How Personalisation can Boost the Performance of Your Email Campaigns

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Consumer Personalisation

Personalisation is a hot topic in the email world nowadays, and it is now an expectation for subscribers to receive email content personalised to their interests, location and behaviour. Consumers no longer tolerate a generic relationship with their brand, so ensuring your content is relevant and valuable to them is vital for email marketers. So how can you personalise your content effectively to boost the performance of your campaigns?

1) Gender

Customise your emails to appeal to the gender of the subscriber to help generate maximum impact.

Not only do you want to show products that match the gender of the subscriber for a more relevant shopping experience, but you also want to inspire them. Consider different imagery varying on the gender to help grab the initial attention of the customer when they open the email. If you are highlighting the latest fashion trends, then personalising the image and copy by gender will provide relevance and increase impact.

2) Past Purchase or Browsing Behaviour

Target active and inactive subscribers by looking at what and when they are buying

You can spend a lot of time asking customers what they like but sometimes the easiest thing to do is look at their behaviour. What are they buying, and equally as important, what are they browsing on your website? This in turn allows you to gauge taste, and allocate your customer to a specific segment or cluster where you talk to them about relevant products. For example OntheBeach might focus on sending holidays from the same/similar destination they visited last time rather than a random destination that you’d like to feature.

Additionally, a clothing retailer could hold data against past purchases and browsing behaviour to suggest recommendations which may be of interest to the customer. For example, if a customer bought a couple of T-shirts from you recently, you could send them information on other products linked/related to these, such as similar T-shirts or a pair of shorts.

It’s not just recent consumers who you can target, by storing the purchase data against your customers, targeting those who haven’t made a purchase in certain period of time is also a successful technique. Try offering them a “we miss you” campaign containing a discount or promotion to incentivise them back onto your website.

3) Location

Would you promote the latest deals for restaurants in Manchester to those living in Bristol?

In the example above we talked about how destination might be an important personalisation factor for a travel company – but it’s not just in travel that location is important. There is no point talking about a restaurant, retail store or music event if the customer won’t be able to travel that far. And there is no point segmenting your audience into vague areas like ‘The Midlands’ or a particular county as that can cover too wide an area, and misses out on locations the other side of the border you defined.

Email marketers that personalise well using location look at the individuals location, and the suitable distance around this. They also don’t send just for the sake of sending – if there is nothing worthwhile in the customers location they don’t simply widen the search area. This helps to ensure that when there is something to talk about nearby, the customer is still listening.

4) Incentives

Target your inactive subscribers with a discounted incentive

Another way of looking at personalisation is the offers you are providing the customer. Not all customers are as engaged with as others, and don’t all share the same enthusiasm. Sometimes you just need to create that enthusiasm with the less engaged by using price, delivering a targeted discount.

The other benefit here is by doing this in a controlled manner to an exclusive email audience, you are not cannibalising sales that would happen anyway amongst your engaged audience.

5) Intent

A cart recovery programme can be worth 5% of online sales

Understanding what the customer is interested in right now and personalising their email experience is a no brainer when we look at the results.

A cart recovery programme, where it has identified the customer is interested in purchasing some items but not quite gone as far as completing the transaction can be worth 5% of all online sales.

A travel company who identifies when a customer is in the process of researching holidays can target messages based upon what their enquiry or search was around, and increase the frequency of emails as there is a natural relevancy at this point.

Intent is not just knowing what the customer is interested in, but when, leading to the holy grail of email marketing – the right message, at the right time.

Get in touch today to find out how we can improve the performance of your campaigns through personalisation.

About James Lucas

Former Senior Marketing Executive at Emailcenter UK Ltd, a leading provider of email marketing software and solutions.