6 Ways to Personalize Your Email Campaigns

Have you received an email where your first name has been interjected into the subject line? Did you get the feeling right away that it was automated?

Personalization doesn’t need to feel obvious to your subscribers.

There are a number of ways you can personalize your email content.

Location

A very easy way for you to send more relevant, personalized emails is to find out your user’s location.

Do you travel for trade shows and want to let nearby subscribers know when you’ll be in their area? Do you want to offer a special shipping promotion for U.S. customers only?

If you already have your subscriber’s location, great! If not, why not ask them?

Many businesses make the mistake of asking for too much information during the email sign-up process. This leads to lower sign-up rates.

Once you have a subscriber on your list, setup some automated emails to capture some of the data you need to learn more about them.

For example, if you travel to three major trade shows each year, send an email campaign asking your subscribers which show is of most interest to them. You could do this by showing three photos of the cities and asking them to select one of them.

If you want to learn about your customers, just ask. It really is as simple as that.

Remember, not all email service providers (MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.) are created equal. This type of campaign is something we can help you pull off without a hitch. Not all ESPs have the capability to do this easily.

Time

Is on your side. Yes it is…

Determining the optimal time to send emails to your subscribers is one component to achieving higher email engagement. But as you know, every person on your list has different habits. That may also vary from week to week.

A great way to personalize your send times is to create segments based on the time of day your subscribers are opening your emails.

I recommend creating three basic segments: early morning, afternoon and evening.

You can then use these segments to set your send times more appropriately, instead of focusing entirely on the majority of your subscribers.

All it takes is one. One subscriber to love when you’re sending, what your sending and ultimately what you’re selling.

Action

Another great way to personalize your emails is to send specific content after your user has performed an action.

For example, your customer signs up for your service and only does one of the two tasks required to setup their profile. A week goes by and they still haven’t completed step two.

You automatically send this user an email reminding them of step two and why they should continue along with setup.

Not only are you providing content they need to help them use your service, but you’re sending it at the time they need to see it.

There are infinite ways to keep your customers engaged based on their actions, or in this case lack thereof.

Ask Questions

This one is my favorite. It’s often overlooked because it’s so obvious.

We have so many tools at our disposal, we fail to recognize the power of simply asking our subscribers what they want.

We try to create fancy surveys that only get deleted the moment our subscribers read, “Quick Survey. Will Only Take 5 Minutes of Your Time”.

Time is precious.

Subscribers are giving you their attention. What are you giving them in return?

The next email you send, ask your subscribers what they are interested in. You could do this by showing them two different photos. Each representing an option which allows you to learn more about their needs.

Each graphic could be linked to a specific landing page or a simple thank you page. Doing this is much less cumbersome for subscribers when compared to a traditional survey.

You can then create new segments based on the responses you receive to send even more personalized content.

Your subscribers will be glad you asked their opinion. It shows you care about their needs.

Text-Based Emails

One of the best ways to personalize an email is to make it feel like it is coming from a friend. Sometimes graphics can do more harm than good for certain types of email campaigns.

Try sending a text based email when welcoming your customers or asking for their feedback. Write it as if you were writing to a good friend.

It will feel more genuine without all the bells and whistles.

Start a Conversation

A good way to take personalization a step further is to ask your subscriber to reply directly to your email. Personally I have responded to many campaigns offering to hear what I have to say by simply replying.

The key to this type of call to action is to make sure you have someone on your team available to reply. Otherwise it makes the subscriber feel like they’ve wasted their time (much like after filling out a survey).

Nothing is more personal than having a direct conversation with your customers. You have the chance to learn so much from them instead of continually guessing.

Let’s get back to basics with how we get to know our customers. Technology can help but sometimes all you have to do is ask.

Happy Emailing!

Sarah Shuda
Sarah Shuda
Designer. Mom. Wife. Loves Gilmore Girls, healthy living, and long walks in the country.