Ricoh’s recent survey of 3,600 respondents showed that companies who prioritise personalisation in their communications meet customer expectations most often. It went on to reveal that than two thirds of Europeans say the best brands are those that treat them as individuals.
Equally, in an Econsultancy/Adestra email report another important statistic was raised. 30% of respondents said during 2017they needed to focus more on personalisation, rather than simply automating campaigns, which had been the primary priority the previous year. With email still recognised as one of the most effective channels for B2B marketing it seems the logical place to focus your efforts.
Below are 5 ideas to help your business get personal and improve your marketing automation.
1. From Name
Receiving an email from ‘the company’ is about as impersonal as it gets. ‘The company’ does not and cannot hold a conversation, have feelings or be a friend. It is a collective of people who tend to focus first and foremost on the company needs (after all the company pays their salary). But when someone in the company speaks to you directly it suddenly gets personal. The from name is often displayed using larger and weightier text so it really does stand out.
A test by HubSpot showed that when they compared a generic “HubSpot” sender name to a personal name of someone from the marketing team they saw an uplift in open rates. Their conclusion was that emails sent by a real person are more likely to be clicked than emails sent from a company name.
It’s also worth noting that if using a real name as the sender you should also ensure that the same name is used in the signature. This way there is obviously continuity and the recipient is able to reply to them.
2. Subject line
As a marketer it’s important to focus on optimising the engagement of your emails. Whilst the delivery of emails can be automated, the creation of subject lines can’t. It requires a human touch. I won’t even start to rattle off the stats about how influential the subject line is in relation to open rates, because you know that already. But as you finesse subject lines are you considering how you can personalise them too?
You could start by including in the subject line the product or service they most recently purchased or clicked on. If it is appropriate to include their name in the subject line then do so. We are very likely to spot our own name in amongst text and our natural curiosity will ensure we at least read the subject line.
3. Time and Location
The practice of sending an email to an entire database simultaneously is still quite common. However, if your audience is based in different time zones then it’s likely that some of your recipients will receive their emails in the middle of the night. This kind of email smacks of being part of a mass email blast and feels totally impersonal. As a result it’s ripe for deleting without looking at any of the content.
Use your customer location data to ensure you send the email at the most appropriate time for recipients to open it. If you are sending across Europe or internationally then you need to address the best time for each region/time zone. Running a report will enable you to establish when individuals are opening your email sends. Armed with that information you can personalise the send times to best suit their habits and improve open rates.
4. Align the Landing Page to the email
Personalisation with email content is the first step. The second step is to also personalise the landing page you are sending people to. You can use data to segment customers and then develop a series of emails and complimentary landing pages to create a seamless experience.
Try not to be general, instead aim to focus the content of the email on their specific needs. You will also need to ensure there is a consistent design across both email and landing page as well as tone of voice and call to action.
5. Behavioral Triggers
Sending a timely email based on behavior is a great way to engage or re-engage a customer in a personal way. It can be as simple as waiting a couple of days after purchase and sending a thank you email that includes an upsell/cross sell opportunity. Equally if a customer stops using your service you could send an email that contains specifics such as ‘we noticed you have not logged in for 5 days.’ That level of personalization shows you understand the customer’s actions or lack of them. You could support the message by detailing what they missed out on in the time they didn’t engage. Applying behavioural triggers to your email will help keep customers engaged and can be used to re engage others.
With personalization being a hot topic for marketing automation in 2017 I hope you found some of my ideas helpful. I am always interested to hear your thoughts and feedback on what has worked for you. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Not this far ahead in your automation journey? Understand the basics of MA, in our guide to why your business needs automation blog. Read it here.