Posted on Apr 21, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

Long before email marketers got in on the act, direct mail teams knew the importance of personalized content. Of course, email marketing took it to the next level since online platforms allow you to automate the process and send thousands of emails simultaneously. The whole point of personalized content is to make the customer feel as if you are talking to him directly; the most successful companies have mastered the art of telling prospects exactly what they want to hear.

An Untapped Market?

Despite the fact that Experian Marketing Services has released a detailed study outlining just how successful personalized email marketing is, only 30% of brands bother to attempt it. It was an all-encompassing study which focused on social integration, mobile, customer preferences and personalization in email marketing. The results were pretty astounding: the study found that use of personalized emails could yield a transaction rate and revenue per email that was 500% more than if non-personalized emails were used.

Using Personalization the Right Way

One of the simplest ways of personalizing an email would be to include the recipient name or reference something they have told  about themselves in the message. A more complex method would be to send different versions of your email with offers and products displayed to users based on previous browsing and purchasing behavior.

When you use a person’s name in the subject line, the recipient assumes that the email has come from a trusted source. Using a name within the email’s content improves conversion rate and is also shown to create brand loyalty with customers. Research has also shown that using a surname or even initials is deemed to be a step too far in terms of being a breach of privacy.

4 Steps to Effective Personalization

  • Create a Profile: Monitor and remember customer behavior.
  • Target: Set up some rules; for example, your targets could be people who looked at Brand X or Product Y 10 times, visitors who have been on the site for the last 3 months but have not purchased etc. You then tell the system the content you want to try out on each group of prospects.
  • Test: Gather data on your target segment and a control group and look at conversion rates, revenue, sales and size of basket.
  • Rinse & Repeat: Continue with this process and add any new information discovered about visitors. Also ensure your system doesn’t send the same content to customers time and again as this will frustrate and alienate them.

The cold hard facts state that personalized email will bring you success so if you are one of the 70% of brands that don’t utilize it, get started today!

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