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4 Opportunities for Email Personalization You Might Not Know

Posted by Phil Davis

April 06, 2017

“EmailEmail marketers are competitive. They have to be. If they can’t make their messages stand out in crowded inboxes, their emails will never be read.

Most email marketers know one of the biggest keys to success is personalization. But what many don’t realize is personalization goes far beyond simply using a subscriber’s first name or including a reference to their geographic location.

To help you create the kind of emails that will make your competitors envious, check out these four lesser-known email personalization strategies.

Use Personalized Imagery

A 2015 study by BuzzSumo showed marketing content with images has higher engagement than content without images. And Accenture reported that 65 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from retailers that send them personalized promotions. So it’s reasonable to assume combining graphic elements with personalized content is an excellent strategy for B2C marketers.

Here’s an exceptional example of email personalization from Thornton’s, a UK-based online candy delivery service:

Personalized Email

Take note marketers: This is a near-perfect example of a marketing email. Not only is the overall design of the email entertaining and engaging, but the header image incorporates the recipient’s name, and the body includes …

  • A personalized greeting
  • An exclusive discount
  • Product recommendations

This email truly hits the nail on the head.

Note: Using personalized imagery is better suited for B2C emails since B2B emails should be predominantly text-based due to the nature of the audience.

Offer Advice On Products They Already Own

Retail marketers are familiar with the practice of including product recommendations in emails with the goal of encouraging additional purchases. While this direct approach is certainly effective, marketers should consider emailing subscribers about products they already have.

Crate & Barrel sends post-purchase emails about the proper care of the item the subscriber recently ordered. And one of Volkswagen’s previous email campaigns contained instructions on how to operate various features on their vehicles.

Though this approach isn’t about inspiring an immediate transaction, it does help keep the brand top of mind and shows the company cares about its customers.

Celebrate Events and Milestones

Birthdays are a great opportunity for a brand to show it cares about its customers. In fact, Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s 2015 State of Marketing reported 75 percent of marketers say birthday emails are among the most effective types of emails.

For active users, this kind of email personalization demonstrates your value and encourages brand loyalty, which can inspire customers to become brand advocates. If a user is less active, birthday emails can help re-engage them. However, keep in mind it’s not enough to just recognize the subscriber’s birthday — you need to offer them the type of special gift that’s most likely to delight them.

After all, it’s a gift. And it’s not really special if your subscriber doesn’t want it (reminds me of the scented candles I received on my last birthday…)

Pro Tip: Use TowerData’s Active Customer Intelligence (ACI) data to find out the real-time interests and wants of your customers and serve them a personalized offer.

Although it doesn’t make sense for B2B marketers to send an email celebrating the subscriber’s birthday, there are plenty of other milestones B2B companies can acknowledge that demonstrate the brand is paying attention. For example, you can reach out to free trial users on the one-year anniversary of when they registered on your site. If possible, you can offer them a discount on the paid version of your solution to entice them to upgrade their account.

Adjust Time of Send Based on Timezone

The best day of the week and time of day brands should send their marketing emails is a widely discussed topic. While there are literally thousands of articles addressing this subject, many fail to point out an extremely important variable: time zone.

Let’s say you run a B2B company, and you’ve determined open rates for a particular segment of your database are the highest between 8 and 10 a.m. If your messages are scheduled to send based on your time zone (for example, EST) and a sizeable part of this segment lives on the West Coast, they’ll receive your email at 5 a.m. — long before they’re even on their way to the office. (This scenario doesn’t even take into account international customers.)

As you plan your campaigns, make sure your emails will arrive at the time most appropriate for each subscriber’s time zone.

The goal of email personalization is to build connections with your audience by treating them like human beings. But while you’re humanizing your subscribers, don’t forget to humanize your own brand. Make the sender email firstname@domain.com instead of something generic, such as info@domain.com. Consider using a more conversational tone in your emails (if appropriate) and possibly including a photo of the sender in the signature. Customers will appreciate hearing from an actual person and not a faceless organization.

You can’t personalize emails without accurate, up-to-date data. See how TowerData’s Active Customer Intelligence service empowers marketers with the data they need to create a personalized experience for every subscriber.

Find out what your customers are shopping for right now!

Topics: Email Marketing, Email Personalization

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