Refuse to be Ignored, Personalize Your Email Campaigns

Sending prospects or customers emails is relatively cheap, easy, and speedy. So it’s no wonder more than 89.2% of marketing managers say email remains as important or more important in their overall marketing strategy compared to two years ago, according to an EmailVision study.

What’s surprising though is most marketers are not personalizing their email campaigns. A Direct Marketing Association analysis shows that today there are more emails arriving in consumers’ inboxes, but that the percentage of emails with personalized content has dropped from 38% to 22%. The email may say “Welcome Peter Prospect,” but the rest of the message is not personalized in any way.

The reason is not laziness, according to Arthur Middleton Hughes of Email Insider. With emails going out several times a week for most businesses, there is not enough time for the creative and/or IT department to put dynamic personal content into the bulk of outgoing emails. Companies love the lift both frequency and personalization give emails, but frequency is easier than personalization so sending more emails wins out.

Some retailers are losing their best customers by sending too many emails. Customers that purchase one item every quarter, don’t want an email every day and probably don’t want one every week. So according to Hughes, frequency can lead to customer churn, which leads marketers back to better segmenting, testing, and full use of their database instead of the temptation of volume and frequency as a crutch.

Helzberg Diamonds’ Get Personal with EmailCampaign

Helzberg Diamonds achieved 288% sales lift with a promotional email that spelled a subscriber’s first name using images of Helzberg’s charms. To make the campaign shine, the team animated the charms to swing back and forth on a necklace in the email.

Because of the technical challenges of the campaign, Helzberg checked more than 100 emails to ensure the personalization worked and that it defaulted to the word “friend” if the person’s name was too long or the occasional inappropriate entry in the name field.  (We all have seen “Dirty Dog Smith” on web entry forms and probably even names worse than that.)

The results shined.

  • 288% increases in sales (or 3x) compared to the prior week’s email campaign
  • 55% higher open rate than Helzberg’s average for promotional emails
  • 85% higher clickthrough rate

Because charms jewelry was a strong seller in the past for Helzberg, the team wanted to create an exciting promotion so customer wouldn’t tire of five or six emails about charm bracelets.

Laura Schraeder, Helzberg Diamonds email marketing specialist, said her associates on the campaign joked about sending personalized animations in ever email, but Helzberg is careful to avoid making such technically rich campaigns the new standard.

Any company can refuse to be ignored as long as they remember that the same rules of direct mail apply to email – segment, personalize, and match frequency with buying habits. Don’t flood your customer’s mailbox or email inbox because it meets your needs more than theirs. Show them that you know their name and their needs. Dazzle them with more than just your creative design skill.  Dazzle them with your attention to etiquette and your strong relationship building skills.

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