By employing this tactic, merchants can effectively increase their email open rates and potentially earn click-throughs and conversions as a result.
2. Demographic Segmentation
Part of the reason that email personalization is such a powerful strategy for boosting the impact of such campaigns is that all of a store’s shoppers have different tastes, interests and preferences. Many of these idiosyncrasies stem from a person’s demographic makeup.
For instance, middle-aged men living in Montana are likely to have wildly different interests and product preferences than a young, twenty-something woman living in Florida.
Therefore,utilizing email segmentation to increase eCommerce sales is a critical task for merchants to pursue in their email personalization efforts. By dividing customers up by their age, gender, marital status, education, income and other defining factors, retailers can deliver much more relevant, personalized messages, thus increasing campaign effectiveness.
3. Exploit Browsing Histories
Assuming that a retailer’s shop doesn’t exist in some dark, forgotten corner of the internet, they are likely receiving a fair to a healthy amount of traffic each day.
The way in which email subscribers move through a retailer’s website is critical data that could be used to bolster email personalization efforts.
Byutilizing cookies, merchants can gather a user’s browsing data and send out custom email messages based on the products they viewed on the site. Through sending out emails that showcase items that shoppers are potentially interested in purchasing (alongside some sort of promotional offer or inventory alert), retailers can likely reignite a shopper’s interest and bring them back to complete a purchase.
4. Leverage Purchase Histories
A customer’s purchase history is a critical insight for merchants to utilize when aiming to develop impactful email personalization strategies.
The things that a shopper buys provides valuable information on the person’s interests and preferences. Moreover, utilizing this information, sellers can craft personalized messages that feature upsell and cross-sell items that they are likely to be interested in purchasing.
However, this is not the only data that merchants can employ to serve up personalized product recommendations.
5. Recommend Based on Abandonment
Abandoned cart emails area vital element for a retailer’s email marketing strategy as they help to recapture lost sales and increase eCommerce revenue.
While abandoned cart emails can undoubtedly be personalized to increase the chances of the customer coming back to convert, sellers can also utilize browse abandonment to personalize email communications.
By reaching out to shoppers with emails that recommend items that visitors viewed but did not add to their cart, retailers can potentially reignite interest in specific commodities and drive a customer to convert. The chances of this tactic succeeding increase if retailers opt to send consumers emails that feature such items as well as an offer, such as a five percent discount, free shipping on orders that meet a specific dollar threshold or a similar proposition.
6. Use Time and Location Data
It should come as no surprise to anyone that sending emails at a particular time of the day will generate more engagement and sales than at others. Some customers might show the highest levels of engagement at nine in the morning while others prefer to view their messages at five in the evening.
No matter the situation, retailers should get to the bottom of things byA/B testing emails to establish the optimal time frame. But there is a bit more to the strategy than merely testing for ideal timing.
The fact is that it is extremely unlikely that a business’s customers all exist in a single location. Instead, they are likely spread across the nation, possibly the world, receiving emails at inopportune times.
Therefore, it is wise to leverage customer data to determine when the best time to send out email blasts for different groups. By segmenting customers by their geographic grouping or by time zones, merchants can deliver personalized messages at a convenient time for all of their subscribers.
After segmenting audiences in this way, take things a step further and analyze the open histories of different subscribers as this will help to pinpoint the best time to send out messages, thus maximizing the potential impact for a campaign.
7. Employ Behavioral Triggers
Utilizing behavioral email marketing is yet another email personalization technique that can have a profound impact on the effectiveness of a retailer’s campaigns. ThiseCommerce marketing automation tactic is used by scores of sellers, and to great success.
“Automated email messages produce over 70% higher open-rates and 152% higher click-through rates due to the hyper-personalized aesthetic.”
What’s more, despite the fact that this email personalization tactic speaks to customers on the individual level, establishing these automated campaigns can be relatively simple, depending on theemail marketing platform a brand opts to use. Through behavioral trigger campaigns, sellers can use their email system to serve multiple actions, such as:
Welcome new subscribers
Browse abandonment alert
Offers or coupons based on spending
These are just a few of the many types of behaviorally triggered emails that merchants can use to personalize their messaging. Moreover, while these types of emails can certainly be impactful for B2C businesses, behavioral triggers can be an even more valuableB2B eCommerce marketing strategy for upselling, cross-selling, re-upping, educating and the like.
