Email marketing offers many personalisation options, yet not all brands are leveraging this functionality to their advantage. With the rise of hyper-personalisation that allows companies to target niche audiences with messages tailored to their real-time needs, marketers should ensure that they have the necessary systems in place to reap the benefits.
Personalisation in 2017
Email marketing already enables personalisation of properties such as the from, to and subject line fields with the option to add emojis to express the sentiment of the content. Marketers can also personalise variables including a person’s name, account number and certain sections of content.
List segmentation allows marketers to deliver tailored content to a specific segment of their database, but dynamic content that leverages subscriber and behaviour data enables communication that is truly relevant.
Dynamic content can be linked to variables like pre- and post-purchase behaviour, gender, age, birthdays, geolocation, weather conditions, or even shopping-cart abandonment. Marketers can track subscribers’ online behaviour on their website to establish what they’re interested in and serve them dynamic content prior to them becoming customers. Post-purchase dynamic content can include messages about products that will complement a past purchase or messages with a callout of when last a customer used a service or purchased a product. Travel companies are good at taking advantage of this data to inform travellers of special offers to their favourite destinations.
Customers’ date of birth is the opportune time to highlight a special tailored to their interest, buy-one-get-one-free specials or a voucher to celebrate the special day.
Clearly, personalisation has moved beyond a subscriber’s name.
The power of personalisation
An obvious benefit of personalising emails is retention as recipients are unlikely to unsubscribe if the content is customised. Relevant content also leads to better engagement.
Monetate’s Realities of Online Personalisation Report found that 74 percent of marketers said targeted personalisation increases customer engagement. According to Statista, the open rate for e-mails with a personalised message was 5.7% higher than those without any personalisation in 2016.
However, personalisation is no longer enough. Enter hyper-personalisation which enables marketers to use the data they gather about each subscriber to deliver an ongoing experience that is personalised.
According to Adobe’s Real-Time Marketing Insights Study, 60 percent of marketers struggle to personalise content in real-time, yet 77 percent believe real-time personalisation is crucial.
In a recent report done by Digital Doughnut, 26 percent of marketers identified personalisation and relevance as the top trend over the next 12 months, and 19 percent said it would be pre-eminent over the next five years.
Whether we as marketers embark on personalisation or hyper-personalisation, it is important to understand their customers’ journey as it influences the level of personalisation required. For example, messaging will differ if an email marketing campaign talks to someone who has just subscribed or downloaded content from a website as opposed to someone who is further along in the sales cycle.
Personalise your database
The level of personalisation marketers will achieve is dependent on the sophistication of their customer relationship management (CRM) software and preference centre.
Build a robust preference centre by asking subscribers about their interests and preferences to allow you to serve them with dynamic content. Information such as their location, type of content they prefer, date of birth and frequency will help to deliver relevant content at intervals that suit them. Some marketers argue that you should know what your customers’ interests are, but if you are starting a new journey, why not ask them from the beginning?
The ideal is for your CRM to become part of your personalisation centre, where the data from your audience informs tailored content.
Email marketing will soon be about engaging more effectively with a target audience to deliver a hyper-personalised message at the right time and in real-time. The aim is to take subscribers on a continuing personalised journey and to ultimately increase conversions. Are you ready for your communication to get hyper-personalised?