Personalizing your marketing emails is a great way to increase performance. People love to hear (read) their own name and everyone loves personal attention and to feel understood and special. Personalizing email also helps with relevance, making the message right for the reader, which is important. So how can we make emails more personal? Below is a list of ways you can make it happen.
1. Know your list member. Who are the people that opted-in? Why did they opt-in? People on your list are mostly interested in “what’s in it for me”. So what do they need? What are their pain points? What are their demographics? Knowing all you can about your list will help you personalize.
2. Segment – get your opt-in forms set up to collect relevant data to segment lists properly. Most auto-responder and list management/CRM software allows some degree of list segmentation. By splitting your lists into multiple interest groups, you can serve them in ways that will help both you and them get what is wanted. For example, if you were collecting opt-ins for a weight loss list, you might want to segment men and women into lists to serve them different information. This is one of the best ways to personalize email marketing. The more data you can collect up front the better.
3. Collect additional touch points. Collect any social media usernames, cellphone numbers, etc. If people will share these touch points, it gives you an opportunity to communicate in other channels and ways they are comfortable with.
4. Deliver relevant information. Target your list with information that is meaningful to them. If you don’t, you risk not only losing them, but hurting your business as well. The difference between getting information that talks directly to the readers issues and one not related is night and day.
5. Personalize with the readers name in the message. Obviously in the salutation, but don’t forget that you can repeat it in the body as well. And, talk to them like you are a person, not a robot. Relax and use your voice, or make one up, just don’t be stiff and stuffy.
6. Give readers a way to respond. Remember that you are communicating WITH them, not just to them. Give them ways to connect with you. Phone numbers, reply-to email addresses, social media addresses, anything you can to allow them to contact you.
7. Make sure the reader knows who the email is from. Keep your brand and/or name present in all messaging and especially in the from line. If the reader doesn’t know who it’s from they won’t even give it a chance.
8. Walk a mile in your readers shoes and test. We are not necessarily the same as our reader, however, by knowing as much as possible about them, it is possible to try and think about the message that will be sent and determine if it’s relevant and if we would get out of it what we want our readers to get. Sometimes its a good idea to sleep on it before sending it, it gives you a little more time to think and edit as needed. It’s also a good idea to test. There are many different levels of personalization and if you try some things, look at your clickthroughs, open rates, etc. and see what’s working.
Personalizing email is a great way to engage the reader and keep them interested in what you send. It can increase opens over time or at least reduce non-opens and help you get the reader to do what ever it is you want them to do. For more information on email marketing, check out our private forum which has a section dedicated to helping people improve their email marketing.