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Is Personalisation the Key to Email Marketing Success?

It seems perfectly natural these days to receive marketing emails that address us by our first names or congratulate us on our birthday, but this level of personalisation must be carefully constructed. It can be possible to become over-friendly, especially in mass emails, and marketers should be aware of how they use the customer data they hold.

Why personalise emails?

Personalised messaging can, and often does, produce better results. By treating the recipient as an individual and making them feel special you can encourage interactions and sales. Sending an email to Daniel or Lucy, or inserting the company name, rather than Customer may seem like an obvious thing to do, but it can make a difference. In fact, according to the 2014 Science of Email Marketing Report, first name personalisation increases click-through rate from 5.8% to 7%.

This simple level of personalisation can go a long way towards showing that you are making an effort to connect directly with people. Add in things such as a thank you for a previous purchase, recommendations based on what they browsed or an offer linked to a special date such as a birthday, and you have a great opportunity to make a real connection with your customer. Personalising messages in this way is straightforward, quick and can bring impressive results.

Can you go too far?

It is possible to become over-friendly when personalising emails, and the trick to avoiding this is in knowing your audience.

Customers who have a long-standing relationship with your company, or a more direct one, are generally more accepting of greater levels of personalisation and friendliness. With such groups you can utilise a whole host of information, such as previous purchases, birthday, even other interests and interactions, to speak directly to them and show that you value them as an individual customers.

But with a newer customer, or someone who has simply filled in a contact form to receive your newsletter, you should build up the level of personalisation gradually. Start with simply using their name and avoid commenting on their habits just yet – this can seem intrusive at first. Once you have established a relationship you can start to include further personal touches. Be wary of using all the data you have on someone or making assumptions at the initial stages – focus only on the basics and actions you know they have taken directly with your company.

Use your brand

Some firms will naturally have a more personal and personable feel, so if you are a quirky, developing brand do not be afraid to show off your style. For a more corporate company though choose your tone carefully so that it is what customers expect of you in terms of professionalism.

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