When it comes to email personalization, messaging based on user behaviors is about as personal as it gets for companies and customers.
8. Cater to Readers’ Interests
One of the reasons that people subscribe to a merchant’s newsletter or email list is to receive notifications about new content posted to the site. However, some pieces are going to interest certain people more than others. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to what subscribers are most interested in reading.
Given that merchants are already employing email personalization techniques that customize messages based on browsing histories, product purchases and the like, personalizing emails to deliver content that a subscriber is most likely to read won’t be any more challenging than what has come before.
When readers show interest in a particular topic or subject, retailers should take note of this and build out email segments that deliver that type of content to those who are most likely to read the pieces. Since merchants are likely to speak on a variety of different topics, they will probably end up with a handful of email personalization segments based on reading preferences.
This is great and will help merchants to make email campaigns more relevant to their subscribers, thus increasing traffic to the site, time-on-site, customer loyalty and the impact of each message.
9. Couple Email Personalization with Custom Landing Pages
Building landing pages that increase conversions is an essential aim for eCommerce retailers. That said, one of the best ways to achieve that goal is to ensure that email personalization flows through to the destination to which the message sends recipients.
To keep the momentum going that pushed the shopper to click-through to the website, it is wise for sellers to create custom landing pages that tailor the contents to the email.
Subscribers will have a certain level of expectation when they click-through to the merchant’s site based on a personalized email. Therefore, it is vital to keep the attention focused on that initial message by aligning the landing page experience with those expectations.
The more congruent and streamlined retailers can make the journey from the personalized email to checkout (or whatever the end goal of the message is), the more likely subscribers are to complete the desired action.
10. Acknowledge Important Dates and Anniversaries
One of the easier ways to employ email personalization for maximum impact is to send out messages that celebrate important events and anniversaries for customers.
The fact of the matter is that most everyone loves to celebrate things like birthdays, wedding anniversaries and the like. Therefore, by sending out personalized emails around these ceremonies, retailers can add another layer to their email personalization efforts.
Additionally, retailers can also help customers to celebrate smaller events in their life, such as the day they became a subscriber to the merchant’s email list or the day they made their first purchase. While this may not feel like a significant event to the shopper, including a small coupon or an offer of free shipping on their next order can certainly make the event something that they look forward to each year. Moreover, this can also help to boostcustomer lifetime value and loyalty.
Outside of customer-to-company events such as the first purchase date, retailers will need to make an effort to collect important anniversary dates from customers so that they can help them celebrate. To harvest this data, sellers can either include such fields in customer profiles and ask them to fill out the information to receive personalized offers–or merchants can establish a dedicated email campaign that seeks to collect this information from subscribers.
11. Create Offers for Each Email Segment
For eCommerce retailers, much of the goal of email personalization is to get subscribers to convert. Therefore, if merchants want consumers to act on the email’s CTA and make a purchase, it is advisable to incentivize them properly.
However, in order for an individual to be so compelled as to act on a merchant’s offer, it is necessary to understand what would be of significant interest to that person. To uncover that information, retailers can conduct a bit ofeCommerce market research and ask their customers directly.
Sending out customer surveys that aim to reveal a shopper’s interests, product preferences, types of incentives they would be most interested in receiving and other details can help sellers to craft custom offers that would help to elevate their email personalization efforts to the next level.
After obtaining the information, retailers can segment audiences into different groups based upon their answers, thus enabling sellers to generate far more impactful email marketing campaigns that speak directly to customer interests.
Email personalization is one of the easiest and most effective ways for retailers to cultivate customer loyalty and increase online retail sales.
Given that merchants want customers to convert, it is in their best interest to familiarize themselves with their shoppers, their browsing and buying habits, their reading preferences, special events and anniversaries and much more in order to deliver the most impactful eCommerce email marketing campaigns possible.
Through the 11 techniques outlined above, online sellers can harvest the necessary data and information to craft personalized email campaigns that consistently build interest, traffic, brand devotion and sales.
However, maximizing the potential of email personalization can take a significant amount of work as analyzing customer information, segmenting audiences, A/B testing email copy, offers and other components require time and dedication.
Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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