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Improve E-Mail Open Rates by 40% with Personalization

April 03 2016

oi email personalization

I just listened to an amazing webinar on e-mail marketing. It featured Nate Johnson from Realtor.com (very smart) and great tips on personalizing your email marketing (also very smart).

What were some of the key takeaways?

Email Marketing is Still Relevant

According to the survey behind this webinar, e-mail has a 246% return on investment for midsize companies. Those are some strong numbers. Because over half of people look at their email at least six times a dayat least six times a day, you can get in front of targets effectively through email.

Email is a dominant channel for most marketers. Everyone in the survey is spending more time, resources, energy, and effort on email and seeing bigger returns year-over-year.

"I get really excited about email. I've seen how effective it can be as a marketer and a product executive," said Johnson.

The Email Marketing Landscape is Complex

The number of vendors and services willing to help marketers with e-mail marketing is growing.

  • Subscriber acquisition tools: One way to grow your list is through third parties. When using this strategy, it's critical to utilize best practices. Double check the quality of leads by segmenting them out from your other sources to see what the usage and click patterns are. This will help you determine if this is a good investment.
  • E-mail validation services: Deliverability is not a key user concern, but it can be an administrative headache and a drainage of resources. These companies will help make sure the emails in your database are current.
  • Customer Analytics and Personalization tools: These vendors help centralize customer and web data, then apply algorithms to the data to unearth unique customer personas. They claim to more accurately predict funnel stage and notify you when your customer is ready to buy.

The New Kid on the Block is Personalization

The most exciting segment to emerge from email marketing is personalization.  There are some fascinating things happening in this space, including personalization based on real time, location, device, funnel stage, even weather! If you're REI, as an example, you don't want to send a promotion on winter boots to an area that's experiencing a heat wave.

"The innovation in this area is really fascinating," said Johnson. This trend will make email an even more personal experience.

Levels of Personalization

Where you can go with personalization is exciting, but if you're looking to implement it in the short term, there are easy (and extremely effective) things you can do immediately.

    • Level OnePersonalize your greeting and subject lines
      This is easy to do and will significantly boost engagement. In their survey, they saw a 40% lift in open rates just by personalizing the subject linesubject line. Clicks also improve.

    • Level TwoTrigger Based Actions
      Personalize the email you send based on the actions your customers or visitors have taken. Let them take the lead in telling you what they'd like to see. You're more likely to get a better reaction to your communication this way.

    • Level ThreeCreate dynamic content based on location or time of open
      Dynamic content that knows what type of device your audience is using to read the email, where they are, what time of day it is, etc. and then personalizes the message based on that data.

In real estate, this can be very location-specific. "We are very geography specific – area and neighborhood specific," Johnson said. "We have a lot of people looking for a lot of houses. People like to look for houses in specific neighborhoods or cities."

So if you're in real estate, understanding the neighborhood, area, or property a person is interesting in can help you personalize your messaging with great intent and success.

Okay! I'm in! I want to do personalized email. What are some rules of the road?

  1. Send fewer emails, but with more personalization. Don't flood your consumers with superfluous information. Stay focused.
  2. Look at your email marketing with a user-centric point of view. If you do too much, people will stop engaging. Be respectful of what users are looking for.
  3. Strategically, understand how email fits into your overall contact strategy. Make an effort to outreach with relevant, compelling information that matters to them.
  4. Use the data and the tools at your disposal to make it the most personal message possible.
  5. Ask for feedback by creating open channels of communication. Email is no longer about broadcasting your message. It's now a one-to-one communication tool.

With our recent announcement on the intent to acquire AddressReport, Onboard Informatics is using the data at our disposal to create more compelling and personal email marketing campaigns for our clients. If you're interested in learning more, contact uscontact us today.

To view the original article, visit the Onboard Informatics blogOnboard Informatics blog.