Why Brands Should Personalize Marketing Emails
No But Seriously... What's in it for me?
Have you ever received an e-mail from a company you subscribe to and thought to yourself: “Do they even know who I am?”
You’re not alone. According to a study by Janrain in 2014, about ¾ of consumers report that seeing content that has nothing to do with their interests or behaviour is frustrating. And as a consumer who is also a marketer, it’s that much more frustrating.
Why do people expect brands to know them as anything more than a credit card number? Well for starters, the last time they used that credit card number, they were probably not only forking over a lot of money but a lot of personal information too. Thinking that it was all for naught is annoying.
More scientifically speaking, the influx of information in the digital age means people are learning to process information at a much faster rate. Which is great, but it also means that attention spans are shrinking by the day. Brands now have a much smaller window to identify that they’re delivering on what consumers want; people can tell pretty quickly if something’s generic...and ain’t nobody got time for generic anymore.
And as if that weren’t challenging enough for us marketers, guess what? Personalizing the greeting in an e-mail just doesn’t cut it anymore. Knowing a consumer’s first name is the cost of entry into their inbox. Now – that doesn’t mean we have to know their middle name too. Or their mom’s maiden name. Personalization isn’t about the level of detail we can drill down to – it’s about what we can give them in return for what they’ve given us.
Here are a few ways to get you started:
A. The subject line
First and foremost make sure the e-mail is getting opened. Putting the consumer’s name right in the subject line is really easy to implement and can improve open rates by 26%. That’s big. The greeting. Instead of “Hi Emma,” – we actually personalize their name right into the creative or image? It’s a small thing, but it can certainly make an offer look like it was designed ESPECIALLY FOR THEM. And if it makes them feel special, it might make them feel like spending, too.
If we have their postal code on file, why not direct them to the closest store and provide them with an offer just for making the trip.
C. The offer
Surely if we’re not tracking them across their web activity, we have a few details from them when they signed up. Maybe we know what products they’ve looked at, or what services they’ve shown interest in. Why not instead of providing them a generic one-size-fits all offer, offer them a deeper discount on that one product or service. 57% of consumers surveyed said that they would willingly provide important personal information if it was going to lead to a better online experience (Janrain).
D. The corresponding online experience
If we’re going to send an e-mail that’s really personalized, and there’s a really great offer that was generated just for them, it’s important that wherever we link them be just as personalized. Don’t make a consumer start all over again when they click away. Make it seamless. Personalized emails can improve click through rates by 14%.
Email personalization isn’t about the level of detail we can drill down to – it’s about what we can give them in return for what they’ve given us.
If you’re not sure that any of this is worth the time or investment, consider this, personalized emails can improve click through rates by 14% and conversion up to 10% (2014 Aberdeen study). So use the data you have to your advantage. And if you don’t have the data –ask for it. Your consumers will thank you….if you make it worth their while.