Seth Godin, author of Permission Marketing has described email as "the most personal advertising medium in history." Most business owners understand that email marketing is important, but they may not realize the importance of personalizing emails. If your email marketing campaign isn't personal, then your business isn't taking advantage of all this medium has to offer. You are missing a huge opportunity! There are quite a few ways to personalize your email marketing so we put together a list of four basic ways you can start the process of email personalization:
1. Collect the Right Information
First of all, if your business isn't collecting email subscriber information it's time to start now. At the very least, you should have the subscriber's first and last name, email address, and physical address. You can actually accomplish quite a bit of personalization with just this information, but ideally you should also make an attempt to collect even more personal information. Collecting additional information such as birthday and gender could help you further personalize emails and segment lists in the future. We talked about this in more detail in our 3 Tips for Building Your Email Marketing Subscriber List blog post.
3. Make Information Count
Once you have the right information, it's time to make that information count. Even basic information such as first and last name can be used to effectively personalize your email marketing. Though this tactic is used frequently, placing the recipient's name in the subject line still makes a big difference. Your subscriber is more likely to open the "Christmas Deals for Katherine" email than a generic holiday email. Take time to send a special message on a subscriber's birthday or on the one year "anniversary" of being a customer. These are the types of personal touches that create interest and engagement.
2. Use Third Party Tools
You can certainly collect information "manually" and build targeted lists in-house, but many businesses simply don't have the time or resources to make this worthwhile. Third party email services such as MailChimp, CampaignMonitor, and ConstantContact can extract specific subscriber information and use it to personalize emails. Using third party tools not only saves time and money, there are also other benefits. These services typically offer split testing or other data services that can help you understand what types of email personalization is working and what is not.
Even if you are just creating the illusion of a human touch, this still makes a difference to subscribers. No one wants to feel spammed or like they are getting emails from robots. As you plan and execute your email campaign, consider how you can add a little more humanity. For this reason, emails should be sent from a person and not from your company. Whether the email is sent from the CEO or an just a regular employee, make sure the body, signature, and subject reflect that the message is from a real person.
With consumers receiving so many email messages on a daily basis, personalizing your email marketing campaign is no longer optional. Your business should be collecting information and using it appropriately to connect with subscribers. Unfortunately, generic emails are often regarded as spam and never seen at all. If you want your emails to be effective, make sure you are using the tips above.
Need help organizing your subscriber data and personalizing your campaigns? Stop by our Email Marketing services page to watch a short video and see how we can help!