With AI and machine learning helping to deliver tailored content, email personalization isn't just a nice gesture. It’s no longer a marketing technique. It’s not even something that allows you to stand out in a crowded inbox.
It’s a basic subscriber expectation.
According to recent reports, 69% of business leaders want to increase their investment in advanced personalization, no matter the rocky economic situation. 49% of Gen Z representatives won't purchase based on an impersonal or generic email with essential personalization, and 27% will ask those around them to forsake the brand. Do these figures concern you?
Heads Up! We're here not to instill worry but to illuminate new opportunities.
The more high-tech our lives get, the greater the need for advanced human communication and personal interactions. That’s why Folderly experts have gathered the best insider email personalization strategies that will help you increase user engagement and conversion rates and surely grow your marketing campaign ROI significantly in 2023.
Let’s learn how to transform personalization from a simple tactic into a game-changing ace that can skyrocket your sales and reshape how you connect with your audience.
The Article Walkthrough:
3 Levels of Personalization
While the term 'personalization' in email marketing is commonly used as a collective notion, it's crucial to recognize that it's a multi-tiered process. The better you understand the subdivision, the easier it will be to tune your marketing campaign flawlessly.
Level 1: Basic personalization
Usually, the recipient's name, location, or company name is used for this level of personalization. You may add the recipient's name to the subject line, greeting, or even somewhere throughout the email body. This personalization layer already results in better engagement. A recent study shows that emails with subject lines that include the recipient’s first name have a 29% open rate. Also, this level of personalization already helps to improve email deliverability.
As you can see, although basic-level personalization loses its initial value due to ever-increasing subscriber demands, it still lays the groundwork for deeper, more targeted personalization strategies you might implement further.
💡 Common myth: The most prevalent misconception about personalization is that it should include personal details. However, personalization isn't primarily about prying into personal lives but crafting individualized communication. The primary aim is to convey to the recipient that they are not just part of a mass marketing effort but an individual you value.
Level 2: Segmentation
After you've dealt with basic personalization, it is wise to take things a little further and divide your client base into different groups based on factors that unite each representation in the category. Email segmentation will help you send more personalized messages based on recipients' demographics, interests, and behaviors.
Some insightful statistics: During a Super Office email marketing experiment, a segmented email campaign earned a 94% open rate and a 38% CTR versus a 42% open rate and a 4.5% CTR in a non-segmented email campaign.
Targeting mid-value clients with content that resonates with each group will result in higher engagement, not to mention rapid conversion. You can segment your list according to the following criteria:
- Demographics: Age, gender, location, occupation, income, etc.
- Behavior: Survey responses, website browsing, campaign response, previous engagement, etc.
- Psychographics: Attitude, interests, values, lifestyle choices, etc.
- Purchase history: Frequency, order value, specific product choice, etc.
- Engagement: Active, inactive, dormant subscribers.
💡 Extra tip: Modern email scrubbing tools will help you automate and manage email segmentation in a few clicks.
Level 3: Advanced (or deeper) personalization
Finally, the most powerful level of email marketing personalization would be advanced or deeper personalization. It goes beyond using first names or sending bulk emails based on segmentation. It’s about imitating personal interactions.
Why does advanced personalization strike a chord with customers? 🤔
The answer lies in the intersection of modern consumer expectations and the deep-seated psychological desires of human beings. Astonishingly, 66% of customers now expect that companies will anticipate their unique needs and desires.
Here's where the magic of advanced personalization shines. It's not simply about pushing a product or service, it's about fostering a profound connection with your customers. This deep, personalized approach not only fosters brand loyalty but also creates an emotional bond with your customers, which, in turn, drives long-term business success.
The next strategies will give you some ideas for deeper personalization for your 2023 email outreach campaigns.
Winning Email Personalization Strategies for 2023
HubSpot Blog research found that the most effective strategies for email marketing campaigns are subscriber segmentation (78%), message personalization (72%), and email automation campaigns (71%). Considering the impressive stats, let's discuss the best email marketing personalization strategies that can make your email performance skyrocket.
FYI: The strategies discussed above are designed for marketing outreach efforts (or if you send bulk emails). Not all of them can be used with cold emailing. We’ll give you small tips on how to smartly personalize your emails.
Using Dynamic Content
Dynamic content allows it to craft a single marketing campaign but provides each customer with a personalized copy of an email displaying content that varies depending on the user's needs, likes, and preferences. Real-time variables are an outstanding feature of the technique.
Dynamic content is proven to catch the recipient's attention and hold it long enough to improve not only open rates but also click-throughs.
Dynamic content types include:
- Dynamic visuals: Dynamically generated images or videos that reflect the user's needs and interests. Usually, these are crafted based on browsing history, previous interactions, and other recipient data available.
- Dynamic subject lines: You can implement username, location, or other real-time variables to individualize the subject line to grab the reader's attention from the spot.
