How, When, & Why Should You Use Personalization in an Email Marketing Campaign?

Dale Carnegie, author of the famed How to Win Friends and Influence People, said in his book, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

That concept is a powerful truth that you can spin to your advantage in practically any aspect of your marketing strategy, most of all in email since it is the most personal, one-on-one online marketing channel.

That being said, let’s explore how and when you should use personalization in your email marketing campaigns and why it matters so much.

How to Personalize Your Emails

Using the recipient’s name is certainly the foremost way to personalize your emails and start the one-on-one conversation with your subscribers but it’s not the only way.

Here’s a quick list of more options to personalize emails that go beyond using just the name:

  • Location
  • Industry (esp. for B2B marketing)
  • Age
  • Browsing data (from visit sessions on your website)
  • Customer data (previous purchases)

The important thing, however, is to remember to collect all of this data. Some of this data can be collected through form fields when a new subscriber initially inputs their data. The rest of it, such as location and browsing data, can be obtained through user tracking and the like.

One of the keys to implementing personalization is not to go overboard with it. Often, just the mention of a name can pique subscriber interest, then adding in one or two more data points really makes the email seem individualized.

Here’s an example of how Shopify uses personalization to keep subscribers to their forum interested:

Not only do they use a first name, but they also utilize the user’s browsing history on their website to match up forum threads that the subscriber will actually find interesting and relevant to Jonathan.

When to Personalize Your Emails

Knowing when to personalize an email and when to withhold revealing information collected on a customer is tricky but extremely important.

The first email, serving as the initial contact point between you and the subscriber, is critical to the future of your relationship. First impressions do matter, and if you can make the user feel like you’re paying them attention right from the get-go, by at least including their name, chances are you’ll preserve a favorable perception of your brand.

Other important email types to personalize are transactional emails, upsell emails, and emails during the course of a sale.

Personalization can help to make a purchase memorable to your customers, and it will also go a long way towards your current customers feeling comfortable with purchasing other related products, ultimately boosting sales and revenue.

On the contrary, including too much super-specific information, like location, can be off-putting to some users. Given the current climate surrounding the whole privacy issue, subscribers, particularly older generation Internet users, may be disturbed by how much you know about them. Keep this in mind and choose when to use data wisely.

Why Personalization Matters

So now that we’ve discussed when and how to implement personalization in your email marketing strategy, let’s drive home why it matters to your business. There’s no better way to do that than by taking a look at the results other marketers have achieved through personalization:

If you haven’t yet started using personalization to revamp your email marketing strategy, you’re missing out. Download The Personalization Playbook today to deliver on your customers’ expectations and in return win their loyalty and increase revenue! 

The Personalization Playbook

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