Digital Day: 9 ways to personalise your emails

Digital Day: 9 ways to personalise your emails

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Personalisation is all the rage at the moment! And it is here to stay. Depending on the email marketing platform you use, it’s important to learn all the features it has so that you can maximise your conversion rate. Current email marketing platforms are really sophisticated, the mind boggles when faced with multiple possible email journeys your customer can take. Consider seeking out an expert with your particular software/platform choice so that everything can be set up to be effective, efficient and most importantly, personalised to your prospects. For internet marketing gurus, Aweber is one of the best, and for those looking for B2B/enterprise level solutions, Pardot is powerful and integrates with Salesforce.

Create personalisation based on interests

Use the software to capture the information needed to personalise and craft email messages toward what your subscriber wants to know about. This is an important way to move your subscribers enough to purchase from you. Capturing the right information will enable you to point your subscribers to products and services that they want.

Create personalisation based on location/geocentric messages

It is likely that your email software allows you to capture location-based information from subscribers. 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.

Create personalisation based on relevance: Let your prospects decide 

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.

Create personalisation based on their relationship to you

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 youíre harassing them to buy something they already have, they won’t respond to well when you market something new to them.

Create personalisation based on what your prospects have told you before

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, you can replace the predefined field with a default option of your choosing.

Create personalisation based on timeliness

Strike while the iron is hot, they say. Well nowadays you can plan to strike well before the heat gets turned up. It is 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 personalise by keeping everything looking current. Do pay attention to this detail, as I have seen many pages and emails still showing the previous year at the bottom.

Create personalisation based on where they have been

Have I seen you before? Like Hansel and Gretel, your prospects leave crumbs wherever they go online – unless they use a stealth browser – and you can use this nugget of information to trail them on their journey. When someone visits your website, or buys something, think about how you can retarget them for buying something more. You learn more about Google Remarketing. When your user receives your email and opens it, a cookie can be dropped that will then allow specialised ads to be delivered to your prospect when they visit various webpages. Use with caution though, as it can get quite annoying to see the same ads repeatedly.

Other ways to engage your prospects:

  • Encourage social sharing
    Put social share buttons on appropriate email messages so that your subscribers can help you get their friends to sign up for your email marketing lists. This is a type of personalisation that encourages them to share with their contacts but also encourages them to friend, like and follow you on other social channels. Bonus points if your brand has enough kudos that they want to be seen to be associated with you! Here’s looking at TED. Competitions are always fun too.
  • Ask for reviews
    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 realise that a lot of email marketing is automated today, they still respond well to personalisation. Therefore, to set yourself apart from your competition, it’s important that you use your email automation software to its fullest potential by using as much personalisation as you can.


Sharliza is a Head of Digital by day for the RSA, and manages everything to do with their online presence.

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