and your bottom line.
Takeway: How do you make your marketing messages stand out in a crowded inbox? Get personal! It’s easy with these great tips for taking your emails from easy-to-ignore generic to can’t-wait-to-open-it standout, from the obvious use of a first name to the not-so-obvious real reply address.