Imagine you’re browsing the mall for a friend’s birthday. A vendor calls out to you, looking to earn your attention and hopefully a sale. You look at him in shock, not because of his tone or message, but because he addressed you by first and last name. “I’ve never seen this guy in my life, how could he possibly know my name” you think to yourself.
For most people, this situation would be strange and shocking in real life, but it happens all too often in the digital world. Marketing professionals realize the need for tailoring messages to a specific customer, and the majority of them are prioritizing personalization marketing for their own campaigns.
Email marketing is still a powerful tool in digital marketing, with 91% of US consumers checking their inbox daily, but to reach the consumer on a deeper level, we must listen to the signals given off by our customers. However, many companies seem to be calibrating their efforts poorly and jumping too quickly into faking a relationship with a customer before a level of trust is established. The modern day consumer is savvy, and is turned off by overly forward personalization marketing tactics, such as including their names in email subject lines.
Your company’s email list is an invaluable resource. It’s a direct connection to your customer and can be instrumental in establishing a relationship for a conversion or upsell. The question is how do you continue building trust with your customers without coming off as annoying, creepy, or overbearing? Any mistakes when walking this fine line can lead to an exodus from your email list through the dreaded unsubscription.
Relevant emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails, which means that sending out a “one size fits all” email blast is a wasted opportunity to engage with your customer. Customers often visit a website multiple times before converting. By subtly collecting their contact information, along with their needs and intent, you’ll be able to craft highly tailored emails for them. The problem is, many website visitors abandon partially filled out contact forms and close out of a website. The good news is you can capture this “lost” information. Take a look at these applications that can help you with this information recovery.
Simply personalizing an email with variable data that displays the recipients name is seen as a gimmick, since it doesn’t do anything to bring value to the customer. Below are other ideas on how to tailor an email with useful information.
1.Check Up on Your Customers.
Once you’ve earned a purchase, you have the luxury of knowing who the customer is, their behavior while browsing your website, and most importantly, what they’ve purchased. Staying on top of purchase patterns can unearth fantastic opportunities to earn reorders. Take a look at this example from bodybuilding.com. They’ve forecasted the time it ordinarily takes to use up a workout supplement, and send out tailored emails when they think a customer may be running low. This type of personalized correspondence is a win for both parties. The vendor can earn a reorder, and the customers won’t find themselves out of the product before having a chance to reorder.
2. Encourage Future Action
We’ve been taught that it’s good to reach out to friends, family, or connections from time to time, without having an agenda or a favor to ask for. The same holds true for the online world. Not all emails need to be transaction-based. Take for example, this email from Codecademy, a website that helps you practice and learn different coding languages. They’re recognizing the work the customer is putting in, complimenting them, and encouraging them to keep up their streak. On the surface, this may seem like a very simple email, but it’s wrapped in many layers of psychology that encourages action.
3. Location, Location, Location
An example of a very transactional, yet tailored email comes in the form of an Amazon Local discount offer. There is no relationship building here, but value is provided through highly localized offers that are related to the zipcode Amazon has on file for this customer. Tracking what the customer clicks on will help Amazon further tailor the discounts that are displayed in future emails.
4. Customer Acquisition or Customer Retention?
We often hear that it’s 5 times less costly to retain your current customers versus acquiring new ones. Whether those figures are true or not is often debated, but it’s easy to see how the experience for current customers would suffer under a strong new customer acquisition strategy.
Apart from that, there is a huge advantage of marketing to your current or past customers. You already have their customer profile and contact information. With this, you’re able to send communication tailored to their individual situations. For example, the HostGator email below is an attempt to reach back out to customers who stopped using their service. Not only are they offering a special rate as an incentive to rejoin, but they also point out new features and make it easy to find out more about them.
5. Follow Up
What better way to personalize an email, than to remind your customer that they already want something? With simple third party applications like CartRescuer, Rejoiner, or even the tools provided through Shopify, you’re able to track the shopping behavior of your customers and find out what they’re interested in, even if they don’t purchase from you. In the example below, Booking.com is sending a follow up email, which highlights a new discount the customer has earned in addition to the option of revisiting their most recent searches.
Hopefully, we’ve inspired you to take your email marketing to the next level with tailored messages to individual customers, or at least separate customer groups. Among the SaaS vendors for this software, Hubspot and Marketo have a robust portfolio of product and features to help personalize your emails, but if these heavy hitters are out of your price range, don’t worry. There are plenty of other vendors to choose from that can fit your needs and budget.