One would think that this is not a very complicated concept: People hate spam, and they love being recognized. That's possibly why email personalization results in 41 percent higher click rates and 29 percent higher open rates. It also results in more transactions for many markets and results in more social media engagement when those functions are integrated properly into emails. One would think that every company would use personalization to reach more consumers and that doing so would be an easy fix. But many are still behind the times, while other companies invest in all sorts of programs trying to crack the code of what is the "right" kind of personalization, and when it should be used. As a result, there are a ton of strategies for doing so effectively.

Using a Name in the Subject Line

This option is the most obvious way to personalize your message. Even though it's effective, it might be a tad overused. Surely, if a company is not doing this, they should certainly start. Couple your customers' names with click-bait titles and you'll likely boost your engagements right away. These types of subject lines alone will be a big help. That being said, this should most certainly not be your only means of personalization.

Focus on Triggers

This is the most important trend in email marketing. You can't depend on a monthly or weekly email blast to keep customers interested. Create your business's emailing schedule around when your customers are interested and need to be engaged.

You should create a personalized email whenever one of these things happen to your customer:

  • They sign up on your site
  • They explore your site
  • They make their first purchase with you
  • They look at something multiple times without purchasing it (or take one action in the conversion funnel without moving to the next step)
  • They have an "anniversary" with you
  • They are gone for a month
  • They've left the site or unsubscribed from a service

These are just a small sampling of the types of triggers you can focus on. Every company is different, every sales cycle is different, but you should at least have triggers that include touching base during the key points in that cycle.

Remind Them of Products They Looked At or Stuff They Liked

In those trigger-based, "it's been a while" types of emails, big companies like Amazon tend to use their big data to pull lists of their customers' previous shopping histories. The idea is to remind the customer of something they've been shopping for but never bought. But this takes it one step further with actually showing them the product and often its current price. In the case of other companies, like Netflix, it's not so much about encouraging a purchase but just reminding the customer that you care, that your site "remembers" them, and that you're still there.

Recommend New Stuff They'll Probably Like

Using even more of that data, companies can easily make recommendations based on customers' prior shopping histories. Instead of flaunting something they've already looked at, this is about showing them something that they might not have seen before. The success of this depends almost entirely on the data. One can recommend products, services, content topics, and features.