There are 347 billion emails sent every day. The average person gets 121 emails a day, nearly half of which are spam, so it’s not surprising that marketing emails often get overlooked or even deleted without ever getting opened. So, how do you cut through the clutter and make sure your email is read? The answer is personalization.
Yes, it takes some extra steps, but personalization is crucial for successful email marketing campaigns. And it works. McKinsey’s research shows that companies that personalize email campaigns the right way generate 40% greater revenue.
Personalization goes beyond using someone’s name. To be effective, customized experiences must resonate deeply if you want to improve the performance of your email campaigns. When you craft highly targeted and relevant emails, the results are clear. You get higher levels of:
Effective personalization requires leveraging the data you have to engage your audience and employing automation to personalize at scale. Here are 8 key steps you need to take to ramp up your email marketing.
One of the keys to personalization is audience segmentation. You can divide your target list into smaller segments, grouping them together by similar roles, behaviors, demographics, preferences, interests, or past purchases. This enables more targeted content delivery, including personalized offers and recommendations.
This one step — segmentation — allows you to customize campaigns to groups of customers or prospective customers and get results. HubSpot research shows that audience segmentation is the most effective strategy for email marketing campaigns, outpacing personalizing messages and email automation.
So, if you do nothing else, take this first step. However, if you can combine it with these other techniques, you’ll get even greater results.
Using what you know about your customers and their preferences, you can use automation to populate email elements like images or product recommendations dynamically. Dynamic content captures attention, increases engagement, and drives conversions.
Companies use dynamic content for powerful results. 80% of viewing on Netflix comes from its suggested titles. More than a third of Amazon’s sales result from recommended products.
Leveraging historical purchase data to provide targeted recommendation increases purchase intent by 2.6 times. Email marketing delivers greater results when you deliver relevant, targeted content based on customer data.
You can also set up automated email triggers that fire when users take specific actions or events. For example:
The first thing people see with email is the subject line and preheader. If you don’t grab their attention there, they will likely never get to the body of your email. With your subject line and preheader, you’ve got to incentivize customers to engage.
Personalized subject lines can increase open rates by 50%. You can insert personalization variables such as mentioning the subscriber's name and tailoring preheaders to customer behaviors.
Once you’ve got someone to read your email, you can continue personalizing messaging with the email's body. Creating emails that speak to customer interests and behavior can trigger significantly higher click-through rates. 80% of customers say they are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences.
Sephora uses this strategy to suggest personalized product suggestions based on customers’ past purchases. Spotify emails personalized playlists based on listening habits and genre preferences. Many companies recognize customers’ birthdays or anniversary dates and offer personalized discounts or limited-time offers to spur sales.
Another HubSpot study showed the incredible power of personalizing the call-to-action message. An analysis of more than 330,000 CTAs over a six-month period shows that personalized CTAs converted at a rate more than 200% better than basic CTAs.
When you deliver personalized content and CTAs, you are providing more relevant content that aligns with their interests.
Even when you employ personalization, there are ways to improve performance continually. You should always be testing and optimizing your email campaigns.
A/B testing and multi-variate testing combinations of subject lines, preheaders, call-to-action buttons, and content can help find the best-performing email strategies. The right marketing automation platform can help you automatically test at scale to surface the most effective campaigns.
A great example of testing at scale is how Google now allows advertisers to submit up to 15 headlines and four descriptions for a responsive search ad. Algorithms test various combinations to find the best-performing set, which it then serves to target searchers. The algorithm may also determine that different sets work better for certain searchers. This same strategy applies to email marketing to help optimize performance.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you that you always need to obtain proper consent and respect privacy regulations. It’s not just a legal requirement, but it can have a negative impact on your customers if you aren’t transparent about what you do with their data.
You should clearly communicate how you handle a subscriber or customer’s personal data and offer opt-out options where appropriate. Transparency is vital to building long-term customer relationships.
Personalization has become the foundation of building effective email marketing campaigns amid today’s increasingly cluttered digital environment. When you tailor your message to individual recipients, you can grab their attention and make sure your emails get read.