Email Personalization: Reach the Audience, Not Just the Inbox

a non-personalized message

With email marketing generating the highest ROI for marketers, there’s no question why our inboxes are flooded with new messages all day, every day. So, with everyone on the bandwagon, how do you make your emails stand above the crowd and fight the clutter? The answer? Email personalization.

Targeted, custom emails that speak to the specific needs and interests of your audience are over 70 percent more likely to increase customer engagement.

Here are some ideas to consider and samples of how companies have demonstrated their customization skills to grab my attention as I scroll through the monsoon of messages I get on a daily basis.

Play the name game

Say my name, say my name. Beyoncé isn’t the only one who wants to hear her name, and your email contacts feel the same way. According to Campaign Monitor, a personalized email with your customer’s name is 26 percent more likely to be opened, and getting a customer to view the email is half the battle!

Simple email personalization with a customized subject line (plus a promotion) is a well proven way to entice audiences to come back.

Automate important dates

Anniversaries, birthdays, milestones and more. Significant days like these play a huge role in everyone’s lives, and you can also lean on those dates to help build your email relationships. By setting up automated campaigns that are triggered by dates, you can show your customers that you notice them and want to celebrate these special days with them also!

Evite recently took a creative spin on getting my attention by reminding me that around this time last year, I used their site to send out party invitations. They encouraged me to come back again this year to do the same.

Some of their recent emails boasted their “shiny new features” and included a direct CTA to “see how they work,” which was intended to draw subscribers back to their page to start creating fun new invites to entice potential partygoers.

Pay attention to previous interactions

While we all know there’s a lot of thought that has to go into email marketing, when you start to dive into customization be sure you’re also truly putting enough consideration into making it personal for each individual. Relax, I’m not talking about handwriting a bunch of love letters here, but by the use of dynamic data and more complex-option API scripts, you can show your contacts that you’re not a one-size-fits-all type of communicator. Take a look at how users are already interacting with your brand and then capitalize on that in your email content to customize messages on a mass scale. This shows your subscribers you’re paying attention and allows you to tailor your messaging in ways that will best benefit them. In return for this custom interaction, your customers’ brand loyalty increases and they ultimately become repeat consumers.

Uber recently took a look at how I’ve used their services lately and then crafted that info into a visually appealing, personalized email. The message pointed out how they’ve benefited me in my travels and shared encouragement on continuing to use their product and emphasized how to best utilize the features offered.

Test your targeting

Practice makes perfect, and of course this is true for personalized emails too. Before shooting off any fancy custom emails, test, test and TEST again to always make sure your dynamic values are populating correctly and your end communication is accurate. While speaking directly to your customers’ preferences is sure to boost your relationship, it could actually bust your efforts if your messaging isn’t targeted properly.

Recently a colleague shared a funny example of an email attempt to target his purchase intent.

The subject line read:

“ ☀️Adam’s perfect summer dress ☀️ (+ extra 50% off sale!)

While the thought and discount promotion were appreciated, unfortunately Adam wasn’t in the market for their latest summer dress collection and instead got a good laugh and a lesson learned on what happens when dynamic personalization is set up incorrectly.

…and more!

These examples of email personalization can be easily integrated into your current email campaigns to upgrade your communication with simple, yet sophisticated fine-tuning. For more information on email marketing, check out our white paper, Engage or Disrupt? Maximizing Content Investment Through Email Marketing.

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