9 tips for personalizing emails wisely

There’s no question that personalized emails are powerful. Personalized emails can improve click-through rates by an average of 14 percent, enhance conversions by 10 percent, and deliver six times higher transaction rates.

Not only does it pay to personalize, today’s consumers actually demand it. In fact, 80 percent of customers prefer brands that deliver personalized experiences and 33 percent of consumers abandoned a brand relationship last year because personalization was lacking.

Marketers have an opportunity to distinguish themselves by offering a more personal touch. Some are using data to tailor emails in more sophisticated ways and make their email content more relevant, valuable and meaningful to their customers.

Product recommendations based on past purchases, emails using geolocation and triggered emails based on online behavior are just some of the personalization tactics currently being used.

Take our quiz to discover how well your brand is personalizing emails: 5 questions that reveal your email personalization maturity


Drive results by knowing where to draw the line

So, how much personalization is too much? How do you deliver personalized emails without making customers uncomfortable and compromising their trust? Nurturing a customer relationship is much like nurturing a relationship.

Think about it: If someone you’re dating comes on too strong, knows too much about you too soon or contacts you all the time, you’d feel uncomfortable, lose interest and may even block their phone number and social media accounts. Same goes for a brand-to-customer relationship.

Follow these tips to develop meaningful communications with customers in the inbox:

Get to know them

Take note of their online and purchase behavior to get to know their likes and dislikes. Keep in mind that different customers have different levels of receptivity to personalization. One way to gauge this comfort level is to give them the option to define their preference settings when they subscribe. Show your customers that you know them and can give them exactly what they want exactly when they want it.

Build their trust

Securing your customers’ trust is critical. Be transparent and upfront when you ask for personal information by telling them how you will use it. Then make sure you stay true to your word and safeguard their privacy and security. Trust takes time. Once you earn it, you have to work hard to keep it.

Take things slow

If you’ve just started a new relationship with a customer, don’t get too intimate too fast. Gradually increase personalization over time. If you have a long-standing relationship with a customer, they are more likely to be comfortable with you and expect you to know them and give them specialized treatment or rewards for being a good customer.

Be selective

Don’t personalize for personalization’s sake. When you over-personalize, you risk making your customers uncomfortable. Think about what data points make the most sense given your campaign and objectives. What can you do to personalize your email to make your message more valuable and relevant to them?

Control your frequency

Sending too many emails can turn your customers off, cause burnout or, worst of all, get them to unsubscribe. Test your email frequency or even ask your customers how often they’d like to hear from you.

Keep them interested

Change parts of an email for each subscriber by using dynamic content. If you’re having a sale, you can use dynamic content to feature relevant products for different subscribers (For example, showing men’s items for men, women’s items for women, athletic items for athletes, etc.)

Create a dialogue with them

No one likes a one-sided conversation. Instead of touting the great features of your product or service, tell customers how your product can solve their problems or make their lives better. Engage them and allow them to interact with you, join the conversation and provide feedback. Test to see what type of content works (and doesn’t work). Ask them what type of content they’d like to receive. Remember that it’s not all about you, it’s about them.

Leverage what you know about them

There are many ways to leverage data to create an email that’s tailored to individuals. Celebrate their birthday or anniversary. Offer localized weather-based recommendations, and products based on their past purchases, browsing history or interests. Follow up and ask for feedback on a recent purchase or send a reminder when they abandon their shopping cart.

Making a personal connection in the moments that matter most helps your brand stand out. It will also make your emails more memorable, help you build a deeper, long-lasting relationship with your customers and ultimately boost your bottom line.