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Imagine this. You go from sending out one-size-fits-all email messages to each of your subscribers, crossing your fingers for a conversion, to sending personalized, targeted, and timely emails that skyrocket your revenue. The best part of the transformation? The whole process is automated.

If you want to make this dream a reality, read on. This post will help you shift your email marketing strategy into high gear and discuss how personalization and automation work together to drive results.

What is email personalization?

Email personalization is a marketing tactic where you leverage customer data to create more targeted emails based on data you have about your subscribers. Personalization involves customizing the content based on your subscribers’ unique qualities like name, gender, location, birthday, interests, recent purchases and more.

People these days are inundated with marketing messages, but personalized messages are much more effective when it comes to capturing customer attention. In fact, studies show that personalized emails have 2.5 times higher click-through rates, and are 6 times more likely to drive a conversion. Additionally, 73% of consumers report they would rather do business with brands that use personal information to increase the relevancy of their experiences.

Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened and marketers have found a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns.

experian-personalized-subject-lines

Giving subscribers the personalization they crave has never been easier. You simply add the fields you need to your opt-in forms that help you collect relevant data. Then, you draw from that data and create personalization tags and custom fields to customize the from name, subject lines, and content (including copy, images, sections of content, and more). You can also use data you have from third-party integrations like your CRM platform or e-commerce service.

 

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is when software automatically sends campaigns to your customers and prospects, behind the scenes, based on the rules you define.

Automated emails are set up once, and then sent out each time a subscriber meets a pre-defined trigger. To better understand how this works, let’s break it down.

campaign-monitor-work-flow

1. Choose a Trigger

To set your marketing automation up, you first choose a trigger that will automatically send a customized message to that subscriber.

Triggers are either based on collected data or customers’ actions. For example, a trigger can be something like a subscriber joins a certain list, a subscriber enters a segment, a subscriber exits a segment, a specific date, an anniversary, etc.

campaign-monitor-email-automation-trigger

Once you’ve selected a trigger and a customer takes that action, Campaign Monitor will automatically send the email connected with that trigger. An example of a common trigger most companies use is when a subscriber joins a list for the first time. In this case, most companies will send a welcome email.

Another great example of a company that sends an automated message based on a specific trigger is Nissan. Nissan knows exactly when a car should be serviced and uses those service dates as triggers to send out email reminders and service discount offers to customers.

nissan-automated-welcome-email

2. Set rules

In addition to sending automated messages by setting up triggers, you can also set up specific rules that will automatically send a message to specific customers based on their behaviors.

For example, Sephora uses “VIP status” as a trigger. Once a customer has reached VIP status, Sephora will automatically send them exclusive offers. Sephora also sets up rules that will send the customer a more targeted offer based on how much the customer spends. If the customer spends more than $200, they get an email with access to the special VIP discount, as shown below.

If the customer spends less than $200, Sephora automatically sends out an invitation for the customer to shop new skincare regime.

3. Create content

Once your triggers and rules are defined, all that is left to do is fine-tune and connect your content to your triggers and rules. The best part of marketing  automation is you only have to do this once. You essentially “set it and forget it.”

By pre-determining triggers and rules and matching them with the right email messages, you can rest assured your customers are automatically getting the content they need right when they need it.

Marketing automation also works in your favor by reducing repetitive tasks and human error, helping you refine your targeting and improve customer experience.

How does personalization and automation increase conversions?

Now that some of the details of personalization and automation are clear, you may be wondering how do they actually increase revenue? Great question! Here are some of the ways automation and personalization increase the bottom line.

1. Automation gives customers what they want

Email marketing has the highest conversion rate of any type of marketing. In fact, for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average ROI is $38. However, this kind of return on investment is only possible if customers want to hear from your company.

If you are a large company that produces various types of content like BuzzFeed, for example, this is a particularly tricky feat without automation. To get your subscribers to pay attention, you need to know what they want and give it to them. Imagine how time-consuming it would be if BuzzFeed manually sent every customer every email from all of their 23 different lists, instead of using data, personalization, and automation to deliver relevant messages.

Even if your company hasn’t scaled like BuzzFeed yet, the same situation applies. If you are sending the wrong email messages at the wrong times, you run the risk of decreased engagement and a decrease in sales.

With marketing automation, you are using proven methods, rooted in data and based on customer actions, that give subscribers exactly what they are telling you they want, all while enjoying more success.

2. Increased relevancy leads to sales

With marketing automation, not only do you have the option of sending targeted emails based on triggers, but you can also hyper-target the messages you send with the rules you set. Furthermore, you can personalize each of these messages. And it pays off. In fact, 70% – 94% of marketers have seen an increase in effectiveness by employing personalization techniques, reports Venture Beat.

The more relevant your emails are, the higher your chances are of increasing sales.

3. Personalization makes customer feel special

We mentioned earlier that 73% of consumers would rather do business with brands that personalize, and 86% of consumers report that personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions.

Even with persuasive statistics at hand, 70% of brands still fail to personalize. This is puzzling considering consumers spend more money with brands who personalize email marketing messages.

Look at this example from Birchbox who sent a customer appreciation day email personalized with the subscriber’s name in the subject line (“Happy Kim Day!”) and made it very “you” focused with the big bold image.

Personalized email from Birchbox

When it comes to increasing conversions through email marketing, automation and personalization are key.

Wrap up

Using personalization and automation together can supercharge your email marketing by increasing relevancy, engagement, and drive more revenue for your business.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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