Using Email Marketing Personalization to Boost Conversions

When you walk into your local coffee shop, say hi to your favourite barista, and see that he’s already started your usual latte, it feels good. It’s nice to be recognized and remembered.

Some marketers have figured that out and are cashing in on it by segmenting their email subscriber lists and adding email marketing personalization. Read on to discover how this tactic can help improve your ROI and boost your conversion rate.

Why Segment and Personalize Your Email List?

In 2015, office workers received an average of 121 emails a day, and by 2018, that’s expected to increase to 140. Mind boggling — and time-consuming, which could explain why only about 21.8% of all those emails are ever opened.

To get yours noticed — and opened — you’ll need to pull out all the stops to minimize opt-outs and increase your conversion rate.

Your first steps should include email marketing personalization and segmentation. DMA found that “segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue” for companies engaged in email marketing.

But there’s a slight difference between the two.

Email List Segmentation

Segmenting your email list involves sorting your subscribers into pre-defined buckets — buckets that divide them into categories based on such things as who and what they are, such as:

  • Demographics
  • Job function
  • Industry
  • Organization type
  • Industry
  • Interests
  • Geographic location
  • Whatever else matters to you

The idea behind this is that you can then send more relevant emails to each group with the goal of getting a higher percentage to open them because the recipients will perceive the message as relevant to them.

However, regardless of how you categorize your list, one of the buckets you use should be for the “non-engaged” on your list. The purpose of this bucket is to remind you to figure out a way to re-engage with them or determine when it’s time to wipe them from your list.

Email Marketing Personalization of Email List

Personalization is just what it sounds like. It’s you playing the role of the barista, remembering your customer and what he likes, and getting something ready for him ahead of time. So, go ahead and use his first name in your email greeting.

But personalization goes beyond just inserting <firstname>. It’s based on past and current behavior so you can anticipate needs, find solutions to problems he’s likely to encounter based on those behaviors, and more.

So, engage in email list personalization to accomplish this. Consider appending information to each subscriber’s name that includes:

  • When they signed up for your list
  • Date of first purchase
  • Items purchased
  • Buyer persona
  • Level of engagement
  • PDFs or other collateral that’s been downloaded
  • Blogs that have been read
  • Personal meetings
  • Emails that have been responded to
  • Marketing channel preferences (email, social media, etc.)
  • Birth day and month

Forrester’s 2016 report notes that “personalized experiences are no longer a nice-to-have,” implying that it’s a necessity for your success. In fact, one of the report’s key takeaways proves that when it notes:

“Organizations strive to deliver experiences to an increasingly connected customer. To do so, they look to solve three major challenges: deliver personalized experiences to reach customers; solve organizational people challenges to operationalize delivery of experiences; and build platforms to reach customers at scale.”

Remember, it’s fine for a subscriber to be in more than one bucket and over time a subscriber might need to be moved from one bucket to another.

How to Conduct Email Marketing Personalization

It’s probably become clear that you must take a few steps to successfully conduct email marketing personalization by segmentation of your list.

  1. Figure out your strategy
  2. Get your data in order
  3. Parse the list as described above

If you’ve gotten this far, you know your plan to implement personalization, now you’ve got to figure out how you’re going to do it. And that will depend on your firm, the staff available for marketing, the software you have or plan to buy, and how much data you really want to collect and use.

  • Will you have hundreds of email templates to correspond to each behavior or event that might occur in categories of subscribers?
  • How many products do you have?
  • How many current customers?
  • Do you need new software to help create this ever-increasing database?
  • Will your email provider be able to handle automatically sending a particular email based on an event?

Once you’ve determined those answers, you need to get your data in order.

  • What information will you collect?
  • What’s your minimum requirement of information?
  • How many forms will you need?
  • Will the forms be different for someone subscribing to your list than for someone downloading a white paper?
  • Will it need to be different for readers of your blog?
  • How will all the data get into the database?
  • How will sales and meetings be entered into the database?

The Benefits of Email Marketing Personalization

Perhaps it’s enough to know that for each dollar you spend on email marketing you could see a 760% increase in revenue. Or, if you need more convincing, consider that:

  • Every dollar spent on email marketing generated average returns of $28.50
  • Your segmented list will enjoy a 14.3% higher open rate than non-segmented emails
  • Email is 40 times more effective in gaining new customers than is social media
  • 81% of online purchases say they’d consider another purchase based on a targeted, personalized email they receive related to “something you might like” after an online experience
  • You’ll increase brand affinity

So get your forms constructed, start collecting data, use that data to personalize your emails and watch your ROI and conversions increase.

At Total Product Marketing, we specialize in creating and delivering meaningful inbound marketing strategies for Cloud, Hosting, and Technology Companies. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help with your MSP and Cloud service email marketing strategy.

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Author avatar
Dean Ara
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