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Personalizing your mailings

Perhaps you're using the personalization feature to greet recipients by their first names. Of course, by now, most of your recipients are wise to the first-name-greeting personalization gig, knowing full well that there's not some forlorn intern in a dark room who's personalizing and sending emails one at a time.

It's still lovely to greet your readers, but we've put together four ways to go beyond that greeting with your personalization efforts, including ideas with segmenting, automated emails and more. Remember, the big idea behind personalization is connecting with your audience based on who they are -- not just what their names are.

4 ways to personalize your mailing

Try personalizing with another field

What do you know about your audience members besides their first names? The same trick behind first name personalization works for any other information you're storing about your audience. If you know your contacts' city, company name or purchase history, consider making generic sentences a bit more personal:

  • We hope to see you soon at our store in [member city].
  • We're looking forward to doing business with all the fine folks at [member company name].
  • Thanks for joining our customer loyalty program in [month joined].
  • Hey, I see that you're wearing that [color of shirt] shirt again today!

OK, so perhaps the last one is *too* personal. But whatever field you decide on, be sure and assign backup placeholder text for anybody whose information you may have missed along the way.

Create personalized content for special segments of your audience

The most effective personalization doesn't stop at a word or a phrase. Try crafting unique messages to appeal to different segments of your audience.

Let's say you have a big list of customers who've made a prior purchase. It'll include both loyal shoppers and people who've only bought once. It'll have both men and women. It may even include domestic customers as well as some who live in another country. Like Nebraska.

Those segments are vastly different, so shouldn't the mailing content reflect those differences, too? Whether you vary the offer, the product or just the wording, personalize the content to connect with each segment of your subscribers. They'll appreciate a message that's meant for them, and you'll appreciate the results -- research by the Aberdeen Group shows that organizations that implemented this style of segmentation saw both their click-through and conversion rates increase by an average of 9%.

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Use automation to personalize the delivery.

Personalizing *what* people read in your emails is important, but you can also create a personal connection based on *when* your emails arrive using our automation feature. They let you reach your recipients on their individual schedules, and they do it all automatically. In a word, they're neat.

For example, try setting up a welcome email that's triggered whenever someone new joins your list. Your subscriber gets the joy of immediate gratification, and you get the benefit of sending an email the moment someone expressed interest in receiving it.

You can also base that personalized delivery on dates you're storing about your contacts, simplifying how you communicate with your contacts about birthdays and membership renewals. Oh, and the customized delivery of these tips is all thanks to the type of automation that personalizes delivery around clicking a link in a previous email.

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Personalize, but keep it personal

Above all, remember that personalization isn't only a matter of using these nifty database and segmentation tricks. Creating a personal connection with your contacts can be as simple as keeping a natural, conversational tone in your email and finding warm, complementary images. It's all about recognizing that your contacts are more than just names you're emailing -- they're people you're having a conversation with.

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