No one wants to feel like just another customer. People love individual attention. They want to be seen as individuals who you know by name and truly appreciate. As Dale Carnegie puts it, "A person's name to that person is the sweetest and most important sound in any language."
Long story short, the days of one-size-fits-all-messaging are long gone. Modern consumers have come to demand and expect relevant and personalized content and experience, whether online or offline. Failing to personalize your emails isn't just a sign of incompetent marketing. It's just plain bad business.
Sending highly relevant, tailor-made materials and following up on past emails are key to customer retention. Not only do they strengthen customer experiences and make your emails more likely to be opened, but they also make you look darn good. And thanks to certain marketing tools, personalizing your emails and following up has never been easier.
What is personalized email marketing?
In short, email personalization is the act of targeting an email campaign to a specific subscriber by using the data and information you have about them. This may include information like their first name, where they live, the last product they bought, and the last time they visited your website, among others.
According to Campaign Monitor, "[Personalized email marketing] is proven to increase opens rates and drive revenue by as much as 760% because it helps marketers give subscribers more relevant, individualized content."
Once you leverage the right tactics to step away from bulk messaging, you can make your customers feel like super VIPs, which can lead to increased engagement and more sales.
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, hence boosting engagement to your site 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
Several studies have found that emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than those without. Other studies have shown that click-through rates are 14 percent higher and conversion rates are 10 percent higher when personalization is part of the general email content.
Looking at those impressive numbers, it's obvious that personalized emails are key. Why? Because instead of your subscribers receiving an email campaign with generic offers and messages, they will receive emails that are targeted directly at them These emails include their names and provide offers, such as products and promotions, that are relevant to their interests.
Beyond that, by sending follow-up emails, you have a 21% chance of getting a response to your second email if you didn't get a reply to your first one. Following up with your subscribers also shows that you care about their experiences with your products or services and can help establish a closer relationship with your email audience.
How can you personalize your email campaigns?
1. Use personalization tags
When collecting subscriber information from your opt-in form, make sure to gather important information like the user's name, email, location, etc. Collecting and using other data can help personalize your emails even further. There are many technologies out there that 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. This is why you need to 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. Leverage dynamic content
Dynamic content allows you to show different blocks of content within an email to different segments or list for a particular campaign. For instance, you can create multiple versions of the same email that's personalized based on the information you have about them (like whether they are male or female, purchase history, etc.) Gone are the days of shotgun emails where you send out a bulk email and pray for results.
4. Use automation to boost relevancy and timeliness
Automated content delivery is all about sending the right information to the right people at the right time. Emails can be triggered after a subscriber takes a specific action or hit a milestone. This can be when they purchase a certain number of products, it can be or their birthday, or when they renew their membership.
5. Follow up!
If you haven't received a response after sending an email, you can send two to three follow-up emails to increase your reply rate by as much as 21% compared to the initial email. Just 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.
What are some follow-up emails that generate more sales?
By this point, you're likely sold on the idea of email personalization and follow up emails. Here's a quick list of email ideas that will 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 that will be in their inbox for when they've left your website.
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 and highlight your brand or product. A good example would be Springwell Water's email that explains the difference between a salt-based water softener and a salt-free softener. They then follow up with an email that pushes potential customers to some of their best reviews.
3. Act now emails
An act now email is one that 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. And don't forget to follow up on your email messages (only if you do not get a response on your initial email after a specified time).
All in all, just let your customers know that you care and they'll respond in kind.