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Email Personalization Best Practices for 2019

 In Digital Marketing, Email

We talk about email personalization a lot here.

You might have read some of the posts.

But it’s for a good reason. As email marketing gets more competitive, you need to figure out ways to stand out.

Personalization is one of the best ways to do that.

Plus, with all the new creative options available now with personalization, you don’t have an excuse not to dig in anymore.

In this post, we’re going to shift gears a bit. Rather than tell you why email personalization is necessary, we’re going to highlight some of the best practices you should follow now and into the near future.

Let’s dig in.

Develop your personas

Remember, we’re talking about personalization here. To best grab the information you need to personalize your emails, you need to know a few things.

First, develop personas that highlight who your customers are. Most brands have 1-3 different types of customers they work with in the main buckets. If you don’t have a good idea of who these people are from the start, it’s very hard to craft emails that speak to their specific interests and needs.

So step 1a should be to create a couple of customer personas, at least one, to start.

This is a great post that walks you through how to create your customer personas. 

Also, you want to understand the behavior of your customers. Just knowing the basics is not enough today — not if you’re going to level up your personalization. You can tap into those behaviors and make a massive difference in crafting your emails.

Collect your data

Data, data, data. Today, information is the marketer’s best friend.

But, as with too much of anything, it’s easy to get lost in it. It can be a big problem for a lot of marketers. The sheer amount of data can become overwhelming, so it gets ignored. 

To combat that, start small. Pick a handful of data points that are going to form the base of your personalization campaign. 

Some simple ones include demographic points. These are basic things like age, location, and gender identity.

You can get more advanced and also look at psychographic data too. These pull in more information around your customer’s behavior both on and off your site. Some examples include what they like on social media, if they use coupons, and how they browse your website. 

Once you have your baseline dataset, really pay attention to it. This information is going to form the core of your email marketing strategy. 

Segment your list

Now, once you have the information you need, you can start segmenting your email list. 

See why it’s essential to gather all that data first? With it, you’re going to have a roadmap. You can segment your customers based on all sorts of information now, from their location to their customer type. 

When you go the extra mile to segment, it makes your job a lot easier moving forward. You can create very specific emails that speak directly to each one of your segments. 

Check out an example like this one. 

It targets customer behavior and location. Using a geolocation feature is an especially cool trick to get hyper-personalized. Everyone’s interested in what’s happening in their neighborhoods.

Go deeper

Yes, adding personalized touches to your emails subject line and greeting are easy ways to start getting personal. But don’t stop there.

Many savvy email marketers today are getting creative with personalization. They are making personalized gifs, images, and videos to include in emails that target their segmented lists.

You can even create emails that update at the point of open. Talk about being super personalized. Think of emails like this in terms of shipping information. Your customers can know, right from their email, exactly where their packages are without having to go to another site.

Getting a personalized happy birthday gif or video from your brand is one way to capture the attention of your customers — and stand out from the crowd in the inbox.

Capturing that attention and increasing engagement is something a lot of marketers are striving for today. So look at how you can use interactive content to help you get there.

Let’s face it; boring emails don’t get opened all that much anymore.

You can do something to fix that. Email personalization is the perfect place to start.