When you make a new contact, typically you would add the potential buyer to your email list. Then, maybe you send a Welcome email, maybe you forget. But you should send one! This is the start of your relationship, and it's the most important time to begin building trust with your prospect. Yet many businesses overlook this critical step and jump into what's easy: promoting their offerings.
Don’t do it! Successful marketers will tell you that the days of sending the same message to all contacts are long gone. Prospects — and clients — now demand content that is both relevant to them and personalized. (Yes, there is a difference.)
When asked to prioritize one email platform feature that would be most essential for marketing in the coming years, 82% of marketers said “personalization.” In addition, 74% of marketers mentioned that targeted personalization boosts customer engagement, and they witnessed, on average, a boost in sales by 20% when using personalized email campaigns.
What is Email Personalization?
Email personalization is sending email campaigns to prospects and/or clients that feature personal details. This includes, but is not limited to, a contact’s first name, company name, location, possibly the product or service they last bought from you.
The Importance of Personalizing Email Campaigns
Personalizing email campaigns is a proven method to increase your email open rate and click-through rate. Email personalization can have a quantifiable impact on your business’ ROI and revenue.
Research shows that emails with personalization in the subject lines alone are 26% more likely to be opened than those without personalized subject lines. Another study revealed that revenue generation is 5.7 times higher through personalized emails. Plus, 50% of marketing influencers have also reported that email personalization is the most impactful email marketing strategy.
The reason? Personalized emails are more relevant and valuable for clients and prospects. Think about it: Aren’t you more likely to respond to an email that is specific to you? Every time I receive an email that opens with “Dear Colleague” I shake my head in disbelief.
Email Personalization Tactics
There are basic areas in an email campaign that can be personalized to help you drive better results and boost prospect engagement metrics. Let’s look at them and some other email personalization best practices to help you get started: These include:
- Begin by Segmenting Email Lists — Start by dividing your email lists into smaller groups to carefully target clients and prospects with personalized emails. You can segment clients based on interests, locations, time and type of last purchase, and so on.
- Use an Appropriate “From” Name — The from name is one of the most prominently presented elements of your email campaign when it hits prospects’ inboxes. 68% of Americans say that their decision to open an email is based on who the email is from. Don’t send campaigns from the name of your company – ever! Send them from the contact at your company that the recipient knows and is accustomed to hearing from.
- Add the Prospect’s First Name to the Subject Line — The subject line is the second most critical element of your email campaign. Adding the prospect’s first name in the subject line can get you a higher email open rate.
- Personalize the Send Day and Time — You may not think of this as a personalization tactic, but it’s a good way to improve response. Your prospects may be early morning readers, or they might respond quickly if you send them an email on Wednesday night. Think about your prospects’ schedule and schedule your campaigns at a specific time for maximum impact.
- Use the Prospect’s Name Several Times — Research shows that the brain activates when one hears or reads their own name over and over again. Our name is connected to our identity and self-perception. Reading it engages us. Mention the name of the prospect in the email copy at least two or three times.
- Personalize the Email Message Holistically — When personalizing an email, think of the different elements of the email message and not just the content body. Every element should be personalized, even the call to action (CTA). According to HubSpot research, personalized CTAs convert 202% better than standard CTAs.
- Personalize With Re-Engagement — With personalization, you can use email automation to bring back prospects who have already engaged with you. Send a personalized email asking if they still want to hear from you and include promotions or discounts designed for them. The more you tailor your messaging, the more likely you are to have opportunities to interact with your audience.
- Personalize with Product Recommendations — A study by Salesforce revealed that 76% of customers expect businesses to understand their requirements and preferences. To increase the likelihood of a response, send an email that references what you know about your target (e.g., that they use a particular competitor’s product) and explain how your product will make their life simpler or help them increase revenues.
Ready to get started with email personalization? We can help. Contact us today!
This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.