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5 Ways Personalization and Segmentation Are Changing Email Marketing

KIM COURVOISIER - JAN 10, 2018

In years past, personalization and segmentation may have been optional, but no more. In 2018, marketers have to meet expectations and that means creating relevant, personalized messages that subscribers want to read.

Research shows marketers lean on email marketing to create a personalized experience for customers, compared to other options:

There’s no question, there’s a lot of power behind personalization and segmentation. In this post, we’ll look at five ways it’s changing email marketing:

1. Increased revenue through advanced segmentation

Segmenting email contacts into specific groups can give your bottom line a boost. Marketers have noted a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns, according to Campaign Monitor research.

Why does segmentation impact revenue? Grouping contacts by location, gender, age, job title, or buying history, gives you the opportunity to send emails that are more in-tune with what subscribers are interested in. As a result, subscribers are more apt to open your emails, click through, and convert.

For continued success, segment your segments. Start breaking your segmented lists into even smaller groups. For instance, take your ‘female customers’ list and create a list of ‘VIP female customers’ that buy from you regularly.

2. Better engagement through self-segmentation

Customers are embracing the idea of self-segmentation too. Rather than segment email contacts yourself, why not let subscribers do it for you?

Marketers are using email preference centers to give subscribers the power to select their interests. Penguin Random House directs its subscribers to the preference center below. It gives subscribers the power to self-select the book genres they’re most interested in. In return, subscribers receive emails that provide book suggestions they’re excited about.

Marketers are also giving website visitors the ability to join specific newsletters. BuzzFeed, gives visitors the chance to sign up for newsletters that are based on the content they read. For instance, if a visitor reads an article about cats, a form pops up asking the visitor to join a specific cat newsletter.

This kind of self-segmentation removes any doubt about categorizing a subscriber. As a result, engagement climbs because subscribers see content they want in their inbox.

3. Stronger relationships built through dynamic content

Marketers have figured out how to create personalized emails without spending a ton of time manually tweaking emails. How? Dynamic content.

Dynamic content allows marketers to create one email, but customize blocks of it for certain subscribers. Let’s say you’re hosting a sale at both of your stores in Fresno and Los Angeles. Through dynamic content, you can localize the images and content. The subscribers in Fresno see a picture of their local store and those in LA see their hometown store.

Dynamic content is personalized. When subscribers open the email they think, “This company gets me.” With every dynamically personalized email, you build a stronger relationship with your customer.

4. Eased workload via automation and integrations

The need to create more personalized content sounds like more work for marketers, right? It doesn’t have to be, if you’re using an email service provider that has automation features and useful integrations.

Automation is a must for marketers looking to save time. Using automation, you can send emails automatically. That’s right. You can set up triggers so emails that you pre-make are sent to subscribers when they meet a certain condition.

For instance, when a subscriber joins your newsletter that action can trigger a welcome email. When a subscriber makes a purchase, a confirmation email is triggered. You can even trigger emails based on a specific date, so a Valentine’s Day email can arrive in inboxes a week before the holiday.

In addition, marketers should lean into integrations.

Integrations let you sync platforms for ease of use. For instance, Campaign Monitor integrates with Facebook so you can add a subscribe form to your Facebook page and every contact collected flows into your Campaign Monitor account.

Campaign Monitor has a plethora of integrations including Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify and Receiptful, just to name a few.

It’s these simplified processes that have become crucial to marketers as they’re asked to personalize more and more campaigns.

5. An increasing need to collect data

To personalize emails, you have to know your customers. That means you have to collect data on an ongoing basis.

Marketers are getting more sophisticated when it comes to data collection. When a customer signs up for a webinar, downloads a white paper, makes a purchase, or interacts with a social ad, they’re asking for new pieces of information.

As information rolls in, marketers use the data to build customer personas. These personas are meant to help marketers visualize real customers with details that specify age, location, interest, buying activity, etc.

Every new piece of information strengthens a persona and helps marketers create tailored content.

Marketers weigh in: How personalization and segmentation are impacting campaigns

We asked marketers to tell us how personalization and segmentation are changing their strategies. From increased conversion rates to connecting with customers, here’s how these two tactics are improving the ROI of email marketing:

Wrap up

As you can see, marketers are reaching new heights as they incorporate personalization and segmentation into their strategies. The two tactics have become a necessity for marketers looking to connect with customers in a digital world. In 2018, the trend will continue as customers’ expectations continue rise.

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