How important is personalisation in email marketing?

Pretty important, as it turns out.

Since email marketing has been proven time and again to offer ROI that’s unmatched by almost any other marketing channel, it’s a no-brainer as to why companies in so many industries use it.

Of course, as with any marketing channel, there are myriad ways email marketing’s efficiency can be optimised further. Here at Phrasee, for example, we accomplish this for our clients by using slick AI technology to produce email subject lines, and the results are so awesome that they outperform subject lines written by humans in over 90% of cases.

This is great, but by no means is it the only email marketing optimisation strategy available. Email marketing personalisation is not too shabby either.

By implementing personalised email campaigns, a brand can greatly improve its odds of grabbing (and holding) subscriber attention throughout the journey to purchase. Provided they don’t cross the thin line separating effective targeting from being creepy/stalkerish, personalised email marketing campaigns often greatly outperform their unpersonalised counterparts.

With the treasure troves of data available to email marketers in the digital age, the big question is: which data should email marketers be using to personalise their campaigns, and how should their approach be adjusted to gain the biggest advantage?

We’ve got a few suggestions…

5 types of email marketing personalisation, and why your brand should be using them

5 type of email marketing personalisation, and why your brand should be using them

1) Buying habits (past purchase data)

5 types of email marketing personalisation, and why your brand should be using them

A lot can be learned about a customer’s buying habits through their past purchase data. By using it to identify trends or relevant products, a company can better predict:

1)      What a customer will purchase in the future

2)      What a customer spends on average

3)      What type of customers make high-value purchases

4)      How often a customer buys items on sale or waits for a discounted price

And so much more…

2) Design for devices

5 types of email marketing personalisation, and why your brand should be using them

Email marketing trends are different for mobile and desktop users. Mobile users are easily accessible because their phones are usually within arm’s reach. However, they also make rapid fire decisions about whether to open an email or ignore it, making the task of grabbing their attention from the off even more urgent.  

Email content should be easy to read on a small screen, so it’s imperative that marketers use a responsive theme that can adjust to multiple screen layouts, and that the calls to action (CTA) used are effective and optimised as well.

3) Demographics and interests

5 types of email marketing personalisation, and why your brand should be using them

Segmenting an email list by demographics or interests allows brands to send targeted emails that are relevant to the prospective customers on their mailing list.

Something as simple as asking the subscriber’s gender upon sign-up can increase sales. This is based on the assumption that men have different interests than women, which is true for many industries.

Take, for example, a health shop that wants to promote a proprietary vitamin supplement. Because men and women typically have different fitness goals, the company could capitalise on this and promote the supplement line in two campaigns that use different buzzwords, colours and images.

4) Time

5 types of email marketing personalisation, and why your brand should be using them

Fact: there are certain times of day that people are more likely to open their emails than others.

For example, more people access their inbox and open emails on a Monday morning than on a Sunday morning. Early mornings between 8:00am and 10:00am, and early afternoons between 1:30pm and 3:00pm are the times of day which generally see the highest open rates.

While the times individual subscribers access email vary widely, it is nonetheless in a brand’s interest to optimise send times

It just makes sense to send emails at the time when they are most likely to be opened immediately, to minimise the chance that they will become lost in the inbox.

If your brand audience is spread across several time zones, you can use email automation to make sure your email campaign is sent out at 9:00am Monday morning, regardless of where in the world your subscriber is located.

5) Location

5 types of email marketing personalisation, and why your brand should be using them

Knowing where your subscribers are can make all the difference.

Shopping habits for consumers in urban centers differ greatly from those of consumers in rural areas, for example.

As real-time mobile data becomes more easily available to brands, optimising for subscriber location is becoming more complex (and profitable) by the day.

Travel companies may have key information about which city a subscriber is visiting today, as well as what the weather is like and which activities will be involved. Such information can be used effectively to target an individual subscriber with highly relevant marketing emails.  

So, why implement email marketing personalisation tactics at all?

The ultimate goal is to engage subscribers. As engagement increases, so do sales. By fine tuning your email marketing strategy and optimising your campaign, you can maximise your ROI.

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