Email Marketing: How to Implement Personalization
Posted by Lacey Wilcox | January 27, 2022
Right before my high school graduation, my English teacher gave my senior class some really helpful, practical advice. She was teaching us how to write thank you notes for the graduation gifts we were receiving, and told us that every thank you note should be personalized. Instead of saying, “Thank you for my graduation gift,” it’s far more impactful to say, “Thank you for my shower caddy. I know it will be useful this year at college.”
Her point was that people find personalization incredibly meaningful. And this principle is just as true in the emails you create to share about your business as it is in thank you notes. When you personalize content, prospects and customers are more likely to engage with and trust your business.
Benefits of Personalization
You’ve experienced this firsthand. It’s significant when businesses send you an email or text that is tailored to who you are, your needs, and your shopping habits. Compare this to the experience you get when a brand doesn’t use personalization well or at all. Every year, during open enrollment for health insurance, I get text messages from random companies, admonishing “Terry” that it’s time to switch providers to get better benefits. (Spoiler alert: my name is Lacey.)
It’s really easy to ignore a company that can’t get your name right. On the other hand, when a company uses an email marketing strategy that uniquely fits your job title, past queries, or previous searches on their site, you start to pay attention. They are communicating to you that you matter, and they care about your needs and goals. The result: they are also more likely to earn your trust and your business.
When to Personalize
Gone are the days when you could send out a huge email blast and connect with your audience meaningfully. Using that method of email marketing is an easy way to make sure you consistently end up in your recipients’ junk folders. Nobody wants to feel like just another number at a company that is trying to earn their trust and money.
Instead, personalization should be the standard. Your emails and content are having to compete with more competitors than ever before, so you have to make sure yours stands out. Personalization helps grab your audience’s attention and maintain it.
How to Personalize (the Right Way)
When you use a marketing tool like HubSpot, personalizing emails and content is simple and efficient, allowing you to create an experience that uniquely meets each person’s needs.
Creating this kind of email personalization requires you to have your contact list completely updated and segmented. Again, this is easy and straightforward with software like HubSpot. With the click of a button, you can sort your list by people who have attended past webinars, clicked on your About page but are not yet a customer, or by people who purchased from you six months ago. When your list is fully segmented, you can begin creating your email, using the following tools and tips:
- Personalization tokens. A personalization is basically a property value in your CRM (where your contacts are kept and organized). You can insert this token to easily personalize each of your emails to display someone’s first name, something relevant to their job description, or to reflect an action they took with your company (for example, everyone who fills out a certain form or who has attended a webinar).
- Smart content modules. Personalization goes beyond just inserting the right name into a subject line or greeting. You can actually change out entire sentences or paragraphs to fit a recipient’s needs, job description, and goals.
- Smart CTAs. While not every email should have a CTA button, whenever you need one, you want to make it count. Tailoring a CTA to fit each email recipient increases the likelihood that your contacts will actually click your CTA button. For example, if you’re sending out an email about your webinar schedule, you might require two different CTA buttons. One would be for people who have never taken a webinar with your organization, and the other would be for people who had already taken a webinar. By using a Smart CTA, you can easily decide who will receive each CTA.
- Keep the personal in personalization. The best way to succeed in email personalization is to use good sense. Be authentic and relevant – use personalization for your prospects and customers the same way you would want it to be used for you.
No one likes being spoken to in ways that are broad and generic. We all want to connect with people, businesses, and organizations that know us intimately. A successful email marketing strategy will include email personalization. It’s the only way to meaningfully engage your audience and earn their attention and trust.
Ready to practice putting your email personalization to good use? Then you need to start by generating leads. As you generate leads, they are added to your contact database where they can be segmented and you can communicate with them via emails. Get started below!