By Kate Tran

Email personalization refers to the ways in which you can provide email recipients with information that is specific to them. There a number of ways that your outgoing emails can be personalized. You can use subject lines to directly address your customers; or make recommendations based on what you know about their buying habits. Personalization means you can really connect with customers in ways that are meaningful for them.

Email personalization was identified by Single Grain as one of the top digital marketing tips for 2020. And with good reason.

When was the last time you received a really memorable email? Audiences don’t want their mailboxes overrun with generic emails. Your customers are likely to be receiving hundreds of emails a day. With more and more businesses competing for the attention of email recipients, personalization can really help you build long term relationships with your customers. It allows you to demonstrate to customers you consider them unique, and important to you.

Get to Know Your Subscribers

It’s wise to collect data about your subscribers at the point of subscription; but be careful not to make the process too onerous or you might get a high number of incomplete subscriptions. If you can obtain details from your customers like their location, gender, age and date of birth, you will be able to target specific market segments more easily in future.

Campaign Monitor found that birthday emails 481% higher transaction rate than generic promotional emails. Who doesn’t appreciate some extra email love on their birthday? 

Welcome Them

One simple personalization technique is sending a welcome email to new subscribers, thanking them for joining you. This can help them feel recognized and validated, and will build an immediate trust in your brand and services. Welcome emails have a high open rate, so use the opportunity to share more about your business. It could be the start of a beautiful relationship!

Segment Your List

Once you build up your mailing list, you will be able to use the practice of list segmentation. This helps you get in touch with individuals who are likely to be most interested in particular campaigns. Customers will have different preferences and reasons for wanting to hear from you.

By using what you know to target messages to particular demographics, your audience will come to appreciate that you deliver email messages with a high degree of relevance.

Personalize Subject Lines

Emails that use “you” and “your” in the subject are a clue for your customer that the content relates to them.  But if you can, take this tactic to the next level. If there is one word that will generate a response from your subscribers, it’s their own name.

Sending an email which uses your customer’s name will help them recognize the email is meant just for them. One study via Oberlo found that emails with personalized email subjects generate around double the amount of opens than a generic email.

Use Suggestions and Recommendations

This technique involves creating emails with content that will be of particular relevance to a customer, based upon previous interactions. Use your emails to showcase products and services which are similar to those your customer has shown an interest in, or purchased in the past. Consider it a helpful way of showing them what else you can do for them.

Offer Incentives and Rewards

Emails can take a variety of forms and each offers a degree of personalization. Some can be incentive-based, with offers for more points or free samples, while others offering services. But no matter which type of email it is, use a consistent header that lets customers know exactly what reward us awaiting them when they open the message.

Create an Experience

Personalized emails also need to lead to personalized experiences on your website. Make sure links take users to specific and relevant webpages, rather than dropping them off on your homepage and expecting them to fend for themselves. 

Send Friendly Reminders

In some cases “shopping” is really more “browsing” and customers leave purchases in their cart without processing through the checkout. Or in the case of your services businesses they may have made an enquiry but since been too busy and gone cold.

Personalized emails to a customer reminding them of the items they have showed interest in, or have added to their cart can prompt a second look. An abandoned cart email service might help your business convert more views to sales. 

Watch Future Trends

As capabilities increase, we’re seeing innovative businesses combine personalized messages with interactive content. There are novel ways to engage consumers by taking what you know about them, sharing your impressions and communicating it back to them.

One example of this were the emails Cadbury’s sent to customers, in which they guessed using accumulated data, which flavor of chocolate the customer would like best. By adding games, quizzes and links to your emails, you can learn more about your customers as time goes on.

Be Willing to Say Goodbye

Although it might seem counter-intuitive, it’s best to make it easy for consumers to unsubscribe if they choose to. Many businesses include an unsubscribe option in each email; knowing it can be very frustrating when a customer who has decided to leave finds it hard to do so. When a customer opts out, a better bet is to send an email in thanks of your time together, and letting them of what they might be missing out on.

Don’t Forget Privacy

One final consideration is that of privacy.  Be open about how you gather data, and use the data you have about your customers wisely. Most people tend to feel a little creeped out by the idea that their favorite businesses know everything about them, so make sure personalized emails are just one part of your overall marketing mix.

Using email personalization is likely to bring you more opens and better engagement with your customers. Help your emails stand out from the pack by using what you know about your customer to your full capability. Sending relevant content that really means something to your customers will help you gain brand leverage, build trust and ultimately provide you a stronger return on your marketing investment.