Personalization at each step of the email customer journey has proven to be an effective way to engage with customers, increase sales, and build brand loyalty. But personalizing for personalization’s sake isn’t enough. You must take the time to understand your unique audience and the journey you want them to take.
We recently hosted a webinar with our friends at Acoustic to discuss tactics for email personalization throughout the customer journey.
Read on for tips shared by Litmus Product Marketing Manager, Angie Weyman, and be sure to catch the full webinar on demand.
No matter where you are with applying email personalization, it’s not a set it and forget it strategy. Consumers’ habits, preferences, and purchase paths are constantly changing the way you analyze what’s working and where you can make adjustments.
Here are three ways to build your email personalization roadmap.
1. Understand the data
Personalization requires data. Take time to think about your data sources and what kind of information you have available. This will help you scope your email personalization strategy and identify gaps in your data.
Next, consider ways you can collect more information through your email preference center or by asking subscribers directly in future email campaigns. Remember, 83% of customers are willing to share their information for a more personalized experience. Be transparent about what you want to collect and how people will benefit for the best response.
2. Map the data to your customer journey
Think carefully about where customers are when they receive your message and where you want to take them at each step of the journey. Start by pinpointing places personalization adds value and increases engagement.
3. Analyze personalization effort versus results
Analyze the personalization you are doing, or want to do, and consult the data to see if it moves the needle for engagement, conversions, and return on investment (ROI).
Is your personalization making an impact on engagement and conversions or is it just visually appealing? Look for ways you can score quick wins that require minimal effort and maximum results. Then build out personalization plans for the future
Good-better-best approach to email personalization
Once you have a reliable roadmap (and plans to reevaluate on a regular basis), you can implement a good-better-best approach based on the data you have available now, and what you want to use in the future.
Good approach: Personalization essentials
Personalization is good, no matter the level of sophistication. Here are simple tactics to incorporate email personalization that appeals to all audiences.
- Countdown timers use live dynamic content to reflect the time left for a sale, special offer, or countdown to purchase tickets for events. They refresh every time an email is opened and continue to create urgency to take action.
- Geolocation targeting delivers live content based on the location of the recipient at the time they open the email. You can highlight store locations that make shopping easy and convenient.
- Weather-based content displays hyper-relevant messaging and products based on the weather in the subscribers’ current location.
- Live polling allows recipients to see what products are popular, and vote on what they like. This encourages continued engagement as recipients come back to see the results.
- Social signals showcase live interactions with a product or service (through the live number of “likes”) on social channels. Displaying the engagement adds real social proof to emails and encourages more openers to click through.
Better approach: Incorporating CRM data
A better email personalization approach requires data from your CRM. Connecting with subscribers personally by considering their preferences makes them feel valued and keeps them engaged longer.
Here are ways to use CRM information to create personalization in the email customer journey.
- Personalized images are an easy and effective way to make emails feel tailor-made. It can be as simple as adding a name to your header image.
- Customized birthday emails are a fun and engaging way to show subscribers they aren’t just a number on your mailing list. You can send an email on their actual birthday (or even according to their zodiac symbol!).
- Product suggestions based on real-time engagement creates meaningful connections and allows you to include products you know the subscriber is likely to engage with, driving them closer to purchase.
- Addressing in-app loyalty behaviors through email personalization is a great way to prompt people to come back for more! Providing customized incentives to get subscribers to boost their in-app activity or rewarding those with higher in-app engagement makes them feel connected with your brand.
Best approach: Leveraging automation to drive personalization
Delivering personalized emails at scale through content automation can be done by harnessing the power of dynamic content and AI-driven recommendations. By relying on more sophisticated data, you can generate endless email variations from a single HTML.
With the right tools in place and data available, these are ways to level up your email personalization.
- Rely on predictive product recommendations based on purchase history to show items frequently bought together to catch the reader’s attention and shorten the sales cycle.
- Give subscribers what they want—before they know they want it. Use AI prediction technology to identify and populate items in email in real-time that individuals are most likely to engage with.
- Include your most current inventory and pricing by tapping into your Google Shopping Feed to dynamically display products without any manual updates.
Effective personalization throughout the email customer journey is about understanding how to deliver highly relevant content that adds value to the subscriber experience and cultivates a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship beyond conversions.
Personalization doesn’t have to be complicated to be impactful; it just needs to be strategic and intentional to add to the customer experience along the way.