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Strengthening Your Email Marketing: Personalization

Email marketing is like going to the gym; everyone does it, but not everyone does it well. We get stuck in the same routine just going through the motions, with no thought of our return on investment. By making one small change, either at the gym or in your email strategy, you can see a huge change in your RoI.

This is part three of a five-part blog series that gives helpful hints to switch up your email marketing strategy to attract and retain more loyal customers. For a warm up, check out parts one and two.

Where everybody knows your name…But not much else.

At my gym, it feels like everyone knows who I am. I am greeted with “Hey, how are you?” and after I swipe my membership card, “Have a great workout, Nick.” It makes me feel like I am in a VIP member club, when in reality, it’s just good customer service.

Using a customer’s name in an email is just the first step to make the interaction feel personalized, and it’s something most marketers are already doing. In fact, 64% of marketers are already personalizing emails with customer names. However, email personalization that gets results goes deeper than that. It requires using customer data and information to create a contextually relevant experience for the end user. Just like at the gym, when a personal trainer keeps track of your progress and uses that information in your next session to make you better and stronger, brands can leverage customer preferences from account sign-up or past purchase behavior to move the customer along in the relationship.

As I mentioned in previous blog posts, retailers can collect a lot of information about preferences during account sign-up. All of this information can be used to personalize the experience. Here is a sample of the questions that you can ask to give customers a more personalized experience:

  • What style do you like best? Retailers can send personal recommendations based off the color or style that their customers choose.
  • What size do you prefer? This question can go beyond just clothes. If a customer tells a furniture store that they are furnishing an 800-sq. foot studio apartment, the retailer shouldn’t try to sell them the 25-foot dining room table.
  • Who are you shopping for primarily? If a customer is shopping primarily for someone other than themselves, retailers can target the messaging for holidays, anniversaries and other special occasions.

BONUS: What are customers purchasing? Using previous purchase information, retailers can compare what customer preferences to their purchases, and refine personal recommendations even further.

Personalization in Action

Let’s say we have a customer, Peter, who recently purchased a pair of men’s sneakers in size 11W at full price from a sporting goods retailer. However, the first email Peter receives from the retailer is a blowout sale of women’s athletic apparel. Peter’s previous purchase provided every indication that he was a male who purchased a pair of shoes for himself. So, why would Peter be interested in women’s apparel? Although it’s beneficial to educate customers on all product categories and gender offerings, this should not be the first communication he receives after a purchase. If he does not receive product emails tailored to his preferences, Peter will miss relevant product information and will be lost as a customer.

74% of marketers say that targeted, personalized emails increase customer engagement. Take a moment to check out the data you collect from customers, and see how you can use that data to personalize emails that drive customer engagement and higher revenue.

To read more, check out my article in Target Marketing for more tips on email marketing, and stay tuned for our next Strengthening Your Email Marketing blog post, with tips to create a repurchase series that entices customers to continue making purchases from your brand.