It’s Time to Get Personal

(Updated April 2017)
When it comes to email marketing, personalization pays off. Think about it, who doesn’t like to get personalized mail?

Also referred to as one-to-one marketing, personalization in email campaigns can range from simply greeting customers by name to tailoring email content to effectively meet individual customer’s interests and needs. Here we show you just how much of a positive impact personalizing emails can have on your overall email-marketing performance. Plus, we share some great tips for how to add that personal touch to your email communications.

Emails Get 6 Times Higher Transaction Rates Thanks to Personalization

What can personalization do for your email program’s profitability? Increase it substantially, according to the Experian Marketing Services’ 2013 Email Market Study:

  • Personalized emails generated six times higher transaction rates and revenue per email compared to emails that were not personalized.
  • Personalized promotional emails had 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates.
  • Similarly, personalized triggered emails had 25% higher unique open rates and 51% higher unique click rates.
  • Personalized triggered email campaigns demonstrated more than two times the transaction rates of campaigns that were not personalized.
  • Emails with personalized subject lines from multichannel retailers had 37% higher unique open rates compared to emails without personalized subject lines.

What about using symbols in the subject lines of personalized marketing campaigns? Using symbols or emoticons can actually increase email open rate. For instance, a study done by Experian found that 56% of the brands they tested experienced a higher unique open rate when using symbols in subject lines. The most popular symbol—the black heart—resulted in an open-rate lift of 2.2%, while the black sun increased open rates by 14.9% and an umbrella produced a 50% lift. Don’t be afraid to take a business email example you have to test a personalized subject line with an emoticon or symbol.

So we’ve seen the results of personalizing emails on email performance. But what do consumers think about personalized emails? We can get some insight from a Harris Interactive study of U.S. digital shoppers, which was conducted in December 2013 and reported in eMarketer:

  • 81% of survey respondents said they were at least somewhat likely to purchase additional items at a store or online as a result of receiving personalized emails.
  • 82% of survey respondents said they were at least somewhat willing to get more promotional emails from retailers if they were personalized and took into account past shopping habits.
  • Nearly 70% of survey respondents said they would be willing to share personal preferences with retailers if it would improve the relevancy of the email messages.

6 Great Personalization Ideas for Your Emails

As the study results above indicate, prospects and customers are more likely to respond to a personalized email experience that focuses on their individual needs and interests. Personalization is one of the most important ways to keep your recipients opening your emails and engaging with your organization. Plus, with myriad of tools available through email service providers (ESPs) today, creating and sending personalized email messages to your email list is easier than ever. Here are some tips for doing just that:

  1. Use recipients’ names in email messages. Using a person’s name versus a salutation such as “Dear Customer” can go a long way in setting a friendly, familiar tone. Most ESPs let you customize email messages with a first name. And if an individual is on your email list, you should have a first name — so use it! This is key to personalized email.
  2. Use recipients’ first names in the subject line. This is a great shoutout example and is an effective way to help your emails stand out in the inbox. As recipients skim email subject lines, seeing their names is a surefire way to catch their eye. As the Experian study showed, personalizing subject lines increased open rates by 37%.
  3. Keep it personal for the sender, too. When appropriate, use a person’s name in the from line, as well as in the signature of the email message. You have to admit, getting an email from an actual person rather than a corporation creates a much warmer and welcoming experience.
  4. Develop marketing personas. What are the personal attributes, challenges, and goals of your typical prospects and customers? What drives them to purchase your company’s services or products? Or, in the case of a nonprofit organization, what would motivate them to become involved or donate? Developing personas for different segments of your database will help you create more targeted, relevant, and personal content for your email messages. More personas equals a more personalized series of emails.
  5. Personalize email content for individual customers by segmenting your email list. Email list segmentation is a highly effective way to personalize your email messages. Demographics, purchase history, and the type of content a customer has looked at on your website are just a few ways to create more targeted emails to send to segments of your email list. Furthermore, by dividing your large email list into different subgroups, you can send more targeted emails that maximize the relevance of your marketing message to each subscriber. For instance, the Lyris Annual Email Optimizer Report showed that among survey respondents who used email list segmentation, 39% experienced higher open rates, 34% reported better email relevance, and 24% increased sales leads and deliverability rates.
  6. Don’t forget to follow through by personalizing landing pages, too. So you got recipients to open and click through your email messages. Be sure to send them to a landing page that targets different segments of your email list and provides specific information about various products and offers. In addition, A/B test with email examples and landing page variations.

The issue of privacy in email is another aspect to consider when it comes to personalization. If your client base is concerned with their cyber privacy, you should question if personalization is the best email-marketing tactic for your organization. Furthermore, if you develop poor content and use the customer’s or client’s name in the subject line, you risk the user not opening the email and reporting the content as spam. As you develop email content, remember to target users with good personalization tactics, which were mentioned above.

Lastly, keep in mind that testing is key to personalized subject line success. Your test examples should include words that are trending and relevant to your email’s content. Google AdWords tool is one way to search and find relevant keywords, which your customers are also searching for, to use in your email subject lines. In addition, test your personalized emails, including the use of symbols, emoticons, capitalized letters, and punctuation. When determining the success of a personalized subject line/email, be sure to look at click-through and conversion rates, as well as open rates.

Need some help with adding that personal touch to your email-marketing messages? Click here to contact the experts at FulcrumTech – or give us a call at 215-489-9336 – and we’ll show you how.

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

Sign Up for NewsLever

Our free, monthly email newsletter

NewsLever is our free, monthly e-newsletter for business professionals who want to develop and implement powerful email campaigns that build relationships with prospects and customers.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Privacy Policy|Learn More|Current Issue