Email Personalisation Techniques to Improve Newsletter Engagements

Email marketing is a reliable and versatile marketing tool.

Recent marketing stats show that emails are generating over £30bn of retail sales in the UK. The average proportion of total sales that client-side marketers can attribute to their email marketing is 22%.

Digital marketing is all about conversation, and your email newsletter can get the conversation started. It can help you with customer engagement and open the door to a deeper, more meaningful interaction.

Email marketing allows you to truly connect when you are targeting audiences. It is one of the most effective ways of promoting your brand and improving your sales.

What is an Email Newsletter?

Example of an email newsletter

An email newsletter is similar to a community newspaper for your business. It keeps your customers informed about your latest news, products, and updates. It reflects your company's personality.

Newsletters come in all kinds of designs and formats, and they are an important tool in your digital marketing toolbox.

Here are some good reasons to have an email newsletter:

1. Email newsletters drive traffic to your website. Instead of hoping people will wander around the internet and eventually land on your website, your email newsletter will bring people to you. You may be offering educational content, answers to their questions, or incentives to visit your site.

Share your email newsletter on social media channels

2. People love to share on social media. Including social sharing buttons on your email newsletter will bring a surge in social media followers. The buttons also remind your subscribers that you are part of an active social media community.

3. Email connects you to your customers. You know them by name and provide content tailored to their needs. As with any relationship, the more your customers get to know you, the more they trust you and are likely to become repeat customers.

What is Email Personalisation?

Send personalised emails

You probably have a great deal of information about the types of customers you serve.

You know their first name, where they live, what they buy, and how many times they log onto your app.

Email marketing personalisation is a way to use this valuable information to tailor your digital marketing efforts for a particular subscriber.

Personalisation allows you to greatly increase the effectiveness of your emails. And we’re not just talking about using your customers’ first names in the email - there’s a lot more when it comes to email personalisation.

Personalisation is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Basic tactics include using a subscriber's name in the personalised subject line, while more advanced tactics involve changing the content based on the information you have about the subscriber.

Why Use Personalisation Techniques in Your Newsletter?

Pesonalise emails

It is easy to get stuck in a digital marketing routine.

However, to succeed in email marketing, you must use every means available to you.

Personalised email marketing works because personalised emails are relevant to your email subscribers.

Instead of a generic offer, emails with a personalised subject line speak directly to a subscriber’s preferences and needs.

Studies show that emails with a personalised subject line were 26% more likely to be opened compared to those without, but 70% of brands do not use them.

Personalisation also increases the open and click-through rates, leading to an increased ROI.

Personalisation Techniques

If you are considering using personalisation techniques in your email newsletter, start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What goals do I want to achieve through personalisation? You may want specific increased open or conversion rates.
  • How can I make my emails more relevant to the individual needs of the recipients? Look at information such as occupation, interests, or browsing history.
  • What customer data is available to me? These may include name, age, gender, location and browsing history.
  • How can I segment my email list? Break your list into groups, using factors such as age demographics or purchase history, then adjust the newsletter for each group. By segmenting your database, you will be improving customer engagement.
  • How can I measure the effectiveness of my personalised marketing efforts? There are many digital marketing tools available, such as open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, sharing rate and unsubscribing.

1. Personalise Your Content

A personalised email

Names are powerful. Receiving an email addressed to you by name is like getting a personal letter.

It sets a friendly tone for the conversation. It is a simple technique, but amazingly effective.

Another very effective way to personalise your email campaigns is to use dynamic content. This is content that can change depending upon the actions, interests, and preferences of the user.

Check out this example:

Dynamic content in a personalised email newsletter

Dynamic content makes it easy for you to send highly personalised content to every single member of your email list without much effort. You only need to draft a single email with customised parts so that it is relevant to each user.

This way each customer receives relevant discounts and offers in their inbox.

Dynamic content can be created based on the information you have collected from different types of customers about their age, gender, location, and preferences.

2. Personalise by Sending Product Recommendations

Sending your customers personalised product recommendations shows then you’ve taken the effort to get to know them and their purchasing habits.

A study carried out by Salesforce shows that 76% of customers want businesses to understand what they need, but half feel that businesses don’t do that.

A simple, yet highly effective way to show that you understand the needs of your customer is to send them a recommended product list. You can easily go about collecting data about their purchase history and send them relevant products they may be interested to buy.

By using your customer data such as browsing history or purchase history to hone in on personal preferences, you can make effective recommendations for future purchases.

