Last updated: Personalized email: Relevant messages get real results

Personalized email: Relevant messages get real results

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Although email may be one of your “oldest” digital channels, it can still pull its weight when it comes to driving revenue for your brand. That’s because many customers cite email as their preferred channel, and more people are using email than ever before.

If you get email marketing right, your marketing team will look like results-driving heroes. Get it wrong and you’ll have a host of unhappy customers and an even unhappier C-suite.

So what’s the secret to getting it right? Personalized email, with context.

Let’s look at how personalizing your emails with contextual, relevant content can improve the overall results of your email marketing strategy by positively impacting three crucial areas: deliverability, revenue, and customer experience.

Boost your reputation and open rates with personalized email

Multiple factors impact your deliverability, one of the most prominent being your “sender score.” This score — a number between 0 and 100 — is essentially a numerical representation of your brand’s reputation as an email sender.

It’s based on factors like unsubscribes rates and spam reports. The higher the number, the more trustworthy and welcomed your brand’s emails will be.

What influences those unsubscribe and spam rates? The quality of your content.

Send nothing but batch-and-blast emails with one generic message, and the majority of customers will regard them as irrelevant at best… and annoying or intrusive at worst. And don’t expect customers to be judicious when it comes to hitting that “unsubscribe” or “report spam” button.

Conversely, if the content of your emails is personalized for the individual customer based on their purchase or browse history and if it’s contextual based on their recent  behavior, they’ll be more than happy to engage with your messages. In fact, they’ll be eager to open your emails.

If you want to improve your deliverability, improve the quality of your content with personalization. Tailor your emails to the individual recipient. This will keep your open rates high and your unsubscribe rates low.

Happy customers, healthy bottom line

If you knew there was something specific your customers wanted, wouldn’t you deliver it to them? Of course you would. That’s part of your role as a marketer—to provide customers with the best experience possible.

It turns out customer-centric personalization is something your customers actually want and expect your brand to deliver. McKinsey tells us “the vast majority (about 80%) of customers want personalization” from brands. So if you can make four out of five customers happy by personalizing the content you send them, it’s an easy win.

But let’s face it, your role as a marketer goes beyond making customers happy. You’re trying to make your business happy, too. To do that, your marketing team must generate revenue and produce measurable results.

The good news is, personalization will increase revenue. McKinsey reports that “80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.”

And personalized email is particularly potent. According to Litmus, brands see a “$42 return for every dollar spent on email when using dynamic content compared to $21 who never or rarely employ dynamic content.”

So, in addition to satisfying customers, personalized email marketing can make your C-suite happy.

5 examples of personalized email

We’ve already mentioned that customers want personalized experiences, but let’s explore why that is.

It’s not because they get a quick thrill seeing their first name flash up in an email you send. It’s because a personalized email, when done correctly, provides the customer with some sort of value.

Value in this sense doesn’t have to be monetary. Sure, everyone loves an exclusive discount offer. But when you deliver a relevant, personalized email that informs, rewards, or lets a customer know they’re appreciated, you’re improving their situation.

In other words, the customer ends up better off than they were before they opened that email.

Here are a few examples of the types of personalized, contextual emails that can provide value to your customers:
  1. Price drop: Finally! That product your customer has been admiring on your website for the last few months just went down in price. Set up a personalized price-drop email automation to inform your customer that the thing they’ve been dreaming about is now less expensive.
  2. Back-in-stock: Save your customer the effort of having to check your website every day to see if their favorite item has returned to your virtual (or in-store!) shelves. Use personalized back-in-stock emails to update customers on the status of specific products they’re interested in.
  3. Post-purchase follow-up: Successful brand marketing comes down to your ability to build meaningful relationships. A new customer just completed a purchase? That’s only the start of their journey with your brand. Craft a personalized, post-purchase follow-up message to thank them for their purchase, suggest complementary products, or provide special care instructions, if applicable.
  4. Reviews: Building relationships with your customers is a two-way street. You aren’t just communicating to them, they’re also communicating with you. Give your customers a voice and an opportunity to spark a dialogue by inviting them to review their newly purchased product. You can even reward them for their review, which adds value.
  5. Brand updates: Not every personalized communication has to be about a product or service you sell. You can provide your customer with brand updates that are tailored to what would be most relevant to them, based on their location, history, or other data. For example, inform customers with news and updates impacting stores in their location, or events happening in their local regions.

Taking email marketing to the next level

Email marketing is core to your overall customer engagement strategy. It’s a huge revenue generator, and also the main channel a customer turns to when getting to know your brand.

Don’t take email for granted; it shouldn’t be treated as a set-it-and-forget-it channel. Evaluate your brand’s email marketing strategy and ask yourself: “Are we relying too much on standard, one-size-fits all emails? Or are we personalizing email?”

If you’re incorporating personalization, you’re on the right track. Now go a level deeper and ask: “Are we personalizing the right way? Are we going beyond basic personalized form fills or product recommendations, and actually making the emails relevant and tailored to the individual? Are we personalizing in real time? Are we able to do it at scale?”

Today’s most successful marketers can answer yes to those questions, largely because of advanced customer engagement solutions. Strategy is critical, but much of this intelligent customer-centric personalization would be difficult without technology to help guide and execute.

With the right martech and a strategic approach to personalization, you can elevate your email marketing and see significant results.

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