Keep it relevant, keep it real

Learning more about your contacts will allow you to craft personalized emails that engage your audiences and compel them to act

A tale of two brands…

Imagine two brands – not too dissimilar in their offering – looking to send out email campaigns to prospects and customers.

One company is better known in the market and has already built up a contact list full of email addresses from people who’ve opted in. The marketer in this business builds a campaign showcasing the brand’s latest products and blasts it out to contacts. There’s no thought behind who they’re sending to, but at the same time, their subscribers have signed up – so this should be okay, right?

The other company, a lesser-known brand, has no contacts to send to and needs to start from scratch. After finalizing a plan, the team sets up a sign-up form on their website, collecting key data and email preferences. Once they get the information they want, they dissect the insight and create some data-driven campaigns to send to new subscribers.

Which brand is going to drive more relevance? The one with an already-established list of contacts? Or the start-up that’s attentive towards its contacts’ preferences and recognizes this will help improve its email performance?

The answer is – you guessed it! – the less known brand. They’ve asked their subscribers what they want to receive and what interests them. This will ensure that the brand’s future email campaigns are tailored to customers, driving the right amount of relevancy to generate the desired levels of engagement.

Personalization and segmentation are key in driving relevance-rich emails

This isn’t a top-secret, ‘mission impossible’ task; learning more about your contacts will allow you to craft personalized emails that engage your audiences and compel them to act. Tailoring the experience ultimately leads to greater returns from email, still considered the most lucrative of marketing channels. Let’s not forget that for every £1 that’s invested, £32 are generated (DMA Marketer email tracker 2019).

The Relevancy Group compared the email marketing performance of traditional campaigns to personalized emails, and in all metrics, the latter delivered healthier results; for instance, personalized campaigns generate an average order value $7 higher than that of batch and blast campaigns (The Return on Email Personalization report, 2017).

To ensure your email program is relevant for the entirety of the customer relationship, it’s crucial to request data that will help enrich your insight. Preferences to ask for include:

  • identifiable data such as email address, first name, gender, location and date of birth
  • interests in product categories, services, themes and topics etc.
  • channels such as email, SMS and direct mail
  • type and frequency of communications (i.e. weekly, monthly, promotion vs. editorial)

The beauty of aggregating key information from your subscriber base is that it enables you to forge a personalized message and offer a tailored proposition; nurturing your contacts may be a longer process of generating net sales, but it’s more effective, as you’re showing consistent value, building customer interest and laying the foundations for higher levels of ROI.

The best content to start with is the value-added – don’t jump in straight away with sales-blasting. Look at what subscribers have signed up for in their preferences and compose messages accordingly.

For example, you could send a birthday discount to customers or promote a local flash sale based on geolocation. What’s more, dotmailer’s dynamic content functionality allows you to populate relevant products, promotions or editorial pieces for different segments based on the data you’ve captured. If you’re a fashion retailer this might be a gender-specific range of apparel, or if you’re a kitchenware brand it could be some vegan-inspired recipes. Plus, subscribers who select communications based on a certain type or frequency can be enrolled onto automation programs that correspond with these preferences.

One thing is clear, steering the subscriber journey off the back of data will ensure you remain relevant to recipients and beat the clutter in the inbox – that’s 281 billion messages a day. And in the long run, personalizing emails through segmentation tactics will nurture subscribers into loyal customers and ignite their brand affection.

Key takeaway

Email marketing that’s tailored to the individual is proven to promote higher levels of customer engagement and ROI. Why? Because by sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time, you’re aligning all of the variables for relevancy to flourish. It’s the winning formula.

As marketers, we all know this. However, we’re often faced with obstacles – such as time, resource and data restraints – that impede our ability to deliver relevancy. This makes the simpler tactic of batch and blast more appealing, yet in today’s hyper-connected world, it won’t suffice.

But fear not – dotmailer makes creating relevant emails easy with our automation tool and segmentation builder. If you’d like more advice on how to make your emails more targeted, please reach out to your account manager.

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