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How Email Personalization and Follow-Ups Can Boost Your Bottom Line

Julie Thompson
Julie Thompson
business.com Contributing Writer
Updated Jan 23, 2023

Giving your customers some personalized attention via email can lead to an increase in sales.

With most consumers demanding personalized shopping experiences and email inboxes exploding at the seams, optimizing your email marketing is necessary for getting your business noticed.

Gone are the days you could send a cold email and get a timely response. Check out what you need to know regarding personalized email marketing to increase customer loyalty and boost revenue.

What is personalized email marketing?

In short, email personalization targets an email campaign to a specific subscriber by using the data and information you have about them. Data may include information like their first name, where they live, the last product they bought, and the last time they visited your website.

According to a recent McKinsey & Company report, companies that excel at personalization generate 40 percent more revenue than their competitors that don’t use that strategy. Top revenue-generating companies provide a custom experience their customers crave by accurately segmenting the right offer at the right time.

Once you leverage the right tactics to step away from bulk messaging, you can make your customers feel like super VIPs, leading to increased engagement and sales.

FYIFYI: McKinsey found that 76% of consumers are more likely to consider purchasing brands that personalize the shopping experience.

Why is personalization important in email marketing?

Personalization is crucial to email marketing practices because, as we mentioned earlier, people want to be seen as individuals. Sending personalized emails and following up on past messages can:

  • Help you stand out within your audience’s inbox with highly targeted and tailored content.
  • Make your emails more likely to be opened and clicked on, boosting your site’s engagement and increasing sales.
  • Strengthen customer experience with your brand or business by sending the right content to the right people at the right time.
  • Build trust, especially if you are selling a high-priced product or service.

Even with personalization, it is common not to receive a response to your first email. Following up is vital. While it may be our instinct to think a consumer might not be interested if we don’t see action, that is not the case.

How can you personalize your email campaigns?

1. Use personalization tags.

A high-converting opt-in form has an aesthetically-pleasing design with branding for cohesion and only asks for the information needed for your particular purpose. When collecting subscriber information from your opt-in form, gather important data, such as:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Business name (optional)
  • Business URL (optional)
  • Permission check box to send emails (optional)

Collecting and using other data can help personalize your emails even further. For example, many technologies can tell you which products or service pages a user was on, and then you can cater product-based emails directly to those users.

2. Segment your email lists.

Customers have varied interests, tastes, and preferences. So, there’s no way you can expect them to be happy with a one-size-fits-all approach. 

To maximize personalization and revenue efforts, you must use market segmentation and divide your audience into groups based on their demographics and interests. You can then use these segments to distribute more relevant and tailored content to each group.

3. Optimize for mobile.

With nearly half of email open rates coming from mobile devices, optimizing your email marketing campaigns for mobile is essential. Email marketing software can provide templates that are appropriate for all types of devices, including a PC, tablet, and mobile phone.

Did you know?Did you know? A mobile-responsive email campaign can increase unique clicks by 15%, according to Mailchimp.

4. Leverage dynamic content.

Dynamic content allows you to show different blocks of content within an email to different segments or lists for a particular campaign. 

For instance, you can create multiple versions of the same email that are personalized based on the information you have about them, such as whether they are male or female or purchase history. Gone are the days of shotgun emails, where you send out a bulk email and pray for results.

5. Use automation to boost relevance and timeliness.

Automated content delivery is about sending the correct information to the right people at the right time. For example, emails can be triggered after a subscriber takes a specific action or hits a milestone. 

Emails can be sent when they purchase a certain number of products, on their birthday or when they need to renew their membership.

6. Follow up.

Keep going if you have not received a response after sending an email. With 70 percent of unanswered sales emails sent, there was only one contact attempt, according to Yesware. Just 19 percent of campaigns tried sending a second email, with 11 percent attempting two or more. Those that sent a second one had a 21 percent chance of engagement as a reward for their follow-up.

Make sure to craft your follow-up emails so they will get a response. The last thing you want to do is to appear spammy or desperate. Use the following action steps to outline your follow-up email:

  1. Edit the subject line.
  2. Remind the consumer that you have contacted them before.
  3. Add value each time you follow up, such as discount code or free webinar.
  4. Write a clear call to action.
  5. Allow the customer the option to give comments or ask questions.

Email subject lines play a massive role in open rates, so follow-up emails should receive well-thought-out edits. Switching up the subject line can prevent your email from automatically going to spam and spark curiosity from the recipient. 

What are some follow-up emails that generate more sales?

By this point, you’re likely sold on email personalization and follow-up emails. So, here’s a quick list of email ideas to generate sales and build brand loyalty.

1. Welcome email

As soon as the potential customer has signed up for your email, you can send them a welcome email that explains who you are and what you do. Think of it as a quick elevator pitch in their inbox when they’ve left your website.

However, manually sending welcome emails isn’t a sustainable business practice. Instead, try investing in one of the best CRM software tools so that you can keep in touch with customers effectively. 

2. Catered content

Whether you’re selling a product or service, now is the time to capitalize on educating your potential customer by sending relevant content that can both build trust through e-commerce, and highlight your brand or product. 

Valuable content can include:

  • Using gathered data to provide the customer with a custom interaction.
  • Providing information to solve a pain point.
  • Thanking them for being a customer.
  • Apologizing for a company shortfall like a website shortfall.

3. Act now emails

Act now email will push for the sale. Include a coupon code or an urgent call to action to get the potential customer to pull the trigger.

Now that you have an idea of the value that email personalization and follow-ups can add to your business, all that’s left to do is to start creating your personalized email campaigns to see which tactic works best for your audience. 

Segmenting your customers, providing a personalized shopping experience, and timely follow-ups take effort. Still, the investment of time and money you make today can quickly increase revenue and take your business to the next level.

Additional reporting by Brock Gratton

Image Credit: Rawpixel/Getty Images
Julie Thompson
Julie Thompson
business.com Contributing Writer
business.comb.
Julie Thompson is a professional content writer who has worked with a diverse group of professional clients, including online agencies, tech startups and global entrepreneurs. Julie has also written articles covering current business trends, compliance, and finance.