Once upon a time, receiving an email from a big brand, addressed directly to you with your name in the opening line was an incredibly exciting experience. That was the height of personalisation. Such a small detail made customers like yourself feel seen as an individual by the brands that you loved.
Now personalisation in email marketing has evolved way beyond the simple act of using a recipient's name. It’s about creating tailored content, offers and strategies that engage customers on a personal level. And what’s more, customers now expect this from brands with 91% of consumers being more likely to shop with brands who recognise, remember and offer relevant offers and recommendations.
It makes sense then, that personalised email campaigns convert so well, with studies indicating they generate significantly higher transaction rates than their generic counterparts. Personalisation isn't a novelty anymore; it's a necessity. It's about real engagement, real conversions, and real growth for businesses.
That’s why this blog isn’t about whether you should be personalising your email content; it’s about how you start.
Ways to personalise your email marketing
Practically, segmentation means dividing your email database into distinct groups based on specific criteria such as demographics, behaviour, or past interactions. It's about customising your approach to fit perfectly with your audience.
But what does this mean for email recipients?
By understanding your audience's diverse needs, you can send targeted, relevant content to each segment.
Imagine receiving emails that speak directly to your interests and preferences. For example, receiving exclusive offers for being a loyal customer or receiving enticing introductions to the products or services of a brand you’re curious about.
Segmentation ensures that recipients are not bombarded with irrelevant content but receive messages curated especially for them, their behaviour and where they are at in their customer journey. It transforms your email marketing from a mass broadcast to a personalised conversation, enriching the customer experience and fostering long-lasting relationships.
Unlike static content, dynamic content adapts itself based on the recipient’s preferences, behaviour, or demographics. This level of personalisation can transform the entire email layout, images, and text to match the individual’s interests and needs. Examples of commonly used dynamic content include clothing brands sending an email showcasing different styles of clothing based on the recipient’s past purchases or browsing history. Or a travel agency sending destination suggestions tailored to the recipient’s previous travel choices.
Creating dynamic content begins with a deep understanding of your audience segments and the content that resonates with them. Utilising marketing automation tools and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, you can dynamically populate emails with relevant product images, promotional offers, or personalised greetings. By harnessing data analytics and customer insights, you’re able to identify patterns and preferences, enabling you to tailor your content effectively.
By harnessing data analytics and customer insights, you can utilise marketing automation tools and customer relationship management (CRM) systems to dynamically populate emails with relevant product images, promotional offers, or personalised greetings. Implementation is easy with email marketing platforms that support dynamic content, because these platforms allow you to create rules and conditions that ensure the right content is displayed to the right audience segments.
Personalising Sender Details
Personalising sender details involves adding a human touch to your emails right from the sender’s end. It means moving beyond a generic company name and email address to make the sender (your company) look like a real person. Doing this goes a long way in building trust and connection with your customers because it helps them feel like they’re dealing with a person rather than an entity.
When it comes to personalising sender details, there are a few elements you can personalise. This includes using the sender's name, incorporating their profile picture, and even mentioning their specific role within the company. It seems very small and inconsequential but imagine you receive two emails: one from a faceless company and another from a real person, complete with a name and picture.
Who are you more likely to engage with?
Compared to the personalised email, the non-personalised email might feel robotic and less trustworthy, decreasing the chance of engagement. By humanising your sender details, you transform your emails from talking at your customers to talking to your customers.
Behavioural triggering is your opportunity to be one step ahead. You anticipate your audience's actions and tailor your messages accordingly. A behavioural trigger is an action, often online, that prompts an automatic response, such as sending a personalised email. These triggers are based on user behaviour, meaning your emails are not just timely but also super relevant.
Consider this scenario: a customer browses a particular product category on your website. This browsing behaviour can trigger an email showcasing similar products or offering a special discount for those specific items (note: this is also an example of how behavioural triggers and dynamic content can work together to create an even more personalised experience).
Other triggers include abandoned carts, sign-ups, past purchases, or even the frequency of website visits.
By recognising and acting upon these behavioural triggers, you transform your emails into proactive, personalised interactions. You’re meeting your audience where they are in their customer journey, delivering content that feels like it was made just for them, creating a seamless and highly personalised experience.
Prepping to Personalise your Email Marketing
There are a few areas to refine before diving into executing any of the personalisation tactics mentioned above. Let’s review.
Implement safeguards for quality data capture
Strong personalisation needs quality customer data to be effective. That’s why it’s so important that you’re not only capturing data, but that you’re capturing data that is ready to be used.
Using techniques like field validation and dropdown menus when capturing customer data prevent errors and inconsistencies in your data, which boosts the quality and reliability of the data you’re collecting.
Think of it as laying a sturdy foundation; the data you collect forms the basis of your personalised interactions.
Cleanup your database
Maintaining a clean and valid database is pivotal. Email databases decay by around 22.5% every year. That means in under 5 years, your entire email database will be useless if you aren’t taking the time to tidy it up.
Imagine the awkwardness of addressing someone by the wrong name because of a database error. It's not just embarrassing; it damages your credibility. Cleaning up fake or offensive entries keeps your communications professional.
Practical tactics, like regular database audits and employing automated validation tools, help maintain data accuracy and usability.
Create a personalisation Strategy
Having a personalisation strategy is like having a roadmap; it guides your interactions. Your strategy should outline what to personalise (from names to content), why it matters (enhanced customer engagement and increased purchase rate), and how to achieve your goals.
Setting clear objectives, analysing customer behaviour, and aligning personalisation efforts with broader marketing objectives are key points of the personalisation process.
A well-thought-out personalisation strategy keeps your personalisation tactics relevant and helps you make tangible gains in reaching your goals.
Start creating emails that convert
Email marketing is a major touchpoint between brands and customers, and personalisation in this area has developed way beyond a simple greeting by name. From meticulous segmentation to the magic of dynamic content, every element creates an experience that establishes a proper connection with your customers.
By humanising sender details and triggering responses based on behaviours, emails transform into conversations, tailored for each recipient's journey. But before diving into this world of personalised experiences, preparation is key. Quality data capture forms the foundation on which personalisation is built, followed by keeping your email databases clean and up to date.
Not a data expert? We can help.