Effective Use of Email Marketing Personalization
On Email Marketing Personalization
People respond more favorably to marketing
when they feel special and unique. People
respond differently to things when they perceive
themselves as part of a group. These are only
some of the psychological factors that come
into play when using individual message personalization
as a part of your email marketing campaigns.
When done correctly, personalization can be
a powerful way to reinforce the bond between
your brand and your customer. However, poorly
personalized messages can just as quickly
sever that connection that you have worked
so hard to establish. This article describes
some of the techniques for using personalization
in an effective way.
The initial greeting has a tremendous impact
on whether a recipient will read the rest
of a communication. The tone must match the
type of communication, and the type of relationship
that exists between the sender and recipient.
For example, "Hi, John" is good
for an email from a business to consumer,
but too casual for a message to a business
recipient. A "Dear Mr. Smith" or
"Dear John Smith" is more appropriate
for a business to business communication in
email just as in a business letter.
Product and Service References
A very strong technique is including a reference
to a specific product or service that the
recipient has either already purchased, or
that they have requested information about.
For example, "How are you enjoying your
new Mini-Cooper?" or "Thanks for
using us to clean your carpets last Thursday".
This naturally ties in to up-sell or cross-sell
opportunities, like "Need batteries for
your Olympus D-550 digital camera?" Don't
forget to link directly to the page on the
site that corresponds to the product or service
you are trying to up-sell.
One way to help people feel a sense of belonging
is to use a known location reference. For
example, "Everyone in Chicago knows a
great Pizza when they try one", or "The
best limousine in Los Angeles." Make
sure that you have the recipient associated
with the correct location, or you are doing
more harm than good.
When recipients are members of a known group
or organization, you can create a positive
tie-in. For example "As a member of the
Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, we invite
you to order business cards at 25% off".
When using this kind of personalization, you
must make sure that the relevancy will be
obvious for the recipient. This works particularly
well for sending partner offers, but again
only as long as the offer tightly matches
the needs of the target group, and will be
perceived as relevant.
Images and Multimedia
Images and or multimedia that tie back to
any other form of personalization is so effective
that it's worthy of putting into its own category.
This can take the form of product images that
correspond to the exact product that they
have already purchased, like a picture of
the Olympus D-550 camera. They could also
be images of a familiar city skyline, as in
the "Best Pizza in CITYNAME" example.
A highly effective technique is using a personalized
image of the recipient's organization logo,
or web site. The purpose in each case is simply
to provide a familiar frame of reference in
the most compelling way possible, resulting
in the recipient feeling better understood
and more comfortable, leading toward better
acceptance of the offer.
Don't Get Too Personal, and Other Potential
The more reliance your email marketing campaign
has on your database, the more important that
it is to have the correct data. Errors in
your data can lead to your mailing showing
how poorly you know the recipient, not how
Always have default information to substitute
in case you are missing data. You can write
your copy so that substituting this default
text maintains the flow of the narrative.
For example, let's say you plan on merging
the "Company Name" from your database
into your email, Using default text of "your
company" works well as in "We know
that XYZ Corp. can benefit from our services"
or "We know that your company can benefit
from our services".
Lastly, always respect the privacy of the
recipient and avoid all sensitive information.
Anything that might make the recipient uncomfortable
such as financial status or health status,
are best left off limits when it comes to
Doing it right requires a good database,
planning, care, and bulletproof technology.
You may find that outsourcing your personalized
email marketing campaigns is the best way
to make sure everything goes smoothly. When
personalization is used correctly combined
with good targeting of offers, the results
can be much greater than the sum of the parts,
boosting your bottom line accordingly.