Email Marketing Personalization 201

It seems to be a topic that’s discussed many times within in our industry, on many blogs and at many events. But seldom do we see every brand we interact with as consumers, doing email marketing personalization extremely well. Some brands have mastered it, some have tried, but many haven’t even started.

So why the big fuss?

Our 2019 trend predictions for email marketing highlighted the increased use of personalization as a major player in defining the customer experience this coming year. In 2019, we need our email communications to work harder to build valuable customer experiences, which contribute to building brand loyalty and increasing ROI. 

So we know that our end consumers want to receive more tailored marketing messaging, and we know that the results we’ll see from personalizing well are incredible. But if you’re new to the game, it can be confusing figuring out where to start. 

That’s why we’ve put together our key email marketing personalization insights here in this post, with links to helpful blogs and webinars to get you thinking and planning. 

What is personalization in email marketing? 

Email marketing personalization is the action of using your subscriber data to curate and tailor your email’s content, in order to respond more directly to your recipients’ tastes, behaviours and needs.

There are a range of different variations or pieces of data you can use to personalize your campaigns with, from using basic details like a first name or location to target around a specific store, to using more sophisticated elements like purchase history to drive repeat transactions.

But why is email personalization important?

In this modern age of the tech-savvy, on the go consumer, recipients are demanding more from their brand experiences. They’re tech-aware and their time is of the essence, so in a competitive inbox where you’re fighting for attention it’s important that you stand out. Utilizing personalized elements within your email campaign templates will ensure you not only stand out from the crowd, but it will keep your recipients coming back for more. 

And the results speak for themselves, with even the most basic of personalization on just the subject line can increase open rates by 26%. Further to this, directly linking to revenue generation, 44% of consumers report being more likely to repeat a purchase after having a personalized shopping experience, and 40% report purchasing more expensive items due to personalization.

Where to start in achieving great email personalization: the ‘how’

Improving your email communications can often turn into a rabbit hole with no clear sight on where you’re headed, especially where personalization is involved. There are hundreds of elements of data you could use to tailor what you’re sending, but it’s important not to get lost in the shiny new technology or the ability that’s at your fingertips.

That’s why your email marketing, and your wider marketing strategy, is essential. It will provide you with the guidance and focus you need to ensure the decisions you’re making are right for your business and your target audiences.

Once you’ve established what’s relevant and, more importantly, valuable to your end recipients, then you can get going! Fill in the gaps in your data collection approach to start collecting the data you need that you may not already have, and use the data you do have in the meantime to get started.

In practicality, there are several challenges you could face when trying to personalize your email marketing. Firstly, a lack of data, or secondly a lack of confidence in the accuracy of the data you do happen to hold. There’s also often a lack of confidence amongst email marketers in the technology they have access to, be it a full service ESP or sending platform, and the effect that this lack of trust or knowledge has on subsequently increasing the amount of time you’re spending creating your campaigns.

To help you get through these challenges and identify the right focus areas to direct your attention, we’ve collated our best personalization advice for advanced marketers.

Our advice

To help you get on your way, we’ve collated a great collection of our best write-ups and blogs on the topic of personalization in email marketing, to help you get going. Take a look at the list below:

Let’s make it personal

A great introduction to the topic, this introductory piece gives you a recap on the key points of personalizing your emails, with a view as to why it’s important and some great stats on what value this activity will add for both your brand as well as your recipients.

Read more >

4 personalization tricks to improve your email marketing results

In our recent webinar with the guys from Mailgun, we discuss; segmenting for success, testing your campaigns and how to do make sure you’re approaching and conducting your tests correctly, using dynamic content, and finally how to figure out your send-time sweet spot.

Watch the webinar >

Top 5 ways of personalizing your email campaigns

Customer-centric personalization, and personalizing throughout the key points within the customer journey is key to success. This blog covers both of these points, alongside the benefits of being creative within this field and the amazing power that can be unleashed when you stop letting your lack of data hold you back, by utilizing 3rd party dynamic content feeds to maximize your content. Not one to be missed! 

Read more >

Powering your personalization with intelligent segmentation

Targeting the right audiences by segmenting your customer data will only work to enhance your email results and make better use of your personalized content. With three examples of segments you could use to get started, our blog on this topic gives you the information you need to know.

Read more >

Maximizing your emails with Dynamic Content

Great email content gives your recipients exactly what they want, at the time that they want it – without any effort from them — and dynamic email content gives you exactly that. It works by changing entire sections of your email content depending upon criteria you set, providing each individual recipient with customized email content specific to them. An absolute game changer when it comes to increasing your ROI – take a read!

Read more >

And the most important thing to remember? Email marketing personalization is a journey. It’s important that you move quickly and iterate fast. Think about what value you can add with personalization now so that your recipient sees the benefit, and add or amend as you see the results.

The more touch points a consumer has with your brand, the more information you can collect about them and the better you will get at providing them with custom content suited to their unique needs.

Email personalization with Ongage

The Ongage solution is the ultimate email marketing platform for performance marketers. Ongage effortlessly provides the delivery of tailored and personalized content to micro-segmented audiences in a single mailing. Meaning you don’t need to be manually creating all of the different variations of your personalized campaigns. Integrating is also easy with HTML/XML/RSS content feeds, 3rd party personalization tools and advertising providers will save you time and money in undertaking truly personalized email marketing, whilst generating better results and ROI..

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