7 Email personalization strategies that go beyond a name

With technology advancing and making peoples’ lives easier in the past few years, the marketer is definitely not left behind.

One great debt marketers owe to technological advancements is the power of email marketing.

Email marketing advancements have made it possible to build more meaningful relationships with customers, resulting in phenomenal returns on their investments - $44 for every $1 spent. In order for you as a marketer to reap the benefits that email marketing has, you have to take your relationship with each of your customers to another level.

You have to get personal with your customers.

This is where personalized email marketing comes into play.

What is email personalization (and why is it important)?

Personalization in email is when you use subscriber data within your email content to make it tailor-made for each recipient. Contrary to popular belief, email personalization does not end at addressing your subscriber by name. It involves sending out relevant and timely content that your subscriber can’t resist but to consume. The data you can use can be anything from a name to a birthday to shopping preferences.

Personalization in email is when you use subscriber data within your email content to make it tailor-made for each recipient.

Source: Really Good Emails

The purpose of personalizing emails is to make your subscribers feel like VIPs, they’re not just an email address in your database.

Why is personalized email marketing relevant to your marketing strategy, you ask? Let me give you three good reasons.

1. Increases open rates.

Personalization, particularly in the subject line, is an excellent way to increase your open rates. Personalized emails can actually improve your open rates by a whopping 26%. Remember, your subject line is your first chance to make an impression. To make an impression that elicits an open, make it as personal as you can.

2. Drives engagement.

Another reason email personalization is becoming a strategy marketers all over are adopting is that it drives engagement. Everyone loves a little special treatment. When you show your customers that they’re a valuable individual through personalization, they’ll definitely engage with your emails more.

3. Increases revenue.

Email personalization has been proven to increase revenue by as much as 760%. The simple reason being that people would rather spend money where they’re appreciated.

If those benefits of personalization email marketing sound like something your business could benefit from, let’s take a look at how you can implement email personalization in your email marketing.

7 Email personalization strategies that go beyond [first name]

I know what you’re thinking. If personalization goes beyond addressing a subscriber by name, what other email personalization strategies can you employ? Let’s take a look at seven email personalization strategies that go beyond a name. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is.

1. Use segmentation.

One of the best ways to personalize your emails is by segmenting your list. Segmentation is merely grouping your list into segments that have some things in common. A few examples include:

  • Location

  • Gender

  • Role in an organization

The criteria you use for segmenting your list depends on the kind of industry you’re in and your goals for the campaign. However, by using that little bit of data in an email, your subscriber will feel like you know them on a personal level. This will result in them connecting to your email, engaging with it, and hopefully, complete the action you require of them.

Segmentation forms the foundation of most, if not all, personalized email marketing strategies.

2. Consider browsing history.

Another great way you can personalize your emails is by using your subscriber’s browsing data. Here’s a great example by Asics below:

Another great way you can personalize your emails is by using your subscriber’s browsing data. Here’s a great example by Asics below:

Source: Really Good Emails

Through the use of cookies, they gather a user’s browsing data and send them an email citing the products they were looking at on the website. The good thing about this kind of personalization is that it’s also super effective when it comes to personalizing cart recovery emails. This technique is also useful if your customer purchased a product that requires some accessories.

If your goal is to recover abandoned carts or cross-sell products, then this is definitely the personalized email marketing strategy you should employ.

3. Employ triggered emails.

When it comes to personalized email marketing, one of the best strategies you can use is email automation. Email automation is whereby you use email marketing software to automatically send emails to subscribers based on specific criteria defined by you.

One way of using automation is to send personalized emails based on actions they take. These triggered or behavioral emails, these are a great way of making a subscriber feel like you know them. Examples of triggered emails include:

  • Welcome emails

  • Reminders

  • Lead nurturing emails

This type of email personalization is so powerful that research shows they’re responsible for up to 75% of some businesses' revenue. If setting up triggered emails sounds complicated, it isn’t.

4. Send emails from a person.

Another great strategy to personalize your emails is to send your emails from a person, not a business. Research shows that people are more likely to trust and relate to an email that comes from another person more than they would an email from a business. In fact, a whopping 68% of Americans say the “From” name plays a big role in their decision to open an email.

Personalize your emails by using a real person’s name in the “From” field and a real person’s face instead of a logo or an avatar.

Hubspot tested this and found that when they sent out an email from “Hubspot,” their click-through rate was 0.73%. Switching to sending their emails from a member of their marketing team (a real person), resulted in click-through rates of 0.96%. That may seem like a small jump, but when you consider that it resulted in 292 more clicks, it definitely is worth it.

By sending your business emails from a real human being, you give your business a human touch, a touch that you can use to increase the effectiveness of your email marketing strategy.

5. Use important anniversaries.

Everyone loves to celebrate anniversaries, especially their own. Beyond remembering your subscriber’s name, you can add another level of personalization by remembering essential dates in their journey with you. These could be anything from their birthday or your anniversary together.

Everyone loves to celebrate anniversaries, especially their own. Beyond remembering your subscriber’s name, you can add another level of personalization by remembering essential dates in their journey with you.

Source: Really Good Emails

By using anniversaries as a way of personalizing your emails, you endear yourself to your subscribers. They’ll undoubtedly reciprocate by engaging with your emails more and taking part in your promotions.

The result?

An increase in the revenue you generate through your email campaign.

Getting data that is important to your subscribers is an integral part of your marketing strategy. It allows you to take email personalization to a higher level than just using your subscriber’s first name.

6. Use personalized content.

When it comes to emails, your content is the vehicle for conversions. To improve those conversions, personalize your content. A few ways you can do that are by:

  • Making your email copy less formal. No matter what industry you’re in, your email copy should be friendly and personable. Avoid jargon at all costs.

  • Employ humor. Humor is an excellent way of breaking the ice in any situation—including in your emails. Humor will make your emails feel like their coming from a friend—not a business.

  • Be relevant. Using the data you gather about your customer, craft content that they don’t know they need. In short, send them relevant information that a caring friend would give.

By creating personalized content, you ensure that your customer looks forward to interacting with your emails. You become a friend they can turn to when they need a product or service you offer.

7. Use dynamic content.

Dynamic content is one of the marvels of email marketing. This innovative way of ending emails allows you to personalize certain parts of your email content to resonate with particular recipients. In short, dynamic content enables your emails to display different content to different people.

The principle behind dynamic content is that certain people prefer a specific type of content over others. By displaying their preferred type of content, you give your subscribers personalized emails with the content that they prefer.

Remember, at its core, email personalization is about giving your customers information that is relevant to them. It’s about creating content that is specifically tailored to them. Dynamic content helps you do just that.

Wrap up

Email personalization has evolved and continues to evolve beyond merely addressing your recipient by name. With the rise of big data, marketers are now better equipped to become more personal with their subscribers. This is why you need to follow email marketing best practices and add personalization to your email marketing strategy.

If you want to take your personalization strategies a little further, consider layering in the powerful tool of storytelling.

About the Author

Emma is an email marketing platform that gives you all the tools you need to send campaigns that really connect with your subscribers. With our

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