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How to give your email marketing the personal touch

Posted by Octopus Group - February 23, 2016

When Norm walks into Cheers and Sam asks if he wants a beer we know that Norm appreciates that he is recognised (“NORM!”) and that he’s getting what he wants without any delay. He feels valued and that’s why he comes back to Cheers, day after day.

What Sam doesn’t say to Norm is “Hi there. Welcome to Cheers Bar. Would you like to try our new Harvey Wallbanger cocktail,  on the
rocks, in a highball glass with a garnish of orange peel?”,
because that would be advertising, rather than a conversation. It’s also totally impersonal.

The same is true in marketing, and particularly online, where technology can help the personalisation process. If you can serve me up a webpage that appears to be personalised, and speaks about the issues that concern me, I’m much more likely to convert.

That worked well when Norm was offered a beer, too!

  • 88% of marketers say using ‘social graph’ data to personalize the online experience has a high impact on both ROI, and engagement. But only 6% actually do it
  • 68% of marketers say personalization based on behavioural data gleaned from tracking website behaviour has a high impact on ROI, and 74% say it has a high impact on engagement. But only 19% do it.

If you are one of these large numbers who appreciate the opportunities but aren’t implementing solutions, it’s time to get started.

Personalise your next campaign 

It’s clear. When your contacts feel that the email has been written with their interests at the centre, rather than the sender’s interests, they are likely to be more responsive to your message.

So what are some of the ways to personalise an email campaign?

Subject line: Use the recipient’s name, company name, topic of interest. This can be done on many marketing automation platforms, such as HubSpot, and email marketing services like MailChimp.

Email copy: Welcome the reader with their first name, make reference in content to past behaviour or deliver a call-to-action based on that past behaviour.

Landing page: You can deliver the same personalisation that you delivered in the email to reinforce the message. Using smart forms on the page to reduce or remove the need for the recipient to add their details again will help, and you could even remove form fields that have already been completed with new ones to build up a picture of the prospect.

Thank you page and/or follow-up email: The same personalisation can be applied, along with thanking the recipient for converting and delivering contextually-appropriate secondary content offers, like the next stage in the campaign to nurture the prospect through the funnel. Links to your blog or resources page for further reading, or a suggestion of following a Twitter or LinkedIn account are also popular.

Personalisation for the Anonymous Visitor

Marketing platforms  like Hubspot allow you to offer personalisation to anonymous visitors. Clearly that’s not as expansive as for someone you know, but you can serve personalised content and CTAs based on their geographic location, the site they reached you from, or their device.

This opens up the opportunity to deliver content such as pricing, from Euros to Dollars to Sterling, or to change addresses or phone numbers based on country of origin, or to adapt your content if a visitor is using a mobile phone.

Hubspot captures the benefits of personalisation well. “Generic marketing makes people feel assaulted; personalized marketing makes them feel understood. It differentiates your company as one that cares enough to listen to leads and customers, and deliver the information they want. In other words, it helps you create marketing people love”.

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