Email Marketing Personalisation: How to Improve Your Strategy in 2020
Written by Philip Storey
2 Minute Read
Editors note: This blog has been updated for 2020.
Hyper-personalisation in email has been talked up for a while now, but this year the industry will see a significant move towards more innovative tactics and data-driven personalisation. "Old skool" personalisation tactics aren't going to have the same impact as they once did, when it comes to cutting through to customers. Brands need to step up their game! Here are four key ways to improve your personalisation in 2018:
Look beyond inserting [first name]
Consumers have become accustomed to the tried and tested personalised subject lines. It's time to be smarter and more innovative.
Don't get us wrong, adding recipient names to email subject lines shouldn't be aborted. The tactic remains effective for increasing open rates.
Emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. [Source: Campaign Monitor].
But don't be blinded by open rates, as they only get you so far. To really engage your subscribers, you need to follow it up with visual impact, relevance and value.
Take a look at this clever use of visual personalisation from innovative brewers (and marketers), Meantime:
At Enchant, we're big fans of craft beer and creative marketing campaigns and Meantime are often on top of brand innovation
Personalisation isn't just about using customer information to populate subject lines and email newsletter template copy. Although these personalised touches help to alert recipients and soften the marketing tone of emails, they won't sustain their interest and retain them as customers long term.
Customer retention requires brands to use customer information more strategically - i.e. digging into the data, segmenting and serving subscribers with relevant content.
Without digressing too much, we urge brands to start delivering personalised content and product recommendations to your customers, according to their behaviours.
Ecommerce businesses and retailers especially need to get on board with behaviour-based personalisation to avoid being left behind!
Use AI to understand your customers better
The most recent big change in email marketing strategy is utilising AI to optimise brand campaigns. More and more businesses are delving into their customer data and even using AI tools, like Phrasee, to enhance their email marketing campaigns.
Where does AI fit into email marketing and personalisation? Data intelligence can help to predict the type of copy and content that will persuade subscribers to engage, as it understands customer behaviours and helps brands to create more relevant and targeted content.
Deliver tailored content with email preference centres
To personalise your emails and better tailor your content to your subscribers' preferences, we recommend using email preference centres. This gives subscribers greater control of the emails they receive. The example from HubSpot, below, outlines the tick boxes to recipients get to select to tailor their email subscriptions to the most relevant content.
Here's another brand example of how to allow users to set their email subscription preferences, this time from Penguin Random House:
Bonus tip: Capture more user details earlier in the customer journey! Consider creating more intricate sign-up forms with fields that help segment your email database for automation and targeted email. Alternatively, use your welcome emails to invite new subscribers to set their preferences from the outset. The earlier you get to know your subscribers, the more relevant their customer journeys will be!
In 2018, there will be a surge in brands ramping up their email marketing personalisation and giving subscribers more relevant customer journeys. The result of effective personalisation is more engaged subscribers, leading to increased customer lifetime value (CLV), which is a good indicator of the health of a business.
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