Updated on July 19, 2021 by Ivana
Email personalization is one of the reasons why email marketing is a successful marketing strategy. It gives you the ability to connect with your clients using content that is relevant to them and that it can help your business growth. Continue reading to learn how you can personalize your emails.
What is email personalization
Email personalization is leveraging the information you have on your clients, to create a unique experience and deliver specific and highly targeted emails with tailored content to every client individually.
Why is email personalization important
We already know that email marketing is the most successful marketing channel by far in comparison to other channels such as Social Media and Paid search advertising. In fact, email marketing has an average estimated ROI ratio of 42:1. As being an important part of the email marketing process, that success rate can be attributed in part to email personalization.
Emails personalization has been on the rise for quite some time and it continues to increase in use. Even though 23% of marketers state that creating personalized emails is the most difficult part of the whole process, 36% of marketers agree that email personalization is the most effective email tactic as it directly improves key email metrics.
Data shows that emails with personalized subject lines, which is basic email personalization, have a 26% higher open rate, while having 14% increase in click-through rates and 10% better conversion rate.
Personalizing your emails also helps you to improve client interaction with your product and to strengthen their relationship with your brand.
Personalize the client experience
Personalization helps you to humanize the communication between your company and your clients. This is reflected in the way how clients perceive they are treated by the brand and how it responds to their needs. Sending them personalized emails makes them feel more valued and appreciated and in turn their connection with the brand is strengthened and they are willing to spend more and even market your product to others.
Finding new ways to personalize
Email personalization is used widely by email marketers, but even though that is a proof of its benefits it can also be detrimental as it can lead to oversaturation and it can even have a negative effect if you overdo it.
You need to know what you can personalize in your emails and when is the best to do so, else you are risking damaging your email metrics.
That is why you always need to think ahead and find other ways to implement the data you have gathered on your clients in your personalization efforts.
Whether that includes specific data concerning your client’s company or visually changing the looks of your email to capture their attention it’s up to you. Always keep A/B testing your ideas and finding new ways to personalize your emails.
Email list segmentation
Segmenting your email list allows you to divide your clients into different groups based on the data you have gathered including job title, company, industry any other data point that can be used in the process. Based on your segmentation criteria you can personalize your emails better using the same information. Client segmentation is a necessary step for a successful email campaign.
Key areas of email personalization
Before you start personalizing your emails there are two key areas that are vital to the performance of the process.
Gathering the right information
To create a personalized email, you need to have information about your clients that you can use. Getting their name and basic information is easy, however often they are against giving out information that can be used to target them. That is why you need to collect information carefully and transparently. Signup forms are a great way to get basic information about your clients. After, you can begin the process of finding out more about them as they get familiar with your brand.
You can also place a more elaborate form in your newsletter stating how and why that information will be used. They will be more open to give out more information about themselves if they feel like that data will be used to their benefit.
If you need more information about your clients but you are reluctant to ask them for it or if you want to expand your client base with potential clients that you believe will benefit from your product, you can use data enrichment services and sales enablement platforms (our area of expertise) which collect and process publicly available data.
Knowing your audience
Monitoring how clients interact with your product and content will provide you with better personalization options and make it easier to gather behavioral data for more in-depth personalization options.
Clients use your product differently based on their needs. Based on this data there are many personalization options you can implement.
Trigger emails based on this data allow you to target users based on their behavior. You can target long term users with a special thank you message that will make them feel appreciated and even offer them certain benefits which will further solidify their commitment in your product, or encourage less active and infrequent users with a reactivation email offering a discount or simply asking them for feedback and how to improve their product experience.
Behaviour-based emails can help you reach out to your clients with tailored content. If you have an email automation service and notice that your client has a low opening rate you may recommend an email automation guide and offer them additional tailor-made content that addresses their problem.
You can also promote new additions and functionality of your product based on their activity. If you have added new options to your email editor to your service, send them a newsletter detailing all the new options and a material how it can benefit their business.
Automate your personalization
Having a large client base with large amounts of data can be a challenge for smaller teams to manage while also personalizing their email outreach. Email automation services can help set up tracking the more routine process allowing email marketing teams to dedicate more time to their personalization efforts.
Create an automated workflow with trigger-based emails, follow-ups, re-engagement emails, and other types of email sequences to maintain contact communication and interaction with your clients.
How to personalize your emails
You can personalize every element of your emails, including the subject line, email copy and any other visual elements you add to your email body. The level of personalization depends only on the data you have, the goal of your email campaign, your creativity and of course depending on the service you use. That is why you should carefully choose the right email platform before you start your email personalization process.
Use a personalized from: name to send your emails from instead of a generic company name. Smaller and medium companies can use the CEO’s name, while bigger companies can use the name of account managers that are familiar to the clients. This email personalization tactic personalizes the connection you have with your clients and directly affects your open rate as they will be more inclined to open an email from someone familiar.
The preferred method of email personalization of most marketers, emails with the recipient’s name in the subject line have a 21% higher open rate compared to regular emails. It is one of the easiest methods of personalization as it requires you to only have basic information of the recipient, which is their name.
