Email is an incredibly powerful tool when used correctly, but it’s important that each email fits its place in the customer journey and responds to your readers’ needs.
Providing relevant messaging is one of the most challenging aspects of any email campaign. If you’re interested in updating your email marketing practices, personalization should be your top priority.
This article will cover the basics of email marketing personalization and how you can use it to send the right content to the right users at the right time.
Why Does Personalization Matter?
Many businesses are still using a one size fits all approach to email, so you may not be aware of the need for personalization.
The truth is that customers expect more personal content than ever before, and companies that fail to adapt to this trend will soon fall behind the competition.
Rather than treating each reader the same, email marketing personalization allows you to send different emails depending on a given customer’s behavior and history with your brand. This enables you to send fewer irrelevant messages, lowering unsubscribe rates and substantially increasing email opens.
Gathering Customer Data
Before you can segment your audience and personalize content for each subgroup, you’ll need to start gathering more information from your customers.
The more data you have access to, the more you’ll be able to adjust and combine audience segments to optimize your results.
Fortunately, many email marketing automation platforms give you the tools you need to begin collecting this data immediately. If you can track each customer’s journey through the sales cycle, you’ll be able to write marketing emails for each stage of the process and create better long-term customer relationships.
The Customer Journey
Now that you’ve decided to implement personalization into your email marketing practices, the next step is identifying customer personas.
From there, you can develop emails that respond to that group’s needs rather than sending every subscriber the same messages.
A small percentage of users will buy something the first time they visit your site, but most customers need to engage with a brand several times before making a purchase. With that in mind, the early stages of the customer journey should be focused on long-term engagement rather than immediate conversions.
Your goal for a customer’s initial interaction with your business should be to turn them into an email subscriber.
If they join your email list during their first visit, they’ll be much more likely to stay interested in your brand and eventually buy something from your store.
While you might be focused on the emails themselves rather than email capture, a dynamic sign-up form will get your audience’s attention and drive significantly more subscriptions. You can also use discounts and other incentives to get users interested in your newsletter.
Once a visitor becomes a subscriber, it’s critical to start the next stage of the customer relationship on a positive note.
Your first email to the customer is your only chance to make a good first impression, so it’s the most important message of your entire sequence.
Welcome messages have one of the highest open rates of any marketing email, and most customers expect a welcome email when they subscribe to a new brand.
Use this opportunity to give them more information about your company and let them know why they should stick around.
A typical welcome sequence includes three emails—one to confirm their subscription and provide the offer, one to connect with the subscriber on social media, and one to gather more information to use for future audience segments.
Birthdays, referral sources, email frequency preferences, and more can be extremely valuable data for an email marketing campaign.
Even if a subscriber is interested in your brand, it could still take several positive touchpoints for them to decide to make a purchase.
It’s important to send this audience segment regular emails to stay in contact and keep them engaged with your business rather than losing interest.
Now that you have more information about each customer, you can start creating more complex email sequences for different behaviors.
If a subscriber visits your web store and leaves, for example, you could follow up a few hours later and try to bring them back.
Cart abandonment workflows are one of the most effective ways to increase conversions among this group of your audience.
More than half of all online shopping carts are abandoned, so you’ll be able to make a lot of sales by implementing a cart abandonment sequence.
A good cart abandonment email includes an image of the item they were interested in along with a link to the purchase page. You can also take advantage of this opportunity to cross-sell similar products in case they weren’t sold on the product they saw first.
If they don’t respond to your first email, send another one the next day along with a limited-time offer on the item in their cart. Businesses that don’t use cart abandonment workflows are missing out on a substantial source of revenue.
We all want every customer to stay engaged, but it’s inevitable that some of your subscribers will become inactive. Rather than writing this audience segment off, you should keep marketing to them with messaging that’s tailored to their situation.
Remember that it’s significantly easier to sell to an existing customer than a new one, even if they haven’t purchased anything recently.
In addition to reactivation emails, you should also implement a loyalty program to give customers an additional reason to continue interacting with your business.
Loyalty perks are a small price to pay for the benefits of longer customer relationships and increased engagement.
Improving Your Emails
A clear customer journey is a good start, but the smaller details have just as much of an impact on the success of your email campaigns. These are two of the simplest ways to upgrade your content and achieve better results with each email.
Leverage A/B Testing
Split testing gives you the chance to compare two different ads against each other and determine which option connects with your audience. It effectively allows you to use your two best ideas rather than just one, and you can experiment with new strategies without committing to a full-scale campaign.
Start with a CTA
A clear focus is critical for any marketing email, as it’s important to get your audience’s attention in the first few seconds. With that in mind, you should come up with the desired action for each email before even beginning the writing process.
In a cart abandonment email, for example, your goal is to sell a product. For a welcome email, you might be more interested in social media connections.
Whatever it is, incentivize that behavior with your call to action and develop the rest of the email from there. Having a target in mind makes it easier to create relevant content while editing out anything that doesn’t add value.
Businesses are more interested in the customer journey than ever before, and customers expect their favorite brands to provide engaging content at each step of the sales cycle. These ideas will help you develop more personalized email marketing campaigns and build more meaningful relationships with your audience.
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