Over time, your data will become more relevant, and you will be able to increase your rate of cross-selling and up-selling.

Another good tactic is to send them personalised content based on their purchase history. These could be how-to guides, or a blog post talking about how they can use those products. Doing this saves your customers time that they would have spent browsing your store for similar or complementary products. A study shows that 96% of customers would prefer if brands recommended product to them.

3. Personalise Your Imagery

Choose wisely on images used

Another winning technique is to personalise the images you use.

If you know where your subscribers live, you can use different images based on location. You can also do this with age, or other customer profile information. Images speak to us and help a subscriber relate to the brand.

Your customers are going to first notice the images in your emails before they read your written content.

Use high quality, visually appealing, and relevant images to captivate your customers. Images make more of an impact on your customer’s mind and helps them remember your brand better.

4. Personalise Your Offers

Add personal touch on promotional offers

What products interest your subscribers?

What have they purchased in the past?

Give them what they want. You can group them and create different content offers accordingly.

Depending on your product or service, you may want to group your subscribers by gender or age. personalised offers will generate a substantial increase in click-through rates and conversions.

Rather than sending out the same discounts or offers to all your customers, you can segment your email list and send only relevant information to them.

4. Behaviour-Based Personalisation

This is more advanced than just using a customer's name, but it is worth the effort.

Knowledgeable email marketers are good at collecting data from social properties.

Behaviour data can include just about anything, but commonly used data include banner clicking, shopping behaviour , landing pages visited, recently read articles, and content downloaded.

There are various ways to segment lists and personalise the content based on behaviour. How it is used depends on the company and the available data.

However, behaviour personalisation is intended to provide content based on the user's behaviour, rather than their context.

5. Personalised Cart Abandonment Emails

Personalise cart abandonment emails

A staggering amount of revenue is lost through simple cart abandonment.

However, emails sent within an hour have a 40% open rate and 65% of abandoned carts can be recovered within 24 hours.

You can improve cart abandonment by sending personalised emails, perhaps with a picture of the items in the shopping bag. Make it easy for a customer to finish the purchase. This may also be a good opportunity to offer product recommendations, using customer preferences data.

Using the above methods to personalise your email campaigns can greatly improve sales, and most importantly, build trust with your customers.

Some other simpler ways of personalisation include:

  • Offering a special discount coupon on the customer’s birthday or anniversary. This can help make them feel special and build loyalty.
  • Track their purchases for products that need to be re-bought or refilled once every few months. That way you can remind them to re-purchase those products (with maybe a discount!) before they run out.
  • Send reminders to customers who have abandoned their shopping carts for some reason. This way they can make the purchase in case they got distracted and forgot.

Be sure to make your emails relevant and personal to your customers.

Best Practices for Making the Most of Your Email Marketing

1. Use carefully crafted welcome emails to create stronger relationships. A well-worded email can attract the attention of your customers and make them eager to open your emails whenever they receive them.

2. Use split testing to increase the number of your opens and clicks. This way you can figure out what emails are working and which ones are not. It is important to study the behaviour of your targeting audiences and know what they respond well to. This way you can spend more time and efforts on tasks that bring you better returns.

3. Tell stories. We all need and want stories. Connecting with subscribers on an emotional level will result in higher click-through.

4. Experiment with using both hard and soft CTAs in different personalised marketing emails. Sometimes a soft CTA can be used in a footer. This will remind the customer to perform the desired action, without coming off as being intrusive or demanding.

5. Measure and track your email marketing campaigns. Keeping an eye on the performance of your email campaigns will greatly help improve your future personalised marketing campaigns.

6. Be careful to use the right personalisations. Ensure that you are addressing your customers rightly with their first name. Making blunders in your emails when personalising them can cost you customers and even cause some to unsubscribe from your list.

7. Segment your audience correctly and send them the right information. Email segmentation is a very effective way to personalise your email campaigns, but if they are done wrong, they can cost you customers. Be sure to segment your list correctly by sending them the right links to click. And ensure that you are ending out the right relevant information before you hit ‘send’ on your emails.

8. Send information at the right time. Timing is very important. You need to track when your target audience is most receptive to your emails and try to send them to them at the right time. Also, it is important to know where your customers are on their journey so that you can cater to their specific needs at that particular point in time by content marketing.

There is no one best email marketing campaign for all businesses.

To learn what works for your company, continue trying and testing new tactics to improve your email newsletter and customer engagement.

For more information, contact us.