As an increasing number of businesses leverage email marketing to drive growth, the groundwork needed to make it work also increases. Among other things, your business organization needs to pay particular attention to how to personalize emails that you send your subscribers.
A study that Forbes cited says ‘70% of millennials are frustrated with brands sending irrelevant emails’. Sadly, a number of businesses don’t pay enough attention to personalizing emails and make their offers and content more relevant, more personalized.
They continue sending out hundreds of thousands of emails, trying to sell the same thing to people with very diverse needs and backgrounds. And then watch their returns plummet; their email ROI is nowhere close to what they thought it’d be.
Not surprising, because the email that Amelia, 59, a retired school teacher in Maine, receives is no different from the email that Nathan, 19, a freshman in Alabama receives, or the one that Elldrich, 31, a fintech startupper in California receives. Lack of personalization is the common underlying cause.
So why is email personalization so important?
Here, we discuss the 7 reasons why you should personalize your emails and make it your top priority. But before that, a quick recap of what email personalization is.
What is email personalization
Email personalization is the process of using your understanding about your email recipients and the data you have on them in order to create more focussed email copy and engage better.
As is obvious, email personalization aims to make the email copy read like it was written specifically for the recipient, not for a general mass. The better data you have about the subscribers, the better your understanding is about their problems, the more powerful your email personalization can be.
7 reasons for email personalization
The first and foremost reason you want to personalize your emails is that you don’t want your emails to read like they’ve come out of a factory that mass produces millions of identical emails.
Email personalization makes your emails sound like you’ve written specifically for the recipient. That means you’ve taken into account their unique features, their unique challenges and all that into account. That makes your emails super relevant, something that your recipient will be happy to read and take action after reading.
You may run the best of offers and yet not have many takers. That’s because the offer didn’t sound exciting. Personalising emails helps you understand what they’ll value. To that extent, you can reward them a great deal better, because of the relevancy.
Let’s say you operate an online store and you plan to reward your loyal customers with a special offer on summer wear. Who do you think will be more interested, someone from subtropical Greenville, South Carolina, or chilly Anchorage, Alaska? If you don’t personalize the offer, you’ll fail to reward your customers from Alaska.
Most of your customers – and even some of your prospects – may hold your brand in very high esteem and care deeply for you. But people care about themselves even more. If your brand doesn’t talk about your recipient’s priorities, they won’t buy from you, no matter how much they love you.
Email personalization is therefore the rational, logical thing to do in marketing. It places the recipient of your emails at the center of everything you do. It talks about what the recipient really cares about – their own needs.
Imagine you are planning to buy a new car and you visit a car dealer. Their salesperson Jim talks about what an awesome guy he is and why everyone loves him. Then he insists you purchase the model Falconz 44. The next day you are at another dealer’s. Their salesperson Ann asks you about your requirements, the features you’re looking for, your usage – basically talks about you. Then she gently suggests the model Falconz 44.
No prizes for guessing which of the two salesperson you found more convincing.
For exactly the same reasons, an email that’s written like it’s tailor-made for you is a great deal more readable. It’s meant for you, it focuses on what you’re looking for; the sender is secondary.
You don’t want your customer to make one purchase from you and walk away, never to be heard of again. You want to keep serving them, build a strong relationship with them and continue selling them stuff for a long time, in order to maximize your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) from every customer.
For instance, post-purchase emails offer you great scope to personalize your emails and further deepen your relationship with your customers. From order confirmation to cross-selling, you get multiple opportunities to tell your customers that you listen to them and you care for them. Which is what a strong relationship is all about.
There. We said it. If you are looking to generate some decent RoI (Return on Investment) on your email marketing efforts, you’ll want to personalize your emails.
While email marketing is not expensive, it certainly is not free. The time and energy you put into building your email lists, crafting the email copy, testing headlines, keeping your email list clean … all these are your investments against which you want a healthy return. Only a handful of actions help you achieve a healthy ROI, and email personalization is one of them.
Studies like this one suggest that selling to a new customer can cost about five times as much as selling to an existing customer. Which is why you don’t want to lose existing customers.
However, no matter how much hard work you put in, some of your subscribers are bound to display poor engagement. They may stop taking any action, stop opening your emails, and soon stop buying from you.
Email personalization helps get some of these subscribers back. Among the many ways you can do that, here’s one example. To all those subscribers who haven’t opened your emails in the past, say, 2 months, you can send an email that says something like, “Hey, it’s been kinda lonely…” (A special discount can help things further!) With the right copy and a dash of humor, you will see some revival.
Famed fiction writer Joseph Heller, in his epic best-seller Catch-22 offers a brilliant, although highly exaggerated example of impersonal messages.
Here’s a letter that the group commander in the novel writes to the family of a deceased member of the armed forces:
While Heller obviously took things to the extreme, he drove the message home. No one likes to read emails that are impersonal, because impersonal emails are not only irrelevant but also cold.
Email personalization treats recipients as humans, not just as an entry on a large list. That’s one of the many reasons why tailoring the content of your will invariably produce better results.
Over to you now!