52%* of marketers rate personalizing marketing emails as the most important tool in campaign effectiveness. Already in place for several years, this strategy is evolving in the face of subscribers who are now accustomed to seeing their name appear in the subject line of received emails. Today, consumer expectations are changing and giving rise to a new need: personal experience. It is no longer just a matter of mailing the message, it is necessary to customize the content according to its recipient. But then how do you proceed? Can business volume be affected by this strategy?
Why customize marketing emails?
I have already received and received daily up to dozens of commercial emails with the subject “Mr. Smith, this offer is only for you” or “Mr. Smith, we are validating your request”. This is the essence of the term “allocation”. They have evolved today and refer to increasingly complex marketing strategies.
First of all, personalization aims to create a distinct relationship between the brand and its customers. Naming your customer or sending them a set of offers after their last purchase shows them that the brand takes their expectations into account as well as those of each of its customers. However, it has become common to see his name appear in the subject line of a business email. Customers now want personalization to extend to all of their interactions with the brand: they are looking for a truly personalized experience.
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It is also important to consider individual participation in message operators filters. Personalizing different aspects of a message (content, time, frequency of sending) will enhance this commitment and thus improve the rate at which messages get into your inboxes. So advertisers need to be aware of this if they want to hope to see their messages bypass ISP filters.
Additionally, personalized email generates 2.5 times more click-through rates and 6 times more sales than non-personalized emails sent to an sometimes undivided mailing list**. Since email is already the marketing channel with the highest return on investment, its personalized version is more than that and it is emerging as a new revenue generation opportunity.
How to proceed?
There are many different ways to customize an email campaign, but marketers consider the three most effective strategies to be:
– Create custom content: Often the first customer data is useful for this customization phase. Last name, first name, geographic location, and purchase history can be sufficient to customize the content of your marketing email. This will directly affect the unlock rate.
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– Sending a message after an action by the subscriber: for this, it is necessary to record the behavior of his customers (their last contact with the customer area, the last consulted product …) and to run the messages automatically but are customized. Here, it’s about reacting in real time.
Social media strategy integration: This includes inviting subscribers to join the brand’s social media community. Emails, which often have a fun and quirky design, are a very good way to expand a community. Thus, you engage the subscriber and create a close relationship in order to improve his loyalty.
To understand the subscribers of your channel and provide them with personalized content, it is necessary to get to know them and create accurate databases. For this, it is recommended:
Ask for their preferences: Adding a link to a preference center in marketing emails will bring valuable data. This also allows the subscriber to define his expectations in the relationship with the brand. For example, it is possible to include a closed question with a specific answer such as “Does this offer sound right to you?” at the end of a business email. Fast and efficient way for the brand as well as for subscribers.
Segment Subscribers: Thanks to all the data collected on subscribers, CRM teams can segment them. It is possible to create groups by geographic region, age or category of the purchased product. Thus, the brand will be able to create personalized emails and avoid providing generic content that will interest only some of its recipients.
– Campaign testing: By testing its campaigns on a sample of subscribers before sending it to the entire mailing list, a brand expects feedback, such as open rates or complaint rates, and can therefore improve the quality of its message to improve its impact during global distribution.
Personalizing marketing emails is an effective strategy to improve the relationship between the customer and the brand and improve the return on investment for this marketing channel, and will also allow for long-term loyalty.
* Email Marketing Strategy Study / B2C Standards (November 2016).
** Study on Email Personalization / Venture Beat (December 2015).
Passionate about technology and the world of online marketing, Didier Colombane has spent most of his career leading e-marketing and CRM projects to improve the performance of companies of all sizes, from technology startups to large international accounts. As Head of Europe at Return Path, he focuses on helping marketers, publishers, and other email senders tackle the delivery challenges they face. Prior to joining Return Path, Didier Colombane worked privately at CIC, Microsoft, Texas Instruments and the Snarx Group. In 2003, he also co-founded a consulting firm specializing in customer relationship management and e-marketing services (ProActive-IT), before joining Return Path in 2007.