Personalizing the subject line helps your email stand out in a crowded inbox and draws the recipient’s attention, as 47% of recipients open emails based on the subject line. Also keep the subject line relatively short due to the fact that emails with 6 to 10 words in the subject line have a 21% open rate.
Make your subject line captivating and to the point and depending on the context of the email and the email campaign. You can also experiment with adding emojis to the subject line to make your email stand out more as they have an improved open rate of 56% and are popular with younger recipients, most notably young women.
Think of the preheader as an influential second subject line. It’s the second thing a recipient notices that helps them decide whether to open your email. Also considering that over half of emails are now opened on mobile devices where the preheader is given more screen space, you should personalize it as well to add to your subject line.
As an alternative to personalizing the subject line, you can use the introduction greeting to address the email recipient. If you think that adding the recipients name to the subject line is overdone, you can try this email personalization method as it presents a nice introductory part of a more deeply personalized email, where you can use other data you have on the recipient.
Personalizing the email copy is very important, because it is the main part of your email and it directly affects your click-through rate. You should personalize in line with the context of the goals of your email campaign. Stay on point and be concise in terms of what action you want the recipient to take. Captivate their attention and quickly enforce it with a clearly focused target.
Images, GIFs, videos, and other types of visual content make it easier for you to present the content in your email and are more effective in grabbing the attention of the email recipient.
For a simple but effective image personalization, you can input the recipient’s name in the image to attract attention or showcase your product. You can use any data point depending on the data you have and how it can help you in marketing your product.
Another great email visual personalization tactic is the use of videos. They are a great way to represent a brand and show off a product. Also using videos in your email marketing campaign can increase your click-through rate by 96%.
With dynamic content, you can target different group segments based on one or several data points. For example, you can promote your email automation service to small marketing companies and larger sales teams by differentiating the two different audience segments based on their interest, your service’s functionality by using one email template but with carefully targeted points of interest to each segment.
Softwares with the option to add dynamic content to your emails, can really be step ahead and contribute to your email personalization.
You can prepare dynamic sentences to add to the body of your email with a specific pain point of a certain group of clients, and automatically add the right sense to a an email each time you reach out. By using the custom tag not only for the names and other data points, but also for the content, you can really give a personality to an email and address the right person, without the person even knowing it’s not manually sent to them.
This will save you the time to adjust, but also save the time of your lead in the nurture phase of your prospecting.
Time and date
Location and time zone data is important for email personalization and you might be wondering how. Your highly personalized email will not achieve the best effect unless you send it at the right time. If your recipients live in different time zones which is a common occurrence for most services competing in the international market, your emails have to reach them all at the most optimal time for each and every email recipient.
Track the performance of your personalized emails. Regardless which part of your email you decide to personalize, you need to know if and what kind of an effect it will have on the performance of your email campaign metrics. That is why it is best to test one change at a time for the best results and so you can make the perfect personalized email.
Email personalization examples
Email personalization can be used in any type of email that you want to send to your clients. Whether you want to engage inactive users, inform users of new features that will be of use to them or to show your long-term clients how much you appreciate them. Here are just a few popular examples of where personalization is used most often in combination with behavioural data and user tracking.
A welcome email
First impressions are important. How you presents your brand and service can have a lasting impact on a client’s decision to stick with you or not. A simple welcome email is a great way to begin the onboarding process with new clients to your service and you only get the opportunity to do it once so make sure you do it right. The tone, language and visual design all play a part into nailing that first “e-handshake” and leaving a good first.
If you noticed that a part of your user base is seeing a drop-in activity, you will have to find out why. Find the reason by touching upon different points. Remind them of the value of your product and offer to send them a special pricing plan to show them that you want to keep them as a user.
Product marketing emails
As your product evolves and gets new features it is important to communicate these changes to your user base. After all you are making and improving the product for them.
Depending on the feature set of your product, users may use one or several features. Send different feature users, personalized emails highlighting the benefits of the different features your product offers, along with guides, case studies and other content that will encourage them to try it.
Customer appreciation emails
Your long-term active user base is not just a steady source of income, but also an extension of your marketing team as they spread their experience with colleagues and other contacts and they are also one of your most valuable assets when it comes to your product and future growth.
That is why you need to show your appreciation with a personalized email, thanking them, noting their contribution and rewarding them. Offer them special perks and promotions, betas access to new features and send messages made specifically to address their important status and relay their importance to your business.
The data used for email segmentation and personalization often overlaps, enabling you to achieve accurate segment grouping and highly personalized emails with the same data. In other words, you can personalize your emails in any way you like in an effort to target your client base more accurately as long as you can segment a given group efficiently.
Personalization plays a key role in your email marketing. It enables you to deliver highly targeted messaging and content to individual clients, that they find relevant and engaging.
Knowing how to effectively personalize your emails, means gathering the right data about your clients, segmenting your email list and automating your outreach. Also, you should constantly analyze and test different personalization tactics to improve your open and click-through rates. Now you can personalize your emails with ease and improve your client outreach.
Finally, sometimes, In the rush of an overloaded day, you accidentally pushed the wrong button – and highly sensitive information went the wrong way. But do not worry, it happens even to the greatest of us. There is great news – there are ways to unsend an email!