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The Modern Marketing Blog covers the latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

Is Your Personalization Strategy Missing How To Be Personal?

James Glover
President and CEO, Coherent Path

We’ve all been put off by pushy salespeople. But have you ever been truly pleased with a salesperson? It’s not as often as you’d like, but every once in a while you get a salesperson you feel completely comfortable around, someone who genuinely seems to understand your taste and knows exactly what you want.

Inexperienced salespeople seem to either ignore you or follow you around with products that you’ve already put down or even purchased. Great salespeople, on the other hand, are attentive without seeming overbearing, helpful without coming across as pushy, and always on hand with exactly the item you’d been hoping for, even if you didn’t know it yet—just like a skilled personal shopper.

A successful personalized email marketing campaign is no different. When you take time to learn your subscribers’ tastes and delight them with perfect recommendations, they’ll reward you with repeat purchases and long-term loyalty.

Great personalization can make all the difference.  Eighty-two percent of marketers reported an increase in open rater through email personalization, while seventy-five percent believe it yields a higher click-through rate, according to an Adestra industry report

Personalize Emails with Novel Content

A great salesperson is like your very own personal shopper. They aren’t trying to sell you anything at all. Rather, their sole focus is to manifest a better version of you. They are eager — but not too eager — to learn your tastes and preferences and dazzle you with novel, yet appropriate, suggestions.

In comparison, the inexperienced salesperson uses the same script of pitches for the same products he tried to sell to the last customer. In a similar fashion, the average email marketer relies on automated product recommendation engines to show subscribers products closest to recent purchases, or, worse yet, already purchased. This may be why nearly 70 percent of marketers think they’re not getting personalization right, according to a study by Evergage.

A good email marketer, on the other hand, looks to the future. They gather data on the products a customer has already viewed or purchased and use that to formulate tailored suggestions for new products — or even entirely new product categories — the customer never knew they wanted. 

Get Email Frequency Right

A personal shopper doesn’t distract you in the middle of a thought to showcase another product. Nor do they talk about ten suggestions right in a row. No, their timing is impeccable: They patiently attend to your needs and seamlessly insert suggestions just as you need them.

Marketing emails need to be just as well timed. Following the common refrain to send out mass emails on Tuesdays between noon and 1 p.m. simply won’t do. Good email cadence requires a much more intricate strategy.

Marketers need to know exactly when and how each subscriber interacts with the content they send out — and when they’ll be most responsive to specific messages and offers. Only then can marketers effectively individualize content so that emails show up in each subscriber’s inbox at the perfect moment, with the perfect creatives, offers, and layouts.

Dancing with The Data

Skillful sales is a kind of elegant dance. Salespeople who gracefully lead this dance are reacting to minute cues from their customers and adjusting accordingly. The result is happy customers who leave the store with armfuls of items they never knew they wanted.

In email marketing, these cues come in the form of data: knowledge of opens, clicks, user behavior, and conversions. It’s absolutely essential for email marketers to test varieties of wording, email structures, layouts, and creative assets to gather as much customer data as possible. When combined with an open-minded approach to customers’ preferences, this data enables marketers to deliver personalized email experiences that become even more delightful over time.

Now that you know how to strike the right balance of personalization in your email marketing, make sure to also read our guide to Email Deliverability and Privacy and maximize the potential number of emails that reach your target inboxes. 

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