Mar 30, 2015

Create Personalised Emails Your Customers Actually “Get”, Want & Read

Over half of opened emails are deleted within 2 seconds.

Ouch. Want to prevent that from happening? Well then stop creating emails your customers simply don’t care about!

You know the kind we’re talking about – irrelevant, pushy, salesy, not what your customers want, need or care for. The kind of emails that solve your own bottom-line problems rather than addressing your customers’ needs.

But what’s an honest marketer to do instead? Start delivering personalized, targeted and contextualized emails with deeply relevant messages – simple. To ensure your emails get treasured rather than trashed, keep reading…

Why Does Personalisation Matter (The Big Stats):

  • Personalized emails improve click-through rate by 14% and conversion rates by 10%(Aberdeen).
  • Leads who are nurtured with targeted content produce a 20% sales increase in sales opportunities (DemandGen).
  • Personalized CTAs resulted in a 42% higher conversion rate than generic CTAs (HubSpot).
  • The main reasons for email users to unsubscribe from a business or nonprofit email subscription are too many emails (69%) and content that is no longer relevant (56%) –Chadwick Martin Bailey.
  • 31% of consumers are more likely to make purchases if they were offered personalized experiences such as tailored content (BloomReach).

1. Go On, Get On First Name Terms

Who doesn’t love a bit of first name flattery? You appreciate when someone takes the time to remember your name. In the same vein your customers will appreciate when you remember to use theirs. But addressing your customers by their first name doesn’t just appeal to their ego and satisfy their need to feel unique, spoken to and special. It makes you a better writer too…

I’m convinced that writing with one person in mind from the outset helps focus your message on personalisation – helping you remember to write with one particular customer in mind and not for the faceless masses who – let’s face it – are impossible to care for. It lends a face to your message and that, in turn, adds a beating heart to your words.

2. Talk Like a Human, Not a Sales Machine

Remember that one teacher you loved in school, the one who genuinely inspired you? What made you feel a genuine connection with this teacher? I bet it was the way he/she spoke to you as though you were on the same level. He/she reached you in a way you want to be reached. Aim to be that teacher, even if you have, what you perceive to be a boring B2B brand.

You see, human emails make your customers smile. Robot emails make them mad. You’re not a sales machine so stop forcing your customers to read your dull, formulaic and self-serving messages. You’re just one human talking to another so make your customers feel that way. And care – show them that you genuinely care about who they are and what they want and need.

How to Make Your Emails More Human:

  • Relax your language if you want to relax your customers.
  • Imagine you are your customer’s friend – now write them an informal email to match their tone naturally.
  • Remove corporate speak and jargon if you don’t want to sound robotic and dated.
  • Break up your emails into shorter and scannable messages that don’t overwhelm your readers.

3. Target Content to Solve Persona Needs

Creating fully-fleshed personas will help you create a superior and more personalized experience for both your customers and prospective customers. Your email content should then be targeted to meet the specific needs and wants of your target personas.

Here’s a key trick from Copyblogger- focus on your reader as just one person (instead of imagining the thousands of people you might be reaching). That way you can focus on your reader as just one person, helping you engage them with a more powerful statement. The purpose of your personas is to make calculated assumptions on the kind of problems your customers need solved – use this information to form the meat of your email.

Here’s How to Create Powerful Personas:

Create Personalised Emails Your Customers Actually “Get”, Want & Read - Here's How to Create Powerful Personas | Digital Marketing Institute

  • Start by listing your target persona’s demographics – like age, gender and location.
  • Create a list of questions that give a clear understanding of the kind of problems your customers want to solve.
  • Use HubSpot’s Make My Persona tool to create well-defined personas using a ready-made template of powerful questions.
  • This blog post explains how to use HubSpot’s tool and how to use your personas.

4. Segment Your Database & Tailor Messages

First identify what your email marketing campaign is trying to achieve and who you are trying to reach. Then you can decide how you segment your list based on the information you’ve gathered from prospects and leads. You can, for example, segment by male versus female, for active subscribers versus inactive subscribers or by location, etc.

You should also segment your marketing personas. For example, if you have identified and created four separate customer types you can (and should) create a unique segment for each type. The purpose of segmenting your list is that you can now personalise your message, tone and angle based on each of your personas wants and needs. Each persona type will then receive a tailored email that speaks to their individual desires – so much more powerful than those tiresome one-size-fits-all messages.

5. Give Your Customers Control & Options

Not everyone wants to receive the same marketing message at the same frequency. Give your customers options to keep them happy and allow them to maintain a sense of control. For example, does one particular customer want to receive your newsletter once a month rather than the standard once a week distribution?

How to Give Your Customers Options:

  • Ask them how often they would like to receive your emails.
  • Give them options of different types of content and allow them to choose which content type/types they receive.
  • Ask for feedback – survey your customers and ask what content types they are most interested in. You can then use this information to inform your email campaigns.

6. Automate Your Marketing Messages

You can use marketing automation tools to help trigger lead nurturing campaigns based on your customer’s content consumption and interests. For example, if a prospective lead downloads a whitepaper, you can set your marketing automation tool to automatically enter them into a lead nurturing campaign that delivers content relevant to the original topic and their assumed interests.

Essentially, marketing automation tools allow you to segment your database and automate your email messages to deliver targeted messages that meet your customer’s needs. Considering investing in a marketing automation platform? This blog post lists and compares the best marketing automation software available.

Email is one of the main digital marketing skills Irish marketers are missing. We tested the skills of 622 marketers (380 in Ireland) and published the findings in the recently released Digital Skills Gap Report. The average email score? A shocking 41%. Test your own digital marketing skills for free with our free digital diagnostic.

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