Getting personal with your emails Why should you personalise? by denise cox
Data is at the centre of personalising
You can’t personalise emails without data. It gives you the power to alter your content and make it more appealing to each of your readers.
Marketers always list “lack of data” as the biggest stumbling block to personalising emails. What they don’t realise is they are most likely sitting on data they can use.
There are two forms of data that will give you the ability to implement personalisation. Remember, personalisation isn’t only about personal information within your emails, it’s about providing relevant content to your readers, and acknowledging the relationship you have with them.
Individual attributes - This form of data relates to attributes specific to an individual such as name, company name, titles and products purchased. The accuracy of this type of data is essential for successful personalisation.
Group attributes - This form of data looks for common elements across groups. It tends to be more general and usually more readily available to marketers. It can be used to deliver more relevant content that feels personal to that group of subscribers such as demographics, relationship, location.
Sourcing your data
Now that you know what you are looking for, here are three sources of data to review, collect and collate to personalise your emails:
Existing – Data that already exists in your company about your customers and leads. Provided – Data generated at sign up through your email newsletter’s opt-in form or preference panel. Collected – Data available following every email campaign send.
Okay, now you’ve identified what type of data you have, remembering to consider both your individual and group attribute options. You also have the three sources to check for your data. Now here are ten personalisation ideas to use in your emails.
From field - The most influential field in an email. If it acknowledges the relationship and triggers instant recognition, you increase the chance of getting opened. Personalise the from field using: company, individual, brand or a combination of those three.
Salutation - A popular way to add a personal touch to a broadcast email. It is essential that your data is accurate! Don’t forget to create a default salutation, such as Dear Customer or Dear Reader. Personalise the salutation using: title, first name and/or last name.
Welcome message – An easy way to use a collection of personalised elements within one piece of content. Personalise the welcome message using: the Account Manager’s photo, relevant links, sign-off, contact details.
Contact points – This can make the email quite useful to your readers. Personalise contact points by: location, website links, relationship (customer vs. prospect), postal address, email or phone number.
Types of content – People like choices. Self-selection is a form of personalising, so think about giving your readers the choice of written, visual and audio content. Personalise types of content by offering: case study, white paper, image gallery, PowerPoint, podcast, video, recorded presentation.
Localised – Acknowledge your subscribers unique regional identifiers. Personalise types of localised content by: time sent, geographical location, language and regional business days.
Custom data fields – These are in-house data fields created by your organisation and attached to indentify individuals in your database. Use them to personalise by: customer, member or employee ID, industry, client type, company contact point.
Relationship – This is an excellent ‘group attribute’ element. Personalise types of relationships by: customers vs. prospects; internal vs. external; candidate vs. recruiter, etc.
Preference – Based on the data collected in your email newsletter’s opt-in form or preference panel. What can you ask your readers to select for their personalised emails? Personalise preferences by: frequency, business sectors, products and services, or specific events (such as breaking news or events).
Engagement metrics – This data is generated from your email campaigns, giving you engagement metrics such as opens, clicks, etc. Use metrics to personalise future emails. Personalise future emails based on: non-open reactivation programs, what content you send, and one-message flyer follow ups.