How to Incorporate Personalization in Email Marketing to Increase Engagement and Sales

Quick Tips / March 31, 2021 / admin

You’ve probably heard the myth that email marketing is obsolete and just a waste of marketing dollars. Don’t buy into it. Changing times require a change in approach. So, while some email marketing strategies are outdated, certain email marketing strategies can take your campaign from good to the best. Personalization is one of them. Don’t believe us? Consider the below statistics. 

An envelope with a hand sticking out holding a sign stating "Hello John", a text bubble coming out of the envelope stating "Subject line: This for you John"

50% of marketing influencers regard message personalization as the most effective email marketing strategy, and personalization in email marketing generates an average ROI of 122%. 

The biggest takeaway here is that your email marketing can be made so much more effective with one simple tactic, called personalization.  

In this article, we will discuss email personalization strategies that can boost your email marketing efforts and ultimately lead to increased sales and engagement. 

A team working on different strategies to build an email
Image Source: istockphoto

What is Email Personalization? 

Email marketing personalization targets clients by using their data and information to create tailor-made emails. 

For example, if you own a real estate business, you may already know that buyers have different needs than sellers. So, when you target these two different groups by creating emails tailor-made for their needs, this approach is known as personalization.  

“Now that you have some idea of email personalization,” let’s delve deeper into what it entails and the best practices for email personalization. 

Incorporating personalization in email marketing

1. Build Your Email List 

Before implementing any email marketing strategy, it is very important to ensure that you have a healthy email list. By healthy email list, we mean you are always abiding by your clients’ privacy and following the spam-control rules spelled-out by GDPR and CAN-SPAM Act

For adding subscribers to your email list, you have to make sure that your email content is high-quality and relevant to your clients. Once you have fulfilled this basic requirement, you can start building your email list in the following ways with: 

  • Include email sign-up forms on your website. We’ll elaborate on this approach in the next section of this post.
  • Use social media platforms to ask your clients to sign-up. Make sure to include a reward for sign-up.
  • Use virtual and live events to grow your mailing list. Offer a way for your clients to sign-up.
  • Host contests and giveaways.
  • Offer free valuable content in exchange for email addresses. In the example below, the sender offers a free guide to the customers in exchange for their email addresses. 
An email example with personalization, promoting a free guide
                Image Source: localiq   

Additional Tip: Building email lists manually takes up a lot of time. You can do this effortlessly by using Daylite, which allows you to segment your customers using Categories and Keywords and then filter them to create Smart Lists. Using Daylite, you can place your contacts into categories, such as Leads, Clients, Employees, vendors, and so on. This unique tool also allows you to tag your customers with Keywords specific to their interests and hobbies or the products or services of their interest. Once you have applied the keywords, you can save these segmented groups as Smart Lists so you can send them specific emails that address these interests. 

2. Collect Information About Your Customers 

Once you have your email list ready, the next step is to plan your email personalization strategies. The first step to email personalization is to collect information about your customers. Here are some ways to do it. 

2.1 Use Sign-Up Forms

A great strategy to start would be to include questions in your sign-up form. Keep your sign-up forms simple and include only those questions which are necessary for your email personalization. Too many questions can overwhelm the clients and deter them from sign-up.  

For example, if you have a digital marketing agency, you can ask your clients about the kind of services they are interested in and their marketing budget. You will later use this information to craft your emails according to the services they are interested in and their budget range. 

2.2 Use Surveys

Surveys are great for collecting information, but you should use them sparingly. You don’t want to annoy your customers by asking them to participate in a survey immediately after they sign-up. Here’s how you can use surveys smartly. 

  • Include a survey in the last paragraph of your welcome email. You can preface it with a question about the type of information they want to receive via emails.
  • Make your surveys fun and interesting by including pictures and fun questions that are relevant to your business. 

An example of a fun survey question for the real estate business is – If you are a bachelor and want to have fun with your friends on weekends. Where would you prefer to live?

  1. Near a club
  2. Near the woods 

2.3 Analyze your previous emails

Analyze your previous emails to gather information about your clients, like – the email content they engaged the most with. 

3. Segment Your Audience 

After obtaining the information you need about your clients, you will classify or segment your clients according to their age, preferences, location, budget, marital status, and several other criteria. For example, if you have a real estate business, among all your clients looking to buy property, you will have a segment of clients with kids. To that group, you will offer property options near schools or parks. 