- Dynamic email body: Email content and layout change based on gathered user data. For instance, ladies get women's footwear discounts, while men get men's footwear offers. Or take this great example of dynamic content from Grammarly:
💡 Some ideas for emails with dynamic content:
- Abandoned Cart Emails: When a user fills their cart but refrains from completing the purchase, a follow-up email could be your lifeline. Give them a gentle reminder of their chosen items, and sweeten the deal with a personalized incentive like a discount code.
- Abandoned Cart Emails: A follow-up email could be your lifeline when a user fills their cart but refrains from completing the purchase. Give them a gentle reminder of their chosen items, and sweeten the deal with a personalized incentive like a discount code.
- Birthday/Anniversary Emails: Celebrations are an opportunity to show customers that you care. If you have a user's birthday or anniversary data, a personalized email with a special offer or exclusive discount could make their day extra memorable.
Leveraging AI for advanced personalization
The global AI market is promised to hit $1.81 trillion by 2030, which is an overwhelming statistic. Despite the scare that the introduction of ChatGPT has brought to the global community, there are many ways to use AI and machine learning for email personalization.
- Use machine learning algorithms for proper segmentation to target interested users and increase brand relevance and engagement. Try Klavio services.
- Optimize your subject lines and predict the most compelling subject lines for different segments of your audience. Platforms like Moosend come of use in the field.
- A perfectly personalized email campaign makes little use if it goes straight to the spam folder. You can check email deliverability with services like Folderly to learn where you currently stand.
Moreover, businesses can exploit AI to:
- Carry out client behavior analysis
- Email List Segmentation
- Predictive analysis
- Natural Language Processing (NLP)
- Collaborative filtering
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) Prediction
- Sentiment analysis
And, here is a handy prompt to use Copy AI to gather valuable data about the prospect (you can also check other ways to use ChatGPT prompts to streamline your email outreach):
A handy AI prompt for lead research:
Summarize [LinkedIn Profile URL] into 10 bullet points, and brainstorm the pain points he might have around [your offer/product/service]
Using interactive content
The notion of interactive content is based on almost any content that engages the recipient and encourages them to participate with your message and potentially share any requested information or take desired actions. The most valuable types of interactive content would be surveys, polls, sliders, clickables, GIFs, videos, etc.
In terms of personalization, interactive content drives engagement. As users share data through quizzes and polls, it feels like they communicate with the brand representative, forming a stronger bond and establishing brand recognition.
But how do you make your interactive content strategy work?
- Set clear objectives with email marketing KPIs
- Understand your target audience
- Choose the correct type of interactive content
- Provide a clear Call-to-Action (CTA)
- Keep up with the visual trends
- Try not to overwhelm your users with overly interactive message
- Ensure email client and cross-device compatibility
- Increase email deliverability of your interactive-content email through regular testing and proper optimization.
Let subscribers rule your email outreach!
Using predictive analytics to anticipate needs
The central role of predictive analysis is to analyze the past to outline the future so that you can perfectly attune your email marketing campaign to the user's needs. The approach is based on leveraging data and statistical modeling techniques to predict potential client behavior.
You can use predictive analysis to:
- Identify separate client segments based on specific attributes and client behavior to target them with personalized content.
- Personalize email content, subject lines, offers, and product recommendations based on past user behavior.
- Optimize your timing by analyzing past open rates, conversion, and click-throughs scattered throughout the day, week, or month.
- Predict churn clients to target them proactively so that they potentially change their minds.
- Estimate the lifetime value of individual customers so that you can prioritize your client segments.
Driven by precise analytical insights, you can create and deliver a more relevant and impactful email experience.
Personalizing the entire customer journey
While some assume that personalization stops at the email campaign level, we suggest you take things a little further and personalize the whole customer journey. As you tailor the whole customer journey, you will:
- Enhance customer experience
- Improve engagement and conversion rates
- Build a stronger customer relationship
- Expand client lifetime value
- Succeed with perfect optimization
- Achieve competitive advantages
So, here’s an example of how to personalize the entire customer journey through action-triggered emails:
Using geo-targeting for localized personalization
Generally speaking, geo-targeted personalization is quite basic—you optimize your messages based on the subscriber's location. However, don't be fooled by the simplicity of the approach.
As you use the client's IP or provided zip code, you get access to localized offers, promotions, discounts, and events. They will resonate with a given subscriber since you show the value of the provided data and your interest in the subscriber's background.
To illustrate, merchants can leverage geo-targeting to present location-specific deals and discounts to their customers. For example, consider a clothing retailer sending an email to patrons in a particular city, offering a timely discount on winter coats during an unexpected cold wave.
Using personalized videos in emails
Personalized videos make a powerful concoction that can help your open rates and conversion stats skyrocket. However, you can't just use any video that comes to your liking and implement it into your email template.
