I am a big fan of marketing personalization, especially when it comes to content. For the record, I define personalization as delivering the right content at the right time to your recipients, which means different people may see different content. While a lot of companies already personalize the content that a visitor sees on their website, true personalization may be out of reach for some as it not only involves marketing automation, but a deep content library and a dynamic content management system.
But there is a strategy that is within everyone’s reach. By using basic personalization, you can easily improve email open rates, not to mention click-throughs.
For starters, include the recipients’ first name in the body of the email. And of course, you know that most emails should read as if they were coming from a friend with a conversational tone.
How Impactful is Personalization?
For most companies, the next step in personalization is to segment your email list and send out different emails to the different lists.
Sure, it is a fair amount of work, but the potential payoff is huge. Consider these stats from MailChimp (see for more detail)
|Opens:||14.25% higher than non-segmented campaigns|
|Unique Opens:||10.29% higher than non-segmented campaigns|
|Clicks:||59.05% higher than non-segmented campaigns|
|Bounces:||0.84% lower than non-segmented campaigns|
|Abuse Reports:||5.48% lower than non-segmented campaigns|
|Unsubs:||7.41% lower than non-segmented campaigns|
How should you segment your list? While there are tons of ways, here are a few:
- By product
- By industry
- By company size
- By title and/or persona
- All of the above as for customers
- By stage in buying journey
Getting Started Simply
Once you have segmented your list, the next step is determining the appropriate content for each segment. In some cases, you might change just one piece of content in your newsletter or just one or two lines of text (including the subject line).
For example, if you are sending a newsletter with the goal of selling a service plan to prospects but you also want to encourage a cross-sell to current customers, you can accomplish both with the same content positioned differently. The prospects could be pitched on the opportunities to run their businesses better while the current customers could be pitched on protecting their investment. If you sell IT services, you can send content about data security but change the subject line and any calls-to-action that surround the content. For your customer segment, the content could be positioned as how to maximize their current service for optimal security. For prospects, the article could be positioned as an education about what they should expect from an IT service in terms of cyber security.
Note: It’s important that the data you are using for your personalization efforts is accurate. Just as when done right, personalization can improve open rates, when done wrong you can significantly damage a relationship with the wrong content or message at the wrong time.
Just as the stats cited above can show you how you can improve your marketing by segmenting your lists, think about the flip side. By not segmenting and serving the wrong content to the wrong person you are continually impairing the effectiveness of future campaigns. And that is a shame because it is fairly easy to avoid.
Can We Help?
RSL specializes in creating content directed at the SMB market and developing campaigns that turn prospects into customers and customers into raving fans. Give us a shout if we can help answer any questions about your content initiatives.