Personalization is both the easiest and the hardest thing that email marketers can do. Marketers can start with basic personalization, such as adding a name to an email. Then there’s marketing by different segments, like a different email for men vs. women, or a different email for a person that frequently opens emails vs. someone that rarely opens. Then there’s the next, more difficult level – targeted personalized lifecycle marketing.
At CP, our focus is lifecycle marketing – sending relevant, targeted, personalized messages modeled as to when a customer is most likely to act – make a purchase, sign up, refer a friend or another action of value to the brand. More often than not, in retail, the goal is to encourage customers to make another purchase and increase their incremental revenue. For us, lifecycle is omnichannel – we have insight into purchases and behaviors of customers across all touchpoints. To enhance the lifecycle marketing messages and make them more personalized, we market to customers based on their indicated interest in addition to their lifecycle stage.
The more personalization you choose to employ, the more effort it takes to employ it. Marketers are strapped for time already – can you imagine having to create a different email for each segment, or worse, for each individual customer? It’s becomes daunting!
Fortunately, leveraging core ESP functionality, marketers can send emails that are similar, but with dynamic content and messaging that are targeted and relevant to the individual customer. This is a nice departure from your typical batch-and-blast email. Below are some straight forward examples where dynamic content and messaging can enhance your lifecycle marketing to make it even more relevant to customers:
- Subject Lines by Segmentation – Something that many marketers strive to achieve is segmentation of the database. But once you’ve managed to segment your customers, how are you acting on it? A simple solution is to vary the subject line of an email based on each segment. For example, when featuring recommended items in a store geared towards women, the subject line for your female customers is “Get yourself something new”, and an alternative one for men, “Do you know someone that needs something new?”. The email has the same creative, just different subject lines to make the email more relevant and personalized.
- Subject Lines by Behavior – Most ESPs will have access to data on individual consumers that opened and clicked on an email. We test subject lines all the time, to see what customers are responding to. Words like SALE, New, and Events are just some of the things we test for. Typically, these words are overused on everyone and thereby become not relevant to anyone. By being a little smarter, we can see which customers are discount buyers, who buys the new season’s products, and who comes to events. Why not use this insight to create dynamic subject lines that are most relevant to each customer, without changing the creative one bit!
- Lifecycle Marketing and Interests – We are able to see what customers like through their purchases, and their response to marketing. For example, a customer could buy more fashion-forward items, more conservative, functional items, or items that are on sale. Let’s think about what a customer likes about the brand, what they buy, what their closet looks like from their purchases and use this insight to personalize what we say to them. Instead of generic lifecycle messaging, the marketer can create different versions of each email in the lifecycle to make the messaging more relevant to what the customers is already inclined to purchase.
It’s important to note that any personalization is hard to employ without access to clean data in a centralized location. You won’t be able to pull the segmentation or purchase behavior unless you can see your data across your store, online, mobile, and email channels. Housing your data in a CDP that connects to all touchpoints and organizes it by customer should give you a holistic view of the customer, enabling more precise personalization, no matter what channel you use.