- The first step of the video personalization journey should start with acquiring a quality video personalization tool.
- Pack the video with relevant information concerning unique offers, valuable reports, product promotions, and other subjects your brand is associated with.
- Wondering "Why are my emails going to spam?" Check your templates for text. Videos without any texts are tagged as suspicious by spam filters.
- Add a CTA button to your video to inspire clients to take immediate action.
- Mention "video" in the subject line to promote open rates.
- Keep your video within 30-90 seconds not to overwhelm the users.
❗ Always double-test your video templates before sending them.
NEVER THINK OF EMAIL OUTREACH AS A PANACEA THAT CAN DO IT ALL TO SKYROCKET YOUR SALES.
It takes well-synced omnichannel personalization to achieve the goal. If you provide personalized user experience across all channels, including email, social media, website, physical stores, etc., you will gain the following perks:
- Consistency and brand alignment: Positive across-channel experience results in brand trust and user loyalty.
- Multi-channel engagement: You can engage users on various journey stages.
- Improved targeting: Data gathered from other channels allows it to form a most precise user profile.
- Cross-channel remarketing: Coordinated remarketing approach reinforces the message, increases brand recall, and encourages the customer to complete their purchase.
- Data enrichment: each channel provides valuable bits of information that complete a user profile to attune your campaign to.
You can take these practical steps to enhance your omnichannel personalization strategy:
- Map the customer journey and attune the strategy to it
- Work on a holistic data strategy
- Pick proper personalization tools and software
- Start small and test each component of your strategy
- Remember that email outreach should alight with other channels personalization strategies.
Sending emails from a person
Why so? People are more likely to engage with and respond to an email from a natural person than a faceless entity. The impersonal nature of emails from a company can often feel robotic and unengaging, and, as a result, they are ignored or overlooked. But when sending an email from a real person, you add a layer of humanity to the communication.
Imagine the difference in reception when an email pops up from "John Smith, CEO of ABC Company" rather than just "ABC Company." It feels more personal, right? This could be anyone from your company – a CEO, a customer service representative, or a product manager – anyone who fits the context of the email.
This minor tweak can make a huge difference in making your recipients feel valued, leading to higher engagement rates.
Constant A/B Testing and Optimization
A/B testing remains a crucial strategy in email marketing. A/B testing provides a direct insight into what resonates best with your audience. With constant testing, you get the opportunity to understand your audience's preferences, which ultimately helps you craft more personalized and effective emails.
For example, let's say you're unsure whether including a personal observation or behavior-trigger fact in a subject line is better. You can create two versions of the same email with different subject lines, and then see which one gets a better response.
❗ Important tips:
- A/B testing is not a one-and-done deal. Consumer behavior and preferences evolve, and ongoing A/B testing helps you stay in sync with these changes.
- Make sure you have a specific deadline for each A/B test! And then change.
- Remember to always keep your test groups small at first to minimize the risk of negative impact on your metrics, and only test one variable at a time to accurately determine its impact.
- Test one thing at a time - e.g. test subject lines only.
Personalizing Cold Emails: Quick Tips
While you can’t use dynamic content, interactive content, or surveys in your cold emails (unless your goal is to lose leads and spoil email deliverability), here are some quick, non-intuitive tips for deeper personalization in cold emailing:
1. Use a P.S. Use a P.S. at the end of the email to add another personalized touch. Also, you may get a strong desire to add extra benefit or call-to-action, try the best practice with personalized touch, and you will be surprised. Take recent interesting prospect’s posts from Twitter or LinkedIn and turn them into your winning P.S.
2. Start subject line with Your. Just to explain it briefly — Your makes it all about the person you are connecting with.
- Your business transforming strategy
- Your 4-step advice on making sales skyrocket
- Your recent twitter post is inspiring!
- Your observations on work-blend are intriguing
3. Enhance first lines with personalized observation. Your email should begin with references to your prospects’ work and expertise. If they wrote a blog post, a tweet, or a post on LinkedIn, you can use that. A little flattery is all it takes to get their attention and make them like you.
4. Personalize your CTAs.
- Examples of personalized CTAs:
Let's schedule a call to discuss how our social media marketing services can help you expand your reach and connect with more customers on social media. Are you free for a call on Monday at 1 PM EST?
Bottom Line: Balancing Between Personalization and Cybersecurity
The perks that effectively personalized marketing emails offer can turn the tables in no time. Yet, as we embrace the marvels of AI and machine learning, it's crucial not to overlook the importance of cybersecurity. Finding a harmony between these two elements is key, ensuring that your personalized marketing efforts don't compromise security.
Keep using secure email marketing platforms, avoid sharing sensitive personal information in emails, educate customers about email security, and ensure compliance with data protection laws and regulations to succeed in maintaining the aforementioned balance.
Should you need assistance navigating email deliverability concerns with professional email deliverability consulting, remember we're just a touch away!