Publishers in digital media know engagement is essential. You need eyes on your content over and over, but that requires creating relevant and captivating content that keeps readers coming back for more.
But that’s easier said than done. Thankfully, personalization is here to help. A well-planned personalized email campaign can help you turn visitors into loyal readers that stand by you for the long haul.
Today, we’re going to talk about why you should be customizing your email campaigns, as well as a few ways you can go about doing it.
Why personalization is so effective in email
Despite the growing popularity of social media marketing, email campaigns continue to be one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to connect with readers.
According to a 2016 study, email marketing generates 174% more conversions than Facebook and Twitter and gives an ROI of $44 for every dollar invested in building your email campaign.
But building a successful email campaign requires more than sending a few generic emails throughout the week. Today’s consumer wants to be engaged with on an individual level, and the best way to achieve this is through email personalization. Customized emails tell readers that you think of them as individuals (instead of as a nebulous group of customers).
Personalizing your emails gives them that custom-tailored feel that consumers love, too. Think about how much people love handmade products, and how they’re willing to spend extra money on something handcrafted especially for them. Similarly, most people prefer emails to have the same feel.
It works: Email personalization is so effective that simply including your reader’s name in the subject line makes it 26% more likely that your message will be opened.
If that doesn’t illustrate the importance of email personalization, consider the following statistics:
- Mailing campaigns targeted to specific market segments can increase email revenue by as much as 760%.
- Personalizing embedded images based on the reader’s location gives click-through rates a 29% boost.
- On average, companies experience a 20% increase in sales after personalizing their content.
There’s no denying that consumers want appreciate personalized emails. So much so that nearly 70% of Americans admit they open email based on the sender’s name, usually preferring messages sent by individual sales representatives than a faceless brand.
Tactics for converting visitors into daily readers via personalization
Now that we’ve looked at how effective personalized email marketing is for boosting revenue and engaging with subscribers, let’s look at how to build a personalized campaign that works for your brand.
1. Leverage a website tracking snippet
A website tracking snippet is a tool that records activity on your website, which is then presented in numerical and visual data on analytics platforms like Google Analytics, CoreMetrics, Omniture, or WebTrends.
Great for evaluating the performance of your personalized email campaign, website tracking snippets give you deeper insight into your reader’s journey, as it begins with your email and up until the point they make a purchase on your website.
Website tracking snippets track important KPIs like click-through and bounce rates, conversions, and first-time visitors, as well as metrics like client usage and your readers’ geographical locations. This information helps you fine-tune your personalized email campaign by making it easier to focus on specific segments of your list.
2. Build segments
The goal of any successful personalized marketing campaign should be to move away from the one-size-fits-all model that treats subscribers like they have the same needs and interests.
Part of the reason why personalized campaigns help increase sales is because they help ensure your email content is relevant to the reader. Maximizing relevancy first requires dividing your email lists into segments.
Segmentation lets you email content to specific groups. It helps make sure that your content is always relevant, as well as cutting back on spam that could encourage some readers to unsubscribe from your mailing list. Common list segments include:
- Geographic Location
- Market and Industry
- Previous Email Activity
- Workflow Activity
- Buyer Personas
The easiest way to segment your subscribers is by having them self-segment when they initially join your mailing list. BuzzFeed has been successful with this method by letting visitors subscribe to specific lists, which automatically place them in a segment based on that subject. For example, while reading content related to cats, subscribers are invited to a cat-specific email segment.
The other option is to sort subscribers by importing data into a program and building your own segments. This requires you to first collect data through email sign-up forms, which will then be used to build various segments.
The standard form typically requires information like name, birthday, and location, but you’re free to add anything else that’s relevant to your email campaign – like profession, interests, and more.
After you’ve collected enough data, you can start building segments based on a number of different categories.
3. Leverage dynamic content
Dynamic content takes the personalization of segment lists and takes it one step further by modifying the content in the email itself based on who the recipient is.
Perfect for ensuring that products are marketed to the right people at the right times, dynamic content looks at variables like gender, location, and interests and adjusts the in-mail content accordingly.
4. Segment-triggered automation
Finally, there’s segment-triggered automation.
Also known as automated journeys, this process lets you create emails that are automatically delivered based on things like dates, specific events, and your subscriber’s activity.
Segmented-triggered automation uses your readers’ activity to further personalize emails, making sure that your content reaches the right subscriber at all times. It can be used to automate goodbye messages when a reader cancels a subscription or unsubscribes from your mailing list, or it can be used to automate rewards campaigns.
If you were running a health and wellness publication, you could use this feature to have expecting mothers in your first-time pregnancy mailing list automatically moved to your new mom mailing list after they’ve been a subscriber for nine months.
Segment-triggered automation adapts your content to the needs and expectations of the individual reader, increasing their chances of reading your emails and benefitting from your marketing campaign.
The value of email marketing is undisputed as one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and generate more revenue. But in order to get the most out of your email marketing campaign, you have to connect with your readers at a one-to-one level.
Personalized email marketing makes it easier to engage with your readers by optimizing content based on their personal preferences. Start creating your own personalized emails and convert more occasional visitors into devoted, daily readers.