Email Personalization Strategies Beyond [First Name]


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You must have heard of email personalization if you’ve already started your email marketing journey. According to reports from Statista, 78% of marketers use email for personalized communication, which has proven effective so far. Marketers have reported 27% higher unique click rates and 11% higher open rates than those who do not personalize their emails. 

email personalization tactics
Source: Chamaileon

Most people tend to think personalization in email is simply by inserting the recipient’s first name but it is beyond that. To get the most out of your email marketing strategy, you need to work extensively on how you personalize your emails. 

In this article, we will share key strategies for email personalization beyond the [First Name] merge tag. 

What is Email Personalization?

Email personalization is the process of using data to create unique email content that appeals to each recipient on your email list. While emails are usually sent to a large number of recipients, you can still tailor the content to suit each person, such that they feel seen and heard. See the example below.

email personalization example
Source: WPForms

This is one of the ways email marketing gains the most ROI – $36 for every $1 spent – compared to other marketing channels. It gives you the ability to personalize your content as much as you want. 

5 Strategies for Email Personalization Beyond [First Name]

If you’ve been using just [First Name] all along, you are about to learn how to switch up your email marketing strategy and gain the most from your efforts. Here are key personalization strategies you must know. 

1. Collect the Right Data

The first step to getting personalization right in email marketing is to collect the right data. The data can be the customer’s name, birthday, shopping preference, address, etc. As you set up your subscription forms, know the key things to include. 

Most email marketing platforms already have a template you can work with. If you have an eCommerce site, you can link it directly with your ESP and everyone who purchased from your site gets added to the list under a specific tag. 

You can also create surveys and ask questions from your audience on what they would love to see in your emails. This will help you create more intentional content. Before you decide to personalize your emails, you must start from the grassroots and carefully choose the data you wish to collect while you build your email list

2. Use Segmentation

Email segmentation is one of the best ways to personalize your emails, as you can speak directly to your audience based on the segment they belong.

Email list segmentattioon results

Segment your list with the customer data you have collected. Examples of segments include Demographics (Age, Gender, Income, Location, etc), Active customers, Interest in products/services, and Interested but yet to purchase, among others. 

There is no hard or fast rule to this. How you segment your list depends on the kind of industry you operate in and your specific goals for each campaign. 

3. Use Triggered Emails

Triggered emails are automated emails that are sent based on an action taken by a subscriber, following specific criteria set by you. A perfect example is the Welcome email every new subscriber gets. 

You can decide to send an email to everyone who subscribes to your list. Some ESPs will give you the option of triggering this email immediately after the subscription or some hours after. The average open rate for welcome emails is 50%, which is 86% more effective than standard email newsletters. 

You can also trigger an email based on an action taken on your website. For example, when someone makes a purchase. Lead nurturing emails also fall into this category, as you can take a potential customer from the contemplation stage to the decision stage.

This is why drip emails are important and an ESP like MailDrip makes it easier to create triggered emails. By using this strategy, you can shoot up your business revenue by 75%

4. Have a Sender’s Name

A common mistake beginners in email marketing make is sending the email from their business name. To personalize your email, modify the “From” section. Instead of sending out an email with your company name, use a name your recipients can relate better with to give them a human feel. See the example below.

Source: SendInBlue

From this example, you can tell that you don’t have to completely take off your company name. Both can coexist. Also, this name can be fictional but ensure you stay consistent to make your audience familiar with your brand. 

Having a sender’s name is important, and from research, 68% of Americans say they base their decision to open an email on the “from” name.

5. Use Personalized Content

You can employ all the relevant tactics for email personalization as discussed here and still get it wrong if the email content isn’t personalized. This is beyond inserting the recipient’s name randomly in the content. 

Let your content have a human feel. Consider the email design and ensure it is appealing to your audience. Write friendly and interesting content with a sense of humor. You can also include personal stories that they can relate to. 

Write your emails like you are sending a particular person a letter they would find interesting. Remember that they would get it directly in their inbox and the least you can do is make it as personable as possible.

Bottom Line

The benefits of email marketing today cannot be overemphasized, especially for SMEs. However, you can gain even much more with email personalization and the key strategies shared in this article can be your starting point. 

It is also important to note that email marketing is beyond the knowledge you may have gathered over time. You need to work with the right people and have access to the right tools. Beyond creating MailDrip to ensure smooth email personalization, we have also created a FREE marketing strategy template to guide you. Fill out the form below to get it in your inbox.

Should you need further assistance on your email marketing journey, feel free to contact us and our team will be glad to help. 

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