Nobody enjoys calling a business and having to speak to an automated answering machine. It’s slow, often ineffective, and forces you to endure a seemingly endless amount of Bossanova hold music. So why wouldn’t the same principle apply with your digital marketing? When your clients and prospects feel like there’s a robot on the other end of their email and they’re just another name on a list, why would they ever take their time to interact with your messages?
Taking steps to make your marketing efforts more personalized will go a long way towards lifting your engagement and increasing interaction across all of your digital marketing efforts. Personalized emails boost click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%, so the sooner you start implementing these techniques, the sooner you will see dramatic results. There are dozens of ways to make your communications more appealing through personalization but, to start, let’s focus on the basics.
I’m Talking To You, [FirstName]
There’s nothing that turns potential clients off of an email faster than being greeted like they ran into an old high school acquaintance who completely forgot their name but doesn’t want to seem rude. “Hi there!”, “Hey, you”, and “Hello sir or madam”, are all terrible openers and essentially leave your email dead on arrival.
First names are the very first pieces of information you get when someone fills out a form on your website, so why not use that info to make it sound like your mass communication is a one-on-one email? Even if it’s obvious that you didn’t design the email exclusively for that person, having a personalized greeting gives the recipient confidence you at least know what you’re doing, technology-wise.
Since you are pulling from the data you’ve collected on clients and prospects, it is extremely important to ensure that your email list is squeaky clean. You wouldn’t want the email to show up to someone who doesn’t have a first name on your list with “Hello [FirstName]” since that would shatter the illusion of personalization indefinitely. To avoid this, set a generic name to be generated if the contact has no first name in your system.
Most ESPs can easily make this happen for all of your email communications, so make sure you’re utilizing it in your next email campaign.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Customization doesn’t always have to mean orienting the content of your messaging to your audience. According to our research on asset managers’ email behaviors, desktop (86%), mobile (30%) and tablet (14%) are all exclusively used by certain advisors to check work emails. Therefore, you should make sure that your content is personalized towards your target’s given device.
The tricky part, of course, is figuring out which device your recipient is going to use. Luckily, if your email is responsive, it won’t matter what device they are using since it will stretch or shrink to fit any size device. With the use of mobile on the rise, having all of your web content look good across all devices is more important than ever. According to the advisors we talked to, 23% said they deleted emails that didn’t look good on their phone without ever reading them, so ensure all of your communications are scalable so you don’t immediately lose a quarter of your audience. The layout and content displayed on each device can be optimized for maximum efficiency!
Tip: You can show and hide modules or portions of modules in an easy to use drag and drop builder for different devices. Ask us how!
Right On Time
Personalizing the timing of your digital communications to reach your recipient at the perfect time is one of the most crucial aspects to consider when putting together a digital marketing strategy. If you aren’t taking the timing into consideration, you could just be shouting into oblivion and missing large chunks of your audience, primarily when it comes to your email strategy.
One of the first things to take into consideration is when your audience would be most likely to read your email. For asset managers, the morning is overwhelmingly the preferred time since this is when they are combing through emails they missed from the night before, having their morning coffee, and the potential stresses of the day have yet to fully be realized.
The other main thing to keep in mind when planning the timing of your emails is whether or not you have recipients in different time zones. If you’re sending out emails in bulk, you could be sending it at the right time for some, and 5 hours before that for others. Make sure you sort your email lists by time zone so you can have all of your global communications hit the desired inbox at the right time.
The best way to find out whether or not you are reaching your clients at the perfect time is to test it. If you send multiple correspondences of a similar nature, alter the timing up slightly and see which one performs at a higher engagement most consistently.
Tip: Not sure when your clients want to receive emails? Make a preference form and ask them yourself! It’s a win-win.
Speaking of testing, the best way to get a read on your audience in order to make all of your communications more personalized is to gather as much data as possible through multiple tests. One of the most effective forms of email testing is the A/B test, also known as a split test.
Say you have two really good ideas for a subject line but you can’t decide which is better. One is direct and to the point but the other is clever and eye-catching, which one will your audience respond to? With A/B testing you can find out by splitting your audience and giving half of them the direct subject line and the other half the clever subject line. You then take the engagement data from both halves and refine your test next time.
Keep in mind that the testing process is never over since the more you test, the more refined your understanding of your audience will be.
Have you ever clicked through a nice looking email and ended up on a clunky looking web page? If so, chances are you didn’t bother completing whatever action the sender wanted you to.
If you’re running a campaign in which you’re directing people to a landing page, it’s imperative that everything from the design, to the branding, matches across the board. You would hate to lose a potential lead that’s already opened and clicked through your email because they are confused by the disparate look and feel of your landing page.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the personalization of your landing pages to each of your current product campaigns. Having customized copy, images, and CTAs for all of your various product campaigns could make the difference with a potential client.
For the next step in email personalization, check out “Email Personalization: Advanced Techniques”!