Just because you use software to manage your emails doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be personalized. When it comes to marketing, relevance rules!
Depending on the email marketing software you use, it’s important to learn all the features that it has so that you can use it to its fullest potential. You might not even be aware of all the things your email marketing software is capable of doing. If you aren’t sure, consider seeking out someone who is an expert with your particular software choice so that everything can be set up to be the most effective and the most personal in nature.
- Craft Interest-Targeted Email Messages – Use the software to capture the information needed to personalize and craft email messages about what your subscriber wants to know about. This is frequently done through “tagging.” This is an important way to share relevant information with your audience. Michael Port, author of Book Yourself Solid, suggests that we should replace the word “marketing” with the word “relevant” to make sure we’re always meeting our audience’s needs. I think that’s a great idea!
- Create Geocentric Messages – It is likely that your email software allows you to capture location-based information from subscribers. And even if it doesn’t, you can still segment your list by location if you have the right lead-capture mechanisms in place. This location-based information can be used for a variety of purposes, from marketing events in their area, to encouraging them to visit your location if you have a local bricks-and-mortar business.
- Let Them Define What Information They Want – Sending a poll or checklist to subscribers that lets them define what information they want to get is a good way to find out exactly what your subscribers need and want to hear from you. Again, relevance, relevance, relevance!
- Acknowledge Purchases Made – Each time a purchase is made it’s important to acknowledge it with a thank you, but to also move them off a list that keeps promoting that item. If they feel like you’re harassing them to buy something they already have, they won’t respond to well when you market something new to them. I got an email earlier today from someone welcoming me to their community.—the irony is that I’ve been on this person’s email list for years and years. If their list were better segmented, I would feel like I was an individual, not some anonymous email address on a list somewhere.
- Encourage Social Sharing – Put social share buttons on appropriate email messages so that your subscribers can help you get more people to sign up for your email marketing lists. This is a type of personalization that encourages them to share with their friends, but also encourages them to friend, like and follow you on other social channels.
- Insert Predefined Fields – Most email programs allow you to insert different predefined fields. For example, if you have a website that is devoted to selling art, you could send a questionnaire to your audience asking them what their favorite style is. Then the software will not only trigger the right emails to go out based on that style, but it will also mention the style within the email message. If they don’t fill it out, it will insert some other value that you choose into that predefined field. Here, please be careful to test your email before you send it. I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve gotten over the years that begin, “Dear [*FIRST NAME].” That doesn’t inspire trust or feel personal at all.
- Use Date Insert Fields – It’s important for many of your emails to be pre-crafted, but you can make the email message look as if it was just created by using the date insert field. Then the email message looks timelier. With that function, in conjunction with special sales pages that also show the current date, you can personalize by keeping everything looking current.
- Use Retargeting Technology – When someone visits your website, or buys something, it’s important to use the technology available to you to retarget them for buying something more. When your user receives your email and opens it, a software program can be used to install a cookie that will then allow specialized ads to be delivered to the user when they visit various web pages. Retargeting is one of the easiest and most effective ways to communicate with your audience. You’re giving them relevant information and, in most cases, you increase the likelihood that they will respond favorably.
- Ask for Reviews for Products Purchased – Whenever a customer buys a product, send them a thank you message and then a series of follow-up messages. One of these can be a request for a product review, after giving them enough time to try and use your product or service. The form they fill out for the review will also ask for more information about them that you can use for further targeted marketing.
Even though most consumers are savvy enough to realize that a lot of email marketing is automated today, they still respond better to more personalization than less. Therefore, if you want to build a solid relationship with your audience, it’s imperative that you use your software to its fullest potential by using as much personalization as it’s capable of.
What email software do you use? How do you like it? What do you wish were different or better?