With the huge volume of emails received each day, it goes without saying that personalised email campaigns have a far greater chance of being opened and read compared to generic emails.
Whether an email contains your name in the subject line or body, or it is presenting a unique offer tailored to your interests or location, you are more likely to engage in something that has been crafted especially for you.
Paper Style, a wedding specialist website based in the US, developed a personalised email campaign after experiencing a less than engaged response to their emails. Understanding that not everyone joined the website for the same reason, they created a strategy that asked, 'What are you planning for?'. The campaign had two possible answers. Either customers were planning their own wedding, or they were planning a loved one's wedding. The campaign was therefore split, with the type of customer determining which email they received.
As the result of this campaign, Paper Style’s open rate increased by 244% and their click-through rate jumped up by 161%. You can view the full case study on the Sherpa blog to see how personalising their emails helped this brand significantly.
Personalisation does not simply mean using generic forms with name place holders on the subject and email copy however. A truly successful personalised email campaign has one or more of the following elements:
- An opener that is warm and inviting, setting the tone for your message;
- Reference to a previous transaction, letting the customer feel how well you know them;
- Offers or content based on your reader's location;
- Offers or content that is relevant to a specific group;
- Emails that are personalised without being overly personal or over-familiar.
The Advantages of Personalised Email Campaigns
Now that you know what a good personalised email should include, let's have a look at some of the biggest advantages to sending personalised email campaigns. The top benefits include the following:
Without a doubt, the biggest benefit is conversion. Messages that have been tailored specifically to the reader have a far greater level of engagement and resonance. This is logical – we are more likely to engage with content that appeals to our interests and preferences, after all. Generic content may seem easier, but in fact, when you try to appeal to everyone, you often end up appealing to no one instead. Some of the ways that emails can be personalised include the recipient's name, industry, company or interest in the subject line; emails that greet the recipient by name; landing pages that continue the message featured in the email, with pre-loaded information fields and follow-up emails with recommendations.
Makes Conversion Easier
Personalised email campaigns don't only help conversions in general, they also make the whole process easier at the same time. Whatever your ultimate goal may be – getting more sign-ups, downloading content, booking a webinar or making a sale – it is easier for people to convert when they don't have to take too much time and effort to do so. A good example of this is the Amazon one-click purchase option that allows logged-in users to instantly proceed to checkout, without having to go through a more complex check-out procedure. When behaviour, information and preferences are remembered, forms can be personalised and the number of steps needed to complete conversion will be reduced. This in turn makes it more likely for conversion to happen.
Less Time Wasted
In the early days of email marketing, mass blasts had to be done on a regular basis to capture at least a few conversions. Because today's email marketing is highly targeted and based on relevant content that readers actually want to see, it saves marketers a great deal of time and effort. Market segmentation works hand in hand with automation to create highly targeted campaigns that are far more efficient than the email blasts of yesteryear. As engagement increases from personalised topics, planned timing and careful, clever content, you can send far fewer emails to each subscriber, increasing your email open rates while achieving more targeted results.
Improves Lead Nurturing
A key step in any lead management process is content that is personalised according to each segment's interests, behaviour and preferences. Emails and landing pages that are deeply personalised are far more likely to move along the lead lifecycle to go from subscribers or leads to marketing or sales qualified leads, and, ultimately, customers. Understanding and using market segmentation wisely is vital. If you are personalising your emails not only by content and topic but also by your leads' stages, you will have even more chance at increased conversion.
Builds an Engaged Audience
Personalisation can also help you build your reputation, by genuinely engaging your audience. A good example of how this can help you connect to your audience is to think about your neighbourhood café or hair stylist. If you are a regular, you will soon be known. You will be able to walk in, be recognised and have a targeted level of service. For instance, your favourite café may know exactly how you take your coffee. Or, your stylist may know how you wear your hair, without you having to remind them. When we feel heard and respected, we reward brands with increased engagement and loyalty. If you know your customers well, you will know that they prefer certain styles over others, or drink certain beverages over others. Using this information wisely is a great way to promote engagement.
Finally, something that you may not have considered is that personalised email campaigns help you increase your brand's authenticity. Being authentic is the ultimate goal aside from conversion. It works with reputation and engagement to ensure repeat business, better email open rates and a loyal following. The best way to ensure that you stay authentic is to be extra aware of email best practices. Make sure that you build a following of opt-in subscribers whose trust will not be abused with spammy offers and content that is not anything but genuine and useful. Consistency is key here – you will need to provide an authentic experience at all times, and not only when you want to promote something.