To personalise or not to personalise? How to increase email engagement



Powerful email campaigns remain the bedrock of a digital strategy. But you’re facing stiff competition out there, with more than 293 billion emails sent and received across the globe daily.

The question on everybody’s inbox is, how do we get customers to not only read our emails, but more importantly, how do we use email to increase conversions?

Here are some strategies that will get your customers clicking.

1. Be brief

When you’re struggling to stand out, keeping it short and sharp is critical.

Crafting well-written, personalised and actionable emails will keep your readers engaged and enticed. Think of your EDM’s like a ‘taste’. The aim is to give away enough information to encourage a click-through. This is not the forum for a thesis.

An EDM is essentially a small window of opportunity to get your point across. Getting creative with your message and call to action will help you get noticed. do a great job at putting together short, snappy and campaign relevant EDMs.

2. To personalise or not to personalise?

There are two camps on personalisation. Those in the ‘for’ camp believe that taking the time to humanise your emails can increase conversions by 20%. Those against believe that it’s insincere and errs on the side of dorky.

Personally, I see value in both sides of the argument.

However, I often receive personalised emails from companies I have never bought from. Personalisation in the absence of a relationship is borderline spam and will do more damage than good.

If you are going to get personal, do it well. If you’re using placeholders, make sure all the fields are matched correctly. There is nothing personal about receiving an email that opens with ‘Dear <name>’.

Bringing personality to your EDMs is another gentle and sincere way to breed digital connection. Try sending campaigns from different staff members. For example, a ‘thank you’ message from your founder or a follow-up email from your actual customer service team.

In reality, people relate to people. This is no different in the digital sphere.

Personalisation is about more than sending emails addressed to the recipient. It can be about adding personal touches.

3. Sorting out segments 

With over 293 billion emails exchanged daily, relevancy is king.

Segmentation allows you to get to the crux of relevance and helps you preach directly to the converted.

Most CMS platforms will break down your database into various segments of activity, such as demographics, purchase history, location and area of interest.

Sending Mr John Citizen the latest range of ladies stilettos is not going to win you any points for accuracy.

There is a direct link between relevancy and results. Spend some time working out who your segments are and whether the contact point is useful.

Email campaigns can be as much art as they are science. And at the heart of every business is customers. Emerging technology, data and information analytics give us the unprecedented opportunity to get to know our customers in a factual and predictive way.

The more instinctively you understand your customers and their buying habits, the better your email marketing and conversions will be.

This article was first published on June 2, 2015.

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