Carly Simon jokes aside, if you were receiving this as an email, it is more than likely you really would expect this blog to be all about you. According to research from Monetate, 83% of consumers expect to receive communications which are personalised to them.
This means that more than four out of five of your audience are going to be put off if you aren’t talking specifically to them. When you are emailing potentially hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of people getting this right can be a challenge. Oh, and just adding a first name to the top of the email or subject line isn’t going to cut it. Consumers are more sophisticated than ever before and expect you to know them, and be able to join up their interactions with your brand, no matter what touchpoint they have used.
Don’t worry though RedEye is here to help you through this, and to help you use personalisation to maximise the impact of your email channel.
It’s all about the data
Personalisation used to be about merging in simple pieces of data which you’d collected on various sign up forms or at the checkout. A message saying ‘Happy Birthday’ used to be a surprise, now it’s an expectation. Then came things like abandoned basket emails, where information was collected not just via direct input, but also from interaction with your website. Now we can go even further, changing whole sections of the email that a subscriber receives depending on combinations of all of this information.
The really clever stuff comes from AI-driven Marketing Automation, something we happen to have just launched with our new tool - Predictive Modeller. This means that you can now not only personalise content based on what your subscriber has done in the past (i.e. browsed, purchased etc), with enough data it is now possible to personalise based on a subscriber’s likely future behaviour. So, if someone is likely to unsubscribe, maybe we show them a special offer. If they are likely to become one of our VIP customers, we might show them different products in an email compared to those who are less likely to do so.
Of course you need to have the data joined up to be able to really maximise this potential, if you aren’t sure if you do this already, try taking our quiz here.
Context is King
Spiderman’s Uncle Ben famously told him “With great power, comes great responsibility”, and this is true when it comes to personalisation as well. Just because you have data about your subscriber, it doesn’t mean you need to merge all of that data into your communications with them. Personalisation can be taken too far and become creepy and invasive. This is why I say that context is king. If you hold relevant information then by all means use it, but make sure that it adds value to the communication, otherwise you’re likely best omitting it. As a general rule, pretend you are sending the email to yourself, how would you feel receiving it, or better yet ask a colleague who isn’t involved in the same campaign. If it feels odd, the chances are that you have gone over the top and need to reign it in a little. The most famous example of a company going too far was covered in a New York Times story back in 2012 (the example is about two thirds of the way through the article), where Target sent coupons for baby products to a young girl’s family, before she had actually revealed that she was pregnant at all. Although not email based, it’s easy to see how Target clearly went too far in their personalisation efforts in this instance.
Well worth the effort
One other thing I should mention is to make sure that you test your personalisation as well. There’s nothing more embarrassing than having your merges showing, or blank spaces, where beautifully designed email content should be wowing people.
It may take some time to really develop your personalisation efforts, getting the data, sorting what is relevant and adding it into your email programmes, but it’s going to pay dividends in the long run. As your subscribers increase their engagement levels with your emails, sit back (read as: keep testing) and watch your revenues grow.