4 Crafty, Not Clingy Ways to Personalize Your Emails

— April 7, 2017

It’s no secret that savvy businesses are engaging their customers by creating personalized experiences tailored to their interests and needs. And email makes it easier than ever to do so.

Personalized emails also happen to be pretty darn effective at driving sales. According to the Direct Marketing Association, segmented and targeted emails generate 50 percent of all revenue.

But there’s a fine line between sending content that’s relevant and content that’s just plain creepy.

To help you personalize emails that delight consumers without scaring them away, here are four ideas to try with your next send.

1. Embrace consumer data

So you have all of that big data… now what?

Well, there may be a big opportunity to get creative with how you present it.

If you can find a story in your data, share it with your audience. After all, people love to hear stories and learn more about themselves. By delivering this information via email, it shows your customers that you’re collecting data to customize a unique experience tailored to their needs.

And as you do, you also gain an opportunity to build deeper connections with your individual customers – just as you would with any relationship.

Late last year, the music streaming platform Spotify led the charge with storytelling through customer data. They not only placed billboards featuring the biggest listening trends of 2016, they also sent personalized emails to customers with details of their music behaviors throughout the year:

As you brainstorm ways to tell your subscribers’ stories through email, be sure to include opportunities for them to further engage with your brand.

Whether you include a discount code to thank them for being loyal customers or a simple link to explore new products, your email should include a clear call-to-action to continue the interaction.

2. Send reminders of forgotten items

Cart abandonment emails is a popular phrase among the email community, and for a good reason: they serve as a reminder to customers to purchase items in which they’ve expressed interest, and they work; according to our friends at MailCharts, 33 percent of opened cart abandonment emails drive sales.

As a result, your goal should be to remind customers about the items they were browsing and encourage them to make a purchase.

To influence subscribers to open these emails, includes phrases that emphasize urgency and curiosity in your subject line. Examples like “Don’t forget!” or “Forget something?” work well because they’re short and elicit interest that could motivate subscribers to read the email.

Another way to optimize cart abandonment emails is to provide an exclusive offer, such as a discount code or bonus item. Here’s a great example from Brooklinen, which promoted free shipping with an online order:

By offering an incentive and emphasizing urgency (“before your items are sold out”), it encourages on-the-fence buyers to convert. They even included a “Recommended Products” section at the bottom to deliver even more personalized content to subscribers based on their individual tastes.

3. Celebrate the little things

Who doesn’t love a party, amiright?!

If you collect subscriber information like birthdays or the date of their first purchase, try sending emails to celebrate them.

When you do, don’t forget to include a present to go along with it, such as a freebie. In Sephora’s email below, they celebrate customer birthdays with a free item that can be redeemed with a purchase – which is a subtle way to promote additional business and get them psyched. A nice win-win!

To make this email all about the subscriber, Sephora address me by my first name. Doing so adds a personal touch to the email content in a way that feels like a 1:1 conversation.

4. Send items they’re interested in

Whether you track consumer behavior on your websites or directly ask about their interests on your sign up form, use this information to send emails with content that aligns with what they like.

The NFL Shop, for example, asks new subscribers about their favorite professional teams. Once a consumer shares this information, they get personalized emails with images and content specific to what they selected:

So instead of sending generalized emails with a variety of sports teams (which could include a person’s arch nemesis team), NFL Shop is able to cater to the individual, passionate fan.

Although tailoring content to your subscribers is a quick way to boost engagement and sales, continue providing opportunities for them to explore other products. They may want to purchase items for a friend or family member and will need to know you’re the source to go to!

Get crafty with your emails

When it comes to connecting with customers through personalized emails, the possibilities are endless. Whether you choose to send a detailed email with a variety of customer information or go with a standard cart-abandonment email, your customers will be thrilled to hear from you.

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Author: Monica Montesa

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