Email Marketing Strategy - Making Your Email Communications More Personal

Email marketing has proven itself to be the marketing channel with the best, or next-to-best, return on investment rate around at the moment (depending on which study you look at). In fact, one such study reports that for ever $1 invested in email marketing, an average ROI of over $43 is delivered - this is huge and shows exactly why developing your email marketing strategy is well worth the time and effort.

make your email campaigns more personal

Not All Email Marketing Strategies Are Created Equal Though

However, not all email campaigns are created equal. As the above figure is an average, there are bound to be some campaigns that don't deliver any returns and some that deliver even higher returns. So what are the campaigns at the successful end of the spectrum doing? Clearly they are doing things like making the subject line enticing and relevant, as well as making the email itself useful and engaging. However, I bet the are also adding in a high degree of personalisation, which is what I want to focus on in this post.

What Does It Mean To Personalise An Email Marketing Campaign?

Well, first off, it doesn't mean just adding a name to the email - that's beyond obvious (although it's something that definitely should be done too). What I mean here is more along the lines of tailoring emails based around user behaviour and needs/desires. The idea is that you have a responsive campaign (or campaigns) in place that 'learns' what each person in your database needs and delivers them materials specifically related to that requirement. That way, you're guaranteeing better returns because the recipients are going to respond better to emails that are close to what they actually need.

Here are two of the most common ways of doing this:

Tailor Your Comms According To How The User Interacts With Your Emails

At the most basic level, you can set up a system that monitors how a user interacts with sent emails and learns how to send more relevant communications based on this feedback. For example, you might send out a series of emails that consist largely of the following base information:

  • Some basic information about why the user is receiving this email
  • Basic information about your business
  • A link to product or service 'A'
  • A link to product or service 'B'
  • A link to product or service 'C'
  • A link to an e-book download page

Let's say the user clicks on links to product 'C' a lot, but not so much on the rest of the links. That's a good sign that the user is more interested in that particular service. So, the system would 'learn' this and move the user into a separate 'pot' that receives emails that are more geared toward product 'C'. This is a fluid process, meaning that the system can move the user through different 'pots' according to how is perceives the users' interest.

Tailoring Your Emails According To How The User Interacts With Your Website

In largely the same way that you can tailor communications according to how users interact with various emails, you can also do so according to how users behave on your website or blog. You'd need quite an advanced system for this and you'd also need to install some code on your site/blog, although when this is done you would be able to send useful communications based on:

  • The pages a user has visited on your site/blog
  • The types of downloads they have registered for
  • The types of information the submit in registration forms

For example, if the user visits pages about product or service 'A' a lot, then your system can be set to deliver communications tailored toward this. Similarly, if the system notices that they've downloaded an e-book about product 'C', the same thing would happen. For this to work though, the user needs to fill in a registration form/download form of some kind. This would then result in a 'cookie' being installed in the users' browser so that the website could identify them as they return and use the site.  

Why Should You Start Making Your Emails More Personal Then?

The answer to this is pretty straightforward - you'll almost certainly notice a much higher return on investment by doing so. You must have experienced the difference between an email that has obviously been sent to a large list with no personalisation, and one that has seemingly been specifically tailored to you? 

The difference in terms of how you react to and interact with the email is significant, so why not put the same effort into your own email marketing strategy?

Tip - please see this section for more on lead nurturing.

Thanks for reading!

By Alan MacDougall

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The Revenue Builder Blog is a small business marketing strategy and tips blog designed to help small business owners and startups maximise sales revenue.
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