Segmentation of contacts is an important strategy that helps you classify your clients into different groups so that you can deliver the right information to the right client group. It can also be used to decide the style and tone of your email content. Below are some categories in which you can broadly divide your clients. 

  • Demographics: Key Demographics include the Gender, Age, and Nationality of your clients.
  • Social: Based on Education, Marital Status, and income of your clients.
  • Geographic: Based on places where the clients live in
  • Behavioral: Interest in certain topics, browsing patterns, purchase history, and activity level.
  • Position in the client journey
  • Engagement with past emails 

After carefully segmenting your clients into different groups, find answers to questions, like: 

  • What’s important to each segment?
  • What are their biggest pain points? 
  • What can your business do to address those pain points? 

Segmentation is the backbone of all your email personalization strategies. If you are having troubles with your client segmentation in your database, Daylite is a CRM that will make segmentation easy and accurate for you. Daylite lets you create simple or complex segments by filtering across a wide range of criteria, thus taking your email personalization to the next level. 

4. Address Your Clients By Their Names 

In Dale Carnegie’s words, a person’s name is the sweetest and most important sound to them. Email marketing experts know this very well; therefore, every email marketing campaign starts with addressing the clients by their names. Instead of starting your emails with a generic “Hello,” you can start your emails with your client’s name, like this email example by WP forms

An email example with personalization sent by WP forms

It is also better for your email marketing campaigns if you include your clients’ name in email subject lines as well. If you are sending out multiple emails to your clients, including clients’ names in each and every email can be challenging. Daylite’s merge keys feature enables you to pull your clients’ name or company name into the email and subject line in a few easy steps, so you don’t have to do it manually.

5. Time Your Emails Correctly 

To ensure your emails are opened and reach your clients at an appropriate time, always schedule to send your emails in your clients’ time zone.  

For example, if you have a business in New York City and your clients live in Paris (which is six hours ahead), you have to schedule your emails in such a way that they reach your clients’ inboxes at the time when they are the most active. 

Mailchimp is a tool that allows you to schedule your email campaigns based on the click activity history of the clients. Additionally, using their ‘Timewarp’ feature, you can deliver campaigns to your clients based on their time zone.

6. Personalize Your Offers 

Personalization is all about creating tailor-made content for your clients. So, instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach, you will be tailoring the offers for different clients.

For example, if you want to target millennials who want to save money for their business venture, you can offer them special types of savings account. For senior citizens, your offering will likely be different. 

7. Re-engage Your Clients 

Email marketing personalization can also help you re-engage clients who have previously shown interest in your service but didn’t respond to you after exchanging a few communications. Here’s an example by Duolingo, which includes a clear message emphasizing the importance of their site.  Warm follow-up emails with some reward or offer included are quite successful in enticing clients. 

An email example by Duolingo with the title "We haven't seen you in a while."

8. Remember Your Customers On Their Special Days 

It’s a human tendency to feel special when people remember things about them. Whether it’s your client’s birthday or their recent wedding, remembering them on their special occasions and reaching out to them with customized offers can take your personalization to a whole other level. 

Daylite makes it easier for you to remember your clients’ birthdays. With the help of smart lists, you can create a list of the clients according to their birthdays. All you have to do is mention your clients’ birthdays within their contact details. Then select people and filter category, “client.” and in how many days their birthday is coming. Once you have saved the smart list, you can even link a task to the list, such as “send birthday card.” 

Daylite's smart list with filtered view

Bottom Line

Personalizing your email messages correctly is at the core of an effective email marketing strategy. The idea of blasting generic emails to clients is an ancient practice. Whether you’re a new business trying to establish a connection with your clients or an established business swimming in leads, you have to follow the latest email marketing trends to be successful. Personalization is a great tool in your marketing arsenal that can do wonders for your business. All you have to do is understand your clients well, and genuinely try to establish a connection with them using the personalization techniques that we discussed in this post.

Author Bio: Emily Johnson is a marketing consultant with 10 years of experience in the execution of marketing strategies. Currently, she heads the marketing department at Blue Mail Media, a renowned B2B data solution company based out of Austin, Texas.

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