January 9, 2013

How to use personalisation to boost email marketing

Written By Martin Sandhu

Many may argue that email is dead, to them we ask “What’s the first thing you do when you sit down at your desk in the morning?” The majority would reply, “check my emails”…not so dead then!

Email marketing still provides unquestionable return on investment, the 2012 Email Marketing Industry Census, by Adestra and Econsultancy found that 70% of companies rate email as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ for return on investment. So, as e-shots and email newsletters seem unlikely to fall out of favour in the foreseeable future, what can be done to provide an even greater return on investment?

It comes down to personalisation, but not just adding a name field. Consumers are under no illusions when it comes to email marketing, they understand that the self same message has been sent to hundreds of thousands of others inboxes. This means that a level of interaction is lost, the email is looked upon differently than a message send directly to an individual and with an increasing amount of unread mail, your carefully crafted communication could be sent straight to the trash.

Here are our four top tips for creating a personalised email experience:

1. The small things count
Copywriting is an art form, but all too often the smaller aspects of copy get missed. Simple things, like the unsubscribe or view online links, which can really speak volumes about a company brand, attention to detail and make the email feel much more ‘put-together’.

Online market-place Etsy’s daily emails have a great tone to them, reinforced with the “Email doesn’t look right?” header and the identification of who collated the email, in this instance Nicole.

2. Consider the customer journey
Segmentation based on the status of the email receiver can make a big difference to the effectiveness of an e-shot. Once a purchase is made, many companies simply revert back to the same messages as before the customer bought from them. Whilst this makes sense, the customer simply doesn’t feel valued. Amazon do a fantastic job of recommending items based on previous purchases or searches, adding a totally different level to email marketing, inciting them to opened and read and making the customer feel like it really was worthwhile creating that account.

3. Develop a theme
Random or sporadic emails rarely work. Providing a monthly or weekly email with a theme, even as simple as ‘new in’, makes them feel much less like spam. Not only that but it means you can outline the reasons they should sign up to your newsletter before they do. Consumers know that handing over their email address is a great thing for your company but they want to know what’s in it for them too!

4. Make it unique
Give them something to look forward to, whether it’s exclusive offers or content, sneak peaks or a personal view on your industry.